The Numbers

31 Jul

Four years, eleven medicated cycles, seven months with the RE, and infinity test sticks peed on was all it took for that second line.

First hCG test, 10.5. Conception. High hopes.

Three days later, 14.2. It’s likely a chemical pregnancy, they say, come back in four days for another blood draw.

Last test was a 0. 

The end of pregnancy number one. 

So I guess this week we move on to lucky #12… and my 32nd year of life.

And I don’t care what it’s called. Chemical, miscarriage, embryo, baby, fetus, chromosomal disorders… they’re all just words. When all you want is a baby and you’ve been trying so hard you can’t remember what life was like before the longing, the loss is all the same, no matter the words.


Growing Pains

7 Mar

There are certain challenges that come when uprooting and settling into a new state and new life routines. These things easily slip your mind in the moments when you are excited to set out into the unknown and especially so when your major moves really only take place once every decade or so.

Lately it just feel like my relocation challenges are presenting themselves on a daily basis. It could be that I moved to a state whose culture differs so greatly from every other place I have known intimately. I think that’s the easy answer. It’s not South Dakota, it’s me.

There are trivial annoyances that add up to extreme amounts of frustration. For instance, finding a favorite hair salon, esthetician, grocery store, favorite weekend breakfast nook… These are all things that you take for granted when you’ve established roots. When you’ve got roots, it’s easy! I have amazing choices back in Minneapolis, but here we are limited by the small population.

There is also the issue of my expectations of service. I know, I’m back to customer service. But in all seriousness, having worked in the arena all of my adult life I have developed a certain attitude about it. That is, if I have to be nice to people all day long and adhere to the principles of customer service, I expect the same from the people who serve me.

I have traveled extensively in this country and I recognize that service is regional, much like a dialect. On the coasts and Great Lakes regions there is one standard and in certain areas of the South there is another. I get it and I generally embrace it. But South Dakota- and maybe it’s rural America more than anything else- there is some work to be done. I am not afraid of bringing up issues of customer service or speaking with the manager when something goes wrong (or right for that matter!). But I learned a lesson recently about small towns.

Everyone knows each other and people talk.

My poor experience at a local salon (I was ignored 20 minutes past my appointment time while the employees talked with their friends) and my subsequent complaint to the ownership was big news amongst some acquaintances. I didn’t even realize I had any acquaintances at this particular salon, but there it was, the topic of conversation at a brunch I happened to attend. And that was awkward.

And that is the perfect description of my life here in SD: Awkward.

Making new friends is awkward! That eyebrow wax turned out awkward! Politics here are awkward (and stupid)!

So what do I do? I hate having to hold back my opinion, but I don’t want to make enemies all over the Great Plains. I miss the anonymity of the big city. I’m a little bit home sick.

Warning: Strong IF Language, Reader Discretion Advised

2 Feb

I was back and I was freshly hopeful. Now I am back and have an upper body freshly glimmering with beads of sweat from all the hot flashes I am experiencing surviving.

Let me back it up. We’re settled and in amazing and challenging jobs that are highly satisfying, so L and I decided to hop on the IF treatment train again. Just to mix it up, you know. I am moving full speed ahead. First stop was diagnosis. It’s official! I have the PCOS, complete with insulin resistance and lots of real live cysts (that apparently no other gyno bothered to look for). Bring on the Metformin! Goodbye carbs, hello toilet. (TMI?)

Then we moved on to the CCCT which was a success… and a failure. It was a success in that I passed (YAY!), I have good eggs and hormone levels are normal. I have good chances of success with treatments up to and including IVF. It was a failure however in that I did not ovulate. It shouldn’t have been a surprise to me, considering this was my fourth round of the stuff, but I hated the news ever so much. Especially after experiencing the one gigantic emotional breakdown that the hormone fluctuation caused.

Next stop, Letrozole. The beautiful thing (if there is one) about being consistently anovulatory and amenorrheic is that after the CCCT we were instructed to move right along to the Letrozole. Do not pass go, do not induce period.

Letrozole is the devil, ya’ll. This week I am full of RAGE and have finally experienced, for the first and second times, a hot flash. I do not look forward to more, yet I can see a dozen coming. Here’s hoping that my RE’s positively optimistic prognosis proves true, that my reproductive organs are in tip top shape and my chances for conceiving a little mini-me are great.

I plan to get back to the blog to talk PCOS, recipes, fitness, and to share my IF journey. Please bear with me if I am not as consistent as I have been in the past… Life is a roller coaster and for the first time ever I am taking it a day at a time.




Back & Freshly Hopeful

2 Nov

Hello, Blog. I abandoned you for like, two months.

As luck would have it, I moved to SD one week, started looking and applying for gainful employment the next, and by the end of my second week in town, had a full time job at the local hospital in the emergency room… Which seems like it would be great news. But, I never really planned on a) working full time here in SD, b) spending ANY sort of extended time in the ER, c) doing shift work (switching between days and nights on a constant basis), and d) getting paid less than I ever have as a college graduate.

Also, we recently had a major adoption let-down. It seems that L and I aren’t attractive candidates for Foster Care because we are new to the area. The last year or so of moving has made us look unstable. A month after that discussion with a social worker (and in a more rational emotional state), I completely understand, but I’ve spent a fair amount of time being pissed off and bummed out, too.

Needless to say, I have had to adjust my expectations of what our life would be like here.

I know I likely sound like a greedy Gretchen. I am lucky to have a job in this economy. But I don’t feel as though we are any better off now that we’re here and settled. We did better in Minneapolis before we left, even with the higher cost of living, and now we’re four hours removed from family and friends.


But that’s all short term. Our big picture looks bright, homesickness aside. Let me tell you why.

November is open season for benefits enrollment. We’re upgrading our benefits to the plan that covers the RE (repro. endocrinologist) so as of January 1, all systems are GO on the fertility treatments. It just so happens that SF, SD is home to a highly regarded RE that specializes in PCOS & fertility. I have already called to verify that the RE is taking new patients and I don’t even need so much as a referral. This is exciting prospect numero uno.

Second, although I am generally unhappy about my current employment situation, I have a couple of back up plans in action and am really hopeful that I may be able to share some exciting news soon. I don’t want to jinx anything, so that’s all I am going to say about it. But let me just put this out there: if the universe could spare me a favor, I would really appreciate it and will pay back later in good karma and deeds.

Next, L is getting some really positive feedback at work regarding training and is enjoying his job. It looks like he will be able to meet a fairy important benchmark soon which will certainly ease the strain on our pocketbook come January.

Also (this is going to sound downright cheesy) I have a gut feeling about 2012. Last year at this time I think I had the same gut feeling, and the new year did turn out to be eventful and life-changing. We moved four times and lived in three states in 2011. It’s hard to think of a new year that did not, in some way, bring about something HUGE and IMPORTANT and LIFE-ALTERING — just because that’s what it’s all about. Just about every single day has the potential to present the best, worst, craziest, most exciting moment. And I guess I just know in my bones that something great is around the corner.

I guess sometimes typing it all out can change your perspective.

Our Labor Day Meal…

5 Sep

Happy Labor Day to those that labor, be it out of the home or in.


chèvre is such a fancy name for goat cheese

Priorities and Produce

4 Sep

As it turns out, moving from Minnesota to Oklahoma then back to Minnesota and finally to South Dakota is an all-consuming endeavor. Something was bound to fall by the wayside while I kept our lives in order so L could concentrate on training, and as it turns out, this blogging thing was pretty far down on my list of priorities.

We’re here now though, on the prairies of South Dakota and it feels great. Our new townhouse is pretty fantastic with a beautiful kitchen (photos to come, I am sure of it!) and plenty of space for three.

Did I say three?

No, I’m not pg– we just have a roommate for a month. He’s a coworker of L’s and a friend now too, and we’re putting him up while he finds a place to live so he can move his family westward, ho.

SoDak (or more specifically, Sioux Falls) is a pretty neato place to live and raise a fan-damily. The cost of living is reasonable and with no state income tax it’s a truly affordable place to set up camp. This week I have been out and about (make that: oot and aboot) and found two places to shop for food that are downright decent: Pomegranate Market  and HyVee. Pomegranate is exactly what you’d expect of a natural foods shop: great for picking up specialty items and organic produce that can’t be found in the bigger chain supermarkets but far too expensive for regular grocery trips. HyVee is new to me and is pretty much your run of the mill grocery store (think Safeway or a much cleaner, classier, friendlier Cub Foods) with a kick ass natural and organic food section. Their produce selection is very good which is a welcomed change for me after Oklahoma City where it is virtually impossible to obtain high quality fruits and veggies. (OKC, why is that???)

To celebrate that we have a true “home base” once again, L and I purchased an outdoor grill (our first!) and I’m crazy for it. Last week’s menu included

  • grilled chicken (veggie fed, organic, hormone freeeeeee & hopefully happy, marinated in olive oil + Penzeys BBQ seasoning) and lots of farmer’s market veggies (roasted red potatoes with onions and green peppers, sweet corn on the cob, and grilled zucchini)
  • grilled honey garlic porkchops (locally raised, fantastically delicious), mashed sweet potatoes, and steamed broccoli
  • egg bake with spinach, shallots, chicken-apple sausage & feta cheese.
I am so happy to have a home again, the opportunity to make healthy food, and quality cooking utensils of my very own to use. I’m also on the job hunt, looking for any job in either of the two hospitals that I can get. I have so many plans for how to spend the money I have yet to make.

Back Up On It

9 Aug

I totally fell off the face of the bloggidy earth, I did. I totally assumed I would have loads of free time up here in Minnesota to expand the bucket list and keep up the writing habit. Between a monumental move (my parents and ten tons of STUFF), car problems, and hanging with a toddler, life totally got in the way of my blogging plans.

Also, there has been this gigantic inconvenience and source of much anxiety and it is consuming me. Years ago I was diagnosed with costochondritis after an emergency call to my general practitioner, EKG and examination. I honestly thought I was having a heart attack. I experience occasional flare-ups and all of them cause me an almost insufferable amount of stress.

In a random act of stupidity, I lifted a box of books the other day that weighed about a hundred pounds.  Now I’m in the midst of a flare-up and my anxiety levels are high. I’ve never been one to complain much about my costochondritis or admit to the anxiety. Usually I feel only a dull ache and I can talk myself off the ledge before the panic gets out of hand. I’ve never had to take any serious pain killers. But this time is different. It’s a radiating pain in my chest and I’m having a really hard time keeping the anxiety in check. I almost ran to the emergency room in the midst of an attack this evening. It’s hard to sleep with the heavy chest and shallow breathing and I really feel like all the stress and transition in my life is making this worse.

Thank the gods for the internets, people. Other people go through this shit too and sometimes just knowing that much helps. I have an appointment with a doctor tomorrow to talk treatment and pain/anxiety management. Health insurance kicks ass.

The moral of this story? Take care when you’re boxing for you may injure your sternum. The end.

And because that first Tori link was so terrible, I will leave you with something much more fabulous.