Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Irrational Fears (Blog Hop)

Today I am join in the blog hop with Casey from We took the road less traveled for...



This week we are all writing about 3 irrational fears

Oh boy, here we go...


ONE.  I'm afraid of going blind.  When I was working with early childhood special needs children back in NY, they sent several of us off to do some special training.  One of these training methods involved putting blacked out goggles on and helping navigate each other or a mechanical doll through the everyday classroom routine.  When I was the "student" wearing the glasses it bugged me out.  The foggy glasses that represented students with some visual input was even worse.  Couple all of this "new knowledge" with my history of vision problems (astigmatism) and I was a wreck by the end of the training week.  

TWO.  A snake crawling up through the toilet.  Sorry to anyone who just added this to their list.  Last year I got a skype call from a friend, Kailey whom is living in the deep south, that needed to vent to someone about her experience.  She woke up one morning to find a 3 foot snake in her bathroom just sitting there near her toilet.  Kailey quickly ran out of the bathroom, slammed the door shut, and rolled up a blanket to wedge under the door.  Since her hubby was deployed she called the exterminator who came 3 hours later while she at breakfast in her driveway in her mini van with the kids.  After the guy removed the snake she asked how it got there.  He said there are a lot of snakes in the area and one must have followed a mouse up the drain pipe, ate the mouse (vomited up the mouse during capture) and continued on its way until it came out of your toilet.   It is worth noting that he cover the drain with something similar to chicken wire as well as set up mouse traps around to eliminate the food source and deter the snakes from entering the pipes again.   The exterminator also said that this isn't a very common thing.  He specifically has only seen this a handful of times in his 30+ years of experience.   This whole thing bothered me for about 2-3 day but I quickly forgot about it.  Fast forward to this past weekend and hubby finds a snake skin in our yard and now I'm a bit panicked about this again.  Lets just  this one is getting the best of me lately.  Hoping this one fades again soon.  Seriously I suggest you not google this one for your own piece of mind.    

THREE.  I'll call this one the Fish Bowl effect.  Growing up there were several new houses that popped up on our road.  They took years to put curtains up and driving past at night you could see in.  See everything the people were doing.  Then throw in watching any number of scary movies where the bad guys use this to their advantage and I run around the house when its dark closing every blind and curtain.  I'm not as bad with this as I used to be since moving to suburbia.   


I will say I think scary movies or media in general have increased the amount of irrational fears people have by showing them just what could happen.  This is why I no longer watch scary movies.  They just aren't for me.  



Monday, September 29, 2014

RE visit recap AKA what we know now

Warning! I'm talking about my lady bits, fertility treatments, and conception. 
If these things don't interest you then feel free to skip this post.
After several terrible comments I feel the need to post this next bit even though I shouldn't have to...
This little blog is like an open journal for me where I write about what is going on in my life and connect with those in similar situations.  Part of this is my experience with Infertility among other things.  I do not mind healthy open discussions about Infertility or anything else I write about but keep it friendly please.  No intentionally hurtful comments will ever make onto this blog so don't even waste your time on them.   
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I have dragged my feet in writing this but here it is.

 a quick recap on how we got here this time around...

Once Bear turned a year old I made an appointment with my primary care manager (PCM) to discuss having another baby and my history of infertility.  He ordered some blood work that showed normal levels of everything and suggested going on birth control for several months to help regulate my period.  I declined Birth Control as it has never helped in the past and asked to see an specialist based off of my prior history of infertility.  The PCM ordered a a final test an internal ultrasound to make sure physically there was nothing going on that would prevent me from conceiving.  Physically nothing was wrong but the tech did find a small cyst on my ovary that would likely go away on its own.  Regardless he gave me the referral I wanted.  I then made a few calls and got the same specialist we used last time when ttc Bear. 


So just over a week ago we headed to the specialist or Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE) and sat down to discuss trying to conceive (ttc) another baby.  Here is what we found out...

The exact diagnosis I was labeled with is "unexplained secondary infertility"  previously I was diagnosed with "unexplained primary infertility."  Why the change? well simply put, the secondary term is used because I delivered a baby.  After baby any infertility problems are considered secondary infertility despite me having the exact same problem as before.  This means that the exact same reasons I was unable to conceive naturally before still apply today.  Nothing as far as that has changed with me only the title of it has changed.  

What did you have before you may be wondering for those just joining me...  I never had a regular period my whole life.  Not on Birth Control or any other thing that the doctors have tried.  I would only get a period every 3 months naturally.  How the body basically works is if you don't get your period then you didn't ovulate.  No ovulation means no chance at getting pregnant.  On those rare third months when I did ovulate, sperm and egg could very well have met and combined but once it reaches the uterus it finds an inhospitable environment and the body will reject it.  In other words I would get my period without ever even knowing if fertilized egg even existed in my body or not.  After a year of TTC I was put on very high does of Clomid by my OBGYN and still nothing happened.  So I was referred to an RE.  With a combo of meds (oral medication and injections) we conceived Bear on a cycle were the odds of me getting pregnant were next to nothing.  The day we found out I was pregnant also happened to one month shy of the 2 year mark of us ttc.  God works in mysterious ways.   


What are my chances of getting pregnant?
The odds of me conceiving naturally without any interventions are less than 1%.  I wasn't shocked when I heard this once again but it still stings a bit. Using the course of fertility treatments we used before with timed intercourse it brings me up to the same 15-20% everyone else has each month when ttc.

What type of treatments are we doing?
The course of treatment I will be on is very similar to before.  The use of Femara or clomid, Follistim injections, and an HCG trigger with timed intercourse.  Femara and Clomid are oral medicine that will be taken in conjunction with Follistim injections.  Doses will be determined by the doctor depending on how my follicles react to the medicine.  Throughout all of this I will be getting internal ultrasounds to monitor the follicle growth in my ovaries.  If overstimulated then treatment is stopped and we abstain so that I don't turn into the next octomom.  If I am under stimulated (lack of progress) the doctor can increase dosage but after a certain amount of day but at a certain point of inactivity or progress you just need to call it quits for that month.  This just so happened to be the type of cycle that Bear was conceived on however the odds of pregnancy are slim.  The RE may or may not add in progesterone shots based off of my previous pregnancy history and me being high risk.  That will all be worked out during my first cycle. 

Why timed intercourse and not IUI or IVF?
Well there are two reasons for this.  The biggest reason is that tricare (our insurance) will pay for the office visits and vast majority of the medication only when using timed intercourse.  At least for us and our situation.  The cost of fertility treatments is very expensive and Tricare won't cover anything when using IUI or IVF.  Not the office visit, not the medicine, nothing.  Secondly, you wouldn't jump into the more invasive procedures if the less invasive ones worked!  If something changes then the whole situation would be reevaluated.  For our situation IUI isn't any more effective than timed intercourse so there is no need to waste money on that.  IVF would be the only other option but again it is invasive and costly.

Are multiples likely / you mentioned octomom is it possible?
With the use of any fertility treatments one is more likely to conceive multiples.  However precautions will be taken to avoid anything over triplets.  Think one to two mature follicles that may or many not each release a single mature egg that can possibly be fertilized is the goal.  Hence why over-stimulation and abstinence go hand in hand.  No one, especially not me, wants to be octomom or anywhere close to it!  Heck, the idea of twins scare the crap out of me so forget about anything higher.  Please do not take what I am saying the wrong way!  The goal of this process is to conceive a single healthy baby.  That is and will be our goal throughout this process.  It is the goal of everyone going through this process but the possibility of multiples are there.  If god blesses us with multiples after strictly following doctors orders than we will take it one step at a time from there.  

Will I get Preeclampsia again?
The hard truth is that no one knows the answer to this but the risk of preeclampsia is there with any subsequent pregnancy I may have.  Knowing my history my doctors will more than likely be keeping a closer eye on me.  I may even have to take blood pressure medication earlier than expected to help prevent preeclampsia from presenting.  I may need to be on bed rest for a period of time.  Who knows?  For now its all an unknown.  

Will I deliver prematurely again?
God I hope not.  Since preeclampsia was the reason Bear was born 6 weeks early it could depend on if Preeclampsia presents again.  So the answer to this is again I don't know.  There are a lot of unknowns when it comes to infertility, pregnancy and delivery.  

Are you high Risk?

Yes I am and will always be considered high risk based off of my history with preeclampsia during my pregnancy with Bear.  It will mean more doctors appointments than normal.  More than one typically sees when using on post doctors and possibly more than one sees when using civilian doctor.  I could even (even Praying I do) get referred out to Maternal Family Medicine or an OBGYN that specializes in high risk pregnancies.  Specifically the one that delivered Bear.  He was a fabulous straight forward, no fluff doctor that I would be lucky to get again.  

Will I have have another C-Section?

Lets get me pregnant first.  But since this question keeps coming up I suppose I need to address it.  The possibility is there.  It depends on too many factors to know at this moment how I will deliver any future baby.  Getting a Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC) is less likely with multiples or if I get preeclampsia again or any other number of things that could possibly happen.  Then there is also personal preference.  I will get some say, depending on the situation, to decide if I want to try for a VBAC or a repeat C-section.  For us, as long as me and the baby are healthy then that's all that matters.  Not how the baby came into the world.  Once I am finally pregnant I may put more thought into this but for now this is what you are going to get.  No use putting the cart before the horse.  


so onto the bad news...

Sadly my chances of miscarriage have increased since the last time we were ttc.  Quite frankly I was too stunned trying to mentally come to terms with that statement and keep myself together to ask the doctor why this is the case.  Honestly, I am not sure the answer even matters as it won't change this fact.  This scares me more than anything else said the whole appointment.  High risk I expected. Risk of Multiples OK we'll deal with it.  Increased chance of miscarriage shut me down.  I'm not sure how I'll be able to handle that.

Then the what ifs started to roll on in on the rather silent ride home.  What I join this horrible club?  What if I'm pregnant when Hubby's parents are down here for thanksgiving and we can't or shouldn't say anything?  How am I going to hide a pregnancy when everyone will be drinking?  What if we tell them then something happens and I lose the pregnancy?  What if it happens and they are here?  I couldn't begin to know to how I will deal with it just us, let alone deal with hubby's overly emotional Mother at the same time.  What if I worry and nothing happens? or worse yet my worrying causes something to happen.

I'll stop there.  Clearly it is a deep dark rabbit hole I need to avoid.  

What I will ask of you is Prayers.  Prayers this processes doesn't take us years again.  Prayers I keep my sanity throughout this process.  Prayers to help the RE make the perfect calls in regards to my fertility treatments.  Prayers that we may actually conceive again.  Prayers for a Healthy new baby.  And most of all Prayers for Bear as his world will get flipped upside down throughout all of this.  

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Testing...

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Hello Fall

Today is officially the first day of fall.  I woke up to find a surprising chill in the air.  That's right our little Louisiana town got the message that it was in fact Fall!  I can't begin to tell you just how happy this makes me.  Having lived in the deep south for some time now I am over hot weather.  Give me cold weather anytime!  Six feet of snow? I have shovel in the garage that I am ready and willing to use!  Fall (or Louisiana's version of it) and Winter are the tolerable times here for me.  Hopefully now we can get out and do more things.

I'll start it off right though with this...



Monday, September 15, 2014

So this is happening...



About a month or so ago I was getting a bath ready for Bear.  He was eagerly waiting for me to get the water just right when I look over and he is doing his, as I call it,  "Poop Dance."  The one where he is bouncing up and down and grunting.  This only means one thing...  Bear's going to poop and soon!  I quickly stop what I am doing and plop him on the toilet for a second to think of my next move.  I put him on the toilet thinking that either he would stop pooping long enough for me to figure out where a diaper was or he on a fluke would go on the potty.   To my surprise he went on the potty.  I cleaned him up then went about bath time.

The next day I decided that when I caught him doing the poop dance I would again put him on the potty and just see what happened.  I started to use the diaper sign with him for potty as well since its one he already knows.  Two days into doing this he runs into the bathroom and starts doing the poop dance.  Awesome!  He's starting to make the correlation that what he is doing in his pants needs to happen in the bathroom.


Three days of success every time I put him on the potty and I'm on Amazon ordering a kids potty for him.  After much debate, emails to friends, and potty training posts I decided on a stand alone potty verse the one on the toilet.  I think Bear is just too young and small to feel comfortable high up on a standard toilet with a kids toilet seat adapter.  Or maybe its just me that's scared for him.


I know some think its too early to start looking at potty training and others I know started at a year old.  For us I think this works.  I planned on starting doing exactly what I have been doing at Christmas time when he was closer to 18 months.  At around that age children have the physical capabilities to control their bowel movements and therefore have the ability to be potty trained.  However I think if he is interested why not start him with it now?

I am in no way expecting him to be potty trained anytime soon.  However, by 2 to 2 1/2 I don't think will be a stretch for this kid.  He detests being in a dirty diaper and clearly doesn't seem to mind using the potty.  Both amazing things for this process.

Since he is only 14 months old I put him on the potty about 3 - 4 times a day.  If he goes great.  If not then that's fine too.     I do try to set him up for success so I put him on the potty quickly when he first wakes up for the day and when he wakes up from naps.  There are times he does just sit on the potty even if I know he has already gone.  After all this is just practice right now.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

It's broken again! (Alternatively titled: My Samsung washer sucks!)

Or possibly titled: "Why I Can't Cloth Diaper Right Now"

This crappy washer is broken once again.

Last September the drum on the washer stopped moving.  I was told 2 weeks until a repairman would be out.  They rescheduled the appointment and I ended up without a washer for a month simply waiting for someone to show up.  I went to the laundry mat when I could and hand washed some clothes in the tub when I had to.  Well they showed up and told me they weren't sure what was wrong but that the chip was likely bad in the computer.  It took 2 weeks to get the part and a few more days to get the repair guy back to replace it.  Throughout all of this it was just Bear and I at home (hubby was deployed. it wasn't great but it wasn't terrible either.

Then 2 months ago I called the warranty people again because the drum once again stopped spinning.  Again there is a one month wait to just get the repair guy out here.  Then when he finished tinkering around he told me the washer was working perfectly.  OK, fine, whatever!  The repairman came Monday and I did the first load of laundry on Saturday.  Sure enough on Saturday morning I toss in a load.  Not even a full one.  Ten pieces of Bears clothing.   Three minutes into the cycle and boom another error code and the drum not spinning.  Clear it was not fixed.

Because it was a holiday weekend I had to wait until Tuesday to call.   One month is what they told me.  One month wait to just get the repairman back out here to fix a washer that was "running perfectly."  I lost it.  There is too much laundry piling up with the 3 of us to be without a washer for another month.  I tell them that's not acceptable.  After talking to a supervisor I got a new date that is 3 weeks.  Its better but still not good enough in my eyes.  However I will have to wait this long.

What makes all of this that much harder is that Hubby home.  Meaning PT's and uniforms stuff that piles up even quicker in the 90+ degree Louisiana weather.  Meaning this laundry thing is out of control.   I can scrape by when it's just the Bear and I but throwing but throwing Hubby into the mix makes being without a washer unbearable.  The guy can't go to work in dirty clothes or hand washed clothes which means I'll be sitting in a laundry mat with a very active 14 mo for 2 hours to wash his clothes then bring them home wet to save money and time to dry them.


So here I am without a washer.  AGAIN!  Total in the last year I have been without a washer for 13 weeks and counting.  Samsung clearly thinks this acceptable.  It's not.  Fingers crossed and prayers this repair is the one that fixes it or they just cut me a check for a new replacement and the cost of the extended warranty.  After all who knew front loader washers that you spent a grand on would only last just under 5 years.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Going a bit greener

As part of my 101 in 1001 I set out to pick up some reusable bags for food shopping.  I finally found ones that I am happy with!

Basically, we end up with a million bags from the commissary whenever we go food shopping.  The majority of them get thrown out.  I'm not all "let's save the planet" but I do think cutting back on them couldn't hurt.  I mean every trip they double bag everything which based off of how much they put in them and how flimsy the bags are it is sort of needed.  We reuse some for garbage pail liners and to pick up the dog dirt with but 3-4 is all we really reuse from the 30+ bags we get every trip.  So getting reusable ones seemed like a smart idea to me.

After scouring amazon for the reusable grocery bags that wouldn't fall apart by looking at them or cost an arm and a leg I was about to give up when a friend of mine sent me an email.  She suggesting these.   Upon her recommendation I decided to take the leap and try them out.  They looked pretty good, were durable material, held about 2 standard grocery bags without being overly massive and the kicker was they were on sale for $15 for 4 of them.




When they got here I was happy to that they are in fact quite small and compact when in the pouch.  Undo the drawstring closure, unravel the bag and then flip it right side out.  The pouch is attached and sits neatly inside.  While many people noted that it was difficult to get it back in the pouch I found it to be no problem.  That being said I likely will not keep them in the pouches but keep them open and just store them in one of the cold storage bags.  I don't see the need to have to take them out and put them back in every use for grocery shopping.  Let's be real here, if its not convenient then I won't do it.  Making this all a giant waste of money.

They do come in many colors and combination of colors.  Hubby requested that they match the cold storage bags (talking about those next) and that they are a gender neutral color.  I figured this blue was a safe choice and matched almost spot on with the cold bags below.

I should add that when these go on sale again I am thinking of picking up another set of 4.  Using 2 of the bags for groceries, tossing one in my purse, and one in the diaper bag.  I really can't express just how happy I am with them.

While I love them my only con for these bags are that because of the material it wrinkle really easily which its such a big deal I guess.  It's a con I can live with.



Once I found the reusable bags continued my search for cold bags that would hold a decent amount of space and again weren't uber expensive.  I knew these would cost more seeing as there are more parts to it.  I found these; Rachel Ray Jumbo chill out thermal totes.  These were on sale which helped make my decision.

The tiles are roughly 15 inches square to give you a frame of reference. 

I stuffed the one on the right . It was heavy but it worked.


They are pretty big and they easily fit a gallon of milk among other thing in this bag.  It was also pretty smart that they added strips of velcro to keep it closed/folded.  These are a keeper and comes in pretty colors.  Once again there is a con.  I think these would be a bit better if the top had more of a tote or purse style closure.  One were it makes the tote a square rather than pinching the top closed.  That said they are the best ones I could find for the price point.  





Wednesday, September 3, 2014

update on 101 in 1001 (Sept. 2014)

Since I have completed a few of these I thought it would be good to post an update on how my 101 in 1001 is going.  You can view the complete list of things here.

 Working on:

11. Make a table runner for at least 3 different holidays (0/3)

I had prior to writing my 101 in 1001 started a Halloween table runner.  I ran out of thread and simply abandoned it.  Well I made the decision not to let it go to waste.  I picked located the materials from the project, purchased the proper thread and now just need to make room to set up the sewing machine.  It's a start anyway.

16. Make a felt Playhouse for Bear

I touched on this earlier in a Currently post but thought it would be update here as well.  So I have sketched up a plan, ordered and received the felt, and saved any unwrinkled packing paper from our move to use for making templates.  I am also setting aside money to pick up the PVC frame sometime next month.

18.  Try 10 new to me Ingredients (fruits, spices, etc.) (1/10)

While I have tried Korean food before I have been leery of trying Gochujang (Korean chili paste) because I do not do well with spicy things.  Well this does have a kick to it I was surprised with the sweet notes in this.  I'm a big fan of this now!  I can't wait to try more recipes with it.

It's the red container.

19.  Eat 1 vegetarian meal per month for this project. (1/30)

I ate up a mushroom chili we had in the freezer.  It was just OK.

20.  Bake something new every month of this project (sweet or savory) (1/30)

I made a breakfast casserole that was OK but really it was because of this meal that we found out that the oven was broken.  Let's just say that it didn't cook as well as I expected in the toaster oven because it was in a deep container.  We are going to try this one again now that our oven is fixed.  I'm also thinking I need to modify this recipe because it would be a million times better with a crunch from a crispy hash browns that are below the sausage in the picture.

60. Post 20 different food related blog posts. (1/20)

Well Meal Plan Monday has helped me keep up on this!  If you all see any meals you want to know more about just ask.

94. Purchase 15 pieces of jewelry (costume jewelry counts) (1/15)

Thanks to Charmin' Charlie this will be completed sooner than expected I'm sure.  The first piece I bought is this buckle bracelet.  I love it!



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OK, now on to my Completed Items!  One month down and 3 items completed!


9. Make a picture book of Bears' first year

I ordered yesterday my "free" Shutterfly book.  Well free from a Similac coupon.  I added several pages then toss in a 40% labor day promo code and I spent a total of $8.80 for his book.  That was mainly shipping.  Like $8 in shipping.  However I am really happy with the book that I made.  I can't wait to get my hands on it. 

66.  Pickup 4 reusable grocery bags and 2 reusable cold bags; actually use them.

I picked up these beauties a few weeks ago and I love them!  I'll be writing more about them later this week.
To give you an idea the tiles are about 15 inches square.

94.  Properly store all of our Disney movies

We had all of our Disney movies in the cases and in random DVD holders but none of which is remotely close to what I consider organized.  Well first off I tossed all the DVD cases and put them in a massive DVD holder.  



You would not believe the hundreds of pounds you save when you toss the cases.  Two large trash bags later and I am so much happier.  I should add that we kept only the TV series and Blue Ray cases.  Now  every DVD is in two 300+ holders.  I am so happy that I did this.

So this rounds out the items for this past month.  Hopefully I can finish more next month.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Meal Plan (not so Monday)

Its that time again and so here is this weeks meal plan.


6 meals for 10+ days.  This will work this week because I need to start slowly working down the pantry and thankfully this will help.  I can fill in the gaps with things from there.  Some people love having a full pantry but knowing we will likely PCS within the next 6 months or so I want to start using things up now with intention of not replacing them.  My hope is that this way we can still eat more fresh foods when we get close to the end of our time here.  

What are you all eating this week?