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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Things that distract me from how sorry I feel for myself

1. Brian's new-found love of card tricks... and the fact that he tests them out on Buster and Noah if I'm not being gullible cooperative enough :)

2. Modern Family - Seriously, this show is great. I think Manny might be my favorite character, but they are really all so well-developed!

3. Words with Friends - Yes, I am still addicted.

4. Lost: Season 6 - We finally made it to the final season on instant Netflix! The best part about this show is that it is so mind-numbingly confusing that it is literally impossible to think about anything else except what is going on in the current episode that we're watching. So thankfully, while I'm trying to figure out where Jacob really came from and what these people must eat to keep up the energy levels they maintain, I am blissfully unaware of the status of my reproductive system.

PS- Fun fact: Claire from Modern Family is also Jack Shephard's (first) wife on Lost!

5. Living Stones Church! I know I haven't mentioned it recently, but the church is still alive and kicking it. We have started up weekly small group Bible Studies on Tuesday nights- the men meet at Loggia and the women meet at Cafe Express. The topic each week is whatever was covered in the previous Sunday's sermon, so thankfully this makes for a good amount of variety. Our meetings are officially referred to as "community groups," but I like to refer to ours as "therapy" :)

So what's distracting you this week?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Diary of a wannabe pregnant person

I may not be pregnant, but I sure do have cravings like a pregnant person. After the 5K and yardwork festivities were over on Saturday, it was time for lunch. Brian very kindly offered to make me something while I lounged pitifully on the couch.

My first request? A bagel sandwich. But unfortunately we didn't have any bagels in the house.

My second request? A chicken salad sandwich. But unfortunately we didn't have any chicken salad in the house.

My third request? A bowl of soup. But, well, you get the idea.

I knew fully well that we didn't have any of these things in the house, but they were all I wanted. But because I value convenience and frugality more than satisfying my cravings, I begrudgingly settled on a turkey sandwich (shocking, I know).

At some point on Saturday afternoon, I got the craving for those hint of lime tortilla chips and I have not stopped wanting them ever since. In fact, last night after eating pancakes and eggs for dinner, I very seriously considered convincing Brian to go get me a bag at the store for dessert. I guess the difference between my cravings and a pregnant person's cravings is that I am still able to exercise some self-control since I didn't actually act on it!

Anyway, I have enjoyed living vicariously through Allison's cravings throughout her pregnancy. And by "enjoyed," I mean I have died a little bit of jealously each day as she relays her latest consumption of chicken fingers and french fries... I'm not jealous because she's pregnant, mind you, but really just because she has an excuse for eating whatever she wants right now.

And on that note, in case you missed it, she is doing a giveaway right now that you definitely want to enter - four $5 gift cards (1 to Starbucks, 1 to Chick-Fil-A, 1 to Dunkin Donuts, and 1 to Pei Wei- winner takes all!).

I am posting about it partially because it gives me an extra entry, and partially because I want to give her blog some publicity. But please note that in no way do I want any of you to win. Oops, was I being overly honest again? My bad :)

Regardless, best of luck to you anyway! I'm off to convince myself that a dark chocolate Hershey's kiss is a suitable substitute for those tortilla chips... wish me luck!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Getting old is hard work

I know I joke often about how Brian and I act like we are elderly. We inherited a lot of these tendencies from Allison & Wade, who were married for a year before we got hitched and in that time, taught us a lot about how to act 3 times our age. From eating dinner at or before 5 pm to going to sleep before Jay Leno comes on, we have taken our fair share of cues from them.

It is safe to say, however, that we really peaked in our elderly ways this weekend. We started off the weekend by going out to dinner with my grandparents. It was their 62nd anniversary (and also my parents' 39th anniversary!), and they very kindly invited us to join them for dinner at Fernando's.

The first elderly moment occurred when I asked my grandfather what time we should come pick them up for dinner. His response? "Well, we know you like to eat early, so how about 6 pm? Is that too late?" I'm not sure which is sadder- the fact that my 88-year-old grandfather has to move his dinner time up significantly to accommodate us, or the fact that I legitimately couldn't understand why 6 pm sounded early.

We had a great dinner and fortunately made it home in time to be in bed by 8:50 pm. Now while I don't think this behavior necessitates an excuse, I will point out that we were getting up early the next morning for a 5K, so hopefully that will give us some credibility.

Even though we got 9+ hours of sleep, we were both dragging a bit when we showed up for the run this morning. FYI, the 5K was held at one of the nearby elementary schools where our friend, Kristen, works, and coincidentally where Baby Dinosaur attends 2nd grade!

The "fun run" (oxymoron) was being held to raise money for new playground equipment for the school, so we were more than happy to participate knowing how much use BD would get out of it, especially since he was lamenting this morning about how the entire school only has two swings. (Disclaimer: BD is a bit of an exaggerator and has a flair for the dramatic (no telling where he picked that up!), so it's highly possible that he is stretching the truth on that one.)

Anyway, I realize the fact that we ran a 5K was not very elderly. Nor was the fact that we then spent a good chunk of time mulching and cleaning up our yard (in preparation for a baby shower I'm helping host next weekend, so I felt obligated to participate in the yard work:). What is somewhat pathetic, however, is that both of us were more or less out of commission for the remainder of the day.

Once the yard was in shape and we were showered, we pretty much spent the rest of the afternoon/evening on the couch recovering. At one point, I even told Brian that I needed to go to the bathroom but didn't have the energy to do it and asked if he would carry me. Because he is great, he got up to help me, but even I have my limits on my neediness (and dignity), so I managed to drag myself to the bathroom without any assistance. I deserve a pat on the back, I know.

And because we wanted to keep with the theme, we started getting dinner ready at 4:45 pm this evening. Granted, we didn't actually eat until around 5:10, but I think you still get the idea. We were finished with dinner and our Netflix movie around 7:30 pm. I asked Brian what the earliest socially acceptable time would be to go to bed on a Saturday night, but I gathered from the laughter he gave in response that he didn't take my subtle suggestion very seriously!

So here we are at 8:30 pm, and I am doing my best to make it at least another 20 minutes so I can beat last night's record. Wish me luck. In the meantime, if any of you would like to know more reasons why acting your age is totally overrated, please let me know :)

Friday, March 25, 2011

It's a good thing I like roller coasters...

Because my life has totally felt like one this week. Let me break it down for you:

Monday: As you might recall, this is when Dr. C was supposed to return from Spring Break 2011 (which I later found out was to Corpus Christi... I think I would feel better if he had been backpacking through Europe or off skiing at some resort) and call me to tell me what's next. I hadn't heard from him around 3 pm, so I called the office and asked them to have him call me back.

At 5:15 pm, I missed a call from him at work. I tried to call back 3 minutes later, but since it was after hours, it went straight to the automated "we're not here and can't help you so too bad" message. I tried calling the after hours hotline number, but they basically told me I was out of luck and to call back in the morning. Does anyone else find it very irritating that he was at the office and clearly near a phone but there was allegedly no possible way for me to reach him? I sure thought so.

So I went home annoyed, but still fairly confident that I would just call in the morning, get my prescription, and be on my merry way.

Tuesday: Their office opens at 8:30 am, so I called at 8:33 (didn't want to seem TOO desperate, obviously). The receptionist informed me that Dr. C was already seeing a patient but that she would call me back. At 2:30 pm (yes, SIX HOURS later), I still had not heard from anyone, so I picked up the phone and called them... again.

Well apparently that wasn't a wise move because Robot Nurse answered this time. She sounded very put out with me and said that Dr. C still wanted me to come in on Thursday because "since the Clomid and Femara didn't work, he wants to talk about moving onto injections." This rubbed me the wrong way for a few reasons:

1. Why is she always so rude?
2. I think it's kind of extreme to say the Femara doesn't work being that it did work 2 out of 3 cycles...
3. After meeting with Dr. C a few weeks ago, I was under the impression that we could try a couple more rounds of Femara before moving to the next step, AND I distinctly remember him saying we would exhaust all of our other options before injections because having PCOS makes them more dangerous (high risk of multiples).

Regardless, it's not like I could argue with her, so I just said ok and agreed to come in as scheduled on Thursday. It is safe to say this put a damper on my day and was when the week started going downhill.

I went to Bible Study that night and we talked about whether or not we are still able to trust that God still loves us when we are going through trials. And while I have honestly never doubted His love for me during this whole process, there have admittedly been several occasions where I doubted whether or not He really had my best interests in mind, and whether or not He really cared about the hurt I was experiencing. I know in my head that God does know what's best for me and that He does care, but I think you can all relate to the fact that sometimes my heart has a hard time following suit.

Thankfully I did not have another all-out crying fest at Cafe Express, but I certainly teared up when sharing with the group that I am really not all that concerned anymore with WHY God is making us wait this long... I am just concerned with HOW LONG at this point.

Wednesday: It was one of those days at work where I just didn't feel like I could keep my head above water. I was feeling particularly overwhelmed with work and then eventually life in general, which resulted in me having a minor meltdown at my desk during lunch. Fortunately the fact that it was during lunch meant that I had fewer spectators, but it didn't make it any less embarrassing.

Can I also just say that it is really difficult to transition back into "work mode" when you have a moment like that in the middle of the work day? How do I get back to answering e-mails and being productive when all I can think about is how much my ovaries hate me? If you have the answer to this, please let me know :).

Brian came to the rescue that afternoon with a cupcake and a hug, and after an episode of Modern Family and a bath, I was feeling slightly less miserable.

Thursday: I spent most of the morning and early afternoon dreading the appointment. I had started doing a little research and learned just how much injections would cost, and at the thought of adding the ultrasounds and bloodwork on top of that, I was about ready to throw in the towel.

Our appointment was at 4 pm, and by 4:30, we were still sitting in the waiting room. It was safe to say my expectations were at an all time low. However, I had my first glimmer of hope when I got up to go to the bathroom while we were waiting. Dr. C was with another patient in the hall, but he looked at me, smiled, and said, "Hi, Amanda!" I was genuinely surprised that he knew my name (without having my chart in front of him).

We waited a little longer and then finally got to go into his office. Before we even sat down, he said, "I know you must be frustrated right now. You're wondering why this hasn't worked yet, and I know that the phone mix-up the other day was probably frustrating as well."

He then went on to say that when he hadn't reached me on the phone, he had tried to text me. He even pulled out his phone to show me the text message, at which point I politely informed him that he had been text messaging my work phone, so I had never received them. So he gave me his e-mail address and told me if I was ever unable to get a hold of him, just to send him a message and he would get back to me.

Brian and I were both surprised- certainly pleased, but definitely surprised- that he was being so sympathetic. He has always been nice and fairly personable before, but this was the first time we had experienced his empathetic side. It was nice to start the appointment off on an encouraging note!

Anyway, we then discussed why the Femara might have worked twice before and not this time. He said there were a number of possible reasons, and asked if there had been any changes between the first two cycles and this one. The only difference we could figure was that during the first two rounds, I was taking 2 tablets of Metformin a day, whereas with the most recent cycle, I had only been taking 1.

So yes, even though I despise the Metformin, I am going back to taking two pills per day. I am taking one in the morning now and one at night (rather than both of them with dinner) and I think it has made a big difference. So we are going to give the Femara another round at the same dose. If that doesn't work, we will move on to the highest dose. And if that doesn't work, then, well, we'll cross that bridge when we get there!

Anyway, the point of all this rambling is that even though I was resistant to going back for another appointment, it ended up being reassuring and we left feeling much more hopeful. And if you have ever been through this (or any ongoing struggle, really), then you know how important it is to be able to continue hoping!

Please, please, PLEASE join us in praying that one of these rounds will work. While it has been difficult to deal with disappointment after disappointment, we are confident that something will eventually work, and all we can do is hope that it works sooner rather than later :)

So that's that latest. I will start taking progesterone tonight so that we can get the next cycle going. Bring on the bloating, skin breakouts, and weird dreams!

Thanks for all of you that have been checking in... especially to the sweet blogger who commented on my last blog post today just to make sure I was alive and ok :) Yes, Laura, I am alive and well! Can't say that I would have been able to say that two days ago, so it's probably better for all of you that I waited until today to post.

I will TRY to be better next week, so feel free to keep me accountable. Just remember that I will be on artificial hormones, so I make no guarantees about how I will respond to said accountability :)

Have a great weekend, all!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Life lately, as dictated by my iPhone

So believe it or not, in addition to coming and going to the doctor's office and pharmacy, we have actually had other things going on! And in an effort to give you a small glimpse into the excitement that is our life, I have uploaded some pictures I've taken recently on my iPhone. Enjoy!

When we went to Austin at the beginning of the month, we were driving west on I-10 when we noticed this in front of us. It was basically a truck loaded with religious statues just cruising down the highway at 70 mph- easily the strangest thing we've ever seen on the road from Richmond to Austin.

Here is our new chair and a half! After searching high and low in the Houston area, we actually ended up getting this at Furniture Row in Austin. I think you will all agree, as I mentioned before, that this would be much more accurately called a love seat. Regardless, Brian has fallen in love with it and now spends most of his time sprawled out across it watching tv. Mission accomplished.

The weather has been pretty close to perfect lately, and in an effort to take advantage of it last weekend, we decided to feed the ducks at one of the lakes in our neighborhood. As you can see in this picture, they were not shy.

The white one is named Gregory and he is actually the boyfriend of Natalie (the little girl duck in our family). It was during this outing that we learned that Gregory might have what we refer to as a "private eating disorder." Every time he got a piece of bread, he would waddle a good 20 feet away from us and face the other direction before he would eat it. If you will go back and read the link above about Natalie, then you'll see that she, too, has always struggled with an eating disorder, so we're really hoping he didn't pick this up from her...

We also went to a Houston Aeros game last weekend. For all of you Mighty Ducks fans out there, I am sad to report that they did not, at any point, do the "Flying V." We did, however, witness a fight between two players. Apparently there is a rule that the referees won't break up the fight until one of the players has fallen down, so they can duke it out all night as long as they're standing up. And that is how you know that hockey was created by men.

Oh, and we also sat in front of the world's most die-hard hockey fan- an overweight middle-aged woman who liked to scream obscenities and hung the other team's mascot (a stuffed moose) with a noose next to her seat. The moral of the story is that hockey games are probably not the best place to teach your children about sportsmanship. Just a suggestion.

And lastly, I have uploaded the video below for your viewing pleasure. Buster has a special habit of propping himself up on his back legs when he wants to be scratched. It looks really funny because he just balances there and stays in position until you've given in. It almost looks like he is trying to put a spell on you, which is probably not too far from the truth because to this day, I have yet to be able to resist it. Oh, and because he sticks his little arms out, Brian has started to refer to it as "zombie arms." I hope that you, too, will find it both pathetic and amusing at the same time:

So that's all

I know what you're thinking- "Wow, they live such a glamorous and exciting life! Why would they want to add kids into the picture and ruin that?" But believe it or not, we would trade this excitement any day of the week for a baby!

But don't worry- we are still doing our best to enjoy this season while it lasts :) Happy Sunday, everyone!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

At least these appointments provide me with blogging material

Good news, everyone!

Ok that's a lie. I just feel guilty that all of my posts start out with discouraging news, so I thought I would try and rope you all in by pretending this one would be different. My apologies for deceiving you so blatantly :)

So the first update I have is that I did call the doctor's office on Monday, as promised, to passive- aggressively request another appointment in hopes of avoiding Robot Nurse. And as luck would have it, guess who answered the phone. Yes. She did. I couldn't find a nice way to say, "You are terrible at your job, so I would really prefer not to see you ever again." So instead, I said, "I was just curious if there were any appointments available when Dr. C will be in the office..." Unfortunately the only open appointment presented a scheduling conflict with work, so I had to stick with the original one, which was today.

I should first point out that God did have mercy on me, because I got to meet with the other nurse this time. And while she seems equally as clueless as Robot Nurse, she is at least personable and doesn't make me want to throw myself under a bus. Which is always a plus.

She did the scan and, in her most upbeat tone, informed me that she saw "lots and lots of little follicles." Which, if you need a reminder, is not good news. I asked her if it was unusual that the Femara worked for me before (twice) and didn't seem to be working this time, and she said it wasn't uncommon, so that made me feel a little better.

She also asked me, by the way, if I had ever been diagnosed with polycystic ovaries (PCOS), and in an effort to give her the benefit of the doubt, I am going to assume that since I was the first appointment of the day, she didn't have time to read my chart before I came in. I politely responded by informing her that yes, in fact, I had been told that while I was laying in the very same exam room a few months prior.

Anyway, she told me that I would need to come back next week to meet with the doctor again to figure out what "Plan B" is. I think she might be confused, however, because as far into this as we are, I think we are way beyond Plan B and onto Plan Q or something at this point. Regardless, my guess is that "Plan B" is going to be another round of Femara.

I went ahead and scheduled an appointment for next week, but the more I thought about it, the more I became irritated at the thought of having to come back for another ($35) appointment just to have him write me a prescription. So I called the office (and of course, Robot Nurse answered) and asked if the doctor could just write me a prescription without me coming in so that we could get the show on the road. He is apparently out of the office this week (because why shouldn't he get Spring Break off?), but she said she would ask him on Monday and let me know. Fingers and toes, and hair, and anything else that physically can be are all crossed.

Anyway, I was holding myself together quite well after the appointment, due in no small part to the refreshingly chipper attitude of my nurse (which is funny, because normally chipper people irritate me immensely), until it came time to pay. The normal receptionist wasn't there, so the back-up receptionist was sitting up front. When I walked up to check out, she said, "So will you be paying for this visit entirely out of pocket?"

Ouch. Thanks for the reminder. I said yes and then quickly felt that familiar lump in my throat forming just at the reminder of how much this is all costing. She then fiddled around with the computer for a minute and took a phone call, and because she got distracted, asked me again, "So your insurance won't be covering any of this?" I, again, answered with a yes, but became so overwhelmed about just how pitiful this whole situation has made me feel that she is lucky I didn't burst immediately into tears. (I just waited until I was in my car instead.)

So that's where we are. Back at what feels like the beginning. I know we have come a long, long way since we started getting treatment (April 2010), but some days it really does feel like we are living out a broken record.

Thanks to all of you for checking in to see how things are going, and most of all for your continued prayers and support! I am confident that we will one day be able to report good news, and in the meantime, hopefully you'll be somewhat entertained by my rambling.

Oh, and on a semi-related note, I went to the dentist yesterday and am proud to report that I had no cavities. Can I just tell you how incredibly refreshing it was to leave a doctor's office without feeling like there was something horribly wrong with me? And as an added bonus, my hygienist was very sweet and I actually learned that she has PCOS as well! It was quite possibly the most therapeutic conversation I've ever had during a teeth cleaning!

Alrighty, friends/strangers, that's all for today. Until next time...

Friday, March 11, 2011

Do I have a sign on my head that says, "Tell me what I don't want to hear"?

I'm convinced that the answer to that question is a resounding "yes."

My first suspicion was when I went in for my day 12 follicle scan (ultrasound) on Friday. As soon as I realized that I wouldn't actually get to see the doctor, my enthusiasm for the visit plummeted. As I have mentioned before, his nurse isn't my favorite- I'm fairly certain that she has never even heard of the term "bedside manner," or the term "tact" for that matter. She is also the same one that answered one of my questions (again, about my luteal phase) with "sometimes that just happens," so I don't exactly have a great amount of confidence in her knowledge and abilities.

So anyway, she got the ultrasound started, and took an unusually long time to even locate my first ovary. I made a joke about how it must be hiding, to which she didn't even crack a smile (Brian has begun referring to her as "Robot Nurse"). Finally, 18 years later, she found it and started measuring the follicles.

Now here's a little fertility lesson for you: Your follicles are what release eggs during ovulation, and they are supposed to be around 18-20 mm before they can do that. The point of the follicle scans is to see how big the follicles are in order to determine whether or not they are growing enough to at some point release an egg. That is the very simple version, but hopefully you get the idea.

So she starts to measure and sees that the biggest one she can find is 11 mm. Now please keep in mind that when my doctor does the scans, he is very thorough and examines everything from every angle, because even the slightest movement of "the wand" can make the follicle look bigger or smaller.

So she says, "Yeah, there are a lot of really small ones in here." And I respond with, "Hmm... that one looks like it's a decent size compared to the others to me..." She then informs me that, "A follicle needs to be around 18-20 mm before it can release an egg BLAH BLAH BLAH." Ok lady, I have been coming here for approximately 6 months now- do you think I don't know this?

I then politely reminded her that the last time I was on Femara, my scan showed a 12 mm follicle that ended up being 18 mm just a few days later. To which she ignored me and moved on to try to find the other ovary. It was on the screen for- seriously- no more than 2 seconds before she said, "Ok yeah there's nothing there either," and stops the ultrasound.

She then turns to me with a "sucks to be you" face and says, "So yeah, it looks like the medicine isn't working." And at that point, it took every ounce of self-restraint for me not to take the ultrasound wand and smack her in the face with it.

Even if she didn't think the results were good, could she really not come up with a better way to deliver the news? Like, oh, I don't know, suggesting that we give it a couple of days and check again to see if I've made any progress? And then perhaps ending with, "Oh, and by the way, sorry that I am a big, dumb jerk who likes to kill puppies and shatter dreams?"

So I asked her if I could maybe come back in a few days to see if I had made any progress (which is what SHE should have recommended if she had a brain or a heart... wait, was that too harsh?), and she told me, "Yeah, I mean we can bring you back in next week if you want." As if to say, "There's really no point. You are barren and hopeless. But whatever floats your boat!"

So anyway, I have an appointment scheduled for next Wednesday. When she was scheduling me, I asked her if the doctor would be there, and she said he isn't in the office on Wednesday mornings. Oh goody. That means I get to hang out with Robot Nurse alone again.

I didn't want to blatantly insult her by requesting that I come in at a time when Dr. C is actually there, so I decided that I'm going to be passive aggressive and call back on Monday to reschedule for a time when he can be there without having to actually talk to her. I'll let you know how that turns out.

Anyway, I was obviously pretty irritated after the appointment, but thought that getting out of the house and being productive (my favorite activity!) would help distract me. So during one of our many errands, we stopped at Academy to buy me some new running shoes, which was the second time that I was suspicious about that sign on my head:

I probably spent half an hour trying on shoes, because even though I know that the Asics Gel Nimbus shoes have historically been the best bet for my feet, they also happened to be a little pricey (read: cost more than our combined monthly "shopping" allowance in the budget) (which goes to show you that we have a very lame "shopping" allowance). However, after trying on every decent pair of women's running shoes in the store, they were still the most comfortable, and after some convincing from my practical husband, I decided to bite the bullet and spend the extra money on them.

So we proceeded to check out. The cashier scanned my shoes and then said, "You just bought the most expensive shoes we have in the entire store!"

Um. Great? Why would you think to tell me that? Were you absent on the day of customer service training when they told you to always try to convince the customer that they are (a) making a wise purchase and (b) getting a great deal?

I think he could tell by my reaction that I wasn't exactly excited to have received that honor, so he back-pedaled and started going on about how great they are. And while it didn't make up for the major dose of buyer's remorse he just caused me to have, at least I was pleased to know that SOMEONE out there is able to read my reaction and adjust their behavior accordingly. Because if it had been Robot Nurse, she probably would have then gone on to tell me about how many child slaves it took to make my shoes and then informed me that I had a terminal illness.

So anyway, I am going to spend the rest of the weekend attempting to restore my faith in humanity.

But seriously speaking, I am very thankful to know, once again, that God is not limited by my circumstances. Which means that He is not limited by an allegedly unsuccessful follicle scan or by a less-than-helpful nurse. And I'm not going to blindly assume that He will allow us to get pregnant this time, but I am going to choose to trust Him and have hope even if the signs indicate otherwise.

And if there is anything going on in your life where you are also waiting (and waiting, and waiting, and waiting) on God's timing, I hope that you will do the same. And even though I'm really tempted to rant some more about how much I want to beat up the Robot Nurse with the ultrasound machine (much like that scene in "Office Space" when they beat up the fax machine), I am going to instead close with a verse that I read the other day that reminded me of just one of the many reasons that God allows us to go through tough situations like these:

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” -2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Perhaps I should start making a list of the public places I've cried in?

So Brian and I decided to make a surprise trip to Austin this weekend. Our primary purpose was to pick up the chair we ordered last month (yes, we finally picked one, although it is so ginormous that I think it's really more accurate to call it a love seat), but we figured we would surprise Allison by not telling her we were coming. I think it's safe to say she has been experiencing a little bit of cabin fever lately as Davis's due date draws near, so we were hoping to add a little excitement by showing up unexpectedly.

Although I know she appreciated the surprise, I think that we would have been an even bigger hit with her (and Davis, for that matter), had we brought a bucket of chicken fingers with us. At least we'll be prepared for next time, right?

We got to spend some quality time with our favorite nieces and nephews on Friday night, and because I love them so very much, it didn't even put a damper on things when Emma asked me (almost immediately after I arrived) when I was going to have a baby. How do you explain the term "loaded question" to a 5-year-old? Fortunately mom dodged that bullet by saying, "I don't think Amanda wants to talk about that right now- let's talk about something else!" And even more fortunately, Emma obliged without any further questions :)

I tried to convince Emma and Brown (the oldest 2) that they needed to come visit their Aunt Amanda and Uncle Brian in Richmond, and even offered up the fact that we have a room for each of them to sleep in. I was then interrogated about what is in each of these alleged rooms, and when I realized that the answer, "a bed, table, and lamp" was not satisfactory, I quickly threw out the fact that we always have plenty of chocolate, to which Emma instantly responded, "Chocolate?? When can we come??" Smart girl!

Brian also decided to undertake the task of telling Emma and Brown a bedtime story (Sayers and Mary Frances had already passed out without our assistance). A "bedtime novel" would probably be more accurate because I'm pretty sure he was going on about the moon mouse and the giant spider for a good half hour. I even peeked my head in at one point and heard Emma ask, "So how long is this story going to last?" Regardless, when it was over (18 years later), at least Brown was asleep.

We spent Saturday hanging out with the Olivers, eating, and then Allison and I went shopping with our mom while the boys did boy stuff (read: bought car stuff and sat around drinking beer). I always enjoy shopping with Allison and my mom, but I admittedly had a tough time after a few run-ins with people at the mall who commented on the fact that Allison "must have some big news to share" or asked my mom about whether or not she was ready for another grandchild.

I typically don't consider myself to be one of those people that is always feeling sorry for myself, but unfortunately that seems to be my new normal lately, and I really hate it! I am really genuinely happy for all of my pregnant friends, and especially for my sister, but unfortunately sometimes their happiness just serves as a reminder of my unhappiness- which is terrible, I know.

Thankfully, by God's grace, I am usually able to talk myself out of the self-pity party and put on a happy face. Unfortunately, this was not the case at the end of our shopping excursion when the well-meaning salesperson at Macy's struck up a conversation with my mom about how excited she must be to have her 5th grandchild on the way.

I quickly excused myself from the conversation, and like any normal person, tried to hide next to the bushes while I stood facing the wall outside of the Macy's entrance and tried to pull myself together. I am very fortunate to have a twin sister who is gracious enough not to fault me for my emotional instability and that came outside to make sure I wasn't going to completely lose it.

What I find somewhat amusing is that when we got back home, Brian asked me if something was wrong because he noticed how quiet I was being. This was actually the second time in a week that someone made that comment, which leads me to believe that (a) I am not very good at hiding my feelings and (b) I must typically talk too much :)

Anyway, we really did have a great time. It is weird to think that we may not make it back to Austin until baby Davis makes his arrival- his due date is just 7 weeks away! In the meantime, I am going to brush up on my best auntie skills by buying him gifts that aren't on mommy's registry and refusing to learn how to properly change a diaper. Isn't she lucky to have a sister like me? :)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Be still

Ok friends, so here’s the part I didn’t tell you in last week’s post about my trip to the doctor:

On the morning of my appointment, I entered in my latest temperature to (or as Allison refers to it, only to receive an alert that, according to my data, I had ovulated the week before on day 50 of my cycle. This was indeed a surprise, because when you consider that a “normal” cycle is 28 days, it is safe to say that by day 50, I was not expecting anything to happen. Hoping, maybe, but definitely not expecting.

I mentioned this to the doctor, who said that after 35 days, the chances of having an ovulatory cycle are slim to none. Clearly he does not know who he is dealing with, however, because I took that as a challenge. I was pleasantly surprised to notice that I was having normal post-ovulatory “symptoms” throughout the rest of the week, and because my temperature stayed up, it was safe to say that my chart was right and Dr. C was wrong. IN YOUR FACE, DR. C!

So I’m sure you are wondering why I didn’t mention this in last week’s post. And all I can say is that if I have gained only one skill from this whole process, it’s the ability to be cautiously optimistic. Did I hope and pray that this was going to be the time that God finally allowed baby Joiner to make him/herself known? Of course. And I might have even let my mind wander about how fun it would be to have a newborn at Christmas. But to declare that hope publicly would be to put myself out there and allow for the very real possibility that I would have gotten my hopes up for nothing and then felt foolish.

Well apparently I am not all that concerned about looking foolish, because here I am, 2 days after learning that we are not, in fact, pregnant (again), telling you all about it anyway. But it is immensely easier to tell you about it after the fact.

Thankfully, I am getting so “used” to this outcome that it is not quite as earth-shattering as it was the first couple of times that it happened. But with that said, it still isn’t easy. By God’s grace, I had one of my busiest work days ever on Monday, so fortunately there was very little time to sit around and dwell. And in fact, it really wasn’t until last night (36 hours later) that the reality of it hit me and I once again had a (minor) meltdown (in public). (Isn't it fun to put things in parentheses in hopes that you won't pay too much attention to those parts?:)

However, I woke up this morning encouraged by the fact that I’m starting the Femara today and therefore making some kind of progress. And the greatest part about being on treatment is that the waiting time between cycles is greatly decreased. Waiting 62 days for another “NO, YOU’RE STILL NOT PREGNANT, LOSER” is my idea of a great time and all, but I think most of you will agree that a 28-day cycle (medicine-induced or not) is much more tolerable.

So now that everyone is in the loop, I wanted to share two things with you:

1. The other night, Baby Girl (imaginary friend) asked Brian why God hadn’t given us a baby yet, and more specifically, why God kept telling us, “no.” His response was that God wasn’t telling us, “no,” but rather He was just telling us, “not now.” And although I find it incredibly frustrating that we have been hearing “not now” for what I consider to be an eternity, I thought it was an insightful way to look at it. And that it was proof of how great of a dad Brian will be once we have REAL children asking us those questions :)

2. I downloaded a song recently called “Be Still” by Story Side B and wanted to share it. It is nothing particularly profound, and the lyrics are tad on the cliché side (ha, shocking for a Christian song, right?), but I think that any of you who are feeling defeated or have struggled in the past (translation: everyone) will find it relevant. You can listen to it here, but I also wanted to include the lyrics for you to read, so enjoy:

I remember all the times,
the good times and the bad,
I'm still holding on to you.

Some days I wanna run,
and times I come undone,
but I still belong to You.

That's how I know that

When I feel like caving in,
my heart, my soul is wearing thin,
I just want to give up,
nothing seems at all to add up...

Can you hear me Lord?

My face is down upon the floor.
It's then you whisper in my ear,
'Be still and know I'm here.'

I see a side of you my friend,
the same struggles that I have,
my heart goes out to you.

I know it's hard to feel alone,
and this world's so unforgiving,
I've been feeling that way too.

But I can tell You

Is that you? Is this me?
It's sometimes hard to believe that
I am not alone.

It's not just you, and not just me
we all need to believe that
we are not alone.