Friday, February 27, 2009

Orange Hawaii Dress

My latest sewing project... little girl dresses. This is my first one. The inside of it is kind of a mess, but I know how to fix it for my next go-round. Halle is my model. She said that she loves the dress.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

In Vitro Fertilization: My Story Again

Tuesday, January 21

As soon as Eli topped 12 lbs. I got sad thinking about how fast he was growing up. I just love him so much and I realized that I really wanted to have another baby.

However, I had vowed to never, ever do IVF again. It is not a very pleasant experience; one that is best to be forgotten quickly. Rinar and I seriously considered adoption and the sooner the better. I mean, we have already done the twin thing, so it really didn't matter if Eli was a baby. I prayed a lot about it and went to the temple seeking the answer I was hoping for. You know, you write a check, wait, and there is a little bundle of joy waiting for you a few months later. Hence, no needles, pills, blood draws and copious doctor's appointments.

But, adoption was definitely not the answer for us...at least not now. I don't know why, but it has just never felt right. Yet, I just knew I wanted another baby. What was I supposed to do? I couldn't possibly do IVF again. The thought just made me want to throw up. Yet, when I gave in to the will of my Heavenly Father, that was definitely the route He wanted me to take.



I have done all of the preliminary tests as of today. Dr. D. said that we will start treatments this Sunday, January 25, 2009. I want to do it as quickly as possible. I don't want to have to think about it. I just want the list of things I have to do, and I am just going to do it. I think it is called blind faith. I cannot say for certain if I will get pregnant. But I know it is the course I should take; of that I am absolutely positive.

Wednesday, January 22
It was a rough day today. I had another appointment where they did a trial transplant. This is where they measure my uterus and pick the location where they will implant an embryo. Since having a baby, my uterus is a little bit bigger than before. When he did the procedure, he had a hard time doing whatever it was they were doing, and so the nurse had to get a different instrument. I don't remember what they called it but it looked like a pair of scissors the size of my forearm. Plus, it is never a good thing when the doctor tells you, "This is going to pinch a little." Wincing usually follows, and it did.

As I was getting ready to leave, Dr. D. ordered another blood test because my progesterone levels were too high. I always thought they were too low. Usually, a blood draw is not a big deal. Right now, it is fine. However, when you get one every other day for approximately a month, it starts to get on your nerves a bit. I am wondering if I should be a little bit worried that I have had to get several extra blood draws already.


In the afternoon the nurse called me back and gave me the super-great news that I would need to start taking Ganirelix. No, it is not a pill...it is one of those lovely shots I have not been looking forward to getting, ASAP. And since I do not have my meds yet (they come tomorrow), I had to drive back over to Summerlin to get the stuff I needed. It only takes about 1 hour to get there and back. Since I didn't have anything better to do today, I was thrilled at the new task that was laid before me.

Melanie gave me my shot. I am too much of a chicken to do it to myself. Surprisingly enough, it didn't hurt at all. That is probably because there is plenty of fat down there to pad any stick I may incur. But afterwards, the skin did feel a bit irritated.

Another shot awaits me tomorrow. It is like the hors d'oeuvres before the main course.
These are all of the medications that I will be using for this process. If things go well, I will probably have to get additional stuff. $$$$

Saturday, January 24
I went this morning to get a blood draw and to have an ultrasound. Ultrasounds for IVF treatment are done vaginally, so it gets old quickly; one down and about 10 more to go.

The blood draw was pretty miserable. They took 2 vials worth today. I really did not enjoy it very much. Of course, when does one ever enjoy blood draws?

Sunday, January 25
**Note to self: when getting an injection, make sure to put the saline in the powdered medication (menopur) and THEN into me... and don't just inject saline. It is a waste of a good injection.

Tuesday, January 27
I went to Lindsay's house to get my injections. Rinar is out of town. She did a great job, but it still hurt quite a lot. I already have a bruise on my thigh.

Thursday, January 29
Another day, another round of shots. I get to have all the fun around here. Every day the pain level seems to rise a little bit. Rinar gave me my shot today. He seems to do the best at it. But no matter how good someone might be, it is still going to hurt. I just have to keep reminding myself that I ran a marathon...this is nothing.

Friday, January 30

3 shots...I am now up to three shots: Menopur, Follistim, and Ganirelix (again). I have decided that I really don't like that darn Ganirelix shot. It is not very accomodating to my body.

When I woke up this morning and got Eli out of bed, I realized that my ovaries are kicking it into overdrive. They are starting to get swollen as they hit hyper-drive mode. I am going to have to break out the sweatpants soon. Those will be the only kinds of bottoms I will be able to put on in about a week or so.

Tuesday, February 3
Things are starting to shape up. I found out yesterday that I get to take an additional shot of Ganirelix. Yeah for me! Rinar gave it to me this morning while I was lying in my bed, half asleep. Every round of shots seems to hurt a little bit more than the last round. And since I didn't have enough shots with my initial box of medications, I had to drive to Summerlin to get two more vials. It only takes about an hour to get there and back. Its a good thing I don't have anything better to do, right? Plus, my insurance didn't cover the two extra vials, so I had the added bonus of paying the pharmacy $179. But don't worry, they gave me a discount.

I am glad that tomorrow will be my last round of what I like to call "the juicers". These are the shots that juice me up and make all them pretty little eggs that the doctor is going to take out of my body on Friday.

Yes, I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. Dr. D. is 99% sure that Friday will be the day of my little operation. I will find out exactly the time tomorrow when they are going to get it all going. But for now I can take comfort in the fact that I still have to do 4 shots per day.

Wednesday, February 4
I got word today that I had to get "the shot" tonight at 11pm. This shot is what triggers ovulation. I had Melanie come over and we had a little shot party. I made some Tollhouse cookies and we got everything ready and then waited for 11pm. Of course, while we were waiting we chowed down on cookies. It is good that she was willing to come, because Rinar is still out of town. He won't be back until tomorrow.

Clock, heating pad, cookies, milk, and two syringes. Good times!

Waiting for 11pm.

Tick tock, tick tock...

Since my butt hurts, the heat definitely helps and I do not have the ability to give myself a shot. I am too much of a wimp.

Thursday, February 5

Pre-op today: CHECK!

I am ready to go tomorrow. Get those eggs out of me!

Friday, February 6
19 eggs! That was the total count extracted. Rinar and I got there 30 minutes early. Then they called me back, prepped me with gown and IV, and I was soon in the operating room. The next thing I knew, I was waking up in the recovery area. I got a little bit of a nap and then Melanie came and picked me up. Rinar had to get back to work. Since I had been fasting from the previous night, I decided to treat us both to some Cafe Rio. It was delicious. Then I came home and took a long nap.
These pictures are the various views from my chair. Fascinating, huh?

I feel pretty beat up, but not too bad. I hope that tomorrow I will be on my feet again, doing stuff around the house.
Saturday, February 7

Dr. Danishmand called today to tell me that 12 eggs fertilized and have made it to the next stage.

Sunday, February 8

I had to get my blood drawn early this morning. Later on, they called to tell me to start taking Progesterone oil. This comes in a shot. The stuff is nice and thick, so it takes a while to get it all in there. I also have started Estrace, 6 tabs per day.

Monday, February 9

I am definitely more cranky today. I must be taking hormones, or something! The latest update from the doc: 4 eggs have continued to divide cells and are on track, 3 are a little behind, and 3 are even more behind. I don't know all of the fancy scientific names for these stages. You can look it up on wikepedia.

Everything is on track for a Wednesday transfer. I am making babysitting arrangements. They can get cancelled, as things can change quickly.

Tuesday, February 10

No change today, except I need to get my house clean.

Also, my backside is starting to host a constant soreness. Last time, I seem to remember the feeling lasting for several months after all injections had ceased.

Wednesday, February 11

My kids were all farmed out, my visiting teacher gave me a ride, and I was on my way to the Fertility Center. Today was the day and I found out that after 19 eggs, we were able to make two good-looking embryos.

Now it is time for 3 days of bed rest.

Thursday, February 12

Just slowly rotting in my recliner...

Melanie has been my fabulous little slave. She puts together the most wonderful, well-balanced meals for me. It doesn't hurt that she is a dietitian.

Tuesday, February 17

Well, medication is in full swing and I am definitely feeling the effects. Let me give you a run-down of the rather lengthy list:

2 Progesterone pills, 4 times a day
2 Estrace pills, 3 times a day
4 patches of Vivelle dots (estrogen), changed every 3 days
2 Progesterone suppositories, twice a day
1 cc of Progesterone oil in the evening (shot)

With all of these hormones getting pumped into my body in various ways, I get hit with huge waves of exhaustion and sleepiness. It is like I am that sleepy dwarf in Snow White. In essence, I daily enter the "4th dimension". All I want to do right now is go to bed. I don't have the luxury because I have three little boys that need me.

I will take a blood test on Saturday morning. This is THE blood test. All will be known by the afternoon. It is something for us to look forward to and I know that a lot of people are waiting to know the results, all of my helpers that have been there for me as I have endured this process.
Friday, February 20

I feel paralyzed by exhaustion right now. The progesterone is killing me. If I try to bend over and pick something up, I swoon. I really want to clean my house, but I just can't. Oh, a nap would be heaven, but who has time for that?

One more day, 24 hours...and then we will know.

Saturday, February 21

I got my blood test this morning. I made it just in time. Then I killed sometime before I went home. I got a McDonald's breakfast and looked around the pet store. I was able to get an aquarium book I had been eyeing on Amazon for the past month. I also looked around at Ross but there was nothing appealing to me.

I figured the longer it took me to get home, the shorter wait it would be to get the call from Dr. Daneshmand.

Sure enough, the phone rang at 1pm. I got tired of waiting and decided to take a shower. When I just walked into the bathroom, I heard the phone ring.

Rinar answered. It was Dr. D. calling with the good news. I am pregnant. I smiled and did a little fist pump. Then he told Rinar that I did not have to do the progesterone shot anymore. With that news, I started jumping up and down with glee. Only a fellow IVF patient can fully understand that reaction, right?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Southern Durham High School 1994

This is a thing from Facebook...

Fill this out about your SENIOR year of high school! The longer ago it was, the more fun the answers will be!! Post it in your notes with title of your high school and the year you graduated.

1. Did you date someone from your school? No

2. Did you marry someone from your high school ? No

3. Did you car pool to school? drove

4. What kind of car did you have? Red Toyota Pick-up Truck

5. What kind of car do you have now? Red Chevy Tahoe 2001 **I think I must like red***

6. It's Friday night what are you doing now? Dinner at home or maybe a date with my husband

7. It is Friday night, what were you doing then? Football game, Pizza Hut, basketball game, track meet...you get the pattern, right?

8. What kind of job did you have in high school? the last few months of high school, I worked at The Forest at Duke, a retirement community, as a waitress.

9. What kind of job do you do now? I am a Mom

10. Were you a party animal? No way

11. Were you considered a flirt? I seriously doubt I would be accused of that.

12. Were you in band, orchestra, or choir? not for my senior year

13.Did you make good grades? Yes

14. Did you get suspended or expelled? no, in fact Mr. Duvall would let me leave if I wanted to go home for lunch or something like that.

15. Can you sing the fight song? I can sing part of the Alma Mater now that I have been reminded of some of the words

16. Who was/were your favorite teacher(S)? Ms. Garrett

17. Where did you sit during lunch? cafeteria

18. What was your school's full name? Southern Durham High School

19. When did you graduate? 1994

20. What was your school mascot? Spartans

21. If you could go back and do it again, would you? I don't think so...

22. Did you have fun at Prom? I didn't go.

23. Are you planning on going to your next reunion? I would totally go but we didn't even have a 10 year one.

24. Do you still talk to people from school? I have sent Christmas cards for years to Sarah, Kelly T., Erika, etc and now I have found lots of old faces on FB.

25. School Colors? Red and White

26. How many notes did you write/receive per day on average? not very many

27. Who were the buds you hung out with most? Cassie J., basketball team, and my classmates that I took almost every class with for 4 years of hs.

28. Did you ever cheat on your high school love? no, no one to cheat on.

29. Tell about one memory that stands out. No one major memory...
Definitely the belt caper during Calculus class, road trips for basketball and track, our ice skating trip in which I gave Kate G. the great idea to just let go and skate and she promptly fell down and twisted her ankle horribly, building a house for Habitat for Humanity, sugar wafer cookies every morning for breakfast with Erika.

30. What are five words you’d use to describe yourself in high school? nice, obnoxious, opinionated, spirited, and anxious

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Eli's Cake and Helmets




From Sunday, Eli really enjoyed the cake I made for him. I went more for taste than looks. I guess when you are one, you are not too picky. It took him a while to get into it, but then he was gung-ho. I think he was shocked that we put the entire cake in front of him.

"Are you kidding, Mom?"

Then, when he was done, he started chucking it on the ground. This is what he does whenever he is done with eating. He adamantly throws it on the floor.

It was fun. The Steere's and Marriotti's came over for dinner and we ate meatloaf, roasted potatoes, and broccoli. It turned out really well. Of course, we finished it up with cake and ice cream! Lindsay and Breken came over for dessert. It was a fun birthday celebration.


***

We have been studying ancient Greece and reading the Odyssey for school. Today we made Greek helmets from plastic milk jugs and aluminum foil. It was fun and don't my kids look menacing?
Raef decided he was Achilles, because he has long hair and Zach settled on Odysseus.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Happy Birthday Eli!

Dear Eli,

You made it! You are now 1. Oh, how I love you. You are a joyful little boy. You are happy, cuddly, smooshy, cute, mischievous, curious. You know which remote is the "good" one, and the telephone is so cool. Opening and closing doors is the best and it is even better when you can clear out whatever is inside that cabinet door. Nothing escapes the Eli taste-test. How else are you supposed to learn? Marbles, rocks, garbage, and sometimes you get lucky and it is an M&M.

I call you punkin, punky, punkin pie, marshmallow, scrubbers, squishers. You are perfection and we love you so much. Our family would not be complete without you.

Love,

Mom


















Blue Steel!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Black and White

I think one of the best qualities of children is that they only see in black and white. Period.

This became very apparent to me yesterday as I watched a heavily-edited version of "Troy", starring Brad Pitt. We have started studying Greece for our history unit, so I thought it would be a good idea if they watched some of the movie with me.

There was one little problem with the movie. Raef and Zach were obsessed with knowing who was the good guy and who was the bad guy. They asked me at least 30 times, and all I could say was "uuuhhhhh".

As the story unfolded, it was not so clear who was "good" and who was "bad". They were both, well, both.

On one side you have Paris (Orlando Bloom) who seduces a married woman, for whom the entire Greek army will go to war for and fight to the death, all in the name of pride. King Agememnon is a wicked, murderous Greek king on the other side. And then both sides keep doing things throughout the story that are morally reprehensible.

But, since Achilles (Brad Pitt) was the best looking guy in the flick, he had to be the good guy, right?

As long as you just forget the part about him going on a murderous rage AND beating up a woman, because his cousin was stupid enough to get killed in battle.


I am confused..."Mom, is he the good guy?"

Friday, February 6, 2009

You Can Be a Lucky Winner, Too!

Feeling Lucky?

I happened upon this blog, so I signed myself up. Hope you'll play along.

The first five people to respond to this post will get something made by me.

My choice. For you.

This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:
1. I make no guarantees that you will like what I make.
2. What I create will be just for you.
3. It'll be done this year (hopefully sooner than later).
4. You will have no clue what it is going to be.
5. I reserve the right to do something extremely strange.

The catch? There is no catch.

** Oh, and be sure to post a picture of what you win when you get it!

My Crafty Side

I got ambitious this last week. Therefore, I painted my hallway cabinets blue with a dark glaze.

I got the hardware at Lowe's on clearance. That was so awesome.


Then I decided to sew myself a purse. I did get a sewing machine for Christmas, you know.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Let's Go For a Little Stroll

video

He loves the Lincoln Log roof sticks. He carries those things around with him all the time. Therefore, of course he needs one while he is doing a little bit of walking.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Lessons From My Kids

When I got home from my morning meeting today, Raef eagerly met me at the front door.

"Mom, I have a surprise for you. Look over there for your surprise!"

I looked on the bureau and there was a piece of construction paper folded up to look like a letter. He drew the folds of the letter and had Dad draw a stamp on it. It had to be a stamp of the bell with the crack in it, according to Raef.

He made sure to put my name and address on it. The "address" was my cell phone number. How cute is that?

When I opened up my taped up "envelope" there was a cute picture with a heart and it said, "I love you Mom."

I told you he has such a big heart.

***

And then I was rebuked by Zach today so effectively, to help me get a check on my sarcasm. As we were eating dinner, he reached for something and proceeded to dump his entire glass of milk on the table, into a steady stream that headed straight for my lap. I kept saying to him, "Thank you so much Zach. Thank you so much."

He had this look of consternation on his face. Finally he replied, "Mom, you are not really thankful."

Ouch, that one hurt.
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