Monday, October 15, 2012

Infant Loss Awareness Day. October15, 2012

Thank you all for the wonderful thoughtful emails and messages while I was radio silence here I was working through what has been honestly the worst loss I have ever suffered. Love and I are indeed still alive and well. Froggy is a Junior in College and has changed his major for a 2nd time and picked up a double major while he was at it. Bug is doing spectacular now halfway through her 1st semester in college out of state and WOW just WOW, I feel blessed even as our hearts ache at the loss of Gabriel Joseph. I sit here and think where do I begin to tell you this story. The story of how my 8th pregnancy went horribly wrong and how my dear sweet Love had to go through burying our first child together and my 3rd child I've laid to rest. Infertility and recurrent loss is not for the faint of heart. Tonight I am lighting 7 candles in memory of my babies gone but not forgotten. I was blessed to be able to hold 3 of them as hello meant goodbye, and the others are just beautiful dreams I visit and wonder who they are and what they would have been if allowed to stay here on earth. 6 pregnancies with 1 set of twins lost. Lost... well maybe to me but I have to believe that God has a huge Found section just waiting for those of us who never got to say hello to our sweet babies. I like to imagine a huge party, like Birthday, Anniversary, Christmas and New Years all rolled into one. Trumpets blowing welcoming us as we enter the Kingdom of Heaven meeting our long lost babies, and other loved ones gone before us. That's what I imagine. On nights like tonight as the weather has turned to fall, and the trees are shedding their leaves and a cup of hot cocoa sounds lovely by the fire... I imagine my mom up there loving and playing and reading wonderful fairy tales to each of my children gone too soon, my sister's children gone too soon, and to her great grandchild gone too soon. My mother loved her family. She was always ready to lift a crying little one up and kiss away tears as she set them down gently to run off and play. I imagine its just beautiful to watch her revel in all the children. Including her 2 little boys lost too soon. I miss my mom and my babies and I know that while I miss her terribly as I grieve for Gabriel here, she is with him and his siblings and cousins and uncles right this very minute knowing that we are thinking of them, Loving them and knowing that in the end... we will all be back together. So tonight I say... Sweet Alexander Jeffery, beautiful Mary-Sue Elizabeth and our precious Gabriel Joseph...mommy misses you terribly, and enjoy Grandma B she is the center of our family. I know you are all safe in the arms of Jesus now and until we meet again I blow kisses in the wind, and hug each of you in my heart. I am working on the story of our pregnancy and the loss of Gabriel to share with you all. I hope to have it ready in the next week.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Dear Readers,

I am so very sorry I need to update and I will back date the entries so everyone can catch up very soon. The first 14 weeks of our pregnancy were fantastic and normal. I had morning sickness and fatigue that kept me away from you, my blog friends. I was working full time and caring for Love at home when I got off, we were in BLISS. Happy and unaware of the call I would get at work on my 14th week of pregnancy. These past 2 weeks have been hell going back and forth with Dr offices and the cryobank, and never hearing from our RE office about the issue at hand. This past Friday we received answers to a very big question and Saturday we went in for a "fun gender scan" that turned horribly wrong. Our baby had passed away between my doctor appointment Thursday and our early morning appointment on Saturday for our "fun" ultrasound. We found no heart beat Saturday morning and I began the drive 1 hour and 15 minutes to our town with my dear hubby, Love since he can not drive post stroke. I delivered our sweet little boy, Turtle at 3:16am Sunday morning, silently and at peace. We will share his name openly once all is finished. I promise full disclosure to you when I am told it is okay to blog openly about this situation. To say we have broken hearts would be an understatement. However I just can't tell this amazing little baby's story yet, we have to make sure some wrongs are righted and I do not want to jeopardize that. Love, Birdie PS I will resume blogging after his funeral arrangements are made and We have had some time to process this loss.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Update Finally...

So I left off with how frustrated I felt by CD25 and no BFP... Just to put it in perspective I woke each morning with my POAS ritual and added to my supply of used pee tests... all showing me BFN after BFN.
On March 31st I laid down next to my hubby sure all the pregnancy symptoms I had were in my head and I was a loony Birdie with a psychological pregnancy because of wanting it so bad. I questioned my hubby, "Are you sure God told you this is the right time? Because I feel like crap and since I just went back to work and people are coughing and sneezing all over me I think I'm coming down with a bug... I keep getting negatives and I feel like CRAP!" Love looked at me and patted my arm, "Birdie, I promise God told me you were going to get pregnant and this is the time we are going to finally have a baby of our own. Don't doubt God, He's got this." (Me in tears) "Okay, but I'm scared and I'm trying really hard to hold onto my Faith, but maybe Dr Awesome was right, I'm old... maybe my eggs are crusty and dusty and old... maybe they aren't COUGAR EGGS.... What then?" Love kissed my forehead and 'said, they are good eggs, and we will have a baby Birdie. I love you." The next morning, CD26and12DPO I sat on the toilet and said a prayer, God, I'm not bargaining, I just wanted to let you know that I accept your will. Positive or Negative, I will praise you. You have all knowledge and power, and you work all thing together for your good. If we are pregnant Lord I pray that you show me now so I may share this blessing and confirmation with our Church family, They have been praying for our treatments and praying over our family for so long Lord. I want this baby to show glory to you. Amen. PS I really want to surprise our Sr Pastors! AMEN They have been our biggest cheerleaders on the sidelines... they were labeled barren and went onto have 5 children after medical intervention failed. So infertility has been a huge part of their life, and their Faith. I took the test and saw this on April 1st:
Our April Fools Day Surprise! I immediately composed myself and kept squinting and twisting the test back and forth in the dim light at 6:45am... When I ran to the bedroom and laid down I nudged my snoring my hubby... "Love?....Love?" I whispered and he groggily responded, "Huh what? is it time to get up for church? It's really dark in here." I replied, "When our baby is talking what do you want him or her to call you? Baba, Daddy?" He opened his eyes and said Daddy I guess... Then I said well good because your are going to have to start thinking about this stuff, because WE'RE PREGNANT!" and I showed him my "squinter positive!" When we got to church we told our Pastors and Love flagged down basically all 3500 fellow parishioners to tell them! I got to tell about 5 people... but thats okay, It feels good seeing my husband beaming with pride over this long awaited and anticipated pregnancy... Just to be sure it wasn't the worst April Fools joke ever, on Monday morning I took my last 2 tests! and here they are:
Yep folks I took 19 tests in all and had 3 positives after our trigger shot ran out of my system...
Our First Beta was scheduled for Tuesday, and it came in at 90.5 and our 2nd Beta came in today at 211! We are rising nicely and now wait for our first U/S on April 23rd at 7am. I have to continue to take prometrium because my progestrone level is 23.5 and the doctor wants to ensure our pregnancy sticks!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

CD25 and 11DPO dIUI

Hey everyone! My progesterone level was 12.4 when checked and I was told by Dr Awesome's Nurse that he is very happy with that to keep up the progesterone suppositories and that I ovulated well. I've been POAS every single day and they have all been negative once my trigger shot went out of my system... I had some low back ache and crampy low belly stuff going on this past Wednesday 8DPO and I was told that could be implantation pain. I thought it felt kind of like my normal PMS stuff, but its gone not. I have absolutely no PMS symptom stuff going on now. I do however have some sensitivity to smells and yesterday and today I've had more acid reflux stuff going on. This morning I woke pretty queasy. I've been told all of this stuff is potential early pregnancy symptoms. Still praying this worked and that we will have a little one come Christmas time!

Monday, March 26, 2012

CD20 and 6DPO

I tested out my trigger shot and now am testing negative... it's early so I'm not freaking out. I'd be remiss to say however that I would have loved for my trigger shot to stay positive and for me to never see that negative come up. I know that I'm feeling some nausea but that could be from the love progestrone I have to use now. I will post as soon as I know anything... I just don't want to log on and blog "yeah folks still negative. I have a system down for the mornings though... I wake to my alarm and go directly to the restroom POAS and set it aside, insert my morning dose of Progestrone, wash my hands and go to the night stand next to the bed. I take my baby aspirin and prenatal vitamin and lay back down for 1 hour... then I get up and go check my pregnancy test... this way I am gonna be really surprised to see a positive when it happens... because I'm thinking this has to work this time. I'm keeping the dream alive! I test my progestrone levels tomorrow and then have my first day back to work Wednesday so life is gonna get a bit busier. I'm looking forward to sharing some great news by a week from tomorrow... because thats BETA Day! WAHOO! 8 more days!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

dIUI Take 1

At our IUI today we had 19.8 motile sperm for our first IUI and the procedure went on with no cramping or any discomfort... actually the nurse told me that I would feel pain like a pap smear and I am happy to report... I would totally go through this procedure every single day if I never had to have a PAP again! I felt nothing at all. My body was elevated to the 90ish degree angle that JLo assumed in the Back Up Plan and there we sat for 25 minutes. Tonight I am a bit crampy but I think it is ovulation pain...on each side so I'm pretty sure I am ovulating from both ovaries :) I begin prometrium on Saturday and have my progestrone level drawn on Tues the 27th. On the 28th I go back to work so that will help the last week of my 2WW go by quicker... I have a beta scheduled first thing Tuesday the 3rd of April. HOWEVER I will be POAS as of Friday I think because I want to see right when the positive happens... you know I really want this to happen the first time so my Dr has to eat his words... I may be old but these cougar eggs are fighters!
Please Pray that this works the first time!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Wandy Appt at 8AM

Well tomorrow morning I have a hot date with Mr Wandy and its CD13 so dIUI #1 is happening! Love and I are so excited and ready for this next step! I have 14 pregnancy tests all stocked up in the bathroom, that may seem like obsessing but this is the first time I will ever be excited to POAS. With my Rh Sensitivity I have always been in the situation knowing that my ex was not a compatible blood type and I would break out in a sweat and hives at the thought of being pregnant. We were very careful, but I ended up pregnant with various birth control methods. It is horrific to know you are pregnant and that your body hostile to the baby you are carrying. Hostile to the point of mortality. SO to have a positive pregnancy test in the past was to feel like I was killing a baby I wanted more than anything. after my last loss I got an Mirena IUD the first birth control to WORK the way it should have. When Love and I decided to go through surrogacy we had it removed so we could harvest my eggs for our surrogate. I have been IUD free since that time. I had told Love that we needed to decide what we were going to do so I could have one inserted if we weren't going to cycle again to get more embryos. He came to me last December and told me he wanted us to explore dIUI with me carrying. I had given up any hope of carrying a baby of our own... My hubby gave me the best gift ever in that moment! Allowing me to carry our child gives us a baby we both yearn for, and gives me the gift so many others take for granted. I look forward to getting a positive test, and telling him that he is finally going to be a Daddy! I also look forward to POAS all happy and filled with anticipation. SO 8 AM CST is the appointment time and I would appreciate all the good thoughts and sticky vibes as we attempt to peg the ever elusive egg!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

CD8 and an Update!

Dr Awesome decided because of my cycle last month that he would like this cycle to be medicated for our dIUI. I started my Femara (Letrozole) on Friday, my CD3 through yesterday on CD7. Overall I haven't had any real side effects but then again I've had a sinus thing going on with some low grade fever and attributed my headaches and hot flashes to that... Monday is CD 13 and we are scheduled for an ultrasound first thing in the morning with a follow up insem and trigger if all goes well. We are doing insems 2 days in a row. I feel at peace with this TTC journey. We have been through so much over the past 3 years from failed surrogacy attempts, my hubby's stroke and following recovery, and dropping toxic family members. Love and I have rebuilt our life and went from being in a dual income household, to nothing until Love was recovered. He had to medically retire as a physician because in his chosen profession he needed both hands functioning. He finally knows what he wants to go back to school for and is working toward that, and I am happy to say that I just received a job offer. WAHOO! We are very happy that we have made hard but necessary changes in our life and are ready for baby now in God's time. I have a sense of peace not only over our TTC but in life in general. I feel so blessed to have my husband home, healthy, and we are both ready to finally have a baby together! It has been 23 months since Love's stroke and I have been off work since that night. I have looked for jobs, and between our move across country and back I just hadn't found anything. I hadn't found anything until this week that is. You may remember last month when I interviewed for a job and had a horrific interview experience.. if not read all about that interview from hell . Well this past Monday I had another interview for my former job that I worked until Love's stroke. I had both places call within a 24 hour period and offer me a job! SO I am no longer unemployed. In fact I have 2 jobs to choose from! WAHOO!!!! I will receive insurance benefits as of April 1st. Everything is falling into place and I couldn't be happier... ESPECIALLY if I get knocked up next Monday!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

CD32 or CD1?

YEP! That would be ME! WAHOO! Way to hold out Aunt Flow! I brag about how wonderful and timely you are to Dr Awesome at my February 15th appointment, "nope Doc I'm 28 days and clockwork!..." and you wait until CD32 at 9:15pm to turn into CD1....WAHOO! Lets get to this baby making stuff you little hold out! SO is this CD1 if I'm just spotting when using the restroom or do I wait until I have actual flow (like in the morning?) OH yeah... This might be a TMI post... sorry, it's my blog and I am freaking excited to share my bodily functions...for the sake of baby making and family completion, and for adolescent humor... because I'm awesome like that. :)
I'm looking forward to a little one like this to light up our family again! It's been a long time since I've heard the pitter patter of little feet...SO Ready Set Lets Get a Move ON!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Writers Workshop...

Write about a time you hid from someone, or a time you disguised who you really were.

Inside my head I could hear my heart pounding as I held my breath... I thought for sure he could hear it too. I could see his feet walking through the upstairs guest room as I hid under the bed on my tummy. I was waiting for just the right time to slip out and run fast... as fast as my legs would carry me across the side yard and along the bean fields that boarded our 3 acres and the Country Club directly behind our land. Please don't let him hear me, my mind screamed. Finally his stale cigarette and Old Style breath was fading as I heard the master bathroom door open and close.

He was angry, and spitting out curse words as I slipped out from under that bed and creaked down the stairs, slipped out the back door and ran. I ran down the 19 stone steps built into the hill our home was built on. I hated that house... I called it the bad house.  Mom left me there in the middle of the country with my step father all alone. The abuse started 2 years before this memory in another home just a town away, before she married him. It wasn't long after they married that we moved to this huge 19 room farm house, with no neighbors or friends for me to play with in the area... SO I was captive to his every vile thought, desire, and need. It was in this house that my innocence was completely ripped away and healthy boundaries were blurred. That day I hid from the abuse and was able to keep his drunken eyes and hands off of me. I ran into this little grove under the bushes and seedlings and stayed there until my mom returned from work. I watched the big looming green house in the distance trying to stay awake all day long so I would be ready to run onto the golf course if he came out to look for me.

I remember how hard it was to open my mouth and whisper the words, "He touches me and makes me do things." What was worse was that after talking to her about it... she decided to stay. It was only after another family member heard me talk about it to a friend that she did anything about it. Years later I learned my mother was abused by her grand father and suddenly it all made sense. She didn't know how to protect her child because she wasn't protected. Back then they just didn't talk about those things. Lucky for me I have a big mouth...I talked about it, but it was not until my step father's death when I was 29 years old that I was freed from the night terrors that time in my childhood left me with.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

ICLW February

Hi there friends! Love and I have been busy here at the Nest. We met with our RE Dr Awesome since our last ICLW. We were told to stop by the drug store and get an OPK and start testing, and by all means order our Donor Sperm... which we rushed home and did PRONTO! I charted my ovulation this cycle, and am now waiting for my cycle to start so we can get down to business. One thing that was frustrating was if I hadn't been a POAS junkie I would have missed my LH surge... because Sunday morning I tested negative then at about 3:00 I tested positive, then that night it was negative again... and has been ever since. I was on CD16, has anyone else had this happen to them? What does it mean? Please pray that my cycle starts on schedule (March 3rd) and that my LH surge is better next month for our IUI cycle. Frankly I am scared that I need to be doing something to up my hormone levels... OH the IF brain is kicking into high gear.

I have been getting our place the rest of the way unpacked and organized. Also I am learning to quilt from a friend of mine and I started cutting my squares for the baby quilt for another friend, and first time momma. I want to learn how to quilt so I can make an awesome quilt for each of my kids. My daughter is going away to college in the fall, then the baby ( I hopefully get preggers with next month), then my son Froggy because he is moving around right now and I'm not sure whether to plan for a twin or larger quilt for him.

What do you all think? Is the short LH surge something to be worried about? I turn 40 this year and I think I'm feeling really old... that and my son Froggy turns 20 on March 3rd as well... so yeah I'm really feeling OLD.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Smiley Face

pic from: In my excitement I forgot to send mine to my blog and couldn't figure out how to get it from my phone to here. 
Even though this one isn't mine... I had one just like it! WAHOO! We are now waiting for my menses to start so we can move forward with our March cycle! Time is passing so quickly!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Met with Dr Awesome

Love and I met with Dr Awesome and his Sr Resident and we officially have a plan of action!
Dr Awesome had me pick up an OPK and begin testing for Ovulation since I was on Day 11 of my cycle on our meeting day and he wants me to note the date of Ovulation then call when my cycle starts so we can jump into our cycle with the knowledge of this last cycles timing. He plans to do an unmedicated cycle with 2 consecutive dIUIs once I ovulate in March. HOLY CRIKEY friends this is our time! WAHOO!

We rushed over to Le Drugstore and got our OPK  the Clear Blue Easy one...

Then rushed home to order our Donor Sperm IUI vials...DONE in record time... while on the phone with our DS Bank I asked questions about our donor... Of the vials that have been used of his so far there are 5 confirmed pregnancies and the representative said that no less than 3 of those were multiples...

Now we are in the wait before the 2WW... and this time we are in control... WELL God is in control but I know we aren't relying on another woman, whether related or not to help complete our family. I'm not saying we are never going to go through surrogacy but we will be planning that when we are completely ready to proceed, with our 3 frozen embryos...Since they need to come home to us as well. This being just Love and I with our Dr Awesome is really well AWESOME because this is a huge change. We finally feel like we are moving forward and we took what little control we could of our own family planning. This Friday (today by the time the post goes up) is my CD14 so hopefully I ovulate and this is the final countdown and we get pregnant in March!

Over the years I have ofter said that I just want to end my pregnancies with my body on a high note. I want to carry a healthy pregnancy and deliver without the stress of Rh sensitization. By Love changing his mind on the use of donor gametes he is bringing that dream into a reality for me. What a wonderful husband and life partner, and soon very very soon... what a wonderful father to our future baby.

I can not wait for Love to become Big Daddy really is the one thing we have yearned for these past 3 years.  So please hurry little turtle...mommy and Big Daddy Love really want to meet you this year!

Interviews and TTC

I've been looking for a new job for the past few months. It's been a while since I've had to interview. When Love and I moved back to Littlebigtown, Midwest after a 4 month move across country, I decided I really needed to look for a new job finally. I haven't worked outside our home in almost 2 years. My former employer is trying to shift things around to get me back on staff, however that is taking some time so I did what any person would do... I started hitting the pavement and looking for a new job. One that I could work a flex shift on so I wouldn't miss work for my TTC appointments with Dr Awesome.  I had my first interview on Wednesday the 8th and I was so freaking nervous. The place I interviewed with is a treatment center. They are a 12 step recovery program that handles all types including court mandated  persons that are reintegrating into society after serving time. Murderers, Rapists, Pedophiles, all recovering from drug and alcohol abuse. I made it through the first interview pretty well, however when I am nervous I do this thing... I giggle after talking. Most of the time I am able to keep it in check but I think that the combination of this being my first interview in over 3 years, and the anxiety of leaving Love for the first time since his stroke was just too much. Luckily the interviewer addressed it and I opened up a bit about the situation. I know that isn't  normally something to share on a first interview, but I think it went well after the fact. I have some friends that happen to work there currently. So hopefully their confirmation that I am not always a Nervous Nelly/giggle Girl is good enough.

I had a 2nd interview on Friday and the interviewer approached Love and my TTC plan. My TTC plan came out from a friend who works there I guess. She asked if the "drama" going on in my life right now was going to keep me from focusing on my job, if she were to offer me one... Why is it that people call making a baby "drama" when it comes to infertility?  I collected myself and tried to answer as directly as possible. I assured her that no I would not be unfocused in my job performance. Unbelievable. Anyhoo... she seemed pacified by that answer, I on the other hand left fuming... with a smile plastered on my face. If I were just having a whole lotta sexual healing while TTC I've venture to say she wouldn't have called it DRAMA... so I know people sometimes say stupid crap when interviewing... but I totally am not upset to report I heard back and "yesterday" she interviewed someone with more experience than I have in a residential treatment facility setting... so that girl got the job, not me. OKAY... new search is on.  I'm sure there could be alawsuit for approaching my baby making dreams in an interview though.

Have you ever been on an interview where someone asks an obnoxious question? How did you handle it?

Friday, February 3, 2012

Nope Not Crazy...

Yes folks you heard it here first!

I can totally see you aren't impressed huh...OK well I guess let me back up so I can bust in with and TADA! We aren't crazy! Maybe that will help okay here we go.

So after a couple years of our private hell rollercoaster Gestational Surrogacy being the main focus, we switched gears suddenly. Love came to me in December and said he was ready to pursue dIUI, he asked me to make an appointment with our RE, Dr Awesome here in Littlebigtown, Midwest.

Alrighty so I jump on the phone while keeping an eye on Love, for fear I was wrong about what month we were in and he was going to jump up and say APRIL FOOLS! (because this had been a heated debate before we ever even married). I scheduled our appointment and hung up the phone, then a couple days ago the Nurse from Dr Awesome's office called me. (I'm gonna just call her nurse because my mommy taught me "if you don't have anything nice to say DON'T say anything at all, Birdiegirl!" so this is me not saying ANYTHING)
So Nurse said "Hey Birdie I see you have an appointment to talk with Dr Awesome about dIUI and get started, I need you to make an appointment with Clinical Psychologist, aka Her Royal Awesome, Psy. D. to go through the evaluation to make sure both you and Love are okay to proceed. " So I quickly inform Nurse that I happen to have an appointment this Friday (today) and I will make sure it gets done in the course of our appointment. Fast forward to today... We walk in to our appointment and just had to sit and visit with Her Royal Awesome, Psy. D. so she could make sure we aren't crazy nutty peeps that think every baby on the street is their long lost baby have reasonable expectations of this cycling process. They also needed to ensure we would indeed love this baby just like it were both of our genetic baby not like a red headed step child...

errr um wait well Love has one of those too. (for the record He loves Bug just like she is his. :) and actually I'm impressed with his ability to help me understand my almost 20 year old son, Froggy... (yeah the older they are they really don't get much easier), but We do so love our Froggy, and Bug. ANYHOO-  We met for an hour taking up my therapy session (what if I really needed that time today?) with Her Royal Awesome, Psy. D. yeah that is her real name! okay maybe not, but it should be. At the end I got this fabulous "permission slip" that says briefly in like 5 sentences that yes we know what to expect, we have realistic goals, we are emotionally stable, functioning, and based on our interaction with her she recommends that we be allowed to proceed in ART, with use of donor tissues (guess that's how they say Super Awesome Sperminator).  That's right Ladies and Gents, it is official we are "ALLOWED" to get pregnant by Secret Agent Donor otherwise know as Super Awesome Sperminator... On February 15th we have our appointment to get our calendar... and order our uber special vials of magic serum so Sperminator can get to work at helping Love and I be Daddy and Mommy. And We aren't crazy... if only Fertiles and teen parents had to get the same little permission slip<------ Yeah that's a rant for another day.

TADA! We aren't crazy!
However I have to go back to  Clinical Psychologist, aka Her Royal Awesome, Psy. D. because she must have been asleep while filling it out the date on it says 02/03/2011.... UGH!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

What is Love?

"We don't know we are worth listening to, until somebody listens. We don't know we are worth loving, until somebody loves us." Thank you Gloria Steinem. For those of you who don't know who Gloria Steinem is she was one of the women who led the feminist movement.  She was recognized for being Joy Behar's mentor in last Friday's episode of The View. This simple statement resonated with me and I found myself rewinding the dvr and listening to her simple eloquent statement over and over. with a huh. So simple and true. I felt that it could be a great blog post. So sit back and read a bit of a story... This is me, probably being the most transparent and honest about my childhood you will ever see or hear. Frankly I don't dwell on it anymore, because if you are constantly looking back you can't fix your eyes on the future, or prepare for the blessings ahead.

So much of our identity is based on life experiences, and if you don't have a firm foundation you can be so lost and alone. A firm foundation is a loving accepting home life. If we live in dysfunction our view of Love life and self worth are skewed  and dysfunctional. As children we learn to associate love with how our family life is. SO let me make this connection for you. If we see a open loving mother and father talking and expressing themselves in healthy and good ways, we are equipped with the basics to do that in our everyday life. However if we are raised in a home where no-one talks, everyone shouts, people are not respectful of thoughts, ideas, or feelings, not to mention abusive physically or emotionally our inner compass is damaged. We go through life either thinking that way is normal, and we don't realize we do it in our adult relationships...or we take charge and learn to emulate others that have come before us to get what we want. That is a constant struggle until you reach a point where you believe the statement I opened this post with.  "We don't know we are worth listening to, until somebody listens. We don't know we are worth loving, until somebody loves us." I remember hearing this statement in my first psychology class,  "Early childhood experiences leave an indelible impression on the adult personality." and I understood it immediately.
Growing up in the 70's I saw my mother struggle to support our family because my father hopped from one job to the next, had many mistresses and was for the most part absent. When he was around unless we were out in public he rarely ever interacted with me. In public I was his baby girl, he called me princess, and you would think the sun rose and set on me. I yearned for my fathers attention. They divorced for the 2nd time when I was about 6 or 7 years old and shortly after that my mother began dating and soon after married my step father. He was an alcoholic and although he didn't "run around" on my mother and was there in the home giving her and I the attention we both yearned for that hadn't been given in her former marriage and by my biological father.... there was a serious sinister undertone in our home. My step father began molesting me at the age of time went on people found out and life changed for a while. He stopped sexually abusing me, went through treatment for alcohol addiction, and was reintegrated into my home. **YES that's right they let this person move back in to the home with the child he abused. When I was in 7th grade he adopted me, and I was being raised by my step father a man who stripped me of my innocence self worth and was the second man that objectified me. I was terrified of my step father, when the sexual abuse stopped, he began to be physically and mentally abusive. HE would call me an imbecile, back hand me, choke me, hit me, or beat me with a belt. I went through junior high and high school thinking that you show a boy you like him by allowing or behaving sexually with that person.  You accept treatment that is not okay because that is how you have learned to show "love"... the best part folks is that you think it is normal, and okay for them to do it. I truly fell in love with the idea of falling in love the summer after I was a freshman in high school. An older sibling of a guy in my grade began dating me. and he treated me with love and compassion. When we got to the point of where I would have in the past been sexual he respected me enough to tell me we were young, and he liked me and valued me as a person, but we weren't ready to be physical. Lets save that for when we marry our spouses. I told him I loved him that summer when I was swimming with him at the beach he was a lifeguard at, and he held onto me and said Birdie, I'm not sure we are old enough to know what love is, but I will always respect you, and then he kissed my forehead. This guy was and always has been such a healing person in my life. We haven't talked in maybe 15 years, but I'm still in contact with his family. We are friends on facebook, and I love his wife and siblings, and parents as if they were my very own family. For the first time I saw the true meaning of love. I'd like to say that changed me and I was all better but unfortunately that's not the case, it was just the first spark of realizing I have worth, and I am loved.
Let us love ourselves enough to give the younger generations more of the good stuff. I wasn't able to get past my dysfunctional childhood experiences until I found my faith. I've learned that each and everyday we are given the opportunity to do good, live well, and love without condition. We don't have to "work" at it, we just have to be the change we want to see. Word.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Farewell Muffintop and Other Resolutions

So I opened this blog too late for my 1st of the year Resolutions but hey its never too late to have some RESOLVE right? I was working out at a great big name gym when Love and I moved to Bigtown, Southwest for what we joke about being our 4 Month Staycation where we moved us and all our stuff across country and back 4 months to the day later. Anyhoo I was working out with a personal trainer and with wonderful results I tell ya! Accept since we moved back to Littlebigtown, Midwest I have really had a difficult time restarting my fitness journey. I feel like my weight has become a security blanket of sorts. No I'm not morbidly obese, but I gained weight after a back injury and haven't ever lost it...(7 years) with an extra 90 pounds and in that time I've noticed that as a size 14-16 I don't get attention the way I used to. I also don't get people making a point to get to know the chubby Birdie unless they are either chubby gals, or on the fringe... You know former chubbys that have gotten fit for one reason or another. NO don'ttake offense I'm not saying there is anything wrong with being chubby. HECK I love me! (and I'm a bit chubby. in fact my thigh is the size my waist was when I got married to my ex hubby back in 1991). YEP embrace your chubbyness. I'm just saying if it bothers you, or if as in my case it is starting to effect your health (hello high cholesterol) for Heaven's sake just do something about it.  I also don't need to stuff my gut with unhealthy stuff as a norm... I need to get ready to start running after a baby fulltime and that takes some energy!

So Awesome personal trainer available or not I am making a commitment to move... I'm going to move each and everyday. Whether it is taking a walk, run, doing a fitness video, or playing with my friends twins... I'm moving.

This next RESOLUTION is a 2 part: I resolve to spend time each day in prayerful meditation. To focus myself, and make sure I  stay centered and actively walking out my faith. I know that I can give my best to my husband and children and others in our community whether it is IRL or Online, if I take the time to root myself feeding my faith in the Word. I have felt for the last few years that I was to finish my degree and start going to VBI I am following through on this. We are also going to make sure we consistently pay full tithe...this has been difficult over the past couple years, however I know we live better, and are able to make ends meet when we do. We have been doing this since our move back to Littlebigtown, Midwest so that is a plus.

I know that this post is a little random but all of these things have been weighing on me... so I wanted to get them out. I want to make myself accountable. SO there ya have it!

Resolutions 2012
  • Lose the Muffintop
  • Move my body
  • Feed us healthy foods
  • lower cholesterol
  • Pray, Meditate, read the Bible
  • Pay full tithe
  • Be happy, healthy, and ready for baby time 2012

Monday, January 23, 2012

ICLW: Getting to know you...

Hello fellow ICLWers Welcome to my bloggy home! I hope you are all having a fabulous week so far. I figured I should give you the skinny on my story here at Birdie's Family Journey. Love and I went on our first date in November of 2008, engaged in April of 2009, and married in August of 2009... yes that was a whirlwind but I have to tell you not a day goes by that I don't thank God for my husband.  Plus we wanted to add to our family ASAP and we aren't spring chickens! I have 2 grown children from my first marriage. Froggy almost20 and Bug who just turned 18. If you want a breakdown of why I can't carry my DH's baby go here. We started our journey to baby via surrogacy during that fall, and were matched to a wonderful surrogate, who had to back out due to a home electrical fire right before our appointment for psych evals, and cycling. We were so very sad but understood that she needed to focus on her home and family. We went through a few potential matches including a family member match. We were all set to to on our journey and prepping for a June cycle when my dear hubby had a stroke due to unregulated hypertension April 30, 2010. Life changed in an instant, One month before his 37th birthday my hubby was suddenly in a fight for his life. At that instant we went from a dual income family to a no income family, and luckily we had money saved, and the ability to fall back and regroup. I had changed jobs right after we married and didn't have FMLA time allowed so not only did Love's private practice end my job did as well, while my husband was in surgical ICU and in a coma I was told by my workplace.

I spent the next year being Love's personal cheerleader and after almost 4 months in the hospital he was able to come home to a newly renovated place (had to be done for him to come home)... and we continued with on average 9-11 appointments each week for the first few months then it backed down to around 6 appointments each week and tapered off until last July when he stopped all outside therapies. He no longer practices and is medically retired, his Bp is now under control and he is feeling like its time to restart our journey in a new way. We know we still want to pursue surrogacy in the future because we have 3 frozen embryos that are great quality. We do however want to have more than 1 child so they have a sibling.  We have an appointment on February 15th to start a dIUI cycle. I look forward to sharing our journey with you all and please leave a comment, follow me, and I will for sure be following you ladies and gents back!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

A.R.T. and Our Faith

So Love and I went to Church today, he actually attended service (not that that is rare...its a lifestyle for us.) and I was in a meeting with one of our Senior Pastors. We were married by her and she has been through everything with us, our pre-marriage counseling, and as my husband recovered from his stroke, through our failed surrogacy tries, and now as we take this next step toward completing our family. Now I know there is a HUGE debate in the "Christian" community regarding A.R.T. and donor gametes, as well as surrogacy, but I have to tell you... In my church home there has never been anything but open arms, love and acceptance.

So Pastor Lady and I sit down, and she starts off by saying so how are things going on the surrogacy front? We were meeting for many reasons, but her first thought for me is "Birdie, when are you gonna have your baby?" (did I mention I love this woman!) She in my mind is so much more than just 1/2 of our Senior Pastor team. She is like our very own cheerleader, or a replacement mom, as my mother passed away 8 years ago. It humbles me so much to know she is right there in the trenches rooting for us...but I digress. I say well hold on I have to tell you a few things first then I will tell you about surrogacy. So I blurt out everything Love and I have gone through since our return to Littlebigtown Midwest, and she assures me that we made a good decision regarding family,. We talk about Froggy and how concerned I was over him last semester, and I tell her what a rockstar he is being in school now and he is communicating well with his father and I. (YAY Froggy!). Then I turn the conversation to Donor IUI (which we talked over briefly during our pre-marriage counseling along with the other options open to us... Adoption and Surrogacy) and Love's change of heart regarding it. I share with her that he is ready to take this step to have a child because of a few reasons:
  1. our age 
  2. financial concerns
  3. we want to have a 2nd child and know in a couple years our finances would be in line with a surrogacy try. (For now however we just can't swing two surrogacy journeys, and by the time we could we wouldn't be able to use my eggs due to age). 
  4. Love prayed about it over the past couple years. His heart has been softened by hearing and reading other Christians stories of Family Faith and Infertility. 
I talked fast, almost like I felt I needed to plead our case then turned to her and said, so now I have to ask..."Is the Church okay with our following this avenue to start our family?" She smiled and covered my hand as Pastor Lady said this, "The Church doesn't take a formal stance on this subject. The leadership feels that this is a decision that a husband and wife must make on their own after prayerful consideration. We feel that this is between you and God. We are completely supportive either way." Have I mentioned how much I love my Church lately? Because I do, I really, really do!

We left church today feeling completely at ease with our decision, and that our Church family will be open, welcoming, loving and nurturing to our child however he or she comes into existence. AND that folks, is the definition of being a Christian. Love like Christ.

Next appointment for baby making is February 15th! Did I mention that our RE is also the coolest Christian doctor I know? When I was scared before retrieval December of 2010, he totally prayed over me...I have to say Love and I have the best support system here in Littlebigtown, Midwest.

OH yeah and Pastor Lady said a while back there was a lady at our church that emailed and asked what the Church's view on Surrogacy was, because she really felt led to become a surrogate...WOW small world, still doesn't change the fact that we are just not able to swing surrogacy fees right now. BUT  the Church Leadership is being supportive toward A.R.T. and that soothes my soul.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Infertile Fertile: my story about me

I have received so many emails, and open questions asking about my story. People in my everyday life whether it's at church, work or just friends I have met after my move here to asking about our potential surrogacy or use of donor sperm (since Love is a positive blood type with me carrying) plans since they know I have had children. I decided that maybe I should open up and explain exactly what makes me fall into the infertile community. Likely there aren't many out there who have heard about my specific ailment, so fasten your seat belt, put your thinking caps on and take notes, because here comes the story of How Birdie Is Broken! in technical terms:

My story is different, I am not infertile, yet I walk the same path to expanding my family as many Infertile couples do. Why? I have Rh disease. Rh is basically what makes your blood type negative or positive but there is more. Rh factor deals with antigen d in the bloodstream. This is where most people say "Oh yeah my (insert sister, aunt, mom, cousin, friend here) had that and they just got a shot of RhoGAM, can't you just do that?" The problem is once you have antibodies built up to specific things they never go away. In fact in this case with each pregnancy they start building once again from the vary place they ended with the last pregnancy. There are 2 other antigens also present in the blood stream to express specific blood types, c and e.  My blood type is O- I have a negative recessive blood type. From each of my parents I received cde. Lower case letters are used to show a non- dominant or recessive trait. Each person has 2 sets of these 3 specific antigens. When a woman becomes sensitized to another blood type, either through blood passing back and forth between mother and child, or transfusion, or some other unknown way blood would enter into her bloodstream she builds antibodies against the offending antigen expressed in the blood. This is purely out of protection, if our bodies didn't build antibodies against these things it could not just be harmful , but could cause death. Antibodies are the way our body fights infections, and disease.

In my specific situation I became sensitized to D and C antigens. I never received baseline testing or (Antibody titer) since this was my first pregnancy to see where my levels were. One day Dr W came in and said "oh we missed giving you the RhoGAM shot and need to do that today." When my son Froggy was born we had no clue there was anything wrong. I had a normal pregnancy, but within a couple weeks of my RhoGAM shot (given to me late at like 33 weeks instead of 28 weeks) I went into labor and the doctor had to stop it. The hospital kept me overnight and then sent me home. The next week I was in and out of the hospital and then finally the last time they wanted to keep me in for 23 hour observation after stopping labor again, I said no I want to go home. I will go see the doctor in the morning if that is okay with him. I was exhausted, being poked and prodded all night over and over, I just wanted my bed, at my home. The next morning I went to the doctor, I was sitting in the office and noticed that I started having timeable contractions. I calmly went to the front desk and told them I was contracting and they brought me in back quickly. I was dialated 2 stretchable to a 3 and 70% effaced. The doctor sent me over to the hospital and told them to stop my labor with an IV drug terbutaline.  This gave me time to get my husband home and rested since he was on midnights and had gone back and forth telling work each time I was in labor that indeed that day was baby day. He didn't want to call in to his boss with another false alarm. At this point I felt like the boy who cried wolf. :) The next morning when Dr W made his rounds he went to check me and my bag of waters broke. He calmly said well you are staying, and will have the baby sometime tonight. That was 6 hours and 7 minutes before my first child was born. SO not only do I get pregnant easy and have a great uterus I have babies quickly... (Although my sister holds the record in our family for fastest 1st baby with 3 hours.) When Froggy came out he was very yellow, the nurses evaluating him never slipped him into my arms, they wrapped him quickly and said "say hi to mommy and daddy" as they whisked him out of the delivery room in into the nursery where he could be better evaluated. Froggy had a very severe case of jaundice caused by my Rh sensitivity. I wasn't allowed to see Froggy for about 7 hours.

So here is where it gets interesting I guess... What do all those antibodies do when passed from the Rh negative mother to the positive blood typed child?  Well my body became aware that a foreign blood type that was potentially harmful to my health was inside me. In normal response my bloodstream sent antibodies built against the "intruder" across the placenta to attach to the red blood cell to "buffer" it and make it safe for me. The baby's white blood cells then acted on that when they recognized something is wrong with that red blood cell. White blood cells fight against infections in our body. SO in this case the white blood cells killed the red blood cells with antibodies attached to them. This is a vicious cycle. In my latter pregnancies when we knew that this was happening they would do amniocentesis to check the level and color of the fluid and then when it was time the doctors would bring me in for Percutaneous Umbilical Blood Sampling (PUBS) with a follow up transfusion. In effect they would transfuse the baby through me. They waited as late as possible to start this process because once you do this process it pollutes the amnionic fluic and you can't go back to the less invasive testing. Each pregnancy gets worse because the anitbodies do not go away they build from where they left off last time. the higher the antibody count the more high risk and potentially fatal to the unborn child. Froggy received 2 exchange transfusions at the hospital before coming home, then another at 11 days old. Babies do not break down iron to make red blood cells while in-utero so as the white blood cells killed the red blood cells there were no new red blood cells being made. We had to wait for Froggy to make them on his own. It was very scary and quite touch and go. With Bug's pregnancy I was moved immediately to Loyola University and the MFM group there watched over our progress. I was text book, followed all directions, residents learned to do amnios on me. Calm as a cucumber. The pregnancy was documented and used during one of the doctors talks at a continuing ed seminar he gave. Bug was born 6 weeks early and the MFM Group said they thought with how well this pregnancy went I could go through one more. Bug had 4 PUBS with followup transfusions, and 2 transfusions after birth. This ended  my successful pregnancies. I became pregnant with my son Little Bean, who was born at just 26 weeks gestation, he lived just 55 minutes. He was in distress shortly after the first PUBS and transfusion. I had to have an emergency c-section. That's not the end of my story but it definitely shows how each pregnancy gets worse until the babies are not safe and there is nothing the specialists can do to help once antibodies grow to huge proportions.

I went on to have many more losses but these first three pregnancies show clearly what happens in Rh sensitization cases. Each one gets worse, until the baby can not possibly reach a viable stage in the pregnancy.

I walk the road of an infertile, knowing that I don't truly fit into either category "Fertile" or "Infertile". What I know is the intense desire to have children, and not be able to. What I've learned is that when infertiles go month after month experiencing periods hating that their bodies are telling them they can't have the one thing they desire most. A baby.  They mourn not for the lost child as I have with Little Bean, but the hopes and dreams for that little boy or girl that seems so out of reach. She was going to be the first woman president, he was going to be a wonderful business man or the researcher that found the cure to cancer. We all mourn the hopes, and dreams we had for that child or children and that is our common bond. I don't share the struggle to conceive but I do share the struggle to mother and bring life into existence.

When my son Little Bean died, I became angry at God. I felt cold and dead inside. I remember driving to the cemetery and weeping as I lay across his grave. I thought my arms would forever feel empty.Years later I started going back to church, and reclaimed my relationship with Heavenly Father. Now I am remarried, to a wonderful man. He is here everyday, telling, showing and guiding me toward fulfilling our dream of a family together. Hand in hand, with our eyes fixed on Him we walk in faith. Do I feel sad still about past choices, and mistakes? Yes. Do I beat myself up about them? Not anymore. I know that I could have made different choices, better ones perhaps, but maybe making those choices, going through that growth has made me who I am today. I love the me I am today, and I can not wait to tell my little one the story of how we brought them to be, against the odds with faith in Heavenly Father's greater plan.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Birdie and Love About Town

picture courtesy of
So Love and I went out to eat this evening to one of our favorite Thai places here in town. (There are 2 we absolutely adore and both treat us the same!) Since Love's practice was in the downtown section we used to frequent this place a couple times a week. Isn't it funny how the owners of tiny restaurants become almost like family? We love their visits table side and how it is here in our "hometown" even though we both grew up in different areas, as professionals we have been in this area for quite a while. Everyone here in the area still treats my hubby as he was treated before his stroke, and that is nice. It's one thing that was a bit different when we moved briefly out of the area.

My hubby had a stroke in April of 2010. Directly after seeing his last patient of the evening he came up stairs to our place above the commercial building and within 5 minutes I was calling 911. That evening changed our life instantly. I will post about that night and the subsequent journey to healing in another post but tonight I just wanted to say how wonderful it is to have people around us that see Love for who he is on the inside, and aren't stopped by the sight of a fairly young man walking with a cane, or riding in his wheel chair, with his left arm and hand non functional, and his leg impaired.

I think one of the biggest struggles we've had is of family members on my side treating him like he is half of a person because of the disability now. It has been very frustrating in our infertility journey when people ask questions like, "Aren't you afraid he won't be able to help you with kids?", or "Why would you have children now?", like my husband is a burden to me. He isn't and many people with disabilities have babies everyday. He can actively contribute to our lives and to society and I find it so oppressive and frankly hurtful when I hear those types of things.

When we walk into this restaurant and are greeted with  "Hi Doctor Love! It's so nice to see you and Birdie out tonight!" The conversation turns to our move across country and back and how great it is to see us again. The families in both this restaurant and the other one in town that we adore are Asian and my hubby and I go to these places when he is in need of "comfort" food.  I realized tonight that I come to these places when I just simply need the feel of family. Nope they aren't our family... but they are wonderful with the way the treat my husband. They are helpful if he needs his chair pulled out, but don't treat him like an invalid, or someone with a low IQ. They still look at him as a peer, ask probing questions. Talk about his former practice, occasionally ask medical advice even though he is not practicing now... in short they treat him like a whole person, looking past the shell of his body and seeing the spirit inside him!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A child is born...

Yes folks! 18 years ago today my daughter was born! She came into this world red haired red faced and screaming her little lungs out! Happy birthday Bug! Though I can't hold you in my arms like when you were born I hold you in my heart always!

following her dream...

Your step father and I love you very much Bug! She is performing today in another city so we celebrated her birthday on Tuesday evening just the 3 of us! We are so blessed God chose to allow us the opportunity to help raise such a beautiful child inside and out! You've taught me much more, than I could ever have taught you. Through you I learned  what it looks like to walk out in Faith, to follow dreams, and that with God and the right perspective all things are possible... You've also shown me it doesn't matter how people treat you what matters is your response! I've seen you learn your passion, and start on the quest to follow your dreams! Keep going my sweet baby girl the world needs to be blessed by your spirit, and zeal for life!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Ready....Set... Here we go!

So, I'm just kicking around here in my new digs... feeling it out! I've been wanting to update my blog and give it a new look. After searching and searching and going through so much over the last 3 years I decided heck, I think I will create a WHOLE NEW BLOG! Then right after the first of this year I talked to my friend Mary over at bright sunshine designs and she totally hooked me up! Thank you, thank you, thank you! I just love my new home here.

So I'm sure you have lots of questions about who I am. So <clears throat> Hi, my name is Birdie, and I'm an infertile... I married the love of my life in August of 2009, and we wanted to have a baby straight had some other plans. So for now the husband, I'm going to call him Love, and I are making our plan of action. I'm kinda in that infertile category that straddles the line between fertile and infertile. I have an Rh compatibility issue. SO yes I do have 2 children from my first marriage, they are super awesome kids! I have been pregnant 7 times total and have lost each and every pregnancy after my dear daughter, Bug. My son, Froggy is in college and Bug is preparing for college now.  I bet you are thinking WHY is this chick starting all over again now?  I will post more about my history, and our decision to have a child together in my about me section. Now don't go looking there, cuz it isn't there yet! <grin>  Today I just want to introduce myself and give a HUGE shout out to Mary !

**Edited now my About Me tab is up and running feel free to hear all about my Fabulous ok pretty okay life!** and don't forget to follow me I will follow you back!

Template by: Bright Sunshine Designs by Mary - Affordable Custom Blog Design © 2012

© Graphic Images from Rhialto & Hancik |