Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Now Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Program (Almost)

Shew - I'm done. Loved participating in ICLW week and I've found so many great new blogs to follow. On the downside, I'm behind on some of my favorite blogs and, well, ahem, actual posts of my own.

For those not familiar, ICLW has an "Iron Commenter" status you receive if you go to every blog on the list and leave a comment on at least one posting. This is not as easy as it sounds, especially if you are like me and make sure you read an entire post. Some very long. Usually the great ones. God forbid you feel the need to flip around on a blog to find "just the right post". Yea, I did that a couple of times.

But I did it. Posted a comment (or two or three) on every single one of them. Yay for me! It's a little thing, but sometimes completing a task like this makes me feel awesome. Just think: I had an extra 44 minutes to spare before the midnight deadline. For some reason I'm having vague flashbacks of college...

Today's readings:

  1. It Is What It Is (Or Is It?): Pain and Discomfort
  2. Growing Griswolds: I am officially cray-cray
  3. 1000 Oceans: our little squiggly & welcome iclw
  4. Breathe Gently: The weekly run-down: 19
  5. Dear Finley: The Sad Mother
  6. Life of an Army Wife: Written Off Part 2
  7. The 2 Week Wait: Me- Failure
  8. The Barreness: Detachable Penis
  9. Patience is Not My Virtue: More Bloody Bloodwork
  10. Carney Exploits: The IVF Consult
  11. Waiting For Baby: BF
  12. Survive and Thrive (This site was hacked and thus unable to leave a comment. This makes me angry, but I will make sure to go back and read it when it's available.
  13. Life with Roozle: Roozle's Plate
  14. Dancing My Way Through Life, Loss, and Books: Catching Up
  15. Feeling Beachie: A Long Road Ahead
  16. Stirrup Queens: It’s Totally Cool to be Baby Crazy*… If You’re Fertile

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Slacker, Community Peeps, 10 Second Rant, & ICLW

I confess. Super Slacker on the post reads today. Mostly because I didn't get home from a meeting with some local community folks (and then dinner) until almost 10pm.

The short of it involves them asking us to be a "named plaintiff" against a big box store that wants to move in right next to me. They need someone who lives close and I don't think you can get much closer than we are. Did we acquiesce? Damn straight. My quality of life goes down the tubes if the stupid mass retailer moves in. So much for me liking my privacy (both as a named plaintiff and/or if they move in.) Le sigh.

It probably doesn't help that I missed taking my supplements most of last week and now that I am taking them again, I have to deal with side effects. Rage Balls with your side of DHEA anyone? Hopefully it will pass quickly. While I have that going on, I'm going to use it as an excuse to go into a 10 second rant on something that drove me bonkers last week. 

10 Second Rant:
I am not a grammar Nazi. I swear I'm not. If you want to know the truth, I'm fully aware that my own grammar isn't that fabulous most of the time. But I hate - really, really hate - when someone's is awful. (If someone is disabled, from another country, uneducated, or similar then they totally get a pass.) There are blogs I can't read anymore because of the writing. Not minor things, but things that make you want to poke your eyes out.

I want to read the story, not try and decipher the jumbled up mess. Maybe it's because of my ADD, but when it's a jumbled mess, it's HARD for me to read. In the end, I just don't read them; it's too frustrating.

And I'm willing to bet, at least a quarter bet, that I am not the only one. That actually makes me a pretty crappy and judgmental person, but I can't help myself at times. I wish I could. This is the part where if I was smart I would erase this whooooolllleeeee section. 

End Rant

If you are visiting from ICLW then
A.) Sorry you had to see that rant. I'm not normally like that I swear. Ok, maybe sometimes.
B.) What took you so long? (LOL Just kidding) and
C.) You might want to start HERE instead for a tiny blurb about me and better posts to read. Except you are at the end of this one already so you might as well stay here.

Today's Readings:

  1. (Still) Trying to Conceive: Languages
  2. Hobbit-ish Thoughts and Ramblings: Sunday Night Chit-Chat Recovery Mode
  3. Crazycatladywantsbaby: I Must be Stupid - TMI Post
  4. Bébé Suisse: What does a girl have to do to buy a Doppler around these parts?
  5. Follow Every Rainbow (nope - need permission. :-(  )
  6. Team Harries Beat Infertility: Willingness to Wait
  7. Tesseract: Eighteen Years
  8. Thought Provoking Moments: Well, Well, Well
  9. Genuine Greavu: the "A" Word
  10. the misadventures of missohkay: When World's Collide
  11. My Fertility Blog: And Then There's Good News

Monday, November 26, 2012

Daily Readings and a Teaser

Have a bunch to write, but I'm too tired. If I hadn't challenged myself to read all the blogs participating in IComLeavWe at Stirrup Queens, then I probably would have written some today and yesterday. Shrug. A girls gotta do what a girls gotta do.

If you're new and want to learn a few quick things about me, my post from yesterday will help with that. (See how lazy I am today?) Have to say, despite my whining, I really do enjoy discovering all these new blogs. 2 more days! By Friday I should have test results from our surro, and dare I say a real blog post? Mayhaps. Stay tuned.

(P.S. I need to remember to write a rant on the book Gone Girl. There's some IVF stuff in there as part of the story line that made me want to throw my book against the wall. Until I remember that my book was a Nook.)

Today's Readings:
(I'm kicking myself for not keeping a side list of my favorites. Maybe next month.)
  1. Home Grown Love: Surviving the Holidays
  2. for all the things we hope for: The path to knowing
  3. Waffle-Wednesday: Night if the Living Oblivious
  4. A Daily Miracle: Double Digits and Braxton Hicks
  5. Simple|South: I Like a Good Challenge
  6. Gonna Do It For Baby: Thanksgiving Announcement
  7. Believing in June: What I don't Believe About Infertility
  8. Dreaming of Dimples: 4 years 
  9. Life in Little Hispaniola: So What Do You Eat Anyway (Part 1 of 3)
  10. Our Work of A.R.T.: Welcome ICLW!!!
  11. Three Quarters Full: In His Own Time
  12. Pollination Chronicles: ICLW, FET, and a 2ww.
  13. Arete Aspirations: 21 December 2012
  14. Our Journey Through this Lovely Life: Nope. Nada. Nothing. Negative.
  15. Ready for My Bundle: Friday Night at the ER...
  16. Welcome to the Road: Waiting...Again...
  17. Things Couldn't be Better: You have died of dysentery

Sunday, November 25, 2012

ICLW Readings and a 10 Second blurb About Me

Quick blurb about me for our ICLW gang from over at Stirrup Queens.

I turned 40 in April and was married 2 years ago in March to a wonderful man whom I adore (usually). My husband is originally from India and I am half Swedish/half American mutt (originally from south FL, but living in Atlanta since my teenage years.) From a previous short-lived marriage, I have a fantastic, 20 year old son.

Due to a surgery I had 4-5 years ago, I can not carry a baby. My now-husband and I discussed this when we first met - and talked about having a surrogate if/when the time came. It kills me how naive we were back then. No real knowledge of the "biological clock" and what we did know we stupidly didn't think really applied to us. We've been through 2 IVF cycles with surrogates in India. First one failed, the second one was a chemical pregnancy. We will give it one more go (either here or India) with my eggs and then we will have to see what we see.

Post of mine that may be of interest (since this one isn't) if you are participating in ICLW Week:
What makes the elephant charge his tusk in the misty mist, or the dusky dusk (Courage, going to India alone for IVF.)
Special Lady Cocktails ([Mostly] self-Rxd supplements and feeling ridiculous.)
Another Option (A new, amazing surrogate option presents itself.)
Failed Again (Finding out we had a chemical pregnancy.)

Blogs I read today (from ICLW):
  1. Dreaming of Dimples: 4 years
  2. Pepibebe: Sweet Dreams
  3. FrozenOJs Concentrated Life: 30 Days of Thanks: Day 21
  4. Emma in Mommyland: What is a "Rainbow Baby"?
  5. It's the Journey: Furbabies
  6. Who is this "Fertile Myrtle"?: First Appointment for Removal
  7. One Day at a Time: Infertility Etiquette
  8. The Buggy List: The bewbs are back 
  9. Comatised: Scum Bustin Makes Me Feel Good (comments not allowed)
  10. My (In)fertile Confessions: ICLW
  11. Sweet Dreams are Made of This: Dear Birthmother Letter
  12. We Three Crabs: Friendship
  13. IUI to Roux-en_Y to??: ICLW, OB Update, 25 Weeks
  14. Life is Simple, it's Just Not Easy: November ICLW :)
  15. A Virtual Hobby Story and Coffee Haus: How Campus Racism is a Post-Election Reality
  16. Unexplained Rantings: Expectations
  17. Creating a Family: Creating Embryos Specifically to Donate/Sell
  18. A Bliss Filled Life: Life Before the Bliss
  19. Wandering Wonderment: IComLeavWe Intro
  20. A Glamorous Mommy Life: My Story Part 1

Blogs I read from yesterday. Yes, you may notice I did the ole "start from the bottom" with regards to the ICLW list. Actually, I started randomly and then decided to try for Iron Commenter status.  THEN I started at the bottom. Then I read a few of my regular blogs. Below is list of what I can remember I read. 
  1. Gypsy Mama’s Misconceptions
  2. If You Don’t Stand For Something
  3. Upper Middle Mom: So Thankful
  4. Old Lady and No Baby: Decisions, Decisions & You Want Me to Stick it Where? & First Blog
  5. Journey to the Finishline: From First to Second (&ICLW)
  6. Life As I Know It: Giving Gifts
  7. InDueTime
  8. Scrambled Eggs
  9. finding the peace to the puzzle: A New Beginning
  10. The Quest for the Golden Egg: Still Stuck and Still Tired
  11. Compromised Fertility
  12. Things Couldn’t Be Better: November ICLW
  13. Enjoying the Course
  14. IVF Over 40: A Confession
  15. Rasta Less Traveled: 7 Months 
  16. My Fertility Blog: For Those of You Who Are Pregnant & Sad News & Today is Another Day
  17. Tandoori Viking: Eye Candy :)
  18. 10 Miles Uphill in the Snow: Swallow Study Results
  19. What Am I?: Enjoying It & I Am Thankful & Sick Again
  20. Stupid Stork: Acting
  21. Stirrup Queens: 419 Friday Blog Round Up

Saturday, November 24, 2012

I've Been MIA, but Still Here

I've been MIA for a little bit. Sorry about that. Nothing life shattering, but just a few things I'm not ready to blog about yet. My new job and prepping for Thanksgiving has left me a bit behind as well. Not only with blogging, but with my favorite past time of reading other's blogs. And well, to be perfectly honest, I've had baby showers and friend's babies that I've had to embrace. No break downs - internal or external - yay for me!

Meanwhile, I know it's IComLeavWe week! (Ok, the weeks half over - better late than never.) Welcome welcome welcome. I realized this morning that most people participating inn ICLW would probably stop at the first post unless directed otherwise, so I'm listing some of my more interesting posts in the last few months (though feel free to stop at my spur of the moment, last- blog-post: 'Ode to Chai' tribute, check out the side bar, or search for tags.)

These aren't in any particular order. Next month I'll try and put this up BEFORE ICLW starts. Here's some of my favs in the last few months.

What makes the elephant charge his tusk in the misty mist, or the dusky dusk (Courage, going to India alone for IVF.)
Special Lady Cocktails ([Mostly] self-Rxd supplements and feeling ridiculous.)
Another Option (A new, amazing surrogate option presents itself.)
Failed Again (Finding out we had a chemical pregnancy.)

Thanks again to Stirrup Queen for all she does and for organizing ICLW. If you are not already familiar with her blog and are in this horrible Land of IF (infertility), I highly advise you to check out her website. She organizes TONS of blogs on the subject and has a weekly breakdown of favs every Friday.


Monday, November 12, 2012

Don't Forget the Biscuits: Ode to Chai


My first introduction to chai was through my now-husband-then-boyfriend. Given the fact that I've heard the comment "would you like a little coffee in your milk?" on more than one occasion  it's no surprise that I instantly fell in love with this wondrous drink: chai - otherwise known as "Indian tea".*  With it's high caffeine content a novice has to be careful of his/her consumption, but it's still my favorite drink. I just can't drink it as often as I would like.

Imagine my surprise, after having traditional every day chai (sometimes several times a day when my Indian in-laws visited), when I ordered my first Starbucks chai. Not. The. Same. Thing. It was like autumn had taken all her baking spices and threw up in my milk steeped tea. Which I suppose is fine if you are expecting it and haven't had it the normal way 100+ times, but not so much if you are used to it less spicy. Kind of funny when you stop and think that a US way of doing something is more spicy than the average Indian way. (Not to be confused with chai masala - which by definition is spicy tea.)

Let me point out - there are a TON of ways to make chai and in my experience even the same family can argue over whose is better  (naturally) - but it still isn't going to stop and make you wonder if there is pumpkin pie floating around in the saucepan. You still taste the TEA. That's kinda the main focus: tea and milk.

Let me also point out that you should never call it chai tea. It's a little on the redundant side. If you want to get technical, I believe that chai is the plant and tea is the product, but blah blah blah blah blah - yea just don't call it chai tea. Most people in the know will just tell you it's like saying "tea tea". There's a recipe floating around on pinterest that not only calls it chai tea, but also included powdered creamer in it's list of horrendous ingredients. I'd post a link, but the lady seems nice enough and people like her version. Who am I to go all internet cray-cray and be like "HOW DARE YOU!!!!" as if I've been drinking it since birth.

This post really was just an excuse for me to post an internet recipe for chai I like. So here is the basic recipe I follow. And no, I don't like this recipe simply because she agrees with a bunch of what I have written here. I like it because this is very similar to what we make here at home, and what we most encounter over in India. We usually add around 4-5 crushed cardamon pods for 2 large mugs of chai. Sometimes we use ginger and every ONCE IN AWHILE we use nutmeg INSTEAD. We also add our sugar later as to not boil too much off, but that's something new we are doing so we can add less sugar.

And don't forget the biscuits. Because my father-in-law would be disappointed with you and he is a very nice man. Definitely don't forget the biscuits.

*In certain parts of India when I ask for chai, I am served English tea. I'm fairly certain it's because I am caucasian  because it never happens to my husband, but I've learned to specify "Indian tea" when I want my beloved chai. 

** Disclosure: If you are going through IVF treatments, then you are supposed to limit your caffeine. That might be hard to do once you drink chai a few times, so don't say I didn't warn you. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Creme de la Creme

I love reading all of the blogs on my current roster, but I'm always interested in reading more. Have a great blog? Or maybe just a post you dug down deep within and want to share? Add it to the list here.

Get your submission in for 2012 ASAP. The deadline is December 15th. Personally I just picked one on the fly, because I tend to forget easily and knew if I didn't submit right away then it wasn't going to happen. What are you waiting for? Do it! You started a blog - now share it with others. 

BTW, if you are not already familiar with Stirrup Queens, I highly recommend it. You can get a good highlight of other blogs that are available that may offer great advice on something that you are dealing with. Melissa has organized all the different blogs into "rooms" that you can find here. Here is an image connected to her site to give you an idea of the different rooms (though if you click on the link you can get a MUCH better idea of the level of granularity that goes into each room. 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

On Feeling Alone

I know that there are TONS of folks that face infertility, but damn it, sometimes this path feels so lonely.

  • The hormones.
  • The feeling less of a woman.
  • The weight gain and the realization none of your clothes fit. 
  • The money. (You can't even think of buying new clothes).
  • The daily meds or supplements.
  • The feeling of failure.
  • The limitations of what you can eat/drink/do to make sure you have "the best chances".
  • The no baby. 
  • The doctor visits
  • The pretending everything is fine.
  • The pretending like you really want to hear and be invited to every baby event.
  • People asking "so when are you guys going to have kids?"
  • The CONSTANT reminder that you are old (or at least your eggs are). 
  • The roller coaster that just won't seem to stop no matter how long you've been on the ride. 
  • The worry that wanting to use your own eggs raises the chance of health issues in your child. 
  • The worry that I'm becoming obsessive or annoying.
  • Worrying about my in-laws
  • The invasive procedures
  • The worrying over every little unknown pain will cause a problem
  • The money (yes, this is big enough to write twice).
  • etc...

My BFF is a guy and I don't think he can completely relate. Actually, I take that back. His situation is worse.
Me: "This sucks. I can't carry a baby. My eggs are getting old. And we pay a fortune just to be on this stupid roller coaster ride."
BFF: "I think my MS, being single, no chance of kids, and the eventually that my walker requirement will turn into a wheelchair requirement triumphs. My insurance alone is over $900 a month and I can't work."
Me: "touche. Let's go grab lunch. It's on me."

My second BFF just had a baby, so it's not like I want to rain on her parade or have her feel like she's walking on eggshells. She's so totally awesome and her baby is as cute as cute can be.

My husband, though tremendously patient with me, doesn't alway understand how this physically and emotionally this affects me. And as many of you know, it's a doozy  Nor do I, having been a parent before and not from a culture who puts the highest importance on having children, understand all of his internal turmoil. On dealing with the emotional side of IF, we probably both stuff it down in order to appear brave for the other.

If I tried to discuss things with my mother, then she would be incredibly sad worrying about me. That would only add to my stress. No thanks.

In blog land I sometimes worry that I am offending others. In my posts and sometimes my comments; both farthest from what I am actually trying to do. Just trying to convey my thoughts at a particular moment in time. Or trying to avoid feeling sad. Or trying to be helpful. Or funny.

In work and with friends, I'm limited to what I can say. Sometimes because I'm trying to protect myself (lest I am fired for going through IF like I alluded to here) and sometimes I just don't want everyone knowing my business. Nor do I have the desire to be the discussion of gossip as can happen when you have a large group of friends. Nor do I want to be the person that constantly complains and whines as that drives me crazy. Little bits are fine, but when you run into that person who has had problems for soooooo long, it becomes exhausting to talk to them. I certainly don't want to be "that" person.

Yet life goes on. Everyone is busy discussing their kids, sharing fun photos, and doing fun family projects. I'm sure it's a grass-is-greener type thing (after all, we've had some AMAZING travel adventures over the last 4 years), but if I see one more Luvs commercial on Hulu, I'm going to scream.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Weekly Update: A Job, Land of IF, Being a Proud Parent

So many things, so many things. I've forgotten half of them already. Let's just hit the highlights and see what else I can remember.

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's off to Work I Go.
Had to go back to work. Money is just too tight right now. Me not working for 8 months has finally taken a toll on our finances and if we want to continue in this Land of IF, then we can't do without my paycheck.

My first week of job hunting was really me just talking to recruiters. I figured I had put enough off during my travels to India, that now was the time to dig deep. That's always an adventure, but by week 2 I had a job - fortunately my area of expertise has an extremely low unemployment rate. It's a contract to perm position in IT, doing what I have over a decades experience experience in. I will be making over 10% more than what I did at my last job and for a company that has a big name all over the world.

What about my dreams to do some sort of humanitarian thing in the non-profit industry? Selfishly, our dreams of a family rates higher on the scale, thus I had to give up on a career choice that would pay just over 1/3 -1/2 of my current salary. All is not completely lost as the project I am working on helps people from 9/11. At least I can believe in the project. Some of the companies that wanted me to interview were BLECH. (Have had enough of soul sucking from my last job thank you very much!)

Speaking of Land of IF...
1.) Just starting reading the book Navigating the Land of IF: Understanding Infertility and Exploring Your Options by Melissa Ford of Stirrup Queens fame. Only on chapter 3 (have had to study for work - <sad face>), but it is pretty awesome. Have my own mini-collection of IF books, but this is the one that most interests me right now. Probably because it's not all doom and gloom fact based. Melissa does an excellent job of making the reader far more relaxed over a very NON-RELAXING subject and everyone is included. It's a hard road and the recurring theme is that we are not alone. And that it's ok to be all emotional. I'll write a full review when I'm finished.

2.) Our friend and her husband who offered to do surrogacy for us are "both feet in". YAY!!! That's the first hurdle. We've consulted with our local clinic and there are a couple of things we have to address, almost all of which we expected. Then there is the insurance issue. We don't know yet if her insurance has a surrogacy clause. Trying to find that out without sending up red flags. They aren't known nationally to cover these things...One step forward, two steps back.

The item I had not thought about was that my doctor wants to retest my FSH. It was high last january (12.4) and with the decrease in my AMH, she wants to make sure that it hasn't shot up to the high teens. I know, I know, it's a Big If. Wish me luck. If it comes back too high, then we could be in holding pattern for years for the DE as I've previously mentioned here and in other places.

Proud Parent
Some of you might remember that I have a 20 year old son. What I don't think I have ever mentioned is that he is in seminary school. Which is perfectly natural since his father is Jewish, my husband is an ex-Hindu, and I have had a lifetime of "trying to figure it all out". (Try not to laugh.) Anyhow, my son has a religious podcast now and I am very happy to see him do something he enjoys so much! Of course as the proud mama I had to listen to it right away and I was tickled in doing so. He was great! Very few people in life get to have the career that they absolutely love and I think he will be one of the lucky few. We have the best discussions and I'm thrilled that not only am I his mother, but also his friend. He dives into projects where he can bring help to those who need it and I am so incredibly proud of him.

Well, that's all I can remember right now. Still recovering from the flu, which is interesting with starting a new job. I'm exhausted.