Tuesday, August 28, 2007


"If you don't appreciate it, you don't deserve it."
Terry Josephson, 20th/21st-century motivational author

"Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others."
Cicero (Marcus Tullius), Roman orator, philosopher and statesman (106-43 B.C.)

Spending time, immersing yourself in another family, can be very revealing. I am so blessed to have a man with whom I share such essential core values. (Now before you start to think I'm one of those "family values" people, just hold on and read more). I suppose its sufficient to say we are progressive, yet grounded in some deeply held American traditions. It seems silly to have to spell it out, but hard work, fairness, an appreciation for the good in our lives is terribly important to us. Yet we also are supporters of the importance of change in our society. Change in favor of the environment, in favor of minorities and immigrants, in favor of the impoverished and disenfranchised.

I don't know how to share the experience of this last visit with my sister. I'm admittedly feeling a little nervous posting about it, as I used her computer to post while in her home. (I expunged the history, but I'm still nervous). And I also don't want it to come off as if I'm denouncing her, her family or her lifestyle. And I don't want it to sound as if I am jealous of her financial good fortune. It just struck me hard this time, the differences between us.

My sister is almost 8 years older than me, and it has always been a struggle to be close. The age difference is part of it, but more significantly there are just fundamental differences in how we view the world. She is of a liberal bent as well, but I can't help feeling she somehow lost her way. We grew up lower middle class, approaching upper middle class by the time I, the youngest, was in high school. But with 6 children, it took my parents awhile to get there. Those roots in working class poor definitely impacted all of us, regardless of the quantity of our direct experience with it. But my sister has escaped (or been swallowed up) by the affluent upper class, abet there she reigns in the lower eschelon.

Having spent the most time with her children, it stuck me what a skewed view of the world they live with. They live in a large home, attend an excellent public school, participate in a variety of extracurricular activities. Yet they often feel they don't have "enough." I understand that in comparison to their peers in the neighborhood, this is true. They have such a limited perspective. Now these are simply girls under 10 years old, and I understand it is unfair to expect deep empathy. However, I can't help feel disappointed that this is the path for my nieces. I worry how this perspective will impact their futures, and ours as a society.

It seems pointless to enumerate the evidence, but their lack of gratitude was evident in so many aspects of their lives. The number of toys, while not extreme, was certainly greater than the average home. There were duplicates of a multitude of crafting supplies. Some things had not even been opened. Those that had, were strewn across the playroom. Toys covered in sticky food. Clothes in their room shoved into drawers, under beds, in closets. Missing shoes. While I know on the surface this simply looks like my nieces are messy, I couldn't help but be struck by the fact that when one appreciates the things in their life, one takes care of them. Now don't get me wrong, if you came to my house my clothes would not be put away, there are J's toys on the floor, and dirty dishes in the sink. But there comes a point when mess is no longer joie de vivre, a point where it becomes a sign of one's lack of appreciation for the gifts in their life.

I guess what made me most sad was when my sister demonstrated that she too had lost perspective. Her youngest daughter made some comment about not having enough something, or being "poor." I was very upset. I attended college and professional school in some of the worst areas of Philad.elphia. I had seen poor. When I mentioned that perhaps her kids could use a little perspective about those less fortunate, she was defensive. She felt she had tried to do that. Her girls had befriended the Asian immigrants in their class, and they lived in apartments. So thus her girls had seen what it was like to be less fortunate. Not exactly a broad perspective. I don't think my nieces really know, or at least understand, that there are children in America who don't eat everyday. I want them to be happy and light-hearted, but I also wish they knew the wonderful gifts they have everyday.

I can not change their lives. I can only make small nudges here and there. I hope when they are a bit older, and we have a bit more stability in our lives, that we can spend more time together. I do know that it has helped clarify for me the values I want to impart to our son (and hopefully other children). In the future we hope to be on much sounder (even prosperous) financial footing. But I hope that will not change how I look at the world. I hope J learns to value the gifts in his life, both the physical and the emotional. I hope that is the gift we can give to him.

Its a Drag

Yes, returning from 2 weeks away is a DRAG. Since I'm too exhausted to post about my visit with family (lots to share), and my migranes are back (ugh), I thought I'd leave you with this amusing quiz result. Yes, this is really what it told me. No, I am not making this up. If only it were true.

Your Drag Queen Name Is:

Lotta Estrogen

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Ladies of ROCK

Wow! Thanks to Leah for honoring me with a Rockin' Girl Blogger award! Her comments here meant a lot to me. Especially her comments about my writing, since I felt pretty rusty when I started blogging not too long ago. Also because I am so often in awe of many bloggers' wit and creativity, and tend to think my blog is pretty simple. And Leah -- You ROCK too!

Now I'm to acknowledge 5 other great ladies, which is tough. Not that I can't think of five, but because the nominees are flying 'round the blogosphere and I know some have already received them. So I'm going to try and choose ladies who have not already been recognized (I think).

Herveryown is definitely a Rockin' Girl. I am constantly amazed at how adept Akeeyu is at making me laugh -- even at the serious struggles in her life. Her amazing creativity and humor never fail to help me smile on a rough day. And I am so happy to see that things are looking up for her.

Rachel at Henry Street is another Rockin' Gal, in a very different way. I am absolutely honored that she has shared such raw honesty with us in the blogosphere. Her recent experiences in facing the decision to use donor gametes have been so open. As the possiblity of donor egg looms on the horizon for us, it has ben invaluable for me to witness the emotions and all that goes with traveling down that road. Thank you Rachel. {UPDATE: Rachel has gotten some disappointing news, so please support her at this tough time}

Nika at Life is a Sandwich is another girl who just ROCKS. I love the way she tells her story and, like so many I admire, faces adversity with sarcasm and humor. I can't imagine balancing all the things she faces everyday, even if IF wasn't in the mix.

Geohde at Mission Impossible Rocks in a unique way. Although I've only recently found her blog, it strikes a major cord for me. Since my DH is a physician and I have a similar background, I can so relate to some of the topics she touches on. I love the way she describes her experiences in medical school. It is helpful to me to see how another medical professional handles the way their education impacts their IF experience. Its like they say, a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.

And Chicklet at Blub This!, is another of my favorite humorous bloggers. Yeah, she rocks on! (I'm all about needing a good laugh ladies!) I don't think I will look at an IUI session ever in quite the same way. Like me, she is a bit new to the blogging world, but she more than makes up for it with clever and hilarious looks at IF and marriage.

Ladies, now you too must spread the love. Rock ON, cysters! Nominate 5 ladies you adore.

PS -- there were many other ladies I wanted to say ROCK, but they've been flagged by others. Like Artblog paid homage to many of the ladies I also think are amazing (Adrienne, Aurelia, dd, and Artblog herself). And I will always think the first gals I found are great -- like Leah, Sticky Bun, Serenity, Mel, the Oneliner, JJ, Reality and Lady In Waiting. There are just so many of you that make my life better. So to all of you -- YOU ROCK!

Monday, August 20, 2007

And So, It is Done

Ah, so I succumbed to the evil lure of the pee stick on Sunday. Negative. I still held out faint hope, but AF is finally knocking and will surely have settled into the guest room by tomorrow morning.

Please, no need for any condolences. I really wasn't expecting much this month, but it would have been a nice surprise. I was hoping a bit to join the recent batch of successful DIY'ers (Caro, Artblog, Adrienne). Perhaps next month.

Here in Pennsylvania, I'm struggling to get through my last days of watching over 2 children instead of just one. During the trying moments I can't help but wonder if this is why I haven't been granted another one! Its a bit tough when there is 4 years between my neice and my son. The constant rain the last 2 days isn't helping either. And we had already gone to the movies before the rainy days came, so couldn't use that as a filler. We saw Under.dog. It was okay. J got a little scared since he is not used to "bad guy" movies. But he loved a clip during the credits. They did a little spoof of outtakes. The dog muffs his line and says "No need to fear, Underpants is here!" J thought that was hysterical and said it 50 times on the way home. Ah, the simple life and joys of underwear humor.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Send Love

Thank you to everyone who kindly commented and wished me a nice vacation. That was so sweet.

But now you need to go send serious love to The Girl and the Olive, who is going though such a terrible loss, something none of us deserve.

Friday, August 17, 2007

What to Do?

It's CD31. No AF. Had significant cramps for the morning of CD25. Have had occasional minor cramps since, but none today. Had typical pimples pre-AF several days ago, but no AF.

Am I late? Do I POAS?

A 32-day cycle is not unusual for me. But I did have (TMI here) a scant amount of EWCM at around CD14. Generally, my luteal phase is a little long on an unmedicated cycle.

I HATE THIS. I have no other symptoms, no reason to hope. The only unusual thing this month has been the weird migraine stuff. Which, by the way, is much better. I'm off the calcium channel blockers and ibupro.fen. But I do occasionally still get a little dizzy/light-headed event when I bend down or turn around quickly.

I want to buy a HPT, but I really think it is just a waste of money. But there is a little part of me that hopes. Since I'm away from Resident-Boy, it would be like de ja vu. When we conceived J, he was off in Colorado on an away-rotation during med school. He couldn't be there for the "EPT moment" in the bathroom. So getting a BFP now would seem on par with how our life goes. When we had the blighted ovum, we were apart during some of that time too -- and ironically I was staying with my sister then also, as I am now.

UGH. I'm not sure what I'll do. I'm trying to just wait it out a few more days. If AF doesn't arrive later this weekend, I think I'll need that stick. Maybe I can use it to beat her off?

Sunday, August 12, 2007


Tomorrow I set off for our 2 week visit with my family! I've still got lots of packing to do, so this is just a quick update.

  • Headaches better, still using calcium channel blockers, but mostly off ibuprof.en. Hoping to wean off the Ca-channel blockers soon.
  • Plumbing job all lined up for while we are out of town. I'm excited for new stuff in our bath!
  • Had a nice visit with SIL and niece. Went to our big fair and a farm league baseball game.
  • Off to the Philly suburbs! Can't wait to meet my folks new puppy and just chill out. Oh, and wait for AF.
I'll be checking in on everyone, but maybe not posting too much. To all the wonderful ladies who are going through difficult times, you are in my thoughts daily. To those celebrating with anxiety, I'm holding your hand (virtually).

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Send Love

Please show your support for these lovely ladies who have suffered recent losses

In and Out of Luck
The Girl and the Olive

Eye See You

Saw my GP today. Confirmed ocular migrane, since I mostly have eye pain, vision issues with associated headache. Gave prescription for calcium channel blocker which helps with vasospasm (twitching blood vessels, one of the culprits of migrane). It helped some, but I still couldn't get off the ibupro.fen. I'm hoping this is going to get better soon.

One site I looked at talked about hormone changes affecting/triggering migranes. It specifically fingered decreasing estrogen and a common trigger. Big time points in womens' lives for migrane onset include pregnancy and menopause. I have never had migranes before. I'd rather have them because I'm pregnant. But I'm more afraid its menopause.

I'm just hoping AF comes soon and that shifts something around to break the cycle of migranes. Dealing with J isn't helping since the screaming at him to stay out of trouble seems to be exacerbating my tension headache portion. Trying to prep the house for construction/repairs and pack for a 2 week trip and get ready for weekend company isn't helping either.

Sorry I don't have much more to share. I've been thinking about some more interesting stuff about friendships etc -- but can't get it together to post yet.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

No Explosion

Well, my head didn't explode. And my headache(s) is better. Today was the most normal day that I have had in more than a week, but it still required regular doses of NSAIDs. However, I'm definitely not normal (this you already know). I did make an appointment with my Family Dr. for tomorrow am. I guess I will keep it even though it seems I am getting better.

So I'm trying to prepare for my trip to see family, as well as prepare my kitchen for demolition (ok, MINOR demolition, but still). While I am away, my kitchen walls and ceiling will be opened up to expose the pipes that feed the bath upstairs so that the water supply pipes can be changed. I'm a little excited. While I'd much rather not be spending money on this endeavor, at least we are getting new faucets for the bathroom and a new vanity (cheap, but new). Here are the boring fixtures I bought, the shower ones are basically the same. I really wanted a different vanity and fancier faucets, but the reality is that we are leaving this house in less than 12 months. So it just needs to be new and fresh, not fancy.

Oh, and did I mention that I giving up this weekend to an SIL visit? Yes, it is my DH's birthday, and his last weekend off this summer. And are we doing something romantic? Are we finally having special family time? Are we reconnecting and declaring our undying love? Uh, no. We will be taking 2 four-year-olds to the fair and a baseball game. Then I leave for 2 weeks. But I'm not bitter. I'm NOT! well, maybe a little, sush!

I'm sort of excited to spend so much time with my family. I think it will be fun. My parents got a new puppy, my oldest brother has taken some time off, and hopefully I'll catch up with my old friends. It should be win-win. I just know that there will be lots of running around which might be tiring. And I will be expecting AF soon after I get there. This last month was DIY, and I'm not hopeful. Don't take it the wrong way, I'm not devastated or anything. I just no longer believe I will conceive in a non-treatment cycle (when I did last Dec it was blighted ovum, so who needs that?). I'm not even sure I'll conceive in a treatment cycle. I guess I'll see what happens with my family doc, then see if I can tolerate returning to the DHEA, then talk with my RE.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

My Achey, Breaky Head

I've been down for the count the last few days. Never had a migraine before, but I think that's what has been plaguing me for almost a week. Either that or I've got a brain tumor. I keep hoping for some bizarre pituitary tumor that will explain all my infertility. Of course this is unlikely, especially since I've injected myself with almost an entire case of stimulatory drugs while my ovaries snored away.

I was having some really mild dizziness occasionally after starting the DHEA. But after a week or so I noticed some strange vision changes. Its hard to explain. Not really blurred vision, but it sort of felt like my eyes weren't working together as a team. This led to some wooziness and nausea. It was especially bad when reading or driving. I was light-sensitive too, bright sun and fluorescents killed me. Then I developed killer tension headache and my neck muscles turned to steel -- I could hardly turn my head to back the car out of the driveway.

I stopped the DHEA Thursday morning. Finally started taking big honking doses of ibup.rofen. Made DH rub my neck. Drank a lot to induce relaxation. It seems to be helping. I don't know whether to blame the DHEA, or wonder if it is repressed stress/anxiety over my IF and everything else. I'm thinking of trying to slowly go back on the DHEA in a few weeks. Maybe ramp up the dose and see what happens. Any return of the symptoms and I'm done. Then I don't know what our IVF plan will be.

I'm heading to spend 2 weeks with my family starting next week. I'll be babysitting my niece while her parents head to Italy (lucky them). I'm going to try and just forget about everything while I'm there. Although AF will arrive while I'm there so that will be a lovely reminder. I'm just hoping the headache stuff is totally gone by then, since I have a 7-hour drive to get there. Any migraine cures you recommend? Can they really last this long? Or do you think I do have a tumor?

Friday, August 3, 2007

Cult of Personality

Thanks Serenity for posting this one. I've always wanted to do one of these but have never taken the time. It was fun. Spooky that we are the same type! And it only represents 0.5% of women.

Here is my profile:

Click to view my Personality Profile page

INTJ are "introspective, analytical, determined persons with natural leadership ability. Being reserved, they prefer to stay in the background while leading. Strategic, knowledgable and adaptable, INTJs are talented in bringing ideas from conception to reality. They expect perfection from themselves as well as others and are comfortable with the leadership of another so long as they are competent. INTJs can also be described as decisive, open-minded, self-confident, attentive, theoretical and pragmatic."

I liked reading the list of careers they say match this personality type. Scientist was on there, as well as teacher/professor (a job I've considered). Photographer was really the only creative or artsy job there, which I though was facinating. Photography is my favorite hobby, and in high school I actually wanted to be a photojournalist. Of the famous people with this personality type, 3 of the women were TV journalists. Strange to take a little test and see such similarities.

Need a Fix?

Thanks to Niobe, via Christina (the oneliner), for this suggestion to see what country you are by taking a quiz. I loved it! It was totally apropos.

You're Colombia!

You do a lot of drugs, and these have kind of distorted your view of reality, to the point that everyone looks like an enemy. You keep trying to restore order over your schizophrenic world view, but you don't even know which goal is your own and which is someone else's. You're pretty sure someone needs to be punished for all this, but who that is changes all the time. Things would be a lot better for you if you switched to coffee, or even to decaf, but all this money would be hard to give up.

Enjoy! See what country you are!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

My Pipes Will Be Fixed!

Hoooray! I finally caught up with my neighbor tonight ... and he is all cool and laid back and says "Uh, yeah, I can take care of those pipes for you." It was the sweetest thing I'd heard all week. Even better, he can do it when I want, and he said he can do it for like HALF what the other guy said. Yeah baby! (Normally, if a contractor said that, I'd be nervous. But this is my neighbor, and I know his family pretty well)

Hot, Hot, Hot

Things here are HOT. We are having a bit of a heat wave. Okay, nothing like the Mojave Desert, but pretty hot for here. So, I am neglecting the house and all those things I'm not getting done anyway -- and just trying to stay cool. I think we will be hitting the pool and any air conditioned store I can justify. No cooking, no cleaning, no obsessing. Okay, you know I'm obsessing a little, but I'm trying not to.

No news on the plumber front. I'm waiting to talk with my neighbor the contractor. I'm feeling rather lackadaisical on that issue. Oh, but DH got me some eye stain from work and Lu Lu did not have an ulcer and actually her eye looks all better today! Yea, something is going right!

I'm a little nervous about this week. Its CD16, so I should be ovulating (or did). I refuse to do the OPK thing. I just can't hold it for 4 hours, which I understand is the proper way to do it. We ditched them pretty early on when I was doing IUI, and used trigger shots instead. So instead I bought some wine and just plan to do the nasty as much as possible. I've only done the DHEA for 2 weeks, so really it is unlikely to do anything yet, but I'm hoping. Actually I've not even taken it three times a day all the time either. I've been having some really mild dizziness occasionally and some headaches. But the headaches are more tension type. I backed off the DHEA a couple of days since I read it can cause elevated blood pressure (thus the dizziness??). I order some micronized DHEA online to see if that makes any difference. I don't really have any other symptoms though, so maybe these symptoms are from something else. No acne, no increase in my irritability, no real change in libido (bummer huh?). I guess I'll just wait and see. Gotta love that waiting ...