Liebster Award Entry

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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.

HERE’S THE RULES:

  • 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?

 

 

 

 

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An Actual Cycle and Other Random Updates

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Errrm…. sorry for the crickets over here. Life has been crazy busy and I keep meaning to blog, but then I think my “updates” are kind of lame and non-updatey, so it never really happens.

Work/business has been crazy, plus we relocated our office to the ‘burbs, and I’m frantically working on creating our website, so—whew! Then, just when I planned to post an update, all the election insanity hijacked the blogosphere. I wanted to wait for that to calm down in my feed before posting. This is a (in)fertility blog and I intend to keep it that way, so have no fear of interposing political views here! There’s plenty of other places to get your politix fix. All I will say on the matter is that I continue to pray for the ever-widening gulf which is so bitterly dividing our great country to be repaired. *end of non-fertility talk*

In the meantime, I have been following everyone else’s blogs on my feed. Please know that I grieve with those of you who’ve recently experienced losses. I celebrate with those of you who’ve gotten your miracle babies or that long-awaited BFP. And I completely identify a million percent with those still of you (well, “us”) still stuck in the trenches. It’s a tough, tough place to live.

The most exciting thing fertility-wise that I have to report is that I finally—after 4 months—had/am having an honest-to-God regular cycle! Sounds like kind of ho-hum news, right? But so far 2016 is going down in history as The Year of Stupid Cycles. I’ve had three (possibly four) bona fide, full cycles complete with ovulation this year. Miscarriage #2 really threw my body for a loop. This was after it took so.many.years to even have regular cycles to begin with. So having my body back on track feels pretty fantastic.

As the holidays draw near, I’m feeling just a tad desperate to end this year on a high note (read: pregnant) and time is a-tickin’. AF is due next week, and I’m praying and doing all the right things. Yep, it’s all pineapple core and brazil nuts and 24/7 sock-wearing around Marixsa’s crib these days. Even though I’m more than five years into this thing and I should know better by now, here I am on cycle day 26 symptom-spotting and chock full of hope. Or maybe naiveté. Or insanity.

Oh yeah. And that whole surgery thing? I never did have my surgical consult back in October that I was so excited about, though not for lack of trying. See, this past year my long-buried anxiety disorder has made a full-out reappearance. This dramatically affects my ability to drive—even though I take medication—without having a panic attack. More on that another post. The solution was to take an Uber to my consult, but it didn’t quite work out. For no particular reason the day of my consult, traffic was backed up 20X more than usual. I spent an hour in the backseat of some Uber driver’s car in dismay staring at a sea of brake lights. In that time, we managed to go four whole miles. There was no way I was making it to the appointment on time. Unfortunately, that surgeon’s office is unrealistically far for me. I never rescheduled the appointment.

Never one to easily give in to defeat, I found a new surgeon! This new doctor is also an hour away, but in an area that is all back roads and near the town I grew up in. Okay: doable. Well, doable with an extra dose of anxiety meds. He uses the Da Vinci robotic method, which I’ve had in a prior surgery and am a fan of. My surgical consult is scheduled for December 9. Surgery #5 will hopefully be in the early part of 2017.

Finally, I am hosting Thanksgiving this year! I typically usually do host it, except for last year when I boycotted the holiday. Since then, it’s taken me a very long time to return to feeling like I want to do anything at all. Most of this past year I’ve been a complete homebody. Isolation and avoiding people were my specialties. Lately that cloud has been slowly lifting, and I am tentatively taking baby steps back into actual living. I have to admit, it’s nice to be back participating in my own life again, although I don’t feel like the same person anymore. In some ways, ongoing infertility and multiple miscarriages have changed and shaped me into a new person: a person who I’m slowly learning to live with. Thirteen family members, including the infamous Baby, will be descending upon my house in three days’ time. Living cautiously in case of pregnancy means I’ll be doing Thanksgiving sans wine, so, please, pray for me.

Peace.

 

10 Things You Might Not Know About Me

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Today’s post is a break from infertility talk and has absolutely nothing to do with baby making. Since there’s more to my life than just my struggle with infertility (and it’s a slow day at work), I thought I’d take a moment to let you get to know me a little bit more. Here’s some randomness about yours truly:

  1. I have an eerily good sense of direction. If I’ve been there just one time, chances are high that I can find my way back again, sans map. This fact about me Jake does not like because he is textbook male directionally challenged. Pre-GPS days, this made for some very interesting road trips.
  2. Feet totally skeeze me out. And by feet, I mean all feet. I do not discriminate. Baby feet, kids’ feet, women’s feet, men’s feet—all are equally gross. But especially man feet: I absolutely cannot stomach the sight of a big, ugly, hairy, crusty, scuzzy man foot nakedly oozing and sloshing out the side of a pair of sandals. See what I mean? Eww-ness.
  3. I am a total and complete grammar snob. Some people think it’s snotty if I notice (not necessarily point out, just notice) their grammar mistakes. Other times, though, my snobbery is to my advantage. I’ve spent the last eight years working in law firms and I am the go-to gal for proofreading. I’ve edited some mean briefs in my day, and am haughtily proud of my skills.
  4. I get déjà Vu, like, a lot. Oh—did I already tell you that? Seriously,  the frequency of how often I have déjà vu seems way higher than average. I don’t know why I’m like this, but it’s happened to me regularly (as in a few times a week) for as far back as I can remember. Jake is constantly having to reassure me that we haven’t already had a conversation/gone to a place/met a person etc. Unfortunately for me, my déjà vu is limited to really mundane, everyday life-type things and I never get déjà vu about any major life events or anything cool like that.
  5. I have an adopted sibling. The first time I met my oldest brother I was 31, he 41. My mother gave him up for adoption after becoming pregnant unwed and fresh out of high school. My brother spent years looking for his birth mother and any siblings before he finally found us. And while he was disappointed to learn that our mother had long since passed away, he was elated to find my other siblings and I. There is something uniquely indescribable and Lifetime Movie-esque about meeting and getting acquainted with a long-lost sibling as adults. I realize how often many people’s bio fam searches end in dead ends, so I am truly thankful to have this opportunity to get to know my brother and nephews.
  6. I am a cat person hiding under the cloak of being a dog person. They say that cat people and dog people have completely different personality traits, and I would have to agree. A livescience.com article reads : “People who said they were dog lovers in the study tended to be more lively — meaning they were more energetic and outgoing — and also tended to follow rules closely. Cat lovers, on the other hand, were more introverted, more open-minded and more sensitive than dog lovers. Cat people also tended to be non-conformists, preferring to be expedient rather than follow the rules.” I have both pets cats and a pet dog and I love them all equally, but if I absolutely had to choose between them, my instinct is to pick my cat. Since “cat people” get bad reps and I don’t want to be known as the crazy cat lady, in public I pretend to be more gaga over my dog. People seem to relate to me better if I regale them with stories of Puppy and not Grumpy Cat. Inside, though, my secret non-conformist, introverted self is thinking, “me-freakin-ow, baby!”
  7. I went to an alternative school. Traditional high school didn’t agree with my rebellious teenage self and I was on a bad road to nowhere. Enter alternative school, a/k/a “bad kids school” (but not really). I spent my last three years of high school attending a super tiny, very open, liberal, do-as-you-please school located in an old-fashioned schoolhouse with the same three teachers each year. The key word is attending: if I wasn’t for this school, I never would have made it to graduation. I’ve come a very long way since then and I owe so much of it to my alternative school experience. People often raise an eyebrow when I tell them I went to an alt school, but I’m not ashamed of it one bit. I’m proud of where I come from and how far I’ve come, and this school was the start of getting me on the right track.
  8. I’m a PK. Never heard of a PK, you say? It stands for Preacher’s Kid. Yep, my dad is The ‘Rev. Life is interesting (and as a teenager, sometimes embarrassing) when your dad is the local Baptist minister. Only other PK’s can understand PK kid problems, because the struggle was real. As an adult, I can look back and be grateful for the experience, but trust me when I say that life is totally different when, by virtue of your father’s job, your family’s life on constant public display.
  9. I geek out on I.T. stuff. You know your company’s resident I.T. Guy? The one whose first response to a technology crisis is “Did you reboot?” The one who no one talks to cause, well, he’s kind of a nerd? Well, I totally dig talking to the I.T. guy! Computers fascinate me and I love nothing more than tinkering around with software and figuring out how exactly it works. Back when MySpace was cool, I used to spend copious amounts of time rewriting the html text on my backgrounds to make them do different things. I randomly teach myself the “guts” of software we use at work so I can understand how it works. If my current career ever starts to fall flat, I think I might just have a future as the I.T. Gal. On the other hand, I hope you guys don’t stop reading now that you know I’m a closet nerd!
  10. I can’t sleep without my stuffed bear. Now I am glad that this blog is anonymous, because there’s not many people in real life that I would admit this to! About fifteen years ago Jake gave me a giant stuffed animal bear as a gift. Since then, that bear has survived seven home moves, had its nose chewed off by Puppy, and endured multiple runs through the washing machine. Oh yeah, and I simply cannot (and literally cannot) sleep without him. When we go camping with family or visit Jake’s family, I tell them that the bear is Puppy’s snuggle buddy, which couldn’t be further from the truth. Yep, I am in my mid-30s and still sleep with a stuffed animal. There’s nothing sexier than that.

It’s too bad that no one uses “Top 11” lists, but if they did, my #11 would have to be my love of lists. I really love making lists. I even love making lists of lists. But this list has to end some time, so I’ll just sneak this #11 in real quick and we’ll be done.

And now you guys know some of my junk AND you got a reprieve from fertility talk, all in one post. And to that I say, you’re welcome.