Saturday, October 31, 2009

Resisting Temptation (a.k.a. "PCOS Sucks!")

PCOS sucks.  Eating healthy sucks.  Resisting temptation sucks.

Let me tell you about the absolutely best, most amazing sandwich ever in the world...and how I resisted the temptation to eat it, all because of PCOS.  I went to dinner the other night with a friend from church, and we decided to go to this cute restaurant that serves sandwiches, salads, soups, and pastries.  They have a daily special--and Thursday's sandwich happens to be tomato, basil, and mozzarella on fresh-baked focaccia bread, with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.  It's messy and oily and absolutely delicious.  And it fills my head with all sorts of conflicting messages: It's filled with vegetables, right?  So it should be good for me, right?  My doctor did tell me to up the vegetable intake, right?  Well, yes...but that inch-and-a-half slab of focaccia bread (on both the top and bottom of the sandwich) is packed full of starches, right?  And starches are essentially sugars, right?  And sugars effect my insulin levels, which in turn effect my hormone levels, right?  And unhappy hormone levels just mess everything up.

I said "no" to the sandwich.  I got tomato soup instead...and asked them to hold the side of fresh baked bread. 

I'm also saying "no" to the bag of Halloween candy sitting on my counter, waiting to be handed out to the neighborhood kids.  I just hope that we have a lot of trick-or-treaters so that I can give out the whole bag and not be further tempted by it's chocolaty goodness.

Yeah...PCOS pretty much sucks.  Although, I admit, the thought has crossed my mind to eat like crap this month so as to try to delay my ovulation until my husband returns.  But I'm resisting that temptation too.  Besides, it will be nice for him to come home to a better body than the one he left five weeks prior.

Speaking of which, he's my blessing.  I got to talk to him again yesterday (two times in a week--I could get used to this!), and we've passed the half-way point.  I just can't tell if it's all downhill from him, and the missing him will only get easier; or if I'll start to miss him more and more, the longer I go without seeing, touching, and being with him.  Whichever way, it's a blessing to know that he will be home soon.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


A dear friend surprised me last night by showing up at my house (30 minutes out of town) unannounced.  She knew that I would be lonely since my husband is still out of the country, and I think that she figured that I was still bummed about my professional disappointment.  So she drove all the way out to spend the evening with me watching SYTYCD...and brought me the sweetest little home-made book of pictures of my husband and me that she printed out from facebook and a gift card to a spa so that I could pamper myself while he is away.  God truly blessed me by bringing her into my life around this time last year, and I admire her so much.

It's funny that as she was driving out to my place, I was actually going through my closets to give her a bunch of items that no longer fit me.  Both she and her husband are in medical school now, so she's all about the free give-aways while all of her income goes to tuition.  Among the items were two suits--which worked out perfect, since she has four interviews in the next few months for her upcoming residency.  Sometimes God works in mysterious ways--though I still think I got the better end of the deal with her company than she did with my old clothes.

In addition to the blessing of friendship, I was also blessed to have the chance to speak with my husband last night for about twenty minutes.  It's weird to hear his voice after not talking to him for more than a week.  It almost reminds me of Spring 2005 when we first met...and then spent the next two months talking on the phone while he was doing some Army excercise out of state.  But that truly is when I fell in love with him, so it's a nice sensation to look forward to his calls that way again.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


It's unfortunate that I've gotten so seasoned at dealing with disappointment.  This time it's a professional disappointment, rather than fertility related.  But after three losses and multiple career frustrations, I'm trying to decide if it's time to change plans or just try harder.

I was blessed last night to hang out with our married-couple group of friends from church.  While the men watched football, the ladies watched SYTYCD in the other room.  I did feel a bit like a "seventh wheel" last night since my husband wasn't there, but I still know that God blessed me with such a great group of friends.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

International Correspondence

As you know, my husband is out of the country for more than a month.  I definitely miss him, but I'm hanging in there.  Although I did get to talk to him earlier this week, most of our international correspondence has simply been via email. 

He's not usually the cheesy romantic type, but I did want to share part of his email from today:

"Here are the things I miss in order of importance:

Fresh air
Fast, reliable Internet whenever I want it
Not living with another dude
Not having to walk outside to take a shower
NFL Football
College Football

I love him!  Three more weeks to go...we can do this.

Today's blessing was waking up early enough to get to spend a few minutes outside watching the sunrise before getting ready to head to church.  It was just really nice to be still and soak it all in. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Nothing to Lose

I shared yesterday that my temperature had dropped...and sure enough, my cycle started shortly thereafter.  So, it doesn't look like this is the month for us either.  And since my husband is still in Africa and won't get back until mid-November, I'm going to guess that there won't be any conceptions in the next cycle either.  I trust God has a plan, and although I sure wish I were pregnant, I have nothing to lose.

Perhaps it's backwards-thinking to focus on the fact that I cannot miscarry this month rather than on the simple truth that I'm not pregnant.  But I've begged God to not let me miscarry again. Although we're definitely "trying", I'd rather not conceive than suffer another loss.  So if I didn't conceive this month (despite the trying), I trust that God is intervening.

Today's blessing was a nice conversation with my sister-in-law, who I love dearly.  She's been struggling with some health issues, and it seems like they are under control at this point (though she did spend most of Monday in the emergency room).  She suffered the loss of her first baby too, so gets me when I need to vent.  I've always wanted a sister, so I recognize that Im really blessed to have such an amazing and fun person in our family now.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Around this time a month ago, I shared that I was going to start tracking my temperature again.  I wasn't sure that I had indeed ovulated in the months since the most recent loss, so I wanted some sort of confirmation.  I realize that some women feel that tracking them temperature fringes upon "obsession" for them, but I really do feel like it's something that works for me (OPKs, on the other hand, are not healthy for me).  And I feel like I got the answers that I needed.  I didn't even put my data in a graph--rather, I just jotted them down in a list next to the bed.  I feel confident that I can say that I ovulated on Day 19, so I got the confirmation that I was looking for.

The other nice thing about tracking my temperature is that I don't feel like I have to waste my last HPT that still waiting so patiently for me under my sink.  As much as I wish that I could declare that my temperature has stayed high past these two weeks, I have to be honest with myself and recognize that it has indeed dropped in the last two days.  I started spotting a bit on Saturday, and although my cycle doesn't seem to have started in "full force", the combination of the spotting and the dropping temperature leads me to believe that it's due any moment now.  Without the data, I probably would have used the test by now, convincing myself that the spotting was "implantation bleeding".  As disappointing as it is to see my temperature drop, I feel like it's even more devastating to see a negative test. 

But I do have a huge blessing for which to be thankful.  I got to speak with my husband today on the phone!  The calling card cut out after about 10 minutes, but it was still so amazing to hear his voice again.  But the really amazing thing is how good to me God was this morning.  I had actually left the house and had just pulled out of our neighborhood when I realized that I had neglected to grab my phone, but I realized it before I got too far.  Two minutes later and I would have been on the freeway, with no turning back.  So I was totally blessed to have a chance to talk with me husband, and was doubly blessed that God whispered that little thought to me to get my phone.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

What Might Have Been

I believe that today, or somewhere near today, would have been the EDD for our second baby.  I often joke that this loss was my "favorite miscarriage", simply because it happened so quickly and without much trauma.  No, I don't really have a "favorite"--that would mean that I actually "enjoyed" it.  But if I hadn't taken the test, I would never have known.  I would have just assumed that my period was late (and if you've been following my story, you'll know that it is often later than I'd prefer).  But I did take the test and I did know!  And I still mourn for that loss...which happened on Valentine's Day, of all days.

When I try to think of how I'm doing, I just sigh.  I guess that's a good sign that I'm not emotionally devastated by the remembrance.  Don't get me wrong--I'm sad.  I've been sad since that Valentine's Day (really, I've been sad since the loss of the first baby months before that), but today's sadness doesn't feel any more intensified.  In my book, I think that's progress.  And please know that although I carry these three little pockets of sadness in my heart, I have so much for which to be joyful and God blesses me with happiness to help fill the voids.

I was blessed last night to participate in "Game Night" with some friends from church, and had a blast, even without my husband.  I love games...but I hate to lose...and I hate even more when I become competitive and nasty if the game isn't going my way.  Well the nasty competitive side of me didn't come out at all because the girls won by a landslide in a crazy game of Cranium.  And I was rather impressed with my own abilities--both in performing (spelled catastrophe backwards) and in guessing (could your illustration of tears and a cup with an arrow be "don't cry over spilled milk"?).  I'm so glad I went, and I'm overwhelmed at God's goodness to bring such amazing friends into our lives, especially at times like this when I miss my husband.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

...But Words Will Never Hurt Me

Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.  As I remember, I also consider the various terms that have been used to refer to my losses.

We all know that childhood saying of "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me".  I never quite got that quote.  I think it's something that we try to tell ourselves as children.  As the only girl, I grew up tough, so I wasn't afraid of the stick and stones.  But as I grew up, I realized more and more that words have the power to make a person crumble.

Words--especially those associated with loss--do hurt me.  When I checked out of the hospital after my D&C, the words "Spontaneous Abortion" were typed across the top of my forms.  Let me disect that term a bit.  There are so many negative connotations associated with "abortion".  At the same time, it's also often associated with "choice".  Then there is "spontaneous"--that's supposed to describe fun spur-of-the-moment events, like when I pierced the cartilage in my ear during my freshman year of college. I can attest to the fact that there's nothing fun or spur-of-the-moment about loss or the subsequent D&C, nor was there any choice in the matter.

Then there is "Chemical Pregnancy".  This term hurts as well--when the doctor mentioned it, I almost felt like he was saying that it wasn't a real pregnancy.  I think that the word "just" was used in there as well--as in, "it's just a Chemical Pregnancy".  But in my mind and my heart, it's still a pregnancy!  The test was positive, and I knew it in my heart.  Even if it was "just a Chemical Pregnancy" to him, it was still another loss for me.

So then the "accepted" term of "Miscarriage"--but I admit that I hate this word as well.  How many other words start with the mis- prefix?  Mistake?  Misunderstanding?  Misspoke?  Mistrust?  Miserable?  The definition* of "mis-" is "a prefix applied to various parts of speech, meaning “ill,” “mistaken,” “wrong,” “wrongly,” “incorrectly,” or simply negating".  So you're telling me that I carried my babies if I just happened to drop them...and it was all just a mistake...

So I tend to just say "Loss".  That's what I've experienced on so many levels.  I live with this constant sense of loss.  I feel lost as I try to find answers.  I lose hope from time to time.  Loss feels alone and empty and sad and confused and scared that I will lose again.  But as I write this, I also realize that I know where to find my babies--I know that they are with their Heavenly Father.  Yet I still live with the loss.

Yesterday's blessing was the chance to work with some really great students.  As I mentioned previously, we're moving in the busiest point of the year, and the days can often be draining.  But it was really cool to meet with some extremely motivated and focused students.  It's a nice reminder that the work I do truly impacts their experience.

*according to

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Alone, but Busy

I dropped my husband off at the airport yesterday morning.  Day 1 down; 33 more to go.  I can do this.  We can do this.

It's weird to be home alone.  The house is too clean, and too quiet.  But if he's going to be gone for more than a month, now is the time to leave.  I'm heading into the busiest point of the semester (I feel like I've said that before--but this really is coming up on the busiest time), which will last until one week shy of my husband's return.  So if I stay late--that's okay.  If I come home exhausted--that's okay.  If I decide I want to eat apples and peanut butter and crackers and string cheese for dinner because I'm too tired to cook anything else--that's okay.

Aside from work, I'm also going to try to have a bit of a "social life" since I'm not rushing home to my husband.  A colleague across campus wants to interview me for a research project, and some friends from church want to go pick apples this weekend at a farm about two hours away.  Since getting married (and moving 30 minutes out of town), I've often turned down these invites to spend time with him.  So in the absence of him, I'm trying to say "yes" to these opportunities. 

Today's blessing is my parents, who call just to check up on me because they know that I'm lonely.  I'm so blessed to have parents as thoughtful and caring as them.

Friday, October 9, 2009


That's where my husband is headed....for 34 days.  At least it's a fun word to say...Djibouti.

He's headed there for work, and got the Yellow Fever shot and all.  He came home a couple of weeks ago saying that he might have the chance to go, but it wasn't until he sent me his itinerary today that it actually hit me.  He often travels for a week or two at a time, but it's always been in the states...and it's never been for quite this long.  He leaves Monday, so this is our last weekend together for a while.  We'll make it through it, but please pray for us as we're apart...and I wouldn't mind some prayers for distractions and projects to make the time pass quickly.

I was blessed today with the chance to leave work early today.  It's been a long week, so it was so nice to come home and just relax on the couch and watch last night's "The Office" episode...yes, it was Jim and Pam's wedding...too cute!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Desires of Your Heart

"Delight yourself in the Lord
and He will give you the desires of your heart."
Psalm 37:4

This verse offers a beautiful promise.  But what if the desires of my heart are not in line with God's plan for my life?  I've really been struggling with this concept since my third loss in May.

I want a baby.  I want to be a mother.  I want to experience the overwhelming flood of joy at seeing a heartbeat on an ultrasound.  I want to be overcome with emotion to feel the kicks and punches of tiny legs and arms.  I want to experience the excitement and pain of labor.  I want to see the awe in my husband's eyes.  This is my heart's desire.

But I'm trying to wrap my mind around the possibility that this might not be God's desire for my life.  For so long I've prayed that the Lord bless us with a baby.  After repeated heartbreak, I'm now trying to pray that God align my heart's desire to be consistent with His.  If a biological child is not His plan for our lives, I pray that He remove this desire from my heart.  I pray that I'm able to cling to His plan for my life.

I was blessed yesterday to have the chance to hang out with a dear friend while my husband is at Army Reserve Drill.  She is up here for a rotation for medical school, and it was really great to have some quality heart-to-heart girl time.  We usually have our husbands with us when we hang out, so it was nice to be able to talk about girl things without the boys.  I really believe that God brought her (and her husband) into our lives to be a support and encouragement and source of joy.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Hello October, Goodbye IF Coverage

I posted previously that our new benefits were cutting all IF coverage on October 1st.  Well...hello October, goodbye IF coverage.

The "good news" is that we have conceived naturally three times on our own, so in theory, I shouldn't need to be too worried.  But the "bad news" is that we have lost all three said conceptions in the first trimester.  I can't help but feel a little bit alone.  I guess that even just having that safety net of knowing that our insurance would help out if needed was a comfort. 

I totally get that our state and our country are in a bit of a financial bind, but I assume that once they cut out something from the insurance, there's not a good chance that they'll add it back in.  And aside from me, who might not actually "need" the coverage, what about the countless other couples that do in fact "NEED" it?

So we're on our own now!  God was good and His timing allowed us to get the previous appointments and tests covered.  I recognize that was a huge blessing, so I'm grateful for the coverage that we had...while it lasted.  My husband and I know that we are perfectly healthy, and the rest is in God's hands at this point.

Today's blessing was a "warning" instead of a "ticket" when I forgot to switch my parking permit from my SUV to my husband's car.  I work about 30 minutes away from home, and he works about an hour away in the opposite direction.  He often shares rides with other guys in our area, but there were conflicts throughout this week, so we've been switching on and off, depending on who has the longer distance to drive.  I noticed I was permit-less as I pulled into the lot...but the Parking offices open late on Thursdays for their staff meetings.  So by the time I got a temporary permit and ran back to my car (on the other side of a large campus), I had a slip on my windshield.  But what an amazing blessing to realize that it's just a "warning" with no charge!  Sometimes it's just the little things in life that make me praise God!