When is it okay to use the phrase "and that's why you don't have kids"?  The answer is NEVER.  Never should you ever utter those words to someone.  I guarantee you that if you say it to a person/couple dealing with IF, it will scar them deeply.  

This weekend we had some friends over for a BBQ.  While we were playing a card game I heard these exact words said to my husband across the table.  The person who said them was probably a little intoxicated but I was not and I heard everything.  And although he shares a bromance with my husband where they don't commiserate over our IF struggles, he is well aware of them.  I didn't want to start anything so I stayed quiet.  Later that night as we were going to bed I asked Babe what he thought.  He said drunk or not, he would probably have said it anyway.

This relationship is one I'm already struggling with and now I seriously would rather set it aside.  I don't need that kind of negativity in my life.  Aside from the douchey things he said all night long to myself and our other guests, this was by far the thing that stuck with me most.  

Thank goodness we decided not to test this cycle because I would totally be freaking out.  According to Fertility Friend I haven't ovulated this cycle.  Never mind the obvious thermal shift above the 98.0° coverline.  It was so strange because as I entered in the data on cycle day (CD) 22, the Fertility Friend app confirmed ovulation for CD 18. However the next day when I entered data for CD 23 I received a message that read "Your pattern has changed enough for Fertility Friend to re-assess your interpretation.  Your data no longer shows an ovulation pattern that we can identify."  

What's even more bizarre is that was not my first temp post ovulation that was at the 98.0° mark.  As you can see from the chart above, I also had one on CD 21.  I guess it would have actually been better to have tested with OPK's but oh well.  Right now I'm just biding my time until my next cycle starts.

Family relationships are hard.  They're more involved, more emotional, have a ton of history and very few filters.  But they are just that, relationships.  Like every relationship you have to choose to cultivate it.  It takes just as much work if not more to maintain them from other relationships.  We all know how they can be much trickier than other relationships as well.  

I'm a big believer that blood is not always thicker than water.  You get in what you put out and if family doesn't want a relationship with you or only wants what you can give them, it doesn't mean you have to stick around to be their fallback.  

Lately it's been difficult dealing with some.  I'm trying really hard to be supportive and I'm sure I'm lacking a bit.  I also feel though that there's an expectation of me to always be there whenever they're in need of something.  That I should be the one put on the back burner when plans change.  Only now, it's starting to really hurt.

One thing I've realized in all of this is we fall into a very strange category than the majority of our friends and family. Those who are childless are either single, have chosen to be child-free or are much younger than us.  Those with children are either our age with young children or are older and have adult children.  It makes for an unbalanced social life in which we are usually the odd men out.  

For example, this weekend we are planning a BBQ and game night for our close friends and siblings.  When the invitation went out, those without children were the first to respond.  Those with, needed more details.  What kind of games will you be playing?  Are kids allowed?  There's absolutely nothing wrong with those questions, that's not why I'm writing about it.  As an independent couple, the term game night doesn't evoke an image of a family sitting around the table playing Monopoly or Life.  Our intention, one that we never considered otherwise, was to play drinking game.  Kings cup, beer pong, flip cup and so on.  It never even crossed our mind that anyone would think otherwise.

On the flip side, I find myself relating more to couples who have kids or are planning it in the future.  Living child-free is not the life I have planned.  And although I enjoy this independent life now, I envision a day where that won't be possible.  A life, I've heard, sometimes causes riffs between friends with kids and friends without them.  It's never anyone's aim to loose friends, but it's inevitable that the common ground you once shared with your partying, free-living friends will shift with your focus.

So here we sit in the crack between maintaining strong relationships with our child-free friends and trying to live a more subdued life of movie night Friday's and early afternoon birthday parties.  

This week I started a pretty interesting book titled "Maze Runner".  From what I've been told, it's the first of a series and the basis of an upcoming movie which I really looking forward to see come alive.

Currently I'm about 100 pages from the end and the author is already doing a good job wrapping up.  One of my biggest pet peeves is when a book has so many holes that magically get filled in the last few pages.  It's taken so long to build up the plot and we're all supposed to believe that it all fits together nicely.  So far, that hasn't happened. Hopefully this book makes it to the end without falling in that trap.

Since I'm known to read books on the dark and depressing side, I've decided that I'll break it up by throwing in light, girly reading in between.  It's been nice catching up the books I inherited from my mother-in-law.  The last one was "Love the One You're With" but I've yet to decide on my next.  I just know I need to make it good because the one after that will be a 700+ page horror/mystery novel "House of Leaves".  I'm part intrigued and part nervous to start something that skimming through it looks so bizarre.  I'll have to post pictures of it when I start reading.  

Anyway, crossing my fingers I'll want to read on in this series.  

This weekend I got THE question by more than one person.  "So when are you going to have a baby"?  The first time was when I was having lunch with my mom on Friday afternoon.  She didn't ask it rudely and was careful because she had an idea we were trying.  With her I spilled my guts.  If I can tell strangers on the interwebz, I can sure as hell tell my mom.  She was very sweet in her responses and even said she thought something was up but knows it's a very sensitive subject.  There was even a point that her and I laughed at the "relax, it will happen" go to response.  I'm glad we talked.

Then on Saturday, I went to a baby shower to celebrate N's baby girl due in August. As I was saying my goodbyes, her mom quietly asked about Babe and I.  I very discreetly said we wanted to but it's not coming easy. She asked if I'd been working with a doctor like her daughter had.  I responded that I definitely was and N had been a great resource. She said it will definitely happen for me and as long as I relax, I should see results.  Oh my, haha.

I'm finding that the more I put it out there, the more help and support I get.  I definitely don't like the attention, but I genuinely prefer it over the awkward stares and shushed comments about babies around me.  

After two months of prodding my doctor's office for my progesterone test results, I finally hear back from them yesterday.  According to them, the test would only confirm ovulation in any particular cycle.  It wouldn't assess your progesterone levels on that specific cycle day to know if you have enough.  The nurses response "you can assume you ovulated on day 14".  

I probably should have just been grateful they responded to me after 5 attempts and left it at that.  But it really irks me to give out such blatantly false information.  Because of my IF, I try to be informed about my cycles.  Not only do I know for a fact that my cycles are NOT 28 days and I DO NOT ovulate on cycle day 14, I know very few do.  That generic estimate is exactly why I was irritated with them when they suggested 21 day (what they assume to be 3/4 cycle) progesterone testing.  I kindly responded to the nurses email with "unfortunately like many women, my cycle is not a standard 28 day cycle therefore 'cycle day 14' is misleading".  

Although I was nice and thanked them for responding, it would have been better if I just kept my "mouth" shut.  It's just so exasperating.

Since I started the summer 4/40 schedule this year, I've been excited about changing up my boring task list oriented Friday's to spending time with my sister and nephews.  For weeks I'd been planning for this Friday.  Even going so far as to purchase the fabric to upgrade my sisters nursing cover for her in time. Except yesterday I got a call from her cancelling this weeks plans.

She explained that the family would be visiting a friend out of town on Friday night and Saturday and needed to free up the afternoon.  As always I understand that she's busy and needed to change plans.  But as the night wore on and I shared the update with Babe, I started to feel more sad than anything.  Since my nephew has been home from the hospital, I've seen him two times.  I miss his big brother and my sister too.  I feel like I'm missing so much of their lives. Of course I can't say that for fear of making us both feel bad, her for defending motherhood and me for not being able to.  It's happened before when my husband made the innocent remark to her that I was "going through withdrawals".  

I'm hoping I won't have to wait too much longer before I see them again.  

I warn you, this post is chalked full of too much information.  More information than you probably wanted to know about a quilter but fine if you're familiar with IF language.

Earlier in the year we decided that the month of June was going to be a no try/no prevent month for us.  I'm still taking my temps to be consistent and maintain the habit  But it means no tracking cervical mucus (cm), no taking ovulation tests, timing intercourse and no Pre-Seed or soft cups.  Our decision isn't really based on the best reasoning, it's to avoid having another birthday to celebrate in March.  Don't get me wrong, I love everyone in my life that has a birthday in March.  It truly is a wonderful month, busy, but wonderful.  

Anyway, when I write down my temps on the chart I keep on my bedside table everyday, I find it hard not to peek at what cycle day I'm on.  Or when I wipe, looking to see if my cm has an egg white consistency.  I even suggested, although we were tired, to fool around last night because of it.  Honestly though, there's definitely no harm in skipping one month of it all.  I can already see it's lightened a load from Babe.  No pun intended.  

This weekend was definitely jam packed with all sorts of craziness.  I was able to finish all the burp cloths on Saturday and only have packaging left.  So far I've sent an email to one person only and have already sold two.  Not a bad start. I'm so happy with the way they turned out.  Plus they were a great way for me to practice my sewing.  

The last two are a bet Babe and I made.  He seems to think if I avoided cutesy patterns, not only will I sell them, but men will personally buy them.  I can't remember what exactly it is we bet, but I'm pretty sure I'm winning whatever it is.  

Today we started our 4/40 schedule at work.  I definitely wasn't looking forward to the long days but now that I have some Friday's planned with my sister and nephews, I'm super excited about getting through the week.  Hopefully I'm not exhausted by the time Friday rolls around.  

Last night I got to work cutting up 52 burp cloth layers to prep for sewing.  It turned out to be easy doing the cotton top pieces, but not so much with the flannel pieces.  There was too much fluff when using my stencil and marker, then again with the rotary cutter on the corners.  But by the time I was ready to call it a night, everything had been cut.  

The next step will be to divvy up the tops and bottoms to create some variation and sewing them together.  I'm hoping I can get everything put together in my free time by next Friday so I can get to sewing my sisters nursing scarf without interruption.  It's super exciting to see them all coming together.  

Here's a look at some of the new fabric prior to being cut.

My sister recently brought the subject of infertility up with my husband and I.  Babe knows I discuss it with her in length, but it was the first time all three of us had talked about it.  At first I was nervous it would make him feel uncomfortable but he seemed not to mind.  She asked us what options we've considered.  We mentioned liking the idea of adopting but knew it would be expensive.  I explained how an IUI works, and that it might be something we would consider if we were good candidates for the procedure.  For those not familiar, it is a procedure in which sperm is collected and "washed" and only the good ones are inserted through a catheter into a woman's uterus. Then, for the first time, I explained the idea of embryo adoption/donation.  It was the first time I'd ever mentioned it to Babe.

Not long after, he and I discussed this possibility.  The biggest concerns I have, which Babe agrees with me on, are 1) the possibility of parenthood being questioned and not being held up in a court of law and 2) my body fighting the embryo as if it were an infection since the embryo wouldn't match my genetic makeup.  Since we wouldn't know how my body would react until it happens, there's nothing we could really do about number two.  However, since embryo "adoption" is still in it's infancy I would want to make sure we've done enough research to know no donor would ever be able to rescind their donation.  That would be absolutely devastating.  

So although we're a long way from having to decide on any of these options, it was nice to discuss them aloud.  It gives us a pretty good idea of how we'll each react when they're finally on the table.  

After selling my first batch of burp cloths last week, Babe and I decided to restock my fabric.  So he (reluctantly) and I spent a couple of hours at Joann's Fabrics on Saturday morning looking for the perfect combinations of quilting cotton patterns and flannel.  We decided on four cute pastel tops, two flannel bottoms, two skull and cross bone cotton fabrics (my husbands contribution) and one very pretty blue and white chevron flannel.   I realized that if I kept my cutting to 20" x 11", I should be able to get 6 per yard. With that, I should have enough fabric to make 37 burp cloths not including the fabric I still had left over.  

Once I got home I started working on an official pattern with poster board I purchased from Dollar Tree. The first pattern was a little off center and had a very small cutout.  After some adjustments, I cut enough for 6 burp cloths before I realized the new cutout was much too large.  In fact, I was even hoping to modify the cloths so they doubled as bibs when the baby got older.  With the larger cutout, that wouldn't be possible.  

Last night I finished up the original six and went to work on an improved pattern.  This time, I was meticulous about symmetry and sizing the cutout just right.  I then used the pattern to cut out enough for 2 burp cloths only.  I'm so happy with how the last two came out.  I think I've found the perfect pattern for the rest of them.  Thursday I plan to cut out the rest of the fabric so that all I have to do is sew.  Then I need to decide if I'll be adding velcro or snaps if I want them to be convertible to bibs.

Here's just a taste of the few rejects and successes I've made in the last couple of days.  You can definitely see the difference in the cutouts from the cars in the front to the monkeys in the back.  

Yesterday my boss pretty much avoided me after our little incident.  I was grateful I didn't have to speak with her though.  Then she went and publicly pulled another incredibly rude move which left my coworkers jaws on the floor. From that moment on it was safer for both of us if we just steered clear of each other.  

Usually I vent to Babe about my work stories and he tries to lighten the mood with jokes about it all.  Well he pulled up to the house and I jumped in the car so we could grab dinner together.  Halfway down the road he jokingly asked if I was wearing maternity pants and rubbed my stomach.  I must have given him the death stare because he immediately pulled his hand away but proceeded to joke that he at least did the hand thing too.  It was anything but funny and I basically laid into him that he was being just as rude.  When we stopped at the next light I was so close to getting out of the car and walking back home.  But since I knew it would just make things worse I decided against it.  

When we got to the restaurant Babe sincerely apologized for making jokes about it.  He thought I may have been upset because it was "too soon".  I pointed out that he could do it 5 years from now and it still would never be appropriate.  Timeliness has nothing to do with it.  

I can't wait for this week to be over with already.  I'm so beyond done.

Being 29 years old, overweight and childless is not exactly what I'd call fun.  It's even less fun when your boss sits down next to you to ask if you're wearing maternity pants because you've layered a tank top under your blouse and it looks like a belly band.  She then proceeded to reach down towards my stomach at which point I swatted her hand away.  

WHO THE FUCK DOES THAT?  Especially what woman asks another woman something like that?  I heard a joke that unless you see a baby hanging out of someone elses vagina, you never ask a woman if she's pregnant.  But that's so true.

This isn't the first time for me, as it's happened at another place of employment many years ago.  And surprisingly it was when I was much thinner, 30 lbs to be exact.  That time I was written up after the fact for not being nice to the customer and coworker who continued to harass me about it.  Harass is not an exaggeration in that case either.  My husband and coworker have urged me to file a harassment complaint today but I'd be too afraid considering what's happened in the past.  It just really blows.

So thanks boss for making my actually nice Monday morning shit.  Oh and thanks for rubbing in my IF whether intentional or not.  Really, this has been great

I'm a little frustrated today but I'm trying to bite my tongue and save myself a battle.  Last night Babe and I had a long discussion about some mutual friends that I don't particularly enjoy hanging out with.  There are a few reasons I would rather make plans with another group which I won't get into a lot of detail about here.  Most of them are legit while I know others are childish complaints like them only ever going out where and when they want to.  Anyway, I still genuinely feel my reasons are valid and that they should be taken into consideration when making plans.  Lately however, as I've grown to dislike these outings more and more, Babe is pushing them harder and harder. He's wanted to do almost everything with them.  I'm at the point where I'm asking if he could just make the plans to not include me which he thinks, and I agree might be awkward.  I just wish we could find a happy medium and not spend every waking moment with them.  

It doesn't help that I'm also pretty peeved that our fourth of July plans have fallen through.  This year I really wanted to swap the personal firework show our friends put on with a trip somewhere.  In May I started to bring up the idea and at Babe's request even put together a list of places, prices and schedules.  We finally narrowed it down to Big Bear and San Diego.  Both were reasonably priced and only required a one night stay...back in May at least.  I finally got him to decide on San Diego and we decided to make the offer to his brother's family.  Well, his brother is understandably busy with a toddler and infant and after 2 weeks still hasn't made a decision.  Last night I finally told Babe that I was just going to book and let them know where we were staying.  Only now there are fewer local hotels available and the rates are almost twice what they were.  So that leaves us with staying home for the weekend and piddling around the house like we do.  I'm a little disappointed that we couldn't get this off the ground sooner. Hopefully next year it won't be so difficult.  

Last night I finally got around to packaging my handmade burp cloths.  After asking around, I've decided to start the pricing at $10 each.  Since I don't know exactly how much this batch cost me to make, I feel like this price would give me a good buffer.  Hopefully I'm not overpricing them enough to make people shy away from buying them.  

The final product is about 20" x 11" at the widest parts with variations due to being handmade.  There are six in total with five different styles.  Thankfully I had enough scrap fabric to make all of these.  In fact I have a little left over of the purple, blue and white minky.  Just not enough cotton or flannel to make more at this time.  

The hardest to make was the blue/monster style because of how thick the backing was.  The easiest by far was the double flannel.  At least now I know what to expect on future batches.  

I'm really happy with how they all turned out.  Now I just hope others are as well.  

This cycle we've made the decision (good or bad I don't know) to bench ourselves.  Or at least not actively try with OPK's, preseed, timed intercourse, etc.  Our reasoning some might find stupid but I don't care.  If I were to conceive this cycle, although wonderful, we'd have an estimated due date of March 2015.  Wow, I can't believe I'm talking Spring of next year already.  Anyway, March is the busiest month for the DD household.  We have 5 birthdays, an anniversary and the anniversary of my mother-in-laws passing all in one month.  It would mean an incredibly hectic and expensive month every year.  I know I probably shouldn't care too much about it because really beggars can't be choosers.  It's just a good excuse to get our bearings and enjoy each other physically since it's been trying lately.

So I've come to realize the life of advocating your own health is a never ending cycle.  I mean you could have the bestest, kick ass doctors or kindest insurance company but you'll still always have something go wrong.  It's one of the many reasons I absolutely HATE infertility.  

Since receiving the letter from my medical group denying my procedures in April, I've done the following:

  1. Spoke to insurance company verifying my benefits and finding out what has and hasn't been charged to them by the diagnostic medical center.
  2. Left a message for my medical group asking to please review the coding.  I never received a return phone call by them.
  3. Spoke to my OB/Gyn's office to see what diagnosis was on my chart.  They said it was the referral company who chose the coding.
  4. Left a message for the referral company to review the coding.
  5. Received a call from the OB/Gyn's office on behalf of the referral company stating that they cannot change any coding and said I need to speak to the medical group.
  6. Spoke to the medical group who said they just charge whatever the doctor and lab agree upon to insurance.  If there is a denial, like in my case, they send a letter to the patient about the cost incurred.  They agreed to contact the OB/Gyn's office on my behalf since they've already told me they've done all they could and because they're contracted together.
  7. Called the diagnostic medical center and was directed to their billing company who happens to be the referral company.
  8. Called the referral company to discuss the coding.  They agreed to put my case before a review board and request changes to the coding be made. 

Eight separate phone calls and not one of them resolving the issue.  I wouldn't be surprised if I have to make another eight until there's finally a resolution.  The suckiest part about all of this, during more than one conversation I received a couple of snide remarks about infertility and was made to feel inferior.  As if I don't already, they had to throw a couple of underhanded comments regarding my medical history.  Mind you all of this for just a couple of basic tests.  I can only imagine the frustration couples feel running into similar dead ends with more important procedures.  

On a side note, today was the first time I publicly responded to a comment regarding our infertility.  I posted a picture of us with our nephews this weekend on FB.  An old coworker of mine who I keep in contact with commented that I would be a good mom and asked when we were planning on having kids.  My response "Nothings holding me back. Unfortunately it's just not happening for us."  It felt right to say it out loud and let other people see it.  

We've had a couple amazing weekends that remind me I'm a lucky girl.  First of all, I'm reminded how much I love my husband.  I could not have asked for a better partner than the one I've been blessed with.  It sounds corny but I can honestly say that I'm more in love with him than the day we married.  Okay enough of this sappiness.

Last weekend, which in all my pity party I forgot to mention, turned out to be better than expected.  An old coworker and her husband, who moved away for him to do his residency, came to visit us from Fresno.  They stayed with us from Friday to Sunday morning while they visited with other friends.  Before they left, we'd gotten together a couple of times for double dates but it was always obvious she and I were much closer.  Last weekend though the guys really came out of their shells.  By the end my husband was walking to the store in the middle of the night to bring back British delicacies for dessert.  Then as soon as they left he began to plan for me and him to visit them up North before their baby is born.

It's also a busy birthday month for us, so we also planned on having lunch with my mom and her husband then had a BBQ with our godson and his parents.  This weekend we finished off the celebrations by cooking dinner for my father-in-laws birthday Friday night and barbecuing Saturday for my nephew's fifth birthday.  Then on Sunday Babe and I woke up at the butt crack of dawn to see the hot air balloons launch for the Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival.  It really was an amazing sight.  After that, we met up with some friends to do some wine tasting at the vineyards they're members at.  By the time we got home, a little after five o'clock, we were both hot and tired.  So rather than taking a nap like we should have, we jumped in the pool for a quick swim and sat down to listen to the rest of the Kings v. Blackhawks game.

The highlight of my weekend, spending time with all my nephews.  They're getting so big and I missed them so much. It's been a month since I've seen my sister and her sons last.  A month isn't particularly long, but when little MKV is only 6 weeks, a lot can change in that time.  I held him practically all day long and Babe kept looking at me and smiling.  At one point I asked him what he was thinking and he responded "you're just so ready for this.  I'm sorry we don't have one of our own yet" and kissed my forehead.  

What a perfect weekend.