Monday, July 4, 2011

He is home :)

P has been home for just over a week and though things are not perfect, we are now a family of four. Reintegration is difficult, then when you throw in 2 kids that he's never met who call him Daddy,'s a challenge. We've had some wonderful days like yesterday, though; days that remind me that we can totally do this. Today is proving to be another good day as well; the kids are playing quietly, the dogs are being lazy, I am cleaning and P is relaxing by playing his new PS3 :)

One thing that P and I have decided to share cooking duties. With us both working and now hitting the YMCA after work everyday, we need fast, healthy meals. P has said that he will grill most nights (especially on the weekends) and I will make the side dishes. For example, today he will grill the steaks and hot dogs while I make the sweet potato fries and steamed veggies. I am also going to attempt to make some different side dishes, such as quinoa salad and ethnic dishes. We'll see out that turns out...

I cannot adequately put into words how it feels to have him home with us. It is amazing but wow, reintegration is a bitch. He is used to things being a certain way and I am used to things being my way. P was only here for 4 months before he deployed, so in a sense he came home to my home. I had things the way that I wanted them and he didn't necessarily agree with some of it. He's done some cleaning (actually, a lot of cleaning) and organizing which almost sent me over the edge because I am so Monica (as in Monica from Friends) about things. I've gotten over that now and I realize that I have to give and compromise more. Plus, having a husband who now cleans the house without me asking is nice :)

I promise to write more about this whole reintegration process, partly for me and also because I think that it is not talked about enough. For now, I have to go wrangle an 18 month old boy and get some more coffee.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Results from the Inferno plan

My weight on Thursday morning was 139.6 lbs!!!!! Here are the after pictures :)

And the side view

I am super pleased with the results and I am doing a modified version of Inferno this week to see if I can lose those last lbs!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

An update on the Inferno plan

I stepped on the scale this morning and it said 141.8!!!! I've lost almost 3 pounds and I am stoked! Also, I lost a half inch from my waist and another half inch from my hips!!! I am seriously motivated :)

I am adjusting the calories per day I simply cannot handle the 1200 cal limit and take my metfo.rmin as prescribed. I'm going to try 1400 calories today and tomorrow. Thursday is my birthday so not gonna worry about calories on that day. Friday I'll limit again and then on Saturday I might limit again, depending on my weight loss. Sunday, I will go back to eating normally and will also rest (no workout) on that day. Monday, back to normal Turbo Fire :)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Day 2 of Inferno

Total calories:1210
Breakfast-100 cal English muffin
70 cal organic egg
70 cal cheese slice
35 cal coffee with creamer
Snack- 35 cal coffee with creamer
140 banana with peanut butter
Lunch- 4 slices of ham, 1 slice of cheese, 1 tsp light honey Dijon dressing on a small flour
tortilla with 1 serving of baked potato chips (I wrote down this breakdown of calories
but left it at work
Dinner- 300 cal frozen meal (spaghetti with meat sauce)
Snack- 60 cal of animal crackers
20 cal of whipped cream

Exercise-55 Fire EZ (Turbo Fire)

Today I noticed that I was hungrier, probably because I was working and was on the go for the entire 8.5 hours that I was there. I kept reminded myself that it's going to be worth it in the end and I made sure to eat my meals and snacks slowly. Even though it's only been 2 days, I feel like I am starting to see a difference in my mid section, which is the part that needs some toning. I am seriously excited to see the results in the mirror late this week.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Day 1 of Inferno

Ok, so here are my before pictures and my before weight is 144.6 lbs. Also, my current measurements are 39 in (bust), 30 in (waist), 35 in (the poochy part of my belly) and 39 in (hips).

I switched the Day 1 and 2 workouts since it's easier for me to do 2 workouts on days that I don't work. So today I did HIIT 20 and 45 Fire EZ. I am actually proud of making it through both workouts and then having enough energy left to do yard work and house work :)

The 1200 calories is not as hard as I least not yet. For breakfast I had a Nutrigrain bar, med banana and coffee. Lunch was a pb&j with baked chips and an apple. My after workout snack was 1 cup of cereal with 3/4 cup of almond milk. For dinner I will be having a frozen meal....haven't decided which one yet. Yeah, I know that I am cheating by not cooking my own dinners but seriously, with the 2 kids I just don't feel like cooking 2 different dinners at night after I get home from work.

Ok, so there ya have it. Hopefully I will see a big difference after this is done. And yes, I'll be blogging everyday while I'm doing this :)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Inferno Plan-Turbo Fire, aka GET MY ASS IN SHAPE

I have less than a month until P gets home from Afghanistan. I am not at my goal weight or size. This makes me stabby.

Remeron has made me gain weight. Turns out it can slow metabolism, cause you to crave "bad" foods and can increase your appetite. Ummm, no thank you. I am stopping it and if I need something prescribed for anxiety I'll be asking for klonipin.

Tomorrow I will be starting the Turbo Fire Inferno plan. I will most likely not strictly stick to the meal menu but I will stick to the 1200 calories per day. Also, I will stick to the exercise plan:
Sunday: Fire 55 EZ Class, Stretch 10 Class
Monday: Fire 45 EZ Class, HIIT 20 Class, Stretch 10 Class
Tuesday: Fire 55 EZ Class, Stretch 10 Class
Wednesday: Fire 45 EZ Class, HIIT 20 Class, Stretch 10 Class
Thursday: Fire 55 EZ Class, Stretch 10 Class

Since Thurs is my birthday and I am going out with friends, I will not stick to the calories that day but I plan to extend the plan 2 days. So I will resume the plan Fri and Sat and will repeat Sun and Mon work outs on those days. My goal? TO decrease my belly pooch and to (hopefully) lose 5 pounds (the 3 remeron pounds plus 2 more).

Will this be difficult? Hell yes. Will it be worth it? Hell yes. I've seen other people's before and after photos...I AM PUMPED.

Monday, May 30, 2011

No wine for you!

That's what I'm telling myself right now. Well really it's "NO ALCOHOL FOR YOU" until I break 140 pounds for at least 2 days. I stepped on the scale this afternoon and it read 143.6 lbs. I am not amused. Also, I'm losing in my belly like I'd like so bye-bye candy at work (not mine but at the front desk) and bye-bye bad carbs. I've been looking through the nutrition guide that came with Turbo Fire and I have decided to start trying some of those recipes and guidelines.

For starters, no more coffee. I used to drink it black which was fine but now that I like adding creamer to it, it's got empty calories. Instead I'll be drinking green tea with a touch of Truvia in it. Breakfast will be something healthier than a bagel thin with cream cheese. I am making baked oatmeal tonight so that I can eat it throughout the week for breakfast. Lunches will now be salads (full of fresh veggies and with nuts for protein) or a wrap with fresh veggies on the side. Dinner will be free of simple carbs and instead I will eat a small sweet potato or sweet potato fries if I *must* have a carb. Hmmmm, maybe I'll do wraps with raw veggies for my lunches and salads for dinners....scratch that. I'd get way to bored with that meal plan.

Also, no alcohol. I heart wine and love to have a glass or 2 at night. Well, no more! Those are tons of empty calories so they have to least until I break 140 lbs, then wine can come back in moderation.

I want to reach 135 lbs by the time P gets home from deployment. That is my wedding weight, aka pre-infertility treatment weight. I have x amount of weeks to do this (very few). I know that I can do it. just have to get my ass in gear!

Monday, May 23, 2011

An update of sorts

Chloe is done with all of her laser therapy and adequan injections. We still owe $2500 on her please tell people to visit our etsy store and buy some tasty treats for their favorite doggie :)

The rem.eron is working well and the side effect of the out of control appetite is finally gone. Gained a total of 2 lbs from it (and illness, more on that later) so I will be working hard to lose a total of 7 lbs before P gets home.

Speaking of P, we are down to the last few weeks of this deployment and some days it seems like time has stopped. ALso, I am gonna be smoking hot at the homecoming ceremony and at the ball later in the summer.

We decided to do FET with our 1 remaining embaby rather than doing deeper into debt with IVF. Praying and hoping that we get a BFP and then a baby :)

The babes are doing well but wow, they take up almost all of my free time. No one really tells you that when you are TTC or in the adoption process. I love them but sometimes I feel like I might drop my basket.

My husband is already making plans to get out of his current unit, so we might PCS somewhere before the end of the year. The thought of PCS'ing with 4 dogs, 2 cats, 2 fish and 2 toddlers makes me want to sit in a corner and rock back and forth.

I'm exhausted. Must try to sleep soon.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

"It's time for you to take care of you"....

I am sick for like the millionth time. It seems I have stayed sick since the kids came in December. This time it is a sinus infection and upper respiratory infection...last month it was enterocolitis that landed me in the ER. I take vitamins. I eat healthy. I try to exercise when my body allows it. The doctors all agree that the weeks of untreated insomnia wrecked my immune system and now I can fight off all the nasty germs that the kids pick up at daycare. It will apparently get better, eventually.

Also, the doctor today strongly recommended that I get a thorough physical once I'm feeling better. I will definitely do that because I want to discuss the possibility that I am showing symptoms of/developing fibromyalgia (Nave, you should be proud of me, lol). No, I'm not a hypochondriac. My mother has fibro and started showing symptoms in her 30s and I have been showing what could be several symptoms. Better to find out early so that I can start managing it better.

Many friends of mine, both IRL and the ones who live in my computer, have told me "you need to take care of you." I love all of you and I get it, but I really don't know how or when to do that any more. I work FT (necessity); have 2 babes (17 mos and 35 mos); take care of the zoo (4 dogs, 2 cats & 2 fish); oh yeah, and my husband is deployed so I'm doing this all (temporarily) by myself. My family is across the country, as are many of my friends. I knew how to take care of me when I was childless, but doesn't seem possible or easy.

I try to exercise (yes, I consider that ME taking care of ME) but being sick every fucking month has made that difficult. I read, when I can (that reminds me, I need to download Dexter Dreaming Darkly tonight) because I enjoy it. I need to get back into a regular yoga routine to help with stress....but again, where's the time? I already get up at 0515 so getting up earlier is NOT an option. Perhaps at night after my other (somewhat) regular workouts, which will put me going to bed later.

Today, one of my Twitter friends tweeted "now I know why celebrities check into hospitals for exhaustion." I totally get it too. The 7-8 hours I spent laid up in the ER last month were kind of awesome (maybe it was the morphine). I wasn't responsible for anyone or anything; in fact I had a staff of people waiting on ME. That my friends, was a very nice feeling....I could get used to that (and the morphine).

So I ask you, in all seriousness my friends, what do I do? How do I find the time to take care of me consistently without hiring a babysitter every freaking weekend? For real, I am willing to hear every legitimate suggestion. I WANT to take care of me again. I just feel defeated in that area and honestly, I want someone to take care of me....but he's thousands of miles away, dodging bullets right now.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Our girl is home and surgery is done!

Chloe had her TPLO surgery yesterday and she did great though the damage was worse than expected. Her ACL was non-existent and her meniscus was damaged and calcified. The surgeon repaired her knee with plates and screws Our poor girl has a shaved back leg and her skin is so dry :-( Thankfully she has not shown an interest in licking/biting the sutures.

She had her first laser therapy and Adequan injection before leaving the vet's office. She will have 5 more laser therapy sessions and 7 more Adequan injections over the next 4 weeks. She will have at home PT for the next 12 weeks, at which time she will finally be back to normal activity. For the first week after surgery I will have to help her in getting up from a sit/laying down position and will have to help her up and down stairs (with a towel under her belly, like a sling). This should be interesting.

I am very happy with our vet's office (always have been since finding them last year) and am happy with the surgeon who completed Chloe's surgery. They gave me a 5 page report, complete with a title page, picture during the surgery and detailed PT instructions. I could not ask for a better team of vets, techs and surgeon.

The kids are VERY happy to have her home. J's eyes lit up when the vet tevh brought her out to us. SB kept hugging on her neck and saying "choe (SB leaves out the L) owie. Choe hurted." Now the work begins on getting her rehab'ed and back to her 100% happy, healthy self.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Surgery is BOOKED

So this past week Chloe has been worse...she's been in more obvious pain. She's yelped more than once when getting up from laying down...broke my heart. So i did it, I applied for Care Credit and was approved. He surgery will happen in a week, so on April 29th. She will spend the night (which kills me) and we will be able to go back and get her on Saturday. So next weekend will be full of me giving her lots of TLC and snuggles.

I've made a Facebook page for the dog treats that I will be making and selling to help pay for her $3000 surgery. If you're on FB, please search for and like Chloe's Tasty Treats. I will first be doing some all natural peanut butter treats (that will be taste tested with Chloe and the rest of the pack) but plan to branch out to more flavors. I am still working out the pricing since this is my first time venturing into business :) If you have any ideas or tips, I am definitely open.

So please, say a little prayer/send good thoughts for Chloe and her upcoming surgery. I am eager to have it done but I am naturally nervous. She's one of my babies and she is AMAZING with the kids. I know that our girl will miss Chloe while she's gone <3

Saturday, April 9, 2011

To Everyone.....

who gave me ideas on how to raise money, THANK YOU!!! It has been a ridiculous busy/stressful week for me so I am just now looking at my blog.

I would LOVE any dog treat recipes that you can send me.

I have never tried to sew BUT I love the idea of hand making collars-researching NOW!

And please, keep the ideas coming-THANK YOU <3

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Making money....I need a money tree

I cannot thank all of my online friends enough for the money that has been donated to help Cloe get her ACP repair surgery. Between Chip-In donations and checks sent directly to me we now have just over $300 :) Just $2300 more to go (not all through donations, which is why I am writing this blog post.)

So folks might think this is weird but I am determined to save for her surgery first before we do IVF. She is our furbaby and we have an obligation to make sure that she is properly cared for and loved. I am considering using CareCredit for her but we REALLY don't want to go further in debt right this second. So for now I am focusing on how to raise/earn the rest of the money to get her knee fixed. One thing I am doing is ChaCha. For months I've been saying that I'm gonna do it but today I really am doing it. I am reviewing all of the videos and then I will get started answering questions :) I know ChaCha won't make me rich but even an extra $100 or so per month will help.

I really have to get my ass in gear and get my BeachBody business going. For real. I want to do this to earn money and to help others improve their health. I hope to tackle that this weekend.

I am considering opening an etsy shop but am not sure what I would sell. I'm good at photography but I am wondering if people will even want to buy my prints....that would be the worst, if people didn't want my stuff. Also, I have no idea how much I'd need to charge for prints in order to make a profit. I'm also trying to think of other ideas for things to sell on etsy...perhaps something dog related since I want to use the money to raise money for Chloe's surgery. Any ideas from my faithful readers?

Friday, April 1, 2011


So I have been on a mission to lose the 17 pounds that I have gained while undergoing 5 IUIs and 1 IVF, all of which failed. I want to get down to the weight that I was when I met P 5 years ago, which is 135 pounds. I want to do this for that I feel like me again. Along with me, there are other Twitter friends who are on this journey as well and we came up with the hashtag #TTCFitnessTeam I love it! I love having a support system to help me on this journey-it helps to keep me honest :)

So far I have lost 6 pounds in 5 weeks which is great! Some people have asked how I am doing it and really, it's not rocket science. I am exercising regularly and eating in a more health manner. I am NOT dieting. I have been doing P90X and Turbo Fire for exercise. For the healthy eating, I have been drinking Shakeology every day, eating 1 salad per day (that's not ALL that I eat, lol, but I make sure that I eat one for/with lunch or dinner each day) and trying not to eat out as much. I am also a new Beach Body coach and have met some AMAZING people through Beach Body....amazing people who are another branch of support for me-encouraging me and keeping me accountable.

I have to say that I am very proud of myself for losing these first 6 pounds :) I know that it's not a lot to some people but I am freaking excited about it! I am also super freaking proud of myself for doing P90X again with my own spin. Rather than just doing P90X this time, I am doing Turbo Fire with it-still doing the P90X weights/strength training and then doing Turbo Fire for cardio and in place of the yoga. I REALLY believe that the it's making the difference.

My point in all of this rambling is this-do what works for you. Find an exercise that you enjoy and do it. If you hate hitting the gym, you won't stick with it. If you find out that you love getting outdoors, then hike, run, walk, whatever. Seriously, if you don't like the exercise you won't stick with it. I know this from experience. I get bored easily and need to switch things up, which is why I a doing a hybrid program now and I love it!

Thank you to all of my healthy living supporters on Twitter, WOWY, Facebook and BeachBody. I love y'all and you are making difference in many people's lives!

On a separate note, thank you to all of you who have donated to Chloe's fund; prayed for her; sent good thoughts to her; shared this blog; or have listened to me and made me feel better about the whole situation. I cannot explain how much it means to me, P and Chloe <3

Monday, March 28, 2011

I have never asked for help before....

but I am asking now. March has been a shit month for us. My Tahoe is on his last breath so we have to replace it (there is no way that we can share a vehicle here). We are blessed to have some IVF coverage but we will have to come up with $7k to pay for our next shot which needs to happen in September or so (we aren't going to be stationed here forever and need to do it before we PCS and before Jan 1 of next yr, just in case my insurance changes). Not to mention that we are trying our damnedest to pay off all of our credit cards....

Then we found out that Chloe, our wonderful pitbull mix, needs surgery to fix her completely torn ACL. The surgery will cost between $2600 and $3300....we cannot afford this on our own which is why I am begging, all pride aside, for help. She is an amazing dog. Seriously, the definition of a nanny dog. She can calm down SB and J so quickly. As soon as she hears one of them cry, she runs to them.

In December 2006 we drove over 4 hours to get Chloe from a shelter in GA when we lived in Savannah. She stole our hearts when we saw this picture of her on the internet:

We went to a PetsMart in a small GA town to get her. She was the wildest of her litter! She was larger than the photo-it was old-but we didn't care. We took her home and loved her:

She's been headstrong, mischievous and lovable. She loves to tear up stuff (though she's gotten better about that). She loves to hold down Oscar (the fat kitty) and sniff him or use him for a pillow. She loves to snuggle with her Daddy

Chloe is one of the most amazing dogs ever. She smiles, ALOT, even with a torn ACL and double hip dysplasia:

So please, please, pretty please with sugar on top, help us to help her. Just click on the widget on the side-ANYTHING will help. We love her to pieces and just want to get her feeling as good as possible.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Scariest day ever

This past Thursday is definitely a day that I will not forget. As many of you know, J had a seizure. I haven't really put down a detailed account of what happened so thought that I might as well blog about it.

I guess that I should start with earlier in the week-SB was sick on Sunday (spiked a fever of 103) so I kept her out of preschool on Monday. I figured that J would eventually come down with whatever SB had, so it was no huge surprise Wednesday evening that he didn't feel well. His afternoon teacher reported that he'd just not been himself that afternoon and I when I picked him up he'd just finished a nap and was very flushed. He ate and drank fine at supper but was a bit clingy afterwards. He was a little warm but nothing crazy. I let him fall asleep in my arms, then moved him to his crib.

Thursday morning I woke up and got ready for work as usual. I then went into the nursery to get the babes ready for preschool. J was still sound asleep, even after I turned on the light...that NEVER happens. I decided to let him sleep some more and get SB ready first. Per her usual routine, she started having a major temper tantrum. Again, he basically slept through it which never happens. After getting SB dressed, I went to his crib to changed him. (I'd already decided that he would stay home with me but I needed to change him so that we could take SB to preschool.) I got his diaper changed and noticed that he was shivering. I decided to get a warmer shirt to put on him and noticed that he was warm-again, not crazy hot or anything. I got one sleeve of the warmer shirt on him and he started convulsing. He went rigid and his arms jerked up, bending at the elbows. The first few seconds I was in shock, started yelling his name at him, trying to get him to really look at me. I smacked his back and then his chest. His lips turned blue. I though he was dying. I though "how will I tell his birth mom (SIL) and how will I tell P?" Somewhere in there I called 911.

The seizure seemed like it lasted forever but in reality I'm sure it lasted less than a minute. During the seizure I instinctively turned him on his side (thank you yearly trainings at past child welfare jobs). After the seizure was over he basically passed out. He was breathing quick shallow breaths. The 911 operator was amazing at keeping me calm. When the fire truck arrived, there were all 6 fire fighters in our not so big house. They were AWESOME. The female fire fighter is the one that held J and gave him oxygen. They calmed me as well and she assured me that the was he was acting was normal after a seizure. They checked his vitals, blood sugar levels and after the ambulance arrived and took over, they installed new smoke detectors in our home.

SB and I followed the ambulance to the hospital. She was definitely shaken up after everything but she did AMAZING while all of those "strangers" were taking care of her baby brother. She watched them intently but never got in their way or anything. She cried when I put her in the car without him being in there with her.

We got to the hospital and found his room. The nurses and staff at Memorial were AMAZING. Our poor boy was hooked up to tubes and all sorts of equipment. He cried when we walked in and reached out for me. My heart broke a little, seeing him all confused and upset. I was able to pick him and hold him and he nuzzled into my neck. He was so tired. A little bit later the nurses took blood from him (he HATED that) and a respiratory guy came suctioned out his sinuses. That did not look like fun at all. It involved a saline solution and a tube. At first the dr said that he would not do a CT scan, later he changed his mind. Our boy slept through the scan :)

After hours at the hospital, J was diagnosed with the flu and a possible sinus infection (the CT scan showed some sinus irritation). Dr said that he thinks that J had a febrile seizure due to the flu; however, he did not rule out it being caused by possible prenatal drug exposure. The paramedics also mentioned the same thing to me. The dr told me to keep a close eye on him and if it happens again, to call 911 again, get J to Memorial and he would do a spinal tap and refer us to a pediatric neurologist in Denver.

While at the hospital, I emailed P from my phone to let him know what was going on. Even though he's never met our babes, he is already being Daddy <3 He told me that if it happens again, he will request emergency leave and he told his command what was going on. He also requested that I give him frequent updates throughout the day. Love that man.

I've barely taken my eyes of J since we came home. He has slept with me every night because I am so scared that he will seizure again. I'm constantly feeling his head and body to see if he's getting warm. When he's sleeping, I check to see that he's breathing. I'm going to try to put him back in his crib tonight.; hopefully I'll be able to sleep. I haven't really slept soundly since it happened.

He is feeling almost 100% himself again. Currently he and SB are playing in their nursery (door open, gate up so that I can see and hear them) while I enjoy my third cup of coffee. Birds are singing, sun is shining and I have the doors and windows open. Here's to a great Sunday of enjoying my babes and life in general.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Infertility Etiquette

From This is perhaps one of my favorite articles about what not to say to those who are dealing with infertility. 

Infertility Etiquette
Chances are, you know someone who is struggling with infertility. More than seven million people of childbearing age in the United States experience infertility. Yet, as a society, we are woefully uninformed about how to best provide emotional support for our loved ones during this painful time.

Infertility is, indeed, a very painful struggle. The pain is similar to the grief over losing a loved one, but it is unique because it is a recurring grief. When a loved one dies, he isn't coming back. There is no hope that he will come back from the dead. You must work through the stages of grief, accept that you will never see this person again, and move on with your life.

The grief of infertility is not so cut and dry. Infertile people grieve the loss of the baby that they may never know. They grieve the loss of that baby who would have had mommy's nose and daddy's eyes. But, each month, there is the hope that maybe that baby will be conceived after all. No matter how hard they try to prepare themselves for bad news, they still hope that this month will be different. Then, the bad news comes again, and the grief washes over the infertile couple anew. This process happens month after month, year after year. It is like having a deep cut that keeps getting opened right when it starts to heal.

As the couple moves into infertility treatments, the pain increases while the bank account depletes. The tests are invasive and embarrassing to both parties, and you feel like the doctor has taken over your bedroom. And for all of this discomfort, you pay a lot of money.

A couple will eventually resolve the infertility problem in one of three ways:
They will eventually conceive a baby.
They will stop the infertility treatments and choose to live without children.
They will find an alternative way to parent, such as by adopting a child or becoming a foster parent.

Reaching a resolution can take years, so your infertile loved ones need your emotional support during this journey. Most people don't know what to say, so they wind up saying the wrong thing, which only makes the journey so much harder for their loved ones. Knowing what not to say is half of the battle to providing support.

Don't Tell Them to Relax
Everyone knows someone who had trouble conceiving but then finally became pregnant once she "relaxed." Couples who are able to conceive after a few months of "relaxing" are not infertile. By definition, a couple is not diagnosed as "infertile" until they have tried unsuccessfully to become pregnant for a full year. In fact, most infertility specialists will not treat a couple for infertility until they have tried to become pregnant for a year. This year weeds out the people who aren't infertile but just need to "relax." Those that remain are truly infertile.

Comments such as "just relax" or "try going on a cruise" create even more stress for the infertile couple, particularly the woman. The woman feels like she is doing something wrong when, in fact, there is a good chance that there is a physical problem preventing her from becoming pregnant.

These comments can also reach the point of absurdity. As a couple, my husband and I underwent two surgeries, numerous inseminations, hormone treatments, and four years of poking and prodding by doctors. Yet, people still continued to say things like, "If you just relaxed on a cruise . . ." Infertility is a diagnosable medical problem that must be treated by a doctor, and even with treatment, many couples will NEVER successfully conceive a child. Relaxation itself does not cure medical infertility.

Don't Minimize the Problem
Failure to conceive a baby is a very painful journey. Infertile couples are surrounded by families with children. These couples watch their friends give birth to two or three children, and they watch those children grow while the couple goes home to the silence of an empty house. These couples see all of the joy that a child brings into someone's life, and they feel the emptiness of not being able to experience the same joy.

Comments like, "Just enjoy being able to sleep late . . . .travel . . etc.," do not offer comfort. Instead, these comments make infertile people feel like you are minimizing their pain. You wouldn't tell somebody whose parent just died to be thankful that he no longer has to buy Father's Day or Mother's Day cards. Losing that one obligation doesn't even begin to compensate for the incredible loss of losing a parent. In the same vein, being able to sleep late or travel does not provide comfort to somebody who desperately wants a child.

Don't Say There Are Worse Things That Could Happen
Along the same lines, don't tell your friend that there are worse things that she could be going through. Who is the final authority on what is the "worst" thing that could happen to someone? Is it going through a divorce? Watching a loved one die? Getting raped? Losing a job?

Different people react to different life experiences in different ways. To someone who has trained his whole life for the Olympics, the "worst" thing might be experiencing an injury the week before the event. To someone who has walked away from her career to become a stay-at-home wife for 40 years, watching her husband leave her for a younger woman might be the "worst" thing. And, to a woman whose sole goal in life has been to love and nurture a child, infertility may indeed be the "worst" thing that could happen.

People wouldn't dream of telling someone whose parent just died, "It could be worse: both of your parents could be dead." Such a comment would be considered cruel rather than comforting. In the same vein, don't tell your friend that she could be going through worse things than infertility.

Don't Say They Aren't Meant to Be Parents
One of the cruelest things anyone ever said to me is, "Maybe God doesn't intend for you to be a mother." How incredibly insensitive to imply that I would be such a bad mother that God felt the need to divinely sterilize me. If God were in the business of divinely sterilizing women, don't you think he would prevent the pregnancies that end in abortions? Or wouldn't he sterilize the women who wind up neglecting and abusing their children? Even if you aren't religious, the "maybe it's not meant to be" comments are not comforting. Infertility is a medical condition, not a punishment from God or Mother Nature.

Don't Ask Why They Aren't Trying IVF
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a method in which the woman harvests multiple eggs, which are then combined with the man's sperm in a petri dish. This is the method that can produce multiple births. People frequently ask, "Why don't you just try IVF?" in the same casual tone they would use to ask, "Why don't you try shopping at another store?"

Don't Be Crude
It is appalling that I even have to include this paragraph, but some of you need to hear this-Don't make crude jokes about your friend's vulnerable position. Crude comments like "I'll donate the sperm" or "Make sure the doctor uses your sperm for the insemination" are not funny, and they only irritate your friends.

Don't Complain About Your Pregnancy
This message is for pregnant women-Just being around you is painful for your infertile friends. Seeing your belly grow is a constant reminder of what your infertile friend cannot have. Unless an infertile women plans to spend her life in a cave, she has to find a way to interact with pregnant women. However, there are things you can do as her friend to make it easier.

The number one rule is DON'T COMPLAIN ABOUT YOUR PREGNANCY. I understand from my friends that, when you are pregnant, your hormones are going crazy and you experience a lot of discomfort, such as queasiness, stretch marks, and fatigue. You have every right to vent about the discomforts to any one else in your life, but don't put your infertile friend in the position of comforting you.

Your infertile friend would give anything to experience the discomforts you are enduring because those discomforts come from a baby growing inside of you. When I heard a pregnant woman complain about morning sickness, I would think, "I'd gladly throw up for nine straight months if it meant I could have a baby." When a pregnant woman would complain about her weight gain, I would think, "I would cut off my arm if I could be in your shoes."

I managed to go to baby showers and hospitals to welcome my friends' new babies, but it was hard. Without exception, it was hard. Stay sensitive to your infertile friend's emotions, and give her the leeway that she needs to be happy for you while she cries for herself. If she can't bring herself to hold your new baby, give her time. She isn't rejecting you or your new baby; she is just trying to work her way through her pain to show sincere joy for you. The fact that she is willing to endure such pain in order to celebrate your new baby with you speaks volumes about how much your friendship means to her.

Don't Treat Them Like They Are Ignorant
For some reason, some people seem to think that infertility causes a person to become unrealistic about the responsibilities of parenthood. I don't follow the logic, but several people told me that I wouldn't ache for a baby so much if I appreciated how much responsibility was involved in parenting.

Let's face it-no one can fully appreciate the responsibilities involved in parenting until they are, themselves, parents. That is true whether you successfully conceived after one month or after 10 years. The length of time you spend waiting for that baby does not factor in to your appreciation of responsibility. If anything, people who have been trying to become pregnant longer have had more time to think about those responsibilities. They have also probably been around lots of babies as their friends started their families.

Perhaps part of what fuels this perception is that infertile couples have a longer time to "dream" about what being a parent will be like. Like every other couple, we have our fantasies-my child will sleep through the night, would never have a tantrum in public, and will always eat his vegetables. Let us have our fantasies. Those fantasies are some of the few parent-to-be perks that we have-let us have them. You can give us your knowing looks when we discover the truth later.

Don't Gossip About Your Friend's Condition
Infertility treatments are very private and embarrassing, which is why many couples choose to undergo these treatments in secret. Men especially are very sensitive to letting people know about infertility testing, such as sperm counts. Gossiping about infertility is not usually done in a malicious manner. The gossipers are usually well-meaning people who are only trying to find out more about infertility so they can help their loved ones.

Regardless of why you are sharing this information with someone else, it hurts and embarrasses your friend to find out that Madge the bank teller knows what your husband's sperm count is and when your next period is expected. Infertility is something that should be kept as private as your friend wants to keep it. Respect your friend's privacy, and don't share any information that your friend hasn't authorized.

Don't Push Adoption (Yet)
Adoption is a wonderful way for infertile people to become parents. (As an adoptive parent, I can fully vouch for this!!) However, the couple needs to work through many issues before they will be ready to make an adoption decision. Before they can make the decision to love a "stranger's baby," they must first grieve the loss of that baby with Daddy's eyes and Mommy's nose. Adoption social workers recognize the importance of the grieving process. When my husband and I went for our initial adoption interview, we expected the first question to be, "Why do you want to adopt a baby?" Instead, the question was, "Have you grieved the loss of your biological child yet?" Our social worker emphasized how important it is to shut one door before you open another.

You do, indeed, need to grieve this loss before you are ready to start the adoption process. The adoption process is very long and expensive, and it is not an easy road. So, the couple needs to be very sure that they can let go of the hope of a biological child and that they can love an adopted baby. This takes time, and some couples are never able to reach this point. If your friend cannot love a baby that isn't her "own," then adoption isn't the right decision for her, and it is certainly not what is best for the baby.

Mentioning adoption in passing can be a comfort to some couples. (The only words that ever offered me comfort were from my sister, who said, "Whether through pregnancy or adoption, you will be a mother one day.") However, "pushing" the issue can frustrate your friend. So, mention the idea in passing if it seems appropriate, and then drop it. When your friend is ready to talk about adoption, she will raise the issue herself.

So, what can you say to your infertile friends? Unless you say "I am giving you this baby," there is nothing you can say that will erase their pain. So, take that pressure off of yourself. It isn't your job to erase their pain, but there is a lot you can do to lesson the load. Here are a few ideas.

Let Them Know That You Care
The best thing you can do is let your infertile friends know that you care. Send them cards. Let them cry on your shoulder. If they are religious, let them know you are praying for them. Offer the same support you would offer a friend who has lost a loved one. Just knowing they can count on you to be there for them lightens the load and lets them know that they aren't going through this alone.

Remember Them on Mother's Day
With all of the activity on Mother's Day, people tend to forget about women who cannot become mothers. Mother's Day is an incredibly painful time for infertile women. You cannot get away from it-There are ads on the TV, posters at the stores, church sermons devoted to celebrating motherhood, and all of the plans for celebrating with your own mother and mother-in-law.

Mother's Day is an important celebration and one that I relish now that I am a mother. However, it was very painful while I was waiting for my baby. Remember your infertile friends on Mother's Day, and send them a card to let them know you are thinking of them. They will appreciate knowing that you haven't "forgotten" them.

Support Their Decision to Stop Treatments
No couple can endure infertility treatments forever. At some point, they will stop. This is an agonizing decision to make, and it involves even more grief. Even if the couple chooses to adopt a baby, they must still first grieve the loss of that baby who would have had mommy's nose and daddy's eyes.

Once the couple has made the decision to stop treatments, support their decision. Don't encourage them to try again, and don't discourage them from adopting, if that is their choice. Once the couple has reached resolution (whether to live without children, adopt a child, or become foster parents), they can finally put that chapter of their lives behind them. Don't try to open that chapter again.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I swear that I'm not a whiney twit all the time

I feel like lately all of done is whine. I promise, I really do love my life but at times it's difficult and I don't necessarily like it. Plus, February is just not the best month right now:

February 5th was 4 years that we've been TTC with no success.
February 14th is Valentine's Day (well and my oldest brother's birthday, which is of course a good thing <3) and while it's not an uber-important day to me, it's definitely a difficult day during deployment.
February 15th was the WTF appointment with our RE and part of the news was not good (more on that in a minute).
February 16th (today) is our third wedding anniversary and he's in a war zone.
Two out of four of our dogs are limping (one of them is a senior dog).
Lately the babes have been sleep fighting.
Today I had to cancel my hair appointment, the one thing that I have been looking forward to since the failed cycle, because our girl got sick and had to be picked up from preschool.
I emailed and called my therapist this week but haven't heard back from her.
I texted my local BFF last week, haven't heard back from her.

Yes, I know that "this too shall pass."I know that other people have it worse and yes, I love the babes and am thankful for them. I know that I am blessed with an amazing husband who calls me from over there as much as possible and who is still alive and relatively safe. And yes, I love our crazy zoo and would not trade any of them for the world. I am just having a tough time right now and apparently need to vent, A LOT.

Perhaps the hardest thing was the WTF appointment with the RE. I learned that we are now dealing with some MFI (male factor issues) regarding morphology and if my PCOS and endometriosis were not enough. The RE does not want to use any more of the frozen samples that P left and instead recommends a fresh IVF cycle after P gets home and after he has a SA to test his swimmers. I am just overwhelmed at the thought of doing another IVF and at the thought of paying for it (99% that we've used up my insurance benefit). We still have one frozen embryo but our RE is not crazy about thawing and transferring only one embryo but the success rate is not that great. No matter what, I am relieved to be on a break for a few months. As our RE said, I have "too much" going on right now and need to focus on me.

So yeah, I will take the next few months to focus on me as much as I can with 2 kids and a zoo. I also plan to find some way to make friends, reliable friends, in this place. I love my internet friends but it's not like I can teleport y'all here to me ;)

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Mommy Menu Monday

Ok, so ya know how I was worried, in the beginning, about bonding with the babes? How I wondered if I'd ever really feel like a mommy to them? Yeah, now worries now :) This weekend I truly felt like a mommy and I don't ever want them to leave, ever. We all had the best time this weekend, even with the little acting out episodes that are, of course, normal. All in all, things are going GREAT.

Now, for the menu portion of this blog. With P being deployed I have gotten into the habit of not cooking as much-that is about to change. Today while I am work Crockpot Chicken Salsa is cooking and we will be eating that every night for dinner. The great thing about this dish is that you can serve it so many ways-over tortilla chips, over rice, in taco shells, in a soft tortilla, all by itself-so to me I don't feel like I'm eating the same thing every night. If this experiment works-if the babes don't revolt and throw dinner on me by night 3-I will trying this approach with other crockpot dishes. I seriously heart my crockpot and need to use it more.

I also made Baked Oatmeal this morning for me to eat for lunch everyday this week (and for breakfast on the weekend). It is so easy and freaking yummy! The kids love it too so if they get tired of the CCS, then they can have this for dinner (breakfast for dinner FTW) a couple of nights.

And now for the recipes :)

Crockpot Chicken Salsa
Frozen chicken Breasts (I try to use one per person)
1 can black beans - drained and rinsed
1 bag frozen corn
1 jar salsa (your choice - I like to use a chunky style)
1 block cream cheese (I use the 1/3 less fat version)

Put everything in crockpot. Cook on high 6-8 hours. When there are about 30 minutes remaining, drop in cream cheese. Stir before serving to shred the chicken. I like to top mine with sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese :)

Baked Oatmeal
1/2 cup oil
3/4 cup brown sugar
3tsp baking powder
3 eggs
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1.5 cup milk
4 cups old fashioned oats
Whisk everything except the oats until mixed and then stir in the oats. You can add 1 cup raisins or craisins if want to-I always add craisins to mine. Pour in 9×13 greased baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes. I serve it in a bowl with a little bit of extra milk mixed in :)
*Changes I've made to the recipe-I use apple sauce instead of oil and increased it to 3/4 cup. I also increased the milk due to living in a higher elevation now.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Want to feel like myself again

Just over 2 weeks since the BFN from the failed IVF cycle (wow, it seems like so much longer than that) and I still feel like I'm on hormones. Sore ovaries, headaches, bloat (though that is going down) and little to no energy. I tried to start P90X but I think it was too soon. I'll start it after AF comes again. Until then I will do yoga every day since I can pretty much always handle a moderate yoga workout.

On a happy note, the kids are doing GREAT! We went to BWW for dinner last night and they loved it! This weekend is finally a weekend of sun and moderate temps so after we eat a late breakfast, mail some care packages to P and get SB's hair cut, we will go somewhere and enjoy the weather...I'm thinking Garden of the Gods. Since the kids have gotten here, the weather has been so cold and they have been sick on and off so I haven't gotten to show them much of the city. We will definitely change that today. I cannot wait!!!

Ok, so off I go to get ready for the day. I am determined to get back to my old self!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Exhausted-warning, whining ahead

I am exhausted. Lately both babes are fighting any sort of sleep. I finally got J to sleep (after much crying) only to have SB launch a toy from her crib into his and then start her exorcist screaming. Currently she is in timeout while I type this. And yes, I am most definitely drinking wine.

I am out numbered.
I am tired.
I am sick of deployment.
I am sicking of fucking ovarian cysts that are so painful they wake me up
I am tired of negative temperatures, snow and ice (well, these wouldn't be so bad if my damn 4WD vehicle was in operating condition).
I am damn fucking sick of infertility.

Also, it looks like another one of our dogs has hip dysplasia :-( That makes 2 dogs with hip/joint problems, 1 with doggy dementia and 1 with adjustment issues (not including the fact that 3 out of 4 have skin allergies and both males have separation issues).

Tomorrow I will put my big girl panties back on but right now I will pour another glass of wine and have a pity party.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Can I have a clone please?

I have a ridiculous amount of stuff to get done this weekend:

-Wash and put away all the laundry
-Clean the backyard
-Clean the house
-Clean out both vehicles
-Take Tahoe to the shop (and pray it's not too expensive to fix)
-Do p90x and 15 minutes of yoga each day
-Figure out dinner menu for next week & buy grocery items
-Read :)
-Play with the babes

Seriously, I need a now.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, January 31, 2011

Mommy Monday

Today the babes and I met our permanent caseworker and I like her a lot! We'll call her M :) M is a parent herself and she was so easy to talk with. The babes interacted with her very well and were on their cutest behavior :) She'll be coming out here once a month to make sure that the babes are okay, I'm okay and to check to see if we need any support services.

I filled her in on their last doctor's appointment, the speech therapy referral and my relationship with their birth mom (my SIL). I also talked with her about how well they have adjusted, especially our niece SB. We talked about SB not being in play therapy and how I have not seen a need for it.

All in all the visit was about 40 minutes and was completely stress free. We have set an appointment for next month and I actually look forward to seeing her. I almost forgot-she also mentioned that in April, SIL's caseworker will looking at starting the process of terminating SIL's parental rights.....that's only 2 months from now. As much as I know that she most likely will never be able to parent due to her paranoid schizophrenia, my heart hurts for her.

So, to my adoptive parents/foster parents/guardians/potential adoptive parents-how do you handle caseworker visits? Do they stress you out? Do you get along with your caseworker? What do the kids think?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Day by Day.....

I haven't gone a day without crying.

I haven't gone a day without praying that it wasn't true.

Some days I am hopeful and hopeless at different times on the same days.

Everyday I am terrified that FET will not work.

Everyday I thank God for my family, friends and especially my amazing husband who makes me feel supported all the way from Afghanistan.

I have a plan because, well....plans make me feel better and more in control. I have become a BeachBody coach and plan to work through P90X (for a second time, love it!) and then Insanity so that I can get in shape and lose the IUI/IVF weight that I've gained over the past 2 years. I really want to make my BeachBody business work so that we can become debt free and so that we can save up money for future infertility treatments. My goal this week is to get through all the BB training so that I can really get started in this. For me, it's not just about making money; it's also about helping people improve their lives and get healthy. Here are my sites (so far) (My BeachBody page) and (my Shakeology page). I drink the chocolate Shakeology everyday and I freaking love it! Look for more posts on here about me getting in shape and helping others :)

My health/fitness goal is to lose 2 dress sizes, which will get me back to where I was before starting injectable infertility medications. It is a totally do-able goal for me. Also I'll be smokin' hot for P when he returns from deployment :)

I realize that there is no way that I can do FET without P here. Doing this fresh IVF cycle without him here, while being solely responsible for the kiddos was way too stressful. I have my WTF appt with the RE next month and I plan to talk to him about FET in detail, including letting him know my reasons for waiting. This failed IVF cycle has just been so emotionally and physically draining....I now know that I need P here with me for support.

I could not have gotten through this without the amazing support from my friends online. Seriously, y'all are a lifeline to me. Yo have people who understand, support me and don't judge me is so wonderful. I love y'all.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Not pregnant

Beta was negative. I am devastated. I can't stop crying. I am terrified to do FET, which won't happen til P gets home (my choice).

To all my friends, you are amazing. The love & words of support mean more than I can ever explain <3

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

[caption id="attachment_820" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="This is what I am envisioning everyday <3 "][/caption]

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


For those of you who think that one of the kids or furbabies typed the title, that's 4 days post 5 day transfer :-D

My boss ordered me to not come into work today-she wants me to have another day of bed rest. So I took the kiddos to preschool and I am camped out on the couch :) My plan today is TV, snuggling with dogs, napping and eating. Oh, and trying not to obsess about this whole IVF thing.....

So here in the spirit of not obsessing, here's what's been going on since the 5dt :) I have been exhausted and hungry like all the time! I am sure that a lot of me being tired is due to the progesterone supplement but the appetite, I have no idea. My boobs are sore and huge (thank you progesterone) and I am peeing more during the night. I've had a couple of bouts of random nausea and I am craving steak and baked potatoes like every day. I also had cramping on and off yesterday and one weird cramping episode that actually woke me up at 0330 in the morning. I am praying that those were implantation pains.

So yeah....I am remaining super hopeful and praying literally all the time that this is our cycle. I go for my bets test next week, right before P's birthday...a BFP with a strong beta number would be the best present ever!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Mommy Mondays (a new idea for this blog)

I want to start Mommy Mondays on this blog, in an effort to blog regularly again and in an effort to reconnect with my blogging friends :)

Having recently become a Mommy via guardianship of the sis in law's kids, I have a full appreciation of how difficult parenting is...especially when doing it alone (P won't be back until the summer). I love the children and the bonding is going MUCH better but wow, there are definite challenges. On Mommy Mondays I want to focus on all things relating to parenting. I am thinking that I will obsess write about one parenting "thing" (sorry, I am too exhausted to think of a better word) per week on here. If there's ever anything that you want to see me write about or that you just think would be a good topic, please comment on any post and let me know :)

I want to share a bit about the bonding/attaching that we've been working on here in our home. As y'all might remember things were rough here in the beginning. I am happy to report that things are MUCH better around here, I think due in a major way to my no longer being on the evil lu.pron. We have a night time routine now-15 to 30 minutes of cartoons while I make dinner; eat dinner; take baths; read a story and then bed time. That routine works 90% of the time, though sometimes SB (2.5 yr old niece) still has a meltdown when she gets in the bed. J (1 yr old nephew) rarely cries at bed time any more, unless he decides that he wants to stay up and play with the furbabies :)

SB is also seeking me out for hugs and sitting on my lap during Friday Night Family Movie and Pizza night. Her newest thing is to blow kisses to me or just come up to me for kisses <3 She also runs to me when I pick her up from preschool saying "Mommy hug"....yeah, she's a charmer :) J's face lights up when I come into his classroom and he immediately wants me to pick him up. He has also started having baby nightmares which is awful but he *does* calm down when I comfort him.

For the past couple of weekends, we haven't really done anything fun because I have had IVF appointments, which for me are 2.5 hrs of driving round trip. This coming weekend I have decided that we will go shoe shopping for all 3 of us, walk around the mall a bit and then go see my friend, S, at BWW on her lunch shift :) We are also going to go to church which is sure to be an adventure ;)

So what to you do to promote bonding/attachment in your children?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

We have 1 snowbaby!!!

The clinic called today to update me on our one remaining embaby. The embryologist said that it looked great, graded it at a AA (the highest/best) and said that they are able to freeze it! I. AM. SO. HAPPY :-)

Saturday, January 15, 2011


I now have 2 embabies in me :) Everyone at Conceptions was super optimistic and wonderful today-the nurse even hugged me as I left.

We have the possibilty of freezing 1 embaby-the other 3 didn't make it. I am praying that these 2 embabies stick & that our other one makes it to freezing.

I have to give a shout out to my Twitter friends. They have been amazing. To y'all, I love ya & I'm praying that all of us who are PUPO or in the 2ww get our BFPs and healthy babies <3

Friday, January 14, 2011

This time tomorrow.....

I will be PUPO! I cannot believe it. My best work friend is keeping the babes tomorrow and I have arranged play/diaper/sleeping areas in the TV room for my couch rest time. Tomorrow morning I will make baked oatmeal and poppy seed chicken casserole so that I don't have to stand on my feet on actually cook :) Movies have been rented through RedBox and we also have plenty available On Demand (free) and in our DVD collection. The house is clean and most of the laundry is I think that I am ready for tomorrow.

Now I am praying that this works and we have a new baby or two in the fall :)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

In 48 hours.....

I will be PUPO! I am so excited and scared. I wish that P was here for all of this. Depending on other people (besides him) makes me nervous and generally uncomfortable.

Our 6 embabies are doing fine as of yesterday <3 They are all average to high quality and I won't get another update on them until the morning of the transfer. I am praying that all is well and that we get a healthy baby from this IVF cycle.

Ugh, and now I'm crying again. Damn hormones!

Monday, January 10, 2011

And then there were 6

I had my egg retrieval this morning and the RE got 6 eggs. P's swimmers looked great after thawing and the embryologist was optimistic. My friend, Brittany, took me for the ER and watched the kids....yeah, they had to come with us since we got some snow and the preschool had a late open of 8am. She took them to McD's to play while I was there. From the time I got there until I was released was about 90 min. I do very well with the twilight anasthesia :)

So now we wait and pray that they fertilize and that we end up with a healthy baby. I cannot thank y'all enough for all of the support through out all of this....seriously, I could not do it without y'all.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A short but sweet update

This week we have finally gotten into a routine & the kids are finally feeling better. SB, niece, is eating better and sleeping better. Bedtime is now a comfortable routine for all of us :)

We're still working on the whole bonding/attaching part and I'm ok with that. I cannot explain how much y'alls support and acceptance means. I'm going easier on myself and realizing that things aren't going to happen over night....and that it's all okay :)

In other news, still doing injections in prep for IVF 1.0. I have another date with Wandy tomorrow & I'm hoping for a weekend egg retrieval. I'm praying that this works the first time, for lots of reasons.