Sunday, November 29, 2009

I Almost Forgot

While my husband was out of the country, I skipped the prenatal vitamins and folic acid.  His five-week trip to Djibouti kind of put a kink in trying, so I figured that I might as well save myself a month's worth of prescriptions.  But I was surprised to realize that I almost forgot to start taking them again!  He had already been home for more than a week before I noticed them in the cupboard and realized that I should probably start taking them again. 

It's not that I'm worried about my health--I know I've been eating really healthy.  But rather, I think that I was impressed with forgetting--because it means that I'm not solely 100% focused on making a baby.  Let's face it--babies are made all of the time without any thought of prenatal vitamins or folic acid.  Don't get me wrong--I fully advocate for proper prenatal care under a qualified health care provider.  But for me and my single-minded-thinking, to overlook the simple act of taking these supplements also equates to living my life without being totally consumed with procreation.  So yes, I smiled a bit when I realized that I had neglected the meds.

I have since resumed the case anyone is wondering.  Now that he's back--yes--we're trying again.  Please keep us in your really would be wonderful if this is a successful month for us.

My blessing today is the rain!  We live in the desert, so we'll take any rain that we can get!  This storm comes full with thunder and lightening and the most amazing smells.  My husband and I squeezed in a walk in between storms at sunset, and it definitely is starting to look, smell, and feel like winter. 

Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Day

Yesterday morning--on Thanksgiving--my husband woke up, rolled over to kiss me, and whispered "Happy Easter" in my ear.  Silly husband.  He promptly fell back asleep.

It's always nice to start a day--any day--with a smile.  It was especially nice to start yesterday's Thanksgiving with a good laugh.  I am so extremely grateful to have this silly husband in my life.  I love him so much--even though he insisted on both a pumpkin and pecan pie when I'm trying really hard to cut the sugars (so far, so good).  More than anything, I want to be able to bless him with a child...if that means resisting two fresh baked pies, then I'm up for the challenge.

It was just the two of us for Thanksgiving, but we had the chance to speak with both of our families.  I always get just a little bit sad when the rest of my family is all together and I can't be with them, but that's life.  My family ate crab for Thanksgiving--how awesome is that?  I do love crab--but I'm even more impressed that they aren't afraid to break tradition and try something new.  I love that about my family, and I am so thankful for who they are and who I am because of them.

This year, around the Thanksgiving holiday, I'm finding it pretty easy to recognize my blessings, but I remember that it wasn't quite so simple at this time last year, so I'm not taking anything for granted.  If anyone is new to my blog, I should mention that I close each post with sharing my "blessings" from that day.  So aside from those blessings listed above, our most recent blessing is that my husband got a promotion and a 5% raise.  They were really impressed with the work that he was doing in Djibouti, and he was rewarded for his efforts.  So this is a huge financial blessing.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Flippant Fertile

Last night was Monday Night Football, so we had friends over to our house to watch and socialize.  My very-dear friend (and husband) invited a not-so-dear friend and 16-month little girl (and husband).  I really struggle with this not-so-dear friend.  The first time I met her (through the very-dear friend), she announced that I should "watch out" because "it only takes 39 days to get pregnant after you go off birth control!".  To her credit, she had no clue that I was still picking up the pieces from my first loss.  Anyway, she's now pregnant with her second child (she announced it on fb the morning she took the test with simply "Guess What?", resulting in a string of responses that she let dangle...I admit that I've since "hid" her posts to avoid the torture). 

Inevitably, the conversation turned to babies, and (while drinking her caffeinated soda) the not-so-dear friend almost seemed to be bragging about how she found a new OB who will induce when it's convenient for her (she feels that she'll be "tired of being pregnant" by the time she gets to 39 weeks, and that sounds like a good time for her).  The very-dear friend is a doctor, and tried to argue that it's ideal for a mother to carry to the full 40 weeks, and how most doctors won't induce until 41 weeks (unless, of course, there is a medical concern that dictates otherwise).  I didn't wait around to hear the rest of the discussion...I played the hostess card and picked up the plates and headed to the kitchen.

Again, to her credit, the not-so-dear friend has no idea what we're going through (after her initial 39-day proclamation, she just hasn't felt like a "safe" person in which I could confide).  But it is so hard to watch someone be so flippant about her fertility!  I recognize that I have no idea what it feels like to be 39 weeks pregnant--maybe I would be begging the doctors to induce at that point as well.  But after struggling to get pregnant...and now struggling to stay pregnant--I feel like I would be willing to go to any extreme necessary to do whatever it is that would maximize my chances of a healthy pregnancy.  I know that she's a loving mom, and will be to the second child as well, but it's still so hard to watch.  Part of me wishes that I could have the luxury to be so care-free about fertility...and the other part of me wants her to know what it's like to practice caution.

Anyway, flippant fertile aside, my blessing for today is the opportunity to celebrate my dad's birthday.  I really truly believe that I am blessed with the most amazing dad ever.  My dad is a pastor, and he is the most caring, honest, and hard-working man that I've ever known.  He was such a great role model--not only for me, but for so many others in our little community.  I truly am proud to be his daughter, and I found it fitting to read this verse last night, as it made me think of him:
"Children's children are a crown to the aged,
and parents are the pride of their children."
(Proverbs 17:6)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Taking Notice

Lately, people have started taking notice that I've been losing weight.  The dental hygienist asked (of course, she also asked if I had a "new addition" because I had declined x-rays last time I was there when I had just found out I was pregnant), and later that day one of my students asked.  But the weird thing with the student is that I had only met with him one other time in the Spring, so for him to have noticed a change must have meant that I was actually much larger in real life than I was in my mind.

But again, I'm not intentionally trying to lose weight.  Rather, I'm trying to create a "safe living environment", should we ever experience the miracle of getting pregnant again.  I recognize that there are a lot of things with in/fertility that I cannot control, but I do have some say in what I choose to put into my body.  And although I admit that I do not particularly like to work out, I do enjoy how I feel when I'm done.

I still don't have the perfect answer for when people ask "why" and "how" I'm losing weight or eating carefully.  I usually just leave it at "Oh, my doctor has recommended some changes for my health", or sometimes I'll even go so far as to mention something about a hormone imbalance.  But I fear that they think that I'm a prude for eating my vegetables and hummus for lunch.  The "big-boss lady" at work made a joke about me moving on to a liquid diet before too long...that kind of hurt.  (And no, I have absolutely no intention of beginning any sort of liquid diet or any other extreme measures).

I'm not gonna lie--I like the changes that I'm seeing.  But again--the point of all of this is not to lose weight--it's to maintain a healthy pregnancy.  I'm at that point where I've been debating over whether I just keep rolling my pants to make them stay on, in the hopes that I'll soon be pregnant and needing that extra space; or just donate them all to charity and dive in to the holiday sales and buy myself a new wardrobe that fits (and yes, flatters) my new frame.

Today's blessings is my brothers' birthdays--as in the birthday of both of my brothers.  They are three years apart, but share the same birthday...and share so much else in common as well.  I truly adore my brothers, and I miss them so much.  I admit that I was a rather bossy big sister while we were growing up, but they tolerated me and saw beyond all that I asked of them.  I'm really proud of the men that they have become.  (And yesterday was my sister-in-law's birthday...and I'm equally blessed to have her in my life as well).

Thursday, November 19, 2009

For the First Time in a Long Time

My period started this morning (sorry--I've never been able to call it "AF"), and for the first time in a long time, I was excited (for anyone who just picked up my blog--my husband was out of the country for five weeks, so I knew that there was no chance of me being pregnant).  It was a 30-day cycle, which makes me feel like I'm getting closer to being "normal".  My doctor-friend tells me that a normal range is 22-35 days, but you know how sources talk about 28 being the "magic number".  I think it comes down to being proud of myself for managing the PCOS.  I now recognize that I was eating like crap and not taking care of myself when my cycles were so out of whack.  But I was really conscientious of what I ate and made sure to exercise each day this month, so I feel like I "earned" this cycle.  Part of me thinks it's sad that I have to work so hard to do what my body should do "normally".  But then again, God gave me this body, and I should take care of it, hormone imbalance and all.

Today's blessing is a trip to the dentist.  This may sound odd, but it gives me the chance to sleep in and take it slow because it's a mid-morning appointment.  So I'll just head into work after it...which means it will be a short day at work so the time will fly by.  And before I know it, my husband will be back tomorrow.  So yes, a trip to the dentist is a blessing.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Home...and Gone Again

My husband is home!  Well...he was home.  He got home late Monday night...and then left again early Tuesday morning.  He signed up for this class long before he knew that he would be out of the country for five weeks, so he's sort of obligated to attend (and he enjoys these types of classes).  But it's still so nice to know that he's just up the road.  I thought about making the two-hour drive up to see him, but it just isn't going to work out easily with my schedule this week.

Besides, I'm kind of proud of myself for not feeling this overwhelming sense that I need to be with him every single moment, now that he's back.  There was a time in my life when I would have dropped everything to drive however far was necessary to just be near him.  But perhaps these five weeks have shown me that it's okay for me to move away from "dependency" and into "autonomy" when it comes to our relationship.  Please do not read this as "I don't love/need/want/desire my husband"--that's not it at all!  If anything, these five weeks have shown me just how much I love him and value him more than I ever imagined.  But they've also reminded me that I am who I am, independent of who he is or what I do for him.  So I'll sit tight until he returns--for good this time--and continue adding to my list of "AccomplishMEnts".

So aside from having him home for eight hours, my blessing yesterday was that the cheesecake I baked for him turned out nearly perfect...or at least it was the best looking (and tasting) cheesecake that I have made so far...and I make a lot of cheesecakes.  I've been disappointed with how the last few turned out--and I didn't even taste them because I have been trying to watch my sugar intake (dang hormones).  But in honor of my husband's return, I indulged in yesterday's Blueberry Swirl...and I was quite impressed.  I'm glad I could bless my husband with my I just need to find the strength to resist the temptation to eat the rest of it before he returns on Friday.

Monday, November 16, 2009

What's Another Five Hours After Five Weeks?!?!

I have been counting down the days and hours and minutes until 4:50 pm today when my husband was scheduled to arrive.  But unfortunately, he didn't make it through Customs in order to catch his connecting flight.  But what's another five hours after five weeks apart, right?

Bummer!  I was really looking forward to a great evening with him!  Instead, he'll arrive at 9:50 pm...and then leave again at 6:00 am tomorrow morning.  We'll make the most of this short time together, and then I'll start the new countdown until he finishes his class and returns home on Friday evening.

But it's a blessing just to have him in the country.  After five weeks of waiting on international calls and calculating time differences, it's such a blessing to just pick up the phone and call or text him whenever I want.  And it will be totally worth it...whenever he does arrive. 

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Five Weeks of AccomplishMEnts

I was inspired by Wendy's "Project: Me"...but I've never been good at setting goals.  Rather, I simply like to work hard, and be proud of what I can accomplish.  My husband returns tomorrow, so I wanted to reflect on what I'm considering to be my "AccomplishMEnts" while he was gone:
  • Did a ton of the extent that the trash was full of debris every single week
  • Cleaned the house from top to bottom
  • Ate healthy...with extra servings of vegetables
  • Fixed two leaky faucets in the bathroom
  • Said "yes" to every single social invitation
  • Got both cars serviced (and one of them washed)
  • Picked up three huge bags of trash along our main road
  • Treated myself to two massages
  • Found and bought the perfect pair of shoes (and a second pair on clearance)
  • Resisted the urge to pick up take-out every night (then rewarded myself with one meal on Friday)
  • Cleaned out my closets and gave away a box of clothes
  • Went to bed early (except for on nights when I was saying "yes" to excursions)
  • Bought two new pairs of pants that actually fit 
  • Watched girlie movies and cried my eyes out
  • Went above-and-beyond at work, including helping out on the weekends
  • Worked out or did yoga just about every single day
  • Stretched my wardrobe to three weeks without doing any laundry
  • Read a book that my mom suggested
Those are the highlights.  Sure, I could have accomplished more.  But I know that I was good to myself.  At the same time, I can't wait to have my husband back so that I can focus on being good to him again.  (Speaking of which, please pray for him as he's traveling back pretty much all day on Monday).

Today's blessing was great worship music at church.  I love it when God can really speak to my heart.through a song.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Out of Africa

It's Friday night for me...which means that it's Saturday morning for my husband in Djibouti...which means that he leaves Africa today...or tomorrow...however you want to look at it.  Essentially he leaves at 11:00 pm Djibouti time, or 1:00 pm my time--how's that?  He'll to Paris, well he'll spend the day, and then fly on to Salt Lake City...and then should arrive him around 4:30 pm on Monday.  Please pray that he's able to get through Customs okay in Salt Lake City, as he doesn't have a long layover, and I worry that he'll miss his flight home and then I'll have to wait even longer.  How much would that suck?

I spent the day preparing for his return.  In addition to cleaning up around the house (and getting the carpets cleaned), I also indulged in a massage and a bikini wax (okay, so I indulged in the massage and tolerated the bikini wax).  I typically don't spend the money for a wax (the last time I did was for our wedding), but I wanted things to be "nice" for him when he gets home (I apologize if I'm sharing too much...).  The massage guy totally did a number on my shoulders--apparently I'm caring a ton of stress in them...yet I don't feel stressed at the moment.  I didn't have that heart to tell him that the main source of my stress comes from my three losses and my desire to be a mom.  Like I said, I don't feel stressed about it at the moment--as I feel like I have a justifiable reason as to why this isn't our month--but maybe my body is trying to tell me something...

My blessing today is my clean carpets.  I know it sounds silly, but they truly look so incredible!  The stains were driving me crazy to the point that I had considered pulling up the carpet and piling on a new home improvement project for which we don't currently have the time, energy, or resources.  And I do realize that I could rent a steam cleaner and do it myself...but the guy did such a fabulous job that it makes it all worth it.  Let's just hope that my husband notices and agrees.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My Veteran

I met my husband in a bar.  I was attracted to his shaved head (I've always loved the feel of short short hair).  I should have noticed that everyone in his circle of friends also had short hair, and should have guessed that they were all in the military.  Good Christian girls are not supposed to meet guys in bars...and they especially aren't supposed to give their number to Army guys in bars.  But I did...and I feel deeply in love with an officer.

I remember proclaiming in high school that I "didn't want to be married to the military".  Funny how things turn out.  All of those assumptions and prejudices I had in high school were washed away ten years later when I met my husband.  He is kind, dedicated, loyal, committed, and faithful.  I recognize that part of that comes from his childhood upbringing and the values that his family helped to instill, but I also know that I have the Army to thank for shaping him into the man who stood before me on our wedding day, and stands beside me through the ups and painful downs of life. 

Shortly after we got married, my husband--my veteran--left his active duty role to join the reserves to "potentially" decrease his chances for deploying; although he would proudly, willingly, and bravely leave if ever called upon to go.  Each month, he's always the last to leave the reserve unit every night of their designated weekend.  I admit that as I wait for him in the car, an hour past when he promised he would be done, I selfishly curse him and his devotion.  But when I pull myself out of my selfishness and put it all into perspective, I realize just how amazing of a man and an officer he is to show this much commitment to his soldiers, his unit, and his country.  I am proud of him, and I'm proud to be his wife.

Today, on this Veteran's Day, while my veteran is halfway around the world, I'm blessed by those who served and continue to serve our country.

Monday, November 9, 2009

One More Week

My husband returns in one more week!  It will probably be a busy week, so hopefully it will go by quickly. 

Today's blessing is the opportunity to hang out with my friends from church tonight to watch Monday Night Football.  I really appreciate these friends and the joy that they bring to my life when I'm lonely.  And on top of it, the cheesecake I'll bring looks like it turned out pretty good. 

Friday, November 6, 2009

Too Much Information

I got an email this morning from a dear friend inviting me to go to a "Babies and Stress Lunch Talk" next week.  My friend (and her husband) are both in medical school, and this lunch is a part of an ongoing series that is geared towards medical students, but apparently open to anyone.  The speaker is from the Psychosomatic Medicine Interest Group, and the discussion is about Mind-Body Medicine and Infertility.  It does truly sound like an interesting topic.  (My friend will not be attending, as she will be out of town at the time.)

I kindly turned down the invitation.  I really appreciate that she thought of me (she knows the whole story), but I oscillate between wanting to know it all, and wanting to leave it all in God's hands. I think that I do a pretty good job (at this point) of managing the stress through morning yoga, my time on the elliptical, and more importantly--my daily devotional time with God. This may sound ignorant, but I find that the main thing I tend to stress about is (literally) "too much information". I start worrying that I'm doing something "wrong", when actually, the doctors have already told me that I'm doing everything "right".

To my pleasent surprise, my friend replied by saying that she is glad that I answered the way I did, and continued by affirming my efforts to prioritize and trust God.  What a blessing to have someone (who also happens to be a medical professional) who offers information, but yet applauds me when I know my limits.

Today's blessing was an "ah-ha" moment that came in the form of a reference request.  I mentioned previously that I was going through some professional disappointments.  But where one door closed for me, another window may open for a former colleague/supervisee who I totally admire.  She truly has such an amazing heart for working with students, and I really hope that things work out for her.  She is actually applying for a position that I held when I first started at this school, so it would be a cool "full circle" sort of thing...which somehow gives me hope for my own "open window" later on down the road.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

All Mine

I must warn any readers that this post deals with bodily if you're queasy about "too much information", then please feel free to skip this post...

I found the "silver lining" with having my husband out of the country.  Ever since discovering that my cervical mucus changes when I ovulate, I've often wonderered which "liquids" are "his" and which are "mine".  But I wasn't about to give up a perfectly good cycle of trying, simply to fulfill my physiological curiosity.  But since he's now out of the country, I'm left with no choice but to "abstain" this month...which means that I know, beyond a doubt, that anything that I observe is indeed all mine.

Okay...enough with the TMI (don't say I didn't warn you).

Today's blessing is the amazing weather that we're getting.  It was freezing last week.  No really--it was literally freezing at 30 degrees when I left for work.  And now it's in the 90s.  I love the desert!  This weather allows me to accomplish more in the yard.  I'm really making a dent in my outdoor projects, and I hope to make some noticeable progress before my husband returns in 11 days (but who's counting?).  I've also been able to enjoy my daily devotional time outside in the beauty of the desert sunsets, which is truly such a blessing.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

You're Kidding Me, Right?

My husband is still returning on November 16th...but now he tells me that he'll need to leave the very next morning to go to a class out of town for four more days.  You're kidding me, right?  God really must be trying to teach me patience...I just want my husband back!

I'll get a couple of hours with him on the 16th...and at least I can talk to him and text him again whenever I want (when he's not in class, of course).  But I teach a class on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so I can't just take the week off to be with him--and even if I did, I'd just be sitting in the hotel room for most of the day.

I'm not gonna lie--I'm disappointed that we can't "try" this month.  But it's not just about that anymore.  It's just lonely without him.  I'm doing as well as can be expected, and my friends and family are absolutely wonderful to me.  But I'm definitely ready to have him back.  Only 13 more days to go...then 4 more on top of that.  Sorry...I feel like I'm getting dangerously close to "complaining".   

Today's blessing was a surprise visit from one of my former staff members.  She graduated just over a year ago, hated her job, and realized that she was happiest when she was a student leader.  So she's going back to school to get her masters degree in student affairs, and tells me that she wants to do what I do.  It is such an amazing blessing to know that I had an impact on her college experience, and to know that she is going to do the same thing for future students.