This whole IF thing has me really understanding how much love and support we have in our lives.  We are genuinely blessed to have the family and friends we do.  A few months ago I posted how alone I felt because it felt like everyone was tiptoeing around the subject.  It was almost as if everyone read my mind.  In the last month, I've felt so much love from my mom, my sister, E's cousin, our sister-in-law and our friends.  Even the cab driver in Vegas (long, long story) was encouraging.  And I'm PMSing right now so just typing this is making me tear up.

When I'm having bad days, I hope I can remember feelings like this.  My heart is full right now.

The last couple of cycles I've been going through this weird thing were I spot, sometimes heavily, up to two weeks before my period.  Just when I think I understand my cycles, something always comes up.  I'm expecting to start my period on Friday but I've been spotting since last Tuesday.  I wish I had asked my doctor to take hormone level tests to see if I have an imbalance.  Oh wait, I already did that.

Of course looking up all my symptoms on WebMD is a total bust.  Apparently I could possibly have one of the following illnesses: 

  • Endometriosis
  • Miscarriage
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Premature labor (of course)
  • Vaginitis (what the hell is that?)
  • PCOS
  • Chlamydia (I guess if we're covering all our bases, STD's shouldn't be left out)
  • PMS
  • UTI
  • Fibroids
  • Cancer
  • Foreign object in the vagina (I'm not even going to go there)

Never mind the fact that almost every PMS symptom can also double as a pregnancy symptom and I find myself peeing on anything that looks remotely like a stick.  Of course then I have to explain to Babe why there's a pregnancy test on the counter anytime he uses my bathroom.  Couldn't God have made us with indicator lights?  I would save a lot of money not freaking myself out thinking I'm experiencing premature labor and avoid the L&D when it's really just a foreign object in the vagina.

Tune in tomorrow when we discuss what Vaginitis is.

So much is on my mind and heart today.  Babe's younger brother is taking the California State Bar Exam today through Thursday.  He's done an amazing job studying and preparing for this, but there's of course a lot of pressure to pass on the first try.  I'm pretty sure he'll be just fine but he won't find out until November.  Then I just finished reading Liz's post over on Wishing on a Snowflake and she has me heartbroken.  After overcoming a long struggle with infertility by adopting embryos, she's now having to begin genetic testing her week old baby girl Samantha.  I don't know the other side of infertility but I can tell you the road she's already traveled is more than enough for one person/couple to bear.  I only hope answers come to them quickly and that Samantha is healthy.

As for us personally, I just received a letter from my medical group stating that my OB/Gyn will be leaving the group come August 15th.  With 2 weeks to go, I'm at a loss of what I should do.  Do I try to fit any more appointments in with him, try to find another practice right away or at least try to get my records for the last 5 months?  Thankfully I wasn't in the middle of testing with him which is making it easier to decide to just wait.  I also hope that this doesn't affect the problems I'd been having with billing.  

I have no real answer for where I've been the last week.  I only know that the time taken off wasn't entirely necessary, just nice to have.  It started with me coming home from Arizona feeling pretty lousy and having to go to the doctor to get checked out Monday.  Then going into work Tuesday and feeling even worse. Before I knew it, Wednesday and Thursday had gone and I didn't feel one ounce of regret for not posting.

Now that this week has begun I'm feeling the urge to write again.  I found that in doing so, I work out the kinks in my own mind before I spread my weirdness to others.  It's helped.

Arizona was a blast and yet it wasn't.  I have a hard time vacationing with my family.  Originally I thought it was my moms need for complete planning on traveling which may be part of it, but I find that the common denominator is me. First off, it's hard being on other peoples schedule for long periods of time.  It's also difficult when you have no means of deviating because you're not the driver.  And as I've mentioned before, I can't stand when people push you to do whatever it is that they want to do but don't offer the same consideration.  Basically I'm stubborn in the worst way. Couple all that with fitting in tight spaces with a preschooler and infant and you start to think they're the calm ones.

But we survived.  Barely.  My sister surprised my brother by coming with us with both nephews.  It was the first time his family has met little MKV after 3 months.  It was so sweet to see everyone's reaction when they saw each other for the first time.  It made for great photos.  We got to spend a lot of time with my brother and his family one last time before his temporary base assignment and move to AL.  He was in such a good mood which made it so awesome. My nephews had a blast playing with each other and my brother's son even asked if he could keep my sister's son at their house when we had to leave.  Those boys are a crack up.  It was great catching up with them and having a weekend devoted to family.  I'm so proud of my brother, the man, husband and dad he's become.  I don't think I've ever been more proud of him.  

Yesterday was a rough day here at work.  But instead of asking Babe if he wanted to go for margaritas, we decided to go to dinner and a movie.  We've been wanting to see Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Purge: Anarchy for some time.  Since we didn't get to over the weekend and since Purge doesn't come out until tomorrow, we decided to watch Planet of the Apes last night and the midnight showing of Purge tonight.  

I'd watched the original PotA and really loved it, and its sequel was just as good.  The only two complaints I have about it are that it can seem boring since there's not a ton of dialogue while they follow the apes.  It's a legit complaint considering they're talking apes.  The second complaint was we were in quite possibly the most obnoxious movie theater ever.  To my left was a guy who apparently had another date because he literally checked his phone every 15-20 minutes.  I know because I could see the clock every time the light shone through his damn phone.  Then there was the family who brought a very talkative toddler.  Really?  There's a time and place to bring your kids to the movies. Anything that isn't rated G or PG or ends after they should be in bed should be off limits. Why do parents insist on bringing them?  Lastly there was a very boisterous family in front of us who talked to the screen the entire time.  And whenever they weren't talking about that, they had very loud conversations about other random topics.  I've only had one movie experience matching that when a woman brought her aging hard of hearing parents to see Sex in the City late so we had to sit elbow to elbow.  That one may just top last night simply for giant penises parading on the screen.

Tonight's should be good too, although I'm really dreading the lack of sleep.  I woke up early this morning to prep for lunch today.  Then tonight we're going to my brother-in-laws house before we head to the movies.  All this before I head to Surprise, Arizona to see my brother off before he deploys.  I have a couple of surprises of my own when I arrive.  But just in case my sister-in-law reads this, I'm going to wait to post about that until I get back.  

So yeah, this weekend should be pretty awesome.  

There not a day that goes by that my infertility isn't on my mind.  At least that I can remember anyway.  It's not like I wallow in it, but I am reminded of it on a daily basis when my alarm goes off at 5:45 to take my temps or I pour myself a glass of water before I go to bed to take my meds.  There are constant reminders everywhere.  Some days however that I wonder if I'm pushing too hard for something I may regret.  Will I hate being a mother?  Will I wish my independence, sleep and alone time with Babe back?  It scares me to death to think I may resent the thing that I've hoped and prayed for years for.  

There's a song I grew up based on 1 Peter 5:6-7 which says "Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty had of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you."  It keeps coming back to me lately during times like this.  

There's something definitely wrong with me.  The other night Babe and I were talking about something weird that I do and he jokingly responded "that's why we don't have kids".  I was shocked that he said that but decided only to remind him to be careful what he said.  Right away he pointed out that it was a joke and he didn't know how to joke about it with me.  Then he added "and I know your first thought is probably 'you should never joke about that'" which was 1000% true.  Instead of reacting, I thought it through and calmed myself down.  I wasn't upset, just in shock that he of all people can continue to say these things.  Finally I spoke up.  

I explained I felt like he was the only person I could be safe around with this topic and both instances I didn't feel that way.  But I know to an extent he's right.  For the most part we generally feel comfortable enough around each other to joke about even the most uncomfortable topics.  For some reason he seems to cope with our infertility struggles with humor and as much as I don't care to, I'm not the only one who has to deal with it.  So even though I don't agree with it, I need to find a way not to get easily offended, especially by him.  I guess I'll have to continue to recite James 1:19.

This weekend was such a blast.  Exhausting but oh so worth it.  It started out with me joining my sister and the boys for Friday morning swim class and errands.  The oldest one takes lessons at a local high school in preparation for him to hopefully join the swim team like his mom and dad.  He absolutely loves the pool and anything water related. Anytime he's at our house he needs to go swimming and is always trying to talk us into taking him to the beach. Afterwards I helped him with some of his schoolwork and then we grabbed a bite to eat at Guisado's, a local taco shop.  I had such a great time hanging out with all three of them, I was bummed to even go home.  Unfortunately battling L.A. traffic to the IE on a Friday night was going to be bad.

When I got home, Babe and I packed and crashed early to get an early start the next day.  Then bright and early Saturday morning, Babe and I left for our overnight in Vegas.  First off, the drive in watching the sunrise was gorgeous. I will trade sunsets for sunrises any day.  We arrived at our hotel a little after 8, too early to
check-in, catch the shuttle to the strip or wait by the pool.  We gambled a bit and walked around until it was finally time to catch a ride.  Earlier we had looked up reviews of local restaurants that sounded good but decided to choose one only after walking around for a while. We started Vegas the way you're supposed to, with a drink from Fat Tuesday's.  After stopping off at a few places we finally decided on Mastro's Ocean Club and made a reservation for 6:00.  Then we headed over to Planet Hollywood for a bite to eat and caught the shuttle back to the hotel for check-in.  Thankfully they had a room waiting for us a little early where we could take a nap and freshen up before our night on the town.

Both Babe and I crashed for a couple hours, with just enough time to take showers and get ready.  I don't know if it was the heat or the medication I'm on but I woke up with a splitting headache and an upset stomach.  By the time we arrived at the restaurant, the Tylonel I had taken finally started to kick in but it and the cab ride over heightened my stomachache to full blown nausea. Babe ordered us a bottle of Shiraz, my favorite wine, which I was reluctant to drink with everything I was feeling. Then we ordered the sea bass for him and the halibut for me.  Both were a-mazing!  Before I was even halfway done though, I had run to the restroom 3 times thinking I was going to hurl.  The waiter felt bad and offered to box the rest and even give us the rest of the wine to go.  Sadly we couldn't since we wouldn't be back at the hotel for quite some time.  

Luckily for me, there was a CVS right outside of the Aria where we ate.  I chewed on some Pepto tablets which very quickly eased my stomach for the rest of the night.  Why didn't I get some before dinner?!  I'm still thinking about the halibut I couldn't finish.  Thankfully I was able to enjoy all of the Blue Man Group and even had enough energy do gamble afterwards.  The next morning we woke up early enough to beat the traffic again and headed home.  We even arrived early enough to spend some relaxing time in the pool and nap some more.  

I'm so grateful for my husbands willingness to take on adventures like this one.  We both had a great time trying things we never had in Vegas.  We're already planning our next trip.  

It's been decided.  And more importantly, booked.  This weekend we're going to Vegas!  I know we've been there about a million times.  In fact in our first years of datinghood, we went at least twice a year.  Both babe and I are gamblers and drinkers so we've always found common ground going to a place we both enjoy.  But up until recently, we'd always done only that.  The last couple trips however, we've ventured into hotels that weren't right on the strip and watched shows we never thought to do before.  It tends to break up the monotony.  

This trip is satisfying A) a need to get away from work and other daily life drama B) the spontaneity I know we can muster C) our craving to actually visit Vegas for something other than gambling.  We booked a room at the Rio after nearly everything else has skyrocketed, which is a first for us.  Then Babe found us two tickets to The Blue Man Group on GoldStar.  The only other thing to do is pick a kick ass restaurant in which to indulge.  So far, FB peeps have suggested a wrist band to eat at all the buffets, Caesar's Bacchanal Buffet, Hash House A Go-Go and Hugo's Cellar.  I'm not too certain I want to do a buffet, but I guess we can figure that all out later.

The short of it is, WE'RE GOING TO VEGAS IN 2 DAYS!!!

So last night Babe and I finally unloaded our beautiful little joyride, a cruiser with 650cc's.  We purchased it new three years ago and rode it on and of for the first two years.  But after laying it down twice, I became more and more unsure of riding it by myself.  Since I could never fully master riding bitch without a sissy bar, we decided to garage it last year and eventually put it up for sale.  After about 6 months of posting online ads and leaving it in the driveway with a for sale sign, we finally got one bite that actually ended up paying off.  After a long evening, we said goodbye and washed our hands of it.

Before it was even sold, we'd talked about what we should do with the extra cash.  We knew most of it would go to savings but wondered how much of it we should play with and at what.  Since we've been in dire need of an adventure by ourselves, I suggested we take a weekend getaway.  Babe actually agreed and of course asked that I put together a list.  This time I made him promise that a decision could be made tonight of where we're going.  Now I just need to put stuff together that I think he'd actually like.  

When I first read the synopsis of "House of Leaves" by Mark Z. Danielewski I knew it was right up my alley.  A bit of romance mixed with horror and mystery.  Then I actually found the book at Barnes and Noble and thought twice about it.

At first glance, it's a 700+ page novel weighing a couple pounds with multiple appendices and a few warnings.  But that's just the beginning.  Flipping through the pages has me wondering how in the world I'm expected to read and understand it.  Not only are there different fonts used, but the layout is... well... see for yourself.

Yes that's right, you're looking at writing upside down in the margins, pages with a mere letter or two and overlapping text.  And that's not the half of it.

I'm so intrigued how I'm going to navigate it, I've spent more time scanning the pages than actually reading.  It's also taken me a while to muster the nerve to finally pick it up.  I'll admit, I'm even procrastinating by blogging about it. Nonetheless, I've finally started it and hope to finish it before the year is up.  I'll let you know how it turns out.

Last week was a little crazy.  I was pissed about the weekends events and didn't want to waste another post venting about something I cannot change.  Then there was Independence Day which also cut the week short.  But lastly, there was that ever present reminder that I am definitely not pregnant, my period.  It really began screwing with me on Monday with a little spotting here and there.  But on Thursday morning before the sun even showed its face, my period reared it's ugly head.  

Almost immediately the cramps were debilitating.  Unlike most times though, I was tortured with severe nausea throughout the morning.  The pain and sickness was so unbearable I couldn't possibly go back to sleep let alone go into work.  Right away I applied an excessive amount of heat by crawling into the Jacuzzi and later applying a heating pad so hot that I ended up burning my skin.  After swallowing a few ibuprofen and a little more rest, the pain finally subsided.  Then after one more day of bleeding and another two of spotting it was all over.  

I know I've said this before but the pain just seems to be getting worse as the months go on.  Spotting has increased up to 5 days longer but actual bleeding is shorter than when I first got off the pill.  The pain is now almost exclusively limited to the time period that I'm actually bleeding with only a tiny bit of side pain mid cycle.  My flow, although down to 2 days this cycle, was so heavy for one day I used up 8 large tampons in a 24 hour time frame.  

Per my OB/Gyn, I'm on the wait and see method that I'm not really sure how to do.  I'm guessing it's exactly what I'm doing now but who knows.  Anyway, I think it's my only choice until I can change insurance companies and find a reproductive endocrinologist (RE) to finally do a whole workup beyond all the tests I've already pushed for.  I'm just ready for someone to seriously consider endometriosis and if that is affecting my left tube as shown on my HSG.  

Surprise surprise, there will be no March baby to add to the family from us.  I must admit, it's been nice not testing, timing or trying.  I almost wish we were back to the beginning when we first got off of birth control doing this all over again.  Without a care in the world other than what we were going to name our little bundle and what his/her nursery should look like.  There's also a very small part of me that wishes I never wanted something so unattainable.  Why do I have to be the person who has only ever dreamt of being a mother?