The last couple of weeks have been exceptionally hard for me as you could tell from my posts. I had let everything, even the most miniscule triggers get to me. So much so that I found myself on more than one occasion sobbing uncontrollably and alone. It was as though the last two years of tears and emotions had just been found and I was succumbing to them all at once.

It got so bad that I truly dreaded seeing my niece and nephews on Christmas eve and Christmas day. It made me feel awful to have such feelings when I love them so much. On top of it we had already made plans to see our godson and my friends and their newborn out of town. If I spent even want to be near our families why would being around our friends kids be any different.

Christmas eve rolled around and with it a half dozen infants celebrating their first Christmases.  What I was so worried about was quickly forgotten the moment I set eyes on my niece in her santa dress.  It reminded me how much love they bring to your life especially when you need it most.

Even today as I clean up my pictures and prepare them for our 2014 family year book I came across a silly little clip my oldest nephew made in secret on my phone Christmas day. I couldn't help playing it on repeat today.


I'm sitting here trying to pass the time doing surprisingly okay when I decide to turn on the TV. Sex and the City happens to be on but not just any SATC. The one where Charlotte's in her IF mess and Miranda finds out she's pregnant and plans on having an abortion. WTF!

It's like things are lining up to intentionally set me off. I know that's not really true but it sure feels that way. It sure feels like everyone around me has a newborn or is announcing a pregnancy and we can't. It's been years since I've cried this much and I need to get a handle on things.

I'm having a hard time this holiday season.  Maybe because of the fact that two years is still looming in the back of my head.  Maybe it's because of the fact that my cousin has lapped us twice in one year.  Maybe it's because the holidays seem to be mostly centered around children or the various Christmas cards with babies on Santa's lap we've gotten over the last couple of weeks.  Whatever it is, I've found it really hard to be thankful during Thanksgiving and am finding it even more hard to actually take in that Christmas is only 3 days away without crying.  

The funny thing is my year has actually been pretty amazing for the most part.  Until I realize that what's amazing in it is what's happened for all our friends and family and not us.  Most days I'm happy and I know that things will get better.  In whatever way they will.  But today, today just reminds me that there's no guarantee of that.  

Right now I'm supposed to be booking a hotel for a last minute night away Babe and I plan on taking next week. We're going from Vegas for a weekend to surprising my friend in Fresno who just had her baby.  Who wouldn't love both of those things?  Apparently me.  Because I'm dreading what I have to get through to make it to the other side, 50+ people and 5 new babies.  And the questions, the looks, the hums and haws that we're "trying but haven't had any luck".  All I can think is thank God I can drink right now.  Who knows, maybe I'll "accidentally" book a room in Vegas for earlier than planned.

So I just finished The Handmaid's Tale and updated yesterday's post to recommend it.  The book has me hoping it's part of a series and at the same time wishing it won't.  Like I said before, I don't need neat little packages but I so want more of this one.  

When things calm down I plan on starting Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand.  It has been on my wishlist for a while and I lucked out when we found it for $2.99 at the local Goodwill.  With that and 6 other books we added to our library from the Goodwill I can officially say we've run out of room on our bookshelves.  There are a couple quadrants that we'd used for decoration and storage that I'll need to dig into the next time we go shopping.  And although I love the idea of donating my books to good homes too, I can't bare to lose them either.  Maybe if we ever need to downsize. 

I genuinely can't believe it.  Today is mine and E's anniversary!  5 years ago today we stood on the shore in Punta Cana and promised to only annoy each other for as long as we both shall live, twice. In all seriousness though, I couldn't and wouldn't want to imagine life without him.  He is the love of my life and my best friend.

On another less exciting note, at the beginning of 2014 I had just begun reading the fifth installment of the Song of Ice and Fire series, better known as Game of Thrones, when I was challenged to set a reading goal.  I love reading and often find myself unable to put many of my books down even if they're terrible.  Actually, I do have a bad habit of having to finish a book despite it's content.  The only book I've ever left unfinished is IT by Steven King.

Well back in January I figured a conservative goal would be one book a month.  I had hoped to finish it at least by December but when I met my goal around June/July, I knew I would be proud of my number for the year.

Anyway, I'm currently into my next read which is called The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood.  It's a fascinating take on what I can only describe as an alternate world in which women are prized coveted objects for the sole purpose of repopulating the earth.  It's just getting started and I'm so excited to read more of the main character's story both past and future.

Since it's only October 10th, I think it's safe to include The Handmaids Tale in the count.  Who knows, I may even get one more in before the 31st.  So with 2014 quickly coming to a close, I can safely say that I will have completed 20 books by the end of the year. I'll post the list with asterisks for recommendations in case anyone is a reading fanatic like myself.  And I am always looking for the next good book or author to get my hands on.  So if you're reading this and you have any suggestions for next year, I would love to hear them.  

A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire)*   
George R. R. Martin
The Funny Thing Is
Ellen DeGeneres
Love The One You’re With
Emily Giffin
This is Where I Leave You (re-read)*
Jonathan Tropper
Miss  Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Ransom Riggs
Dark Places
Gillian Flynn
Playing Dead
Julia Heaberlin
Jeffrey Eugenides
The Glass Castle*
Jeanette Walls
The Road
Cormac McCarthy
The Maze Runner*
James Dashner
House of Leaves
Mark Z. Danielewski
Gone Girl*
Gillian Flynn
And The Mountains Echoed
Khaled Hosseini
The Kitchen House*
Kathleen Grissom
In Cold Blood
Truman Capote
The Thirteenth Tale
Diane Setterfield
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time
Mark Haddon
And Then There Were None
Agatha Christie
The Handmaid’s Tale*
Margaret Atwood

Edited 12/12/14 to add asterisk to The Handmaid's Tale for recommendation.
This week was supposed to be fabulous, filled with dates, doctors appointments and family.  But ever since Thursday I've felt lost.  Before I upped my meds to 1000mg I hadn't noticed any symptoms.  At least that's what I'm attributing it to.  So now I'm starting to get hot flashes and lose my concentration.  It's one reason why I haven't been on the board or blogged in the last couple of days.  Yesterday at work I read the same paragraph at least 15 times and still couldn't grasp it.

To top it off, I'm not really sure what our diagnosis is because the doctor still has not read all of our medical records. Poor Babe did his SA over a year ago and 4 doctors later we still haven't gotten it read.  He's definitely going to have to take it again which thankfully he's not too worried about.  We were also told that it looks like a small blockage is at the end of my left Fallopian tube but he doesn't think it needs to be addressed.  In fact, during my last conversation with the Dr. he indicated he wanted to proceed with Letrozole and an IUI.  Is it just me or does a blockage with low morphology and motility make you think an IUI would be a bad decision.  I feel like E should be seeing a urologist and I should get a second look at my tubes.  Anyway...

Saturday I took Babe to see Jim Gaffigan for an anniversary gift.  He was completely surprised and seemed to have a lot of fun.  The whole night I was battling a pretty intense migraine that in different circumstances would have left me locked in my dark bedroom with pills and water.  I kept hoping he was still having a good time despite my issues. Since our anniversary isn't until tomorrow it was nice to get a small celebration in.  Although I wish we'd done something bigger for our 5th anniversary, we still plan on having dinner at one of our favorite restaurants and then off to a hockey game.  It'll be a pretty subdued year for us as you can see.

Of everything that's going on, including planning a Christmas party, our Christmas shopping is the most complete. We're now down to one company gift and one dirty Santa gift left.  Although our house is a complete disaster and I haven't found a place to put everything this year.  I mean, we barely got the outside decorated this weekend.  Now all we have left is cleaning, decorating, wrapping, cooking, planning, babysitting, beer tasting, jury duty and lots and lots of drinking.

Like I said, I'm having a hard time concentrating
Babe and I are having a hard time getting into this whole RE thing because we've definitely started off on the wrong foot.  What's happened since the 3rd I'm hoping is a complete fluke otherwise we're going to have to keep looking.  

We originally made the appointment right after attending the seminar.  This was mid October.  On the 17th, I was asked to email all of our past testing results to them to have on file.  Babe scanned and emailed everything that we thought might be needed.  My ultrasounds, the HSG report, his SA, pap smears, Fertility Friend charts, bloodwork - everything.  The office confirmed receipt and said they would be available at our appointment.  

Fast forward to Wednesday and the nurse checking us in explained the usual procedure of following up the next day to inform us of the Dr's treatment plan and next steps.  She probably told us a half dozen times that she would call us on Thursday.  I should have inquired about the records then before starting.  Regardless, midway through our consult it was clear the doctor had none of it in his possession.  We were the last appointment of the day and the nurse would be leaving early so we had no choice but to get them to her the next day.  This was already disappointing to me but I wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt.  I mean, we really liked the doctor and I have a good enough memory to give him most of the info he needed.

Thursday morning the nurse again confirmed the records via email and said the doctor would review them ASAP. Thursday came and went and no return phone call.  Again, I tried to excuse this as they needed time to review everything properly anyways and I'd rather they had everything to work off of.  Thursday after work I ran to the lab as my RE suggested and asked for my HSG images so he didn't have to base his decisions solely on a report.  We decided that since they hadn't called back anyway we would take advantage of the time to submit the images when the office opened at 7:30 so they had ample time to review them.  

This morning Babe asked for a ride since I would be going that way before and after work anyway, so we headed out to be there when they opened.  After waiting a half hour and contacting their answering service, who confirmed they open at 7:30, I crossed my fingers and slid the disk under their shared door and left a message for them to call me.  

Later that morning I received a call that the doctor finally had all of my information.  After only 1 appointment and so many little mishaps, I needed to explain to them my concerns working with them. The woman I spoke to was very apologetic and conservatively guessed that I wouldn't hear back until sometime next week.  She said based on what she read, the doctor will more than likely order a repeat SA for Babe and a Sonohysterography or repeat HSG for myself before moving on to a Letrozole inseminated cycle as the doctor had suggested.  

At this point, it's difficult to say I'm excited because I need to be able to rely on my medical providers.  I'm starting to feel as though my expectations are too high since I'm always running into similar problems with PCP's and OB/Gyn's as well.  The only thing we can do now is wait and see how things are handled going forward.  We may not make this doctor's office our home but we'll at least give them another chance.  

Today is a pretty important day for us.  In just a couple of hours I'll be leaving to our very first RE appointment.  There's not much to say on that front other than as expected I'm anxious to see what he has to say.  

In the meantime, I'm trying to pass the time by reading.  My newest book is called "And Then There Were None" by Agatha Christie.  The book has me wondering which came first, the game of Clue or this.  It was written in the first half of the 20th century and has a classic who-done-it story line.  Maybe even one of the originals.  As I read I find myself referencing back quite a bit which means I have 3 different bookmarks going on.  

I tend to read books from current authors even if they're set during an earlier era.  However I've found that I've opened myself up to new ideas and writing styles by reading this last group of books. Although I've enjoyed them for the most part, it's hard to visualize the perspective prior to cars, advanced medicine and even television. It's been interesting though.  

I was going to write a post about how frustrating it is when I have an anovulatory cycle.  They don't happen often, about once a year.  They're one less chance of conceiving in a given year and make me anxious for the next cycle to start already.  Instead, I received a text from my mom today.  It's actually the second in a week that I've gotten like this. My cousin who has four kids already, the youngest being 6 months, is pregnant.  Again.

I try really hard to disassociate our struggles with other peoples pregnancies and babies.  Over the last two years I think I've done a damn good job considering.  This time, it's difficult not to fee judgy and angry.  I'm sitting here with tears welling up for something I know I shouldn't blame her for.  She can't control my reproductive system and isn't getting pregnant to flaunt her fertility.  It's just so hard seeing someone constantly draw the long straw when you only ever get the short one.  

To top it off, I'm angry with my mom.  I excused her first text telling me her husband's son was pregnant with their fourth child.  Especially because she text it among Thanksgiving plans and menus as if I wouldn't notice it slipped in.  I know both times she didn't mean bad, but I can't keep getting these sorts of announcements in texts at random times and places.  I hadn't even heard from her since Thursday and this morning on my phone is something saying to keep her pregnancy a secret.  

Too bad there's no "cousin's pregnant while you're still infertile" leave here at work.

Happy first day of December!  I'm pretty sure it's like new years in my mind.  This week has so many exciting things in store for it I can't even wait.  This last week was pretty kick ass too.  I finished my book just in time to prep for the weekend and of course there was Thanksgiving.  

My family came over for the occasion and literally cooked everything for us.  It was amazing.  My sister and her brood stayed the night to make it easier and left the next day leaving her two little ones behind.  Since Babe had to work on Friday the plan was to hang out with the nephews until that evening.  Surprisingly he got off early so we were able to get lunch and do a little black Friday toy shopping with them.  Then in the evening we went to the Mission Inn in Riverside for the festival of lights.  The boys loved it and we had such a blast with them.

Now I'm back at work trying to plan the coming weeks as best as I can.  Tonight we'll be attending the swearing in ceremony at my brother-in-law's law school.  Wednesday we have our much anticipated RE consultation.  It's been a long time in the making and it's finally (almost) here.  Then on Saturday I'll be taking Babe out for an anniversary gift.  I have tickets to something I really think he'll enjoy but because he may read this, I won't say what just yet.  Hopefully he likes it as much as I think he will.

Anyway, I hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving as well.  Now bring on Christmas.  

It was so good.  I'm talking about the book I just finished, The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield.  It was the perfect mix between mystery, scandal and love, and I'm not even talking the mushy kind.  Now I'm on another roll to see how many I can read before the end of the year.  I've honestly lost track but am pretty sure I'm right around 20.  I'll have to check after this.

Anyway, I'm ready for the next book and can't wait to start it.  This one is called The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon.  When we were in New York we actually saw that it had been turned into an off Broadway play.  I was slightly less intrigued by it than the book simply because I hadn't read it yet, so we passed.  

This one may take a little longer to finish because I'm knee deep in house cleaning and preparing for Thanksgiving when the whole fandamily descends on the DD household.  Then I will have both of my sister's boys for our first over-nighter while they celebrate her husbands birthday.  I'm super excited but totally nervous.  

What first started off as "when we have kids" and moved to "if we have kids" has now become "are we really ready". Babe said something similar last night on our way home.  This came after sitting across a dinner table from his brother and cousin's families.  

We've talked about it a lot in the last year, living child free that is.  When it was first brought up, during the last Valentine's day dinner it scared me.  But as time went on I learned to truly consider it as a possibility.  I can genuinely say that for the most part, it's easier to swallow than that first time.  Except it's still so frightening to me.  I'm nervous that when Babe says he'd be okay, he's far more comfortable with the idea than I ever will be.  That we are either of two separate mind sets with me waiting to catch up or that I never will.  

I know he wants kids.  I know that in my heart and soul.  But I also know as he, we, both get older and sleep and money become greater prized possessions, the idea of living a life free of larger responsibilities seems tempting.  I'm terrified about it though.

It's taken a while but I've finally finished In Cold Blood on my way back from NY.  Although it was an interesting read, I didn't care much for Capote's way of story telling.  If you're not familiar with it, it's the story of the Clutter family murders and how unnecessary (I don't know if that's the right word to use) it was.  A family, believed to hold large sums of cash in their home, was murdered by two men trying to make the perfect score. Then following the murderers in the aftermath up to and including their trial and subsequent hanging.  At times it almost felt as thought the writer was trying to gain sympathy for one murderer in particular.  I know many people who have had a rough life growing up and get irritated about the excuses that are made for poor decision making.

But now I've started the next one in line and am super intrigued.  It's called The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield.  It's fun reading about other readers and their passion for it.  Book Thief had the same effect on me. This one has me wanting to get to the end as quickly as possible and at the same time not read to fast so as not to miss any little detail.  I'm already halfway through it so given enough time, will probably finish it by the end of the week.  

There's no easy way to sum up our trip to the east coast.  What was expected to be a long 10 day vacation through Washington D.C., Gettysburg, PA and New York City was much more exciting than that.  We walked 75 miles to places like the Lincoln Memorial, US Capitol building, Gettysburg National Park, Arlington Cemetery, Time Square, Little Italy and Central Park.  My feet got blistery and hurt like hell but it truly was a once in a lifetime experience for us.

As I mentioned before, the D.C./Gettysburg leg of our trip was definitely for my husband and NY for me.  Surprisingly we both really enjoyed each others planning and were really gung ho about everything.  Much of the trip was expected but there were a few detours.  For example, due to a bad tour guide, we cut our Library of Congress trip short and added the National Archives.  When we noticed that Jennifer Hudson and Jessie J. were doing a sound check in the National Mall, we stopped to listen and sing along.  After finding out that our dinner location of choice was closed on Sundays, we drove to a little joint called Hank's Oyster Bar in Alexandria, VA.  In New York it was fun exploring places like Rockefeller Plaza and New York Public Library at the drop of a hat.

Here's just a couple of photos from our trip to share with you although they could never capture the sounds, smells and pride you get from being is such beautiful and historical places.  

I am having a blast this week. Our vacation just finished in DC and started in NYC and I couldn't be happier. 

After 6 days walking all over the place, we calculated that we've walked a total of 53 miles! Now that were in NY, the walking is less rushed and for me a whole lot more entertaining. Don't get me wrong, DC was incredible, but it was definitely more of Babe's thing. 

Now our dogs are resting as we settle in for an early night with warm almonds and a beer from Times Square. 

I'll update more when I get back and for now just leave you with this. 

Procrastination is something I'm an expert at.  Don't get me wrong, I'm excellent at planning and prepping but procrastination is on a whole different level for me.  What does that mean you ask?  Well, it means that while I've washed and folded 6 loads of laundry, purchased all our toiletries and printed our itineraries for the trip, I've yet to pack one bit of it.  We leave in 2 days and all those items are strewn about the house in various shopping bags and baskets.  

That also means that until we fly out, there's no way I'm going to have time to do almost anything else.  Which is only slightly okay with me.  You see, our vacation isn't exactly the relaxing kind.  No hanging out on the beach with a tropical cocktail.  Instead we'll be waking up bright and early Saturday morning to take a tour of the White House.  I mean the White House!  How cool is that?  So I may complain about having no down time for the next 18 days (between vacation, work and weddings) but I'm beyond pumped for it.  
Sometimes I just wish someone would ask me if I'm okay or how things are going with the doctor.  It makes me sad that they're either too fearful or don't care.  I want to be able to talk about it and share the good and the bad without having to make a pregnancy announcement.  Little victories are still victories and I want to be able to tell my friends and family.  

I've tried my hardest these last two years not to let our difficulties get in the way of relationships.  To be honest, other than a few quiet unfriendings to FB acquaintances I think I've done a pretty good job.  And it's not like I'm just sitting around waiting for people to ask me.  I try to bring it up so it's not such a taboo topic and people feel comfortable but not too much that people are sick of hearing about it.  It's a tricky thing to balance but I'm doing it, we're doing it.  It's just that I feel like I'm crying out sometimes but no one can hear me.

Here's a little tip if you ever go paintballing, take your glasses off before putting on the mask.  Otherwise they may get stuck in the mask and you'll wind up leaving them at the paintball park before you even realize they're gone. Yesterday, because it was time and because I need new glasses before my trip, I made an appointment with my eye doctor.  It was quite possibly the best time I've ever had at any doctor. 

Since I'm being treated for diabetes by my PCP, I got my eyes dilated for the first time.  Man that is a trippy experience. To top it off, I had totally forgotten that my work offers a free pair of glasses in addition to regular insurance, if your glasses are for computer usage and your job requires a lot of it.  That meant I got to pick out two pairs while my vision was quickly deteriorating.  It probably wasn't the best idea to choose them in that state but thankfully Babe helped after I figured out how to send picture texts to him of my selections.  I decided to use my free pair as my normal glasses and my insurance pair as polarized sunglasses.  As my doctor and the receptionist were adding up my out of pocket costs I seriously began to second guess my decision.  By the end the doctor simply said, "okay, you're all taken care of".  Wait, what!?  Not only was everything going to be covered but even my copay was waived.  AMAZING!  I seriously couldn't thank them enough for putting up with all my craziness.  

Then this morning Babe and I got notice that all of our tours were approved for DC!  We'll be going to the White House on Saturday morning then Library of Congress and US Capital on Veteran's day.  If you think I'm excited you should see Babe.  He never thought he'd have a chance to visit DC let alone walk in the White House.  I'm so happy for him.  

This week is a damn good week.

Last night as we were getting ready for bed, Babe decided to put Guy Code on.  Shortly after the intro, they began the first topic, "pregnancy scare".  Without saying anything, he picked up the remote and changed the channel.  It broke my heart.  Times like that I realize my stoic husband has heartache just like me.  That there is a loss in his life.  

Later that day we talked a little bit about our IF.  For the first time I truly realized that his fears are the same as mine. I'm terrified of being an awful mother unable to hold up to all the things I promise to do now.  Like not being pregnant and having kids really is because it's meant to be.  I hate that phrase.  But I'm also scared of it and apparently so is he.  

Wednesday night was a step in the right direction for us.  We'd attended a fertility seminar by a local RE.  At it, they were giving away free initial consultations with the RE and raffling $1000 worth of treatments.  Unfortunately we weren't the winners, but at least we learned some new valuable information.  It was also nice having Babe sitting beside me instead of me relaying information which is what normally happens.  In fact I asked him afterwards what if anything he learned for the first time.  His first response was "that the guy next to me had a huge ass" because he had to sit partially on my chair making me hang off the edge.  Lol.  The second was that he needed to cut down on drinking.  Mind you I've told him the same thing a ton of few times but all of a sudden the Dr. tells him and he's on it. WTF!  At least I can be thankful that he sees it now.  

My appointment with my new RE is officially set for December 3rd.  I'm so excited and nervous all at the same time. Today felt really great filling out a questionnaire that actually had IF related tests and terms on it.  It's the first time I've been asked about the length of my periods, the pain I endure, testing for progesterone, etc.  Mostly it feels surreal after two years to finally be at this point.  I know there's a long road ahead of us with more testing and possibly treatments before we can realize our dream of parenthood.  I'm just so excited to be at another major step.  

Thankfully there's so much going on between birthdays, baptisms, weddings and vacations to make the next 6 weeks fly by.

In honor of angel babies and the mothers, fathers and families who love them.

How could I forget?  Tonight is such a big deal for us and for some reason I've gone all morning without thinking about it.  It was probably a good thing because now that I remember tonight is our RE seminar I'm a little anxious.  For nothing of course since we don't even have a consult booked yet.  The greatest part about tonight is that we'll be given a free initial consult just for attending as well as be put into a raffle for $1000 worth of free fertility treatments at their office.  How exciting would that be!  

Yesterday I finally received a call back from my Gyn's office regarding my medical records.  Unfortunately I didn't have my medical records right in front of me so I could only go off of memory.  The office manager claimed she couldn't see the information I was talking about and didn't know why my Dr. never reviewed my tests with me.  Then she proceeded to tell me that I had indicated on my paperwork that I'd received an "office positive blood pregnancy test". She did however offer me a chance to sit down with the Dr. on staff to review my HSG & ultrasounds.  Today when I looked up the forms she was talking about, I could clearly see that there was not even an option to claim I had a positive blood test.  Needless to say, I have no intention of returning to the office after that.  

So now, I count down until I can finally be treated with proper care and can hopefully find out what is slowing us down from having babies of our own.  2 months 16 days.

Two days of nothing to read and I felt like I was going through withdrawals.  So last night, Babe and I went to the bookstore where we narrowed down my selections.  I couldn't decide between 8 different books and so we laid them all out while he gave me his suggestions.  Note that the Bible was actually a gift for our niece.  Anyway, according to him, I always complain after reading a Steven King book so that was nixed.  He thought The Distant Hours and Life After Life were both a little lame and set aside four of the five books I ended up taking home.  Can I tell you how much I love these trips.

After an hour in the store I finally decided on "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" by Mark Haddon, "And Then There Were None" by Agatha Christie, "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood, "The Thirteenth Tale" by Diane Setterfield and "In Cold Blood" by Truman Capote.  I've actually chosen to start off with "In Cold Blood" and I'm a little intrigued but that seems slightly demented.

I'm really excited about them all and can't wait to dive in.  Babe of course thinks it'll take me about a week to get through all of them but I give it a month.  

This weekend I started a new book that I'm liking a lot so far.  It's called The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom.  When we were in the bookstore buying it, Babe kept suggesting other books I should read and noted that he can now pick what I might like without asking.  Sure enough, many that he showed me are on my Amazon wish list for future reading.  

As for the last book, And The Mountains Echoed was decent but definitely not my favorite of Khaled Hosseini's.  **Spoiler alert**  The story was piece parted together with little stories of one family and their origins.  It jumped between 3 generations and different members quite frequently which surprisingly wasn't difficult to follow.  What I didn't like was that many of the stories were left unfinished by the time the book was finished.  Again, I don't need a tidy ending, just something to tie them all together.  I'm glad I read it, but I was expecting so much more.  

I took the plunge today and signed up for medical insurance through my employer.  Over the last month I called, I questioned, I priced and I planned which of our options would be best for this upcoming year.  With all of that, there are still a ton of unknowns and last minute decisions that still may be made.  The decision though, has made me super ecstatic considering it all kind of fell into place.  

Once my choices were narrowed down to two, I gave my potential RE's office a call to see which they accepted. Turns out, the cheapest option of all of them is the only insurance they will accept. What's even better, is that my portion is 100% free and Babe's is only about $39 a month!  Can you believe that?  How many people can say they have free insurance?  

The new insurance should give us 50% coverage for testing and treatment PLUS I can keep my current doctor.  At this point Babe and I don't know why we didn't do this sooner.  

Being emotional is not my thing.  Or more accurately, I hate that being emotional is my thing these days. My temps started dropping yesterday and are officially below my coverline.  When Babe happily mentioned that this was the month, I quickly retorted then regretted with "it's not going to happen, my temps dropped and I'm spotting".  I have to remember he's with me on this.  

So now I'm sitting at my desk imagining the questions I'm going to undoubtedly have to answer this weekend. Questions that I want asked so I can have a chance to talk about it but that I'm also somewhat dreading.  It'll be the first time in a long time that I've been with just my family.  My large family of mostly women and their 13 children from 3 months to 14 years.  It'll definitely be bitter-sweet.  Then we plan on seeing our best friends J&C since their baby was born over a month ago.  I feel so bad that it's been so long but also a little sad with the reality of it.  

Then there's the fact that we have officially been trying to conceive for 2 full years now.  It's not an experience I would wish on anyone, though sometimes I wish they'd understand it better.  So tonight I plan on cuddling with my man on our couch starting our annual scary movie marathon and drinking large amounts of wine or saki or both.  Too bad it's going to be 100° otherwise the fireplace would definitely be burning.

Normally I don't post daily let alone more than one in a day.  Today however there's a lot on my mind and I didn't want to crowd it into one post.  

Last night I dreamt that Babe and I adopted a baby boy from the Dominican Republic.  It was a beautiful dream because I knew that my heart belonged in the Dominican just a little bit more now.  I remember being in love with this little boy and being anxious to see him grow up.  This morning when I woke up I told E about the dream.  He asked how I felt while it was happening.  The only thing I told him was that I felt bad our little boy had less of a chance to be a professional baseball player by coming back to the states.  Silly I know.  

This morning I did a little research about DR adoptions and as part of the requirements both parents have to be 30 or older and be married for 5 or more years.  I sent the link to E.  His response, "seems like it is lining up".  

It never occurred to me to consider adoption where we got married.  I'd always considered foreign adoption to be from Russia, China, Mexico, etc.  But what better place than where my heart is.  Something new and beautiful to consider.

It's been a long week.  A somewhat emotional, extremely frustrating long week chalked full of more questions than answers.  Except, I should expect that by now.

A few weeks ago I had requested my medical records from my OB/Gyn in preparation for seeing an RE.  Something I now regret I waited so long to ask for.  I finally received them Wednesday night and decided to look over the 5 page document before bed.  What I found has literally had me in shock wondering what my next steps should be.

First off the report started with the sentence, quotes included, "I can't get pregnant".  Most people probably wouldn't think anything of that sencentence except Babe and I were both a dumbfounded at how insensitive it sounded.  Also included was information as if I'd had a pap smear and physical conducted at their office which I hadn't.  Then the report said I'd had a positive blood pregnancy test at their office, again something that I'd never done.  Surprisingly he also noted a concern with Babe's SA even though during our conversation he said it looked normal and nothing to be concerned about at all.
Next I passed on to the HSG and ultrasound reports that were conducted in April.  As mentioned the HSG found that my left tube flowed slowly.  What I didn't know however that my ultrasound report stated there were subcentimeter myometrical cysts and focal cystic change as well as a tilted and T-shaped uterus.  At the time of the transvaginal ultrasound I was on CD 10 and my uterine lining was also only 4mm thick.  Not once in all the calls I made to my doctors office was any of this mentioned even when I suspected endometriosis.  In fact, my doctor said it all looked fine and that I should continue to try naturally on our own for a while before seeing him again.  

So now what do I do?  Well, I've left a message with the office manager to see if they could explain the many discrepencies to me.  I'm not expecting much in the way of a return phone call.  So in the meantime, I plan on calling my insurance to see if they've been billed for services I never received.  Lastly, I plan on waiting until we visit the RE's office for the first time.  The girls from 3T suggest that he may have all the tests done again so I can be assured they were done properly.  I'm more than happy if that's what's needed.  

I'm still a little shocked at the results and furious that this information was withheld until now.  

I am officially done with crazy book.  Thank goodness!  It was such a train-wreck and so difficult to follow in spurts which made it hard to keep my interest.  To help get me through it though, I did read through all of Gone Girl and had my next book ready and waiting. My next book is... drum roll please... And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini.

If you haven't read Khaled Hosseini before, I feel very sorry for you. No I'm just kidding.  But seriously, his books Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns are quite possibly two of my favorite books.  Reading them is the epitome of immersing yourself in a world you never would have experienced in your everyday life. They're moving and so powerfully written, I just can't describe it. One of my coworkers lost her father who brought the passion of reading into her life.  Since then she hasn't been able to pick up a book and follow it all the way through.  I lent her my copy of Kite Runner and now there isn't a spare moment I don't turn around to see her nose in a new book.  

Okay so my point is, please read these two books if you haven't already.  Please.  Now I can't vouch for his newest one, And The Mountains Echoed, but I'm hoping it's just as great as his others. As soon as I'm done I'll let you know.  

Besides reading, I've been pretty busy with the rest of my life.  The Walk of Hope was this past Sunday and I'm so glad I went.  It was the smallest walk I've ever participated in but it was great nonetheless.  There was a moment when we had made it all the way to the pier and turned around to walk back and I could see all the people who had been walking behind us.  It made me tear up knowing each of these people had overcome the taboo topic of infertility to come together for them or someone they love.  It made me so proud to be apart of it.  

Afterwards we had lunch with our OC friends since we were in the area. These are friends who live more than an hour a way but try to make it out to the I.E. whenever they can.  It had been almost six months since the last time we saw each other and it always feels like home when I see them.  Last year Babe and I had inadvertently thrown a naughty Christmas party for all our friends and we had been considering making it a tradition.  How do you do that you ask? Well you look up synonyms for a white elephant and send out an invite with the words "dirty santa" with a totally innocent mind.  Then your husband answers yes when asked, "are we supposed to bring 'dirty' gifts".  Everyone got pretty creative especially our OC friends.  Well over lunch they had told us the gift they received from us had been the topic of conversation among their friends and were excited for us to throw another one.  So it looks like we're doing it again this year. Except, how do we top this...

Am I happy with my life?  I ask myself this question from time to time, usually when I'm starting to feel like I'm not. Almost always my marriage is the first thing I think about and think about how blessed I am to be a part of it.  Babe truly is my best friend and although I can't stand some of his quirks sometimes, nearly every day I feel like I've never loved him more.  

As an extension of that, our family life has its ups and downs.  I'd really like to have a baby, more than one actually and sometimes I feel this huge loss of something that's not there.  Then there are times when I realize what will need to be sacrificed once we do start our family.  Things that even with our best intentions we might have to pass on like vacations, spontaneous day trips, brew hopping, etc.  Sacrifices I'm beyond willing to make but at the same time will miss.  

Next comes thinking about work.  I took this job with the hope that should we become pregnant my salary could hopefully be supplemented so I could be a stay at home mom. Two years and four months later and I'm feeling like a glorified paper pusher.  Don't get me wrong, I'm very grateful for having a job and income, I just wish I enjoyed it more.  

Mostly I'm very happy with the way things have turned out.  I could get into all sorts of other subjects that shape my life and how I feel about them but I won't.  I'd much rather dwell on what's important to me and the person I want to be.  

I've been an emotional wreck the last couple of days.  Yesterday I even asked Babe to back off because I needed space.  I'd rather him be mad at me for that then blowing up on something so stupid.  There's no real reason for my melodrama, just me being stupid.  It started after we received a wedding invitation in the mail.  We had made plans in advance around it and instead of sticking to the plans, we both had other ideas.  Then I got frustrated that I was ovulating and getting pushed aside until the very last minute.  Of course I then didn't want to fool around because who wants to make a baby when you're arguing.  It was all very silly and I felt stupid about it.

Anyway, in the DD household there are a couple of other very exciting things happening this weekend.  Babe was asked to be our nieces Godfather so we're going to get some paperwork squared away at the San Gabriel Mission. Then on Sunday we're doing our very first Walk of Hope in Long Beach.  Resolve is putting this event on to bring awareness and raise awareness for infertility.  I'm hoping that there will be a ton of resources available to us there as well as some great networking opportunities.  So much for a quiet weekend staying home and cleaning.

I feel like I'm playing double dutch, or more accurately, I'm prepping to jump into the double dutch ropes.  Open enrollment begins with my company September 15th, less than one week from now. Until then my benefits office hasn't released any plan information. For Babe's employer, it doesn't begin until around October which is when mine ends. Sure there is probably room for changes should I need it, but that's the least of my worries.  

We've started to lean towards finding an RE prior to our coverage period should their financial department be able to help us choose.  With that information I've started to do research on RE's in the area and even those outside of it. Yesterday I contacted one about 30 minutes from my home who told me that an initial consultation would cost $150 without insurance coverage.  Today I read reviews on one in my own city that offers a free seminar with consultation. Both seem reputable and have great reviews on third party sites.  However the one in the I.E. would normally cost $300+ for an initial consultation leading me to believe that their costs are more than the other.  

Like this blog, my brain is taking me in so many different directions I'm not really sure which is the best decision.  For now, we've scheduled a free consultation at the I.E. RE's office for October 15th.  Which incidentally will be 2 years since we've stopped all birth control and the day before Babe's birthday.  

This morning I bit the bullet and called the RE's office that I'm interested in going to in the coming year.  The woman who answered the phone was so kind and wasn't put off at all by my bizarro questions about coverage.  I wonder if they get it all the time.  

So I found out that a consult with the RE will cost $150 at which time he may or may not order additional testing.  The receptionist seemed pleasantly surprised when I listed off the tests I'd already had done through my Gynecologists office but wasn't sure if the doctor would want them repeated or not.  Either way, I think I'm going to talk to Babe tonight about making an appointment soon.  It may help to find out if our 2015 insurance options will work there. Right now, I'm feeling a mixture of happiness and excitement.  Who knew this process would bring so many tears of happiness along with sadness.  

It's also brought with it its share of financial cost.  Just this morning my thermometer crapped out on me so I wasn't able to take my bbt.  I'm still taking my temps at 5:45 even though I'm back to my regular work schedule.  I'll keep it up through this cycle just to keep my charting consistent.  But at 5:45 when I know I have an hour more to sleep, no lights and loud beeping coming from a crappy thermometer, I have no other option than to go back to sleep.  Waking up to see if it could be fixed wasn't worth it.  So this afternoon I ran to Walgreens during lunch to see if I could buy a replacement.  The only ones I could find were for infants and toddlers and when I finally got someone to help me, she kept asking if I was "trying".  Without being rude I simply overstepped the question and thanked her for her help. Hopefully this thermometer has a longer shelf life than the last, which by the way was not cheap.  

So there have been quite a few things happening since my last post.  First off, I finally introduced myself on the 3T board.  It felt right and has turned out to be much better than I was expecting.  So far I haven't become obsessed with my IF and it hasn't been all consuming.

Baby D was born to J&C 8/28 weighing over 6 lbs.  According to the doctors he was a micro-preemie since he was born at 35 weeks.  The general consensus is that the doctors had the wrong due date and that he's only a week early and not 5. Baby D and mommy were both okay and are home now.

Babe is finally back to working normal 8 hour days instead of the grueling 16 hour ones.  In celebration, he, his brothers and his dad planned a trip to Vegas.  While he was away I planned to pick our nephew up from preschool for his dad and help my sister-in-law out a bit as well as feed my father-in-law's dog.  In two days I basically drove all over southern California to do an airport drop-off, hang out with my sister, feed pets, pick up kids, dinner and watch soccer games.  By Saturday night I was beat.  Thankfully Babe was just as exhausted when he got home that all we did was sleep.

At some point this weekend I mentioned to him that there was a Resolve Walk of Hope happening this month in Long Beach.  It's something that I literally just ran across and thought it might be a good time to network and find IF resources.  Interestingly enough he said that while they were in Vegas, his brother asked us how things had been going and if both of us had been tested.  Babe of course had to brag that in the average SA there are 20 million sperm per ounce and that he had 90 million.  They talked a little bit about IVF and adoption and which ones we were considering depending on how the next year or so go.  Two great things came out of it.  One, everyone we're close to now knows and I didn't have to be the one to share it.  And two, it's reassuring to know Babe has these conversations with his brothers and that he feels at all comfortable discussing our IF.  It made me all warm and fuzzy hearing him tell me about it.  Hopefully he'll be comfortable enough to join me at the walk in a couple of weeks too.  

Last night we received a text message from our friends who are pregnant with their second son due in October.  Early last night her water broke and so they were admitted into the hospital.  Without contractions, and her first being born cesarean section, the plan was to get her to wait until 6:30 this morning before they would deliver the baby.

I'm anxiously awaiting news that mom and baby are both healthy and fine.  Hopefully we're able to meet the little guy after work today.  In the meantime, I just keep praying that everything is alright.  

Being second born has its advantages and disadvantages.  For one, our parents have started to figure out parenthood and tend to be more lenient than with our older sibling.  At least that's the case in both mine and Babe's families.  On the flip side, both Babe's older brother and my older sister are both done having kids.  The first grandchildren in the family.  Who, as the oldest, have inherited many of our childhood toys, books and even cherished heirlooms.  

Dealing with IF causes you to mourn things you never thought you would.  As silly as it is, these are some of the things I've mourned.  Knowing that my children will never have the collection of books that my mom read to us growing up or the beautiful rocking chair that their grandmother rocked their dad in as a little boy.  In conversations with my mom and father-in-law recently, I've begun to notice these items being given away without giving us the consideration.  I'm not sure what is more hurtful, that our parents didn't even consider us, or they did and believed we may never need them.  

I know this cycle is a bust.  I know this because my temps have dropped below my coverline at 5 (or 9 depending on which ovulation day you pick) dpo, much like they've done before.  Only this time, I'm not entirely sad.  This month I've done a good job of looking towards open enrollment and planning for the coming year. Last week I got the first open enrollment email reminder.  Now if they'll just publish the options and rates I can get started.  As far as my charts are concerned, I'm not sure how much I trust FF this cycle.  My most fertile cervical fluid, my ovulation pain and my tests all point to me ovulating on Saturday the 15th.  However my temperatures didn't spike until Thursday the 21st causing FF to label the 20th as ovulation day. 

Has anyone else had any trouble with FF charts not being accurate?