I wish things were black and white.  I wish there were definitive answers to all these questions I have about IF. Things would be so much easier that way.  I'm on day 36 or day 1 of my cycle.  I say that because I'm spotting bright red which makes me lean towards not starting my new cycle.  Then again last months cycle was about four days of just spotting.  This of course can be attributed to an anovulatory cycle which is what I think happened. Anyway, the reason why I want to know so badly is because I cannot schedule my HSG until the day I start my period.  That way the lab can accurately schedule me anywhere between cycle days 7-11.  It's all just so vague.  

On a side note, I'm becoming more and more happy with my doctors and mostly my insurance carrier.  I say that because I've had to contact Cigna a lot in the last couple of months for things like coding, specific coverage and even contract verbiage.  Other than their ridiculous automated voice system when you first call, they've been nothing but kind and helpful.  Never once hesitating when answering any of my questions.  I'm actually pretty impressed.  What's funny is you would think my experience would be skewed considering how bad my last one was.  Nope, this time it's really that good.  I almost wish I didn't wait so long to make changes.  All that time I kept making excuses for them and thinking it had to be me.  Now not so much.

Apparently I bitched so much about spending our vacation on the sandy beaches in Mexico that my husband actually agreed!  Unfortunately I soon realized that he would be so worried about our safety the whole time that he wouldn't have time to relax and enjoy himself.  So instead we figured out a trip that would make both of us happy, Washington, D.C. to New York, NY!  

We're going for 10 days beginning in Washington, taking a day trip to Gettysburg and then riding the Amtrak up to New York.  I've managed to book all the flights, car for Gettysburg, train to New York and hotels. So now all the working pieces are in order and all we have to do is wait.  Problem is I was efficient enough to plan enough in advance but now I'm impatient and wish the trip was coming up.  Unfortunately we have to wait until November.  

Now that we're planning though, I'm getting super excited about DC and Gettysburg too.  And I think Babe is getting excited about NY, which he's never had any interest in visiting.  As planned as we are, the thrill of spontaneity always makes our vacations more exciting.  We know how and when we're getting around but other than that, nothing else is planned.  There's going to be a lot to see in such a short amount of time but I'm excited I get to experience it all for the first time with my best friend.  He's definitely the best part of all these trips.  

If anyone is reading this, I'd love suggestions on great places to visit that aren't the tourist hot spots. Something off the beaten path that would make our trip that much more enjoyable.  

I have a wild imagination.  One little thing can tip it off and suddenly I am running various scenarios in my head.  The what-ifs are common for most people, especially IFers.  Last night as I got ready for bed and looked over my charts for the day I realized, I'm supposed to start my period today.  My cycles, which are pretty timely run about 34 days long and have only varied one other time in the last 18 months.  By now though, I'm used to having cramps, cravings, headaches, the whole nine yards in the week before and light spotting in the two days leading up to it.  Then I start to think, have I had any pregnancy symptoms?  Well my nipples have been sore for over a week, I'm more exhausted than usual and I was nauseous morning before last.  Nothing that would have me stop in my tracks though.  

Instead of talking myself down right away I begin to fantasize.  If I were pregnant now, would I have a boy or a girl? My sister-in-law just had a girl and my sister is about to have a boy.  Either way he/she would be less than a year younger than its new cousins.  When would I be due?  Probably around the end of November.  Wait, we just booked our vacation at the beginning of November.  The airlines won't let me fly that late would they?  Would they let me cancel?   Could we reschedule and just take him/her with us?  How old do pediatricians recommend your baby be before they can travel?  Would it be smart, we may not enjoy ourselves having an infant with us.  Oh hey, he/she would be here in time for Christmas and all the fun that comes along with it.  

This line of thinking felt like it went on for hours until I finally caught myself and realized how truly silly it all sounded. The reality is, I'm probably not pregnant.  As I said, it's been a year and a half and we've only truly had one pregnancy scare/hope one time and that was over a year ago.  My body doesn't feel any different than normal except for the lack of PMS symptoms I usually get which could really start at any time.  It makes me wonder though, will I ever have the feeling of being pregnant and like many other moms, just know that's it's really happening?  Will I ever be able to make a pregnancy announcement to my husband and us to our family and friends?  Will the questions about when we're going to start our family ever get easier?  

For now I just have to keep looking forward and tell myself things might be turning around.  Looking forward to actually starting my period so that I can finally schedule my HSG, begin my metformin and take on this next cycle like it's my bitch.  Because that is what I have to work with and that's okay for now.  

This weekend was incredibly fun and exhausting all at the same time.  So much so that I went to bed at 8:30 last night at the ripe old age of 29.  So where to begin?

We didn't have any plans until 6:30 Saturday night so of course I felt like I could take on the world in that amount of time.  We drove to Home Depot to get a few different plants for this seasons veggie garden.  I'm still trying to find the right combination of edibles that doesn't require me to water or garden more than I know I'm capable of.  In the past I've planted far too many tomato plants which in turn overtake my 12' x 4' foot raised garden bed.  This year I'm sticking to one tomato plant, my Serrano chilies, cilantro, basil red and now yellow bell peppers and after this weekend added sweet and snacking peppers and stevia all for Babe.  I'm really hoping I've finally got it down this year and that I don't have to continue to make modifications.  

After the plants were all added and the grass watered I realized that the sprinklers were unnecessarily watering my driveway.  So instead of interrupting my husband during his much needed personal time, I grabbed a screw driver and fiddled around.  It took some time but I finally got them working exactly how they should.  Then I took a break indoors to do some laundry, clean the kitchen and to do some more quilting.  My top is all mapped out after this weekend and sometime this week I'll just have to piece it all together.  
I'm really excited about it now that I see how it's coming along.  Since there is no free motion quilting to this one, I'm hoping I can have it done in time for my visit with them next Monday.  Once it was all laid out, we went back outside to chop cut hammer some wood for a bonfire we were going to have at a friends house.  With just enough time to spare I put together some corn dip by birthday boy's request and we headed over to their house.  

I was originally really excited to be there and hang out with our friends and my godson.  That part was exactly what I was hoping for.  I quickly realized upon arrival that we were going to be the odd couple out.  We were the only couple within childbearing age that wasn't within 6 months of popping a kid out.  There were 5 other couples, three of them were pregnant and the other two had infants younger than 6 months old.  Inevitably the conversation went there and I had to do a little sidestepping to avoid the dreaded question "so what about you".  I couldn't take it this weekend.  Not from strangers and not when I've done my very best to be happy for everyone else around me.  Like a bum I ended up inside hiding out while everyone else had a blast.  Plus I was hoping while I was away my friend would say something for me instead of having to worry the question would come up again. I was genuinely tired from my afternoon though so I had a little bit of an excuse.

Sunday was just as hectic.  Since my brother-in-law was busy with his new baby and sick toddler this week, we didn't have a chance to properly celebrate his birthday.  So Sunday we all headed over there to spend the evening.  With the new baby around it's giving us aunties and uncles a chance to spend more quality time with our nephew.  So all afternoon we played baseball, climbed trees, swung on the swings, dug up worms, anything and everything to keep a three year old busy.  By the end of the night he had still outdone us and we ended up going home to sleep like babies.  

Now that the weekend's over I'm really looking forward to my bed all week.  That and a little Icy-Hot and Jacuzzi time for all the squatting I did this weekend.

The year of babies is well under way beginning with my niece being born just a few short days ago.  The very next day we found out Babe's cousin N will also be having a girl due August 16th.  But even before that, my sister has a planned cesarean on Friday, April 18th.  If all goes as planned we will be welcoming a new little boy to her family that day.  

In the meantime I plan on putting together the same meals that I did for my Babe's brother and wife as well as making another cute little baby quilt.  The plan for this one is to do a gray and baby blue chevron pattern on the top and back it with a cutie monster fabric I found at Joann's.  I just started on Sunday and don't have many pictures yet but here's a start.  

I'm a little more nervous this time around because there is no patterned fabric to hide my mistakes behind.  It's so much more geometrical than I'm used to and I'm really just hoping it turns out halfway decent.  I've already cut and sewn all the blocks.  Tonight I have to press the seams open and then plan out the top.  I'm going to be sad when I don't have anymore quilts to make though.

Every once in a while I get the urge to join the Bumps 3T board to join in on the conversation and be support to someone else.  It's something that comes up every time I lurk through the most recent posts.  The reason I hesitate to join in now is that I'm to an extent, okay with where we're at.  I have a lot of great things happening in my life right now from my marriage to doctors and everything in between.  I know things could be better and I often get down on myself. The reality is though, when I overwhelm myself with IF thoughts, I begin to feel like I'm in a hole I can't get out of.  It's a big reason why I try to not only focus on IF in this blog.  

My personality is one that gets obsessed with emotions if I let myself get to that point.  Right now I really don't want to be there.  I want to be positive, hopeful, happy and think only of the good things that might possibly come.  Blogging has truly been therapeutic for me and at this moment, I'm content with it.  

The girls on the 3T board seem lovely and I wish I could reach through my computer screen and hug some of them. And if the time comes that I feel I need to speak with people who are in a similar situation as me I would not hesitate to introduce myself to them.  Until I'm there though, I'm going to continue to post my thoughts mixed in with anecdotes of my nephews and niece along with pictures of my newest projects I've found time to begin.  It's what works for me now.  

With that I'm going to leave you with a little something that made Monday even more significant for my family.  Since my mother-in-law passed (three years ago Friday), we've been constantly reminded of her through hummingbirds.  I know we're probably more aware of them since her passing but I tend to think at least God has a hand in it to put a smile on our faces when we see them.  Some of the interesting times they've shown up was during my sister-in-laws baby shower, during my brother-in-laws graduation and following us as we walked to the Gorilla exhibit at her zoo to scatter her ashes.  Most recently though, we were at the hospital and everyone else had gone home.  My father-in-law, brothers-in-law, sister-in-law and niece were all in the room looking out at my nephew, my husband and I playing outside their window and just above us flew this tiny hummingbird just long enough to snap a photo before flying away.  

My niece NJF was born shortly after yesterday afternoons post and I couldn't be happier for my brother and sister-in-law.  Momma and baby are both doing well other than a little bit of blood pressure issues with my sister-in-law.  She was born weighing 7 lbs 1 oz and 21" little.  

The weekend leading up to her birth I was amped to finish her quilt finally which I did.  

Then I had a brilliant idea last week that I needed to make happen since we knew it was just a matter of time until she arrived.  I picked up some individual foil meal containers from the dollar store and set out to make 4 separate dinners for both mommy and daddy that they could reheat individually.  I don't consider myself a very good cook and have a hard time deviating from recipes.  So for the four dishes I chose:

  1. Sautee chicken - sauteed onions and bell peppers mixed with chicken and wheat pasta.
  2. Green chicken and cheese enchilada casserole - Pretty straight forward.  Stacked shredded chicken, corn tortillas and monterey jack cheese sauced with Las Palmas green enchilada sauce from the store.  I chose to do it casserole style simply because the corn tortillas fit perfectly in the little pans.
  3. Chicken with snow peas - My modified version of Pioneer Woman's Beef with Snow Peas recipe. 
  4. Baked penne in meat sauce - I should probably post the recipe to my meat sauce here one day but for now I'll just say that I've been craving this dish since I made it.  Aside from the meat sauce it had basil and ricotta cheese all topped with shredded mozzarella. 

I went shopping for all the ingredients, went to two hockey games and still got back in time to finish all four dishes (two servings each).  Hey when I want to prove babe wrong, I won't stop at anything.  

Now I must get going because it's almost time for me to rush over to the hospital and shower my niece with more love than she can dare handle.  

So today I'm posting from the road (or my phone) while I wait for my niece to be born. Hopefully tomorrow we'll have seen her sweet little face.
Three years ago today my husband lost his mom to breast cancer after only being diagnosed 9 short months before. Through this stupid thing that we're dealing with I wish more than anything I could pick up the phone and talk to her.

We're regularly reminded of her through hummingbirds that visit us at the most important times in our lives.  Maybe it's just because we're looking for them but either way, they bring more comfort knowing she's looking down on us and has a hand in what's going on.  The time we thought we were pregnant I was on my way to visit her grave site by myself and spotted two hummingbirds.  I know as difficult as not having her here combined with us struggling to get pregnant makes for a ton of emotions.  But I know she's taking care of things for us.

"I regularly get the urge to share every day life with Janine and am quickly reminded that I can't just pick up the phone. Those fleeting moments when I think nothing has changed makes me happy.  We miss her so much.  We miss laughing with her and seeing the little ones playing with her.  We miss her spunky attitude and the pride she showed for her sons,  We miss hearing her stories and sharing our milestones.  And every day we miss how much joy she would have being a Nona to a sweet little boy and a soon to be granddaughter (something we never thought would happen).  But her legacy lives on in them and in us.  We love you Janine.  You are so incredibly missed." 

I'm back from a short hiatus in which Babe had to get his two bottom wisdom teeth removed.  Thankfully it all went well and he's doing as good as can be expected.  Now I have some catching up to do.  

The past weekend was as usual busy.  We finished (or I should really be say Babe finished) 3 house projects by Saturday.  We cleared out an old desk and reorganized our filing, then he installed shelving in my sewing room closet and reorganized the garage.  My job was to clean up after him.  Then on Sunday we went to my brother and sister-in-laws house to celebrate my sweet nephews 3rd birthday.  

Monday before Babe's appointment, I went to get blood work drawn that my PCP ordered.  This was to check my glucose levels since I've been off of Metformin for about a year.  We couldn't figure out why my last PCP took me off of it and we wanted to be sure it was the right decision.  Today I got the results and was told my levels are just slightly elevated, much better than before, and that it was my choice if I wanted to go back on the Metformin.  I decided since I wasn't going to be on Clomid with my gynecologist that I would take the minimum dosage of Metformin to help with my blood sugar and fertility.  Hopefully that helps things along as well.  

As time goes on I've noticed one thing about myself.  I've noticed that I have a new hope in medicine which I haven't had in a long time.  I'm getting excited for my HSG and now the thought of taking the Metformin.  What's funny is I still have about 2 1/2 weeks before my next period is expected to start and I can even schedule my HSG.  At that time we will have been trying for a year and 6 months yet I feel like things are just beginning for us.  I know in my head there are no guarantees any of this will work.  It's just such a relief to be working towards something and not twiddling my thumbs at home waiting.

So tonight after work I'm going to pick up my new prescription, go home, take care of my husband and do some quilting.  It's a good life I lead.  Some days it's hard and some days I can't breath but most days I love it and am looking forward to the next big adventure.  

Vacation planning is one of my favorite and one of my least favorite tasks.  The reality is, if I had my way, we would be sipping long islands on the beach Cozumel, MX.  Since couples vacations usually involve more than just one person, I guess I have to share the planning process with my husband.  There are two things that bother me about this.  The first is Babe is more of a planner and I am more spontaneous.  I'd be happy with making the decision with only a couple of options to choose from.  Because of that, a vacation would be booked within a few days of my initial search. Babe on the other hand needs data, plenty of options and everything laid out in front of him.  I don't mind compiling this information for him at all.  It actually gets me more pumped for the potential vacation.  Unfortunately though, I usually spend hours upon hours gathering data for us to either completely change direction or for him to take over because it's not what he was looking for.  This process gets tiresome.  The second reason is that Babe is more cautious than I am.  I'm of the mindset that if something were to happen to me, it was meant to be that way.  It's one of the reasons I have no problem riding rickety carnival rides that whip you upside down and backwards.  But back on topic.  Babe doesn't like to step outside of his safe zone which means that trips outside of the country have certain limitations.  For starters I just got him comfortable with the idea of going to Mexico after years of prodding.  Going to a closed off resort in Mexico is different from exploring the area and sightseeing.  It may take another couple of years to get him there.  

So right now I'm in the process of narrowing down our options which are Mexico (the Gulf coast specifically), Washington DC/Gettysburg, and New Orleans.  Of the three, Mexico seems to offer the best combination of activities verses relaxation.  I would love to go to DC, I just know my PolySci major husband will want to pack as much into the trip leaving us needing a vacation after "vacation".  Then there's New Orleans.  Although it would be a cool place to be, I just don't see having enough to do there and it might be a little too boring.  With all that in mind, I'm trying not to be too bias in my offerings of hotels, flights and attractions.

On a side note, this is the first vacation we've planned that I'm not concerned what would happen if I were in pregnant. Surprisingly it's something that's been hard to do.

March and May tend to be the busiest months in Babe and my families respectively.  In March we celebrate 4 birthdays, 1 birth, my in-laws wedding anniversary and also have the added weight of the anniversary of my mother-in-laws passing.  March is usually a lot of fun hanging out with family and friends.  Every once in a while it's stressful though and may be hard to get to posting on some of the more tiresome days.  

Last night, kicked off the funner festivities with a little get together for my three year old nephews birthday.  My brother-in-law and sister-in-law hosted immediate family for dinner, cake and present opening.  This year to honor being in their new house, we all pitched in to help pay for a new jungle gym and swing set for their back yard.  With the new baby coming we thought it would help him get his wiggles out where he's not wreaking havoc.  

While we were there my sister-in-law showed us some of the decorations she's planning on putting up in the baby's room.  Surprise, surprise, they're the exact colors and shades I was using for her quilt!  That got me super pumped to finish it as soon as possible.  

I know the quilt looks Christmasy in this picture but it's actually more pink and green/blue than red.  Anyway, as you can see I've completed the whole quilt top.  What you cannot see is that I've basted it with the other layers (batting and a purple dotted minky fabric) and have already begun my first attempt at free motion quilting.  Free motion quilting is a technique used to make those pretty designs to attach the fabric together. So far I'm not too thrilled with my first design.  Thankfully though it only takes up a really small portion of the quilt.  The design I'm working on next is a modified Greek key in honor of her parents honeymoon location. 

Depending on how busy the next month is, I should finish the whole thing in the next week or two.  I can't wait to give it to them and be able to start on my nephews.  

Through my time lurking on The Bumps 3T I've come to learn a few things.  Unfortunately for me, I have a hard time remembering to take information with me whenever I visit the doctor.  So when my Gyn prescribed me 100mg of Clomid and asked that I come in for 21 day labs to check my progesterone, I figured that fulfilled the "monitoring" I keep reading about.  Over the weekend though, I continued reading posts that threw up a ton of red flags.

The first being, Clomid with all it's side affects, is usually only safe up to 6 cycles in one lifetime.  Second, it can be prescribed in 50mg incremental dosages with a max of what looks like 150mg.  Lastly, because there is a tendency to conceive multiples, to produce cysts and drastically thin out the lining of your uterus it should be monitored by pre-ovulatory blood tests and pre & post-ovulatory ultrasounds.  With all of this knowledge, I contacted Dr. R's office to see if these tests were available to me.  I was told that because I was not giving myself injections of HCG (no idea what that is right now) and since Dr. R was not a fertility specialist, he did not offer that service.  

Over the last few days I've weighed that information over and over in my head.  The fact that without all of these tests my doctor was willing to prescribe me 100mg which is twice the usual recommended introduction makes me a little wary.  I have 6 chances in my life to use this drug which has no guarantee.  Do I really want to waste it and hope that it doesn't cause irreversible damage to my reproductive system before I ever set foot into a fertility specialists office? We don't have the insurance to cover a specialists testing nor do we have the money to pay out of pocket at this early stage.  

Reluctantly I shared this information with Babe to affirm my decision.  He agreed that the best course of action would be to pass on the Clomid for now.  If at the start of the year we're still in the same situation, we will have new insurance to cover these tests.  At that point I will feel more comfortable being properly tested and confirming the right dosage.  As gung ho as I was to be racing ahead after being stagnant, I really want to make sure I'm making the right choices.  After all, baby steps aren't all that bad.