Saturday, March 27, 2010

My Week

Well, Craig and I spent most of the week working on things around the house. As I said in the last blog, Craig worked Saturday and Sunday and then Mon, Tues, and Wed he worked on the septic and drainfield after he got home from his real job. So far so good on the septic. What he found was that the outlet (opening) to the septic that is concrete and at ground level had a crack and hole on the side near the top. He drove out to the only place in Kitsap County that sells Jet Set (near Belfair) since Jet Set is the only non-porous concrete you can use on a septic tank. He dug all the way around the tank opening and fixed the hole and sealed up the 'mortar' portion all the way around just in case it was leaking anywhere else. The installer from Hemley's told us that after Craig fixes the hole 1of 2 things will happen; it will spew out the top of the tank once it gets full (sick!) or.....it will go out into the drainfield like it's supposed to. He said we'd know by this weekend. Well, here it is Saturday and we've had a week of laundry, baths, showers, dishes, etc, and so far no spewing out the top. We will keep praying that this was the only issue and it's now fixed. I'll need to have someone out to look at it and then if they give us the all clear they'll update us with the county so it shows as repaired. Since my husband is amazing at fixing things it only cost $40 for the concrete. I can't imagine if Craig didn't know how to do things himself, we would spend thousands on repairs around the home. Considering he grew up without a dad and had no one to show him how to do anything, I'm so proud of him for figuring things out, being hands on, and always finding a way to get things working again! He can pass these skills along to our children someday :) Lord knows I don't know how to do anything handy. Although I'd like to think I have good homemaking skills!

Monday morning I was making a quick run to Safeway for Manicotti shells since Fred Meyer strangely was having supply issues with Ronzoni....and the second I got Elly strapped into the cart my phone rang. It was our realtor and she said, "I hope your house is clean! Someone wants to see it in an hour." My first thought was, "how quick can I get home........there are bras hanging up drying and bills on the counter, and Elly's toys everywhere, and I didn't make the bed, etc." So I bought the noodles and raced home and cleaned like a maniac for 30 minutes. I threw up a little in my mouth since I was moving so crazy. lol. It looked great with the sun shining in the windows and we took off to Poulsbo so Elly could nap at my mom's. So, that was our first showing. The guy liked it but needs to show it to his nephew who is the person he actually wants it for. So we'll see. We also had another showing today, haven't heard yet what they thought. But, I am feeling hopeful that we've had two showings in one week. Maybe people are realizing time is running out on the tax credit.

Yesterday morning Craig woke me up at 6am to say his truck wasn't working (AGAIN! 3rd time in a year) and could he take my car to work. Well, of course I had to say yes. I couldn't think of anything planned for the day but him making money definitely tops any social outing I might have. I felt so bad for him. The last thing you want when you're trying to get to work is to have a dead car and not be able to get it started. I worried about it all day. He worked on it 1 1/2 months ago and replaced a ton of stuff and it cost us almost $900. I had sure hoped we'd be good for a year or two before it crapped out again. Luckily my dad is even more mechanically inclined than Craig and has been working on cars, bikes, heavy equipment, stereos, etc. for 40 years now. He has helped us with our oil furnace, electrical stuff, drainfield, cars, etc. Craig learns a lot from him and we're super lucky to have someone willing to help us. They spent 4 hours working on it last night (which is why I missed a friend's birthday party, sorry! :( ) and are working on it again right now. My dad can read an auto manual the way I read a novel. He just gets it. I could read a manual for 3 years and still not get it, my brain just doesn't work that way. It's great for Craig to have someone to teach him and to do the things that a dad usually does with a son but that he never got to experience. Anyway, I'm praying they get it fixed soon and cheaply!

After the septic issue I was pretty peeved that his truck broke down again. I guess I just felt like how come God allows these things to happen instead of just preventing them? I know why; we learn, we have to lean on Him, it builds our faith, character, etc. I get it in my brain. But in my heart sometimes I feel like why doesn't God just stop the bad things from happening?! The reality is that He probably does, and all the time. We just don't see it. So, to add to the list, we're now trusting God to make the septic do what it's supposed to do and to get that truck working again. And of course to sell our house and help us find a great place to live.

I'd also like to say how proud I am of Craig, he has lost 20lbs now! So, this might just be coincidence, but for lent he decided to give up non-dairy creamer. He went through about 1 fat free french vanilla non-dairy creamer a week ($3) and he thought he'd save us money and just go with milk and sugar. I had told him months ago that the ingredients were insane and all chemicals and hydrogenated oils. Of course that didn't really phase him :) But, since he's stopped drinking it the weight has been coming off much faster. I can't help but think it's related and ......I was right! HA! Dr. Oz said once that the body knows what to do with sugar since it's from nature, but that fake sugars and hydrogenated oils confuse our bodies and can make us gain weight.......it seems to be true. I'm stuck at -14lbs which isn't surprising to me really. Welcome to the world of PCOS. Oh well, we keep trying!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Lots of stuff not having to do with infertility (thought I'd give you all a break)

Oh man, we had such a busy weekend! God placed some sidework right in Craig's lap so he worked all day Saturday and a few hours Sunday before church. The sidework is almost enough to pay for a lab bill we got a couple days ago. Wish I could say the money from his weekend work would go in savings or something, but at least it'll pay that bill and I'm thankful for his hard work.

As most of you know, our house has been on the market about 3 weeks. Sounds like the realtor's gotten some calls about it, but no one ready to come see it yet :( We are praying and hoping it sells and sells quick! Friday morning I went to the park with a friend and our girls (such a needed break in my week!) and when I got home the septic pumping guy had left me my bill, which is normal, but on the bill it said to call an installer about the drainfield. I was like, oh great, just what we need. We've gotten a few opinions so far. I'd like to go with the one that said nothing is wrong, but I'm still waiting on Hemley's to call to get out to give us a bid. Either way I have to trust that God will provide. If we sell, the buyer's will want a fully functioning septic. If we stay here, we also need a fully functioning septic! At this point there's no backing up or issues in the house but there is occasionally about a foot portion of the grass near the septic opening that gets wet some days (especially if it's been raining). That apparently sometimes just happens with older septics because of the way the port is built. I'm trying not to panic that it's a drainfield issue since that would cost us thousands we don't have.

We went to another Doctor on Friday about Craig's health issues. He is very knowledgable in the stuff Craig is dealing with and was very willing to help us. At the end of the appointment when it came time to pay he asked how it would be for us to pay. I thought he meant like card or check and I said card. He said no they don't take cards anymore and that he meant how are our finances right now. I immediately started crying and said, "you don't want to ask." Every few days I get a dr bill for $75 and up (like $455 for the lab bill!) and then just that day I had paid $325 to get the septic pumped and found out we might have a problem. The $150 we expected to pay for the appointment was not anywhere in our budget but necessary to get Craig help. I think what got me and made me cry was just that no dr has ever asked about our finances. Even when I've said, "we need to know how much this will cost since we pay 100% out of pocket", they still don't seem to care! But this dr who is actually helping us (and we've talked to and paid for a few that didn't), was being kind and gracious and generous. It feels like we constantly struggle financially. Craig works his butt off and we end up spending more than his paycheck many weeks, but not on fun stuff! We spend it on constant medical bills, home repairs, etc. I wish I could say I got new shoes, went out to eat, or got my hair done, but I haven't done any of those in a quite a while. We struggle and we muddle through and often it feels that the many people we pay our money to don't give a crap about how hard it is on us to pay them. And then to have a very educated and successful person offer to help us and tell us, "Don't worry about it. If you're situation changes, we'll talk. Don't worry about it right now." It just felt so humbling and gratifying at the same time to have someone sensitive to our current situation! What a blessing for us.

It's extremely hard on a young family to not have medical insurance. I just feel like all our money goes to medical bills (dental, lab, office visits, prescriptions, etc). We've spent neary $3k this year already, and we're not even 3 months in! Technically we have insurance but it's pointless since it doesn't cover anything until we reach $5k (and that doesn't count dental, vision, or infertility). I'm working on getting the Washington Apple program for Eliana. It's really the only thing we can get her and it appears that any income can qualify. It won't be free for us, but I think only like $20 a month. Too bad Craig and I don't qualify for anything. I don't know what more we can do. I have researched and applied for things and we're always declined. The thing is, we don't even go to the dr very often. But one office visit can cost over $200 and then God forbid you need any lab work done that can easily be a couple hundred (and usually more). A dental cleaning is nearly $150 and really necessary for Craig with the way his mouth is after the accident. Trust me on that. There are so many fake teeth and so much metal under the skin. As for me, I haven't seen the dr for something besides infertility or an annual in longer than I can even think of. I guess we'll just keep trucking on and really pray for a breakthrough in our current financial/insurance situation. Our house selling would be a great start!

These are hard times for so many people. I guess if you are struggling you can know you have a friend in me! Sometimes I want to say, well, let's just screw it. Seems we'll never pay our credit card off (although it's down to $1k for the moment), might as well just book a trip to Hawaii. And boy do I want that. You have no idea. I dream of a sandy beach and walking around the Saturday flea market on Maui........Craig's never even been there. But there is the responsible side of me that says, 'no, that's not a wise decision right now.' It's like when you open the bag of chips and sit to watch tv. Before you know it half the bag is gone! Part of you thinks, 'well, I've already eaten too much might as well keep going.' But is that the best decision? No. Put the bag of chips away. I wonder if many people in America are feeling that way. Like, well we're already in so much debt and things are already out of control so what does it matter if I put these $200 shoes on the credit card or we eat at this fancy restaurant, etc. I think there is a huge difference between putting a medical bill or septic pump or heating oil on your credit card than just a new pair of Seven Jeans. Do you agree? Ideally we'd have the cash for whatever bill we get, but sometimes that's just not the case. And it's not like we can just leave the septic and let it overflow. Ewww.

Through all this stuff going on in life I am daily blessed by my sweet little toddler, Eliana. She is such a joy. She gives me hugs and kisses and makes me read the same book to her 15 times in a day. She packs the washing machine with her bibs and my shoes and she makes me wrap her dolly in a blanky and kiss it. Every day is new and fresh and exciting to her and she helps me to see life more that way. I love her more than I ever knew I could love a little person and I'm thankful I have a couple more years to kiss her cheeks 100 times a day without an ,"Oh, mom!" She is my blessing and I'm glad God chose me to be her mother.

Ok, obviously I haven't blogged in a while, way too much to ramble about!

On a random and final note :), as we were coming home from the grocery store tonight we drove past a women on the side of the road (not behind a tree or anything) with her pants completely down and wiping her butt with a paper towel. Is that weird or what? Quite the view! Talk about indecent exposure! And it was in a high traffic area. lol.

P.S. Craig is down nearly 20lbs!!! and I'm still at around -14lbs :)

Monday, March 15, 2010

A prediction of the future made under Divine inspiration :)

Hey ya'll, nothing I can report. Thank you for all the love and prayers and support. I appreciate each of you :) Just wanted to check in. Maybe we'll take a month off since I don't really want a baby due on Christmas (just my personal choice).

Also, wanted to share a story of prophecy in Craig's and my life. I think it's pretty cool and worth other's reading.
Prophecy:
n., pl., -cies (-sēz).

1.

a.An inspired utterance of a prophet, viewed as a revelation of divine will.

b.A prediction of the future, made under divine inspiration.

c.Such an inspired message or prediction transmitted orally or in writing.

2.The vocation or condition of a prophet.

3.A prediction.
 
Craig and I had been invited to a prayer meeting at a friend's house where a Christian man (Victor Burgos) with the gift of prophecy would pray over those who wanted it. To be honest it was a bit outside of our comfort zone. But since we'd been trying for sometime (I want to say over a year at that point) already to get pregnant with no success it seemed fairly appropriate to go and see if God had a word for us.
 
We went and several people we'd known for 10 plus years were there so that helped us feel more comfortable, but I was definitely still nervous for when it would be our turn.
 
*Before I go any further I want to explain that it's nothing mystical or magical that happens at something like this. It's normal people wearing normal clothes sitting in a normal house eating normal snacks :) Prophetic word was commonplace in the Bible and still exists in our world today, because our God still exists!
 
Ok, so when it was our turn we went up to the middle of the living room together and Craig and I held hands and Victor started praying over us. The cassette recorder didn't work :(, so this is what we remember and what those there have relayed to us:
"You're in a small boat, as you step onto the water, keep your eyes ahead/focused. The waters have been rough. You only have the small boat. God will give you a yacht/provide a yacht.
People that were your friends in the past became your enemies, they weren't there for you as they should've been. Even your family has turned against you.
Do not worry about what to eat or drink or wear. You have nothing now, but God will provide. As you put your house in order as you have been. God will give you riches. This will not change you, will not corrupt you. Like Solomon's riches but you won't be corrupt.
You have a small boat, God will give you a yacht.
Love no one else more, be glued together. Fight together side by side and back to back.
Your family were your enemies, maybe didn't approve of you. But the Lord says, I approve, this is right. This is a right choice. Your family will rally around you.
At this point Victor directed Craig to put his hands on my stomach (he DID NOT know we were trying to get pregnant) Thank you for this womb. Greatness will come from this womb. I bless this womb. This womb is blessed. He told Craig to pray that my womb is blessed with his hands on it. You will be great parents.
As you give to the poor you give to God. "
 
WOW, huh? A few major points we saw were:
1) Friends and family were enemies; the family will come around and be support.
2) It's been a rough road but will get better.
3) God will give us riches.
4) Our union is blessed.
5) My womb is blessed.
 
I can honestly and truly say that we saw truth in all of that. Unfortunately when Craig's accident happened many people he thought were friends turned out to be the opposite of a friend. It was very hard for Craig to realize all the 'support' he thought he had wasn't real. He felt lonely because of it.
 
And when we were dating/engaged there was a lot of drama with my family and it really did seem that they did not approve of us and it wasn't until maybe 6 months before the wedding (maybe less) that they came around. Now my family loves Craig as their own and truly do rally around us.
Oh man, it has definitely been a rough road for us! We dealt with more in the first year of marriage than many people deal with in 50 years. Trust me on that.
 
As far as God giving us riches, we're still waiting on that :) We almost think maybe the 'small boat' is our little house. We seem to have so little and live so frugally compared to many of our friends with huge homes and new cars. I'm not saying people with huge homes and new cars don't live frugrally, I know most people right now are living on a budget. It just almost seems funny to me that I have more friends (and family) than I can almost count with huge homes. It's like, ok God, can we get one even half that size?
We pray and trust that God continues to provide everything we need and also will grant us the desires of our heart; a home we can grow a family in.
 
God saying our union is blessed was just sort of a confirmation to us. Through all the trials we've faced sometimes we thought, "are we facing all these troubles because we aren't supposed to be together?" Sounds bad I know, but when life continually beats you up you can't help but question things. To hear God say He approves of us and to keep fighting side by side was encouraging and just let us know that God sees our work and He wants us together.
 
Ok, so on the blessed womb front, wow! As we drove home that night we were still trying to process everything. I was thinking maybe Victor thought I was pregnant or something like that. But as we thought more and other people there talked to us about it we realized that it truly was a prophecy about what was to come for us. It gave me hope that I would have a baby someday. That maybe it wouldn't be the next month, but it would happen. Well, 9 months later we got pregnant with Eliana, our little miracle. We named her Eliana Amaris because in Hebrew it means, 'God answers our prayers and He fulfills His promises'. Pretty appropriate, huh? I think it's such a testament to God because when we were TTC Eliana I was much quieter about my fertility issues. No blog, no facebook. Just Craig and me and the pain. There truly was no way that Victor could've known what we were going through. There were other couples there and he didn't pray over their wombs..........but for us it was specific! God knew exactly what we needed. In the 9 months following that prayer meeting I held on to the prophecy and it gave me a reason to press on throughout the exhausting and painful fertility journey.
 
What I hope you can gather from me sharing this is how real and personal our God is. He cares about the big stuff and the little stuff and He desires a friendship with you. If you do not know God is this way yet, I pray that God reveals Himself to you in a way that is so real that you can't possibly chalk it up to coincidence.
All the things that break your heart and stress you out, God cares about those things!
 
Seven years ago I was honored to travel with the Continental Singers for 3 months as Assistant Director and soloist. It was a crazy journey living on an old bus with 25 other people. Every day we did 1-3 shows with full set up and tear down. We also stayed in host homes with strangers and ate our meals with strangers. For someone like me that likes to plan, it was challenging! What I learned over the weeks was that no matter how tired and uncomfortable I felt with the constant change and all the unknowns...........God knew exactly what the next day held for me. I came to the point where I didn't worry at all and I lived in peace on that crowded bus. Even to this day I can think back to that time of my life and remember the peace and remind myself that God goes before me and He already knows the plan. He already knows when we'll have our next child. He already knows when our house will sell. Ok, I could go on and on, I think you get the point.
Whatever is keeping you up at night, give it to God :)
 

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Update 3-11-10

I know many of you are dying to know what's going on and I don't really have any new news for you. This morning started out rough though since my temp was down :( Rough meaning I felt super sad about it. The low temp could mean that me having to get up at 5:30am and then again at 7:20am wasn't adequate sleep to get a correct temp, or it could mean that my progesterone levels are dropping and I'm not pregnant. I'm feeling irritated. I don't understand how I can ovulate and Craig and I can do our part but it can still just not happen. I realize for those of you not on fertility meds this is normal and part of conceiving; you just try a couple months and bam! But for someone taking Clomid, charting their temp, tracking all their symptoms, scheduling intimacy, weighing every day, getting a blood draw every month, waiting a day for blood draw results, then waiting another two weeks for AF (aunt flo) to come or a positive test........it's exhausting! I got pregnant with Elly the first month Clomid made me ovulate (which happened to be about the 5th cycle of Clomid). So naturally I just assumed that if I was ovulating maybe this time would be easy and hassle free. I'm feeling discouraged and like wow, we might be starting cycle 3 here soon and why isn't it happening. Especially when I had the 'implantation dip' on my chart. I guess I just wanted something to be easy for once, ya know?
I feel like a big fat disappointment. To myself, to Craig, to everyone waiting for us to get pregnant. And I'm honestly starting to worry that something bigger is wrong since I am ovulating and still not conceiving. It's beyond irritating. There is still a chance that I'm pregnant this cycle, I'll know by Sunday/Monday-ish.....but the drop in my temp doesn't look good and I'm not having any symptoms either. I guess I might be in the 14% that can have an implantation dip and not be pregnant. I'm still praying that I am and honestly am trying to weed out the negative self talk. I do truly in my heart believe that God knows our situation even better than I do. He knows the exact time our next child will be born. He sees the big picture. And as frustrated as I am about delivering next year (when our insurance deductible resets!), God also knows our finances. Infertility is an exercise in faith and trust. It's an exercise is believing that God has my best interest in His plans for me. That He wants joy and success for me and He doesn't want to harm me. I'm glad at least that I have Him to hold my hand on this roller coaster, and boy is it a roller coaster......every single month!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

DPO 9

Hi friends,
So today is day 9 past ovulation so the waiting game continues. Unfortunately it's still too early to test so we have to hang tight. I'm till charting my temp and on dpo (day past ovulation) 7 I had a 'dip' which is referred to as the implantation dip once pregnancy is confirmed; meaning just cuz you have the dip it doesn't mean you're pregnant, but a lot of pregnant charts do show a dip between dpo 7 and 10. Apparently when the egg implants it often causes a one day temperature dip. Of course I am hoping that's what the dip on my chart is about, but only one way to know for sure and it's too early. 80% of charts on fertilityfriend.com with an implantation dip end up being pregnant charts. SO, praying and crossing my fingers! ***
In the meantime I'm trying to stay busy and not let my mind go too crazy wondering if I am pregnant or not. Of course Craig thinks I am but he said that last month, too.

Sunday was a busy day, baby shower for a wonderful couple (with awesome food!) and then a 77th birthday party for my grandpa Mr. Sluys (as in Sluys Bakery :) ). It's great to be around family and friends all day but I will say we were worn out when we got home.

Eliana's sleeping has been somewhat better the last couple weeks. She's actually taken a few 2 hour naps and is for the most part sleeping til 7:30am at least. A tooth is working it's way out and I think that was part of the major issues we'd been having for about a month. Every couple days she'll wake up crying at 5am and I can usually get her to go back to sleep. I think it's just the tooth pain waking her up. She's definitely been a more pleasant child getting more sleep, although now she has a cold. Lucky me weilding the nasal aspirator all day :)

***If you are interested in trying fertilityfriend.com's VIP membership free for 30 days (the basic subscription is always free) send me your email (here or on FB) and I'll send you the invitation. I highly recommend the site for natural family planning and also tracking your pregnancy. It has so much information, detail, and even awesome Q&A's. I have learned a ton from this site about fertility in general and also my own body.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Really good numba!

Got a call this morning from my dr's office and the results from yesterday's progesterone blood draw are really good; 23.68! They want something over 6.50, but last month was 6.22 and they said that was sufficient. I almost thought I heard the nurse wrong this morning with the number being so high. Progesterone needs to be around a 10 to sustain pregnancy, so if I do end up pregnant now it looks really good. I need to wait almost 2 weeks and then we'll see what happens. I'm stoked for such a good number. My body is doing exactly what it's supposed to do, so if it's not this month, I'd be surprised if it's not next. Selfishly I want it this month so that it's on our health insurance this year (rather than our deductible resetting for next year).
Say a prayer for me!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

boy vs girl sometimes feels like fertile vs infertile

Alright, today is the blood draw. Hopefully I can call and get results tomorrow. My temp peaked on Monday so I was thinking WAHOO that means I ovulated on Sunday. But alas it went back down on Tuesday. And then sure enough it's back up again today. I need to see what the blood draw results are and if my temp is peaked again tomorrow. Then of course it's a waiting game for a couple of weeks to see if either Aunt Flo appears or I have a positive pregnancy test.

A friend and I were talking yesterday about how different life is for the couples that don't struggle at all with infertility. For a couple that struggles, the gender isn't that big of deal. I think naturally most of us have at least a slight preference for boy or girl, but when it's taken years to even get pregnant- it sure as heck doesn't matter the gender. You just want a healthy full term pregnancy! I definitely was excited when I found out I was having a girl, but had it been boy I would've adjusted and been happy in that direction, too. I'm not gonna lie, it's a little tough for fertility challenged couples see people who get pregnant super easy be so adamant that they only 'want' one gender. I know these couples by know means are trying to come across ignorant or hurtful, but that's exactly how it can feel to someone who's been trying to get pregnant for a long time and then has a friend who's extremely put off by whatever gender they are having. I think it's unintentional ignorance. You can't know how infertility feels unless you've been through it. You can't know how it feels to get pregnant on a whim, unless you have. Neither side knows how the other one feels.
What are your thoughts on this? And btw I'm not pointing fingers at anyone, I've known several people on either side of this situation. I just think it's good to open up a discussion and maybe help all of us to think about something we haven't thought about before :)