Thursday, May 28, 2009

Banana splits and waffles…

GASP! I had two banana splits over the weekend JUST because I could!!! My brothers and sister in-law from California spent Memorial weekend with us and none of us could recall the last time we indulged in a banana split. When we were little Mom used to let us choose what we wanted for our birthday dessert. Banana splits always seemed to be the winner. It was like old times sitting around playing cards until all hours of the morning, munching on sweet treats and realizing how much our family has changed over the last 20 years. Who would’ve thought that a bunch of homeschooled, live in the boondocks kids would grow up, move away, get married and sit around talking about how we want our kids to experience much of what we loved about our childhoods. I’m so excited for my expecting sis-in-law and brother. It was bittersweet to talk about the long and painful journey we are traveling to parenthood. Theirs has been wrought with painful losses. Loss of Caleb at 7 ½ months pregnant, another miscarriage last fall and the months in between of not being able to conceive.

But, we had a great time celebrating the past, present and future as we played endless games of “idiot”, splashed in the pool, took them to our favorite restaurants, finished a few touches to the nursery, caught Star Trek for the 2nd time AND I felt completely inspired and whipped up a batch of homemade waffles with fresh strawberry syrup and tons of whipped cream! Long live holidays, family and good times (and the entirely too delicious banana splits)!!!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

21 weeks and a few flowers I should think

I just realized that there has been no documentation of my rapid tummy expansion. Eeks. So here's a very sad self portrait (like how I lopped my head off in the picture? after about 5 tries at a tummy shot, I finally gave up and chose the "best of the best").

AND, because I love gardening and would much rather putter around in the yard than do housework or other domestic diva tasks, here are a few shots of the tropical backyard jungle.

One of our Hibiscus bushes that the hummingbirds and butterflies frequent

The huge bougainvillea hedge that threatens to engulf the neighbors house (and ours if we let it) Good heavens it has the most horrific thorns which makes it an absolute terror to trim, but it's quite beautiful and again the hummingbirds, butterflies and bees love it.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mothers day revisited

“Do you know what it is thus to live on the future—to live on expectation—to antedate heaven? It may be all dark now, but it will soon be light; it may be all trial now, but it will soon be all happiness. What matters it though "weeping may endure for a night," when "joy cometh in the morning?" CH Spurgeon

Infertility is mind numbing, soul stabbing, tear inducing pain, particularly when Mother’s Day comes around each year. The one ray of sunshine for me on this day is sending my mom flowers or something sweet out of pure gratefulness for her selfless love and care of us as a stay-at-home mom to 7 kids. Because seriously having me at 17 and the other 6 kids before the age of 35, is also quite a feat! I love and respect Mom for all of the sacrifices she made for us including putting her education and career goals on hold for 20 years. I’m amazed at how utterly thrilled she is that we are finally expecting. Sometimes it seems as though she has more joy and anticipation of her little granddaughter than Nathan and I combined.

It just occured to me the other day that it must be terribly painful to watch your own children endure infertility. Mom has said on multiple occasions that she has a sense of guilt for how easy it was for her to conceive and deliver the seven of us. When she called me in tears 2 years ago to say that my brother and his wife lost their firstborn son (stillborn at 8 months) the hurt and anguish of that lost grandson was beyond measure. “What do I say to them” she asked? Through my flood of tears, I responded that there’s nothing you can say to take this hurt from them, but just listen. Even if you sit on the phone and just cry together, that’s ok. They need to know that we care, that we are mourning their loss and that we are praying for them. Silence and a heart of shared grief and compassion is better than a well intentioned barrage of words that only drive the sharp pain of loss even deeper.

Yes, infertility, miscarriages and the death of our nephew have drastically changed the dynamic of both of our families, but I’m thankful for the hope and joy that waits on the other side—our personal quest to become parents has spanned 4 years, totaled thousands of dollars, included endless tears and a multitude of emotional trials and heartaches—but Lord willing we are on the other side and will treasure the little life that is being entrusted to us as a gift from God. After a stillborn and a miscarriage my brother and his wife are finally pregnant again—she is due 2 months after I am. What joy, sweetness and tears there will be when the two long expected cousins meet for the first time.

While it has been pitch dark and there have been many, many trials on the path to parenthood, the prospect that the future may “be light and happiness” is such an encouragement.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

It's official....we're having a...

Everything looked great on the ultrasound. She's measuring well at 19 weeks, heartbeat looks good and she had a hilarious case of the baby hiccups. Nathan was absolutely over the moon during the ultrasound. I guess through out this whole process, I'd forgotten how much it means for to him to have a biological child. He was adopted as an infant and the only background info available is that his parents were 100% Italian, lived in NY and both were just teenagers (mom was 17) and his dad was 13. Given the fact that IVF w/ISCI is the only treatment that gives us a chance at parenthood (unless we adopt) we just feel so blessed that this cycle worked and everything looks good so far! Pink, Pink and more Pink!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Seven years today....

Since that sunny day at the church where we said "I do". It's hard to believe it's been that long.

"Grow old with me, the best is yet to be.
The last of life for which the first was made"
Robert Browning

I know we’re only promised today, but I look forward to many tomorrows as we walk this path of life together.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Your insurance saved you...WHAT??

Holy frijoles! I glanced at the refill prescription info as we picked up my Zofran last night from the pharmacy. That GENERIC "no barfiness" medication has my insurance co. paying $683 dollars per bottle. One bottle of 30 pills(I take them every 6 hours on the dot or the non-stop vomiting starts) lasts me 2 weeks. So basically my insurance will end up paying $10K for me to be barf free. This is the same insurance company that refuses to cover my $32.00 a month OB prescribed vitamins. The workings of insurance companies are very strange and obviously beyond my pea-brained intellect!! 

Last night, I just couldn’t stop thinking about all of the thousands of dollars my poor body and this little peanut have absorbed in medications since we started treatments back in the fall. The endless bottles of Repronex, Gonal-F pens, progesterone shots, trigger shots, etc. We women are so long suffering and patient when it comes to infertility and the treatment protocols. I know oftentimes we don't feel it, but can you imagine our significant others doing daily injections, popping pills, submitting to endless ghastly exams one after another, charting temps, keeping track of is a highly amusing and scary perspective, eh?

All of this in our deeply personal and quiet quest for that desperately desired child. All I can say is GIRL POWER! And by God's grace and the prayers and support of others, we make it through. Always a changed person when we emerge, but I think that I can honestly say that the infertility path that I've walked has shaped me into a much more empathetic, patient, understanding and more deeply grounded person. It's strange to look back and not remember what you were like on the other side of infertility, but I know that in the end we all emerge stronger and more resolved about the things that really matter in life.