Thursday, December 29, 2011

Work, Marriage, Money, and Love

This whole topic is so all-encompassing, I'm not even sure how to begin.  My husband has been on a sabbatical for a few months.  It was not really of our choosing but it was far from a bad thing; he was burned out, the company wasn't making the changes he'd argued for, for his operation.  He was anxious a lot worrying about all the things that could go wrong at work.  It was heartbreaking for me because these were things he could not control.  Acts of God, right?

I just read this article, Instead of Work, Younger Women Go Back to School .  The main example of the story, young woman quits her part-time job at Starbucks to get a graduate degree in communications which will put her in deep debt, was not what was interesting to me.  It was that women are more willing to leave a job (albeit, a low paying one) and go back to school while men will take any job that's available.  Here's a quote from the random "expert":
“There is still this heavy cultural message that men should be out there earning money and supporting themselves, and they feel more distressed by losing their breadwinner role,” said Stephanie Coontz, director of research at the Council on Contemporary Families. “We’ve made much more progress overcoming the ‘feminine mystique’ than this masculine mystique.” 
This is exactly what my husband and I are going through.  He was offered a good job in a community about three hours driving distance from our home.  But it was in the field he's been working in all his life and he's told me many times he doesn't want to do that line of work anymore.  I think his declaration took a lot of courage and I wouldn't ever forgive myself if I dismissed it.  The pressure for men to work at anything that's around is huge.  I'm sure his parents expect him to take the job because Work is King in their minds.  What's been so hard for me and my husband is to stay strong and faithful to God while considering these options.

We (society) talk about how hard life is when we have no choices, but I think it's much more challenging when you have lots of options and it's not very clear what's a better choice.  Option A could be good in the short term but Option B might be better in the long term.  But it's never obvious because, duh, we can't predict the future.  So, lately we've been reminding each other to pray in these times of panic and indecision.

The problems with taking this job were 1) I have a good job which pays well; 2) We'd only be able to see each other on the weekends until I found a job in that area which would have stressed our marriage; 3) We can maintain our lifestyle with my current income, and; 4) He really didn't want to do that work anyway.  There are a lot more factors that go into this but that's really the essence.  And just getting to the point where he could admit to himself that he didn't want to that kind of work, was a long road.  If he really thought that job was good from him and was excited about it, I would definitely support him, but it's just not.

Making the decision to turn the offer down doesn't erase the anxiety.  If fact, I think it increases it.  And it's harder for men maybe, but just people in a different generation.  I feel much more comfortable changing careers (my husband says that's because I'm young but I'm not sure that's it.)  I think this period in our lives is a true adventure and an opportunity to walk the faith rather than just talk about it.

We have a lot of things going for us.  The obvious is not having children.  That's a lot of money we don't have to spend.  We live, I think, pretty simply.  I make my lunches and eat them at work.  We don't buy stuff just to feel good.  We have to need it.  And now the standard is, we have to really need it.  We've always lived far below our means.  We are retirement savings obsessed and enjoy saving money rather than spending it.

I'm not, believe me, trying to toot a horn.  I think it's critical, however especially in the infertile blogosphere to promote awareness that thinking about financial health relative to a desire for a baby is super important.  Everybody has to weigh their own costs versus benefits and everyone's standard for what is acceptable is different.  However, I am beyond grateful that we do not have children right now.  I don't know if that's God's doing or what but I feel very blessed in that regard.

So, we're choosing love over money, togetherness over separation, productive work over working just for prestige or to satisfy our parents' egos.  I'm proud of my husband.  He's taking the road less traveled.  And that's flat out cool!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas!

We are about to take off for the in-laws, so I though I'd drop a final note wishing all of you a very merry Christmas.  I'll be checking on the news of Mr. and Mrs. B's imminent arrival from my tablet.  God Bless, M and good luck.  I hear delivering a baby is hard work! :)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas & Site Design

Let's start with site design.  I liked blogger's site designs but it removes the pages and archives (at least it did for me) so I decided to go back to the traditional look.  Since you can now upload your own background photo, I tried to do that with one of my favorite photos I took in Peru, but it didn't turn out right.  If anyone knows how to, or understands how to get 1600x1200 resolution in a 300kb photo, please let me know.  I got the right resolution, but the photo size was just too big.  So, I had to pick a stock background, but I like the book since I kinda consider myself a reader.

This is shaping up to be one of the best Christmas since I entered adulthood sixteen years ago.  I've been doing lots of baking, and really liking it.  I've finally embraced the joy of cooking and baking.  And I let go of the idea that holidays are only fun when little kids are around.  Infertiles have to create their own fun!  This is quite a change from last year when I told my MIL and SIL that I was pretty much depressed all the time.  I've learned my life is how I frame it.  Cliche, yes, but very true.

My husband called me and asked if there was any other gift I'd like at Christmas.  No, I really don't need anything, honey.  Trust me, I've been constantly searching the J.Crew website this week since they've been having 30% off and free shipping offers all week.  I did want a green coat (shown below) but I just didn't need it and couldn't justify the expense.  Besides, I ordered two workout DVDs and if my husband is concerned I won't have enough gifts to open, I told him to wrap each video separately.  It's all good.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I Object

I've got so many ideas swimming in my head, I'm not sure I can write a post that's properly organized but heck, I have to try for my own sanity.  There are several themes going on out there in the infertile blogging community.  I don't presume to know why certain women feel certain things but my brain fires up when I read interpretations of events or feelings that are not theologically sound or rational.  We can't know God, know what He wants, but that doesn't stop many of us, including me, from labeling certain events like pregnancies or adoptions as miracles or explaining some one's infertility as their fault because they weren't a virgin when they got married.  Yes, someone did say this to me.

In fact, a very honest blogger who's now gone private questioned why she wasn't getting pregnant after many years even though she was a virgin at marriage.  She "did everything right" so why no child?  For those who are more virtuous than most, I think the temptation to believe that your gentleness, your kindness, your purity, your faithfulness means God will grant you your every desire.  And I think that's flat out wrong and not in accordance with what's in the Bible.  Anybody remember Job?  And what about David?  That guy screwed up big time and God never gave up on him.

Is it our culture?  I fell victim to this before infertility, which is why I consider infertility as a great lesson in humility, but are we so privileged, so used to getting what we want, we can't accept the fact that life doesn't meet our expectations?  It's easy to sit back as a happily married, young woman and bemoan the lack of a child.  But what about our friends who are single and want to meet the right person to marry?  I guess going on and on about how great your husband is makes a single person happening upon your blog pretty mad.

I think (and people can correct me if this is wrong) I've been a pretty staunch supporter of the newly pregnant.  I feel bad when they have to write the sympathy post.  It goes pretty much like this:
Wow, I've wanted to be pregnant for so long, like two years but that's really not very long because some of you have waited longer and that makes me feel really bad because I feel good and you don't because pregnancy is a game changer and my heart breaks for you because this is so joyous but know that I'm praying for you that your miracle i.e., getting pregnant comes real soon, like next month.
If you are pregnant, I am so happy for you, honestly!  It doesn't take anything away from me in the slightest.  If you are now infertile and get pregnant, you have my permission to not write about sympathising with infertiles.  I want you to celebrate and write about how good you feel.  You deserve it.  I say that because I'm personally comfortable where I left off my treatment and I'm realistic about certain biological facts.  I'm not willing right now to do a follicular ultrasound series and take HCG shots.  It's not worth my time, not worth my trouble.  For those of you doing what I'm doing, and I don't think anyone else is, I'm amazed when you start investigating the advantages of not having children, you'll find some good things.

However, I realize that for lots of women, accepting a child-free life is not an option.  It was never what you envisioned for your life and if you want it and are willing to undergo medical treatments to get it.  God speed!  But, I guess what got my goat recently was a post by a pregnant blogger (I won't link since I'm trying to not pick a fight, seriously) who wrote the obligatory "I'm so sorry you're not pregnant, too" by specifically calling her pregnancy a miracle that she was unworthy of, implying (likely unintentionally) that infertiles must be so incredibly unworthy, like purgatory unworthy because that's why we're not pregnant.

What I really want is those folks that are taking hormones and have had laparoscopic surgery to thank the manufacturer of HCG, your ultrasound tech, and your surgeon for getting your reproductive system to a place where it was possible to get pregnant.  I'm not at all saying that God didn't have His Hand in your conceiving.  I just can't prove that He did or didn't.  But I can say with relative confidence that medical intervention could be a cause.  That's why we have surgery and take drugs instead of spending that time in concentrated prayer for a miracle.

The big thing I objected to in that person's post was talking about how much joy she felt because of the pregnancy and said that the pregnancy had already changed everything (except finances.)  She made several comparisons to how no other joy could compare and pregnancy joy is so transforming that it would be horrible to miss out on.  I like strong statements.  But, I have a problem when a Christian starts classifying levels of joy or saying one joy is better than another or even failing to mention the joy we feel knowing God gave His only son for the salvation of the world.

Not ever having been pregnant, I'll rely on the mothers out there to confirm this but I've felt the joy of faith in Christ. I've experienced euphoria, yes, euphoria grasping the concept in every fiber of my being, that God loves me that much that He would allow His own son to be murdered, tortured for me and you and every other sinner.  To know that Christ on the cross cried out in agony, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" is utterly profound that joy is the only appropriate emotion for that kind of grace.  And the beautiful, really joyous thing about faith in Christ, is that it's open to everybody!  Pregnancy doesn't approach that level of accessibility.

It might read like I'm condemning this blogger's post or position, I sincerely am not.  I don't think she meant to offend or exclude anybody.  But I wanted to offer another side to the argument.  Please don't feel sorry for me that I'm not feeling the particular kind of joy you are.  My life is filled with joyous events and manifestations of faith.  It's not an opinion that's offered up very much especially by women who want children but it is possible to live a full, maybe even fuller life without kids.  You might think that to be heresy but I think it's opening your soul to the fullness of Christ.  Christ changes everything.  Christ is transforming.  Believe it.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My cat companion died

I wrote a year ago about my cat getting sick and showing signs of liver disease.  At that point, she was taking treatments but the constant pills, liquid meds, and bland food were making her an unhappy cat.  So, I decided to discontinue treatment and allow her to live well as long as she could.  During the summer, my cat was losing weight and despite giving her the highest fat and calorie foods we could find, she wouldn't gain weight.  My parents held on to her after we returned from Peru but she declined rapidly over the last few weeks.  

I'm very grateful my cat could spend the last weeks of her life in a warm house since my husband wouldn't let her in our house.  On Saturday, I decided to have her euthanized.  And on Monday, I called and found a vet that did house calls and that made all the difference.  Kitty was able to sit on her blanket on my Mom's lap in the same living room she'd grown accustomed to.  We were all around her, talking to her when she got her final injection.  We then carefully placed her in a box, drove her home, my husband dug a big hole, and we buried her underneath a shade tree.  I placed a wood cross as a marker because Kitty's a Christian, I baptized her myself. :)

I was walking down memory lane last night and it's amazing to think about all the experiences I've had, the life I'd lived for thirteen years, she was with me.  She gave my life meaning, literally when I lived in Washington DC.  When things were bad there, I was so grateful to have a purpose, that I could take care of her.  When we lived together, just the two of us, she would lie next to me in the morning and we'd curl up together. Sure, the fur got everywhere but it was worth it.  

I don't think caring for a sentient being is much different than caring for a person in that responsibility for life remains the same.  I really struggle with the idea that we can decide when an animal and actively make it happen.  For the last several days, I felt guilty knowing that I knew when she was going to die and cheating her out of knowing it, too.  

But, my husband tried hard yesterday and supported me through the experience.  I'm left with wonderful memories.  She was a rockin' cat and a lot of people who met her, said so.  She wasn't perfect and neither was I, and when we were alone yesterday morning, I apologized to her in failing to do the best I could for her.  I'll miss her and always treasure that unique, special relationship.      

Friday, December 16, 2011

Kids and Birthdays

I regard my childhood experience celebrating birthdays as dysfunctional.  No adult could seem to get it right (with the exception of my father's father) by sending cards consistently or dialing me up to wish me a happy birthday.  What my grandfather did right was that he never forgot to send a card and he enclosed cash equal to my age in years.  I always thought this was charming and very useful.  I could always use a little cash and I looked forward to getting one more dollar every year.  I guess I'm not greedy but perhaps self-focused.  But I'm not hypocritical.

My niece's ninth birthday was a couple days ago.  I sent a card with nine dollars in it and still got scolded by my mother because I didn't send a material gift.  When I told her I sent cash she gave me a slight reprieve.  I kept telling myself last weekend that I should call her on the appropriate day but I didn't manage to get there.  I blame myself entirely because really it's lame to forget to pay just a sliver of attention to a sweet child.  So, I called her mother this afternoon and left a message stating my intentions.

Now, when I was a teen and young adult, I really felt like my aunt and grandmother were putting a big guilt trip on me for not reaching out to them.  And that's stupid.  It's an adult's responsibility to initiate a relationship, not a child and would never, ever blame my niece for not wanting a thing to do with me because I get that a kid would never care about a thirty-four year old.  So, now that's she's of an age where she'll remember my lameness, I'm getting myself into gear.  I hope she calls me back.

Friday, December 9, 2011


I had the strangest but coolest nightmare last night.  You know how when you dream about a place, it never looks close to what the reality is, well, I dreamt about my house and the dimensions and number of rooms were the same but it was just a little bit bigger.  So, I look down the hall and my husband has painted the walls a deep red and an obnoxious purple.  In addition, the work was sloppy and the door frames were black!

I was just disturbed beyond measure.  Like all you feel about yourself aesthetically has just been violated by your closest friend.  And you want to run far, far away.  But instead of yelling at my husband, who was wearing the opposite of the horrible colors he painted my house, white cotton pants and a sea foam green cashmere sweater, I walked over to him calmly and said, "Sweetie, how do you feel about repainting the house?"  And the nightmare came to a merciful end by he saying, "No, no I can't do that.  We can't change it."

The reason why I was I had this dream is clear.  One, I've been thinking a lot lately about how much I love the earth tone paint colors in my house.  And I love my house and living in it.  And how I'm ticked that J.Crew sold out of sea foam green skinny corduroy pants in 28S.

As 2011 comes to a close and I'm hoping for a better 2012, I'm not framing "better" as "getting pregnant."  I never thought I would get to the place where I felt we might not ever get pregnant.  And that, that would be OK and sometimes even better than OK.  That life could be more fun and no less meaningful and we could still respond fully to God's calling.

We've started to frame our future life without children.  It's nothing tangible really but we have expectations about retirement and money and it feels good finally to celebrate this natural physical limitation.  I'm OK right now and I am happy and excited about life getting better on my terms.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


"Bless me father for I have sinned.  It's been seven months since my last confession."  That's how I started out last Saturday and I sure heard about my lack of enthusiasm for confession.  The priest told me I should be "celebrating the blessed sacrament more often."  I'm not sure I think of going to confession as a celebration.  Growing up a Protestant and understanding at an early age about the Reformation and why Methodists were different than Catholics, I still very much identify with confessing my sins to God directly, in private prayer.  I think I'm getting better at not committing sins or at least committing them less times.  Did that come from getting older or confessing sins to a priest?  My penance this time was to take my husband out on a date.  He sort of did that for me when he took me on his motorcycle for ice cream this weekend.  He went faster than he normally does because he knows I love the speed.  Good man.

It's been hard going back to normal life after the trip to Peru.  Pushing your body for ten hours a day is a beautiful thing.  It's makes muscles and feet sore but knowing that you have it in you to keep up is so great.  I've caught the bug for long-distance trekking.  We actually skipping out on Thanksgiving with family to go camping in the Sierra Nevadas.  I used to hate camping but now, I know I can do it.

I'll shoot myself later for saying this but it's sure nice not to have kids now.  We can go on these big trips and take off for the weekend with not very much notice.  It's a nice break from a lot of heartache the last two years.  I was supposed to call the RE after we got back home but I'm not even remotely motivated to start any program now.  Maybe next year but not now.  Life is good right now with just the two of us.  

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

We've Returned from Peru

The big news to start with is I lost five pounds.  The guide said this wasn't a weight loss trip because we would be well fed, but hiking steep mountains for 10-14 miles a day will make you lose weight.  And I couldn't escape the fertility subject.  I threw up the morning before the start of our trek and the guide asked me if I was pregnant.  No, I'm not.  A fellow trekker, after describing our fertility problems (OK, I brought it on myself) said, "well, you might be pregnant now."  "No, I'm not."  "How do you know?"  "Because I know."  I would have just missed getting my period until the day we got home but LAN Airlines (I hate them) booked us on a flight from Lima to LAX a day after we were scheduled to leave.  So, we had some unexpected time in Lima.  Not bad, but not great.

It was an amazing trip for sure.  Well worth the time and expense.  I can't remember the last time I took two weeks off.  The trek pushed me further than I thought I could go.  By the seventh day, I absolutely didn't want to walk anymore but I had to.  There were no more mules to carry anybody.  There was personal drama, relationship drama, religious drama, and not much serenity.  But as I kept saying to myself on the trail, "I'm still alive."  And back home and at work for which I am very grateful.

Monday, October 10, 2011


My company recently sent me to a training conference on corporate investing.  These kinds of conferences are hyper-stimulating for me which I feed into and enjoy but also leave me so exhausted after several days that all I can do is sit in dark, quiet room to gain my peace back.  Professional peers (clones) conduct fascinating conversations which stimulate my thinking much deeper than my actual work colleagues.  But the real kickers are the brokers who attend these things.

I'm certainly as gullible and susceptible to flattery as the next person and the brokers provide it.  It's fun but I'm often left worrying about their sincerity.  It's nice to believe they like you and find you interesting, but they really want your business.  So, it's not a pure relationship and can't develop into a friendship and that leaves me pretty sad.  I mean, I really crave intellectual stimulation and the ones that can provide it are hustling me.  That sucks.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Can't seem to get a break. But I'm no longer surprised.

I told my husband yesterday that I can't find solace anywhere.  That's not entirely true, my SIL has been really great and my Dad is pretty good to me.  But when my husband asks me how I'm feeling on different days, I don't tell him I'm fine or not fine, I tell him I just rely on Jesus.  I've been paying extra special attention to the daily Mass readings and I'm finding a treasure trove of wisdom in them.  Praise God!

I witnessed something this weekend that I've only seen on TV or in the movies.  My FIL verbally attacked my husband.  He told his son all kinds of terrible things over lunch with me and my MIL present.  I've started to notice after knowing them for five years that my MIL nervously giggles when her husband is being a complete jerk.  But I'd never quite seen him being a complete d*ck as he was yesterday.  

The abuse I think followed the usual pattern.  "You're a screw up, I told my friends what [I think] you did, your brother always does the right thing, I would never have done what you did."  My husband sat there gently defending himself but he was starting to really sweat and my MIL did not intervene.  I couldn't take the crap when my FIL got to the part where he sold my husband out to his friends.  

I placed my hand on my FIL's forearm and said something to the effect of, "What you're doing is wrong.  You're judging a situation you know nothing about.  And you should not talk to your son that way."  He replied, "I can say anything I want to my son, Mrs.!"  He barked the "Mrs." part.  I think he meant to insult my position as just a wife, but I have full confidence in myself so it didn't bother me if he was trying to cause hurt.

When the attack was winding down, I called him an egomaniac because I couldn't think of megalomaniac which was probably more descriptive of the man.  So, I was pissed but we rather quickly left their house and I hugged my FIL because I love Jesus that much and told him I'd pray for him.  His response was "you're praying for me?  Pray for your husband."  I ignored that.

Not coming from that kind of family, I was very surprised by my husband's reaction which was, "why get upset and give him the satisfaction?"  That made sense to my head but my heart was just breaking for my husband.  He said that's the way his father has always been, that's he's never been supportive.  Praise be to God that my husband has been able to overcome that.  He's not perfect, but he's a good man and I am very proud to be his wife.  Yesterday's rant taught me a lot about my in-laws and that's only a good thing.    

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Who is it that never let you down?

Since I'd been gone from the blogosphere, several seriously bad things have happened in my life.  I've faced disappointment, cruelty, abandonment, and betrayal from my closest family members and friends and people who purported to be loyal to me and my husband.  While that reads as a dramatic statement, it is all together true.  I've experienced similar events in the past but not so much all at once and this is easily the worst year of my life.

The actual events are not as relevant as the effect it's had on my spiritual life.  There have been days that only by the power of God I could live through it.  I pray almost constantly knowing that the promise of satisfaction and fulfillment cannot possibly come from the material world.  I say this humbly in that I think I'm beginning to understand what true reliance on God looks and feels like.  I've read and heard sermons that say only the truly materially destitute can understand reliance on God which is probably true but I know Jesus really understands and identifies with people letting him down in horrific ways.

In the gospel, Jesus is confronted with betrayal by Judas, witless apostles, and hostility in many places He goes.  And we all know that He called out to God on the cross, asking why He'd been abandoned.  I'm not comparing myself, obviously but when I pray I know Jesus understands and that means a lot.  Part of the true beauty of Christianity is that God didn't send a son who was a winner, who was the triumphant king of Israel.  Jesus lost a lot.  My love for Him is growing deeply through this very dark time.    

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Am I back?

I've just got to post this:  (Taken from SacredSpace)

God will not let me go. For I must be brought into that divine love, and in turn display it to others in my life. ‘You must therefore be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect’, Jesus says (Matthew 5:48). Especially, this perfection is meant to be a mirror of God’s own love, which reaches out to all humanity. Such a universal love can seem impossible to us - particularly when it includes a spirit of forgiveness towards those who offend us (cf Matthew 6:12-17; and 18:21-35). How can all this be possible? How can I, in my frail and so limited humanity, reach out in such a way? How can one forgive, particularly when there has been dreadful hurt and injustice, and no acknowledgement of the wrong perpetrated?

‘Lord, I simply cannot love in this way. I cannot be perfect, even as you are perfect! So, my dear Lord, reach deeply into my heart with your redeeming, purifying love. Gift me with your love. And then I know your love will reach out from me, despite my weakness, and in the ways you know best. Amen’.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


It's strange.  I've had a million and one interesting things to write about over the last week and haven't moved a muscle to get it done.  Maybe it's a fear of revealing too much or delving into topics most readers wouldn't be interested in (other than my deep sadness and grief over the massacre in Norway), or recounting discussions with friends that reinforce a lot of ignorance about infertility and NFP.  And these are with CATHOLICS!!!  I feel so separate (not the same as bad or sad) from the female NFP community.

I did read matchingmoonheads recent post about NFP Awareness Week and I think it's all very good.  I'm glad my husband and I learned NFP and went through the NaPro infertility testing.  More education is never a negative thing.  But I see the limitations of NFP that others might have not seen.  Did I lose time?  Maybe.  But it's not enough time to warrant much regret.  We're not out of much money or time spent on the tests.  Life is more than trying to get pregnant.  And your faith can deepen without NFP and struggling with infertility.  I don't believe infertiles like me have cornered the market on suffering.

Where this blog has taken me has not allowed for my very necessary nuances.  I'm not much of a poster child for the success of NaPro so I'm not worried about not remaining an educational resource for others.  I painted myself into a corner.  So instead of being dramatic about it, OK lightly dramatic, I'm going to close down the blog in a short amount of time.  I'm not going private.  I'm not writing anymore.

I have lots and lots of hope for the future because I know that God holds me close.  I'm excited for what's coming and pray for every one of you in the Catholic infertile community.  Blessings to you now and always.  

Thursday, July 21, 2011


We've had a lot of rain and snow in California this year.  Consequently as the snow melts in the mountains, rivers have had a greater volume than in years past and are running much more powerfully.  Three young people with a church group were killed this week when they climbed over a barrier near a waterfall in Yosemite.  The reports said they were playing and taking pictures in the pool above the falls.  One slipped on the river rocks and was pulled over the falls the other two tried to rescue the first person and they went over too.  Very sad.

I also read about a waterfall in Hawaii where several people gave been killed this year when they were wading in the pool below the falls.  Rumor has it that the pool has a whirlpool current running underneath the surface but officials have said the current is calm.  These recent news reports reminded me of my near accident last year on our river rafting trip.

I've tried to reevaluate what happened and I talked to my husband about it.  He's convinced it was the waterfall that was pushing me back down under the water.  That might be true but I still think it was a whirlpool.  I'm not experienced enough with river currents to make a determination but I definitely know that, that was a risk I should not have taken.  My husband think I should have just swam harder and made a decision earlier in the crisis that I knew what was happening to me and reasoned a way out of the situation.

Which brings up an interesting point.  I think it's much more important to evaluate the risk before the event.  I didn't have enough experience with river rafting for that trip.  God forbid I'd been one the people whose boat flipped over and you're been swept down a Class V river.  And praise God that all the folks that did happen to were able to keep their wits about them and had rescuers down river.  But, that trip was just too much for me.  No one is strong enough to survive floating down a powerful river.  My husband thinks it's important to challenge yourself past the point of what you feel is dangerous but I'm finally figuring out at my age that knowing what you can do and what you can't do is better than taking a chance.

I don't want the bad memories of that trip to overcome the good.  Some of it was good.  But, respect for rivers and other bodies of water is so important.  It might sound silly but those little radio spots about boat safety doesn't go far enough.  A human is no match for a river.  There are too many ways to get hurt and too many ways, sadly, to die.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

"Where Families Are Prized, Help Is Free"

A very interesting article.  Apparently, Israel provides free, unlimited IVF procedures until a woman is 45.  A few quotes talk about how much they value life, which I don't dispute but certainly encouraging more children in Israel is an apparent goal.  It's an eye-opening article.

Monday, July 18, 2011

You know your hair is too long when... almost choke on it when the wind whips it into your mouth.  I'm really getting into this long hair since I've never had it this length and tried my hardest to make it wavy, fluffy, and fun.  It feel kind of gratuitous.  Don't shoot me but I think short hair is more professional since there's less opportunity to make it a centerpiece.

Trying my best to keep a normal attitude as I move into the dreaded pre-menstrual stage.  Even though I want to eat nothing but chocolate cookies and cheesy bread, I'm going to lady up and eat a chicken salad.  Agh.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Boy am I confused

Around Sunday I started to get mopy, feeling bloated and anticipating my period in a couple days.  I was very dramatic about the whole thing, complaining to my husband and him just this morning asking me why I haven't purchased a pack of tampons yet today.  Well, I was looking at my calendar on the wall and figured out my period is still a week away.  What a dope.

I stopped charting four months ago or so but I generally remember the date of CD1 and in this cycle, it's June 22nd.  In order to keep track of things, I use associate memories to figure out where I am in my cycle.  I remember meetings I was at or tasks I was doing or place I was visiting.  But in this whole exercise I learned that the mind is a very powerful thing.  And I wasn't bloated at all, I was just eating too many cookies.

So, it's back to being a bright, sunny person.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011 act justly and to love mercy.

Thank you to those great ladies who are praying for Suzanne and posted beautiful notes on her blog.  I know God is listening and will respond.

Last night at adoration chapel I was meditating on the passage above in my blog header.  And I focused on this phrase, "...act justly and to love mercy."  I repeated it to myself over and over trying to figure out how to best apply it to my current situations.  My SIL's birthday is a few days away and I normally send a card.  For a bit of time after how cruel she was to me at Easter, I contemplated many ways to drop her out of my life.

But I was coming to no pretty conclusions by dropping her from my life since she'd be a part of the family, for better or worse, much worse for a long time.  She is a reality.  I've faced many cruel people throughout my life not least of which were members of my own family who you come in to the world expecting instinctively that they love you and not want to hurt you.  Sadly, this is for some people, maybe a lot of folks, a fact.

While I haven't been to the point of forgiveness at least with the SIL, I feel called to "act justly and love mercy."  I gain nothing by getting back at her and gain a lot in terms of self-respect and hopefully with the Lord by showing her more mercy than she could show me.  So, I've got the birthday card and am about to fill it out.  I'm still contemplating signing it with "Love."  Perhaps, "In Christ" might be a better option?

If anyone has any good, creative salutations to offer, please do!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

URGENT Prayer Request

Hello Readers!  I'm humbly asking your prayers for a wonderful woman in my parish.  She has what started as breast cancer that spread to other organs.  Her name is and I've posted her email to members of our parish below:
 Just got the news this morning that my Brain MRI showed 15 tumors in the brain each about a centimeter. Certainly very very bad news. Doctors are hopeful they can manage this for a good amount of time and possibly even erradicate it, but tell me the next few months will be very difficult and emotional for me (I am now on Decadron for the brain swelling so watch for major mood swings!) 
I had the first of 20 daily treatments of whole brain radiation today, will have another tomorrow.  I'm also starting a new chemo tomorrow.  I don't know how these things are going to affect me physically, but if I am at all able to sing I definitely want to. 
 My Oncologist told me the fatigue will be so great that I will not be able to care for the children, that I will need help.  But singing makes me strong in spirit, so if I can I absolutely will.
 Thanks in advance for the prayers I know will continue.  We need a miracle now more than ever.
I just saw her and her family last weekend and she looked good to me but obviously is suffering.  She and her husband are raising seven children so this is especially tough for her much beloved family and close friends. keep her own blog so if you feel you are able, perhaps you can post a short note to her: (just remove the dots) rai.singsa.ints[dot]blo.gspot[dot]co.m

Thank you prayer warriors!!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

4th of July

Yesterday, we hung out with our super Kni.ght.s o.f. Co.lom.bus crowd.  Hot, hot, hot.  We got there so early, we toyed with leaving and coming back but ended up staying to help decorate.  Thank the Lord for the person who invented misters.

I had a chance to catch up with a bunch of folks I hadn't seen in a while.  But one thing really did stand out.  I often wear my St. Gerard medallion (a wonderful gift from a very special blogger buddy) with the cross my husband gave me for my confirmation.  Well, our super parish mother, (she has nine and is planning on a tenth.  Actually, she told me she's timing her next child to be born at Thanksgiving.  Talk about assured fertility.) asked me what I was wearing around my neck.

-It's a charm with St. Gerard.  (She obviously knows what he's the patron saint of.)
-Oh, do you have something in the works?
-No, not at all.  I'm infertile.  (Now I said this after having had three beers and to the entire table of people including her husband and another couple.)  See, NFP doesn't work!  (I laughed to show I was at least kind of kidding.)
-Well, I will be praying for you.
-Thank you.  I very much appreciate that.

Now, I wouldn't have been so open if it hadn't been for the alcohol but what the heck?  It was a very freeing experience to not make any bones about it.  I highly recommend others trying this. ;)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Peru, baby!

No, I have no baby.  You're the baby!  We're headed for Peru in October to do a 13-day, 60 mile hike.  Do we ever take relaxing vacations?, NO!  What's the point of laying on the beach?  We read about this trip in the NY.T.imes are we wired the money yesterday.  This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I'm thrilled and excited to be doing it.

In other news, I saw the RE today.  I don't know why I put it off.  She was very nice, pragmatic, accommodating.  I give her my entire history and said, "diagnose me."  She stressed that getting pregnant is never a sure thing even for a couple, both 25 with normal fertility.  She said it could be my age, my husband's age, a combination of the two, or just plain bad luck.

I told her about what we're not doing (Clomid, IVF, the thing opposite a perforated condom) and she said that's no problem, we could do injectables with monitoring and sex or maybe GIFT.  My husband would balk at the cost of the latter (and I would to, really.)  And with the monitoring, we'd need to use a local radiologist since the doctor agrees that driving down to L..A... for that is stressful and unnecessary.

So, with this trip to Peru, I'm happily putting off any conception attempts.  What a nice break all summer to look forward to the big trip and not have to focus on fertility.  [Slow, deep breath]

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


I'm curious.  Do you wear a veil to Mass?  We have a few ladies that do so at our parish.  OK, they're Hispanic but it seems like a wonderful thing to do.  Do you?

The Holy Father Tweets!

Broken Body

I'd been hitting the workouts very hard lately (heavy weights, high impact stuff) and initially it felt great.  But after a couple of months I seem to be getting injury after injury.  I'm going to sound like an old person now....  Ah, my left arm just below my deltoid has been strained for two months.  Last weekend I tweaked my left foot doing a spin dance thing and my right knee is screwed ever since I did a misaligned curtsy squat.  If I'd just slowed down and watched the instructors feet....  Now, with the nagging annoyances at home (we seem to argue endlessly about who's not pulling their weight, stupid!), I've got a pulled right neck.  Gosh.

And that's not all.  When I saw my periodontist last week, the assistant girl asked if I'd had any health changes since last year.  I always say my health is exemplary no matter what and I'm taking no drugs.  That just makes everything easier.  But this time I said everything was fine with my head area.  And then I mentally ran through the litany of problems I've had lately.  By the time the periodontist came around, I was complaining how everyone and their brother was nagging me over my breast ultrasound follow-up.  And he joined the chorus.  So, I've got that appointment next week.  Can't wait to get home and put some more heat on my neck.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Water off a duck's back?

My husband didn't react to Father's Day the way I did to Mother's Day.  I had to get out of town for the latter but we went to my in-laws for the former.  While the quick trip was hectic, I appreciated the relative calm of the day.  However, when it comes to my infertility my in-laws have made insensitive comments in the past which I consistently overlook.  I mean, I forgive but am not forgetting.  This time when we toasted my FIL with the disappointing bloody marys I crafted (my husband reminded me to shake the mixture, not stir it), my FIL said quietly to my husband, "Hopefully, son, you'll be a father soon."  Ouch.  I didn't talk to my husband about this afterwards because frankly he doesn't really care and I doubt he even heard the comment.

I think we all take or took our fertility for granted.  And our parents probably assumed it was there, too.  Who thinks they will fall into a small minority of people who will have problems?  But, I'm just not hearing from the people that chalk it up to whatever, bad luck, God's testing you, what goes around comes around, etc.  Where are the couples that say, "we're movin' on?"  No more drugs, no more testing, no more tries, no adoption.

Clearly I'm still struggling with that reality.  I have an appointment scheduled with the RE on Friday that I cancelled last year.  My reasoning back then was, "what can she tell me that I don't already know?"  I guess I forgot that I thought that when I made the appointment when I got my period last week.  It was this... I feel like I gave everything I could to NaPro.  I trusted and I have no answers.  Thankfully, many of you did not have this same result.  NaPro gave you what you wanted.  I'm disillusioned for sure but I should have been smarter to know that a more individualized approach would have worked better for me.

If Dr. S.tig.en had asked me, "What's been your prior experience with psychotropic drugs?"  My answer would have been "not at all good."  Then maybe hormone therapy/infertility drugs wouldn't be so great for my emotions.  But, I marched ahead thinking how bad could this be and then it was really bad.  My husband and a few of you have asked why I haven't moved on to Femara and the low dose naltrexone.  The straight answer is that I'm scared what it will do to my head and I'm sick of drugs.  I don't like drugs, prescription or otherwise.  I'm not a fertility drug candidate.  So, why is it so hard to pull the plug on this stuff?

I've said this before but I'm letting anecdotal evidence sway my decision making.  I think I have a pretty good track record in knowing what I can handle and what I can't.  But I guess the pressure from outside sources, like the in-laws and my own parents are making this an uphill battle.  What I am thinking?  I should just talk to the four of them and tell them in polite terms to lay off.  This is my life, my marriage.  We know what's best for us.

Time to cancel the RE appointment again?    

Friday, June 24, 2011

That's a good point

Please take time to read Joy Beyond the Cross's and NC's comments on my last post.  Thanks for taking the time to comment ladies; I really do appreciate it.  And it gives me a great opportunity to explain what might seem incongruous.  But I assure you, it's not.

First, seriously, I AM NOT PRO ABORTION OR PRO ARTIFICIAL BIRTH CONTROL.  Sorry to shout but I guess I've failed to make myself clear.  I'm not going around advocating those activities to anybody.    In the United States, we separate church and state.  I believe to my core in that principle.  I also believe the Jesus Christ is the Son of God and he suffered and died for our sins.  Despite the fact that I'm a faithful Catholic, I'll defer to the online group and take down the "Faithful to Magesterium" button.  The last thing I want to be on my blog is confusing, so down it goes.      

I support absolute opportunity and equal rights for women under secular law.  Women should not be subordinate to a man in the eyes of the law.  The government should not be able to force a woman to give birth to a child.  They should not be kept from receiving birth control.  I'm sure this is not news to those of you in the know but, "Only 2% of Catholic women rely on natural family planning; this is true even among Catholic women who attend church once a month or more."  If you're using NFP (like I am to not much success), we are in a tiny minority.  

So this indictment of Catholics who profess respect for the United States Constitution is baffling to me.  There are a lot of Catholics using birth control.  I'm not one of them, so you're better off going after them.  I'm not averse to conflict, actually discourse like this is fun and educational for me but I guess I'm fast approaching my limit.  I don't delete any comments unless they are abusive and of course, nobody has been.  I don't dislike you if you disagree with me.  

I guess I'm trying to cover too many diverse topics on a narrow topic blog.  Although infertility has been a big blow to me, I'd seriously hate myself if I wallowed in that fact and that's the only thing I wrote about.  I'm a bad Catholic infertile blog support group member. :)  But, this is my blog and I won't shy away from advocating my position.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Is it worth it anymore?

I read Just Being's last entry yesterday.  She made some very good points, not all of which I agree with but it reminds me that being an infertile blogger has social consequences like anything in real life.  Some people will get more attention, some will say things to upset others, some will disappoint you in a myriad of ways.  All that's happened to me and I suspect I've done it to somebody else.

Because I spend a lot of time anxious and critical, I think several times before I write negative things about other people.  I've got problems with other bloggers at times, yes but I know most people aren't out to hurt others and if I walk away, I'll forget about it.  And I prefer that state.  I mean, I have major philosophical differences with the majority of you out there and what's the point of driving home my undying support of strong womens' rights laws, including abortion.  You obviously disagree, let's not beat a dead horse.  (I hate that analogy.)  Oh, but by the way, I can't stand to read how birth control pills are the root of all evil and are the direct cause of all female maladies.  Really?  Come on.

But, I will say that it does upset me when I write about a sensitive topic or one I really care about and I don't get a single comment.  Mea culpa, I rarely comment anymore.  So, I just go ahead and delete those posts.  Why let it hang out if no one is demonstrably interested?  But people are reading.  I track you, I know the city you live in ;) so I hope you have a good time reading.

No one is who they say they are on their blog.  I'm certainly not.  I've experienced and done things I would never share here even though I think it would shed a lot of light on what kind of person I am and what has motivated me.  I don't have the time to write about all my current events no matter how interesting I think they are or how interesting they would be to read.  I like my blog because this is the only way I'd keep a diary.  Modern life is sad, right?

Becoming a Catholic, learning Creighton, finding out I'm infertile have all been major milestones in my life.  And I'm glad I can weigh those lessons against what I know to be rational and true.  Faith is different from that and I keep much of it separate.  I know God works for me and I also know that Creighton doesn't work for me.  I wouldn't have known that without the help of the infertile blog community and I thank you so very much for that.  We don't all have to get pregnant and have children to come to conclusions about our predicament.

I'll keep blogging, because it's mostly fun.  And I'll try not to take it personally when you don't comment.  I just hope you find my blog and entertaining and educational experience.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


My mother's making her strange comments again.  "Even though IVF isn't approved by Catholics, you wouldn't have to tell anybody right or report it?"  "Yes, Mom that's true but I've told you before we're not doing it."  Then I gave a sort of crude reference to the male donation process.  I've become much happier when I've stopped listening to my mother.  I swear being in my thirties is the best phase of life (so far.)

But we're really getting the "are you pregnant yet?" message from all sides.  Friends, co-workers (his), in-laws (mine).  I feel like we're the project that never gets finished.  You know what I mean?  What I love about my husband and why I am attracted to him is that he is not at all susceptible to peer pressure.  If he does something, he does it because he wants to, not because his buddy said to do it.  I'm essentially the same way; no sororities for me in college.

That said, we're not living in a bubble and we fully understand other people's expectations.  But I'm more concerned with my own.  I sure get tired of this crap.  I feel like I'd be more authentic by just stopping all together.  No more trying.  It's not fun to try month after month and keep getting rejected.  I have my pride.

I've decided that if I'm not pregnant this cycle (I'm lookin' for a miracle here), I'll go see the RE I was looking at last year.  Sure, she's gonna run the same story by me but I know myself, what I've been through, and what we're willing to do.  I'll lay it out.  We play by our rules or we don't play.  Ah, self-determination.  It feels so good.

Friday, June 17, 2011

"Clothes, that's all you women ever think about."

Now that I've gotten to the age where I've built up a good wardrobe and feel pretty confident in what I can wear and still look professional, tailored, and comfortable, before I buy something new, I ask myself, "Do I really need this?"  Of course, as a woman, there's always some inherent pleasure in shopping for shopping's sake, my husband's fiscal discipline reminds me to be choosy.  I try to buy from websites that offer free shipping and generous return policies, i.e. free return shipping.  If the company only gives free shipping over a certain dollar amount, I call and ask for free shipping anyhow and at least with Nor.dstrom, that works every time.

I'm almost always in the market for tailored pants because those are the hardest to fit.  I hold on to black trousers for many years but tend to get very annoyed when the seams break down.  Although I like the style at Ta.lbots, my MIL did comment a few years ago that she thought the quality had gotten really cheap and I'm starting to agree with her.  So, although I like the quality at J.Cr.ew, they fit their clothes for stick people so it's a real trick to find the right size.

Case in point, I bought some black light wool slacks online at J.C.rew and they fit very nice.  Loved them so I ordered the same style and size in navy and grey.  Those pairs fit so awkwardly I returned them and was pretty disappointed they didn't work out like the black pair did.  Anyhoo, I'm still in the market for super nice pants.  I sometimes toy with the idea of buying a designer pair but can't get over some of those prices (>$400.)

I'm looking at some shoes from Nord.strom, but I have to wait until this afternoon (I am taking the afternoon off like all of you suggested :)) to call and get free shipping.  It's a never ending saga.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


I'm getting an indication that my company might not be reimbursing a business lunch I had last week.  Geez, it's not like it was a pleasure trip.  I'm trying to drum up business here.  And having lunch on the company has happened three times in the last five years.  Thanks people.  [UPDATE] Actually, my boss was pretty nice about it although they categorized it as a per diem lunch rate.  So, although the lunch was $22, they capped it at $15.  Not great but not bad.

My July travel schedule is all screwed up.  We were supposed to go to Colorado for a mini-vacation but then my husband said he'd be flying in Tuesday afternoon and flying out Thursday morning.  That hardly seemed worth the expense so he's going without me.  I really don't care about that but this was supposed to be kind of a birthday celebration.

My family members in California are flying to the Midwest in early July to see one of my sister's get a promotion.  I have all kinds of problems with this.  I decided I wasn't going (and I'm the only one not going) but haven't yet explained this to my sister.  I don't want to go into it but I think this sibling needs to get over here to see us rather than have all of us visit her all the time.  Which is what's happened for the last five years.

[UPDATE] I did have a wonderful email exchange with the sister in question.  She can really be thoughtful and giving when she tries.  So, we love each other and will work it out.

Ahh! [UPDATE] Back to good.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Four precious hours

We've got a use-or-lose-it type of vacation here at work and yours truly has four very precious hours I must use before July 1.  It's already the 13th, and I have to be strategic about this given my underling is going on vacation next week and I have to do all of his work while he's gone.

So, I need you ladies to give me a good suggestion!  Do I take the afternoon off on a Friday?  Do I leave early or come in a hour late for four days?  This is kind of like having some special end of fiscal year candy.  

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Cute dress

We were driving back from San Die.go yesterday and stopped at Fash.ion Isl.and and then the Bas.s Pro Sh.op in... I always forget what city it's in but, you know, the Inlan.d Em.pire.  After spending more than I wanted to Anthro.polo.gie for a shirt that I'll wear until holes are in it and a great orange dress I can wear to work in the summer, I picked up a very cute dress at Bass for $20!  I couldn't wait to wear it to run errands this morning and accessorized with my tiger print flats.  The front just had to be pinned but since I'm so flat, I hardly worried about it.  Here's a link:

Friday, June 3, 2011

Seven months???

Jeez, I hadn't realized it until I posted this fact on matchingmoonhead's blog but my laparascopy was seven months ago today.  Talk about not getting the instant benefit of the surgery but since I didn't have much of anything going bad anyway, I think the lap was not very useful except for the fact I got to see my insides which is always cool.  I never have watched the video again after the post-op appointment.

I guess it's the test of any blog author to be able to market one's self as switching focus.  My primary readership is highly likely to be married Catholic women who were or are infertile.  It's a special group, to be sure, but I think I'm the only one who has pretty much quit.  I want to keep my blog but I'd better muster up some promotion skills and get a expand my audience if I want people to read about my super opinions.  [sort of tongue-in-cheek.]

I've been having a good time focusing on my Spanish lessons.  It's really fun and enlightening to work with my Mexico City friends.  I really wish I could still speak French and Russian well but if you dropped me in Quebec, France, Russia or any former Soviet republic (loose term), I could do pretty well.  Maybe not go into the full depth of my feelings or world events but have a pretty decent conversation.

The marriage is going great.  My husband tries hard to make me happy most of the time and I try to keep a not-so-serious attitude when possible.  It's getting easier to not focus on not being able to get pregnant.

We head to San D.iego next week and I'm staying at the same hotel as I did in April.  That should be a good break.  I'm now a vacation queen!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Jack & Jill

Jeez, I'm not sure where I left off with my stories.  Ok, it's coming to me....  I did write about calling Jack and letting him know how it felt to be abandoned by his friendship.  He suggested getting together and that did happen last weekend.

My husband, bless his sweet heart, really enjoys Jack and says he's very interesting to talk to since he knows many things.  I know this to be somewhat true but I know Jack to make statements that are clearly untrue just to argue the point and draw the other party into it.  Case in point, he told me when we were dating that "70% of the  po.r.n is consumed by women."  This is such a crazy statement that even I couldn't believe it but it stands as a prime example of Jack's thinking.

They were late.  Jill wasn't going to come since she has morning sickness but managed to make it.  The conversation was pleasant enough.  I refrained from calling them out on their chicken behavior.  Hell, if you want to end it, be a man (or woman) and say it.  Don't drop it.  I did my duty as a former girlfriend and someone who's known Jack for sixteen years, not to let his wife know that I know him better than she does.  She is stupid not to believe it but I didn't want to confirm anything.  Almost everything experienceable that Jack talked about, I was actually there when it happened or knew about it within minutes of it happening.

The only thing Jack said that pissed me off was when he said African priests are hyper-conservative and hate gays.  I reminded him that one of our priests is African and he f'ing officiated at our wedding that Jack and Jill attended.  He's never talked about things he hates or even dislikes, other than sin and I wouldn't ever imagine him speaking against homosexuality even if he didn't like it.  Despite coming from a strong Catholic family himself, Jack can't bring himself to be respectful.

Jill did say something that made me a bit concerned in that she's somewhat religious (heck, they kneeled at an altar at their wedding) but Jack's an atheist and Jill's worried this will cause some problems once the baby's born.  I could see that coming a mile away.  No one think differing religious views can hurt a couple until you introduce another human being into the situation that you have to raise.

I didn't want to sound like their mother but I do find it odd they felt it was a good time to have a baby when they both do freelance work and they haven't work since Christmas.  They live in a very desirable beach community and they pay dearly for that, a tiny 700 sqft, one bedroom, one bathroom condo.  I did ask how they were going to put a child in that place and Jack conceded that finding another place to live might be in their immediate future.  Too bad the condo is worth $100K less that what he bought it for on 100% financing.

If it seems like I'm gloating, I feel justified about that to a certain extent.  I mean, my husband and I own a big enough home for three kids, we make enough money to give our kids a nice lifestyle but ironically, we have no kids.  We did rehearse before the brunch what we'd say if they asked us about pregnancy plans, but thankfully Jack and Jill didn't address it and I tried to ask no questions about her pregnancy.  I really didn't want to break them out of their naive belief that pregnancy is a highly controllable state.  Ignorance in their case, is bliss.

I'm not calling him anymore.  While I could spend lots of time wishing he would be a better person and friend, the odds are stacked against that and I've got to move forward with more trustworthy folks.  At least I got to drink a bloody mary.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

On The Fence?

I talked to Dr. Sti.gen a couple weeks ago.  I'm not sure I wrote about it here.  I asked her about doing an ultrasound study but after talking with the husband, decided against it.  If I was insecure about my CM, I certainly don't want the same thing when it comes to follicle size.  Besides, it's not practical.  Not cost-effective or time-effective.  I can do without.

She mailed me a cycle plan with all the regular NaPro stuff, Femara, Vitamin B6, Fertile CM, Mucinex, Biaxin, Low Dose Naltrexone, and the blood draw order.  Part of me thinks why not do it?  Could it hurt?  But, I'm not jazzed about anything I've taken before.  Femara's not got me convinced and the possible nightmares on Naltrexone is scaring me half to death.  I'm already an intense dreamer and blocking my opioids hardly sounds promising.

None of what she wants me to take is very groundbreaking in the NaPro world, it's what they all prescribe.  I'm just not there with trying the same thing for yet another cycle and trying anything new.  I haven't filled all the prescriptions and so this next cycle will be drug free again.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Lots of Stuff

The items below are in no particular order.
  • I'm scaling back a lot of my concentration on infertility.  While my mood recently has not been all roses and rainbows, I do find that moving on emotionally is a better way to live.  I'm seeing infertility like any other disability and it helps to frame it that way.  It's not going away so I'd better not dwell on it.  
  • I have many things to be thankful for, work, finances, health (in all the other body systems.)  My work is very important to me.  I don't see any reason why I can't rise to the very top of my profession and I concentrate on doing the things I need to prepare for that.  This is not without it's problems like potentially seeing my salary rise about my husband's in the next several years.  It's really an inevitability as my husband will be long retired when I hit my professional peak.  
  • We live in an exurb and I've invited my friends, my close friends from the Big City to visit us at our home and have dinner. Really, my cooking has become quite superb. :)  Mind you the drive would take them all but 45-50 minutes but nearly all of them quietly refuse.  It's finally upset me when Afina said she'd meet us in Mal.ibu for lunch when that's over an hour away from us and and about a half hour from her, both in opposite directions from our homes.  I sent her an email which she has yet to respond to saying how important it is for me to host her family in my home.  I can't help but feel slighted in this regard.
  • My husband and I are taking lessons.  It gives us something to do that might turn out to be very helpful.  This will be my fourth language!
  • I've got some spiritual goals that I should have been working on during Lent but hey, starting now is as good a time as any.  I'm working on gentleness, not being judgmental, not complaining, looking on the sunny side of things.  
  • I just spoke to Jack (first boyfriend, close friend at one time.)  I had to get a straight answer as to why we were dropped.  He claimed that his wife did not ask him to do that although he could understand the issues with communicating with an ex-girlfriend.  I didn't argue with him but explained that his lack of communication hurt me a lot.  That felt good to say.  Jack said it wasn't intentional and said he was a bad friend.  I know I walked straight into this so I'm not at all upset but his wife is nine weeks pregnant and she's having constant morning sickness.  I told him we were very happy for them.  We're trying to get together, all four of us, for brunch this Sunday.  I'm not taking it to heart so much, I guess I just needed to say it.          

Monday, May 9, 2011

An Important Addendum

I neglected to mention in my last post that I believe there is a solution to accepting death and infertility, Christ.  Actually, the priest did mention it in his homily that many situations in life do not have a apparent, earthly solution.  But Christ is the answer.  Christ is the solution.  I think the Frontline episode might have been served with mentioning that faith can play a powerful role in the dying person and their families accepting the inevitable.  I know egocentrism is in vogue these days but a little perspective goes a long way.  Life is bigger than me, way, way bigger.  The life I want to live is perhaps not the life God wants me to live.

I'm seeing infertility like any other disability, it sucks but it's there.  Stephen Hawking who has ALS said this recently, "My advice to other disabled people would be, concentrate on things your disability doesn’t prevent you doing well, and don’t regret the things it interferes with. Don’t be disabled in spirit, as well as physically."  Amen.   

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Something To Relate To

I just finished watching a Frontline episode entitled "Facing Death."  I've been interested in end-of-life issues for a while now since I've experienced the death of three grandparents.  Deciding when to stop treatment is very, very difficult because most people want to believe that there is always a treatment option available that can prolong their life.  Watching a relative or loved one die is very difficult but watching them die slowly in a hospital on life support, I think, is much worse.  I would highly recommend watching the episode; you can do that on-line.

We managed to escape for 24 hours this weekend.  I've been thinking about getting away from home for Mother's Day for several months now but just put the plan into place last Monday.  It took some maneuvering with the family to do it and although I explained that the infertility has been very painful and I thought they got it, they made statements later which makes me think they really don't understand it.  So be it.  I did the best I could to not be distant and remain loving when I said no to offers for brunch or dinner today.

However much like some British subjects who might have wanted to escape the Royal Wedding last weekend and their only clear option was hiding under a rock, if you ventured online or even stepped outside your house today, you couldn't escape Mother's Day.  I knew Mass would be a particular problem spot and it started with a young couple holding the doors for us the Los An.geles Cathed.ral and the woman saying to me, "Happy Mother's Day."  Hmmm.

The priest didn't much better when he asked all the mothers present to stand and also if you were currently pregnant, you should stand to, to come get a carnation.  I thought about standing and should have done it because I found it a bit isolating.  Sure, there were hundreds of people there but I still felt self-conscious.  And it made me think the Church or some leaders in the Church don't get it or understand the teaching.  All that matters is that you're open to life, right?  Faithful to the Magisterium.  What if I was the woman who'd had one or more miscarriages and I can't stand because I'm not currently pregnant?  What kind of crap is that?  I've done everything the Church sees as permissible to get pregnant.  I count and deserved that carnation.

But back to the Frontline episode....  Someone makes the statement in the show like, "I don't want to ever stop treatment no matter how small the chances are that it won't make me live better or longer."  I think how people view end-of-life treatment can be very similar to how they view infertility treatment.  It's not OK to say, "I'm not doing this anymore.  I surrender.  I accept because the treatment is making me more miserable than I need to be."  You know, we can do one more bone marrow transplant, or one more IVF cycle, or one more round of Clomid.  Right now I see the Femara as a last ditch effort but part of me is also thinking that it's pointless to go through this.

Before July 2010, when I began the diagnostic testing my husband said that we shouldn't expect to get pregnant until we know what's wrong and it's fixed.  Well, that's happened and we're still not pregnant.  The months on Clomid were really bad and made me life worse in those moments.  I don't want to do the Femara if that's going to happen and I just feel so much pressure during the treatment months.  When do we start asking our NaPro doctors that when quality of life is diminishing, isn't it time to stop treatment?  Or are we always compelled to kept trying because is just might happen to us?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I hate having to say this

It didn't happen.  I'm seriously bummed, practically numb.  But, I'm reminded of the more serious things happening in the world especially the tornado related deaths in Alabama that prayers are better offered for their souls and property.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I really shouldn't be saying this...

I'm in the familiar zone of the "maybe I am, probably I'm not" when it comes to achieving this long-awaited dream of having a child.  The facts are:

  • I knew and noted here that this would be a long cycle.  I didn't really start fertile CM until CD 21 but determining the peak day is very difficult for me since the fertile CM never really ended.  Heck, I even had some on CD 32.  Today is CD 36 and my best guess is that yesterday was P+12.  That's not really significant for me since I've had many P+12 and P+13s in the past.  The highest I've ever achieved is P+15.  But I've been playing this game with myself that if I just get past Tuesday and Wednesday, I'm pregnant.  However, I don't know which day is the confirming day.  Is it Saturday?  Monday?
  • I've never in my entire life had a cycle this long.  That's really not materially significant but it does make me believe that maybe this is the difference in my body that will make all the difference.  We used lots of days which I am forever grateful to my husband.  
  • Of course, if it all fails today, this post will feel very silly but I couldn't let this opportunity to go by without saying something.
I learned long ago not to put the cart before the horse when it came to things like jobs.  You know, imagining what kind of apartment I'd live in, in the new city.  What would I do when I got there, etc.?  But as a woman who has never had the experience of a pregnancy, my mind is racing about how significant this would be for my life.  I'm tempted to list all those thoughts now, but I'll wait until I've confirmed this is actually true.

You might say, "why don't you take a HPT?"  Well, I can't take the disappointment.  Because if it's negative, then the pain is inevitable.  I'd rather not know.  But, the guessing game is still hard and anxiety producing.  

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Today is my one year blog anniversary.  I really hope descriptions of my journey through infertility has helped some folks and my prayers for this large community have helped support a great group of Catholic women.

Monday, April 18, 2011


I'm getting the heck out of dodge!  Here's my schedule for the next two weeks:  Tuesday night through Friday afternoon, attend conference in Di.ego.  Saturday morning, head to the in-law's house.  Sunday, Easter!  Rejoice!, next Monday through Thursday, back to work (blah), and Friday, take the day off to watch a televised wedding.  Can't wait!!!

All of this excitement is causing me to not want to do much work for the remainder of today and tomorrow, but I'll make do.  I love traveling and I'll be doing it alone again this time since the husband cannot possibly take time away from work.  Too bad for him, he'll miss the ocean view room.

I am having the wackiest cycle ever.  I didn't get fertile CM until around CD 22 and I'm probably at P+3 or 4 today.  Although it seems silly to take tampons on the trip, I guess I will and hope for the best.  Maybe I'll have my Easter miracle. ;)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Commitmentphobe Phobic

I'd really like to hear your thoughts on this post.  I'm fairly confident in my feelings and evaluation of the situation, but getting a reality check is always helpful.

I guess I took Peter off my "Cast of Characters" a bit too soon since he's back.  While I was still sleeping this morning, my husband was up and about.  I heard him on the phone with someone talking about finances so I knew it was a friend and not business related.  But when I heard him say, "Stacy's the 22 year old?" that's when I got concerned.

My husband had left by the time I got out of the shower, so I called.

[Me] - Who were you talking to this morning?
[Him] - Peter.  He broke up with Kate.
[Me] - Why were you talking about a 22 year old?
[Him] - Oh, that's a girl he works with that he's [sleeping with.]  (He used a cruder term.)  Peter's coming out to L..A... in a few weeks and he asked if we wanted to go to with him.  I told him that we were all amusement park'ed out but we'd meet him for dinner.
[Me] - I'm not meeting a 22 year old for dinner. (Commentary on this below)
[Him] - He's not bringing her but a Mor.m.on he's dating.
[Me] - How could Peter be dating a
[Him] - He's not [sleeping with] her.
[Me] - I could have guessed that.  Faithful Mor.mons are not dating a guy like Peter, casually or seriously.
[Him] - You don't have to come to dinner.  I can go by myself.
[Me] - That might be a good idea.

It's not that I wouldn't have dinner with a 22 year old, I would.  Age makes no difference to me, I'll talk to a 2 year old to a 222 year old.  It's just that 22 year olds that date Peter are hardly worth having dinner with.  But, he's not bringing her but a mid-thirties M.ormon that I can guess was likely raised as a Mor.mon but is not involved in the church anymore.  Everyone on my mother's mother's side is L.D...S.  I know something about how they live their lives.

I'm not so much worried that Peter wrongly influences my husband it's just that I am profoundly, deeply offended by Peter's lifestyle.  The casual sex, the new girl every two to three years, the debauchery, the cheating, I'm not into it.  It's a good thing Peter lives out-of-state because I couldn't handle this guy more than twice a year.  So, I've decided to not have dinner with them.  I guess that's it.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


I was convinced I was having my very first dry cycle since I got to CD 19 and had nothing, nada.  But on CD 20, it was 10KL x3!  Yo!  And today it was 1,000 CKL, if you use the multiplier and I was listening to this song at work.  So, I expect this to be a very long cycle perhaps 36 days or so.  But, we're using lots of days so I'm very happy.  Rock on!

Weight... wait.

It's all coming together so I might as well write about it now.  By it, I mean weight, body image, fitness, nutrition, all that stuff.  A couple of weeks ago, a doctor my husband used to see and I did see once and paid about $475 out-of-pocket to do that emailed people, including me, a video and short article about the supposed toxicity of sugar.  You can view it here: although make some time because it's an hour and a half long.  I was viewing the NYTimes website and saw an article about the speaker in the video and his claims about sugar's badness.  The article is here: 

I went to see that doctor because of my chronic yeast infections thinking that my problem might be based on my bad nutrition.  Well, it turned out the infection was bacterial and I was just using the wrong lubricant.  So much for a systemic cause.  The doctor wanted me to do this food allergy test which involved all sorts of powders and shakes and weaned me off nearly every type of food even the most healthful American is eating.  The powder sits untouched in the pantry of an unoccupied house.

I make being healthy a top priority.  I am fortunate in that the majority of my recent ancestors on my mother's side had no propensity for bodily disease and they were all thin.  I can't say much for their mental health as we have evidence of great-grandma having a "nervous" disposition which in modern terms can likely mean she had regular anxiety attacks.  And there's nothing inherently good about being skinny as at least two people in my family have/had an.or.exi.a.  I thank God nearly every day that He did not afflict me with that disease.  I continue to enjoy a healthy appetite.

So, I've got a good base but as I and everybody else ages, it can be hard to maintain one's weight or at least you probably have to work at it.  I've been involved in sports and dancing since I was a wee tyke and I love, love, love being active to this day.  In fact, I start getting anxiety attacks when I haven't worked out for two or more days straight.  I do anywhere from a half hour to an hour and a half of high intensity aerobics, weight training, pilates, shadow boxing, and dancing.

I don't exercise that much to be thin although that does happen.  I do it to be in great physical shape.  I like knowing I've worked nearly every muscle in my body and I've got the strength and flexibility to do anything I want.  It's also motivating to know I can control what others seem to not be able to.  While women around me (and some men) complain about how they can't lose weight, I secretly know exactly how to master this and can drop anywhere from three to five pounds in four or five days.

What I consider my normal weight is what I can maintain with regular exercise and not eating too much.  If I eat a lot, I'll be about two to three pounds over normal. If I am working out really hard and long and am fasting, I can be two to three pounds under weight.  I don't get nervous about my weight fluctuating a few pounds since I had be back to normal within a week if I half to.

Up until about age 25, I could eat anything I wanted (I would sometimes eat Haagen-Dazs and drink Grolsch for dinner) and not gain.  But, all that changed when I was around 27 and living in Washing.ton. D.C. and trying to escape a super bad work situation by eating my way out of it.  I never weighed myself in D..C. since I didn't have a scale but I would estimate I was about ten to fifteen pounds heavier than when I moved there.

On my month-long road trip back to California, I resolved to lose the weight and I remember it took about a month to six weeks to do that.  Getting away from a bully boss and lots of exercise was about all it took.  And for six years, I've maintained the same weight.

My nutrition was marginal up until I met my husband who by the nature of his work and how his mother fed him as a child, he was used to eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and enjoyed it.  I was never really a salad person and would throw a fit when asked to have one for dinner, but now I actually like salads and happily make them for dinner.  I get nervous when I've eaten too much food that's white, white bread, white rice, white whatever.  I run to something with color.

This winter/spring we keep the fridge stocked with fresh berries and I eat a mixture almost every afternoon.  That helps with fiber!  And it also cuts my appetite for dinner.  Lately I've had a rule that I stop eating by six o'clock every night although I have a far from perfect record.  Late meetings on Monday and Tuesday caused me to eat two McD cheeseburgers and fries and five oreos for dinner, respectively at 9pm both nights.  I hope to get back to the salad tonight.

Back to sugar... it stands to reason that people should eat as many non-processed foods as possible since that's a recent invention and the human race has gotten by pretty good so far eating natural foods.  But, temptation abounds and I would hate for anybody to have to quit yummy foods cold turkey.  So, for me, I eat well as much as possible but when I have the craving for a cookie, a brownie, and cake, I eat it.  There's no point in being miserable.  Amen!    

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Lovely Day

I don't think I could have had a better start to a work day.  My husband's been very good this month about..., you know.  He's constantly asking me if I want to do it and of course I say yes every time.  So, he asked this morning and then said in a loud, full voice (we're alone in the house, though), "I LOVE YOU!"   "Darling, I want you to have a bouncing baby boy named (his name) Jr."  I replied that he knew we already have the names picked out and his was not the one.  Well, it would be the middle name for the first boy.  I sure love getting ahead of myself!  So, this song is dedicated to my husband.

Monday, April 11, 2011

My "Conversion" Story

Joy Beyond the Cross had asked for my conversion story so....  Why the quotes in the title?  Because as I was a baptized Christian before coming into the Catholic Church, I don't consider it a conversion.  I look at as a mutual acceptance.  I accepted the Church, they accepted me.  So, please don't get your hopes up about my story as it's not nearly as touching or exciting as others you've read.

I was a Metho.dist and then I attend a Presb.yterian Church in college.  Then after college, I was deeply involved with an Episcop.alian church and then I bounced between the three until I met my husband.  But, I'd briefly toyed with the Orth.odox Church and then met a seminarian right after college who I performed yoga with on the beach and he said since I was going to an Anglican church, I might as well go all the way and be a Catholic.  I didn't really concern me much at that time but I kept it in the back of my mind.

One of the major reasons I pursued my husband (and not just date him for a few months) was that he was a believing Christian.  Where ever you are from, Church-going men might be in abundance but in the big cities where I was living, it was rare.  And they might have some wacky beliefs they stray too much from what I think is basic Christian doctrine.

When we talked about getting married, my husband and I arrived at the decision that I would do the RC.IA class.  At least that's how I remember it.  It was just kind of easy.  I wanted us to worship together and Catholicism wasn't foreign to me and I think it's important to assimilate in marriage.  The latter just always felt like a good marriage principle to me.  Romantic, no but practical, yes.

I was not impressed with the R.CIA class as they seemed to jump to odd topics and never followed a logical program like I was used to in other learning situations.  However, my sponsor was my sweet, special friend Holly and we traveled that journey together and learned a lot about each other.  She is a deeply faithful Catholic with a tremendous amount of love in her heart for all of God's creatures.  Holly's the best!

In short, I'm a Catholic and I appreciate the Church in many ways such as how they support marriage.  As you've read before, I don't believe Church teachings should push into the legal sphere.  I recognize that it's a human organization and people make mistakes and large organizations make big mistakes.

My relationship with Christ is something I'm constantly working on and I take a lot of comfort in knowing that He's in my life and I can depend on him, even though sometimes I don't.  Wow, I'm starting to sound really pedestrian.  Anyhow, that's my story.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


I'm way behind in writing about all kinds of thing here.  I want to write in detail about the Alabama trip and all the great places I found in Birmingham and Montgomery.  I miss the pace of life there and although I know how special it was to have that many family members gathered in one place at one time, I can't help but wish that's what life is like always.  But, I'm an adult and should have figured (or at least remembered) that life is not just about special moments.  It's filled with the mundane that I have such a hard time coping with.  Everyone tells me to calm down, life can't always be exciting but that itch for excitement never goes away.

I want to write about work but that seems wrong to do while I'm actually at work but suffice it to say that I've been here for several years and I'd like to move on to something else.  I guess it's because I don't quite feel like I fit here.  I'm a big talker when there are things I want to talk about, politics, religion, national security, philosophy, etc. and everything along those lines.  I just can't stand all the drama about personal lives, kids, dead beat dads, kids birthday parties, what kids say, the baby talk amongst adults.  Ahhh!

Do I sound hardhearted?  Perhaps, but I'm not a parent but even if I were one, I don't think I want to tell other people stories about my kids throwing up in the van.  I'm selectively sentimental at work.  Perhaps my brain is just not wired that way at work.  I'm not here because I surveyed everybody and think we can be best friends.  I'm here to earn money, be productive, and move up.  This is not a charity, but sometimes it feels very close to it.

P.S. I can't figure out how to close the comments on this post but I wouldn't want anyone to feel like they have to respond to my complaining, so don't comment unless you feel supernaturally compelled.  Does anybody know how to close comments on selective posts? :)