Sunday, April 29, 2012

Withdrawing

That’s kind of what I’ve felt like doing lately. Why? Good question.

I think part of it is that there’s a lot going on in my little corner of the world, lots of upsetting circumstances, disappointments and heartache. Thankfully none of it is life shattering and I am always aware that...all things considered...I have a very good life indeed. I am fortunate and blessed and this is never, ever lost on me.

I tend to be the type of person who easily absorbs and is affected by others energy. That’s to say, that if I’m around someone who’s happy and has a great outlook on life, it will rub off on me. If I’m around someone who’s hurting and down, that will rub off on me as well. I also tend to be someone whom others seek out to talk to, to share with. And I do enjoy being there for others and helping them if I can. However, over the years I've learned that I have to keep some boundaries in place or else I will find myself completely drained and I’ll have nothing left to give. I need to make sure I take the time and space to recharge. And while I enjoy being able to offer support to others, I sometimes have trouble reaching out for the same kind of support. There aren't too many people in my life that I really open up to and even then I will sometimes choose to withdraw into myself rather than seek them out.

In my life outside of blogland I’m often perceived to be an extrovert (I have no idea what people’s perceptions of me are inside of blogland really), when the reality is I’m more of an introvert...I think...some may disagree.

Anyway, I think really what I’ve been trying to achieve lately is some sense of balance. It’s not something that comes naturally to me. I’m such an all or nothing person in a lot of ways. Moderation? What’s that? And why is it a good thing exactly?

I tend to go all in and then at some point retreat completely. And I’ve been tempted to retreat lately, to withdraw. It’s not always a bad thing actually. Sometimes I just need some time to process things or to recharge. But other times it’s not so healthy. I can get into a rut and keep myself out of the game for too long sometimes. I can get a bit lost inside my head I’m afraid. And I suppose that’s at least part of why I’m writing this blog post, to acknowledge how I'm feeling and keep myself from withdrawing. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. For example, I don’t have to write a blog post every day and read and comment on a bunch of blogs every day. I can write when I feel like it, when I have something to say or share or think through or babble on incessantly about. And I can read what I want, when I want. Balance is a good thing…right...a worthwhile goal?

I say yes. I'll find my balance...I always do.

Balance by Matt Edward via Etsy



Friday, April 27, 2012

One Year Ago

1 Year
12 Months
52 Weeks
365 Days
8760 Hours
525,600 Minutes
31,536,000 Seconds

Who knew it took all those numbers to get where I am today!



Today marks the one year anniversary of my very first blog post and wow...what a year it's been! I won't lie to you...the first few months were a very lonely experience. Hardly anyone read it, practically no one commented, and my family was sick and tired of receiving emails from me with only links to my posts...but along the way...

I found my voice. I found my truth. I found myself.


From the absolute bottom of my heart I want to thank all of you for reading the (sometimes silly) musings I've been sharing with the world. You been right alongside me on this crazy little life I have and knowing that you all take the time to pop into my little corner of the interwebs to see what I have been up to...well...that means a great deal to me and for that I thank you.


Anniversary Banner by Green Jazz Face via Etsy

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Have You Ever...

Have you ever been brushing your teeth, looking in the mirror admiring the beautiful individual standing there before you, only to think...

“What the frack is going on in this bathroom when I’m not in here? Is the toothbrush waging full scale war on the faucet and the hand soap?”

How does the mirror get so dirty? I’m not brushing my teeth with my mouth wide open holding my face as close to the mirror as possible...and I can only assume that is the only way to get such an array of spots. I stand a good three or four feet away from the thing when I’m brushing, I don’t run my thumb over the bristles of the brush in the sink (or ever), I gently lay it flat over the cap of some somethingerather so it doesn’t dirty up the counter because that seems to be another ridiculous mess-causer. I don’t shake my hands dry after washing them, nor do I windmill my arms and shake my head like a canine fresh out of the pool when I’ve exited the shower.

I am a clean individual dangnabit, and my bathroom looks like my hygiene skills rival those of a buffalo (which I've heard are dirty little beasts). So maybe someone can tell me what I’m doing wrong. Invariably the counter looks filthy and has enough cat hair on it to make me suspicious…now I’m not going to sit here and say that the cat did it, but don’t think it hasn’t crossed my mind. If I forget to pick up the little foot towel thing and hang it on it's rightful hook, it’s not unusual for me to find it bunched and crumbled up as though someone, or some animal, had been rolling on it earlier in the day. I’m not saying he’s guilty, I’m just saying he’s already there and he’s got a motive - his motive being that he hates me!

I try to operate under a “No Mess, No Clean Up Required” philosophy, and this mysterious grime buildup all over the bathroom is foiling my master plan. How am I supposed to avoid cleaning if there’s a civil war constantly raging in my absence?!

Bathroom Rules Primitive Sign by Bedlam Country Crafts via Etsy




Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Squish, Squash

Turns out a mammogram is not as bad as I thought it was going to be. 

I was incredibly curious as to just how they were going to get enough of my wee AA's into the machine to actually see anything. Turns outs...there is a great deal of tugging, pulling and squashing involved but in the end they get what they need. Not a big deal at all. 

After the mammogram and ultrasound, the doctor came in and explained to me that I have a couple of cysts as well as a Fibroadenoma in my left breast...all of which are no cause for concern. They will however review everything and if anything comes up they will let me know but for right now...all is well. 


Have you had your mammogram?


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Fear Of The Unknown

My eyes filled with tears immediately upon waking this morning.

Today is Mammogram Day and I am sick-to-my-stomach scared. This is no routine mammogram – this is my very first diagnostic mammogram; ordered by my doctor following an examination of the lump I discovered in my left breast last week. First up this morning, I'll have the mammogram and then I'll have an ultrasound. 

I hope it's nothing, I'm sure it's nothing. It has to be nothing.

The truth is, I'm very much afraid. Not of mammograms or biopsies or examinations. I’m 36 years old and I’m afraid of the unknown. I’m afraid that my luck may have run out. Let's face it...luck hasn't exactly been on my side lately. As my sister says "If it wasn't for bad luck, Janet wouldn't have any luck at all".

I am afraid.

But I’m also strong and resilient. And I’m determined to smile my way through my fears and tears.

Strong, Beautiful, Brave by Nan Lawson via Etsy



Monday, April 23, 2012

Next Steps

In addition to gathering all of the information about our lost embryos at our follow up appointment...we've also made some decisions on the quest for baby JaAdam.


We are taking a much needed break. 


Just a few months to rest, relax and generally enjoy life before jumping into IVF #2 (Cycle #6). This break is a long time coming! At this point, we've now been cycling since May 2011...my body needs a break! We'll enjoy the summer and start our next cycle in August.


We did learn that my FSH is a little on the high side at 14 (last summer it was 6) so we'll repeat as well as run AMH before starting our next cycle. It is possible for FSH to vary from month to month and I am hoping that's the case with me.  I'll be on the Patch Protocol which uses Estradot, Orgalutran, Puregon and Luveris. Does anyone have any experience with this protocol? 


For the first time in a long time...I'm feeling calm and relaxed about this. This break is a good thing. It'll give me time to get healthy, both mentally and physically. Our dream to have a family is still alive and well and that feels very good indeed.





Friday, April 20, 2012

The Missing Pieces

It's been a month since our disastrous frozen embryo cycle that resulted in our two remaining embryos being lost...one month...feels like it was just yesterday.


On Thursday, we had our follow up appointment with our RE and while I expected to get nothing out of this appointment (what really was there to talk about) I was wrong.  We finally have all of the missing pieces as to what likely happened with our embryo shipment and to say that I was heartbroken is an understatement.


Here are a set of pictures to help better understand why we lost our embryos...


Protective vial sitting in the cane.
These two pictures are what our shipment should have looked like when it arrived at the new clinic. You can see the loop/protective vial in the second slot at the top. This then hangs from the tank and is suspended in the liquid nitrogen.
The loop is inside the protective vial. The silver cap is magnetic that is supposed to hold the loop in the vial.


When they opened the tank, the loop had dislodged from the protective vial and was  sitting in the bottom of the tank. We now know that the embryos were dislodged from the loop either when it hit the bottom or when the loop broke.

This is a picture showing our broken loop at the top and what an intact loop should look like. So not only was the loop out of it's protective vial and sitting in the bottom of the tank, the loop was also broken. Our poor embryos never stood a chance.

How did this happen? It's most likely that the problem occurred in shipping. Adam and I, along with the doctor and embryologist played around with the loop/cane and discovered that with just a little shaking and turning it side to side...the loop very easily fell out of it's protective vial. All it took was one FedEx drivers carelessness with our precious cargo to destroy our dream...and that is just simply heartbreaking. 


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Oh The Torture


Jeans. A modern day necessity. Comfortable, familiar, versatile. Always the answer when you don’t know what to wear. And yet…
Jeans. Are. Torture.
It is nearly impossible to find the perfect pair. To find them, you quest. Hours, weeks, months…even years. You wriggle in to piles upon piles of different washes, cuts, styles. Boyfriend, weekend, skinny, curvy, boot cut, straight cut. Each more abysmal than the last.
The wrong jeans can make you feel fat, lumpy, short, boxy, disproportionate or lanky. A single pair of jeans can make you feel like a Kardashian sister while the next pair will make you think your rear is flat. You can find a pair that fits your legs but won’t go over your hips, or a pair that fits your legs and gapes open at your lower back. Are your legs unusually fat while your waist is little, or vice versa?
Pockets are impossible. Too little, or spread too far apart and your arse automatically looks 12 times bigger than it actually is. Some pockets are all blinged out with all kinds of uncomfortable and obnoxious hardware and sparkly rhinestones that make you look like a hooker or a thirteen-year-old with a bejeweled butt. Others have all this weird stitching, like the sewing machine had a mind of its own and went all rouge with that orange-y brown contrast thread. You know what I am talking about.
Forget about length. Why on earth is every single pair of jeans ever made created for the world’s tallest humans? Even the "short" or "ankle" lengths.  Honestly. You have to spend a fortune on a pair of jeans and then spend another $40 to tailor them? And what if you have them hemmed for heels or wedges but your feet freaking hurt so you wear some adorable flats? What happens then? I’ll tell you what. You ruin those perfect jeans. They drag on the dirty ground all day and get caught under your heel and fray and tear. Damn.
Even worse is the way those lovely, dark, slimming jeans leave behind that horrid dark blue dye on everything! Car upholstery, furniture, the inside of your white t-shirts, your underwear, socks and the worst? Your hands! No matter how many times you wash those jeans, by mid-day your hands have this horrid, dingy blueish tinge, like you have been dying Easter eggs or feeling-up a bike tire. Now that is sexy.
But then, just when you think you hate jeans, and yourself, and vow to never put on another pair in your life – bam. You find them. Perfect. Just the right color with a little stretch. They are like a miracle bra for your ass, slim your legs and fit your waist without having to lie down to zip them.  They make you feel like a sexy, unstoppable goddess. As you look in the badly light mirror in the dressing room, the scene transforms and you suddenly see yourself strutting down the street in slow motion, hair blowing, heads turning, construction workers whistling. It is a truly magical moment – when you find the perfect pair of jeans. 
I still haven't found my magical moment.
Hipster Owl by Michael Frank via Etsy

What do you hate about jean shopping?


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

British-isms

Sometimes I think North American English is limited. So, since I can’t borrow Colin Firth or Prince William, I'm suggesting we adopt more British words. Let’s face it, English, the language we speak, already shares a root word with England. Why not just take a few more?


Here then are some of my favourite British-isms.

Imported Word #1: Knackered
Meaning: Exhausted, beyond tired
Application: Back to work after two weeks and still not feeling 100%...makes meknackered.

Imported Word #2: Cheeky
Meaning: Rude, insolent, smart-alec
Application: My cheeky so-worker told me my hair looked like a fluffy puppy. No Friday donuts for him. Ever.

Imported Word #3: Whinge
Meaning: To protest or complain, usually in a persistent manner
Application: Me: “Hey, pick up the tools by the patio door (that have been there for three weeks) or the Vacuum Zombie is going to eat them.”

Imported Word #4: Dishy
Meaning: Attractive, beautiful, good-looking
Application: I was once dishy, but then I started infertility treatments and medications, which meant I was super tired and started spending an average of five minutes per week on my appearance.

Imported Word #5: Faff About/Around
Meaning: To waste time doing unimportant things
Application: Adam: “Are you still faffing about on blogs?” Me: “Absolutely not. I am doing something useful, like, like, like…”

And I haven’t even mentioned snogging or knickers...love those ones!



                             Vintage dictionary page art by Ex Libris Journals via Etsy


Monday, April 16, 2012

Please Pardon My Absence

It was the Roman poet Sextus Propertius who is said to have given the world the first notion that absence makes the heart grow fonder when he wrote, “Always toward absent lovers love’s tide stronger flows.”

That his name endures in the canon of great poets more than 2000 years after his pre-Christ passing is remarkable, especially for a poet inept at composing even simple nursery rhyme.

My appreciation of poetry is sadly deficient and I admit when I saw the name Sextus Propertius my first thought was, man, I’ll bet it’s funny when they read his name aloud in high school English class. But his initial wisdom persists, as I am reminded whenever I return home from a jaunt (and or a trip & hospital stay).

It feels so very, very good to be home. 

Life, since we last chatted, dear friends, has been a massive whirlwind of activity, and yet also powerfully serene at times as well. The latter point, no doubt, comes from laying down each night in St. John's, Newfoundland under my Aunt's roof with my siblings and Dad, at home after so many - too many - years on the long, engrained road of life. It was amazing to spend some much needed time with my Poppy whom I love so very much.

I'm starting to recover from my illness, I'm back to work and back to blogging...it's feels so good to get back to normal. Please bear with my while I catch up with you all!




Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday Phone Dump

I'm home.


Newfoundland was amazing! 


I'll get back to posting...I promise. 


My Poppy & I

Little Sister, Big Sister

I love my Dad

Little Brother, Big Sister

Poppy Frank is a handsome fella

Like Father, Like Son


Happy Friday. What are your plans for the weekend? 

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Rock

Tomorrow morning I'm flying home to St. John's, Newfoundland and while the timing for this trip isn't ideal it  has been in the works for some time now and going just isn't an option! I'm meeting my Dad, sister Tina and my little brother Michael there and I must say...I am most excited about Michael going as it's been 24 years since his last visit! 


It's a quick visit (fly home Thursday) but it will be great to spend some much needed time with my Poppy who will be 89 next month. I need some good ol family time...it's good for the soul and my soul needs some goodness! 
St. John's, Newfoundland by Geoff Martin Photography


I'm gonna get my Newfie on!



Home Sweet Home

After five very long, very scary and very sick days...I am at home from the hospital...home couldn't be any sweeter!


Thank you for all of the lovely comments and support, it really helped to get me through what was a very scary time. To make a long story short...I had a UTI that I had been on antibiotics for. I was fine last Saturday and by Sunday morning the infection had spread to my blood and I ended up with sepsis (which is essentially blood poisoning). How it spread...we have no idea but there is some thought that the steroid that I had been on for my frozen embryo transfer had lowered my immune system just enough for the infection to spread. Looking back...perhaps the fact that we did not make it to embryo transfer is perhaps a good thing. Everything happens for a reason?


The one good thing about being sick...

Chocolates are delivered to you at the hospital, you can take a bite of each to see which ones you like best and no one will hassle you about it!


A spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down.





Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sick = No Fun At All

I'll update when I can but I've been admitted to the hospital with sepsis. Fun eh?

I'm getting great care and I'm sure I'll be back on my feet in no time. While I'm here I really need to find a way to get the lady next to me to stop snoring!

Hope you all had a great weekend.
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