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08 September 2009

S is for Schedule


I was reading one of those very sophisticated woman's magazines this evening and stumbled across one of their equally as compelling quizzes aimed at helping readers like me expand our horizons and grow within ourselves; it was titled "What Sexual Position Fits Your Personality".

Inquiring minds had to know.

Instead of just getting my OWN take on it, I enlisted the help of my husband to answer the questions with me...knowing my results would have to be spot-on utilizing this strategy.

Question #1: How would you describe your sex live?

Without letting me list out the multiple choice answers, Todd volunteered from across the room, "SCHEDULED!" (in a tone that would have you believe he just blurted out the million dollar response to Regis himself)

I think I was better off not knowing.

06 September 2009

M is for Mucinex

What does Mucinex have to do with makin' babies? Funny you should ask!

Since my diagnosis of producing concrete, the remedy has been prescribed as Mucinex (not the DM) taken twice daily. It thins out the mucus when you have a head cold - why not your cervix I suppose!

The outcome? Holy rubber wet suit, Batman!

I have to admit I was skeptical. But I have now been shown the light. Given the issues post intercourse I described in yesterday's post, I was just under the impression THAT was the normal. I have been loving this! No more problems before or after the deed. Does it sound weird that I FEEL more fertile? LOL. And no more do I seem to feel 'not in the mood'. I may be forming a serious addiction to this new found over-the-counter miracle drug. It's the best little blue pill ever!

My job is easy now. I purchase a daily ovulation kit and take it from there. My witch doctor described optimal positions and methods to encourage our little swimmers to find the end of the rainbow. It could get quite hilarious on the home front this month.

05 September 2009

C is for Cervical Concrete!

While nothing has been found to explain our infertility, the outcome of my last visit to Dr. Mooney-Smith was more voodoo than science.

I was ordered to have intercourse (presumably with my husband) no more then two hours before my appointment with the good doctor. Not a morning person in the last bit, this meant I had to wake up two hours earlier than normal while trying to look and feel sexy to fit it all in before 'poor Todd' had to leave for work. He of course did not feel put out in the least and so the sun rose with a smile for one of us!

This was all in preparation for a Postcoital Test; done as a last ditch effort to figure out what our big holdup has been. It is not a test that is often performed and is basically the only thing left when everything else checks out normal with both partners. The idea is to check my cervical mucus (CM) after sex to make sure there are sperm present and moving normally. Swabs are taken from several different places both in the vagina and cervix for comparison.

So I was mopped up while slides were prepared for the microscope and taken back to the lab. My doctor gave me a pat on the back for "my" terrific stretchiness (as if it was something i controlled). She quickly ran back to my room within a few minutes beaming - so ecstatic, in fact, that she wanted me to see for myself what she had discovered!

I felt important as I followed her back to the lab, but a bit like a voyeur spying on the little guys. There they were! I was relieved to see so many swimmers in one little area. She counted over 25 with 80% of those being viable! But as hard as they tried to move, they just couldn't....forever stuck in the quicksand that my body produces. What she found was that my CM is more like CC (cervical concrete)!

While this may sound odd to most, I always suspected something awry. It's not something you discuss with your girlfriends - comparing post intercourse messes, that is...and I guess that is why it was easy to believe the first doctor who told us that it was Todd who had 'lazy sperm'. But I 'secretly' knew better. Unfortunately, I did not meet my husband as a virgin and I had experienced that same 'mess' with others after sex. It's like my body not only physically rejected any outside fluids..lol...but made efforts to push it right back out!

So what voodoo do my doc do tell for me to do? Take medicine - have intercourse on my head and do a little dance afterwards. Seriously....

23 July 2009

Straight To Dessert

Snippet from my first newsletter update for work:

After a family event this evening, we wanted to spend more time together by going out to a local 24-hour diner. Conversation turned silly with the kids 'arguing' whether it was their dinner, snack, breakfast - or dinsnackfast as they all finally agreed.

Whether you are a breakfast for dinner eater or skip the entree altogether and go straight for the dessert - let Rextopia satisfy your appetite with this week's YUMMY updates!

..........

M.I.A.


I know I have been MIA for some time now. I have LOTS of updates!!! The first is a new job position that has been eating up a ton of time away from blogging. But I'm having a great time and learning new things.

Each week, I am tasked to get out a newsletter to keep clients current on things they need to know. While these updates have nothing to do with making babies - they are sometimes entertaining and short in their intro. At the very least, I can keep you laughing!

22 May 2009

A True Original

Is there really such thing as an original idea?

After centuries of Thomas Edisons, Picassos and Johnnie Cashes - is there really anything left? And once you have an idea - do you recognize it as a good one and have what it takes to put those ideas into action? And once your ideas are in motion - are you surrounded with the kind of people who champion your idea...maybe even seeing its uniqueness and pushing you to your full potential before YOU even see it?

I am HUGE fan of creativity and people who think outside the box. The kind of eurekas that make me think, "I wish I'd thought of that!". Or better yet, how may times have you seen something and exclaimed, "I DID think of that!" only to find that someone else has taken 'your' idea and is not profiting from it?

I am even a BIGGER fan of people who give credit to those from which their own ideas have risen. I try to walk the line on this one (...I am, actually, a Johnny Cash fan...LOL). I am so lucky to come across those who inspire me through my hobbies, through my job and through the things that make up the core of my very being. When I do meet those people, I want the rest of my little world to meet them too! I want others to appreciate their spirit and accomplishments no matter how big or small as if they were my own. Because their ideas are, in that moment, having a positive effect on me. I would hope not to take that from them, nor make their ideas my own.

In this age of online social networking and media - the idea of giving credit where credit is due seems even more powerful than ever. Giving kudos - taking a pat on the back - calling someone out - and taking responsibility are all part of it with your true character being analyzed by others only a Google click away. In this vast galaxy of information and product pushing, it sometimes seems like there is indeed nothing left that's original; that one thing is just a springboard off of another - and that sometimes a simple, even public, add-a-boy and thank you is the appropriate response.

Maybe what is truly original anymore - is promoting those who ARE...truly originals.

This rambling brought to you by:
MamaDanielle
TipJunkie

18 May 2009

No News...

No news is good news, right?

Not in this case. No news is well....simply no news.

The urologist called left a voicemail that basically said nothing is wrong - sending us back to square one. We still need to get the files sent over to my doctor and confirm that the message was, indeed, based on the correct results. We are pretty much scratching our heads in disbelief that they are really are!


Sure could use..a little GOOD news today! In the meantime, there are no shortages of laughs in the cartoon section :)

10 April 2009

The Furbaby


If it weren't for Todd, I would have taken in any stray animal or person w
ho needed a home in the last 15 years. Thankfully, he is my intervention from truly being the crazy cat lady. But Sadie is a different story...

Once upon a sunny Saturday, I was busy spring-cleaning while my husband was at work. Our typical suburban neighborhood was bustling with kids riding bikes, dads mowing their lawns and moms cleaning out their minivans. I noticed a cluster of people starting to gather on my street and didn't really think twice about it when my doorbell rang. My German Shepherd, Talon, perked up to help me answer. A little boy stood there looking up at me with his big brown eyes and asked me if I would take his dog. He said her name was Sandie because that was the color of her fur.

One look at what lie in my yard melted my heart. Sweet eyes begged at me through a sort of haze and buggars. A pink nose twitched at me through its scratches and scabs. Soft pale skin reddened under the sun where huge patches of hair no longer protected. As I walked over to this ragamuffin, it rolled over happily for a tummy rub to which I obliged. Big chest bone and nothing more held her together. The boys' mother explained that they had found her a few days prior on the side of the highway near our home and that she has small children at home and just couldn't keep her. She had asked everyone in the neighborhood but nobody would take her. This was her last block - and we were her last house.

I recognized the breed. StaffOrdSomething Terrior, Bulldog, Amercian SomethingOrOther Terrior...it didn't matter...all I saw was a Pitbull. The same kind of pitbull exploited in the news tearing off the faces of little children. The same kind of pitbull that had been splashed over the internet as being dangerous and fighting dogs. THAT kind of pitbull. Illegal in the town and at the home in which I lived.

Now this is where my husband and I disagree. I could SWEAR that I told the family that I just couldn't take her; that he came home just an hour or so later and the family was still hustling the hood when they caught him in the driveway and the pitbull suckered him into it's heart. HE says that he drove up about the same time they were there and I am the one that suckered HIM! Regardless, we became the parents of a truly PITiful dog.

She looked more like a Sadie than a Sandie to me - or maybe I just couldn't get that Little Orphan Annie dog out of my head or the Tomorrow song that came with it - and so her name was changed. She and Talon hit it off immediately. My cat soon also warmed up and they are still best buds. That first night, she slept in our bed, under the covers between us like a little human - head on my pillow and spooned up agaist me. We have slept like that every since.

I immediately took her to the vet the following Monday. Dr Denny, indeed, labeled her a pitbull and gave us antibiotics to heal her open lacerations (presumably from fighting), gave her meds for mange and worms and all other icky things and sent us home with a puppy kit - estimating her age to be about 6 months old. Once her body was healed, she seemed to be adjusting in every other way with Talon leading the pack (insert obvious foreshadowing here). We all went on walks around the neighborhood, enjoyed the freedom of my parents farm off leash and went to Todd's softball games to hang out with other dog lovers in the bleachers.

We shortly moved into an apartment in th
e city where pitbulls are legal. I started a new job and my husband started school. The animals spent more time at home alone and less time doing extracurricular activities. I began to notice Sadie being territorial when we had visitors and she started being aggressive towards other animals. A few years later, Talon passed away in the living room. Later even after that, Sadie became so aggressive to anybody outside her own pack that she was pretty much isolated from anything fun except for our long daily walks on a leash (fun for her, but not for the one she pulled at the sight of another living thing).

We then moved to our current construction nightmare and I began working from home. Her behavior has gradually escalated. She growls and lunges at any visitor even while in her kennel or having her muzzle on. Walks are impossible if there is a loose dog in the neighborhood that might approach us. So bad has it become, that we are unable to leave her at the doggie resort while on vacation anymore. She is too fearful and they would have to tranquilize her, causing even more mental trauma. Today, during her yearly checkup at her usual vet - she lunged at the doctor sounding vicious. When corrected, she assumed her usual position right under me and between my legs in a guarding position (or 'right up in ya' as my husband refers to it). Fear and protective. Not a good mix. I held back my tears.

We got through the visit and I was even invited back next year thanks to the great staff at Ark Animal Clinic. They a
ssured me that I am not a horrible owner and referred me to a local animal behaviorist. Is this a glimpse of my parenting skills? Are we doomed to raise a Monster (another loving nickname from Todd when referring to Sadie).

So this is my test. And I am up for it. No more excuses. No more anxiety. No more trying. Just doing. I want Sadie to
be healthy and enjoy life again. Dogs are a man's best friend. But Sadie has been my Furbaby....filling the void of losing our beloved 'first child' and the urge to be a real mother. But I need us to develop a working relationship as human and dog so that we can expand our family to a real baby.

...to live happily ever after!
Wish me luck!

06 April 2009

Big Baby


Talk about being a big BABY....

I returned home from some lunchtime errands today to three grown men huddled together in the middle of my unfinished family room (aka the garage) without any actual work being done towards the finishing of said room. My presence was not met with the usual kidding or showing off of a job completed for my supervisory inspection, but with deer-in-the-headlight looks.

"Steve cut his finger off", my father-in-law quickly fessed up.

"Oh, it's not cut completely off...just a little stinger", my dad tried to cover.

I must say I was impressed by the nursing efforts of them all. The finger was neatly and tightly wrapped with pads, gauze and tape from a real first aid kit (to which now I must go purchase...because I sure didn't have one on hand!). The Boy Scouts of America don't got nuttin' on these men! ;)

After pulling the gory details out of them like teeth, I talked my free labor into letting me take him to The Urgency Room. My sister-in-law works there and I assured him it was the best bet. Quickly ushered into an exam room, she began to unwrap the blood soaked appendage. Just as quickly she covered it back up and simple said "This is BAD."

Oh come on now. How bad can it be?, I thought. He didn't act like it hurt. He wasn't pale. Weren't they all just in my house swapping and comparing saw injury stories like they were hangnails? So despite the cowardly voice in my head, I stood up to take a peek.

UGH. Huge flap of skin flopped over to the side. OMG. Blood everywhere. EW. I think that was bone I just saw. I think I am getting light headed...ouch, my finger hurts...oh my, I need to sit back down.

The doctor came in and simply said, "Oh, this is BAD." Yeah, I could have told her that. He was referred to the nearest emergency room.

I drove my dad back to my house where so he could pick up his truck and go back to his own house to feed the horses and take care of the animals. HUH? Once he was safely out of sight, I quickly called my mother (whom I promised NOT to call) and tried not to panic her as only a child can do a mother. She also works for a family physician and so she directed him to her first. Thank goodness!

Her doctor took one look and said, "Wow, this is BAD." Hmmmmm....

So two other men, two nurses and two doctors and a wife later - his hand is now in the expert hands of an orthopedic surgeon. Pouting like a child, he was not too thrilled about having to be put completely under. Unfortunately, it looks like a skin graft is necessary (the original 'flap' didn't make it) and other tendons and things I prefer not to know about were severed - possibly beyond repair. I am so happy it was only a finger!!!

I think about the many scrapes, breaks, blood, puke and poop I am wishing upon myself to have a baby. I'd better watch more Operation TV if I'm going to desensitize myself. I didn't fare so well today!

Who's the BIG BABY now?!??!?

03 April 2009

Important Health Bulletin


No deep thoughts today - only a funny to help lighten the mood with great advice from my "Tequila" friend :) CHEERS to you all!

Click on the pix at the left. Fun book from one of my favorite online stores!



IMPORTANT HEALTH ADVICE FOR WOMEN:

Do you have feelings of inadequacy?

Do you suffer from shyness?

Do you sometimes wish you were more assertive?


If you answered yes to any of these questions, ask your doctor or Pharmacist about Margaritas.

  • Margaritas are the safe, natural way to feel better and more confident about yourself and your actions.
  • Margaritas can help ease you out of your shyness and let you tell the world that you're ready and willing to do just about anything.
  • You will notice the benefits of Margaritas almost immediately and with a regimen of regular doses you can overcome any obstacles that prevent you from living the life you want to live.
  • Shyness and awkwardness will be a thing of the past and you will discover many talents you never knew you had. Stop hiding and start living, with Margaritas.
Margaritas may not be right for everyone. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use Margaritas. However, women who wouldn't mind nursing or becoming pregnant are encouraged to try it.

Side effects may include:
  • Dizziness, nausea, vomiting, incarceration
  • Erotic lustfulness
  • Loss of motor control
  • Loss of clothing
  • Loss of money
  • Loss of virginity
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Attraction to ugly men
  • Table dancing
  • Headache
  • Dehydration
  • Dry mouth
  • And a desire to sing Karaoke
WARNING:
The consumption of Margaritas may make you think you are whispering when you are not.

WARNING:
The consumption of Margaritas may cause you to tell your friends over and over again that you love them.

WARNING:

The consumption of Margaritas may cause you to think you can sing.

WARNING:
The consumption of Margaritas may make you think you can logically converse with members of the opposite sex without spitting.

*Margaritas are also available in generic form, known as tequila!!!!
Just
as effective and costs only a fraction.

02 April 2009

Making It


Between making a house, making a baby and making ends meet - I guess the stress is hitting us a bit more than we had anticipated.

It is ironic that during this time in our lives, my husband and I are doing more TOGETHER than we ever have in our long (almost) 17 year past - yet the distance between us sometimes seems oceanic.
I know that all couples go through this at one time or another. Building the nest, emptying the nest, flying the entire darn coop! They are all stages in life that require some adjustment and changes. Hopefully, both man and wife will have evolved together more wise, more fun, and more in love than ever.

Also ironic is all the advice about stress - that adds to the stress - of why we aren't getting pregnant. Words of wisdom like: "You are just trying to hard." or "When the time is right it will just happen - relax!" or my favorite, "Give it time, nature will eventually take its course" to which the responses I keep privately in my head are always gracious ;) Stress is a HUGE factor in getting pregnant, both naturally and assisted, accounting for up to 30% of infertility-related problems. I found a great article on the subject on WebMD.

When thinking about stress and how it relates to me personally, I am reminded (and encouraged!) that I have always been one to work best under stress - and usually at things to which I do not excel nor put forth 100%. I am not a planner or at strategist. A bit of a procrastinator at heart, I typically fly by the seat of my pants and very much live in the moment.

For example, in high school track I ran hurdles. At 5'2" my coaches used to laugh that I was so short my legs barely even touched the ground anyway, so why not! I never had perfect form; being too short to 3-step and too awkward to 4-step. I had my own style and did it my way. I would get insanely nervous and nauseous before each meet to the point I had to convince everyone I was not about to die and to just let me wipe off my face...and let me run. Though I never felt prepared and my muscles never felt completely stretched out - I knew I just had to go for it. I would get down on my mark; feeling the hot asphalt on my hands and place them within millimeters of the starting line. Get set; looking up at the perfect line of obstacles ahead of me. GO!

I would roll out of the blocks, not with a rocket burst like my competitors, but staying low and gradually lifting towards the first hurdle, reaching my left hand to touch my right lead foot that glided my horizontal body over it with an undetectable brush of my trailing thigh. I did not look at the finish line. I barely looked a the next hurdle. I was only partially aware of the others in my peripherals as I closed the space between us until they all but disappeared (I like to think behind me!). I did feel the rhythm beneath my own feet; however random that might have been to those watching, and instinctively knew when to lift - and when to dig...deep to the end. And when it was over? I was always rewarded with a medal. Not always first! But never last.

This is a template for all other things in my life. Late night drafting projects in college that produced designs still used in local office spaces today. Countless journalism deadlines I thought I would never make as I sat down to a blank piece of paper with no ideas that produced published works. Sales goals that I thought impossible to meet that came down to the wire when a business connection was made at the last minute and unexpected to help pull a team through. Why should making a baby be any different than making it through anything else in my life.

I know why. Because this is a team effort and not an individual sport. And this stress is not my own.

So between making the baby...and making the house...and making ends meet - I am reminded that this IS, actually, a terrific time to be in love and take the opportunity to grow closer together and not let an ugly thing like STRESS pull us apart.
It is the first time that we are actually making things happen - making goals, making progress, and making life meaningful!

....just run. Dig deep 'till the end.


In the words of vintage America's Sweetheart, Mary Richards, "We're gonna make it after all!"

25 March 2009

The Male Biological Clock..TICKING!

I have no clever words or funny perspectives on Todd's initial exam results from the Urologist. Ok...maybe just a few sarcastic innuendos to keep it real. But if anybody knows him at all, this sure does explain a lot!

Todd has been diagnosed as having Varicoles. While not fatal or even rare, it makes total sense. He described it to me as a 'vein sack' much like your everyday varicose veins prevalent in the legs of many women. He reported, rather unscientifically, that this condition if coupled with low motility means that he is infertile.

Typical of most, I am not one to take my husband's word for the gospel. So I did what any educated wife would to and consulted Google search...the bible of all factual, current and worldly knowledge. While his generalities were correct according to MedTerms - there is certainly more to the story.

Varicoceles can develop after puberty but is not usually detected until undergoing said evaluation for the reason of suspect fertility problems. They are common and found in nearly 15% of all men. Out of those, it accounts for up to 40% of all male subfertility cases. Get this...a whopping 81% of men are diagnosed even after fathering their first child. This is because, over time, the little buggers lead to the deterioration of fertility.

This is what happens: the blood flow gets stuck in this veiny mass positioned right inside the cord that produces sperm. So the blood fails to effectively pump back up towards the heart. This raises the temperature in the testes causing either malformations of the sperm ...or just really lazy ones. Who can blame them! It must be 1000000 degrees down there!

This is why it now all makes sense. If you have ever been on any kind of a roadtrip or spent even just an evening with Todd, you will bear witness to his sudden and hilarious outbursts of "Is it HOT in here?!?! It's HOT in here!!!!" whereas he proceeds (if in the company of very close friends and family) to open up his sweat pants, shorts, or jeans thereof to get some air. We lovingly call him "Sweaty Balls". I'm sure he will be thrilled that I am now telling the world!

So what does this mean? Well, there are treatments that offer varying hope for success, but now appear to be unavoidable. Outpatient surgery is required with about a week of downtime before returning to work on light duty. Repair has been reported to significantly improve fertility function in 60%-80% of men. This is great news! The more unfortunately statistic I found was that only about 44% of those successes result in unassisted pregnancy after a year and 77% after two years. At our age...we are fighting against the clock already!

23 March 2009

Back to Normal

My blood test results are in. I should be thrilled! But I have more questions than answers now.

I received a little postcard in the mail with a box checked "normal" on it - mixed in with my NY&CO discount postcard and a reminder card from the donation curb pickup. I needed a bit more pomp and circumstance for my blood results. Like confetti and balloons popping out of my mailbox like it does when you get a birthday invitation from Disney on TV! I feel so cheated. ;)

How can I be normal?!?! (insert lame jokes here) I've got my own boxes to check:
  • Hairiest woman on the planet. CHECK!
  • Uterine fibroids in my retroverted uterus (not so magnificent AFTER ALL, HUH!) CHECK!
  • Raging PMS. Think Mommy Dearest on a good day. CHECK!
  • Painful Periods. I cannot even describe. CHECK!
  • The sex drive of a sloth. CHECK!
  • Bladder infections like most people get a head cold. CHECK!
  • Horrible skin. CHECK!
  • A permanent front butt due to constant bloating and water retention. COOL! CHECK!
  • General lack of energy and constant anxiety. Man I rock! CHECK!
I even tried to pee on a stick for three months straight, taking my temperature and trying to track my ovulation. Nothing every changed colors and my temp never changed to any degree or pattern. The only way I knew I was laying an egg was the pain I always feel while my body tries to squeeze one through my tubes. Technically called mittelschmerz.

These are things most of us live with at one time or another and are very good signs of a hormone imbalance when combined and with extreme symptoms. I just thought this was the way things were supposed to be until my doctor corrected me - giving me hope that my whole world could change with the simple popping of some designer pills.

And so continues the saga as my reasons for not conceiving are dwindling. Back to being normal! I think I'll go spend that NY&CO coupon and gather some clothes to donate now.

20 March 2009

Inspired by Robins

Spring defines the birth of new beginnings.

One comforting memory is my mother's yearly excitement as she would point out to me the first robin of the season. Her eyes would sparkle and we would anxiously and vigilantly wait for the first glance of those amazing blue eggs. Perfect with each one uniquely speckled. As I grew older, she still sometimes calls, "Spring is here! I just saw my first robin!"

Today, as I watch fat little robins waddle through my yard, busy in loving preparation for mommyhood - I am reminded of my own natural urge to nest. While the instinct of nesting is common in women who are pregnant to full term, some of us are hard-wired to bustle about looking for the next home project at any given point in our lives. I am one of those people.

Like a bird without a tree during the renovation of our house that has taken over a year to complete, I find my creative juices stifled and my sense of security often on the edge. As a self proclaimed homebody,
decorating it is how I express myself - currently a hunger that goes unfed! My storage space (and my neighbors garage) is a collection full of art and furniture I hope to soon reveal; things for my new kitchen, dining and living room with no idea how any of it will match. An eclectic little collage of things I love....for every room except a nursery.

Our modest house is basica
lly now a bedroom and a half since restructuring the old floor plan. When guests stop by to see our building progress, I present the smallest room as my office.....or nursery my voice will trail. I try to avoid letting my brain go there. I do not want to set myself up for heartbreak - creating the baby room of my dreams with no signs of baby-to-be. But the nester inside me does not always keep those wanderings at bay.

..and so I am inspired by
the robin and her eggs. I love the metaphor as I also prepare a home with love in shades of blues, greens, browns and taupe. As I flip through magazine clippings in my worn "Inspiration Folder" I see reference of this color and hints of 'bird style' with a modern twist. My own teal dishes and accents begging to come out of the closet to help me hearken the warm weather to brighten my day.

So as I decorate my "office" I will keep these things in mind and cautiousl
y create a space that can easily convert into a nursery. ;)



VS.

18 March 2009

I Believe

I believe I was pregnant once.

I have no proof, though I tried to get answers at the time. I did not miss my period. In fact, most things were regular despite being a few more days late than typical for me. My cycles are very short and this one probably would have been considered average for many being at just about 34 days. I woke up on a Saturday morning with more pain than usual and was complaining because my normal 3 days was turning into 6 days. I knew something was odd that day with some weird spotting and discoloration, but didn't think much of it after tossing back a handful of Midol and going back to bed.

Todd had kissed me goodbye before leaving for work or golf or something that morning. When I finally got my lazy self out of bed and into the shower, my stomach felt a bit nauseous and I became light headed. Enough to make me take pause and brace myself against the wall. (If you have a light stomach yourself, you might want to skip down to the end!) A small 'chunk' came out of me, for lack of a better word. I picked it up and rinsed it off. VERY strange. About 2-3 inches long, solid by very pliable, curved, having a cloudy transparency with just a bunch of 'strings' or membranes hanging or growing from it. Almost a tail-like ending. This was not your common clot or debris.

Now I am no doctor and I am too dumb to be scared. I was actually excited and just had a feeling. I called my mom to get her opinion and she told me to keep it in a ziploc bag and call the doctor on Monday. So I did.

Liberty Clinic. Dr. Christine Nadeau. Her office full of photos of her first baby from which she had recently returned to work after maternity leave. A few more Polaroids stuck to the cabinets of babies she had helped deliver. When it was my turn, she not only would not look at the contents in my baggie, she laughed in an uncomfortable disgust and asked me to throw it in the trash next to her. Nothing more. No clinical explanation or suggestion that 'chunks' were normal.

Now I am not an overly dramatic person and I keep my reactions and feelings inside to a fault when something greatly upsets me. I thought it was weird, too, for taking in a saved unknown specimen like a kindergarten show-n-tell! I almost cancelled the appointment twice! I was embarassed to be sitting there, but never expected my doctor to make me feel even worse.

I had spent the last two days contemplating the thought of starting a family and was ready to move forward. My husband had always been ready. So when I could finally find my own voice, I asked her if there were any tests she could give me or anybody she could recommend that may specialize in fertility. She ordered her nurse to give me a pregnancy test and send me to the referral desk. My blood test came back inconclusive.

I believe this gives me hope.

16 March 2009

Gimme an M! Gooooo MAMMOGRAM!

I believe I have completed my first round of testing. Every fluid, nook and cranny has sucked up, gawked at and felt up. I am not one to be terribly shy at this point in life. And I'm reminded that every test gets us closer to an answer!

The first of these tests was a simple mammogram. I am now officially a member of, as my friend and founder of our Breast Cancer 3Day team Raelyn says, the REAL
team FRESHLY SQUEEZED! A very elite group, I must say. I recommend EVERYONE join - quick!

I was first relieved to find out that my insurance paid for the mammogram. While private insurances are now required to pay in in accordance with the current American Cancer Society guidelines for screening, I was suprised that I was covered for one exam between ages 35-40. The Komen Foundation often holds free and/or low cost mammogram events for those whom are uninsured or underinsursured as well. Click here for more info. There are no excuses anymore, ladies!

At any rate, I was caught off guard at how emotional I became...as I do anytime...and as I do now...when reminded of my dear friend (and many of your's) Laura Plunkett. Thoughts of her so often creep into my heart and make me smile! (Please check out the link to her blog for a glimpse into her amazing legacy in my favorites column!)

The mammography itself was not nearly as horrible as I expected. Here is a handy little link should you have questions.

The technician, Margaret, was great (dare I say magnificent?!?!). She was not overly sappy sweet. She was a bit of a tomboy with some girly flair. She did not treat my newbie self like a child or talk down to me nor was she overly clinical. She was respectful and very matter-of-fact without being distant - keeping my tears at bay that kept threatening to break the Eyelid Dam.

The changing room was a small but comfortable little space with tasteful wallpaper and the most current magazines to read...though my wait was not so much that I needed entertained. The exam room itself was also pleasant. All of it had a fresh smell. Somebody was obsessed with Febreeze apparently. I could appreciate the few personal and homey touches with tasteful pink ribbon decor sprikled throughout.

Just as the jaws of life came down upon me, I thought again of Laura. I think she was there with me. Walking me through it in words I could hear like the whisper of an angel, strung together in a style distinctly hers. Not overly sappy sweet with a bit of tomboy girliness - never talking down to me or being overly clinical. Just very matter-of-fact and very close as friends should be. Yep....she was there.

15 March 2009

G is for Genetics

Todd carries the good looking genes between us. My nieces and nephews are all absolutely gorgeous with high cheek bones and dark eyelashes - all sharing something strikingly Reuscher between them. Of course the priority is to have a happy and healthy child, but I have to wonder: What will my baby look like?

While very unscientific, this link has been fun and good for some laughs between us - check it out: http://makemebabies.com


Here is what our baby girl will look like. Love that hair! ;)










It's a boy!??! I think he looks suspiciously like Benjamin Button. What baby has a full set of teeth?!?








So then the fun REALLY began (or I am just bored today)...


I like to call this one Little "WhoNeedsBradAnyway". I would put a duck on my head, too!








But I have to admit I am a bit frightened most by Little "AngelinaWho". YIKES!








For those of you with kids already - see how close it gets to the real thing and share! So fun ;)

12 March 2009

M is for Magnificent

Did I mention that I love my new Gyno?

I lucked out when my finger landed on her name as the meeny to my miney-mo from a list of network providers. Her name is Patricia Mooney-Smith at Heartland Women's Clinic in the NKC Pavillion.

During our first meeting, she glided into my room and the energy around her immediately changed. Her eyes lit up when she spoke. And she she listened - REALLY listened and became increasingly and genuinely excited as I explained to her why I was there. I have convinced myself that it was my circumstance and not the exam she was about to perform that aroused her so.

Once on the gurney with my feet placed stragically aligned to the Betty Boop foot straps - all spread eagle and talking about the warm weather that day like it was the most natural thing to do in front of a total stranger - she exclaimed, "You have a magnificent uterus!". Wow. I may not have fame or fortune in my life, but I have a MAGNIFICENT uterus. It's something I suppose.

Once back in my street clothes and ironically feeling more exposed than ever, she reported all the clinical things to which she is required and gave me orders for testing and explained what each one was for. She then reached over and touched my my hand with pause. "I want to ask you to hang with me for the next three months. We will figure this out together and I want to head into this with all the ammunition I have. Will you hang with me?".

She is also magnificent.

11 March 2009

P is for Period.

Talk about "GEEZ!" - I enjoyed my first visit to a real gynecologist earlier this month.

"HOW?", you might ask, has anyone of the female gender gone through 36 years of life avoiding this right of passage into womanhood? "Complete laziness, avoidance....and ignorance", I might answer.

I grew up an only child to a single mom. She remarried when I was in the 4th grade where I started a new school at Westview Elementary. Very nervous in my new surroundings, I sat in Mrs Coleman's class, trying to translate her German accent into some kind of sense, when I felt dizzy and an overwhelming desire to barf up my enchilada surprise and apple crisp from just a few hours before. I was granted the coveted bathroom pass. Once there, I nearly passed out in terror. I was surely dying! Blood - so much blood!

Eventually, my secret was somehow found out and my mother gave me a Kotex pad the size of a mattress to wear. There was no sex talk - only the assurance that I was not on my death bed and that I would live with this strange condition monthly for the next 60 years. Awesome.

Once I made friends and finally moved on to middle school, getting your period suddenly became as cool as getting braces. Everybody wanted theirs and I was the one clueless about it! My introduction to tampons occurred, like so many firsts do, in the girls' restroom at Lewis Middle School from the bossy girl who knew it ALL. She handed me a harpoon and told me I was truly about to be a woman since using one would cause me to lose my virginity. I was pretty sure I didn't own a virgin so was unfazed by her threats. I fumbled around without instructions, took the contraption completely apart placing it sideways inside myself lengthwise for the best fit. Perfect.

My mother divorced again after a few years trapped in a horrible marriage when I was in the 8th grade. We moved from luxury into the ghetto and I began to put all my energy into trying to be popular, making myself as skinny as humanly possible by any means available, and delving into any after school sport that would have me in order to avoid going back to an empty apartment. I met my first 'real' boyfriend. That summer, I found out what my virginity was and sure enough, lost it. Brilliant.

I started having such pain in the middle of my cycle, then cramped so bad I had to miss my beloved activities. My mother feared something was wrong and took me to our family doctor. I had no idea what a pelvic exam was or what to expect. After that initiation into humiliation, we were told it was all in my head and he gave me some pills that I could take to knock me out of my misery at will. No interview about my personal life or guesses as to any underlying issues that we may need to address. Just normal teenage angst I suppose.

To make a long story - and well, to end YOUR misery - this is why I avoid the inevitable gyno visit. So much trouble, this female reproductive system. So many unanswered questions and so much mystery that still goes unanswered for me. So begins the end of my ignorance...PERIOD!

My First Blog

Hello! ...And thanks for stopping by and for sharing in my new life adventure - that of trying to have a baby. Though my thoughts may be personal, I hope you will find something meaningful in the words to which you can relate or that you can find laughter and irony in your own life in comparison. Please do add your own personality to my blog with stories, observations, experiences, and insight! But most of all - have fun!
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