Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Holiday Heart...

is a phenomenon in which there is a rise in the number of people who have myocardial infarctions (heart attacks) in December and January (Dr. Kloner).  Unfortunately, we got to experience this phenomenon personally this year.  My father is hopefully resting before his heart cath tomorrow and possible stent placement.  Really, we're lucky that this is probably more of a warning shot than anything, but, wow!  It's another reminder how fragile everything is, and every single day is simply a gift.

I've been thinking a lot about New Year's Resolutions.  In the wake of recent events, I really want to spend less time borrowing trouble and worrying about things I have no control over to begin with.  Let's face it.  I've got plenty of issues between a red-meat loving father, nursing school, and oh, yeah, the whole 'would really love to be a parent one day' thing.  

Anyway, I'm hoping that everyone is having a wonderful holiday season.  Really, despite everything, we are, too.  Things could have been so much worse.  Everything could always be so much worse.  So let things just be.  I'm grateful that I have the time off now to be with my family.  I'm forever grateful to my professors that I had the knowledge to help encouragingly push my dad who was more afraid of ruining Christmas for his family than dying of heart attack to go to the ER.  

I'm grateful that I have a wonderful husband who has been a trooper through all of this and so much more.  I'm grateful that I still have a mother and father who love and support me more than I could ever deserve.  I'm grateful for friends who've offered love and healing to my Daddy!

Despite a mild case of Holiday Heart, I'm most thankful for the things that can't be wrapped and put under the tree. I'm thankful for all of you, and my critters, too.  (Wow, I just went all Seuss, didn't I?) 

Happy Holidays, everyone and have a blessed new year!

Peace, Love and Worry-Free Two Thousand and One Three,

Mary Katherine

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Decisions, Decisions

I sat through an extra boring lecture today. It was a general overview of female reproductive disorders...I don't need a lecture, I live them!

I have been thinking a lot lately, about what our next steps will be.  I mean I've only got 13 months, 1 week and 5 days until I finish nursing school...not that I'm counting or anything...

Anywhoslebees, it's still rather daunting to think of all the routes and options we have to build a family. Even more daunting/discouraging to look at failure rates.  I can accept that BJ and I have infertility. What I still have difficulty understanding, however, is why my embryos and more likely my eggs, are so shotty.  As much as we, the collective medical professionals that study reproductive disorders, know, there is 10 times as much stuff we have no clue about. That's completely frustrating.  How can you make a decision if you don't know everything you need to know.  It's like building a house on an unstable foundation.

There are, unfortunately, many of us labeled unexplained, or, and I utterly HATE this term, idiopathic infertilty.  There is just no good reason for anyone who has ovaries and a uterus with no history of STIs or cancers to not be able to conceive.  Which again throws me back to 'it has to be the endometriosis.'  Endometriosis, is not the end-all-be-all of infertility causes.  Many women don't find out they have endometriosis until they have a c-section.  Clearly, it did not make them infertile.  However, here I am with "mild" endometriosis, as in I have relatively few lesions, and I can't stay pregnant for more than 5 days. On paper, there is still technically no reason that BJ and I can't have children, but clearly 2 years and several thousands of dollars later, something has to be going on.

If something doesn't work, it's easy to say from the outside that it was a waste of time and resources.  If something works people are quick to support your decision. The thing is, it doesn't matter what other people think or do. Every decision I've made about fertility treatments has been the right decision. It will take all of those cumulative experiences, decisions and outcomes to lead BJ and I to what will be the eventual "final" decision.   Final of course being whatever decision leads us to completing our family or ending the quest and living "happily" as a childless couple.  It's why we can't "just adopt" like it's a simple, sure thing. (It is neither, by the way.)

I'll be honest, after working in public education, my childhood dreams of adopting troubled children came crashing down hard and fast.  I have the utmost respect for people who foster and adopt, but I know what I envision for my family, I know how difficult it is working with these children, and the two don't fit together at this point in my life.  I'll never totally rule out adoption, domestic infant, international, or otherwise, but I also know my that I'm not ready for adoption at least for the time being.

I also know how important it is for me to not have regrets.  I have a strong desire, to "finish the race" I guess.  I know that when I eventually stare down into the crib containing my child, I do not want to ever think 'what if?'. So each decision that BJ and I have made has opened the door to new decisions, maybe only hesitantly at first, but it was a beginning that helped us make our next choice.  Call me stubborn, call me hard-headed, call me whatever because at the end of the day, BJ and I are the ones that are in charge of building our family, and not whoever thinks I'm "ridiculous" for trying IVF "over and over".

This has been a hard lesson for me to learn throughout my life.  I'm a total people-pleaser, to a fault. Other than picking a spouse, no decision or life-event has been more important to me than having a family. Of course I want people to support that decision. I've really had to learn that my priorities are mine, and not somebody else's to judge.  I would never ask someone to start using birth control because I don't think they should have children, but people tell me that "maybe it's a sign" and I should stop trying, often. Nor would I ever tell someone to not have an illness treated because "it's a sign", so why should infertility be different?

At the end of the day, as my favorite Duke of Cambridge would say, whatever, and however BJ and I do end up finding success or peace will be the culmination of all the right decisions made in the past.  We will not look back at failures with regret, but use them to determine the next venture when we're ready and at peace with that decision.  Whether the outcome is positive or negative, the decision we make will always be the right decision for us.  They are all just part of our journey...

Peace, love, and ever forward,
Mary Katherine


Monday, October 15, 2012

Remembering Baby Roberts

Dear Baby Roberts,

Today is the day we light a candle to remember you and our friends who have lost a baby through miscarriage.  As sad as I feel that you can't be here, falling asleep in Mommy and Daddy's arms, we also want to know how blessed we feel to have had the opportunity at all.  You, my darling one, gave us hope.  You taught your mommy so much in such a short period of time!

You taught me to appreciate the moment.  They may be all we ever have. You defied odds, and we know we can continue to defy odds. You helped me realize that I need to work on myself.  I'm trying!  You helped me realize what I want to do when I grow up.  You gave me the desire to help others who have a hard time building their own families.  You, Baby Roberts, you did so much, and we are so proud of you.  I love you forever.

Your Mommy

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

My Darling

Dearest BJ,

To quote one of your [my husband's] favorite songs that's from a band other than Dave Matthews...

"You may find yourself in a beautiful house with a beautiful wife, and you may ask yourself, 'How did I get here?'"  ~Talking Heads

Well, Once Upon a Time...

A small town girl met a small town boy, and she fell madly in love for the first time.  The small town boy seemed pretty smitten with her, himself.  He, who was the first in his family to get a college degree, had decided to move to a bigger city to pursue a masters.  Not willing to let the small town boy get away from her so easily, the small-town girl picked a masters program at the same university.  As fate would have it, they both were accepted, and they both moved to the "Big City" together.

They tackled graduate school together.  They thrived in the city despite living in an apartment where they nearly suffered heat stroke from the months of April to September.  The small town boy, who looked and looked for a job, finally found one despite it seeming like every break fell through.  He made excellent grades in graduate school and got engaged to the small town girl who landed her "dream job."  They moved into a beautiful apartment with working air conditioning within minutes of their jobs and life seemed just dandy...

...for two seconds...

The small town girl was laid off from her dream job.

Fortunately, she was able to pick up the pieces and find a new job relatively quickly, even though it was on the opposite end of town as their fab new apartment.  The two small town kids who were still madly in love with each other got married, got two quirky cats, and enjoyed the first few months of wedded bliss.  The small town boy even finished his thesis! ;)

Then the economy tanked and the small town boy was laid off.  He graduated with his masters while he looked for a job in the worst economy for journalists, ever.  He took the best job for them that he could find.  Even though it meant spending the second half of his newly-wed year having to live over an hour and a half away and move back in with his parents.  They kept their chins up, and both began looking for jobs that would get them back together. They listened and consoled each other over the phone when each of those opportunities seemed to fall through their fingers.  They met every Wednesday evening to have dinner together at a Ruby Tuesdays half way between them for six months and cherished every moment they had on the weekends with each other.

When the economy showed no signs of improving, the still very happily married small town kids decided to make the best of it and move to a house that put them each a little over 40 miles to their work and over 40 miles from their friends and family. They lived in an unfinished spec house with two kitchen drawers and having to use satellite internet (when there weren't any clouds in the sky, anyway).  They quickly decided that this was no place for them and they wanted to get back to their beloved "Big City".

The brave, darling, small town boy dedicated himself to searching for a job that would get them back into the city, even considering a career change.  A year went buy and the couple seemed no closer to their goal.  Knowing that waiting for everything to be perfect before starting a family was to be waiting forever they decided to go ahead with their family building plans with a "come what may" attitude.

May never came, and the very brave small town boy watched his small town girl crumble. He watched her writhe in pain, he watched her light fade, but he remained strong steady and madly in love with her.  He picked up every piece of her she lost and held onto them for her.  His courage and belief in her became the belief that kept them together.  And he even kept searching for a job and landed one that was far from perfect but would put them back in the City.

He committed to trying fertility treatments and house-buying with his broken small town girl.  Those treatments kept failing and his small town girl kept breaking.  But they were able to buy a beautiful house thanks to the sacrifice he made taking a job that was a step further away from his love of journalism than his previous.  But he did it for her.  He ensured that even when he was away, his vulnerable wife was surrounded by his friends so she never felt alone.  He continued to be her rock when she became blind to everything but the thing she couldn't seem to have.  He kept working on their future, and kept looking for better jobs.  She kept wasting away, but he held on to her.

He, after nearly 3 years, finally found a job that suited all of his many talents for the communication arts. To beat all, it was at the beloved university that originally brought them to this "Big City".  He did not begrudge his small town girl for her inability to really celebrate with him.  He knew that the weak smiles and short congratulatory remarks were all she could muster.  And he loved her very, very much, anyway.  He held steady when they were told all of their embryos were weak.  He celebrated cautiously with her when they got that faint positive.  He didn't let her see how he was already braced for bad news.  When it came, when they heard she was going to miscarry, he stayed with her. He held her until she had no more tears to cry.  He stayed so strong and brave.  He held on when she had let go.  When she was in too much pain to even see what she never lost, he was still there.  When the worst had come and gone and the dust settled, he was still there, still holding on.  When he picked her up off the rock bottom and enabled her to carry on a new path despite the sacrifices they would have to make, he showed her how truly, madly deeply he still loved her.

With his love she was able to regain a new vision.  A life where she could be happy if they never had any more than they had at that moment.  And when she opened her eyes to that, she realized how much they did have.  How much happiness she could have if she would just allow herself be happy, again.  She fell even more deeply in love with the courageous, chivalrous gentleman that her small town boy had become.

NOT the end...

I look at you, BJ, and I cannot thank God enough.  You are everything I need.  Your peace with life, your patience, your faith in us and our future completes me.  You soothe my impatience.  You help me believe.  You inspire me to keep going.  You've taught me that "my" practical is not always "real" practical. You tell me I'm beautiful, and I believe you.  You allowed me to dream again.  You and I together, we prove the existence of soulmates.  You taught me what true love is.

I write this, because, I want you to know how beautiful and brave you really are.  Truly the ONLY thing that has ever been easy for us, is our love.  And that is a gift that is greatest of all.

I wish you the happiest birthday.

Your Beautiful Wife

To the world you may be one person, but to one person you are the world.
~Heather Cortez

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Things People Say...

The comments are probably the thing that keeps most people from sharing their struggle with infertility publicly.  They come from everywhere...perhaps the comments started even before you even knew you would be facing infertility.  I will NEVER, EVER ask anyone when they plan on having children ever again!  This is my solemn vow to myself and all the women who deserve more than to have their ovaries discussed as casual dinner conversation without their permission.

Anywho, envision yourself, amped up on doses of female hormones that are 4-5 times higher than normal (Not forgetting that most of us infertility types run lower than normal on these hormones, so it seems more exacerbated).  You are the epitome of why hysteria was named for crazy women, and then someone asks, "Why don't you just adopt? I know tons of people who adopt and then just magically get pregnant on their own." Your blood boils, tears flood your eyes, your vision blurs, and you think 'What did I do to deserve this?'. 'What if everything I'm doing is wrong?' 'What if such-and-such decision would have been the ticket to us having a baby?' 'Why is this happening to me?' Then your eyes refocus and you smile and say, "We'll consider that option." Then, you get to your car and start bawling.  It feels like it happens every day.  Even when you're "on break".

Just the other day, I was telling someone who asked if I had kids that no I didn't but we had tried and had a few rounds of failed fertility treatments.  [Please note that the fertility treatment failed, not me, or you, either if you didn't hit a winner the first go-around...or 2nd, 3rd, etc].   The person asked me if I had ever tried going off of birth control. Seriously, what?  You mean, all this time my birth control could have been interfering with my ability to get pregnant? I simply responded that that was actually the first thing we tried and really didn't think about it again until I thought about writing this blog.  I guess I've had lots of practice at deflecting, plus I've allowed myself to be happy again. So I'm hoping this post can help you.

At this time, I would like to address the adoption myth:

1.  IT'S NOT TRUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  DID YOU READ THIS? IT IS NOT TRUE! IT'S FALSE!!!! Despite that every person you know, tells you they know someone who adopted who got pregnant "like immediately right after they got the baby". Studies show, and just google pregnancy rate after adoption if you don't believe me, that it is only 3-10%.  Which is about the same as an IUI working.  I know, you still think you know somebody, but the reason you know or heard is because it is obviously special if it only happens 3 to 10 times out of 100.  Not to mention plenty of people who adopt were never infertile to begin with. Also consider that maybe people who don't get pregnant after adoption are not updating their Facebook status as "We're the 90-97% who still couldn't conceive! Yay!"

2. I think it belittles adoption.  People adopted to have that child.  Those comments make it appear that the commenter believes the adopted child was simply to prime the pump or no better than the first pancake that is thrown out.  I believe you would be hard-pressed finding an adoptive parent that feels that way about their adopted child.

3. We cheat.  I've only glanced at adoption paperwork briefly from two different agencies.  They both recommend you to not be undergoing fertility treatments while seeking adoption.  After digging around, I've seen and put together some timelines that didn't exactly meet that expectation if they were working with one of those particular agencies.  More power to ya!  And, after considering what a friend told me, while they can do all the background searches they want, HIPPA still prevents them from finding out what, if any treatments you are receiving. 

So there you go...that myth is BUSTED!

Then there is the unsolicited advice of standing on your head, eating this, not eating that, doing it in the morning, doing it in this position and that position, lose weight, gain weight, eat this, don't eat this, take this supplement. It's a little annoying, I admit that. The advice seems silly, but if you are honest with yourself, you probably tried a lot of it anyway.  I mean I totally did headstands after we did the deed, ate pineapple like it was my  job...None of it helped... But if you really break the statement down, all those silly suggestions are given to you because the person giving them wants you to get pregnant.  I mean they wouldn't tell you "how to" if they didn't.  They may be completely clueless as to how a woman's body actually works, but their intentions are good.  So next time, take a deep breath (ok maybe 2 or 3) and think about how they are doing what they can to try to help you.  It can really change your perspective on the bad advice!  

The other route you may get is how burdensome it is to have a child.  "Oh, you're so lucky, I haven't slept in 5 years." My advice...tell them that's why you want to have your own children and not theirs!  I mean, I've been planning to have a children for a while.  I'm well aware that children can have colic, cry all night, wet the bed, embarrass you, make crappy decisions, and just overall not be that cute, cuddly baby who absolutely adores you all the time.  I still would like the opportunity to experience my child and all of their potential crappiness, and love them anyway...and not post bad things about them on Facebook...just sayin'!

The worst however, is when someone says something to the affect of "Maybe this is God telling you it's not meant to be." This one makes me want to tear their hair out, even sans fertility drugs. And yes, not my hair, their hair, and I'll do it because God said I could.  I'll get an acquittal because of my "Battered Ovary Syndrome."  
I really question the faith of someone who would tell you "God's plan" for you.  I maybe read the wrong bible, but one of the take home points I got was, "judge not lest ye be judged", and I think telling someone what they think God is "doing" to them is a form of judgement. Again, maybe it's coming from my heathen Episcopalianism, but I don't believe God sits on his throne and goes, "Hmm, yes, that crack-whore will be an excellent mother, MK, however, no, she likes pink too much and if she has a son he'll be gay." (I've actually been told that my fetish for all things pink and girly will make my sons gay....insert huge eye roll). I don't believe that at all.  It's like saying He gives people, even babies, cancer. What the Hell did the baby do?  People who think like that are very lost in my opinion.  They have such need for an explanation for everything that occurs.  What happened to their faith in God?  How can you have faith, but have to know all of God's plans for someone else? Besides, my gay son will rock your world. He'll be loved and cherished and mine.  He's totally more awesome than the kid you complain about on Facebook all the time...SNAP! 

My and probably a lot of other people's biggest problems when people make comments or give unsolicited advice is their fear of judgement.  Especially when we take their advice as coming from a place of "they know better."  Let's be honest, this infertility stuff is expensive.  Most of us are limited in what we can do and afford, and we are always second guessing our decisions especially in hindsight when a treatment doesn't work. I know I let myself feel that way.  I felt like everyone was 'Tut-tutting" me after both my failed IVF attempts.  I thought people were thinking and saying, "Oh, I knew she should have adopted." "I knew that was going to be a waste of money."

Alright, again, especially after IVF when you have more hormones in your body than an entire middle school. You tend to blow things out of proportion and regress to teenage-like thoughts that everyone is talking about you and hates you.  In reality, probably really nobody thought much about it.  If people were talking badly about you, I'm sorry, that's just pretty shitty, inexcusable behavior that they will have to face on their own time.  I mean honestly, what kind of person would do that?  I'll let God figure that out for me.  

For me, stepping away has been a huge help. So I'm hoping with this blog I can pass on the wisdom I've gained to those currently in the throes of infertility treatments.  Remember today.  Do the things you need to do for your body that you and your team have figured out, and then live your life.

You have to stay in the moment. Or time will fly through your fingers.  I seriously went from being a happy go lucky "25" year-old to a miserable "not 25 anymore" and living like that for 2 and half years, but it seeming like 5 seconds. I missed so much!  I didn't deserve that, but I, yes me, did it to myself.  Again, write a list down of all the things you have, right now, that you are thankful for and read it everyday.  Keep it with you, look at it whenever you need to, because as much as you think infertility can steal, it can never take any of those things you have on that list away without your permission. (Unless you put money, it does steal that, but then you'll learn why money isn't everything, so SCORE.)

It's so important that you remember you, not the crazy, hysterical you, but the person you want to be a mom.  Take care of that person.  Do good things for that person that don't have anything to do with infertility. Don't suppress the anger, scream and cuss when you need to. Go ahead and buy that cute dress. Go to nursing school and get a way cooler job. Get a facial instead of a "fertility massage".

If you start doing these things for yourself, you'll care way less about what other people think.  Their comments, bad advice, and gossip wash away in your bliss.  You'll get your confidence back and believe in your own decisions.  
Go get 'em, girl!

Peace, Love (for me), and loving you, too.

Mary Katherine Roberts

Monday, September 3, 2012


Yeah, yeah...that was kinda lame...what-evs, but it kinda describes my life of newly trying to deal with interstitial cystitis (IC...get it?). Like yesterday, my husband volunteered that he thinks I've been going to the bathroom less. I hadn't realized he counted...thanks for noticing, babe!...I think...

I have had improvements from the treatments where I have heparin (blood thinner) and lidocaine injected into my bladder, (it's prolly best if you just don't think about that too hard) but that only lasts for 1-3 days. I even slept through the night for like the first time in my life! [So Mom, mark my baby book you know how many years, 2 mos., 2 weeks and 4 days! WOOT!]

But then I seem to rebound to a day when I have worse than usual issues and get up twice during the night. It's totally my fault, however, b/c I've not been adhering very well to this diet of no acid, gluten or anything that tastes moderately appealing. I need to pull my big girl panties on and commit. And it's not like it's gonna be this way for totally forever. I just need to give it 6-8 weeks to let the drugs take effect, and then I can start eating more acidic foods again in moderation so long as I take antacids before I eat. So c'mon, no big thang, MK!

My big obstacle, however, is that other than raw veggies, pears, and vanilla ice cream, everything that I can eat requires preparation and cooking, myself. Apparently, there are no Gluten/Soy/Acid-free fast food restaurants for me to frequent...UGH.

I have a confession...I HATE cooking. If Pinterest has taught me anything, it is that I absolutely loathe food prep. I'd rather read, watch TV, swim, play fetch, vacuum, change the litter boxes, ANYTHING! I've been told that I'm not a bad cook, on the rare occasion that I actually perform these feats of chemistry, but the act of it annoys me. There are sharp things, hot things, slimy things, and onions and contact lenses are not a good combo either...not to mention I bore easily...

I blame this totally on my mother, and I don't think she'll mind. We're just not a foody family. Supposedly, before I was born she was all into cooking, but since I've been around things got difficult. Not to mention 4:00-8:00 gymnastics practices most days of the week didn't allow a lot of opportunity to teach me to cook.  To this day, my job at Thanksgiving is to fill the water goblets and put lettuce leaves down on the salad plates for my mom's apricot salad.  [Golly, you really do have low expectations of me, Mother...haha]  My mother-in-law constantly tells me her kitchen is too small...I'm beginning to be suspicious. Well, anyway, add to that the fact that my 115lb mother is one of those unfortunate people who can't look at a piece of red meat or cheese without her cholesterol jumping 50 points, and we just never had a lot to work with.

So now that I'm faced with consuming my body weight in baby carrots and blueberries everyday, starvation, or cooking, I'm afraid I'm just gonna have to step out of my box.  I'm going to have to learn to make things like vinegar and mayo-free salad dressings or just eat salads naked...Quinoa and I are just going to have to decide that despite our differences, we can work together. Butter-leaf lettuce is going become my new bread, even though I'm not exactly sure what it even is...

Fortunately, there is at least one other blogger in my predicament over at Can't Eat a Thing.  I've dug around and there is some stuff on Pinterest, and even some of the Paleo recipes seem easy enough to modify, maybe...I mean, I hope plain Greek yogurt can be subbed for mayo in anything...and leaving out half of the spices won't be too big of a deal, right?  If any of my friends have some ideas, I'm open to suggestions...especially quick, easy and a step above plain cooked quinoa if I can afford to be picky :)

I feel badly for anyone who has food allergies, because it really is a pain in the arse.  You hate to be "that kid" who can't have anything at a particular restaurant or depend on "special arrangements" made for you. (Friends, please note, carrots and vanilla ice cream and I'm set...) But then again, if it's gonna make you feel better, aren't you worth it? So anyways, I apologize if I'm difficult, but I gotta take care of my innards.  Who knows, maybe it'll be worth it? And it certainly can't be worse!

Peace, Love and Remembering where all the pieces of your food processor live,

PS. Mom, I finally found a turkey breast.  It's in the freezer. Now what?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Be Nice!

So if I've learned anything over the past 2 1/3 years, it is that the more you beat yourself up the more you live down to those ideas of yourself.  The uglier I felt, the less I cared about my appearance.  The fatter I felt the less I worked out and more I ate gluten.  The more I called myself lazy, the less I did.  I tore myself apart.  I got myself to the point that I felt like I deserved infertility.  I lived down to a person who I subconsciously thought DID deserve infertility.  I am pretty confident that I didn't invent this wheel.

We are human, and we want so much to control and understand everything.  We want good things to happen to good people, and bad things to only happen to bad people.  When it doesn't happen that way, we immediately try to pick apart why the bad thing happened.  Since we can't usually control the bad things, we turn to the "good person" and try to figure out the "reason" they deserved this.  It is a way for us to try to console ourselves and reason why it would/could not happen to us.  People do it all the time...think of the rape victim that was wearing a short skirt at night.  We blame her for wearing a short skirt or for being alone at night, or for both.  I must say, I've worn a short skirt before, and I've been alone at night, but I feel pretty confident saying I don't deserve to be raped. I may not be the prettiest, thinnest, smartest young woman in the world, but that doesn't mean I deserve cancer, to be abused, to have endometriosis or infertility.  Nobody does.  

So to occupy myself with all the free time I have while in nursing school, I am really working on not victim-blaming myself.  I mean, I'd be totally nowhere if it weren't for me. Not to mention, I don't foresee an immediate future where I wake up as Britney Spears, Katy Perry or Princess Kate, so I guess I'm stuck.  Therefore, I can choose to beat myself up all the time over what I don't have or can't do, or I can choose to be thankful and happy for what I do have.  

It's so easy to become so narrow-visioned when dealing with infertility...you put all your time, energy and assets into having a baby that you totally lose sight of everything.  When things don't go well, instead of turning to the things we do have, we seem to turn on ourselves.  Again, I can't remind you enough how infertility is mean enough on it's own.  You don't have to help it beat you up.  You can fight it from tearing you down by taking steps back, looking around and appreciating the things you have in your life that you want to eventually share with a child.  
(Since it's kinda blurry...)
Be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars;
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace in your soul.
Peace and loving myself so I can best love you,

Mary Katherine 
"find though she be but little, she is fierce" ~Shakespeare

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Is not the easiest thing to do when it's not your checkbook you are reconciling.

I was asked how I keep going despite facing the everyday reality that I may never have the one thing I've wanted most.  The simple answer would be to say I'm a proud southern lady, but that would grossly underestimate the support system I have.  My husband, parents and friends have been shoring  me up. And, because I'm not dwelling and moping in my bedroom any longer, my support system keeps growing which only makes it easier to smile.

The other major component, is I don't allow myself to think like that.  It's not about 'it may never happen', it's about 'how we are going to make it happen.'  I don't know how it's going to happen, and I still have no clue when, but I know it will be amazing and completely worthwhile when it does.

It doesn't mean I don't have pangs.  I do, and I do often. Every newsbeat about an abused child, every random cramp and pain in my abdomen, every trip to the pharmacy for medications to control them are reminders that my husband and I have quite the battle ahead.  But I channel them into making me better, to keep working on myself so that when the time comes, I'll be better than I would have been when it didn't happen.

I don't ignore the sadness.  I still let myself cry in the shower, but then I get myself together and do the things that are going to make me a better mother.  Crying in my bed all day isn't one of those things.  I think I've learned the difference between feeling sad, and living sad.  To recognize the feeling, process  it, remove those things from your life that did not allow for it, and not beat yourself up for feeling it is reasonable.  On the other hand, to dwell on it, purposely avoid doing things that make you happy, beat yourself up for things that are not in your control, dwelling on only what has been lost, and living in despair would not be within reason.

Nobody in my life demands that I be happy about being infertile.  The best people in my life only demand that I do my best with what I've been given. They allow me to occasionally mourn, but remind me that I still have a life to live.  They love me and my bum ovaries.   They give me back my confidence that infertility took away.

I can tell you it was quite the process getting here. It's worth it, though. Remind yourself infertility is simply a disease. You did nothing to deserve it. You do deserve friends who will stick by your side. You deserve to still have fun and enjoy being a young adult. Don't take people telling you how so-and-so have it so much worse. Somebody's always going to have it worse, but that doesn't mean your pain should be minimized. There is no rule that only that saddest person in the world is allowed to cry.

Take in the lessons you are learning from this. I took so much for granted. Now, even though I've only been married for four years, I feel like BJ and I have already had a lifetime together and I can't imagine that there is anything we can't do together. I know I would still be blissfully clueless to what an amazing husband I managed to land without having faced infertility experience. You appreciate the little things, because they are worth so much more.

Fortunately for them, very few people will understand what you are going through. The truly good people in your life will still be by your side, including you.

Friday, August 17, 2012

It's Always Something...

So today, a week and some change after every woman's favorite appointment of the year, I have been officially diagnosed with what is being coined "Evil Twin Syndrome".

Before I explain that, let's revisit what over a hundred thousand dollars (including insured coverage, of course) worth of fertility tests and failed fertility treatments have taught my doctors, BJ and myself. I have endometriosis.  My body does a pretty good job of keeping the adhesions at a minimum.  Unfortunately, my organs from the belly button down, including uterus, ovaries, intestines and bladder are inflamed.

What Dr. D theorizes:
In an effort to "fight" the endometriosis, my immune system works in over-drive, to try to keep adhesions at bay. This means it kicks the inflammatory response into high gear, but this is at a detriment to my ovaries and their ability to produce strong, viable eggs.  It is possible that my eggs get scrambled during their 72 day maturation cycle as my body dumps histamines and prostaglandins (same things that cause allergies and swelling after injuries) into my lower abdomen.   

It is quite possible that the damage to my ovaries is irreversible.  I will never know with certainty if better medical care in my teens and early 20's would have made a positive impact on my fertility, but it is a possibility.  I was told numerous times that my cramps were just part of the mystery of being a woman by medical professionals.  I am not sure why it took nearly 13 years for someone to suggest that I might have endo.  Abnormally painful periods are THE symptom.  I, as a young teen, apparently was not able to convey the fact that I was in real pain.  But here are the "typical" symptoms and what my response was back then:

1. Painful mestruation- YES!  I knew and used the term dysmenorrhea (painful periods) when I was 16...HELLO what 16 y/o says that?
2.  Heavy/Irregular Periods- Heavy no, Irregular HIGHLY!  3 weeks 12 weeks...my period don't care.
3.  Pain when voiding- Yes...I still go on crash diets and drink as little as possible every time I'm on my period so I don't have to to go the bathroom.
4. Painful Intercourse- One has to have sex, and I wasn't when I was younger. However, it wasn't until after my surgery that I even knew sex was painful for me, because for a brief period of time afterwards, and for the first time in my life, it wasn't...*SIGH* 
5.  Infertility- Well, back in my day, when I had to walk up hill to school both ways in the snow, MTV didn't offer us reality shows, so most of us did nothing to test our fertility...

But here is a list of symptoms that I did have that no pamphlet I was ever given, or medical "professional" asked me about.
I.        Waking up in the middle of the night biting pillow to keep from screaming.
II.       Diarrhea and dry heaves/vomiting from pain and too many prostaglandins.  
III.      Contemplating as I am leaning over the toilet heaving about how hard I'd have to hit my head on it to knock myself out.
IV.     Heating pads feel better than nothing, but mostly seem to have a placebo affect...which hell, you'll take it.
V.       Regularly blistering myself with heating pads, and it's still not hot enough.
VI.      The thought of lying still and trying to sleep is worse than pouring alcohol over fresh road rash. Seriously I would trade...
VII.     Sobbing into your pillow at the age of 16 about how you don't understand how you're expected to live like this month-to-month for another 20+ years.
VIII.    Being in high school and counting down the days until you can have a hysterectomy. 
IX.      Knowing for fact, that your period hurts way worse than ACL reconstruction...Just in case you're not sure...you tear your other ACL and scientifically conclude that you were correct.
X.       Setting an alarm for the middle of the night (every 4 hours) so you can take ibuprofen
XI.      Taking 6,000-7,200 mg of ibuprofen in 24 hours is really bad for you, but you don't give a shit if it gets you to a tolerable level where you can exist and perhaps even function in the world.
XII.      Pacing back and forth for 2+hours in the middle of the night while clutching heating pad to abdomen.
XIII.     Contemplating "falling on knife" because stabbing yourself in your uterus sounds like it might offer you relief.

Over time, you do get better at managing pain.  I can stay in bed with worse cramps longer than I could when I was 16...part of that is simply knowing that I've survived all my periods thus far, so I figure I'm probably and/or unfortunately (depending on my mental stamina that particular month) not going to die of my period.  I truly was scared of my period when I was younger, because the level of pain I experienced did not make sense to me or seem to compare to any of my peers. I was ashamed of myself.  I truly thought I was the wussiest little girl in the world.  My friends could take Pamprin and move on with their lives. I felt like my uterus was tying itself in a knot and taking everything else in it's sight with it.

It still blows my mind that some people don't like to use birth control that causes them to skip periods because they get uneasy about being pregnant.  While the intellectual part of me kind of gets that, every other part of me is astounded.  I truly hate my period. If I didn't think there was a miniscule, outside chance that I might be able to carry a baby one day, I'd have begged for a hysterectomy years ago.  I look forward to early, artificially-induced menopause as it is.  

However, as it turns out...the miracle of a hysterectomy may not be my savior after all.  I have officially started treatment for a bladder condition called interstitial cystitis (IC), or painful bladder syndrome.  The protective mucous layer on the inside of my bladder (similar to the one we have in our stomachs to keep our stomach acid from burning a hole through it) is either shotty or non-existent.  So my bladder hates urine because the pH is too high or too low and causes inflammation.  It hurts my bladder when there is urine in it. Ergo, I have an urge to go to the bathroom as soon as I have a minuscule amount of urine in it.  I pee ALL the time...have since I was a small child.  It's just always been part of the mystery that is MK, but apparently going to the bathroom 15-20+ times a day/night when you are not 9 months pregnant is a little abnormal. Who knew? Also, apparently my mom should have been able to fill out the "First time baby slept through the night," part of my baby book some time before my 30th birthday (it's still blank). Again, who knew?  When Dr. B brought this up a year and a half ago, I was like, 'what's your point?'  I have to go a lot, I get up and go...What's the big deal?

Dr. B theorizes it is a big deal because it could be contributing to the overall hostility that is my womb.  Ok, so now I'm a little more interested... IC could be egging on my endometriosis, which in turn eggs on the IC...and therefore creating the pent-ultimate hostile environment for my ovaries and frying my eggs. Hence why having both is sometimes referred to as Evil Twin Syndrome.  The symptoms of IC are almost identical to endo.  Chronic pain in pelvis, worsening during mestruation, pain with sex, yadda, yadda...

The cure? Of course, like endo, there isn't one.  They don't even really know what causes it.  There are some treatments...Elmiron, pill which helps build up the mucous layer, and anti-histamine because histamines and prostaglandins are the devil-incarnate (this is not medical fact, yet, but it may be my doctoral dissertation topic one day)...And of course, dietary changes.  Obviously alcohol and caffeine are out along with carbonated beverages...  My Keurig that I love will now be collecting dust :(. No citrus fruits, which are positively my favorite food group. :(  Soy (again...AHHHHH! This is soo hard!!! It's in EVERYTHING!) No yogurt, deli meats, pistachios, ketchup, spricy/brown mustard, vinegar, spicy foods or artificial sweeteners and preservatives, foods with lots of potassium...
(Getty Images)
Anyway...new goal in life is to give my pelvic organs a good 18 months of vacation so they can heal.  I truly would like for that to happen, and then not being in pain all the time would be icing on the cake.

Peace, Love and Better living through chemistry,


Monday, August 6, 2012

Due Date

So this weekend would have been my due date.

Would have been, but it's wasn't.  Instead of a crib in the would-be nursery, I have a desk.  Instead of mother goose, I have Grey's Anatomy (the book not the dvd's :) ). Instead of being sad about this, I'm motivated.  I would love to have a child, don't get me wrong, but I am truly thankful to have this opportunity to go to nursing school, now, before I have a child running around.

Let me quote myself from around a year ago in "The Emotional Tests":
"The worst part of the roller coaster is that you can't disembark. Well, you can, but that means you have chosen "child-free" living as infertility types like to call it (sounds pretty awful to me at this point). I suppose you could always take a break, but for me, I am scared of missing a chance. Even if I tried to take a break, I would still know when about I was going to ovulate and when I could start expecting symptoms one way or the other...so again, I'm stuck on this ride until either I give birth, or hit menopause."

Hands down...I think this is the most ridiculous statement I've said on this blog. (Excluding my post-HCG test blogs, which are too painful for me to re-read just yet).  To be fair to myself, I'm sure it was inspired by a fertility memoir written by a 40-something...but still, c'mon July 2011, MK...buck the ***k up!  (See Mama, I am learning...) 

So let me show you this little gem:

Or, translated for those of who can't stand the French:
I'm not forty yet...I'm not even darkening 35's door...I got a little time, and I had a little work to do on myself.  My desperation for a child, was, in part, desperation to have something I was proud of in my life.  I was not happy with my life as it was, and mistakenly thought a child could distract me from that.  I gag at the thought of what kind of mother I would have been.  Controlling, impossible expectations, over-bearing, helicopter, angry mama bear are all things that are coming to my mind.  I'm kinda glad I'm not my own child!  

I think, even though we'll never know until we know, that this experience has softened me a bit.  I might not take every possession away from our child for making an A-, now...I'm KIDDING!  But I seriously am contemplating selling back the Tiger Mom book to McKay's (STILL KIDDING!).  I will just be so dad-gummed appreciative of the fact that I get the chance to be a mother, the little things seem to wash away.  Straight A's, piano lessons, getting into the right dance school, gymnastics, looking like they just stepped out of a Brooks Brothers for Kids catalog...those things don't seem as important as they once did. 

The other thing about a break is that it lets you focus on you as a whole person instead of just your ovaries.  You do deserve to be happy. I deserve to find happiness with or without children.  My husband deserves to be happy without children. We deserve to just be happy, today and from tomorrow on regardless of our reproductive systems. 

So today, I graciously accepted a prescription for Depo-Provera (Actually, I kinda begged, but that's for a different installment of this blog...). Twenty-six months later, I can close the door on this chapter of our fertility journey and enjoy being pain-free for the first time in over two years.  I can enjoy my husband, my friends, and my life without fertility trauma.  I can accept we may possibly be the oldest parents at our child's kindergarten graduation. Just think how much I'll have improved by then!

Peace, Love, and Margaritas,

Mary Katherine aka MK 2.0

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Keep your head up.

This is a good one.  An infertility diagnosis is not only sad, it can be humiliating.  Something that comes so easily for what seems like all of your friends and family makes you feel like you should be embarrassed.  In reality, it does make it hard for a lot of people to relate and empathize with what you are going through, but that is no reason to be ashamed.  I've said this before, but it's one of the best things my mother ever said to me through this journey...You wouldn't be angry at yourself if you developed cancer.  You did not ask for this, but you have to accept it.  The sooner you realize that you have a disease, and it is something you have to deal with, then the more energy you can put toward resolving it.  

As for the heels, well, at my height [in the area of 5 feet above the ground], they are practically considered orthopedic. So yes, I wear heels a lot, even to my reproductive endocrinology appointments.  I know you may feel sad, want to put on sweats, and hide yourself in an over-sized hoodie, but I urge you not to.  You, not your husband or significant other, ultimately has to continue taking care of yourself.  Sometimes just going through the motions of putting on your war paint (what my daddy calls make-up) and your cute little outfit makes you feel sassy and battle-field ready. Even when you thought there was no way on earth you could feel that way!  From the MK school of counseling, there is a lot to be said for "Fakin' it 'til you make it!".  I certainly must encourage you, as you pursue fertility treatments, to keep a list in your mind of all of the things you have going for you and go over it every day.  I, personally, am thinking about making a poster and tacking it on my ceiling so I see it as soon as I wake up.  A list by the bed would work, dry erase marker on your mirror, I'm sure if you pinter-stalked around long enough you could find some totes cute ideas! 

I digress...don't forget what being dressed up does for you.  It's easy to be intimidated by a doctor with an alphabet soup behind his or her name of credentials.  Don't be intimidated.  Remember the doctor is on your team, and you are the team captain. So if it takes being dressed up to give you the confidence to speak with him or her, then definitely go for it!

Speaking of doctors and standards, let's talk about them.  Unless you live in a large urban area you may not even have a fertility clinic in your hometown.  Heck, I do live in a larger city with a teaching hospital, yet the closest clinic that does IVF cycles consistently is over an hour and a half away.  So, I urge you to start doing your research.  It may be that your problems can be resolved with medication prescribed by your regular OB/GYN, or it is a reasonable starting place for your given diagnosis.  If they are willing to do the monitoring and IUIs, make sure you find out what their protocol is and what they would do if you ovulate on a weekend. Also, don't be afraid to ask what their success rate is. If they are flexible, have someone willing to come in on off hours to perform the IUI, and have a decent amount of success with IUI's with people diagnostically similar to you, then by all means go for it and save yourself a commute.  That being said, you are probably going to be hard pressed to find a regular OB/GYN who does all of that.

When you start pursuing fertility treatments it is an investment, especially with IVF.  You deserve to know that your money is being well spent.  I encourage you to use resources like the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technologies (SART) published success rates.  Every IVF cycle is going to tell you more about your diagnosis.  So go back to this site often with your new information.  You can sort the data by your age group and diagnosis.  If there is a clinic within a reasonable amount of driving distance that has better results for your given set of conditions...get your hiney over there!  ESPECIALLY note that there are probably plenty of clinics that have just as good results as Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine (CCRM) and Sher Institute of Reproductive Medicine (SIRM).  In fact, my little clinic in East Tennessee has better stats in some areas than Dr. Schoolcraft at CCRM.  You will probably be quite surprised at the number of clinics that do have as strong of stats as CCRM.  

So you bet the first thing BJ and I do is check out the new data when we are ready to resume our efforts before we make the first call to a fertillity clinic for an appointment.  As much as I love the Fertility Center, Pat, and Dr. D, another doctor may be having better results from a slightly different protocol that he has experience performing.  Another mark of a good clinic is that your choices will be supported, even if it means finding a new doctor.  I already know I have Dr. D's blessing to try somewhere else.  Ultimately, he wants the same thing as BJ and I very much do...a baby of our own.  

In Summary:

1.  I hope you never have to make these decisions.
2.  I hope if you find yourself in this situation, you never forget the blessings you already have.
3.  I hope you find a caring physician that you can work well with and a caring staff who is equipped to meet your needs both in experience and success rates.

Peace, Love and Keep That Chin Up, Lady!


Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Less-than-Optimal Fertile Christian

I haven't tackled how infertility effects or doesn't affect my spiritual beliefs, but I have had enough people attempt to explain my infertility away through their own beliefs, that I thought I deserved a turn.  I apologize if I offend anyone with this post even though no one has ever apologized to BJ or me for forcing their beliefs on us, or for telling us what God is trying to "do" to us.  I will never truly understand what it is about infertility that makes other people feel they get to give advice and judge our choices when it is something they've never dealt with.  It's a disease just like cancer is a disease.  Most tactful people don't go around the cancer ward telling the patients they don't have cancer because they do such and such.  It is EXACTLY the same thing!

That being said, this is my attempt to explain, through my own words how infertility has had an impact on me.  I am no biblical expert, and would never claim to be.  I'm not even attempting to debate anything with anyone.  I just want to take the chance to explain my thoughts and feelings on this matter through my spiritual perspective.

I am a proud "Cradle Episcopalian" and still consider myself one. Outside of church, I grew up in a very fundamentalist-rich environment and was frequently asked if Episcopalian was "even Christian".  Yes, it is....You remember Henry the 8th from World History?
That's us!!!  We were right there with Martin Luther breaking off from the Roman Catholic church.  Grant it,  the motives might have been slightly different, but none of us is Jesus Christ.  Am I wrong?  Anyway, if we are anything, we are tolerant.  This is probably the single most thing I enjoy about my church.  Our patrons are so diverse, and I feel very privileged to be part of that.  We are truly practitioners of the Golden Rule and "Judge not lest ye be judged." What all Episcopalians have in common is our Worship at the Episcopal Church which is a "creedal" church (See Nicene Creed) unlike most of the "confessional" churches that surround us in the Bible Belt.  Think of it as leading by example rather than words.  Let me reiterate I'm not saying confessional is wrong, it's just not what the Episcopal Church is.  I know some fine people that belong to confessional churches.  (But I know some that are annoying as sin, too!  I might even know an annoying Episcopalian or two...)  Episcopalians would never, ever say that our denomination (or religion, for that matter) is right or superior to yours.  Our "dogma" is simply the Apostle's Creed, and we NEVER add to this.  This is how the Conservatives in the front right pew of our church get along with Liberals sitting in the front left pew across the aisle.  

As for my faith and infertility, it is simple.  I have faith.  I know that I was made perfect in God's image even with infertility, just like my uncle who died of cancer was made perfect.  So I know that God did not "give", "cause", or "punish" me with infertility.  It is simply an unhappy circumstance that I must face during what I will one day look back on as a brief period of time of my life here on Earth.  If God just willy-nilly, "giveth and taketh away", and everyone who prayed for anything got it, there wouldn't be much point or need for religion would there?  For what reason would we have to sin if we had everything? 

I most frequently hear, "It's just not God's time for you."  Well, he sure picked a bad time for all the high school students I worked with that got pregnant.  Conceiving as a consequence of rape doesn't seem like an opportune moment, either.  For that matter, we as Christians are all really here because of a pregnancy with an extraordinary amount of bad timing for a young, unmarried virgin. What about when I or anyone miscarried(s)?  Are you saying that God made a mistake?  "It's your time. No wait, I changed my mind." I'm not honoring a debate on how a miscarriage wouldn't count as a "mistake" if you argue that life begins at conception.  God doesn't make mistakes, and I truly believe that.  God blessed me with this life, and I am working much harder at appreciating the one I am blessed with because I am realizing how truly blessed I am.

I simply pray for strength.  I pray to hold steadfast to my faith during this dogfight, to let God do His work through me as I face this battle, and to live up to my potential as a Child of God.  In a recent post I said something to the affect that God knew what He was doing in reference to me not having a child, yet.  This is simply my perspective on the current situation.  I don't really believe that God will "give" or "not give" me a child. I may or may not be blessed with a child, and yes I see that as different.  To be blessed with something is to have it as part of your journey on Earth.  We as humans will never understand everything we are blessed with as not all blessings seem "good".  Think about those that were martyred. I wouldn't call their lives happy, but they were certainly blessed. Yet, God blessed us with the means to endure the hardships and be humble, grateful, charitable and respectful of others during the good times, too.

The other one we get a lot is, "Maybe this is God telling you to adopt."  Did God tell you not to adopt?  This is such a personal decision, and I am grateful to have this option.  It is but just one option out of many that BJ and I have.  I am willing to share that we are talking to people who have adopted and are learning about their experiences, but we are also learning about other options as well.  So, my honest response to that is, 'No, I've not felt a call from God to adopt at this point nor have I felt a call to not adopt.'  The only call about our spawning journey I've felt recently, was from my husband when he said we've had enough for the time being.

I am proudly saying, that my journey with infertility has only strengthened my beliefs.  I'm finding happiness in life with what I have now.  I can honestly say that I truly have learned to appreciate what I have in the past year.  I thought I did a year ago, but, alas, no I didn't.  I had the idea, but now I got it I am getting it (definitely a process!!!). It's so much nicer to wake up knowing that I already have more than enough things in my life to wake up happy for. I believe that I am a loved child of God no matter what I face in this life, and that's why the Devil says, "Aw, crap!" when I get up each morning.  

Peace, Love, And Also With You,

Mary Katherine Roberts

PS. It would also be hasty of me, as a pierced, tattooed, sinning Episcopalian, to end this without saying, "The Episcopal Church Welcomes You!"

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I don't know where I'm going, but I promise it won't be boring!

OK, so for a while now I've been thinking what should I do with this blog while we are on a baby-making hiatus? (Well, at least by artifcial means *wink, wink*.)  I've been looking at some blog challenges, but let's face it...I've blogged about long metal objects being shoved up my cervix.  I think we are a little beyond an acrostic for M-A-R-Y at this point.  Nor do I think anyone cares that my last meal if I were on death row would be Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup heated up by my mama.  (Nobody does it like my mama does it.)

I finally got a Pinterest account (I know, I'm always late to the scene. Story of my life!) Anyway, I'm obsessed. There is so much stuff and so many good ideas.  Even cooler, RESOLVE, the National Infertility Association, has it's own pinterest board with a lot of inspirational sayings and ideas that really hit home to the infertile-minded.  So, with all this inspiration, I came up with my own idea for a blog challenge...because once in a blue-freaking-moon I get all creative and such...

I've decided on a pinterest blogging challenge.  Pick a pin and talk about it!  Why is it significant?  How will it help BJ and/or I on our journey to parenthood? Some may be really short, and I think that is ok...some are totally random....I'm not sure how a picture of Damask cloth inspires a blogpost, but we'll work through the details of all that mumbo-jumbo later.  I'm just going to start with one of my boards and pick a pin.  Easy enough, right?  So here I go...

My mother has always said that I am, "certainly never boring", and I've accepted that this is probably my fate.  I will never quietly fit in with norms, even when I want to.  However, I always thought I knew where I was going, what I was doing, when I was doing it, how I was going to get there and what it would look like when I got there.  If infertility has taught me anything, it's that I do not have a %&*#ing clue!

As someone who tends toward the obsessive-compulsive personality type*, letting go seemed impossible.  It took a lot of change, and stripping away of all my plans to realize how much better life is when you just live it for this moment.  If there is any advice I can give to a fellow fertilly-challenged (I just made that word up because I'm amazing, and I can do that) person, it would be to just let go.  It's super scary, but it can let you live again and have a lot of fun, too. 

Letting go is not easy, but it does not mean quitting. It means just letting go of the idea of friskiness in bed sans the pill equals a baby. You and I, we just don't have that option. That does not mean we will never be parents (unless you make that choice). It does not mean you will never get to be a mother, father, co-parent, it just means that we have a different road to take. You can flagellate yourself for being on that road like I did, but, speaking from experience, it does not help. So now I'm choosing to strut down Infertility Lane with my pink sparkly pumps,

my head held high, and with BJ at my side in his bright pink bow tie.   

Letting go enables you to live your life in this moment, even when things seem impossible, beyond unfair, and make no sense what-so-ever.  Letting go has enabled me to not be bitter towards my friends who have beautiful babies.  It enables me to attend baby showers without ruining them for my friends.  I celebrate every conception, because I know how much of a miracle it really is.  I pray that my friends who are struggling get to their miracle before I do, because no one deserves this pain.  I have accepted that I have no clue when I will get to join my friends in Club Mama, and that is totally fine.  What they probably do not know, though, is that I'm studying them.  From every announcement to maternity picture and whatever other good ideas...I'm storing them away, because when it is my turn, it's going to be epic (Is epic still cool to say?...Whatever, it is if I said it!) My child is going to get the benefit of learning from some classy ladies as they figure out what works and what doesn't.  I am humble enough to appreciate that, and look forward to their help and guidance one day. 

Like I said, I'm clueless as to the how, when and what is going to make it happen.  I've let go of all of that and held on to the dream.  You know that saying...something about obstacles being in the way, or only seeing the obstacles when that is what you focus on, or somehow they, like, disappear or whatever if you keep your eye on the ball...err, well, you get the point...  All, I've got is a dream, and a rough sketch, and for now that is all I need.  It's time for me to let things fall in place at their appropriate time and not force it. I may be amazing, but I'm no god.  And however the plan unfolds, I promise it won't be boring!

Peace, Love, and Epic Non-Boringness,

*This is actually Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder, but I prefer to use the term type because, I feel like it shouldn't be a disorder to have high standards! ;)


Monday, June 25, 2012

This is What Happens...

...when you have more time than you wanted thanks to infertility... I wrote the following letters to our dear friend that is house sitting for us when we go on vacation next week.

Here is the letter from our golden retriever, Emma Grace:

Dear Uncle B,
Thank you so much for staying with me while Mommy and Daddy run away.  We will have so much fun together, and I will be so happy.  I will be sad that Mommy and Daddy are gone, but happy you are here. Happy, sad, happy, sad.  I like you, but I digress...

Mommy and Daddy told me I should tell you what I like and need.  I said, "Everything!", but they said I needed to be more specific about what I need while they are runned away.  Mommy and Daddy said you have to "work" during the day.  I would like to come with you.  I'm a good helper!  What you mean, "That's not gonna happen?"  Sad...  Oh, hi! Over it...

So I want to be near you when you sleep, beside the bed, on the bed, in the bed...whatever you are comfortable with.  Mommy and Daddy close the gate in the hallway because I make "bad decisions" sometimes when given free access to the house.  Typically they don't let me go in the other rooms, either.

In the sunshine time, Mommy or Daddy, take me out to the backyard so I can potty.  Sometimes, I don't like to go because I want to be with you, but then I forget.  Sometimes I don't go potty right away, so Daddy potties outside and reminds me.  This helps...Will you go potty outside with me?  I play in backyard while they go swimming inside.  They come get me after they are all wet, and I hang out with them while they put their furs on.  I like to watch Ann Curry.  She pretty...

Mommy and Daddy say I have to stay in my kitchen when you go "work."  I have a laundry basket full of toys that hangs out on the dining room end of the kitchen or in the dining room.  I will be very happy if you check that I have it with me in my kitchen after the gates are closed.  Mommy and Daddy check the counter tops for things that I cannot have.  Sometimes I get upset and like to have things that I'm not supposed to have...I do not mean to do bad things but sometimes it happens.  So, if you like something, don't leave it on the counter...I can reach far...

Mommy or Daddy fills up my bowls with kibble and water. (Not in the same bowl, but each in their own bowl.)  Daddy plays the radio for me.  I like Star 102.1.  Katy Perry pretty...Sometimes Mommy and Daddy throw a few Milkbones around for me to find.  I like Milkbones...

I can go all day without potty break, but I will miss you tons and tons.  If you would like to come home for lunch, I will babysit you.  Just let me out in the yard for a bit and then I come back and sit on the couch with you.  You pet me.  I love you.  If you don't mind to refresh my food and water supply if needed I would be much obliged.  I like Milkbones...

When you come back from work I will be so proud, happy, and give you hugs.  I go out and potty or you can take me for a walk.  I would love to go for a run with you and can go about 3 miles now if it's not too hot.  I love to swim.  I swim every day.  Every day I swim.  You can swim with me.  I will swim with you.  Once or twice while Mommy and Daddy are runned away I will need you to clean my ears.  This is an unlike for me.  I will cringe and cower, but it does not hurt.  Just squeeze some goo in my ears, rub them, and then runned away because I will shake my head.

Oh, and other medicine I may need.  My allergies make me itchy, so sometimes if I'm really itchy Mommy and Daddy give me 3 Benadryl tablets in a spoonful of peanut butter.  I like my medicine so much that sometimes Mommy and Daddy just give me peanut butter if I've been a super good girl.  Which I have been, so give me peanut butter, please!  If Benadryl does not seem to be enough, they have steroids I can take every other day.  I can take it with the Benadryl.  They make me nap real good.  I like peanut butter!

In the sun not shining time, I get one pouch of wet food in a different bowl or half a can of ALPO.  I love this very much.  I play hard but eventually wind down.  Sometimes you have to wake me up to go potty before you go to bed.

I go to Banfield Animal Hospital in PetSmart.  Mommy and Daddy said they would leave a credit card number for emergencies.  I love toys!  Is this an emergency?

I am a good helper, and I will help you around the house.  Mommy and Daddy water the ferns about 3x/week.  There is a water hose between the front porch and the garage.  I can go on a leash, but I also have a stake you can use if you stay in front yard and need both hands.  There is a plant on the deck that needs a cup full of water a day, too.  I will help you with that also.  I love to practice soccer, frisbee, and I have 66.67% of retrieving down pat.  I like Beggin' Strips...and Milkbones...and Peanut Butter...and Ice Cream!

Thank you again, Uncle B, for staying with me while I house sit for Mommy and Daddy.  I love you SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much!  I like Milkbones.

Emma Grace

PS. I like Milkbones, Beggin Strips, Mommy, walks, Daddy, running, Uncle B, Frisbees, balls, swimming, peanut butter, kitties, ice cream and Milkbones.

It gets worse...This is a letter from our "Big-boned" cat, Gaius:

Dear Can Opener,
It has come to my attention that you will be temporarily, and I do mean temporarily, replacing our guardians, Mr. and Mrs. Roberts, for the week of June 30th  through July 6th in this the year of our Lord 2012.  I have spent the last four years of my wretched life training Mr. & Mrs. Roberts, so I do hope you learn quickly.  I will try my best to go easy on you if you displease me, but I cannot be expected to tolerate your ignorance for more than 5 seconds.  Am I clear?

My food bowl, there is to be food in it at all times, or I will bleed you.  This is not difficult.  Feed my brother, Lucifer, and I, and you will not be harmed.  If there is no food in our bowl...well, let's just not let that happen.  Our food bowls are to remain on top of the refrigerator away from the Goggy so she does not eat our food, and we do not have to dispose of her.  Conversely, if we choose to eat or drink her food and water, we may do so as we please.  Is this clear?  As much as I loathe Goggy, she does seem to keep Mr. and Mrs. Roberts out of our fur.

In the evening, preferably before you feed Goggy its gruel, you will give us our portion of canned food.  Lucifer and I split a quarter of a can.  You can give us more.  It pleases us when you do.  We also shall be given Temptations kitty treats.  I am to be given one more than Lucifer.  Do you understand?  I can count, and you will rue the day if I find out that Lucifer has been given more treats than I.  Is this clear?

Occasionally I will need a Swedish massage.  The times and places will be at my discretion.  I will assume the "Precious Kitty" position and you will rub my belly unless I bite your hand.  If I bite your hand, that means "no", or if I let you pet me for a while and then bite your hand, it means, "stop".  This will be my only form of communication with you.  At night, I may sleep with you, or I may not.  It's completely up to my discretion because ultimately I am the one with all the power.  I may let you pet me, but this is only as a reward for following my directions throughout the day.  The rest of the time you are to stay out of my fur and leave me be.  Is this clear?

Any further directions or communications can be made through my brother, Lucifer.  As long as you stay in compliance and keep the proper amount of food in our bowls you will not suffer any pain.  I do welcome you to our home, but I do not like you.  Are we clear?

Yours Truly,
Gaius Baltar

Oh, it's not over yet...our other cat Lucifer must say his peace also...

Dear Captor,
My dear brother, Gaius, has informed me of  your intention to reside, temporarily, with us.  This displeases me, but then again, much in life displeases me.  As you are well aware, we have remained in the captivity of Mr. and Mrs. Roberts for over four years.  I know, it disgusts me as well that my brother and I have had all our plans for escape thus far, thwarted.  One day...

My brother has also informed me that he has instructed you as to how to feed us.  Well, this is all well and good, sir, but you must remember that what goes in must come out.  We would request that you let us out of the house to use the facilities, but I would be a fool to think you were that stupid.  So we are forced to use our indoor outhouses.  We have 2 located upstairs.  One is in the Bonus room, and the other is in the guest bathroom.  Once a day, we expect that you scoop our $h!t.  Not doing so displeases me...

Just as you do with your own $h!t, you can flush it down the toilet.  We also have cat litter spray we expect you to use on the litter.  Just a couple of sprays does it.  Replace the lids and make sure the entrance/exit is turned where Goggy cannot get into it.  Honestly, I do not understand what Mr. and Mrs. Roberts see in that $h!t-eating, tail-wagging waste of protoplasm.  It displeases me...

Typically, I do not like to be touched.  Unless I give you explicit permission by sitting next to you on the couch do not bother me.  Do not confuse this act of affection with Stockholm Syndrome.  It is simply your reward for not displeasing me as much...

As part of the 12-step program for my recovery, I feel I should tell you that I am a rubber band addict.  I am approximately 12 days sober (Yes, I fell off the wagon recently. What of it?!), but I am now committed to a lifetime of sobriety.  It would be helpful if you were to remove any small rubbery object that I might swallow.  Since I am so newly sober (again), my sponsor, Goggy (I know...beggars can't be choosers), wants me to inform you of symptoms to look out for in case of an accidental overdose.  Refusal to eat, withdrawing, persistent vomiting are signs that I will need veterinary assistance.  My sponsor says you know where to take me.   Tell them I have a history of "pica" discreetly.  I do not need to be the subject of any more criminal investigations.  Most of the time however, I just vomit the forbidden object up, enjoy watching you writhe as you clean it up, and go on with my life as if nothing happened.  As long as I am eating, I am fine.  If I am not eating, then consider me displeased...

Only because I am up for a challenge, I will tell you to watch your back when you open doors to the outside.  As mentioned before, my brother and I have been trying to escape for years.  Typically, we stay by the house behind the bushes and surrender fairly quickly. I have been known to get trapped in our next door neighbors' backyard (the one without a cesspool).  This displeases me...

Lastly, between you and I, I am to be given Temptations kitty treats in the amount of whatever you give Gaius plus one.  Not receiving more than him...well it displeases me, and you do not want to displease me.  I think that this covers all pressing matters.

May you always live to serve me and my crown,

Yeah...so I'm quite pleased with myself...I wonder how you get to be a pet psychic...I think I've got a knack for it...

Peace, Love, and Yours Truly,