I Moved! Please note the new link to my blog!

My new blog won’t look much different to you, it just has a new URL.  I now have my own website (and that means all sorts of new and exciting possibilities for me!).  All this means for you is that you’ll need to bookmark the new link if you want to continue to follow along, and I sure hope you do!

As soon as I figure out how to get the email subscription working on the new site, I’ll get it up and running.

For those who follow me on an RSS feed, don’t forget to update my link!

BLOGGERS:  If you have me listed on your blog, please update my link as well!

I’ve met so many wonderful people along the way, and I’d hate to lose anyone!

See you on my new site! It looks pretty much the same for now, so don’t be confused.

http://funnylittlepollywogs.com/

*It looks pretty much the same for now, so don’t be confused.

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Self Portrait with an iPhone

Here is my favorite new summer do.

Yes, my eyeliner tends to be a little exaggerated.  I like to use black liquid eyeliner and make that little swoop with the tip of the brush while finishing the stroke.  Its a little “catwomanish.”  I am not sorry.  Want to know my favorite thing about liquid eyeliner?  It stays on until you take it off.  I am being dead serious, folks.  Its still perfectly applied in the morning after I’ve berried my face in a pillow all night.  I admire that quality in an eyeliner.

Here is another pic of the do.  I thought you might appreciate my mad French braiding skills in sepia tone.  You should have seen what sepia did for my sun spots.  Let’s just say I like that little brush tool in iPhoto.  “NEVER use sunscreen!  In fact use this specially made No-Ad tanning oil!  It has carrot juice in it to give your skin an instant glow!” That was a quote from my mom.  We have inherited easily tanned olive skin from our Italian side of the family.  The summer was meant for lathering up with baby oil and getting as tan as you can possibly get.  Unfortunately, this is the year that I will start using sunscreen.  It goes against my family values but is a necessary evil.

This is me laughing at the thought of Michael walking in on me taking pictures of myself through the bathroom mirror with my phone.  The summer dress I am wearing actually has little wooden beads that look like a necklace and it ties around your neck.  I found it at Target being sold as a bathing suit cover-up for $15.00.  I am not kidding.  I love it.  It’s a dress to me and I’ll wear it wherever I please.

This is hanging on my bathroom wall.  I saw this original art work in the Louvre when my mom and I were visiting France after I graduated from college.  Its called Gabrielle d’Estreés et Une de Ses Soeurs.  The woman on the left was Gabrielle, a mistriss of King Henri IV.  As soon as I saw this portrait I loved it.  I was THRILLED to find it in a calendar in the Louvre’s gift shop.  When I bought my house and Michael renovated the bathroom, I immediately framed this ripped-out calendar page and hung it on the wall.  I actually thought about taking it down for the home visit with our social worker during the home study for the adoption.  But then I thought better of it.  She should see me for who I am.

What does this say about me?  Who wouldn’t love this portrait?  Is it just me?

Thanks for listening.

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You might struggle with infertility if…

This is what you see when you’re waiting for your consult with the doc.

A calendar and a box of tissues are two things that you will ALWAYS find in the office of a Reproductive Endocrinologist.

We have a new word of the day, readers!

Hysterosonogram (HSN): An ultrasound during which the doctor will inject saline into my uterus in order to check for and better see any abnormalities that might be preventing the snowbabies from attaching.

This procedure must be scheduled shortly after menses (that sounds more official than period, don’t you think?  I’m not a big fan of the word period in regards to menses, in case you were wondering.  Ick.)

I will most likely be undergoing my HSN late next week or during the following week.  We will then decide on the best course of action.  If there is need for any fixin’ of female parts to be done, we’ll get ‘er done.  If not, we can go right into another FET cycle.

We will then have to decide on the number of embryos we would like to transfer, but that is a discussion I will initiate on a different post.  Its a lot to think about, but we are stepping in the right direction.  This mama is just trying to do right by her babies.

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This calls for an investigation.

We’re talking about an investigation of my uterus, of course.

Unfortunately, the two home pregnancy tests that I took on Sunday and Monday were both negative.  Sunday was a day of sadness and that’s what inspired me to write the Looking In blog post.  When your hope is riding so high and then you are faced with the disappointment of an unsuccessful treatment, the pain is acute and all consuming.  The last thing I wanted to do was to come on here and spew negativity.  I thought it would be much more productive to try to paint a clear picture of what I was feeling.  Perhaps by doing so, others might not feel so profoundly alone.

I also hope that by  getting a tiny glimpse into what we feel, that those who don’t struggle with infertility might know how better to support those of us who do.  It’s difficult for everyone and it must be so hard to know what to say to someone like me if you haven’t been through it yourself.  It’s a slippery slope for sure.  I read things like, “Fertiles just don’t get it!”,  on other people’s blogs, referring to when someone says something that is upsetting while trying to be supportive.  Unless someone is being intentionally rude, I just don’t think that its fair or helpful to polarize ourselves.  I think education is the better approach, so that was me trying to build a bridge while expressing my sadness.  (For the record I don’t get the whole fertiles vs. infertiles thing.  It sort of makes me cringe.  Some of my biggest supporters are “fertiles.”)

Back to the investigation. My negative results were confirmed by my blood test today.  Dr. Dodson feels that we should “investigate my uterus” before going into another transfer cycle. Doesn’t that sound like fun?! He wants to be sure that there is nothing going on that could impede implantation.  He told me that he wants to see me for a follow up appointment so we can discuss what he feels are the best options.  I am guessing that my options might be a hysterosalpingogram, (say that ten times fast) or perhaps an exploratory Laparoscopy, but who knows, he might even have some other fun- filled adventure in store.  I asked him why he couldn’t just give me my options today, we could decide on the best one and then schedule it.  He replied, “Because I need to look over all of the information I have and really think about what the best course of action is for you.  I don’t want to shoot from the hip.” This man is nothing if not thorough.

So, while it is disappointing that I am dealing with yet another setback, I know that I am in good hands.  I just hope that whatever the course of action is, that I am able to jump back into the saddle really soon.  I have snowbabies that need to be in my arms, STAT!  I’m serious, enough already with my stubborn uterus.  My follow-up is Friday.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

*By the way, thank you so much for your thoughtful comments on my Looking In post.  If any of you bloggers ever want to repost it, just let me know and please be sure to link back to my blog.  That would make me smile and I could pretend like I am an author.

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We interrupt this program…

…to bring you some of my favorite shots from my sister Brittani’s wedding. You might remember her from this blog post.  WOW!  The photographer was FANTASTIC.  The LOVE just shines through each photo!

Here are Britt and I before the ceremony.  I love this picture.

Michael and my new brother-in-law, Ryan, before the ceremony.  My, they look handsome!

The wedding was so much fun.  Here we are on the dance floor with Ryan’s brother and my sister-in-law, Jill!

Happily ever after…

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Looking In

There is a beautiful chateau in the middle of the woods.  As I approach it, I am smiling.  I can see the warm glow from within.  There’s a chill in the air and it is starting to rain, so the comforting glow is more than a little inviting.  I am drawn to the chateau.  Its magical and charming.  Maybe this time I’ll be allowed inside.  I feel the chill in the air deepen and there’s a familiar voice in my head telling me to turn around, that its not worth it.  But, if I don’t try to enter, I will never know what awaits for me inside.  Don’t misunderstand; I have seen what awaits me. It is glorious.   But, for some reason I am not allowed to enter.  I have looked through the glass and what I have seen keeps me coming back for just one more try.

There have even been times when I have found what I thought must be the key.  I usually stumble upon these keys after I have been searching for quite some time.  Just when I think that all hope is lost, a key will appear.  I think, “This is it!  This MUST be it!”  I usually run as quickly as I can to the chateau.  I have been waiting to enter for quite some time, for years in fact.  I run right up to the front door, I insert the key, my heart is so full of joy and hope that I feel as though it could pound right out of my chest.  “This is it!”  I attempt to turn the key, but there is nothing.  Not a click left or right.  Nothing.

I sit down on the little bench outside of the window and I look in.  In these moments, when I was so close, when I’ve allowed myself to believe,  I feel most alone.  The rain is picking up and I am glad.  This way, they won’t see my tears.  I can see most of the women I know inside.  They are all there.  My best friends, my beloved family members, my colleagues, my neighbors, they are all inside.  I can watch them enjoy the warmth.  I am happy that they get to experience it, of course I am.  If I were jealous, that would be ugly of me, and I am not an ugly person.  I can observe the glow from afar but, for some reason, I have not been  granted entry.  I put my hand to the window as I sit and watch, all alone, tears rolling down my cheeks being met by raindrops.  “Why am I not allowed inside?” I don’t understand.

Clearly they want me to enter.  Some of them come to the window and put their hands to mine, but we can’t really touch. For I am outside and they are in.   I see others holding back the tears in their eyes, trying to be strong for me.    And then, there are those who would trade places with me in heartbeat if they could.  But they cannot.  I am on the outside looking in.  I want to scream, to pound on the window and shake the door, but I can’t.  I just don’t have it in me.  My shoulders slump and I shake and sob.  For some unknown reason, I am not permitted to come inside, to experience what seems to be their given right.  It has become apart of who they are.  It is part of what defines them as women, yet I am forced to sit, and watch, and wonder, and wait.  Alone.

I tried to do my best to describe what it feels like for those of us who are patiently waiting to become mothers.  I hope I did it justice.    This was exactly where I was yesterday.  It’s a dark and lonely place to be.  Things are looking a little better today, I can see a tiny ray of sunshine trying to peek through the clouds.

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One Week Down and some Fun Baby Stuff to Celebrate!

Well, one week of the Two Week Wait is officially gone!  Yahoo!

I wanted to share some fun stuff with you to mark this first week being under my belt, so to speak.

During the two week wait for my last transfer, my mom and I went shopping.  It felt good to walk into Motherhood Maternity and feel like I belonged there.  Plus, we were shopping for a present for Jill, so that gave us a good excuse as well.  Sorry, Jill, but everyone knows at this point.

The first thing I spied, on the clearance rack, I might add, was this fun t-shirt!

How cute is this???  Yes, please!  One for me, and one for Jill!  I have been wearing it to bed during this past week, too bad my “bump” right now is just my big ‘ole hormone-injected belly!  The t-shirt is super soft and it’s a longer, flattering cut that is meant to hug your bulging belly.  I am looking forward to it growing with me.

Next up, a nursing gown that came with *a matching onesie!Do you see what the onesies say?!?

Need a closer look?

I ask you, what are the chances that we would find something like this while shopping in JUNE???

Lacie, how did you get TWO onesies when only ONE came with the nursing gown?” Well, I am so glad you asked!  You see, since we were shopping for Jill too, we just picked her up one as well, so I could have the additional snow baby onesie (’cause you know I’ll be needing two) and then we just supplemented her nursing gown with some other onesies.  Sorry, Jill, for pilfering your onesie, but I knew you would understand. PLUS, we also got her another really cute shirt and we gave her the free tote and some other gear that came with the purchase.  We did our best to make up for it.

Thank you, mom, for all of the fun loot.  Thanks for coming in each morning and giving me my 6:00 am baby glue on your way to work.  You have been amazingly supportive to me throughout this journey!

One week to go…

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Cloth diapers, in my humble opinion…

If you are at all considering the use of cloth diapers (and please do!), you might want to pour yourself a glass of wine, a cup of coffee, or, if your pregnant, whatever sipping drink you like to indulge in, and get comfortable.  This reads more like an article in a pregnancy magazine than it does a blog post, but I feel that the information is important enough to give it careful consideration.

When I start thinking about important options for baby- to- be, one could say that I tend to obsess a little.  Okay, I obsess a lot, it’s just a part of my process.  I have been obsessing for YEARS over travel systems, travel systems that include jogging strollers, the type of wheels on said strollers, the weight and size of said strollers.  Just thinking about the options for bottles that transition easily from the breast makes my skirt fly up and I can’t seem to focus on anything else.  Get the point?  I even got a part-time job at Babies R Us at one point which helped to fuel my obsessions.  Clearly, I have issues.

When it comes to diapers, you can only imagine the level of obsessing that has been going on in my head.  I have come to this conclusion, and it was an easy one:  we will be using cloth diapers.  I do not judge the use of disposables.  I get the convenience factor and I believe that diapering choices should be based upon each family’s lifestyle, budget, and environmental concerns.  I feel that we need to give cloth diapers a fair shake.  According to The New Parents Guide, “It is estimated that roughly 5 million tons of untreated waste and a total of 2 billion tons of urine, feces, plastic and paper are added to landfills annually.”  I am not okay with my babies’ waste contributing to the untreated waste and all of that plastic in the landfills.  It just doesn’t feel right to me.

So now we need to talk options.  Baby, there are many.  There are “prefolds” (rectangular) diapers, there are all-in-one  fitted diapers, there are snap and velcro closures and there are MANY choices for cloth diaper covers as well.  Oh, let’s not forget the option of the the hybrid diaper that has a biodegradable and flushable insert.  You also have a choice whether you’ll wash the diapers yourself or use a diaper service.  Again, this is a choice that should be made based upon the same criteria I mentioned above.    Good thing I’ve been REALLY obsessing  thinking about all of this for you.  Don’t worry, I’ve got it covered.  Pun intended.

First, let’s discuss the diaper itself.

You will need to first choose  the type of diaper you will use and then you will need to choose the cover(s) that best work for you.  All of my research has suggested that the use of prefolds is the best way to go.  According to Diaperco, “Prefolds are sometimes referred to as old-fashioned diapers, white rectangles of cotton, but today’s prefolds are quite different than what your mom or grandmother will remember. You’ll want to be sure to purchase Diaper Service Quality prefolds (DSQ), the best ones being the Chinese Prefolds (CPFs) or Indian Prefolds. These have 3 panels of varying absorbency, with the thickest part in the center. When you see them marked as 4x8x4, that means the two side panels are 4 layers thick, and the center is 8 layers thick. You fold them yourself and fasten them with pins, a “Snappi,” or simply lay them in a snap or Velcro cover and close it. They are your most economical diapering choice.”

Next, let’s talk laundry.

You certainly have the option of laundering the diapers yourself.  I have thought about it and I have discussed it at length with my mom, sister-in-law, grandmother, next-door neighbor,  and husband.  I have come to the conclusion that I will be using a diaper service.  Baby’s Choice Diaper Service, is a family-owned business based in my city.  I would venture to guess that most of you could find a similar service available where you live.

When using a service, you do not have the initial expense of purchasing the diapers, which can get pretty hefty, depending upon how much laundry you feel like doing after you’ve been up all night with a fussy baby.  Let’s face it, your laundry is going to increase exponentially when you add a newborn to the mix, without even considering cloth diapers.  When you use a service, they deliver the clean diapers to your door and pick up the soiled ones each week, at the same time.  If you’re not going to be home, you can place them outside.  I e-mailed the owner of Baby’s Choice, and he responded promptly.  They have 4 sizes of diapers available and he recommends the use of velcro diaper covers to eliminate the use of pins.  The cost for a newborn (80 diapers) is $16.95 per week.  The service is cheaper as your baby grows and you need less diapers.  My mom also pointed out, “You can also use the diapers as burp cloths and then just throw them in with the soiled ones!”  Good point, I like it.  I’ve considered the cost of laundering at home vs. the cost of the service and I have come to the conclusion that it would only be only a few dollars per week difference.  It’s absolutely worth it, if you ask me.  And, it’s more environmentally friendly.  But feel free to research that yourself if you’d like.

Time to choose a cover!

I went on Baby’s Choice’s community forum to see what real moms who are using prefolds have to say.  Then, I went to the sites where you can actually purchase the covers that people are talking about to read the customer reviews.  Here’s what I’ve come up with, according to the moms who are in the trenches (read: elbow deep in poop).

Bumpkins

Bumpkins seem to be a great option.

Pros:  They are relatively inexpensive and have a nice “trim” (not bulky) fit.  They are easy to use and have a velcro closures.  They are really cute.

Cons: Some users report that the vent in the back can leak over night, but this doesn’t seem to be a problem for everyone.  Stick to the bright patterns, as the white tends to stain easily.

Thirsties

Besides the fact that this sleeping baby is killing me, Thirsties seem to be a great option as well.

Pros:  People love these covers.  It seems that they are great for naps and overnights, as very few people have experienced leaks with them.  One mom claims, “I’ve never had a blowout!”  I am thinking that this is a good thing.

Cons:  Some people love the snap closure system, and others complain that it doesn’t keep the diaper in place.  Again, stay away from the white, as they stain more easily.

gDiaper

I originally discounted this hybrid diaper cover, as I didn’t want the additional expense of the flushable inserts.  However, check out what this mom from the Baby’s Choice forum has to say, “I use gDiaper covers. They are cute colors, breathable cotton, and are very versatile. I use the cloth diapers as inserts home, and their biodegradable/flushable inserts when I’m traveling.” This woman is brilliant!  I am pretty sure that I would have never thought of that!  I was originally thinking that I might use disposables when I am away from home, but now I won’t have to.  According to the US Environmental Protection Agency’s website, disposable diapers take 450 years to decompose as marine debris.  And, it seems that in a landfill, they might NEVER decompose.  GDiaper covers have given us a new option for when we are away from home!  I love this idea!  They are absolutely adorable, I might add.

So, there you have it.  There are certainly other options to explore and I would love to hear from those of you who have experience with cloth diapers as well as those of you who have questions or comments on this important issue.  Now that I have spent the past week or so obsessing over the options for cloth diapering, I need to choose the next topic upon which to fixate.  Any ideas?

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You have to see this picture.

I have a thousand other things I should be doing.  I have an informative post I am working on in regards to cloth diapering.  I’d like to upload and edit my pictures from vacation.  I have several other blog posts that I have been thinking about.  I should be cleaning my house.  I need to focus.

BUT, I can’t do anything else until I share this picture with you.  I can’t get it out of my head.  I cried when I saw it.

You might remember this Snowflake Spotlight post, where I introduced you to Laura and Makenna.  Well, Laura has some friends who are evidently great photographers and she has posted the results of Makenna’s newborn photo shoot.  Oh my.  I loved all of them.

But this one, well, take a look for yourself.

For the rest of the pictures, check out Laura’s blog.  I will probably look at the pictures at least 27 more times…today.

Thank you Laura for the beautiful card you sent me!  I got it the morning of my transfer and it truly made me smile.  I tucked it in my purse and kept it with me on The Big Day.  It was so very thoughtful of you!

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Snowflake Spotlight: Jen and Blakely

I have so many *snowflake pollywogs to share with you!  I already introduced Laura and Makenna to you, and today, I’d like you to meet Jen and Blakely.

Blakely’s delivery started out with a routine doctor’s visit and ended with a surprise c-section due to Jen’s high blood pressure.  She was born at 36 weeks, 2 days on June 14th.  She weighed 5 lbs, 15 oz.

Before

**If you want to know more about Jen’s very stylish delivery gown, see the note below.

After

Blakely spent the first part of her little life frozen in time.  An interesting tidbit is that one of the reasons that Jen’s placing family chose her family is that Jen is half hispanic and so is Blakely.  Like in any domestic adoption, the families have to choose each other.

Here is Blakely coming home from the hospital, she is yawning from the grueling task of meeting the world!

Blakely is one of eight children.  Jen has one birth daughter and her and her husband have six adopted children.   So, she certainly has lots of sibling love!  Jen refers to herself as “The Dairy Queen” and she reports that, “Nursing is going fabulous!”

Sweet Little Pollywog

This baby girl sure is loved!

Thank you Jen, for giving me such a warm welcome into the community of embryo adoption!  Congratulations on the birth of this sweet baby girl!

*Snowflake adoption typically refers to the embryo adoption program through Nightlight Christian Services.  However, I refer to all babies who were adopted as embryos as “snowflake babies” no matter what program their parents went through to adopt them.

**I must have one of these delivery gowns!  They were meant for me.  They can also be used as post-delivery nursing gowns and would be very comfy for those first few weeks home.  You can order them through Etsy at My Pinky Toes.  You can either buy your own fabric and have her make one for you for $25.00 or oder one that she has in stock for $40.00.  Pretty sweet, huh?  Love this!

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