Those Late Periods


A couple years ago I stopped taking monthly home pregnancy tests.  Stay at this game long enough and you’ll longer need them.  My BBT alone tells whether I’m pregnant: if my temp starts dropping around 10DPO, then it’s certain I’m out that month.  My last two pregnancies taught me that my temp skyrockets when I’m pregnant, even immediately post-transfer.

This past cycle my period was late.  I rarely have late periods—my body’s great at cycling like it should.  A cautious hope with a type of nervous expectancy for a BFP began to set in.  After all, starting 11DPO I’d been having strange poking pains in my lower right uterus which were so weird because—since I’ve no ovary on that side—it rarely sees any action.  But, my temp began dropping on CD24 and hope remained dangling on the edge of caution.

I fleetingly thought about taking a HPT from my arsenal, but—honestly?—I just couldn’t be bothered.  I couldn’t be bothered to continue tracking my symptoms, either.  I eventually forgot what cycle day I was on.

Ambivalent was the best word for my feelings on the matter.  Ambivalence causes me to think I don’t want this as much as I used to.  It causes me to wonder if I’ve become a resigned, faithless, half-hearted TTC-er.

On the same morning when my period app reminded me that I was three days late, I finally took a HPT.  It was negative.  And I mean negative just like that cutesy “BFN” acronym—a big. fat. negative.  I felt nonplussed by my results.  And as I’ve done many times over the years, after thoroughly scrutinizing for a squinter, I chucked the test in all its stark white one line-ness into the trash and got up to go about my day.  Scratch off another month and move along, I valiantly told myself, intending to go about my day business as usual.

A mere half hour later, where did my so-called valiant “strength” land me?  Why, sobbing to Jake on the sofa while cramps overtook my body and the beginning of my period approached!  Through big ugly tears and out of my desperation, I devised implausible ways to pay for another IVF.  I lamented my fate as permanently childless.  I gave voice to the feelings of failure, the tediousness of endless TTC, and the general hopelessness that is constantly trying to get the better of me.  The battle is real; so is the enemy.

Here I’d been moments before thinking I was so tough and had become ambivalent—also known as hardened—to this years’ long process.  Turns out, I’m still all mushy in the middle.  Most months I don’t allow myself to feel the feelings.  But they’re all still there: faith and hope mixed with failure and tears.  Gratitude mixed with feelings of unfairness.  Impatience mixed with patience.

All this from a late period.  I’m grateful to learn that I still have an emotional connection to this process, to know that I’m not hardened by it as I’d secretly feared.  Sometimes this Tin Man just needs a little oil now and then to know for certain.

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Mom and Mothering

This week is the 35th anniversary of my mother’s death.

I thought about writing a nice memorial post for the anniversary; it seems important to not just let it slip by, unwritten.  Even though my mother has long passed, I’ve always maintained a sort of internal lifelong vigil for her.  But how to write the snippets of secondhand information that I have into a memorial for a person I never knew?  I put a lot of thought into what to say and drew just as many blanks.  I  mean, what I know of her can be written in only a few sentences.  After that, the main thing that surfaced were my own attitudes toward motherhood.

On My Mama:

From what I’ve pieced together of my mother, she was kindhearted, loyal, and loved us all a whole lot.  In pictures she was always beaming; vivacious is a good description.  A person who truly LIVED her life.

Her dream was to have 6 children and be a pastor’s wife and stay-at-home mom.  She had 4 of those 6 children and spent her entire marriage as a pastor’s wife and as a SAHM, so in some ways I think her dreams were fulfilled.

A form of cancer took her life at 30 years old.

I often wonder how my father, my siblings, and I would’ve turned out, had she lived…  How radically different each of our lives would be.


On Mothering:

I don’t often talk about my mother—in real life as well as on this blog.  Her death has always been a fact of my life so in a way I don’t particularly “feel” the loss.  Even so, I’ve always felt off kilter somehow: like there’s this universal mother thing that the rest of the world knows about, but I totally don’t get it.

This is a good place to mention that the words “mom,” “mommy,” “mothering,” and “motherhood” fundamentally upset me.  Hearing those words causes me to feel… slightly angry, actually.  I’ve never examined deeply the psychological reasons behind this—I suppose the reasons are fairly obvious.  But I have really terrible connotations of motherhood.  My therapist would have a lifelong client if I ever let her get into this subject with me!

That leaves the $65,00 question: Why do I want to be a mama (remember: not a mother, a mom, or a mommy)?  I question my own maternal desire: I’m adverse to the “M-word” and I haven’t a clue to how mama someone.  Is my wanting a baby a way to carry on her legacy?  a simple biological urge?  an effort to right a childhood wrong?  Un-fun thinking, this is.  Thinking to be put off for another day….

Sometimes I consider whether it’s been for the best that Jake and I haven’t had children.  I fear that some key element that it takes to be a mama is missing from me. I have a genuine concern that my mama style will be unfeeling, aloof, distant.  I must trust that mama-ing is instinctual, and that God will provide me whatever link is missing when my time comes.

These are my thoughts on motherhood—the real, ugly parts of it.


In Conclusion:  My mother loved Jesus with all her heart, and I’m confident that she is in Heaven with Him.  I hope that He allows her to glimpse down at our lives now and then; there’s no way to know this side of life if that’s true.

Those of you who’ve also lost a parent during infancy/childhood, know that you’re not alone; we may be a small club, but we’re not the only member.




Endometriosis and Running


I’m not a runner type.  There is absolutely nothing appealing to me about lacing up my sneakers and running around town or through parks or along tracks.  Running outside?  No thanks.

But I am one of those weird class of people who loves running on the treadmill…  looooove it.  I think it’s because my speed, incline, and rhythm when running on the treadmill always stay consistent, which I don’t get when running outside.  I like having that control over the elements.  Getting a few miles in before work goes a long way toward feeling healthy and energetic for the rest of the day.

But, endometriosis = inflammation. And inflammation + pelvic organs jostling about when running = pain.  I’m so over pain… so over it.

Last summer I began noticing that I’d experience pelvic pain during and after running near my ovulation time.   Like, I would step off the treadmill and double over while my uterus screamed at me and my ovary throbbed.  Fine: I quit running mid-cycle and swapped it out for the elliptical trainer. Problem solved.

Then the running pain began staying consistently during my entire luteal phase.  Begrudgingly, I again adapted. Running became something I’d do only during my follicular phase.

But now running even during the first part of my cycle is problematic.  This past cycle I ran on CD 3, 4, and 5.  And afterward?  Dude.  I could barely stand the rest of the day.  Instead, I’d be bent over in pain, shuffling around work clutching my uterus and praying for the pain to stop.  No more treadmill for Marixsa.  But there’s only so much elliptical trainer and cycling a girl can do before her eyes glaze over with boredom.

I miss running.  And I’m bent about this latest development in Endometriosis Land.

The good news is that since I’ve begun running and lifting weights, my arthritis has dramatically improved!  I’ve had exactly one arthritic “breakout” episode in the last year.  It happened only this past weekend, incapacitating me to my bed for a day.   I forced myself to work it out at the gym though and felt 100% better the very next day!  Score 1!

Anyone other endo sisters out there who experience this kind of pain when running? Any solutions to work around it?




The Ugly Surrender

**Sorry for the stone cold silence on this blog lately.  I’ve hit a block (again) and haven’t known what to say.  Today though, after seeing a whopping 17 posts languishing in draft mode,  I decided that enough is enough.  Time to end the streak!  Here’s a post I started a good 4 weeks ago: **

It all started with the doctor.

Mentally and physically, I had reached the end of my rope concerning endometriosis and pain and infertility.  Desperate for answers and for relief from endo, last week month Jake and I consulted with a doctor at a clinic specializing in endometriosis and pelvic pain.  This clinic is in another state, doesn’t accept my insurance, and was more than an hour’s drive in thick rush hour traffic.  But its promise of hope lured me.

As a clinic specifically geared toward endo sufferers, I had high expectations.  Even though I’m aware of the science and the limited options concerning endo and fertility, I just needed to know ONE LAST TIME if there’s something—anything—out there which we hadn’t yet tried.

But?  There’s not.  Medically, my choices come down to Lupron, continuing to try naturally, or IVF (paid for by my money tree in the backyard, perhaps?).

As compassionate and knowledgeable as the doctor we met with was, she wasted little time steering us toward IVF.  Another IVF is a post for another day.  With fewer answers than the many questions we’d come with, Jake and I left the clinic reeling from the reality that we’re out of options.

Medically, the odds are stacked high against us. 

Maybe I had just needed to reach the end of myself and of my options.  If so then, honey, I’m there. Actually, I’m somewhere beyond “there.”

The thing is, this appointment wasn’t especially different from any of the many other consults Jake and I have attended.  But we had gone to this appointment in a last-ditch effort for help and left feeling deflated.

With nothing except time to talk during our drive from the clinic, Jake made one very excellent point: the only real decision to make is for us (read: me) to surrender this fertility business to God.

Now I don’t like surrender; I like control.  I like to be doing something, forward momentum… even if what I’m doing is spinning my wheels.  At least I still have the illusion of control.  But this whole baby thing?  It’s laughable to consider that I’ve ever had any control.

I’m not proud to admit this, but my initial reaction to Jake’s suggestion of surrender was anger, denial, and refusal to submit.  I felt my human pride rising up, and I wanted to rebel at the world.  The unfairness of it all—denied having a mother, denied being a mother—felt just too, well, unfair.  Now to be asked to surrender my feeble attempt at control?  I don’t want to!

Plus all the losses.  And all the surgeries. All the money.  All the doctors.  For what?  For a disease which no one can cure, understand, or even properly manage.  For years gone by and no pregnancy, no baby.  For an endless money hole.

Enough.  I can’t do it on my own.

Okay, I will surrender.  Even if at first it’s a slow takeoff.  I’m confident that my heart will fully get there, bit by bit; it takes time to soften me up.  God has allowed me to reach the end of myself so that I can lean 100% on Him.  Do I trust Jesus?  Really trust Him???  Will I surrender this thing and vanquish my self-deluded control?

What does “surrendering it” look like?  For me, surrendering looks like I put my whole trust in the Lord to heal and repair my body… even if it’s for a disease that I can’t see.  It means I remain full of hope for our future family when all looks hopeless and I desperately want to quit.  Because the truth is, I’d been considering giving up lately.  It means that the slim, couple-of-percent chance to someday naturally give Jake a baby becomes an absolute given in my mind.  It means I rest in God’s timing, because it’s always so much better than my own timing anyway.

Rest.  Surrender.  Faith.





Liebster Award Entry


I don’t know whether these blog awards are real or not, but, seriously, who really cares if there’s an actual award waiting on the other side?  It’s always a fun honor just to be nominated.

My beautiful friend AKL over at Baby Wanted: an IVF journey has nominated me for a Liebster Award.  AKL is one of the realest, funniest, and sweetest bloggers I’ve met since I began blogging.  Please check out her reads!  Thanks, AKL for the ‘nom and for writing such kind words about me!  I’m so glad we’ve connected.


  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and link to their post.
  • Answer the 11 questions they asked you.
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers, with your own set of questions.
  • Tag your chosen 11 bloggers, and don’t forget to tell them as well!


These are my answers to AKL’s questions:

1. When did you start blogging?

March 2015.

2. Why did you start your blog?

Jake and I were having a tough time getting pregnant, and I felt so alone in trying.  I had no clue there were places online for people like me until I discovered fertility blogs.  I’ve always expressed myself best through writing—although I don’t claim to be particularly stellar at it—so blogging sounded very healing.  It was also the desire of my heart to help other women in this sojourn and hopefully be a source of encouragement.

3. What do you do for your day job?

Paralegal by day, ninja by night.

4. Where are you located (city, country)?

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

5. What has been your biggest regret in your life? 

There is no scenario in which I’d ever answer this question honestly.

6. What has been your greatest achievement? 

Graduating from college.  I don’t come from college people.  Growing up, there was zero expectation of ever attending college.

But because I lived fully on my own by age 18, I qualified for some program where the state paid my tuition; that got me through some college.  Later, through God’s provision via the generosity of a well-off in-law, I was able to complete my degree.  It took 8 years to get a 4-year degree, but I’m immensely grateful just to have finished.  It was only through the Lord’s sovereign arrangements that college happened for me.

7. What advice would you give to your 18 year old self? 

Don’t be so angry, don’t be so independent, don’t be so protective of your heart in that suit of armor you wear with spikes on the outside and ice on the inside.  Your decisions in life matter, YOU matter.  Things aren’t gonna stay this way forever, hun—this too shall pass.

8. Do you have a special or unusual skill that perhaps people don’t know about ? (I can sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star in Japanese)

I can sense when a cop is about to drive past.  Seriously!  I’ll just be walking down the road and I’ll think to myself, “A cop is going to drive by.” Like clockwork, one immediately does.  Craziest thing, this is.  But also useful. 😉

9. Where is your favorite city to visit?

My own—there’s always something going on in Philly.

10. How do you motivate yourself?

Whatever needs doing, I simply DO IT.  Doesn’t matter if I feel like doing it (I usually don’t) or if it can technically wait until tomorrow (it usually can).  Through God’s grace I have been given a strong sense of personal responsibility.  I’m tough, I have a can-do mentality, and am steadfast in whatever I put my mind to.  The simple act of starting something is all the motivation I need to finish it.

11. What do you hope for most in 2018?

It would be cliche to say a baby because, well, this blog….

In 2018 I most want RESTORATION: in my life, in my marriage, for my family, my health, my relationship with God.  In whatever form that happens, as long as it’s moving toward restoration then it’s headed in the right direction.

In no particular order, my nominated 11 bloggers are:

Delayed But Not Denied – Because my real-life friend seriously needs to get back to blogging.

Ditch the Bun – Infertility warrior cleverly disguised as a librarian.

In Pursuit of a Family – Because you always write such beautiful posts.

Be Realistic: Plan for a Miracle – Because you sojourn alongside me… from across the pond!

The Sky and Back – Because I miss your blogging.

Bloomin’ Uterus – *Only* the best endometriosis blog on the planet.

Dubliner in Deutschland – Overcoming infertility in a land far from home.

GeeksTravelingInJapan – Also battling infertility in a land far from home.

Woman With Endometriosis – Endo awareness proponent.

Hoping to be More Than a Dog Mom – From one dog mama to another.

Tales of a 30 Year Old Nothing – Because she’s real, relatable, and hilarious.


My 11 questions to the above bloggers:

1. Imagine that the blogosphere suddenly disappears—for whatever reason. What do you do?

2. What characteristic do you not possess at all?

3. Why did the chicken cross the road?

4. How do you face critical problems?

5. One thing about yourself of which you are most proud?

6. The happiest moment of your life?

7. A word which you hate to use?

8. What is your dream job?

9. What villainous character do you most admire, and why?

10. Item on your bucket list that you would be MOST upset if you didn’t accomplish.

11. If you could have lunch with any famous person, dead or alive, who would it be and what would you order?





Blogger Recognition Award



My soul sister of the bloglands, Lisa over at Bloomin’ Uterus, has nominated me for a Blogger Recognition Award.  My mission for this challenge? Tell you how The Endo Zone blog began.

It’d be pretty awesome if I had an inspiring backstory to this ‘lil blog’s conception… but, instead, it was just one of those thangs:  Marixsa felt lonely in TTC land.  Marixsa discovered fertility blogs.  Marixsa likes to write.  Marixsa started her own fertility blog.

The Endo Zone is about, well, endometriosis.  TTC.  Life.  Family.  Pets.  Loss.  Opinions.  All of the other parts that make up my life, minus my true identity.

I do have one small confession to make about this blog: I am utterly terrible at naming things.  The worst.  I often wish that I had thought of a cleverer title than The Endo Zone.  The title is a play off of “end zone,” although I’m the least enthusiastic football fan you’ll ever meet.  Hence, a blog about the endometriosis zone, whatever exactly that is.  Someday I’ll get around to renaming this space.

As for backstory, I was diagnosed with endometriosis in 2010, but I’m 100% sure it’s been there since the ’90s.  Most days I forget that I’ve a history of endo: the pain, the infertility, the mega cramps, the scary clots, the pooping pain… I don’t know any differently.   But endo is not something I embrace or call my own.   I have a history of endo; I do not claim it, want it, or believe that it will get the better of me.  My life in no way revolves around a disease that God is so much bigger than.

Starting this blog has allowed me to connect with an amazing array of women, literally from all over the world.  It’s been a privilege to meet women on here who I’m proud to call my friends.  My only regret?  I wish I’d started the blog sooner.

Here are my nominations of fellow bloggers who I find incredibly inspiring in their own ways!   Tell us why you started YOUR blog!!

My Yellow Bow

From Zero to Zygote

9 Months and Waiting

Peace. ❤

“The Grumpiest Cat in the Whole Wide Grumpy World…”

… that’s what I always tell my beloved kitty, Grumpy Cat.  Some of you may remember that Jake and I adopted Grumpy Cat (“GC”) not quite two years ago, after our other cat suddenly passed away. GC was 13 years old when we got him; we chose a senior kitty so he’d have happy golden years. We would give him the highlight of his twilight.

On a recent Friday night Jake and I found ourselves rushing GC to the pet emergency room after he became gravely ill. It didn’t take the vet long to find the cause: kidney failure. lymphoma. anemia. Jake and I were stunned. Our cat had cancer and kidney disease? How could we have missed the signs?

After a long night in the ER during which Jake and I resigned ourselves to another pet loss, the vet was surprised and encouraged because GC began gaining strength and improving. So we took GC home—laden down with medications and instructions—with the possibility that he might pull through. He could have more time, more life, and quality life too.

With plenty of prayer and round-the-clock care—which included 6 different medications and daily subcutaneous injections of hydration—GC began improving and getting stronger. We were so encouraged!

Recovering kitty.

But there must have been a kitty respiratory virus lurking in the pet ER, because GC came down with a nasty respiratory illness mere days into [what we thought was] his recovery. He stopped eating.  Couldn’t groom. Couldn’t walk. Lost a third of his body weight. It was bad.

Back to the vet. More medications.

For days, Jake and I literally did everything for GC, including assist feeding him with a feeding syringe. To avoid facing reality, I became obsessed with keeping GC clean and groomed and making sure his convalescence room was super tidy. Dignified.

But soon Jake and I had to admit that we were fighting a losing battle. It was time to say goodbye.

We arranged for a veterinary service to come to our home to humanely end Grumpy Cat’s suffering. I petted and hugged and cried all over him. So did Jake. We softly sung Jesus Loves You to him (“little cats to Him belong; they are weak, but He is strong“).  He fell asleep peacefully in his kitty bed while I held his head and whispered love to him. Then the final injection was given. I both heard and felt GC breathe his last.

Our last morning together.
Shortly before the injections.

We read Ecclesiastes 3:18-21 aloud after his passing:

18 I also said to myself, “As for humans, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals.
19 Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; humans have no advantage over animals. Everything is meaningless.
20 All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return.
21 Who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?”

I’m so heartbroken, but I take immense comfort in verse 21.

His paw prints are etched deeply into my heart. I’m so thankful to have adopted and loved GC. It was a privilege to have shared in the last few years of his life.