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Thursday, August 8th, 2013
7:38 pm - 300 days...again
Let's see...where did I leave off. Ah that's right....going to Europe. Well we did. I spent 3 weeks in Romania. I actually was able to communicate pretty well. It was a wonderful, amazing, thrilling trip. Oh...and he proposed to me. Yeah...that's right...I'm getting married. MARRIED!!! WTF? Holy crap. He proposed at the top of a mountain in Sinia Romania with a stunning ring. This happened on May 15th, just past our 7 month mark of seeing each other. Woah. So yeah, here we go...

But let me back up a minute. In January I went to see an RE. Apparently I have a mild case of ovulatory PCOS. Which means very little other than it's a little more difficult to get pregnant. Having PCOS means I really need to be damn close to my ideal weight in order to have an easier time conceiving. The Dr said even 10lbs can make a big difference. So yeah. I'm about 20lbs over my ideal weight, so I'll definitely be trying to get back to that before I get back on the TTC train.

For my birthday, J took me to the mountains for a weekend (totally awesome) and we actually just cooked together the whole weekend. It was pretty cool. Then for his birthday (the big 30 - yeah that makes him younger than me - yeah I remember swearing not to do that again *sigh*), I did a surprise party with all of his friends (he was SHOCKED - hehe) and then took him to a nice dinner and a cool hotel downtown.

Umm...other things that happened in between Christmas and the Romania trip...oh..I got an IUD. Yeah...that was...intense. J went with me (and was totally freaked out, but wonderful). It hurt....like really hurt like hell, but then it was over and I didn't have to worry about it anymore. It was a little difficult for me emotionally too. Almost like a giving up sort of thing. But I know it's just a pause in the process...

So yeah...back around to the title. 300 days...

It's not actually 300 days (290 actually), but I thought a lot about it when the 300 day mark hit. I remember when I was counting down to TTC. 300 days was the time I strung the 300 paperclips across my wall and had a physical countdown reminder of starting to TTC. Now I'm counting down to my wedding. It's exciting and terrifying and just a lot to take in. So now we're working on wedding planning, moving in together, getting my house ready to rent, getting my animals used to the new place, combining money and other assets, and getting to know each other's families. It's amazing. We have been together 10 months tomorrow and have COMPLETELY flipped each other's lives around. Both our lives have totally 100% changed and we haven't even know each other a year. Woah. And the really crazy thing is...I'm ridiculously happy. Like crazy happy. Like the silly, laugh until your face hurts happy. He amazes me. I can see how much he really loves me every time he looks at me. I have never had someone give so much of themselves to me. So amazing.

So here we are....yeah there have been a few tough spots and I'm sure lots more to come, but we communicate really well. I really feel like he would do anything in the world for me.

I'm sure I'm missing stuff...but that's all I can think of at the moment. I just really felt like I needed to write something down about hitting my 300 day countdown again. (this is actually the 3rd time...first time I was engaged, TTC, and now this go round - which will be the last time I'm ever engaged, no joke, I'm done) I'll end with a few things about the wedding planning...

Weddings are EXPENSIVE. Like really expensive. We're paying for it all ourselves. It's a good thing I had put up a good bit of money for TTC (so instead of buying sperm with it...I'm buying a wedding dress!) The date is set, the venue is booked, the photographer is booked, we've been meeting with officiants, caterers, and DJs. We're registered at one place and know the other one. So far so good. OH!!! And we bought wedding rings! I was ridiculously excited to see a ring on his finger. Giddy like a little kid. My wedding band ended up costing a lot more than I was planning, but I was lucky I had something to trade in. I still had my engagement ring and wedding band from my previous engagement. So I was able to trade it in and get my wedding band for free! I think he paid about $4k for the ring and they gave me $2500 for it...so I call that a win. I supposed there's some odd symbolism there trading in one ring for another. Hmmm...

Anyways...I'm moving forward. I'm still sad in some ways to close the SMC chapter on my life (and it will ALWAYS be part of who I am), but I'm really optimistic for the future. I'm still worried about having problems getting pregnant later, but I will cross that bridge when I come to it. For now, I'll keep my new countdown going and look forward to these new plans I'm making.

I'm not sure anyone reads this anymore...I guess I write it more for me. But if anyone is hanging out out there...how's it going? :-)

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Thursday, December 13th, 2012
6:07 pm - 2012 - Nothing turned out the way I planned...
As the title said...nothing has gone the way I planned this year. I knew the chances weren't great each month for getting pregnant, but I never imagined I'd get to the end of the year (and have spent $6k) and still not be.

The year started out just as planned. I went off my birth control, had a great 30th birthday (thanks M and J!), and headed into TTC-land. It started to fall apart in July when my progesterone numbers weren't good. At this point I have tried 7 times (2 of those with back to back) and nada. The basement is still not done. It's getting really close, but just not there yet. I moved my double oven upstairs and tested it out. I thought it was working, but it appears to have a problem. So I'm not sure if I'm going to get that going either. So here I am...no pregnancy, no double oven, no finished basement.... WTF? So I was feeling pretty defeated...then the oddest thing happened...

I met J.

I work from home and I had decided not to mix TTC and dating anyway, so the likelihood of meeting someone was about 1 in a million. IBM had a huge crazy emergency thing happen about an hour from me. I was recommended by one of the level3 guys I work with (thanks S!) to be one of the ones to go onsite and try and work with the customer. So I worked 2 shifts out at the customer location and oddly enough one of the guys there asked for me number before I left. Not only did he ask for my number...but he took me out on a date...then another one...and (isn't this nuts?!?!) we've been seeing each other for just over 2 months now. I've told him all about the SMC stuff and he's been great. Like really really great. And get this...I've fallen in love with this guy. (WHAT?!?! How did this happen???) So I've officially decided to put things on hold pending my RE appointment (oh, did I leave that out...I'm seeing an RE in January). So assuming all my tests come back ok, I'm going to be putting my entire life on hold to see what happens with J. My whole world has been SMC for the last 2 years and here I am letting a guy mess it all up. I would have laughed (like really laughed) at anyone who said I would have put TTC on hold for anyone. Sometimes I think I've lost my mind.

He really is great though. We work the same(ish) schedule, so we have 3 days a week off together every week. He's cute and sweet, and funny, and wonderful. Throw in the fact that he has a real career, a beautiful house, a great family, and plans for the future (being pretty good in bed doesn't hurt either)...I'm waiting on something to be wrong with him. I'm trying very hard not to let me past stop me from being 100% in this. I'm terrified of getting hurt again. But he seems to truly really want to be with me. We talk about the future (and not just in abstract terms). So what's a girl to do...plan a trip to Europe of course...

That's right. The part of my brain that's still rational (which is apparently a very small part when dealing with J) is freaking out that I'm about to plop down a bunch of money on a plane ticket to Romanian (where his family is from). I've known this guy less than 3 months, and I'm going to put down a bunch of money to take a trip with him 5 months from now...just assuming everything will be fine. That's not the kind of stuff I do... But here I am. Crazy. I've lost my mind. And I'm strangely ok with that. I feel like he could be the one. I feel like he could be everything I ever wanted. Everything just works for us. I really feel like he could be my forever.

So I'm here...still struggling with the fact I didn't get pregnant...trying to navigate a suddenly serious relationship (which I haven't had in 6 years!)...and just trying to reconcile all of that in my head. I mean...it's too late. I've given him my heart. I love him and I don't know how to do that other than 100%, but that doesn't mean I'm not still really sad about not being pregnant, doesn't mean I'm not terrified that I'm going to get hurt, and doesn't mean I don't worry. SMC has been my life, my support, my community, basically my world for the last two years. I am looking at giving all of this up for a guy... I've tried to explain to him what that really means, but I'm not sure he can really understand. I lose not only my support group who have been so wonderful over the last 2 years, but a big part of myself. I see myself as an SMC. I think of myself that way. So making the decision to put that aside was HUGE for me. Like bigger than any commitment I've made to anyone in a long long time. I'm terrified, and excited. I'm scared, but moving forward one step at a time. Who knew that idea of doing this with someone else could be so much scarier than doing it alone...

But I've made my decision. I'm all in. I'm going to give this all I've got. I'm going to do everything I can to make this relationship work. Wish me luck.

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Sunday, September 2nd, 2012
4:03 pm - An Update...
Hmm....where did I leave off....

I wasn't pregnant in June (try #4). I wasn't too surprised. Kind of disappointed though. So I decided to get my testing done in July... I keep thinking the bloodwork will get easier...but no.

So I had my CD3 numbers run:
FSH - 5.2
LH - 6.8
AMH - 2.3
Prolactin - 23.3
Estradiol (E2) - 28

All of those numbers are great. So I continued with my insemination for July, using my last little vial of Ian. 7 days later, I went in for yet another blood test (stupid needles) to have my progesterone checked.

It was 3.6 (!!@!#$^$%&). Let me explain...to sustain a healthy pregnancy you need a progesterone of at least 8 (most say 10) but they really like to see it above 15. So that cycle was screwed. I was really upset. I called all my friends and had myself a good little pity party. (and said goodbye to Ian as a donor...I can no longer purchase his vials) After that...I picked myself up and made a new plan...

I decided to take August off. I wanted to make sure the progesterone supplements will work for me, I had to pick a new donor, and I wanted to have an HSG.

The HSG:
For those who don't know, and HSG is where they run a little catheter through your cervix, blow up a little balloon and then pump your uterus full of contrast dye. For some women it's really painful. I was seriously concerned. But it was really a non-event. Tiny little cramps and it was done! My uterus is beautiful. :-) My fallopian tubes are open and normal (although they don't look at all like what I thought they would). And...the HSG slightly increases the chance of getting pregnant for the next 3 or so cycles. Yay!

I also started on progesterone supplementation. Basically it's the little pill that you take vaginally. (yes that's right, you shove the little pill into your vagina every night...fun huh?) You have to wear a panty liner the whole time you're on it because you leak this yellow greasy crap. Gross. Lots of women have horrible side effect (tired all the time, tender breasts, hot flashes, severely emotional) so I was a little concerned there too. But...I felt great! I seemed to have energy and I was happy. Awesome!

Had my levels checked at 7dpo again (another blood draw) and it was 20.9! Yay! My TSH was 3.74...which is a little high. My doctor isn't worried about it, but from the research I've done it should be below 2 for TTC. I've got a physical (more bloodwork *cringe*) this week, so I'll ask my PCP about it and have it retested. But ultimately I'm not that concerned.

I also picked a new donor. My girlfriend's (M, J, and MMM...also S looked at them and gave her opinions) and I narrowed them down to 3. Liam (the shy guy), Travis (the rock star), and Chase (the cute guy). When I called the bank, only Chase was in stock. So Chase it is! I bought 2 vials (I'm going to do 2 inseminations this round)

So everything was looking good. Then I stopped taking my progesterone... You have to stop the progesterone in order to have a period and start the next cycle... Well that's wasn't good. I had some pretty serious side effects coming off the meds. I was really really really depressed for several days. (I'm ok now...but it really sucked)

So now I'm waiting. I go pick up Chase on Tuesday and wait for my OPK+. Here we go again.

If I am not pregnant this cycle...then I will likely have to cart my sperm out to New Orleans for a friend's wedding and inseminate there. Oh boy (sarcasm). What a pain in the ass.

So I just need to get pregnant this cycle. Wish me luck.

I'm other news...

MMM is having a really tough time getting pregnant. It really all just sucks. I hope she's pregnant this cycle

S is pregnant!!! Woohoo!!! She's not an SMC friend, but a married friend that struggled with infertility.

L has been hospitalized and is having trouble carrying her twins for the last part of her pregnancy. Hoping everything goes well for her.

I visited K and her 10 week old twin boys. Wow...that was intense.

My brother has had several interviews and a few callbacks. He should hear something about a really good job next week. *fingers crosses*

My mom is seeing a psychologist! Yay! That's a battle I've been fighting for a long time. I hope it helps.

I now have stairs on my deck. Yay! I'm pretty excited about that.

I guess that's it. The whole TTC thing pretty much takes over my whole life...so I need that to be done and move on to the "being pregnant" thing. If I'm not pregnant this month, I will try October...but then I'll have to wait until January (when I can put money into my FSA again) to start again. Not completely sure what my plans are there...hoping I don't get that far.

current mood: busy

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Saturday, June 23rd, 2012
6:51 pm - A plan...
So...having a plan...even a shitty plan...can make you feel a little in control of an uncontrollable situation.

I don't think I'm pregnant...again...

So here's my plan:

Hold out the teeny tiny little bit of hope that I'm actually pregnant this month. Not likely since my temperature dropped and well...progesterone just doesn't work that way. After knowing for sure on Monday...

Make an appointment with my OB to have my day 3 numbers run. This includes: FsH, LH, AMH, Estradiol (E2), and Prolactin. In case you didn't know...this involves getting my blood drawn...with a needle! Which is really tough for me. I'll do it...but I really hate it. I'll be listening to my "Needles are OK" hypnosis religiously for the next few days. Then I will inseminate with my last little Ian vial sometime in mid July. This will also be kind of hard for me. I've grown rather attached to Ian. I thought we'd make beautiful babies...but alas..it may not be meant to be. Then 7 days later...I will go and have yet another blood draw(!?!?!) to check my progesterone and make sure I'm hold enough of that baby sustaining hormone in my body to...well...sustain a baby.

Assuming all that checks out, and I still don't get pregnant in July (goodbye Ian), I get to pick another donor. Suck. I'll buy 3 vials of new donor (Likely Sven or Alan...) and try in August and September and October (even if I have to cart my sperm to New Orleans). That will put my at the "magic" 8 tries (according to TSBC...I have a 1/8 chance of conceiving with this method using frozen sperm). Then I will take a needed but emotional break from TTC for November and December and stuff a ton of money into my FSA account. I will use that money to have an HsG and buy lots of sperm (most likely having to pick donors AGAIN) and do back to back inseminations. For those who don't know what an HsG is...they run a catheter through your cervix and pump contrast dye into your uterus to make sure your fallopian tubes are open.

The only hitch in this plan is the HsG. If there is a major problem with the HsG, then I don't know WTF I would do with my FSA money that was suppose to go to sperm. I could go ahead and have it done this year, but it slightly increases your chances of conceiving for a couple of month afterward, and I would hate it to go to waste... But I've got it mostly worked out.

It does make me feel better to have a plan, and hopefully I won't need any of it. *sigh*

current mood: annoyed

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Monday, June 18th, 2012
2:33 pm - Round #4
So I'm waiting again. Both Brian and Ian have reached their family limit and are no longer available for purchase. I have one vial of Ian left.

Over the course of this process, I have spent over $3500, gained 20lbs, and lost large amounts of my sanity. I know this isn't anywhere near what other women have gone through, but it still sucks. Each time I do this (according to research done by the Sperm Bank of CA) I have a 1/8 shot of it working.

Imagine the thing you want most in the world can be won in a contest. They tell you to roll an 8 sided die, and if you roll an 8, you win! You can do this as many times as you want. Great right? So you step up to roll... Oh, BTW, this roll costs you $600. You cringe, but hand over the money. Then you roll the die. Before you get to see results, they put it in a box and tell you they won't open it for 2 weeks! For two weeks you stare at the box and wonder if it could really be an 8. Then the 2 weeks finally go by, it's a 1. Not a winner. You're sad and disappointed, you had become so sure during that 2 weeks that it just HAD TO BE A WINNER. But you're resilient so you take a deep breath and get ready to go again. Oh wait, you can't go again already, you have to wait to roll again in 2 weeks. *sigh* That's kinda what it's like.

So I find myself (even while desperately hoping I don't need to worry about it) thinking about my next moves. I can pick another donor and just keep trucking along. I can pick another donor and do 2 inseminations a month (which costs twice as much but is not statistically twice as effective). I can go to the doctor and have fertility testing run (which will probably cost me somewhere between $600-$1k depending on the whims of my insurance). I can wait until the beginning of next year to put more money in my FSA to save me a ton of money on this process. Financially, it makes sense to wait until next year, put money in my FSA, have my testing done, and if all the numbers looks good, keep going with what I'm doing or add another insemination. But emotionally, I may go insane doing that. I really don't like any of these options, so I just need to be pregnant before the end of July. You hear that universe! Before the end of July!

Some mornings you just wake up and feel like whatever it is that you want will never ever happen for you. *sigh*

current mood: discouraged

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Thursday, April 19th, 2012
11:17 pm - Crazy couple of weeks...
Let's see...I'm not pregnant yet. Trying again (more on that below). :-)

Since my last post, I have reconnected with a friend I haven't spoken to in 3 years. It's so strange. We're both very different now, but we really picked up and started talking again like nothing ever changed. The world is a funny place.

On Good Friday I ended up in the emergency room with pretty severe shoulder and neck pain. I'm not a big "rush to the doctor" kind of person. It really takes a lot for me to feel the need to go. The pain was pretty bad, and those symptoms can be related to some pretty scary things (like blood clots in your lungs). So I went. Apparently I strained a chest muscle, but I feel the pain in my neck and shoulder. They gave me some good drugs and I slept all day Saturday. I do appreciate that my local hospital had me in, chest xray, prescriptions, and out in an hour and a half. Not bad.

The following Tuesday I watch and friend's new baby. 3 weeks old! She was so cute and awesome. My shoulder was killing me after though. I couldn't take my muscle relaxers because I didn't want to be drugged up watching the baby.

Wednesday my mom and I went to get my sperm (Brian). So I couldn't take my drugs then either. I was still taking some of the pain meds, but not the good stuff. Apparently the meds delayed my ovulation. Argh.

I had expected to inseminate on Friday, but the drugs delayed me. I started to see signs of ovulation on Saturday (yay!), but it was not to be. I got a call that my mom's sister died. My mom was completely hysterical. And my ovulation signs disappeared. Apparently stress can do that.

Sunday I start to see the ovulation signs again, but don't get a positive OPK. I typically inseminate 18 hours-ish after the positive OPK, but that wasn't going to work this time. I had to inseminate Monday morning (immediately after the positive OPK) because I had to drive my mom out of town for her sister's funeral. I was NOT taking my sperm with me and inseminating in a hotel with my mother. So although 18 hours doesn't sounds like that much...it's a long time in the life of a sperm. It's possible that they were waiting there when I ovulated, but I'm not holding a lot of hope for this cycle. My temps are so messed up from all this stress (and meds) this month, I can't even tell when I ovulated. *Sigh*

Oh...and during all of this crazy crap, I was doing my first ever on-call rotation at work. Thankfully work was quite, but it just added to the stress.

The funeral was blessedly uneventful. That side of my family is more than a little dramatic and something always goes wrong. But I did have to make the 4 hour drive back home with my mother drunk as piss... *Sigh* It was a long drive.

But all that is over and done. I'm inseminated, funeral is over, not on call for work anymore, and my shoulder is (hopefully) healing. So for whatever it's worth, I'll find out if I somehow managed to get pregnant during all of that before the end of the month.

My shoulder hurts. I can't take anything on the off chance I actually did get pregnant this cycle. Tylenol is just not that great. Hopefully my stress level will go down and life will continue as normal.

current mood: sore

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Friday, March 23rd, 2012
9:48 am - It's strange...
It's strange that right now...I could be pregnant! I inseminated on St. Patty's Day. So I am now 6 dpo (days past ovulation). By the end of next week, I'll know if it worked. I'm really not expecting it to work the first time, there's only a 20% chance. But it's just a neat thought.

current mood: hopeful

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Sunday, February 12th, 2012
9:54 am - I'm 30!
The Savannah trip was wonderful. We had so much fun...and stayed SO DRUNK! Lol. I'm back now and waiting for ovulation so I can time my next cycle.

Fun plans for Valentine's Day. There are 8 of us going to drink wine and paint a picture. Then life is going to calm down again for a bit.

It's funny...on our trip we all drank like crazy and had a blast, but the recovery time for us "old" ladies was a little more. Oh to be 23 again. Lol.

current mood: happy

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Thursday, February 9th, 2012
9:06 am - Off to Savannah!
I leave a 20-something and return old. Lol. I'm excited. 30 should be a great year for me. I'll post more when I return.

current mood: excited

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Friday, February 3rd, 2012
5:01 pm - Updates
So I haven't been updating as much as I would like. I keep these little posts mostly just for me. So here's what's been going on in my life lately...

I'm off the pill. Woah! It's crazy after being on that pill for more than 10 years, I'm off the pill and will actually be TRYING to get pregnant next month. I hope my migraines don't drive me nuts...but you do what you have to do.

I'm charting my fertility. I need a nice clear ovulation this month so I have something to base next month on. I'm taking my temp at 6am every morning, finding out a ton about all sort of bodily fluids, and keeping up with everything.

I bought sperm! Holy crap! It's very strange that there is a little vial of sperm in storage that I actually own. Let's hope Brian is on top of his game! (for $600, he had better be)

I have a 15-20% chance of getting pregnant my first shot. That's actually not all that comforting. *Sigh* Nothing you can do but go for it. :-) Gotta get through February first though.

Speaking of February...I'll be 30 next week! Wow. Goodbye 20s. My wonderful friends are taking me on a birthday/bachelorette party trip to Savannah for the weekend. I'm so excited. It's going to be a lot of fun. Then my SMC group is going out for Valentine's Day. Lots to do. (which will hopefully keep me for over analyzing my fertility charts)

Also, my brother is getting ready to graduate from college. Well...maybe. He's trying to decide whether to graduate in May or go to school another year to get a double major. I wish him luck either way!

In general, life is good. Things are moving right along. I'm excited and terrified all at the same time. There will be big life changes of the course of the next few month. Fingers crossed that it happens quickly and all goes according to plan.

current mood: hopeful

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4:44 pm - Choosing the father of your child...
How does one choose the other half of their child's genetics? What do you base that kind of decision on? In a typical nuclear family, the other half of a child is chosen by love. You fall in love and want to produce a child that is half of each of you. Well...I didn't fall in love. I didn't get married. I just want a child. So what do I use to pick that genetic "other half"?

I can tell you it's a stressful process. I "know", in my mind, that no matter what sperm I choose, I will have the perfect child for me. I "know" that whatever choice I make will be the perfect one. But I can't convince my emotional side. I really thought I could take the emotion out of it. My rational side wins out a fair amount of the time, so why not here? I can be rational about this, right? Not a chance. The irrational, emotional me keeps thinking..."I'm choosing my child here." If I pick donor A, I get one child. If I pick donor B, it would be a completely different child. Heck...if I buy donor A today, I'll get a different vial than if I bought it next week...that's a completely different child too! You could really drive yourself insane here.

I started out fairly rational. I picked a bank. That was a pretty easy choice. It did take me a while to get past the idea of large donor sibling groups. The extra info on the donors eventually won out. So the bank was picked, no big deal. Then I searched the catalog. I wanted open ID, taller than 6', blue eyes, and adult pictures. Great, that gave me 30 to choose from. No problem, nice and rational.

Then it came time to buy the subscription to the bank. For $195 I could see every picture, hear every audio interview, and see any other info on all their donors. So I bought it and off I went looking through my 30 favorite guys. This is where the rational thing went out the window... I had, somewhere in my heart, thought I would see a picture and say "That's him! He's the one!" But I didn't. I felt very disappointed and overwhelmed. That was it. One of THOSE guys would father my child. No magic connection. No "I just knew." Then I thought...maybe the perfect guy is out there, but he's not that tall. So I widened my search to 5'10. Added 2 others to my list, but still didn't find "the guy". Then I thought, well...maybe the perfect guy doesn't have blue eyes. So I looked at other eye colors. Added 2 more to the list, but still didn't feel any connection.

That night I went to bed disappointed, overwhelmed, sad, and little angry. Funny where the grief over going this route can pop up. But the next morning I felt much better. I set to work going through the profiles more rationally. I realized I didn't need a connection to this man. I would have a connection to the child, but not the donor. I separated them into "Yes" "Maybe" and "No". I ended up with 8 yeses. I pulled my top 2 maybes and had a top 10.

I printed my top 10 and had my dearest friends over for a donor picking party. We ate, drank, played games, and went through donor profiles. It was very interesting to hear what they thought was important and get a few different perspectives. By the end of the night, we had axed 5 of them and ranked the remaining 5. I'm really glad I did the party. It took so much stress out of the decision. I feel really good about the choices I made. Once the choice was made, the stress over picking just the right one faded away. I really like my top 2, but if it comes down to it, I would be willing to use any of my top 5.

So then I was ready to call and order sperm. Of course, my top choice (who we named Ian) was sold out. But #2 (Brian) had stock. So I currently own one little vial of Brian who will have his chance to shine in March. Wish me luck!

current mood: optimistic

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Monday, December 12th, 2011
10:56 am - Writer's Block: B.Y.O.B. Holidays
Which December holidays do you celebrate, and why? One random answer will win a $50 Amazon gift card. [Details here]

I celebrate Christmas though I'm not a Christian. I consider it a holiday of giving, love, and family.

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Friday, October 21st, 2011
1:14 pm - My trip to New York
I went to the SMC 30th Anniversary Celebration in New York over the weekend. It was a really great trip. Ramona (a friend from the local SMC group) and I flew standby to La Guardia. We arrived in New York about 3pm and took a taxi to our hotel in Brooklyn. New York taxis are just like they say in the movies, lol.

The hotel was great. Expensive, but very nice. We had appetizers and drinks at the hotel bar while waiting for the first gathering to start. There was a wine and cheese gathering and we watched Sperm Donor X (an independent film done by an SMC chronicling 4 women's journey to become mothers) It was very good. I think I'm going to buy it. Jane Mattes (the founder of SMC) came up and introduced herself! I'm very active in the national online forum, so she knew who I was (So cool! I've read her book and she's introducing herself to me!). We met some great ladies and had some nice conversation.

Saturday morning we had a little breakfast and then the panels started. There were over 300 ladies from 6 different countries and 19 states attending the conference! The atmosphere was intense. So many women there all on the same journey. Every ethnicity, even background, every socioeconomic level, all brought together by the desire to be a mother.

The first panel was of SMCs with adult children. It was very nice to hear from ladies who have been through it all. The second panel was Searching for Genetic roots. It was about donor siblings, adoption, and looking for the "other genetic half". It made me feel much more comfortable with the idea of large donor sibling groups.

Then it was lunch time. The little lunches weren't all that impressive, but the company and conversation was great.

After lunch was the panel we were all waiting for, the adult children of SMCs. They were fantastic. They were honest and open. They really gave all their thoughts, both good and bad. The main things, they were ok. They felt comfortable in their status as a child of an SMC (though adoption or DI). It was really wonderful to hear. I appreciate them taking the time to talk to us more than they could imagine.

Then Jane spoke about her experiences running the SMC organization for the last 30 years. She talked about parenting extremes and other things that all parents, not just SMC, should be concerned about.

Many of the ladies from the national forums came up and introduced themselves to me. I guess I have a fairly recognizable photo as my avatar. :-) It was nice to finally meet all these ladies that I've "known" on the online forums. I was also asked to help out by taking the microphone around to people who wanted to ask questions on the panelist. So my ass is probably all over the DVDs of the panels (which I plan on purchasing!).

After the panels, a guy approached me. He is an journalist who does documentaries. He is the one who made the "74 kids and counting" documentary for the Style network that aired last month. He is interested in doing more on the lines of donor insemination and such. I don't mind doing an interview with him, but I'm not sure I would be comfortable having my journey made into something for TV. Its such a private and emotional journey, I'm not sure I could put myself out there like that. On the other hand, I'm so appreciative of the women who have put themselves out there and given us some much wonderful information. They have also put their lives out there to inform the general population about SMCs and who we are and why we've taken this journey. So...we'll see what he says if he contacts me.

Dinner was nice and the ladies at my table were awesome! Its amazing to meet so many different type of women on this journey. That night we hung out with the other ladies from our table. It was a really nice time.

The next morning several of us went out for breakfast and wandered around downtown Brooklyn. It was really neat. We rode the subway back to the airport. It was really neat to hear "next stop Wallstreet" or "next stop Grand Central". Just a cool experience. The flight back was crazy! I didn't think I was going to get on a plane. The standby seats were all filled. I did end up on the very last flight back to Atlanta, but I made it!

I'm sure I'm leaving out all sorts of things from the trip, but that's all I can think of at the moment. All and all, I'm so glad I went. The expense was a lot, but totally worth it.

145 days left!

current mood: happy

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Saturday, August 27th, 2011
7:16 pm - 200 days and counting...
That's right...made it to 200 days. I'm starting to feel like its actually getting close. :-)

My cousin Mandie moved in with me. Rent money is always nice. She and her fiance split and she's currently working 20 minutes from me, so it just all worked out. I had to move all my baby stuff out of that bedroom, but that's ok...I really don't have all that much baby stuff just yet.

I'm going to New York! Its the 30th anniversary of SMC and they're having a big celebration in October. So I'm going to fly to New York and stay in a hotel in Brooklyn. You can see the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty from the hotel. :-) I'm super excited. Its going to cost a butt-load of money, but its going to be worth it. (and with rent money coming in...I won't really notice the loss) So that will be totally awesome. There will be several hundred SMCs there, panels of adult ADI kids giving presentations, SMCs with kids older than I am, and lots of great fun. I am definitely excited. Can you tell? :-P

Puppies are doing well. No accidents for the last 2 days (and yes, I know I'm kidding myself...there's no way they're house trained already...but I can dream). Sully (the bottom picture in my last post) is learning verbal command very quickly. I'm going to have that dog doing all sorts of things. Dobby (the top picture in the previous post) is taking a little longer to get commands down. But all and all...they're doing well. I kind of thought they would slowly become my brother's dogs, but they seem to be slowly becoming my dogs. At least they'll be good with kids. Lol.

Umm...not too much new to report. I told my grandmother about my baby plans. :-) She took it pretty well and said she would support me as long as I was happy. So I think most of the planet knows I'm going to have a baby. Lol. Here's hoping it happens quickly.

Oh and Mandie and I are talking about doing a speed dating session...just for fun. I'll post about it if I go.

current mood: happy

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Thursday, August 11th, 2011
9:30 pm - Dogs...
So the new puppies are here. They are currently un-named. We'll work on that when Christopher gets back tomorrow. So far so good. We've had a few accidents, but that's to be expected.

It'll be good to see Christopher tomorrow. He'll come back and jump right back into school next week. Oh boy...

Here are my new additions:

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Friday, July 22nd, 2011
2:13 pm - A really nice day with...mom?
Aliens have kidnapped my mother and put an imposter in her place!
We went out on Monday and really had a great day. We went baby clothes shopping!

I know its early, but there was a baby consignment shop that was going out of business, so we got like 25 outfits for $18. Awesome. I only bought gender neutral things, so I will actually use the stuff. I will probably have a winter time baby, so summery stuff can be layered and winter time stuff should be usable. I also saw a baby onesie that I will have to get. It says, "I love my (amazing, hot, generous, wonderful, successful) uncle - contact information available upon request." Lol! It was too cute. I'm definitely getting one of those.

Then we went and had sushi for lunch. It was just a really nice day. We didn't fight or get on each others nerves or anything.

So I'm not the proud owner of 1 pack of diapers, 1 pack of wipes, and about 25 various baby clothing items. :-D
It makes me happy.

My SMC group is every growing and I'm making some really good connections in the group.

The basement is moving along slowly but surely. I think I'm getting pretty good at the puttying. I can't wait until its done!

We've inherited two dogs. My brother and I finally broke down and decided to keep them. I don't know what I'm going to do with 3 dogs, a cat, and a baby. But it'll all work out. They're really cute. I'll post pictures at some point.

All and all...life marches on. 236 days and counting...

current mood: cheerful

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Friday, July 8th, 2011
1:30 pm - Migraine from hell...
I had the migraine from hell the other night. I was in crying pain for hours. Nothing helped. I thought I was going to die. *sigh* Then I was an emotional psycho for the next day. I rarely have that sort of issue anymore, but there it was. Last night I went to the store after work, got a piece of chocolate cake, a bottle of wine, and a sappy movie. That was definitely what I needed. Now if I could just get a hot muscular man to give me a full body massage....

Other than the house being a complete and total disaster, life is good. Got to see Alex the other day. She's got a new bf. Her family sucks. I just want to give her a hug.

Started putting corners in the basement and a little bit of puttying. Its going to take forever, but hopefully I can make some good progress while Christopher is gone.

Oh...and on an incredibly gross note...my dog had an anal gland infection. Eww.. He's all better now though.

current mood: cheerful

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Monday, July 4th, 2011
11:51 am - Off to Europe...
Well Christopher is anyway. I wish I were going! But I'm saving for a baby. I'll take my kids to Europe when they're a little older. Anyway...he's over there for 7 weeks studying at Oxford. How cool is that? I think it'll be really great for him to go off on his own like that. I am jealous of all he'll get to see and do. I know they're going to visit Italy and Germany, maybe Spain too. *sigh*

On the basement front...The drywall is up! I have hours and hours and hours of putty and sanding to do to get it ready to paint. But we'll see if I can get it done while he's away. Then we get to pick out colors! That's so exciting. I just want it done. Then I know how much $$ the damn thing cost me and can really tell how much baby money I have saved.

On the baby front...still counting down. 254 more days (approximately, you just never know with ovulation). I'm happy and excited and ready to get the ball rolling. The timing will work out well even if I get pregnant on my first attempt or two. For some reason I feel good about the attempt in April. Hopefully it'll happen at least in the first 6 months. I think I'll be a pretty crazy person if it hasn't happened by that point. (and a pretty broke person too!)

All and all though, I'm on the right track. I'm saving my emergency fund, baby fund, finishing the basement, talked to my financial planner about money and insurance, talked to my insurance company about coverage, decided how much money to put in my FSA, and have a pretty good plan. Wish me luck! :-D

current mood: sleepy

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Thursday, June 9th, 2011
7:18 pm - Another step...
I have a needle phobia. Anyone who doesn't have a phobia will find it hard to understand just what that means. When I need anything done that involves needles, its a major ordeal for me. I have to have someone go with me. Sometimes my doctor (or dentist) prescribes me Valium (which really doesn't seem to help much...but I feel goooood after). I'm hysterical. I have panic attacks. I feel like the world is spinning out of control. And it makes me angry. I consider myself a very grounded, rational, and practical person. So to have this crazy fear of something like a little tiny needle, it just doesn't make sense! But I've been this way since I was a teenager, so I've mostly avoided needles.

Now, I want to become a mother. More than that, I want to become a single mother. So no wonderful husband to work through this with me. I need to be able to go do this alone. So I started seeing a hypnotherapist. Me being a very rational (and kind of cynical) person, hypnosis was not something I had ever thought of doing. But I've gotta do something right? And when the problem is a totally irrational crazy fear...you've got to think out of the box.

I did 2 sessions of hypnosis. It wasn't anything like I would have expected. She didn't dangle a watch in front of my face or say "you are getting very very sleepy". It was more like a guided meditation sort of thing. Very relaxing with a lot of positive imagery. Then she tells me, "Its time to see how you're doing. I want you to have your blood drawn...alone." Oh god! Deep breaths...

So I call my doctor's office. You can't just call and tell your doctor, "I'm in therapy and I need you to stick me with a needle." So I just make an appointment. When I go to see my doctor, I lay it all out there. She was great. She's like...let's just run your cholesterol, your insurance will cover that.

So I sit down...I breathe deep...I close my eyes. Ok...so far so good. I'm not hysterical. And she sticks me, my heart is going to beat out of my chest. Then its over and I open my eyes. The world spins. The nurse is asking me if I'm ok, but I feel like she's talking under water. My vision is blurred. Other nurses come into the room. They're all buzzing around me. One gets me juice, one puts a cold towel on my neck, one props my feet up. They keep asking me if I'm there alone. I'm my muddled state, I want to scream "Yes! This is what the therapist TOLD me to do!" But I don't, I'm just nodding slowly to their questions. 15 minutes later and I'm finally coherent enough for them to let me leave.

I feel totally defeated. I feel like I've failed. I even go to a baby consignment shop and look at the baby stuff to try and make myself feel better. But eventually I just go home and cry. My wonderful friends try to reassure me. They tell me it was a step in the right direction. And it was. But in the aftermath of a very emotional experience, its sometimes hard to see that.

2 days later, I'm back in the game. I scour the internet and find a group called Hypnobabies. They do hypnosis as a child-birthing method. On their website (for $15) is a MP3 called "Needles are OK!". I download it. I listen to it religiously. I listen to it once during the day and then I put it on as I'm trying to fall asleep. (I'm sure my dog has no needle fears whatsoever now) I continue going to see my hypnotherapist.

3 weeks later its time for my physical. I'm prepped. I'm ready. I'm terrified. But here I go again anyway. My doctor says "You feel up for blood work?" I give my most confident yes (it was probably a squeak) Next thing I know, I'm the "the chair". You know the one...with the funny shaped armrest so they can stab you. The nurse remembers me. Oh good. I breathing deep, my heart is hammering, I'm doing my hypnosis trigger. She draws blood for what seems like forever. Then its done. I open my eyes. The room isn't spinning! She asks me if I'm ok...I am ok! OMG! I stand up. I walk down the hallway. I see the nurse peek out to watch me and make sure I'm ok. (I love my doctor's office) I'm kind of in a daze all the way out to my car. Then I'm calling everyone. I did it!!! I did it!!! I really really did it! I stopped and got a giant chocolate cupcake on my way home as a reward.

So I'm feeling accomplished. It was a step I felt like I had to take to reach my goal of motherhood. I think it'll start to get easier now each time I have to have blood work. I can do this! :-D

current mood: accomplished

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Wednesday, April 27th, 2011
4:47 pm - Updates on me!
H had her baby! I got to go see him. He was so cute and wonderful. :-)

I've been seeing a hypnotherapist to try and get rid of my crazy needle phobia. I think it may work. :-) I've had 2 sessions so far. Very interesting, more like guided meditation than what you would really think of as hypnosis. I'm supposed to go to the doctor on monday and have a blood test. Of some sort. Its interesting to try and explain to the nurse who's scheduling your appointment that you want bloodwork done, but don't really have a major reason. I'll probably go ahead and get some of the tests out of the way that I wanted before pregnancy. (measles titer, CMV titer, toxoplasmosis test...those sorts of things) And I'd like to know what my bloodtype is. So wish me luck on that! We'll see how well I do. I'm supposed to write down how I feel and all of that during the whole process. I hope its working.

I'm also starting on prenatal vitamins next week. Figured it couldn't hurt to go ahead and get my body in baby-making shape. 40 weeks until I go off my pills. That's the length of a pregnancy! Lol. I've also been pricing out baby stuff. I found a stroller I really like!

So I'm on track. Just saving money like mad. Getting ready to start this crazy process. It doesn't feel as far away now as it did. Having a countdown really does help.

The year is flying by! Its almost May! I have a really busy May, so I'm sure it'll go by really quickly too. I've got my doctor's appointment, more hypnosis, going to see H and the baby, going to the zoo with my SMC group, my grandparent's birthdays, Mandie graduates from college(!), then going to MN at the end of the month for training. So much to do...

Oh...and I got an android phone. Pretty neat. Does more than I could ever need it to. :-)

current mood: optimistic

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