Sunday, December 23, 2007

The most photographed child ever

I have one of those ridiculously large photo cards which holds about a billion images at a time. More than I can fit on one CD, I'm sure. And enough to keep me standing at the digital photo kiosk at Sam's Club for a full five minutes JUST waiting for the images to load so I can select the two dozen that I choose to print for the family. I cannot imagine what we did BEFORE digital cameras and ridiculously large-memory cards. Twenty-four exposures on a 35 mm, and not knowing how your pictures would look before getting them developed? Unfathomable.

Anyway, I thought I'd treat my two readers (yes, the list seems to be shrinking...I must be getting boring) with a new photo. So here it is.

I have the time to do this because the baby is staying overnight with my parents. And that is harder than I thought it would be.

Yes, she has stayed there before...the first night we came home with her, in fact. We were so exhausted, and they offered. It was glorious. But now that we are not so sleep deprived, it is hard to leave her for so long.

However, my parents are both off work for an entire week, and Mom asked that they be allowed to keep the baby overnight. I thought it would be a perfect opportunity for us to go out and see a movie, bake some cookies, do some cleaning, etc. But now, I just miss my baby.

*Sigh* I will still enjoy my full night of sleep. The baby sleeps for 6-7 hours at night now, but we still haven't accomplished any consistency about when that stretch occurs. So my body hasn't fully adjusted to a bedtime or wake time yet. But we're getting there.

Now here's another photo for those who actually read through all the above babbling.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

I feel like a bad mom AND a bad employee

The baby is at the sitter today. Trial run, in preparation for a quickly approaching January 2nd, when I have to return to work for two months to transition in a new person to replace me. And between dropping her off and picking her up, running errands and attending meetings, I have allotted a full hour for being in the office. *Sigh* This is hard. And it won't get any easier when I have to be here for a full day.

Friday, December 14, 2007

This is only the fifth time I've tried to finish this entry...

This week has been rough. The baby has been cranky, leading to short naps and little time for mommy to get everything done.

We've been sick. We're talking all three of us down with the nastiest 24-hour flu I can remember. Luckily, after her first bout with vomiting and a bit of a fever, the baby slept through most of it. She bounced back pretty quickly. Lucky for us, because my husband and I were doing good to get ourselves upright long enough to feed her. That was our Tuesday. We are thankful that it is over.

We are much better now...finally starting to dig out from under the piles of mail and gifts that keep getting bigger. I'm hoping to get some sense of organization restored to the house this weekend.

I'm woefully behind on reading all of your blogs. I used to wonder why so many mommy blogs were so infrequent in new postings. Now I know. It is nearly impossible some days to even turn on the computer.

Enough complaining for today. Gotta go get something done while the baby sleeps.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

I'm such a slacker.

It has been a long week.

Thanks be to God, the baby still sleeps well at night. However, the daytime hours have been a bit more challenging. She seems to have some sort of tummy pains right after eating. It's just happened a couple of times, but she screams for what seems like an eternity when this happens, and it's painful. She's also awake more and demanding to be held, which means that Mommy is not getting much done, but if it's all a trade-off for the good night sleeping, then I'll take it.

Milestones this week:

First bath on December 5th. She LOVES the water. She's just fascinated by all this warm wet stuff around her. Maybe it reminds her of the womb. At any rate, baths are definitely a good time.

Moving up to size one diapers (from newborn size). She's squeezing out of those tiny diapers. Size one is still a little big, but she'll quickly fit snug into those, I'm sure.

First all morning scream fest. She must have had some serious tummy problems, because she spit up everything and just CRIED. Arched her back and screamed. Lasted until about 2 p.m., and then she magically turned into the happy baby we are used to seeing. We are hoping not to revisit the screaming anytime soon.

All in all, we are coping well here. For now, I'll leave you with this.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Picture post

Yes, we are spoiled.

What can I say? We have an easy baby. I apologize to the entire blogworld for any complaints I have previously entered here. I also reserve the right to return to complaining at any time. (Come on, I have a newborn here. Who changes every day. And this is my blog, after all. Where else am I going to complain?)

The baby, who is not quite three weeks old, is on a schedule. She eats every 3.5 hours during the day, then plays, then naps. She goes to bed at 10:30, wakes once for a bottle, and sleeps until 8 a.m.

I don't know how we accomplished this. My husband says that God gives us only what we can handle, so he must know how weak we really are. That's probably true. After those first few sleep-deprived nights in a hotel, I thought I was going to lose my mind. Things are so, SO much better now. Olivia has a mommy now who can handle her inexplicable fussy times with grace and patience because her mommy gets plenty of sleep at night. And, oh, what a gift that is!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Again with the sleeping...

Sorry to bore my three readers with more talk about sleep, but really, it's all about the sleeping at our house right now.

Last night, our little angel slept through the night. I was not expecting this. I woke up on my own at 5:30 and checked the clock and was shocked. SHOCKED. I got up to make sure she was still breathing. She was.

This was unexpected for two reasons. First, she was sleeping most of yesterday (despite my attempts to keep her awake). Second, she was WIDE awake all evening until about 11:00. She finally started to get drowsy, and I put her in her crib at about 11:30. Two minutes later, I started back toward her room to pick her back up because she was screaming and I figured that she would need more rocking, but before I got there, she had fallen back asleep. And I was SURE that this fussy period would continue for awhile.

It didn't.

I went to bed, praying to get one sleep cycle in before she demanded attention. She did not wake up until 7:00 a.m.

This is monumental, and I'm trying to figure out exactly what I may have done to help accomplish this wonderful night of uninterrupted sleep. Maybe it was the extra blanket. Maybe the "snack" ounce of formula before bed. Maybe putting her to bed not quite asleep. Whatever it is, I hope it keeps up.

Now I'm off to put the sleeping angel in the carseat for some dreaded errands. At least the sun is shining today. I think I'm suffering from lack of sunlight. A day out should do us both some good if the weather cooperates.

Monday, November 26, 2007

A whole new world

The Thanksgiving holiday was a little more stressful than usual, but that's to be expected. I mean, we're still getting used to the little eight pound bundle who shouts out her demands at unpredictable intervals. But being home has made all the difference, and we are adjusting to life with an infant.

Olivia is playing happily on the floor at the moment, making noises and looking at all the things dangling from her floor mat play thingy (I never can remember the names of these baby toys). I'm trying hard to catch up on some housework and emails, and I'm not doing to badly at that.

The princess is starting to get her sleep patterns worked out, but every day is a little different. She is typically a very content baby. She does have the occasional screaming bout, but I think that's usually attributed to some sort of digestive process that's not working itself out quickly enough.

So far, she has met about a million different relatives. She was a little overstimulated by these meetings (especially with the small and loud children around), but that just made for better sleeping at night.

Now, we are trying to settle into some sort of routine. And I must cut this short for now. The princess is calling.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Home. Finally

We are home. We are so happy. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Thanks for the prayers.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

For my birthday, I want to go home.

Tomorrow is my birthday. I want to go home. We just got word that our documents were approved by the sending state (where we are stranded) and will be shipped overnight to the receiving state (where we desperately want to be for Thanksgiving). Our lawyer will call in the morning to see if our state received the package. If they did, there's a strong chance that they'll push it through so we can go home.

Please, please pray for this to happen. We so desperately don't want to be stranded for five more days, over a holiday, in a city where we have no family, stuck in a hotel. I know I have been whining about this for days, but it just eats at me.

And the princess sleeps...

Yes, we are still stuck in a hotel. We are hoping and praying that our documents get approved by all the necessary offices today or tomorrow so we can go home.

But what I want to talk about today is the miracle of yesterday. After much work keeping our girl awake as much as possible and dealing with a very fussy period from about 6:00 to 11:00, our little Olivia fell asleep at 11:15. And slept until 5:45!

Oh glorious day! She has figured it out! What a smart girl!

Upon waking, she ate and was changed and wanted to stare around for about 20 minutes, and then she slept again, from about 6:30 to 9:30!

Oh, sweet girl! We are so excited about this development. Mommy and Daddy are feeling much better today.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The hardest job...

You know that saying...that parenting is the hardest job you will ever love? Well, I'm totally getting the hardest part now. As you all know, we are stranded indefinitely in a state that is not our own. Which means several days of hanging out in hotels (so far, very nice hotels, but still), with a very tiny and now demanding baby.

Let me bring you up to speed. Last night (Friday night) was our first night with the baby. At the hospital, although we had unlimited access to her, we did not have a room in the maternity ward. And since taking nursery babies anywhere near the exit doors to the maternity ward will brings alarms and large security men calling, we left her in the care of the night nurses while we went up to our room in the hospital's hospitality house to enjoy nights of relatively peaceful sleep.

Since then, aliens have stolen our peaceful baby and replaced her with franken-baby, who thinks day is night and night is day. Mama is not pleased.

Last night was awful. Truly. Awful. Olivia finally fell asleep at 5:45 a.m. and slept until the glorious hour of 9:00 a.m. And she only fell asleep after I held her and patted her on my chest, her ear to my heart for an hour. After that, she slept on the second queen bed in our hotel room, rather than her pack-and-play because, people. I was NOT GOING TO MOVE THE SLEEPING BABY.

I had a very bad day. I had myself so worked up last night that I made myself sick and had no appetite all day (still don't). The sight of the baby made the anxiety start back up. My saintly husband spent the ENTIRE DAY with the baby while I tried to recover.

And then something miraculous happened. No, not sleep. I haven't had more than two full sleep cycles since Friday. But I started to relax a bit and realize that this wouldn't kill me.

So, after dozing for a few hours (still can't fall asleep well, even without the baby in the room), I have relieved my husband from baby lobby duty, which is where one of us takes the baby to the lobby to pace and intermittently check email while the other tries to recover some sleep. And I am OK. Not great, mind you, but also not rueing the day we started to pursue adoption (I had some truly evil thoughts in the heat of the ever-fussy moment last night). And as our Olivia sleeps peacefully (for a brief moment) in the sling while I type, I can truly say that she is the greatest blessing we have ever had.

That's all for tonight. It is extremely late and I'm going to doze on the lobby couch while the baby has made up her mind to sleep for the moment.

Friday, November 16, 2007

An update on our joy!

Sorry, I don't have my camera handy at the moment. Posting again from a computer that is not my own. I did, however, load some photos on my new site. Check my profile for the site on our sweet baby , Olivia!

Today, we went to court for the official placement and such. Our birthmother went in first. She was interviewed and signed whatever she was supposed to sign. We had a chance to give her a hug before she left, and then we went in to be interviewed. We were basically asked a bunch of questions to ensure that we understood what we had signed, and knew what it all meant. But my favorite part of the day was when the judge said that the child would be placed in our care and we were found suitable, etc., and then he congratulated us. I almost cried!

So we got to take our little angel out of the hospital. We are, however, stranded in this new state until the ICPC offices of this state and our own are able to review and approve the documents. This is unfortunate, because I really want to be home, but it's also a little bonus "baby honeymoon" for us. No family to hover. Not that I'm not looking forward to that, but it gives us a chance to really get to know our sweet little before sharing her with the world.

So we've camped out in a really nice hotel for a few days. Will hope to use this "settling" time to catch up on all my blogs and posting. My husband will be fine with that. He has falling IN LOVE with little Olivia and wants to hold her all the time, so he won't mind if I slip away to play on the computer.

Gotta go. Will post more soon.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Our angel has arrived...

I totally apologize for being so late in posting this important update. Sorry, my three faithful readers! I also apologize for the photo being sideways, but I don't know how to change it and I'm running out of time, and I wanted you to see her beautiful eyes. Better photos later, I promise.

This will also be short. I have only a few minutes left on my library internet pass. Yes, I had to come to the library to post. I don't have a laptop, and it probably would have gotten lost in the mess of our car after packing anyway.

Our beautiful little girl was born on Monday, November 12th around 10:10 a.m. 8 lbs and 20 inches (yes, she made the measurements easy for me to remember!).

The last few days have been a blur. She is just beautiful and such a good baby. She rarely cries and sleeps a lot. She's easily pacified and already knows her mommy's touch.

I'll post more about the birth, the birthmother, and our experiences here once we get home (before Thanksgiving, we hope!).

Saturday, November 10, 2007

I can totally pull off this mom thing...

My brother and his wife are having a house built. To save money, they are putting the flooring in themselves. Last night they were working on it and asked me to watch their little boy, who's 7 months old, for a few hours.

We had a great time. We played on the floor, we read books, we watched song sequences from "The Wizard of Oz". We rocked in the chair and he fell asleep in, like, 5 minutes. I put him in our crib, laid a hand on his tummy to calm him back to sleep, and then he slept there until his daddy came to pick him up.

Despite the fact that they obviously have an "easy" baby, there was a great deal of one-on-one play and entertaining involved. I didn't get anything accomplished while he was here. But it felt so natural. It felt so good.

I'm so ready, people. I spoke with our birthmom last night, and she's also ready. She's been so great the whole time...reassuring ME, keeping me updated, looking forward to seeing us at the hospital. I'm feeling pretty good right now.

Well, I must get to packing. To my three readers...I may not be on here for a few days (if then), but I promise an update as soon as I can find a computer to do it. Yes, I know...I should have a laptop to send updates straight from the hospital, but I don't. Trust me, my family is much sadder about this than you are. They are hoping for phone photos, at best. I'm so low tech!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Overwhelmingly wonderful people...

Today, a person my husband knows through his work offered to pay for our hotel stays and travel expenses for our trip to this other state to meet and pick up our baby. This person wouldn't take "no" for an answer.

This is an amazing gift. It's not that we can't afford to pay for it ourselves, but the various new expenses that have popped up quicker than dandelions in this whole experience have taken quite a toll on our now-and-future adoption fund, so we are extremely thankful for any relief at this point.

Not only that, but seriously, I am overwhelmed by the goodness of people. Over the last many weeks, close friends and not-so-close acquaintances have come out of the woodwork to hand over much needed newborn items. Clothing is COMPLETELY least until she gets to 11 lbs. All manner of baby furniture is covered. Blankets, burp cloths, and bottles abound. We have bought next to nothing, and we are almost completely stocked up on all things related to newborn care.

Thank God for all these amazing people. They have been such a blessing.

T minus 72 hours...

I just spoke with our birthmother, and I'll talk to her again later today after her appointment with her doctor. She's scheduled for her c-section around 10:00 a.m. on Monday, pending approval from her doctor after today's appointment.

So, things are moving along as planned. I'm having a little trouble deciding what is necessary to pack. Knowing that we will be in the hospital (where all baby's needs are fulfilled by hospital supplies) until Friday next week and then we'll be in a hotel with baby until at least Tuesday or Wednesday before Thanksgiving, I have packed the following:

  • Bassinet-style pack-n-play
  • Six sleepers
  • Six other outfits
  • Lots of socks
  • 3 hats
  • Carseat
  • Diapers, wipes, assorted baby care products
  • Lots of bottles
  • Some pre-made formula bottles
  • 2 lbs of powdered formula
  • Blankets
  • Assorted burp cloths
  • Several bibs
  • Disposable wascloths
  • 2 pacifiers
  • 1 aspirator
I had no idea that a week in a hotel with a baby would require so much luggage.

Am I missing anything? Is there anything else we need to pack?

Our birthmother sounds very tired and said she's in some pain. I hope that she gets plenty of recovery time next week.

Thursday, November 8, 2007


I've been tagged. I've never been tagged before. This is probably because until very recently I was my only reader. So it feels nice to know that someone else is out there following my rantings and actually thought I was worthy of tagging. So thanks to Jen for that!

Rules: Once tagged, your supposed to link to the person who tagged you (which I did, although I'm not sure how much exposure it will bring her since I'm the least popular blog on the internet!). Then, post the rules before your list (you're reading 'em) and list 8 random things about yourself. At the end of the post, tag and link to 8 other people and them leave them a comment telling them they've been tagged.

I think this is the modern day version of a chain letter, only more fun because if any of the tag-ees choose not to participate, they won't have to be constantly worried about bad luck being heaped upon their head. No pressure, baby. Plus, there's no postage.

So here goes:

1. I'm a recovering control freak. Recovering because infertility and then our adoption process has completely whipped any illusion of being in control right out of me. I'm much calmer now...more focused and ready to wait for things. Not always happy about it, but at peace most of the time.

2. I'm devoutly Catholic. I see in my faith a depth of truth and beauty that I just don't find anywhere else. It informs my whole life.

3. I have always wanted to adopt. Even when I was little, I had a desire to give a home to children who weren't as fortunate as I was growing up. I always thought that adoption would be a part of my family building, but I sort of figured it would come after a few pregnancies. Now I'm glad it's our first (and maybe future) way of building a family because life probably would have gotten in the way later if we weren't intentional about adoption.

4. I am the oldest of five siblings. My Dad is somewhere in the middle of twelve. My Mom is somewhere in the middle of eight. You can imagine that this adds up to a pretty whopping huge family. Last count, I had somewhere around 53 first cousins. Now a bunch of my cousins are having kids, and I honestly can't tell you how many of those there are. Family gatherings are, as my husband says, like watching a 12-car pile-up happen. Lots of chaos everywhere, but it's happy chaos.

5. I grew up on a dairy farm. My Dad sold the cows and got out of the business earlier this year, after 27 years as a dairy farmer. He's much happier now because he has a 9-5 type job and can actually take vacations and visit grandkids on the weekend. But I must admit that it made me very, very sad to watch all of those cows being hauled away to new farms on trailers. This was my entire life growing up, and I'm sad that my kids won't get to experience that.

6. I would not allow my Mom to throw me a bridal shower when we were engaged. We knew that there would be massive numbers of people at the wedding and didn't have much that we felt we needed on our registry, so we wanted to save that for wedding guests. Plus, I hate bridal showers. Hate. Them. But now I regret that a little. Only because she really enjoys throwing parties like that.

7. I want to go back to school to get my masters, but I'm afraid that I won't like studying and writing papers. Seriously, that's what's holding me back. I'm only thinking a class or two at a time, but it still kind of freaks me out.

8. I have twin nephews, and they are the only twins in our massive family. And they were ovulatory stimulation or fertility drugs of any kind. How about that!

OK, I made it! Whew, that was harder than I thought. Now I'm going to tag Arwen, Maggie, and Louise. Forget the 8 people thing...I don't even think I have 8 readers total. Plus, there is no threat of evil luck being heaped upon my head, so whatever!

Why I have the best husband in the world...

I know that my blog exists in relative obscurity, but for the three people who actually read it, let me tell you why my husband is the greatest guy ever.

  • He thinks constantly about our future.
  • He loves his daughter, even though we haven't met her and she's not ours yet.
  • He allows me to be neurotic as much as I need to.
  • He's going to sell his beloved car and replace it with a van (totally his idea).
  • He surprises me with the absolute sweetest card ever (he's not typically a sappy guy) on our anniversary.
  • He gets romantic at unexpected moments and sweeps me off my feet.
  • He's deeply prayerful.
  • He loves me and tells me that often.
  • He's willing to sacrifice whatever is necessary so I can stay home with our baby.
This is just a partial list of things that were on my mind. Thanks for letting me share.

Today is Thursday. On Monday, we will meet our newborn daughter. Life is good.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Our anniversary

Today is our third wedding anniversary. Because of the circumstances, this anniversary has put me in a reflective mood. I am thankful for the time we have been able to spend together as "just us", but I'm looking forward to "us + one". I also have some remorse for all the time I wasted feeling sorry for myself during the dark infertility days. Not that we've given up on fertility (because we haven't), but I have a different perspective on it now that I'm anticipating becoming a mom by adoption.


We are going out to dinner tonight, and I'm hoping that we can find something to talk about besides the baby. It's really starting to stress me out. Actually, my husband is the one stressing me out. His current crisis is worrying that we'll be personally responsible for the baby's medical bills because he's afraid that insurance will contest them. Placement is not technically granted in this case until four days after birth, so he has a valid concern. But I really don't want to hear about it. I want to be all sunshine and flowers and worry about evil things like medical bills and doubling legal costs AFTER we are home basking in the glow of new parenthood. Is that too much to ask?

Work has me concerned today. I just don't know if everything is going to get done by the end of the week. But then, if it doesn't, the world won't fall apart. So let's just sit down and realize that we are not the center of the universe, shall we?

I must return to my list of tasks so that my little corner of the universe, at least, can continue running smoothly in my absence.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Just to bring me back down to earth...

Got the "engagement letter" from the birthmother's lawyer today. Paperwork is, by far, the scariest thing about our adoption process so far. Not that we didn't know what we have read in the letter (our lawyer went through all of this on the phone), but when you write it down on paper, it makes everything look so scary. Like where it says that this is no guarantee that things will go according to plan, but you are still liable for every dime we spend in postage or mileage or phone calls, plus the heavy lawyer fees you have agreed to, and if it all falls through we will take all your money anyway and leave you to your childless misery. Or something like that.

It's times like these that I keep reminding myself that everything is going quite well and the lawyers just put these things in writing so that all the legal liabilities and such are addressed and there is no misunderstanding in the case of disaster. But still. I DON'T NEED AN EXCUSE TO WORRY, PEOPLE.

I feel unusually bloggy today. I think it's NaBloPoMo fever. I'm not an officially participating member, but so many of my favorite bloggers are that I've been inspired to write more often. It will be a nice way to compile my thoughts and feelings through this whole process, which can later be put into print for baby's memory book. Or it could be the fact that I realize that I'm going to be leaving work soon and will need a reason to get on the computer and stay connected with the world.

Final week of childlessness...

...Lord willing and the creek don't rise (as they say in these parts).

It hit me today that, if all goes according to plan, by this time next week I'll be a parent. Not legally, yet, but practically. Gone are the days of sleeping in! But you know what...I don't care! I'm sure I will be kicking myself in about three weeks for saying that, but at this point I'm just so thrilled to be moving into parenthood that I'm seriously floating on cloud nine.

I think it's rather providential that tomorrow is our third anniversary. This year's anniversary celebration will be particularly special, I think, because we can celebrate a new phase in our lives together. Celebration plans include dinner out and then a date with some store clerks and a barcode gun. Yes, registering for baby gifts! Can you even stand the excitement? (Boy, we are boring people.)

In the last two weeks, two of my close friends have given birth. A couple of years ago, that would be bittersweet for me. Now, it is only sweet! I can finally rejoice again with those who are pregnant. That is one of my adoption miracles.

I can't wait to meet the little one who will change our lives forever. I just hope we make it home in time for Thanksgiving so we can share our joy with our family.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Everyone has a story...

My husband mentioned to some people at church last night that we were adopting, and they were all gushing about how excited they were for us. And each one of them had a story about adopting or someone they knew who had adopted. And then, of course, comes the advice. Ah, the advice.

I've learned that it doesn't matter what intimate detail of your life you are sharing, someone will always have advice for you. For those few who learned about our fertility struggles, there were the suggestions of things to try, or articles they'd read. For those finding out about our adoption, it's all stories and advice on adopting from this country or that (which don't mean a hill of beans to us right now), and then the advice on whether or not to tell her she's adopted. Obviously, those bits come from people who've never adopted...and certainly have never adopted a child who didn't share their racial or ethnic features. I've come to find these bits of advice funny and usually just laugh them off. They used to irritate me, but then I realized that I was once the type to offer such advice, so I guess I can't fault people too much.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

All Saints and thoughts on babies

I just got back from Mass. Today is the Feast of All Saints, so I took a break from the maddening race-to-get-all-my-work-done-before-baby-comes and went to the noon Mass at the parish a couple of blocks from my office.

There, I ran into friends of mine, NewMOMandDAD, and their adorable little boy, who is about two weeks old. The last time I saw them was about four days before the baby was born, so I was excited to meet their little guy.

NewMOM looked fantastic (as in, back to her old thin self), but when I asked her how she was doing, she said (and sounded, and started to look) TIRED. Apparently baby boy is a screamer and not a great sleeper. We chatted for awhile about how things change once you have kids, and no matter how many times people tell you that, it absolutely cannot prepare you for the reality.

Changes are-a-comin.

Last night, we had a record EIGHT trick-or-treaters, including the before-mentioned baby nephew, who was absolutely the most adorably sweet pumpkin I have ever seen. 'Nuf said.

And the countdown continues...

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


I know it's cheesy, but I'm super excited about this Halloween. In particular, it's because I am expecting my first family trick-or-treater this 6-month-old nephew! He's the first little one I know who lives close enough to us to visit on Halloween night all decked out in whatever creative costume his parents have chosen (they aren't telling). This is rather significant because in three years of marriage, we have had exactly two trick-or-treaters, and they were the next-door neighbors, who have since moved. I can't tell unpopularity is because we both work and aren't home until after the ridiculous trick-or-treating hours of 3:00 to 5:00, or if it's because most of the kids in our neighborhood are in high school. It certainly can't be the choice of candy, because I get the BEST candy...all chocolate mini candy bars for us! At any rate, it will be fun to see the little nephew all dressed up.

When we were kids, living on the farm (miles from other families), Mom always dressed us up and sent us out in the car with Dad, who drove us around for about two hours, where we stopped at about seven houses of our "neighbors"...families who had kids who were the same age as us. Mom always stayed home to pass out candy, and she made these amazing little baggies with all sorts of goodies. Trick-or-treaters at our house were treated well! But, again, being "in the country", Mom only got to give out three or four of her cute baggies (which, of course, was a bonus for us kids, who got to share the leftovers).

I guess I just figured that by living in a "neighborhood", we'd naturally get a bunch of trick-or-treaters. Not so, my friends. Bummer.

I'm thinking of hitting the post-Halloween costume sales in preparation for next year, when we should have an almost-one-year-old to cart around in her Halloween finery. What should she be...a princess? A pumpkin? A Ninja? So many choices!

Monday, October 29, 2007

And the countdown begins...

We have a due date. The birthmom's c-section is scheduled for Monday, November 12th!!

In some weird way, this has all suddenly become very "real". Before, it was just a really nice idea, but now that we have a date and a plan, it's all so very real.

Although I've known for weeks that this was looming in the distance, I haven't been able to focus on all the things that need to be done between now and then. Especially at my job. The reality is that once this baby comes home, I will be taking time off from my job and won't return until January. And, of course, there's stuff that needs to be done to prepare for all the events that are coming up in January and that would typically be reserved for November and December. And all that work has to be crammed into two weeks now.

Seriously, it's not like I haven't known this, but I needed that due date for my mind to focus in on all that had to be done. And now I am working like a madwoman and filling up my white board with tasks to do. So I'd better get back to it. But I wanted to be sure I told you, dear internet, about the latest news. The countdown is on, and the next few weeks promise to be a whirlwind of activity and preparation. And registering for baby items. Oh, the registering!!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

To burst the big bubble of fog...

...the one that has existed over this whole "idea" of adoption...

Our lawyer (let's call him Jim) called yesterday to report in after his discussion with the birthmother's lawyer (and we'll call him Barry).

So Barry met with the birthmom for the first time yesterday. After his interview with her, he determined the following, with some degree of certainty:

1. She is determined to place this baby for adoption.
2. She is convinced that we are the parents for this baby.
3. She really, truly wants us in the delivery room, if at all possible.
4. She wants to have the c-section scheduled 2-weeks early, if possible.

After his discussion with Barry, Jim strongly encouraged us to reconsider going to the birthmom's state for her scheduled c-section so we can be there for her during the delivery. He also discovered more details on the legal process involved in that state and briefed us on how long we can anticipate being there and what other things we might expect.

All in all, he encouraged us to make preparations to travel and be ready to go in about 10 days.


We should have a pretty solid, scheduled due date after the birthmom's appointment with her doctor on Friday. I will talk to her that afternoon, and look forward to seeing how she is handling these final stages.

Last weekend, my husband's sister was in town visiting, and we discussed some of the final stages of what is going on in this adoption plan. She seems to have some difficulty seeing domestic adoption as anything other than bartering for a human life.

I see it differently. Throughout this process, I've been pretty concerned about making sure we didn't put pressure on the birthmom...that it was her decision to make. But given her situation (which I won't explain in detail, to protect her privacy), this is truly what she wants to do, and she at least seems to be really happy about it. For a variety of reasons, she feels strongly that she CANNOT care for this child, and is just really relieved to have found a couple she likes to be the parents of this baby. I'm feeling pretty comfortable and confident that all will go according to plan. And I know that this special birthmother will be in our prayers for the rest of our lives.

I'm sure that there have been instances in which domestic adoption has been a painful and coercive experience in which the birthmother was not given many options. That was what I wanted to avoid at all cost. And I think we have. God bless this baby and her first mother as we approach her birth day.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

What? My life is going to change? You're kidding...

In the past week, I have met with many new moms (through both birth and adoption) who have been quite congratulatory about our pending adoption plans. As I recount my plans to bow out of various boards and responsibilities as soon as I can, they all have said some version of "yeah, you think you're busy now...just wait. Your life is about to change dramatically."

In some ways, I think this is just about the stupidest thing that people can say. I mean, who doesn't realize this? Don't they know I've been spending hours just sitting and thinking of the many ways our life is going to change? That I spend that last 20 minutes every morning lying in bed and hitting the snooze and realizing that this luxury of hitting snooze is about to end?

And then it hit me last week after my weekly phone conversation with our birthmother...she mentioned that she was about 35 weeks along so far, and she expects that they might schedule the c-section at 38 weeks.

WHAT? We're talking roughly two weeks from now people. That's soon.

Not that I haven't had this "window of possibility" circled on the calendar since August, but seriously. Now I'm focusing in and looking at all that I need to get wrapped up at work and all the things I STILL don't have ready for the baby, and I'm starting to freak out...just a little.

Anyway, it's really not that bad, but it is a shocking revelation...when you've waited and hoped and dreamed about having a baby, and you realize that it's roughly two weeks away from actually happening.

In the back of my mind, I still have that part of me that's holding out on joy because of the possibility that the birthmom might still change her mind. And that is something that she has every right to do. At this point, based on her circumstances, I really don't anticipate her changing her mind, but that's always a possibility.

So I guess it's all feeling a little surreal right it's something we are anticipating but don't really expect to happen until it really does. And I guess no amount of preparation will be enough to prepare us for the reality of the experience.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Lots of babies...

This weekend, I attended a wedding where some of the guests included two friends of ours who are ready-to-pop pregnant (one due in two days, one in two weeks) and a couple who recently adopted their first child. The adoptive mom and I chatted about the latest news on our adoption plan, and I delighted to watch her obviously social baby revel in al the attention she was getting as she was passed from person to person. The two pregnant women (both with their first child) also wanted updates and are so excited that we may all soon have children the same age.

It's so comforting to know that we have close friends in the same stage of life. It's equally comforting to be sure that our daughter will know other adoptees and adoptive families close in age.

For so long, it seemed I was watching everyone else having babies, and then more babies, until I wondered if we would be "passed up" by all the people we knew and would have to learn to socialize with a much younger "new baby" crowd when and if this parenthood thing ever did happen for us. But I guess God had it well in hand.

I'm planning to call the birthmom again late this week to check in on her. I think she prefers to have some sort of regular contact with me, and that is perfectly OK with me at this stage. I'm getting cautiously excited about the next few weeks.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Oh so relieved...

After a huge exercise in patience today, I broke down and contacted the birthmom. She had been asking the counselor and lawyer to speak to us anyway, and after getting the go ahead yesterday from our lawyer, I thought it would be OK. He still hasn't contacted me, but I figured he had to have had time to call her before now.

It was so good to talk to her. I am SO relieved, and I could tell that she was too. She had heard from the counselor and the lawyer that we were still on board with the plan, but she wanted to hear it from us. We talked for about 15 minutes, and now that she feels comfortable with the fact that we are solid on the plan, she is going to set an appointment to see a doctor in her new city. She said she'd call the counselor when she had a solid due date.

I just feel so much better after talking to her. I can tell that she really desires to have everything go as planned, and she really wants us to parent her baby, but she just had so many anxieties because she wasn't sure how the distance affected our decision.

She really amazes me. I could tell from the start that even though she couldn't parent this baby, she is very concerned that she could choose someone who could and make provisions for the care of her child. At one point in our initial interview, she said "Now, do I need to put together some clothes and toys to give to y'all, or do you take care of that?". Of course, she has never asked us for anything except to love and care for her baby, and we assured her that we would take care of everything that the baby needs...all she had to worry about was taking care of herself and having that baby.

I promised to call closer to the due date (after we find out what that will be). I am just so excited.

Probably just freaking out for no reason, but still...

So yesterday, I FINALLY spoke with our lawyer. Turns out, he had been catching up on details and had intended to call the birthmom later that day. Of course, my phone may have jump-started him a bit. Anyway, he said it was fine for us to call her to reassure her, but he wanted to speak with her first. He said he'd call me back later yesterday or this morning to let me know how that conversation went, and then I was free to give her a call. I haven't heard from him yet.

Have I mentioned that I'm not so good with the patience thing?

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

I'm not so good with the patience thing...

On Friday, I learned from the counselor that our birthmom had decided to just deliver in her current state of residence. OK, we can deal with that. And she wants to make sure we are still on board with the adoption plan. Yes, of course. However, our lawyer has yet to make contact with her to reassure her of this.

On Sunday, birthmom had a phone conversation with the counselor. She expressed anxiety over not hearing from our lawyer and wanted to know if she could speak to us personally to know that we are still wanting to adopt her baby. Problem is...I don't know if it's OK for us to call her. We got all these instructions from our lawyer about what to say/not to say, and I got the impression that we were to talk to him before making any contact with her. That would be all fine and well if the counselor were still actively involved as liaison, or if the lawyer was actually calling her to give her the info. But as of today, Tuesday, I have left two messages at his office and he hasn't yet called back.

Additionally, birthmom asked the counselor if she should be looking for a different couple to adopt her baby. She is really concerned about our interest in this plan, and she hasn't been reassured. I SO want to call her and say YES, YES, you have NOTHING to worry about and we still want to move forward as planned.

Now, I know our lawyer is experienced and very capable and probably is just working on some details or hasn't had time to get to my messages yet. But I am FREAKING OUT HERE PEOPLE!! I'm not good with patience, and I NEED information...any information. I thrive on information. It is EXTREMELY hard for me to just sit and wait, with no information.

I'm reading this book about the Journey of Infertility (don't know the exact title) by Lois Flowers. The content is really describes a lot of my journey up to this point. Amazingly, it is also extremely comforting in the midst of an uncertain adoption plan. I think it is one of the tools that has helped keep me sane these last couple of weeks. That, and the busyness factor. Unfortunately, my schedule has lightened a little too much, leaving me time to obsess. In an ideal world, I'd have contact with the birthmom, would know when (exactly) she was scheduled to deliver, and could make a plan for that. But then I'd still obsess about factors beyond my control...her lack of prenatal care since moving to another state, whether or not her medical coverage will apply, whether we should commit to being there for the birth (as she originally requested) or protect our hearts by waiting to drive the several hours to the hospital until after we learn that both birthparents have signed their TPRs. Nothing at all in this equation is perfectly according to my plan. What...plan? I think I hear God laughing.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Not easy for a control freak

I'm a detail person. I can multi-task. I can think of the people who need the information I have and I can get that information to them so that all runs smoothly.

We found out today that our birthmom has decided to deliver in her new state of residence, rather than driving back "home" to deliver. OK. But what does this mean for us? She wants to make sure we are still on board (we are). But our lawyer is not in to tell her that today. We also have some questions that we'd like the lawyer to ask her. But we're being billed by the minute. Wouldn't it just be easier to handle this ourselves?

Yes, I understand that our lawyer is trying to protect our legal interests. And I know that I'm probably too emotionally involved to really speak to the birthmom and answer her questions (most of which I wouldn't be able to answer anyway). And we don't want him calling her all the time either because that might appear like he's pressuring her to place.

But there has to be an easier way than sitting and waiting and having no information until birthmom decides to call someone.

Deep breath. OK, I'm better now.

Luckily, I have a huge event I'm planning for this weekend, so at least I'll stay busy and maybe keep my mind off of this!!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Obviously, this is God's way of testing me...

Or, smacking me in the head and saying, "Who's in control here? Obviously not you." God's way of saying, "will you just calm down and let me handle this?".

Yesterday, we learned that our birthmother has moved out of state to live with a previous boyfriend, temporarily. Yes, she still wants to place the baby for adoption. And yes, she still definitely wants us to be the parents of this child. She just may need us to come to this other state to "pick the baby up" if she goes into labor while still living there.

Now, in a perfect world, this would not be a problem, but it seems there are some legal issues involved with adopting out of your own state, so this could get pretty complicated. And expensive. Particularly if our homestudy agency drags their feet on getting our report done.

We have done everything we can do. We have all of our paperwork in to the homestudy and have done the visits. Our lawyer has all the information from us that he needs. We have some pretty little baby clothes and a crib and a car seat and a bunch of other essentials and non-essentials ready for baby to arrrive.

What we don't have is any shred of control over where or when this baby will be born, and how much additional legal challenges and expense we'll have to face because of the change-of-state. All we can do is wait and see what happens. And that is DRIVING. ME. CRAZY.

Obviously, I have a control issue. And apparently God is trying to teach me a lesson in a very painful and expensive way. Oh, and draging my husband along for the ride as he is the one who has to deal with the fallout over my impatience and lack of control.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Reflections on a gentle soul...

I woke up this morning to the news that a very dear friend of mine lost her husband early this morning. He had a long battle with cancer, and he died in the early morning hours. She was by his side. According to second-hand accounts, he slipped gently from this world into the next while praying with his wife by his side.

This man was an inspiration to me. For all the time I've known him, he's been dealing with cancer, but always with a smile on his face and a prayer in his heart. He was honestly one of the most deeply prayerful people I've ever known. He had complete trust that his life was in God's hands and that his pain was a part of God's plan. I've never seen anyone deal quite so cheerfully with pain and illness.

My husband and I were fortunate to be able to attend an open house they had several weeks ago, where family and friends could come to visit. They knew the end was near, but at the time, he was still feeling well enough to laugh and talk with visitors. I remember him so vividly now...his manner of speaking, his gestures, the way he was able to focus entirely on the person he was speaking to without being distracted by other visitors or the many children running around. He had the ability to be truly present to others. That is rare.

While I rejoice that his pain has been removed and am confident that an eternal reward awaits this good and faithful servant of God, I am so sad for his young family. He leaves behind a wife and six children, the youngest of whom will be three years old in a few weeks. I cannot begin to imagine what it must be like for my dear friend, but I know that she and her family will not be far from my thoughts and prayers for a long time.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

On procreation and adoption

We found out last week why the birthmother missed her appointment. She wasn't feeling well and ended up in the hospital with contractions and dilating! She has since been released, with instructions to continue on some sort of contraction-stopping medication for the duration of the pregnancy. And she is still pretty strong on the whole adoption plan, so we are reassured.

So, moving forward, we've been doing our homestudy visits this week...home inspection, interviews and family preparation (educational stuff). The preparation part is a bit repetitious, but only because we are extremely well-educated on most of these issues already, having read books and websites about all the issues we could/will be facing.

However, one thing came up that got us thinking...the issue of artificial twinning. That is, raising two unrelated children that are less than nine months apart in age.

Why did this get us thinking? Well, it made us consider what to do about our intention to continue to pursue pregnancy. We certainly haven't decided that there's no hope in that area, because there certainly is. But we recognize that this child that we may be blessed to adopt will need our FULL attention for a time, expecially while she's still in a very formative stage of life. Apparently, the first twelve months are pretty crucial when it comes to attachment and trust with adopted infants.

We don't intend to pursue pregnancy before this baby is born, but now we are considering timing of when we should really start trying again, and I'm thinking that we may put off our efforts to conceive for at least several months. We'll do some "fixing" in the meantime...trying to get my hormones and cycles in just the right balance, which they apparently have never been. But to deliberately avoid that oft-anticipated "fertile time" seems almost wrong after focusing on that time for more than two years now. It's just a bit of a paradigm shift.

I'm learning more and more to trust God's plan in all of this. I'm sure His plan is far greater than anything I can come up with.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

It has been a busy few weeks...

In the realm of unexpected twists and turns...

Tuesday, August 21st: I receive a call from a counselor who knew we had been researching adoption. She has a woman interested in placing a baby, due in November. Would we be interested? (Of course)

Wednesday, August 22nd: Begin researching agencies that do homestudies. Call lawyers, select one to hire.

Thursday, August 30th: Appointment with Dr. D. to discuss new strategies in the fertility world. Mutually decided that Clomid is only making things worse. Make plans to discontinue Clomid and possibly begin luteal phase HCG in next cycle.

Thursday, September 6th: My husband and I meet with the birthmother and her counselor. She asks a lot of questions, seems concerned that we know that the baby is biracial (we are completely aware) and that we are ready for that challenge. She seems to like us and she also seems to be pretty resolute in her decision to place the baby.

Friday, September 7th: We meet with our attorney to discuss what will happen next. Attorney is very concerned that he be able to get the name/location of the birthfather ASAP so he can be served with papers to ensure that his rights are terminated voluntarily or by a process of a 30-day waiting period. Attorney wants this out of the way before the birth of the baby to save us legal hassles and/or potentially having the whole plan fall through after spending lots of money etc. Birthmom is scheduled for another session with her counselor next week, so maybe she will give up the name then (has previously been reluctant to do so).

Tuesday, September 11th: Counselor notified me that birthmother did not show up for her session today. She wasn't able to reach the birthmother by phone today.

I am completely and totally overwhelmed. After meeting the birthmother, I was on a high and felt very confident that this would all go well. Now, I'm afraid that something happened to change her mind, or maybe the birthfather raised objections to placing the baby for adoption and she was scared to admit this to the counselor. I hope and pray that the counselor is able to reach her soon so we have some answers.

In the meantime, I'm trying to be positive, to focus on health and fertility concerns, to not worry too much about the home visit we have for our homestudy next week and that we are dropping some big bucks to have that done and we aren't totally sure what will happen. But also, I think about the little girl (the baby's a girl) who may be our child, the name we chose for her, and the due date looming in the background (early November). And praying that God works it all out for the good of everyone involved.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Miracles do happen

Well, dear blogworld, miracles do happen.

I got an email today from a friend I haven't heard from in awhile (she lives several states away). We had each discussed infertility at length because she and I both suffered from it in various forms. Last Fall, she and her husband adopted a baby boy, and they radiated with joy.

I had been thinking about her lately and wondering how they were doing. Then today, I got an email from her that said she is pregnant and in her second trimester. The baby is due in January, and they couldn't be happier.

This is just evidence, to me, that God has a plan. They've been married for seven or eight years and have dealt with a lot of years of infertility, but finally, their family is growing. She once said that when they began their process of adoption and also went through training to be foster parents, they were just trying to open as many doors as possible for God to create their family. And, in His time, He is creating it.

I think I am limited by my planning. I think, if we do this now, then we can do that later, and then by such-and-such time we can have this many kids. All of my plans have failed. I'm wondering now what kinds of doors we need to open to let God have His way in planning our family. Lord, enlighten me, because I am in a rut of confusion.

God bless my friend and her growing family!! I am SO HAPPY for them.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Always an infertility case....

As I was perusing my notes from the recent conference I mentioned in the last post, I was struck by a thought that occurred to me as I read one of my notes. One of the physicians had stated that "infertility is a cummulative, chronic condition". This means, of course, that infertility is usually the result of a number of factors (not just one), and that you don't just "cure" it.

In other words, infertility (subfertility) is something that I will never escape.

Let's say, for instance, that my husband and I decide to adopt. Once that child becomes a part of our family, we would no longer be a "childless couple", but we would still face infertility. Pregnancy announcements from friends/relatives/coworkers will still be received with mixed emotions. We'll still be faced with the fact that, while some friends and family members are able to build large families with no difficulty, our family will grow only slowly and with much financial investment if we continue to adopt.

Let's assume that we are actually able to give birth to a child. That would be a wonderful blessing, but it is MORE than likely that we would return to subfertile conditions after the baby is born. The factors that are working together against pregnancy aren't (likely) just going to disappear. We'll be dealing with a lot of the same issues when we try to continue to build our family.

I guess one of the things I've had to come to terms with is the fact that, in all likelihood, our family will probably not be nearly as large as we had once planned.

When we first started talking about getting married, my husband and I talked about family size. He and I both have big families...not huge, but lots of siblings and cousins for each of us. We imagined that we'd have four or more kids. We liked the thought of having lots of little ones around. I especially imagined this as I have many, many friends with large (6 + kids) families.

Now, I would be extremely happy with at least one healthy pregnancy. Feeling strongly that the best gift to give your child is a sibling, we'd probably adopt a second child if we couldn't get pregnant again quickly, or adopt at least two if we can't get pregnant at all, but that is a much smaller family than I had expected.

I'm starting to be comfortable with the idea, though. Who knows what blessings God will bring us in all of this...but if we are a small family, we'll be OK. Maybe there's a reason for all of this that is ultimately for our own good. But I will always feel a little bit of melancholy when I see a pregnant mother or a family with lots of little ones and wonder what that must be like.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Some clarity, some hope

Well, I'm six days into Clomid Cycle # 4, but I have new reasons to have hope.

Last week, I attended the annual AAFCP meeting. I've been a FertilityCare Practitioner (teacher of the Creighton Model FertilityCare System) for six years now, and this is the first time I was able to attend the annual meeting.

It was enlightening, to say the least. I learned all sorts of things about the relationship between hormones, diet, low grade infections and fertility.

I also had the opportunity to meet up with my Ob/Gyn, who was also at the meeting. We discussed my insanely long post-peak phase, which by that point had stretched to 18 days. We came to the following conclusions: I either had a persistent luteal cyst or a luteinized unruptured follicle. Either of these could push my post-peak phase to abnormal lengths. Either could be/probably is a side effect of the Clomid. Which probably means the dosage is too high.

So, we are DECREASING Clomid dosage even more (to 12.5 mg) this cycle, AND we are going to test hormones at Peak + 7 as well as two days into premenstrual spotting (which I did have again for several days). There is a possibility that we'll need to start supplementing progesterone, as it is normal at 7 days past peak but then, I think, must be bottoming out around day 12 post-peak.

We also have plans to do a few more diagnostic things, but one thing at a time so we can focus on what's working and what's not.

This all gives me much hope, and I definitely needed to be at this conference to hear these things. It is also giving me the motivation to re-focus on diet and exercise to get my body into healthy working order. It's still a mystery to me why many drug addicts, morbidly obese women and teenagers are able to get pregnant at the drop of a hat, but maybe my body is just more sensitive than most. And then there's the complicating factor of my endometriosis history to deal I guess I just need to be patient and pray.

I'm not so good at the patience thing. But at least we have a plan. I can work with a plan.

In the meantime, I have had many opportunities to observe the blessings in my life and give thanks. For example, I am married to a fabulously caring and loving husband, for whom I am eternally grateful. I am afraid I am too quick to point out his shortcomings and do not recognize often enough how amazingly wonderful he is and how well-suited we are to each other. I feel like I have become selfish, many times, in putting my wants and desires above his and not thinking about how that affects him. Lord, help me to daily recognize the amazing gift that my husband is.

Yesterday, on a quick trip to a neighboring town to drop someone off at the airport there, my husband stopped by a shop that sells Catholic items and bought me a tiny pewter statue of St. Gerard, patron of mothers, expectant mothers, children, and often recognized as patron of those struggling with subfertility. I wear a St. Gerard medal around my neck, but I haven't spoken much about it to my husband. He noticed it once, and I told him about his patronage, and he remembered that one discussion and bought me the statue. He also had it blessed by a priest friend of ours before giving it to me.

But the sweetest thing of all...he said that it wasn't a gift for me, but a gift for us, since my subfertility (and it is mine...his fertility tested fine) is OUR cross to bear together. Wow.

So I sign off today, still not pregnant, but gratefully aware of the amazing gifts I already have. God is good.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The rules have changed...

I feel totally in the dark now. Clomid has completely changed the rules of the game. I mean, I thought everything at least had a mucus had changed, but at least the spotting was consistent...if not pregnant, I would spot for many days prior to the next cycle.

So today is P+15, and I've still had NO spotting. Nothing. No symptoms of any kind, cramping, moodiness, NOTHING!

And yet, I had a negative pregnancy test yesterday morning.

I have no idea what is going on. I'm leaving tomorrow for a conference, and I'm taking both pads/tampons AND a spare pregnancy test because I really don't know which one I'm going to need.

Oh, patience...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Just wait...

Geez, it's been forever since I've blogged. This cycle's fertility was very spotty. One day fertile, one dry, then two fertile, then two dry...blah, blah. But I'm strangely very hopeful. I'm probably just setting myself up for major depression, but I'm on P+10 and have had NO spotting so far, which is extremely unusual for me. Not even a hint of spotting. So here's hoping.

My husband asked me last night where I was in my cycle. Since he doesn't pay close enough attention to how this all works, he also asked how soon I could test. I said "anytime, but my typical length post-peak is 14 maybe day 12 or past". He said "NO! Wait until day 14 or 15. No sense in wasting a test. After all, if you ARE pregnant, you'll have like 36 more weeks to be excited, so missing 4 more days of excitement is no big deal." O...K....

Anyway, my P+7 blood tests showed Progesterone at 35.1 and Estrogen at 239. Both of those are well above the expected levels stated on the lab result sheet for mid-luteal phase. Does that mean anything? I don't know. All I know is, last cycle my levels were Progesterone - 20 and Estrogen - 301. So Progesterone is showing significant increase. Oh, one can only hope and pray...

So, my anticipated test date will be Monday, P+15. Just gotta get through a few more days...

Friday, June 22, 2007

Tired, crampy, defeated...

Best laid plans...

AF came to visit around 2 p.m. today. I was completely expecting it, as I have been crampy all day and spotting for several days, but that doesn't make it any easier.

Already "scheduling" this next cycle. *Sigh* Makes it all seem like so much work.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Pregnant or not Pregnant, that is the question...

Took a pregnancy test this morning. Roughly 15 dpo. Negative. Still no real signs of menstruation. Have had brown spotting for something like 5 days and (weird) two separate incidences of red spotting (two days apart). would be implantation bleeding. So I just don't know if it's too early to test positive or if my menstruation is just slow in coming.

Aaauughh!! This is so exahausting. I just want to KNOW, you know?

I've been thinking more and more about adoption lately, but don't know when is the "right time" to step into that arena. Technically, we could get pregnant at any time, but we could also NEVER get pregnant.

Still waiting...

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

When it rains...

Well, on June 6th, I had some INTENSE ovulation cramping...first on the right side, and then, later in the afternoon, I'm SURE I had some left side pain as well. Hmm... Anyway, I had some extremely good mucus that day as well, so we're hoping...

So far so good. My progesterone levels will be drawn tomorrow (to evaluate the Clomid, not to check on pregnancy or anything), and then I have another week until I can test. So far, I have not had any spotting or anything, and I haven't had any real pregnancy symptoms either, but it's probably way to early for that anyway.

In the meantime, today a coworker at my office (which handles occasional adoptions) mentioned a recent referral of a pregnant woman with some very specific requests for adoptive parents that she wanted to consider for placing her baby. This co-worker said she thought of us first because we fit the profile perfectly (both Catholic, both devout and involved, both educated), but she wasn't sure if we were interested since we haven't yet pursued a homestudy. We've discussed it a lot, but we kind of set our minds on waiting until we give Clomid a chance to work before we'd hop on the adoption bandwagon.

On the other hand, this just ripped at my heart. If someone approached us today and said "I'm having a baby, and I want you to be the parents of my baby", we'd jump on the homestudy right away without thinking twice. I think it's the prospect of paying for the homestudy and going through all the paperwork and mess just to be put on hold and WAITING for a referral. That just seems so hard in my mind.

Anyway, this coworker also mentioned a local pregnancy center that has been facilitating several in-house adoptions lately. Maybe I should find out what their process is.

Or maybe I should just continue to hope and pray for pregnancy success. We seem to be on the right track for that, but who knows?

Oh, pray that we have some patience and wisdom in this whole thing. It's very hard.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

More improvement

Today, my CM is not only present, but it looks much more like what I'm used to instead of the thin stuff I've been having the last couple of days. Much more abundant today. I'm just amazed at this stark contrast from the almost-completely-dry cycle I had last month with the first round of Clomid. Still no ovulation pains, and today is cycle day 14, but there's still time, and perhaps the ovulation pain, for me, isn't a good sign (I mean, it's never correlated with actual achievement of pregnancy, so who cares about ovulation pain anyway).

So there has been lots of opportunity this cycle to try to conceive. Unfortunately, TTC has become more of a chore than a pleasurable experience. I HATE that...everything is so scheduled, and we hate to miss out on an opportunity to TTC when the CM shows up because it's impossible to know if this day is THE day or just a day leading up to ovulation, and we also want to do whatever it takes to improve our chances of conceiving. I hate looking back at previous cycles (hindsight being an irritating reminder that our best efforts aren't always timed best). I always look and think "well maybe if we'd tried on this day or this day it would have been better than these days that we did try". And again, you can't know what the cycle will end up looking like until after the fact. But it's not a turn-on when your husband looks at the chart and says "again...when are you going to actually peak?". Like I know the answer to that question.

Enough complaining. For today, I'm happy that my body is at least cooperating by giving me a normal CM cycle.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Well, whaddaya know...

Just when I started to despair that Clomid was going to completely cripple my mucus cycle in any came back!

A little explanation...I started this cycle with some pretty pitiful CM right at the end of my period, then a dry day, then some more encouraging CM, then THREE DRY DAYS IN A ROW! This was even worse than last cycle, because it looked very much like I would peak on cycle day 7 (last cycle was day 8), which is way too early, especially since my whole cycle went long enough last time for that to mean 22 post-peak days. I'm convinced that ovulation didn't occur until WAY after peak day, so I was hoping and praying for mucus to last longer in this cycle.

Well, just when I thought there was no hope, it came back! I almost didn't believe it, but after those three dry days, I've had two days of CM. Granted, it is thinner, less abundant and only showed up once each day, but I have to count that as improvement at least. If it hangs around for another day or so, I can feel confident that I had CM and ovulation on the same day, which is promising for the potential of pregnancy, so YAY!

This weekend, I attended a family celebration where several of my cousins-with-kids attended, so I got a lot of baby-face time. It was a beautiful and fun weekend!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Feeling optimistic

Today is day 2 of my cycle (yes, I had a LONG post-peak phase, but ultimately, I did NOT get pregnant last cycle). For many months, these first couple of days fo the cycle were the worst for me, emotionally. Now that we have a treatment plan with the Clomid (which should progressively help my ovulation get better), it's actually an optimistic time for me. I can look forward to seeing how this cycle progresses and knowing that I have an opportunity to conceive. It's the last week or so of the cycle that's harder now...the waiting...

It always strikes me at this point in my cycle how weird it is that I actually have (or had) endometriosis. I NEVER suspected it before meeting Dr. D. I just didn't have any of the classic symptoms, or so I thought. All the people I'd ever met with endometriosis had these constant bouts with pain.

Now, I wasn't totally pain-free, but my pain always coincided with the start of my period and usually only lasted about 24-36 hours total. Mostly, it is easily managed with Aleve.

But now when I look back, I can see that there were times in my life (college, mostly) when that pain was nearly unmanageable. Sure, it only lasted a day or two, but I remember some very specific instances in college where I spent hours at a time curled up in a ball crying from the pain. And that was after taking 3 pamprin at a time. That medication just made me loopy and didn't help the cramps all that much. I like the aleve much better. Some cycles, I only need one for about 8 hours. Maybe most of my endo lesions (the old ones) were from those college days.

Even so, though, I have almost no other pain throughout my cycle. I guess it just happens that way in some women. Guess I should consider myself one of the lucky ones. Would have been luckier if I never had it at all. But count your blessings, right?

Friday, May 18, 2007

Utterly baffled...

Yesterday, I got a call from my doctor to review the P+7 blood test results, which, if you remember, took place on cycle day 15 to correspond with my VERY early and very short mucus cycle. I was totally sure I got the blood test day totally wrong because I was convinced that clomid screwed up my CM and that I probably didn't ovulate until day 13.

Well, according to the doctor, my hormones were well within the normal for P+7, and my progesterone was 19.3, which is apparently pretty darn good. Dr. D. thought that the clomid did what it is supposed to do and that I should keep the dosage the same next cycle.

However, I was still totally confused. Dialogue as follows:

Me: But I've been spotting for four days now, so it seems that nothing has changed much except my cm.

Doc: Well, the test results are exceptional. You must have just ovulated very early. Where are you in your cycle?

Me: Going by the CM, I'm at P+17.

Doc: Were you using fertility.

Me: Of course.

Doc: Take a pregnancy test. I don't want to get your hopes up, but it's possible that it could do the trick in the first cycle. Call me if you are pregnant. If not, stick with the same plan for next cycle with clomid/mucinex.

Me: Ah, OK...

So of course, I did get my hopes up. I tested this morning (P+18) and got a crushing negative result. Still seeing no obvious signs of either a pregnancy or my period. I've heard that Clomid can push your post-peak phase a little, but it seems overly long now. Since I had a very early peak, I'm still only on cycle day 26 or something, so it's not like I've developed an insanely long cycle, just an insanely long post-peak phase.

I'm trying to be patient, trying to trust God that His timing is better than mine...but it's never very easy to do...

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


So I've been spotting for three days now, so maybe the Clomid didn't "clear up" the second half of the cycle like I'd hoped. We'll see what happens in the next week. Big heavy sigh.

On the bright side, I got to visit with the two cutest little girls and the three most adorable baby boys this weekend. They were a lot of fun.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Well, at least there's this...

I'm still baffled by the mostly-dry cycle I've had so far, but one thing is definitely clear...the introduction of Clomid has, at least, changed the second half of my cycle for the better (at least the charting looks better).

My pattern, for YEARS, has been several days of spotting in the post-peak phase. Whether today is P+11 (as my mucus suggests) or P+6 (as suggested by mittelschmerz pain last Saturday), in a typical cycle, I should have had at least a couple of days of faint spotting by now. So far, I've seen nothing even resembling spotting.

So my hope (as the doc suggested) is that the effect of Clomid on follicular phase has benefitted the luteal phase as well. If this luteal phase is healthier than normal, then maybe it offers more hope for the subsequent follicular phase.

I'm AT LEAST a week away from wasting another pregnancy test (since I don't totally trust my peak day as ovulation). So we'll just have to wait and see...

On a very happy note, I get to visit with ALL of my little nieces and nephews this weekend (ages 3, 2, infant, infant, infant). We'll definitely get our "baby fix" for the weekend, and what fun it is to play with the older ones too!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

All dried up...

I have no idea what to think.

I was so excited a few days ago when Clomid SEEMED to not be influencing my CM, but it appears that it has after all. I took clomid on cycle days 5-9. Mucus on days 6,7,8. Then NOTHING! Technically, today is Peak plus 8 by my CM discharge, but I had those familiar ovary cramps just three days ago, so I don't know what to think. But I went by the CM anyway and had my P+7 hormone tests done yesterday. So we'll see. If today IS P+8, I'm going to have an insanely short cycle (like 22 days). I'm not even holding out hope of a pregnancy at this point.

So, obviously the Mucinex isn't doing it for me. But the doc probably won't prescribe any antibiotics until another cycle has gone by, to make sure it's absolutely necessary to stimulate CM. Why can't this just be easier?

Monday, April 30, 2007

Clomid so far

Today is my 4th day of Clomid, 25 mg (really low dose). Tomorrow is my last dose this cycle. So far so good. I didn't have any spotting (as is my norm) after my period. Weird. And, my second and third day of Clomid also saw a good production of CM. Definitely weird.

For those of you who are new to the fertility/infertility discussion world, let me explain a few things. First, CM is a common abbreviation for "cervical mucus", the oh-so-pleasant topic of conversation among FertilityCare teachers and users everywhere. It's also a frequent topic on infertility blogs, because as all infertility patients have learned, that weird CM discharge that we have every month is produced in response to approaching ovulation (or ovarian activity, at least) and plays an important part in fertility. CM is the transportation medium for sperm, so no CM, no pregnancy. Get it? Good.

The next important thing to know is that Clomid, for all it's wonderful ovulation-inducing potential, has a rather inconvenient side effect in many women. It can decrease the quality/quantity of CM, thus inhibiting the fertility it is supposed to enhance. This is why most physicians worth their salary will proscribe some sort of CM-enhancing agent to work along with Clomid. For me, that was a combo of large doses of Vitamin B-6 and Mucinex for several days after finishing Clomid.

Armed with all of this knowledge and written instructions on when to take my CM enhancers, I fully expected not to see any CM, at least until the Clomid doses were over. But wonder of wonders, the CM showed up at it's regular time (for me, always early...starting around day 6 or 7 of my cycle). And in abundance. I'm not sure how to interpret this information. Is the Clomid working, or is the dose too low to be effective? I guess we'll find out when we see what happens in the back end of my cycle.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Hopeful for now

Today I had a chance to catch up with an old friend and former coworker of mine, and I realized just how much I miss having her in the office to "chat" every day (or at least download all of my thoughts on her!).

I updated her on "the situation" about the Clomid and trying to stimulate my ovaries. It made me realize how hopeful I am about this working.

Recently, we've been researching and tossing around the idea of adoption, which is a very attractive option to me (except for the financial bit...WOW!). But now that we are starting a few rounds of Clomid...well, I guess it made me realize how much I really want to get pregnant. Not that adoption would be out of the question...I think we are still open to that down the line...maybe from China. We'll see. But for now, I'm really looking forward to seeing what happens these next few months...

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The bumpy road

Who would have thought I'd have a fertility problem? I've always had regular cycles, I've never taken ANYTHING to inhibit fertility in any way (no birth control pills or hormones for me!). And yet, here I am...a healthy, 30-year-old woman who has been "TTC" for 2 years with no success.

Luckily, I am a devoted user of the FertilityCare System, a form of Natural Family Planning based in medical science. So after 5 months of TTC with no success, my doctor ordered a few tests.

The first test in these situations is almost always a test of the man's fertility, so after my husband's tests came back fine and it was obvious that he was not the problem, I underwent a series of diagnostic things.

First there were the hormone tests, which came back on the low end of normal for progesterone and estradiol. TSH was also on the low end.

The second test was a hysterosalpingogram (HSG), which is a really long name for shooting dye through the tubes and taking x-rays to see if the tubes are open. That test showed that both tubes were open, but were "sluggish" which meant that it took a bit of pressure from the dye-shooting mechanism to make the dye go through.

Finally, my family doctor (a FertilityCare-trained physician) decided that it was time to refer to a specialist. Unfortunately, this is a tricky area. Many Ob/Gyns will move swiftly from diagnostic testing to recommendations for artificial reproductive technologies, which we won't consider, and so we likely would have been "dropped" swiftly without ever discovering the cause of the problem. So my doctor referred me to an Ob/Gyn in a city three hours who is a trained FertilityCare Medical Consultant and specialist.

My first meeting with Dr. D took place in June of 2006. Although I had a long drive to get there and then spent a long time in the waiting room, it was worth it because he spent over an hour talking to me and going over my charting of my cycles. He determined quite a bit from those charts, and after my physical exam revealed a retroverted uterus, he became concerned that endometriosis was involved. He sent me home with a prescription for thyroid supplements and orders for a bunch of tests.

The next few months consisted of another series of tests. I had several different hormonal blood tests to check the various reproductive hormone levels. I had a fasting blood glucose and blood insulin level checked, and then did the "sugar test" that so many pregnant women are familiar with. I also had a pelvic ultrasound.

The results of all of these ruled out a strong possibility of PCOS (no evidence of insulin resistance, which is one of the big signs of PCOS). But there were still other mysteries that couldn't be cleared up with all these tests. Dr. D recommended laparoscopy to check for endometriosis.

In October 2006, I traveled with my husband to the hospital where Dr. D practices to undergo laparoscopy. Dr. D was FANTASTIC. He really put us both at ease and even prayed with me before going into surgery. Surgery turned out to be quite revealing. Dr. D found LOTS of endometriosis, on the ovaries, bladder and tubes. There were lesions that were fusing the tubes to the round ligament (which may have accounted for the tubes being partially blocked and "sluggish). He lasered the adhesions and sent me home to heal and see if the ovulatory hormones would bounce back on their own.

Now here we are, 6 months later, and still no pregnancy. After my appointment yesterday and more review of the charts and more discussion, Dr. D suspects that I have a luteal phase defect. So, starting this cycle I will begin Clomid and some mucus enhancers each cycle, followed by a targeted blood test post-ovulation to see how the Clomid is affecting my other hormones. The hope is that we can "push" the hormones into behaving properly, which will cause ovulation to happen.

So goes the next part of our journey...

To process thoughts

Well, I'm starting this blog primarily to give myself an outlet for processing thoughts on starting a family, infertility, watching friends/family members build their families, and how it all makes me feel. Yes, it's all about FEELINGS isn't it? For those of you who've ridden the rollercoaster of fertility, you know that dealing with all the emotions that go with trying, hoping, waiting, hoping, and then discovering AGAIN that you've failed to conceive...well, the emotions and feelings are probably the hardest part.

So, if you have nothing better to do, come with me on this journey. The next post will bring us up to speed on where we've been so far...