Thursday, December 30, 2010

Putting it all out there

I mentioned in my last post about my reason for the lack of posting. To be honest, this has probably been the most emotionally testing year I've ever had. In addition to our struggle with infertility (which I'll talk about in a minute), we've had some major family issues and I've felt as if my entire life has been ripped apart at times.

Since I'm being so vague about one subject, I'm going to jump right into the gory details of the other. Rob and I want to have a baby. Unfortunately, we've been facing the ugly reality that we needed help. In the beginning, I was reluctant to share. But, after almost a year of heartbreak, tears, Dr. appointments, and disappointment, I've decided that I shouldn't be afraid to share my story. In my journey through the jungle of infertility, I've discovered something. 

I'm not alone.

There are times I feel alone. There are times I feel like no one could possibly understand. But, so often I encounter women who are experiencing the exact same thing. Why must we hide it? Why must we be ashamed? The ability to discuss something so personal and so life-altering is liberating. So, here is my story. I can only hope that someone will benefit from it.

Rob and I decided to start trying to conceive about a year ago. Several things went into this decision but it mostly boiled down to a deep desire to be parents. You can ask just about anyone that knows me and they know that the thing I've wanted to be when I grow up is a mom. I feel a calling. So, we ditched the birth control. To be honest, I knew before we even started there would be problems. And, 99 days (yes, 99) into my first cycle off the pill, my suspicions were confirmed. I went to see my OBGYN and she ran some tests and diagnosed me with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). She gave me some options and said "we can be as aggressive as you want." Well, we weren't in a HUGE hurry, so we decided to try a cycle on our own. With no end to that one in sight (and the thought of ending another really long cycle with Provera - AKA the drug from hell) and with the knowledge of what PCOS is, we decided to at least accept medical help. And so began our journey.

Since then, I've switched to an RE (reproductive endocrinologist) and I've experienced 6 cycles; 5 of them medicated with Clomid (50mg, 100mg, 100mg, 150mg, 150mg). I've had to induce my period with all of them but one with Provera. I've ovulated once - a cycle which resulted in nothing. I've had a HSG (or hysterosalpingogram and the most embarrassing event of my adult life) which indicated that I do not have any blockages in my fallopian tubes and ruled out that as being a factor in my annovulatory cycles. We've discovered that my husband could possibly have a slight case of Male Factor Infertility (MFI). We've had one cancelled IUI (intrauterine insemination) cycle due to annovulation. 

We are now on our 7th cycle. This time we are seeing if I respond to 250mg of Clomid (since I did respond to 150mg the first time but not the second) and are attempting an IUI again. 

I never expected to have to go this far and the emotional struggle is indescribable. I've spent a lot of time questioning God. If you know me at all, you also know that my faith in God and His will is something that I never question. It never falters. Even through the most difficult times, such as my nephew's heart surgeries, I've always been comforted knowing that God has a plan. But, I'd be lying if I said I haven't been angry with God. That I haven't yelled at Him and blamed Him for my misery. Why would He deny me the one thing I've dreamed of my entire life? Why do people get to experience the joys of pregnancy and parenthood and take it so for granted? Women, GIRLS, get pregnant on accident and are not shy about how unwanted it is. Why must I remain silent about my struggle with the opposite?

I've been wearing the shades of jealousy and bitterness consistently. Some times more heavily applied than others, but it's always there, no matter how I try to cover it up.

And yet, over time, I've grown to accept my plight. I've been placed in this situation for a reason. God has a plan and I take so much comfort in the beauty of His love for me.

I wrote this post quite a while ago and I never got around to publishing it. I still wanted to share my story, but now I'm so happy to share that I can begin a new story now. The story of my pregnancy. It's finally my turn!! We're going to have a baby!!

Sunday, June 27, 2010


I'm still  here and I'm sorry for the lack of updates. With summer break I thought I'd be posting a lot more. But, a lot of my thoughts have been occupied with TTC and honestly I don't think that makes for very good reading. I've explained my thoughts on that before. It's kind of hard to blog when something so big is weighing on your mind pretty much all the time.

So, I just wanted to post a little blurb update and let you know that I'll hopefully be back sometime soon.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Isabella 2.5

This is Isabella. She's two and a half. She's adorable and completely melts my heart.

Isabella's mom asked me to take some pictures of her and I obliged. It was a great time! Though, I have to say, as cute as she is, she doesn't really like to look at the camera... :)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Catching Up

School's out!!! I've been on summer break for about a week now and it has been great. I'm going to try to catch up from my lack of posting (finals and end of school stuff sucked the life out of me) in one post.

  • As I've already mentioned, I'm no longer a first year teacher. It went so fast, but it was great! And, even better, I get to teach math next year instead of science! I'll be teaching 7-10 grade, pre-algebra, algebra, geometry, and algebra 2. It'll be fun! Busy, but fun!
  • We're going on a vacation in August! I haven't gone on a vacation in 6 years, and that was a short weekend to Chicago. It's not much, but we'll be traveling to Gatlinburg, TN with my family and renting a cabin for a week. I'm so excited!
  • Clomid cycle 2 was another fail. So, we're still working with the doctor on that front. However, I feel so much more at ease now. I was very obsessive about it in the beginning, but now I'm truly letting it go and giving it over to God. Trying to keep our hopes up!
  • Running has had to been put on hold. I've been having a lot of pain in my right foot from my self-diagnosed plantar fasciitis that was getting progessively worse. So, unfortunately I will not be running the Komen 5K. But, I've proceeded with the 30 Day Shred which, I might add, totally kicked my butt. It was intense. But, 20 minutes isn't too bad and I hear it really works!
  • I had my first photo session yesterday for my best friend Valerie. She is expecting a baby in the end of June and we decided to play for a little while. I'm really happy with them! I'm posting a few of my favorites. 

Unfortunately, a couple of the outdoor photos got a little overexposed, but overall I'm pleased for it being my first try! What do you think? Oh, and  BTW, isn't she GORGEOUS??? 

And, speaking of photography, I know I slacked on the last few weeks of the 12 weeks class, but I plan on making them up later. I can definitely see a difference in my pictures before I "took" the course and after. It was really a great learning tool!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Tales from a Beginning Runner

The Couch to 5k is off to an interesting start. I did all of my runs on time during week one. They weren't too bad. Then when it came to start week two (taking it up a notch) I woke up sick. I've been battling allergies for pretty much the first time in my life. It sucks. But, I'm back on track and have one more run at my week 2 level (run 90 sec/walk 2 min).

This is where I'm going to be honest. I don't like it. That's not surprising. I've never liked running. I'm not good at it. Why would you run for fun? But, I'm determined to lose 10 pounds and this is one way to do it. Also, I hear once you get past the initial awful-ness you grow to love it. I really want to love it. I really want to love exercise. Not loathe it.

So, here's how I'm summing up the first two weeks. Week one, not too bad. Hey, I think I can do this. Week two... eh... maybe not. My feet hurt so bad (plantar fasciitis). My knees hurt. My body hates me. On the bright side, I still LOVE this bra (you can buy one here) that I bought a while back. It's A-MA-ZING. I think I may have to fork out the money for another.

By the way, does anyone have tips for running? Is there a correct way to run? Maybe I'm doing something wrong. Is there some trick to make it easier?

Looking toward week 3 and I want to cry...
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then do two repetitions of the following:
  • Jog 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Walk 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 400 yards (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 400 yards (or three minutes)

Wish me luck!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Ask Me Anything Answers!

I had two people comment on my ask me anything post, so here's my reply.

N. asked:
  1. Where is your favorite place? Can be a room at home, somewhere you go like a park, or somewhere you've traveled...
    My favorite place is home in general. I love to be home. If I had to pick a specific place at home, I'd have to say my living. It's where I spend the most time! Boring, I know, but I can't help it. I'm a homebody!
  2. What would you want for your last meal?
    Tough question! Hmmm... the problem is, I eat like a bird. I'd get three bites in and be full. But I'd stuff myself silly with the following: Appetizer of a house salad from Fratelli's and Texas Roadhouse rolls and butter, an entree of Filet Mignon (medium) with A-1 Steak Sauce, green bean fries, sweet potato with butter and brown sugar and some sort of rice. I'd then follow it up with a dessert of pull-apart cake(I'll be doing a separate post about this little piece of heaven) and deep fried Oreos. Soooooo bad. If I wasn't already going to die (since it's my last meal and all) I'd probably have a heart attack soon after that meal. 
  3. Where do you see yourself in 10 years? 20?
    10 years? I'll be 33. I hope to have some kids. If I'm not a stay at home mom at that point, I'd like to be continuing teaching math and possibly working on or already have my masters. In 20 years, I'll be 43 and to be honest, I don't know where I see myself. Hopefully continuing to be a mom and teacher. I'd love to travel and do some volunteer work. But I see myself doing those things after I retire. Hopfully by the time I'm 43 I'll have 10 years of teaching in and be on my way to retirement. I do know one thing though, I want to be a mom.
  4. What's your favorite childhood memory?
    Going to Six Flags every summer. We never really went on vacation (except once when I was very young) but we went to Six Flags once every year. I looked forward to it all year! It was always so much fun. We never really argued and we spent the entire day. I remember a lot of things from those trips!
  5. Tell us something we don't know about you, that would surprise the heck out of us!
    I am a closet musician. I taught myself how to read music play piano starting when I was probably 5 or 6. I don't play for people - aside from my husband when he happens to be home while I'm playing. I play for myself. It's kind of my release.

    I'm currently working on a few songs including songs from the Pride & Prejudice Soundtrack (my favorite movie ever!). You should seriously follow that link and go listen. It's amazing. I love Dawn and Liz on Top of the World. I'm also working on a song called All of Me by Jon Schmidt which is a really cool song to play. Watch this video and you'll see why. (Before you follow that link, I have to warn you, I'm blogging on my work computer which doesn't have access to youtube. So, I think that's the right video, but I can't view it to see for sure. Just warning you). If you like the song and want to try and play you can download the sheet music from his website for free!

    I've also been working on the classic Au Clair de la Lune. Though this is REALLY stretching my abilities.

    In addition to piano, I sang in choir in school for 7 years beginning in 7th grade through high school. I sang in the chamber/jazz choir senior year and qualified for all-state choir junior and senior year (though I didn't make it). I'm not that great at singing, but I truly miss choir. It was one of my favorite things to do.
Phew!! Thanks N. for the questions!!!

I got one from My Husband's Watching TV.  She asks (after finding out that in addition to teaching I'm also our school librarian) what my favorite childhood and adult books are. 

Oooooo!!! Tough question!! I LOVE to read, always have. I used to get in trouble at school because I wouldn't put my books away. I don't think I could ever choose just one book to be my favorite. I don't remember many picture books, mainly chapter books. I loved to read the American Girl series and other historical fiction. I also enjoyed The Devil's Arithmetic. As an adult, I've never outgrown my love for kids books. I don't really read adult books! I recently have read and love A Wrinkle in Time, The Magician's Nephew, the Harry Potter series, Twilight (yes, I know), and some picture books including The Giving Tree, The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear, and Just in Case You Ever Wonder. I could go on and on with this list!
Thanks everyone for your responses!! Happy Monday!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Five Question Friday

Welcome to 5QF! Let's get right to it.

1. What was the first car you owned?

The one I have right now. It's a 2009 Chevy Malibu and I love it. I drove my parents 2001 Malibu from high school until I bought this one after we got married. So, technically this is the first car I've ever owned!

2. What song are you embarrassed to know the lyrics to?
Honestly, I'm blanking on this one... sorry!

3. Have you ever had stitches?
Yep. When I was about 7 or 8 I fell while roller-blading and my glasses went into my head right by my left eye. I had to get 6 stitches inside and 6 outside for 12 total. Thankfully though, aside from my kidney stone that's the only time I've been to the hospital! 

4. What was your first job?
Mama M., I think I've got you beat on the dorkyness scale. My first job was at our local library shelving books. I worked there for 5 years before becoming a substitute and eventually real teacher. I have my library card number memorized. Enough said.

5. Who is your favorite Sesame Street character?
I'm so weird! I don't ever remember watching Sesame Street as a kid! I know I did, but I don't remember it at all. 

Happy Friday, Everyone! Also, don't forget to stop by here and ask me some questions!! I only had 2 people ask... sniff, sniff. 

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Ask me anything

I'm having a bit of a downer day (well week) and I need to get myself motivated to blog. Not to mention, I love hearing from my readers. So, ask me anything!! I'll make a post (or maybe more than one, depending on how many questions I get) to answer them later this week. I look forward to somebody cheering me up!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Couch to 5K

I wrote a while back about working on getting rid of the newlywed 9 (more like 10) that I've put on since Rob and I got married. Well, it's not going too well. I've definitely maintained, which means I haven't gained any more. But, I'm still not where I want to be.

Overall, we've been trying to make some major changes in our lifestyles. Mainly with eating habits. We've done a LOT more cooking at home and using fresh products instead of processed foods. We bought a 1/4 cow which we've been eating regularly as well as some chicken and fish. We also have a juicer now, which I LOVE and have been trying to use more fresh produce. It's fun! I've actually enjoyed it. The worst part is figuring out what to make, not how to make it. I'm not a bad cook by any means, we can just never decide what to eat. I'd like to work on meal planning a little more.

Our next goal is to start exercising a little more. We joined a gym and haven't been very diligent. I know it's just an excuse, but Rob's business had a lot to do with it. Leaving the dogs for long periods of time and being at Best Buy for ridiculous amounts during the past 10 weeks hasn't been conducive to our exercise regimen. But, we're back at it today. Which brings me to the couch to 5K.

I'm NOT a runner. I HATE running. I HATE exercising. I HATE going to the gym. I'm a big lazy bum and I enjoy reading and lounging around. I love how I feel after I exercise, but somehow that doesn't make me want to do it anymore. But, I need to be done with excuses. I need to stop being a baby and get to it. So, I'm going to attempt the couch to 5k.

Will I be successful? I hope so. I hope to keep you posted. So, readers, here's my challenge to you. HOUND ME. Someone has to keep me accountable and from experience, Rob isn't very good at it (sorry, babe). So, keep me motivated! Get me going!

Here's the rundown (no pun intended). I'm going to try and figure out how to post a google calendar to this blog to say what I'll be doing every day.

Today: Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.

In 9 weeks, I should be able to run a 5k. That's ALMOST in time for the Komen Race for the Cure. I'd LOVE to run it. 

Here goes nothing. 

Friday, April 16, 2010

Five Question Friday

Welcome to 5QF!! Here we go again!

1. What words do you use on your blog/online that you don't use in real life?
Honestly, I don't think there are any! Something to think about though!

2. Do you still write checks?
On very rare occasions. Mainly for my tithes at church or to pay a bill by mail for some reason. Why buy checks when the check card does the same thing?

3. Who was your favorite President and why?
Haha. I have no idea. One, because I've only been alive long enough to remember 3 of them. Two, I am so completely inept when it comes to all things politics. I've only recently started to really pay attention. Political science was never my forte.

4. Are you a yeller?
Also on rare occasions. I'm usually more of a stern talker. I call it my teacher voice. It gets used daily. 

5. Have you ever dumpster dived?
Um... yes. But, let me explain. I worked at our local library for 5 years shelving books. So, I was very aware of the dumpster behind the building where they would throw old magazines and books to be recycled. Things that were outdated or they didn't think they could sell. So, one day I decided to see if I could find anything. I wasn't very successful. I found a few things, but nothing that was really worth the trouble. 

Can I just say how excited I am that it's FRIDAY!!! I'm SO ready to sleep in tomorrow!!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

12 Weeks to Better Photography - Week 7

Phew, playing catch up here!  Back on track with 12WTBP. Check out the originator here.

This week was about outdoor photography and the macro setting. I've already been using a lot of my newfound techniques for outdoor photography seen here, but macro is something I've played with for a while. Macro is a setting that basically allows you to take a photo of something up close. You know those pictures of bugs and flower pollen? Those are taken using the macro setting and a macro lens. I don't have a macro lens, but I have a telephoto lens, which, when zoomed in all the way, will do the trick for the most part. I also have some pictures I took with  my old P&S using it's macro setting.

This first photo was taken using the macro setting on a Canon S500. A 5mp P&S I bought for $500 (I KNOW) when digital cameras were first becoming big. This is my second favorite camera to my Rebel. Loved it.

Moving to the DSLR. I took this using my telephoto lens zoomed all the way in and on the macro setting of the camera. You can see quite a bit of detail, including the pollen stuck to it.

Another on the same settings. See the very narrow depth of field?

This was a little experiment I did. Same settings for both photos, but the first is using the UV filter I bought mainly to protect my lenses. The second is without. Interesting...

Can I just say that I was looking back at some of my old pictures and I have come such a LONG way in the past 12 weeks? This has been such a great experience so far and I'm SO GLAD I did it!

Next week: Moving Objects

Friday, April 9, 2010

Five Question Friday

Ending the week on a positive note. No excuses, but I've been super busy this week! This was the last week of the Gamer Lounge and I had some school stuff going on. So, unfortunately, I missed my 12 weeks post this week and also Wedded Wednesday!! Sorry! I'm hoping to get back in the groove next week. We've got SAT's at school so I'll have a LOT of time on my hands.

Anyway, here goes 5QF!! Check out Mama M.'s blog for the rules!

1. Who would you want to play you in a movie of your life?
I'd have to say Alexis Bledel. I think she is so cute!!

2. Did you ever go to summer camp?
Nope. I always spent my summers playing in the neighborhood, usually with my best friend growing up and my brother, swimming at my grandparent's house up the street.

3. What sends you running and screaming in the other direction?
Spiders. Actually, it doesn't usually look like running and screaming so much as paralysis and hyperventilation. It's a sickness really.

4. What is something you do that drives your spouse nuts?
I quote Rob, "Say one thing and mean another." I think I need to work on my communication skills...

5. What is currently your favorite song?
My favorite song changes constantly and I'm usually listening to several. I like all types of music and have those songs that really stick with me. But, to answer the question, I'm currently repeating Snow Patrol's "Set Fire to the Third Bar". But I'm sure that will change next week.

Have a great day!!

MckLinky Blog Hop


Monday, April 5, 2010

More Photography Practice

I'm using a new subject this time! This is my niece, Isabella. She's getting so big! She's only 2, but she's definitely big for her age. I think we got some pretty good shots!

Favorite #1

Favorite #2!! (This is my favorite, favorite.)

I hope everyone had a VERY happy Easter!!