Lilypie Pregnancy tickers

Lilypie Pregnancy tickers

Monday, November 21, 2011

Squash... How I love thee!!

I am now madly in love with Squash and so excited for winter because they are in season.  Mounds of them galore at the grocery store, butternut, spaghetti, yellow, acorn... I have yet to meet a squash I didn't like, especially now that I know what to do with them.


Over the weekend we went over to Dayleen's cousin Mackenzie and Jeremy's house to catch up and break bread together.  And to hang out with their super cute kids!  You know I couldn't pass up the opportunity to cook some of my favorites for them and that included this Roasted Acorn squash recipe I found at the www.jointhereboot.com site.  Mine is pretty much the same except with more onions and mushrooms and less oil.

Brush on a little olive oil on the squash halves and put some sea salt and fresh ground pepper.  Bake with the flesh side down at 450 for 25-35 minutes.

While that beautiful sweet squash is cooking, you can make up the filling.  Saute the rest of the olive oil with the onions and garlic until the onions begin to turn translucent.  Then toss in the mushrooms, sage, salt and red pepper flakes and continue cooking until the mushrooms begin to get soft.  (I will admit I like to cook the heck out of my mushrooms.)


Yum!! Look at all that scrumptiousness.  One time, when I made this I had to make a new batch of filling because I just kept eating it, it was so good.

Then you take the mushroom filling and scoop it inside of the roasted squash.  Toss back in the oven and bake for 10 more minutes.


Voila! You have an amazing dinner (or for Mackenzie and Jer... a good side)

I eat it right out of the skin with a fork.  You must try this!!


Roasted Acorn Squash

1 Acorn Squash

3/4 tsp. plus 1/4 tsp. Sea Salt

1/2 tsp. fresh ground Black Pepper

3 Tbsp. Olive Oil, plus extra for brushing

2 Garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 large Portobello Mushroom, chopped

1 large Onion, chopped

2 tsp. Fresh Sage, finely chopped

Pinch Red Pepper Flakes, optional

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Back to Basics

Until this point I have avoided saying "watch this" or "read this" or "this changed my life" because I wasn't sure if anything had.  And well as obsessive and excited as I can be about things, sometimes they can wear off just as fast as they catch on.   Finally, I know when I get too excited and over the top sometimes it can be a turn off for folks but after 9 weeks of feeling great and actually enjoying food that I am eating, and now sharing it with you, I thought I would pass along some of the materials I have found useful.

Facebook is evil.  I say that with the utmost love.  The power of social networking is pretty impressive and that is how I learned about these.

The food philosophy that I have embraced can be summed up in a wall photo I saw on Kassie's wall:



Now not everything I am eating is organic that's not necessarily the point. What is, is that our idea of food has become so distorted that whole natural foods have had to become a specialty and no longer a mainstay. I know this first hand as you have seen in my previous posts I lived my life on processed products marketed as food. Then I wondered why I crashed at 3 in the afternoon and needed yet another cup of coffee and a delicious buttery sugary pastry.

In order of appearance:
My friend Dawn had posted something like 5 times about this movie and how you just had to see it. I'll admit I like these kind of movies so when it popped up in my netflix streaming suggestions I was like sure why not.

Fat, Sick, and Nearly dead.

Now I don't want to ruin the movie for you, but it does have to do with my juicer. When I had cancer my grandmother had given me a Jack Lalane (r.i.p.) Power juicer. I used it from time to time but admittedly it has sat collecting dust in the far reaches of one of my dark cabinets. After watching this movie it inspired me to bust it out again.

I then googled the movie and found the website www.jointhereboot.com.  This website had a 15 day meal plan that I thought I would give a try. That was more than 60 days ago. Some of my favorite recipes are from this website.

Next, my friend Becki was always posting about another movie Forks over Knives. This one is more of the science behind eating whole foods. My curiosity had been piqued enough and I had been feeling so good that when this one appeared I had to watch it too.

I might have had to get a few books along the way as well, because I am a reader.  Just wait until I take a picture of all the pregnancy/conception/baby books that have already taken over my bookshelf.  You will all have a good time with that one.  One of my favorite books so far (in addition to FOK) is  Thrive Foods by Brendan Brazier.

Now yes there us a theme: they are all vegetarian. Don't write them off because of that. I don't think I consider myself vegan or vegetarian or any of those things because you can be all the above and still eat like doo-doo.  But for the most part, vegetarian and vegan resources know how to bring out the best in your produce.

My goal: make plant based whole foods the star of my plate. Not something that gets shoved to the side and gagged down. That's it.  Okay, and maybe not eat things that I don't know what they are or where they came from.  These resources have given me a great foundation for that.


If I want meat I will eat meat, not some poor imitation. (Hello El Gaucho, yum yum yum) But it will not be my focus. And when I do have it, it will be amazing. I have to be honest I don't miss it though.

So if you have never explored these kinds of recipes before I hope these provide some inspiration for including more fruits and veggies in your world.

What is one vegetable or fruit that you have wanted to cook but didn't know how to include it?  Tell me and I will try it out for you!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Homemade Lara Type Bars, Yum!

On my first of what will hopefully be a fabulous month of tasty recipes is the homemade Lara Type Bar.  I posted a pic


 of the ones I made last month on my Facebook and everyone wanted the recipe and, well what kind of friend would I be I didn't post this one first?

Welcome to my Accidentally Orange Cinnamon Bars!

Why "accidentally" well, I was supposed to be making Lemon Bars and I already told that story here.  It's pretty funny, but the end result was Dayleen's top pick!

First I need to give credit to Siobhan who originally made and posted her recipe on her Facebook and I just had to make some too.  You can read her original recipe here.  She inspired me to give these a go.

Ingredients
2 cups dates (packed)
1 cup almonds
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 medium orange zested and juice
1/2 cup cashews

Dates 101: First, Get the Medjool dates for these type of recipes.  They are plumper and moist and so full of flavor.  I couldn't tell you what the real difference is between Medjool dates and regular dates but you put them side by side and you can see it and it translates in the texture as well.  You will probably need to pit them.  It is super easy, they peel easily in half with your fingers and you can just pull the pit out.
Second:  Pack your dates when measuring, I did not do this at first and just could not understand why it seemed so out of proportion.  But now I know!

I put all the ingredients together except the cashews in a bowl, but you could put it directly in your food processor.  If you don't have a big food processor you could totally use a little one just process the ingredients one at a time and put into a ziploc bag and knead by hand.

I zested the whole orange and then cut in half and squeezed the orange juice in but you can do as little or more that you like.

I put the whole mixture in the food processor to coarsely chop it and then added the cashews, they are a little softer so they don't need as long.  Then process away until it makes this ball:


I lined a container with plastic wrap, last time I used wax paper and it worked just as good.  Then flattened it.
In an hour or so you pull it out of the fridge dump it upside down on the cutting board and cut into little bars.

Rumor has it you can freeze these puppies and they will hold for months and they don't completely freeze so you can grab and go.  I am going to test that out tonight.  I will let you know how it goes!!

Enjoy!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Food Inspiration

Okay I polled several people and the vote was pretty unanimous that I should post my food stuff right on here instead of doing two different blogs.  It will also fill the void to when we start trying again, and we have decided that will be in December.  Work will have slowed down enough to let me breathe again then.

So I am going to attempt a 30 day blog challenge, now knowing me that might be unrealistic but I will do my best.  I thought I would start by sharing with you some of the inspiration for me.

First I would like to think that losing weight was my drive to learn how to cook, let alone cook healthier, but it wasn't.  Having a child was. You can lose weight on store bought prepared foods.  Trust me, I have done it.  My mom was amazing when we were growing up, working a bazillion hours to raise 3 kids and I think she did a pretty good job, but what that meant was that we didn't have time for things like cooking.  More specifically learning how to cook.  I could make a mean sandwich because I worked in her 7-11 deli over the summers but I am sorry there is not much that is healthy at a 7-11.  With that being said I will forever look fondly upon chili-cheese nachos and big-bite hot dogs.  Ahhhh... That store and my mom taught me something else entirely, work ethic.  But food savvy?  Nah.

My mom did the best she could with what she had and I thank her for it every day, whether she knows it or not.  I want to do the same for my children.  I am lucky enough (and I do believe there is some luck involved) to be a little bit better position than she was in with an amazing partner by my side.  And my best at this point in my life has got to be better than Taco Time and Domino's Pizza (no hating, I love them... that's the problem).  Now is the time when I don't actually have children yet to build this into my life pattern and learn so that it becomes part of my parenting habits.

Now the Warrior Princess can cook, and has done so for the majority of our 5 years together.  She can cook something fierce, it oozes out of her like it is part of her DNA.  Bam, three dozen cookies baked like that.  You want some amazing fish?  You bet!  Pot Roast?  Already in the oven. In a relationship there will always be role division and one person naturally will like to do some things more than others but this was one area where I just couldn't justify not being an substantial contributor when we had kids.  I needed to learn and so the journey has begun!  And I am LOVING it!!!!


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Perfect Fall Day!

When the warrior princess must leave me to go save the world (the life of a superhero) I get to fill my time with those items that I don't get done when she is home and a couple of extra curriculars.  During the summer that usually entails garage sales and running.  But now that fall has set in the garage sales are far and few between and well... let's just say I have fallen off the running wagon... anywho this time I spent all day in the kitchen.  And with ZERO guilt, because even as I made all of these wonderful items nothing I "quality controlled" or ate was going to blow out my waist line.

Hopefully this time next year I will be complaining about running around and chasing a rug rat but  until then I get to come up with fun ways to prepare for that.  Every time I make something I think of how it will translate toddler in tow.

Today's was a great day cooking for me!

Look at these beautiful Yucca Chips!!  I have been trying to make yucca chips based on this original recipe I had but I keep burning them and then they are not all that edible.  I think I have made them 5 different times and FINALLY found the perfect balance.  If you have never had Yucca Chips they are great because they are light in flavor, heavy in texture and perfect for dipping in guacamole, pico de gallo or any other dip.



Something else I have been trying to perfect is a homemade Honey Dijon dressing and I think the one I made today might be the winner.  I LOVE Honey mustard but the warrior princess hates it.  In fact when I first moved in she told me my honey mustard would have to be in its own fridge out in the garage ha ha.  Guess where it is now :)


Just because it is natural, whole plant -based doesn't mean it isn't pure evil.  Case in point:  homemade Larabars.  This could be bad!!  I tried Pecan Pie flavored last week and they turned out GREAT!


But I wanted more!  So I looked up more recipes adapted them slightly and set off to make Lemon Larabars today.  I got most of the way through the first batch and was zesting the "lemon" and it was being incredibly difficult and it was kind of soft.  I couldn't understand what was going on, until I cut into it to juice it and TA DA, it was an orange LOL not a lemon.  I just went with it, used the orange juice and added a little cinnamon to make it a orange cinnamon bar.  The next batch I made sure I had a  lemon!   They are not as firm as the Pecan Pies ones so I might mess with the recipe a little bit but so so good!!



And finally for dinner tonight I made a Parsnip, Apple, Sweet Potato bake.  It was the perfect fall day dinner.  The apples were from the tree in our yard and I discovered we have an apple corer!  This whole time I have been doing it manually.  And I finally got to use the corningware I scored last summer at a sale.  The minute I opened the oven the sweetness of the apples, onions, parsnips and sweet potato reminded me of freshly baked pie.  The garlic and pepper added just enough spice and balance.  What a perfect family dinner (which means I will have leftovers for days!) 



Necessities

There are TWO tools that I could not do this without: olive oil sprayer and my laptop.  Thank God for other bloggers, youtube, and recipe websites.


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Yummy Goodness

One the reasons I took time off from trying to get pregnant was because of work:  this is my busiest/craziest time of year and trying to get pregnant is stressful enough, the two together would be recipe for one crankalicous Junelle and the other is that timing wise I don't want to be on maternity leave during my busiest time next year... timing is everything!  

Anywho as mentioned earlier  I am taking advantage of this opportunity to learn how to cook plant-based whole foods.  Can I tell you, that I feel AMAZING!!!  I am a self-professed coffee addict and most days I would get an afternoon coffee and probably a pastry of some kind.  B-A-D.  I did this because I was crashing and needed more energy so I craved sugar.  Since I have started eating a majority of my calories and meals from plants I no longer crash in the afternoon, do not crave sugar, and am not hungry because I eat all the time.  In fact, both the Warrior Princess and I noticed we are having surges of energy throughout the day.  She was startled by it as a matter of fact. 

This has transformed me so much, that I am actually looking forward to cooking, heck I even bought an apron and rearranged my kitchen cabinets to make them more user friendly.  People, you need to understand how big of a deal this is:  My first apartment the stove was a desk, the next few places I lived with other people that cooked, then for 3 years I lived without a kitchen at all, finally when I bought my condo the kitchen had no doors or drawers and it barely affected me.  Today, I have a kitchen and well let's be honest, that's because it is the Warrior Princess's domain not mine. So for me to actually spend time in the kitchen and enjoy it?  Watch out people!!  

So, what kind of things am I making?  Here is a sampling of all that yummy goodness:

Kale Chips - Awesome Snack and awesome for you

Dayleen's favorite soup so far Bok Choy and Sweet Potato.  You must try this, Bok Choy has a light refreshing flavor but an amazingly meaty crunchy texture making this tasty soup extraordinarily filling and satisfying.  



Broccoli, Orange, Spinach salad with homemade vinaigrette and roasted harvest veggies

Look at those gorgeous veggies! Right before they were put through the juicer.


I can't wait to share more with you!  

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Healthy Mother, Healthy Pregnancy

During my break I have decided to focus on making the most healthy me that I can, because the best way to have a healthy pregnancy is to have a healthy mother!!  I thought I would share this as well... I mean why not, it's all a part of this grand plan of mine to get pregnant and have a family.  Are you up for it?

Here goes!

My first order of business is to include more fruits, vegetables and whole foods in my diet.  Really what we hear all the time about how to improve our diets.... and promptly ignore. 

My problem?  I don't cook.  Seriously. My first apartment's oven was a desk that I stacked papers on.  I literally never used it. A dear friend of mine Linda Walker used to tell people that I went to the drive through and picked up two cheeseburgers... one for now and one for later.   I just never learned, I look at a cupboard and I do not see food, I see random items that might as well have japanese written all over them.  Once baby sitting when I was younger I screwed up hot dogs.. oh yes hot dogs.  KA BOOM, Ker SPLAT, however you would like to imagine what happens when you put hot dogs in the microwave for 5 minutes.  It's sad, but some how I have made it this far!

I am betting that I am not the only one like this and that's why this adventure is so neat, if I can do it, ANYONE can do it!  

With that in mind, you can see how adding a vegetables to a diet in a substantial manner could stump someone like me.  Vegetables = salad = rabbit food.  Boring.  

Well I am setting out to make it happen, to learn how to eat a whole foods based diet (majority of which is fruits and veggies), cook, and live a healthy lifestyle so that when I do eventually become pregnant and have a family of my own I can set my kids up for success.

I am excited to share this part with you too.  Look for more to come!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Patience is a virtue...

That I seem to be lacking!

I have discovered that trying to get pregnant is more like a marathon than a sprint. And when you train for a marathon you spend months calibrating and preparing your body for in my case what would be 5 hours of a grueling work out.

Even in training for a marathon you have rest days to let your body recover and so I think I am going to take a few months off to refocus and rejuvenite my emotional self. And then jump back in.

The next two months are my craziest at work so the timing works out well. I need to be in the best place possible when I get pregnant and taking a few months will help me do that. Thanks everyone for all your support so far! I will keep you updated on my adventures!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Off to see the wizard!

After not ovulating last month, I was starting to get worried that it was  going to happen again this month when I still did not have a positive OPK yesterday. But you know what they say...something about try try again! And today we finally have success!

This means I get to go in tomorrow and take a pregnancy test in two weeks.

Best friday ever!


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Bad Blogger...

I know I have been a bad blogger :(  I thought I had posted something and then realized that I actually lost it into the oblivion that is the web world or possibility posted it somewhere else who knows!  It was this really great piece about patience and odds and the lottery.  In many ways that is how trying to get pregnant can feel like... like planning to win the lotto!  Craziness.

And then we had this last month, and well this last month was not so great and I guess I hid away because of it.  A very dear Pastor of mine once said he always knew when something was wrong with someone in the congregation because they stopped coming to church.  I guess I didn't show up because I was frustrated and didn't want to have to share the bad news of another failed attempt.  It was a crazy month emotionally as well with lots of ups and downs.  Well I invited you on this journey so I shouldn't leave you out in the cold!  It is you my dear friends and family (and dare I say random reader?) that will help me through this and be there with me to cry and to cheer.  So hear goes nothing!

I am not really sure what happened but all evidence points to: either not ovulating at all or I ovulated very early.  In a way it was very sad, like I lost a very important moment.  The opportunity was just gone, particularly if I did ovulate and I somehow missed it. I admittedly freaked out and started doing 3 OPK (ovulation predictor kits) a day thinking that maybe it was late, or that I hadn't timed it just perfect. This lasted until day 17.  For perspective every other month except one a positive OPK came on day 13.  And if you have never bought an OPK let me tell you they are expensive.  Seven tests run you about $30.00.  I scan the papers for sales and coupons.  When really I have been fine doing one a day for the last 5 months and catching my LH surge without any issues.  So, I might have gone overboard.  I just couldn't believe that I wasn't getting a smiley face.  (a smiley face is what appears when you have a positive OPK, its very cute).

It happens sometimes, especially as we get older, that we just don't ovulate.  But alas we are in a new cycle and looking forward to another try.  If this one doesn't work I may consider kicking it up a notch to  IVF.

As I stare down my 34th birthday next week, I so hoped I would be pregnant by now.  But I am grateful that I have someone who loves me and is 20 times more patient than I am (in this area, cleaning out the litter box is a completely different story) and is zen about the whole thing.  She keeps me calm and reminds me about the statistics.  My favorite when I entered in another cycle without a pregnancy into my nifty little app (oh yes, there is an app for this too!!) was that it takes a healthy heterosexual couple (translation: lots of fresh sperm on hand) on average of 3-6 months.  Well I am technically only now on try number 4 over the last 5 months.  So it's not so bad.

I have a theory:  Those who got pregnant on the first try?  They were trying they just didn't count those months because they thought they weren't really trying and everyone else did IVF.  : o)~

Here we go again!  May this month bring a happy egg, doing a happy dance, out to play.

Thanks everyone for your love and support.  Cheers!

Junelle

Monday, July 25, 2011

Tracking Progress

I have added two items to my blog to help everyone track where I am in the process.  The first is a Tracker at the top of my page.  It will count to until either my expected ovulation date, this is usually the day after I do my IUI, and then it will countdown to when I will take a pregnancy test or start my period, you know, whichever comes first :).

Also, I added a new Timeline page (see the tab at the top) to my blog that succinctly wraps up the "adventure" to this point. Hope this helps keep you all up to date!  

Saturday, July 16, 2011

If you don't mind me asking...

Of course I don't!  I am happy to share exactly what this is all about.

The topic of "how" is always the awkward part of the conversation when I talk about having a baby.  What  exactly does it involve?  Well it might help by defining what all of the the different terms are that you will hear.

Generally speaking this group of terms are considered artificial insemination, whether from a known or unknown donor or fresh or frozen sperm.  These may be used with or without fertility medications depending on specific needs.

ICI - Intracervical Insemination
 This involves placing (usually with a small needleless syringe) the sperm inside the vagina into/superclose to the cervix.  The cervix is the opening that separates your vagina from the uterus.  Hey, that might seem TMI but I didn't know exactly what it was until I started this process myself.   This is the process that most closely describes how you can do it at home.

IUI - Intrauterine Insemination
This one involves "washing" the sperm so that it is only sperm and not ejaculate.  The sperm are then placed using a syringe attached to a thin catheter directly into the uterus.  Many women take advantage of this option before trying in vitro if fertility issues are unexplained, or for example in order for sperm to travel through the cervix to the uterus a woman must have fertile mucus.  If she does not the sperm are most likely being killed before they ever even make it to the uterus. Another example could be sperm that don't live long enough to make the swim through the cervix.  This is the method that I am doing at the doctor's office.  It has a slightly higher success rate than ICI.


IVF - In Vitro Fertilization
This is when the woman's eggs are removed and then fertilized outside of the body.  The fertilized eggs are then reintroduced.  This is by far the most invasive and expensive procedure.

There you go!  Now you know.

Round #1 for me was ICI at home
Round #2 IUI at the doctor office with an hCG trigger shot that made me bat shit crazy
Round #3 IUI at the doctor office this morning, without the trigger shot just waited for the good old fashion positive Ovulation Predictor Kit and other signs.

Now?  Cross your fingers and wait!  I look forward to more of your questions.  Remember you can email them to me at mjschrum657@gmail.com.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Viva Las Vegas!

Well, good ole' Aunt Flo visited this morning.  :(  Bummer, BUT there is always is upside to everything.  The silver lining to this dark, ugly, cloud is that I have a vacation planned to Las Vegas this month, specifically I leave on Wednesday.  So, now I don't have to worry about the traveling, eating something maybe I shouldn't and if I would like to indulge in an adult beverage I can.

By the time I get back, I will go back in for another round!  So keep the Baby Dust coming folks!

Viva Las Vegas!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Me Crazy? Possibly, but this doesn’t help!


Most women I know can tell you they are about to start their period, usually because there is key symptoms that clue you in paired with knowing when your period is due. 

If I cry for no reason, almost guaranteed that I will start my period the next morning. 

It usually goes like this.  Cute Coca Cola Polar Bear ad comes on TV. My throat tightens a little bit, my face swells and gets red, and tears sneak out of the corners of my eyes.  Why? Because they are just so cute and touching!! (BLAH - I mean really??? The rest of the time I don’t even care about those silly cartoon bears) and promptly the Warrior Princess will laugh.  Because she knows!! 

Crying because the sky is blue?  That’s just one symptom of a long line and lucky for me I suffer from several of them:

Cramps
Mood Swings and Stress
Swollen Tender Breasts
Fatigue
Food Cravings (I’m sorry did I just eat a whole pizza??)
Bloating
Headaches

Whew!  That’s quite a list, scary part is it isn’t complete. 

Guess what?  These just so happen to be the early symptoms of pregnancy also!  Here are a few more:

Most obvious – missed period BUT you can still have something called implantation bleeding.
Nausea
Frequent Urination
Elevated Body Temprature.


Needless to say, it can be crazy making!  As I head closer to taking another pregnancy test and I battle with these different symptoms, I just don’t know what to think of what my body is telling me.  If you have been pregnant, did you notice anything different before getting a positive pregnancy test and if so what? 

July 4th here we come!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Countdown has begun

This is what my life has become, all the authors warned me about it in the bazillion books I read, breaking your life into two week cycles.

Waiting to ovulate
Waiting to test

Seriously, this is enough to drive a normal person nuts, but an already slightly off kilter, unmedicated person?  Watch out! ;0)

Everyone has that story:  they know someone who from the stress of trying to conceive couldn't.  Then after years of trying and finally adopting they get pregnant.  There is no solid research that confirms this, but it is reasonably to believe that if you are in constant stress you are less likely to conceive.  Stress is your bodies flight or fight response in constant motion.  If your body is in this mode it probably won't want to spare resources to create a new life. Now, I tend to run pretty intense anyway so this has been great practice for me in balance (Cynthia you must be proud to hear me say that).

And if it just so happens to have resulted in a pedicure (can't get those at the salon when your pregnant because of all of the icky chemicals) and an amazing massage to help in that balance.  So be it!  Small price to pay, I say!!



Speaking of which, I am going to do a little plug here for my massage therapist.  She got me through my car accident and now she will help me through this.  It is amazing what a massage can do for you!!  I wanted to be completely zen before I went into the doctor's office.  Her name is Hannah Keefer at Le Chat Noir in Tacoma, http://www.massagebyhannah.massagetherapy.com/ tell her I sent you!  No she isn't paying me and hasn't offered me a kick back, I just like her that much.  I often drool, it's kind of embarrassing.

My point is that for some reason it has taken trying to get pregnant to remind me to take care of myself and reduce stress in my life.  Don't wait for something like this, take care of yourself today.  It's totally worth it!!

20 Questions

As I update you on the happenings and scheduled events there are bound to be questions that come up that would not occur to me on my own. Inquiring minds want to know and I would love to tell! So, if you have a question send me an email at mjschrum657@gmail.com and I will answer in a post. Don't worry I will keep you anonymous but I might assign you your own nifty pseudonym.
I am pretty much an open book or I would not be blogging so this helps me to know what you want to hear about.

Thanks everyone!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Take 2

This month we are moving the action to doctor's office!  There are a couple of benefits to going to the clinic, the biggest one?  Better technology.  For example, at home I get to make an educated guess on when I am going to ovulate based on all of these different signs and symptoms:  body temperature, mucus consistency, and of course the tried and true peeing on an ovulation predictor kit and waiting for the smiley face!

When you use the clinic they can literally do an ultrasound (or as my barista calls it, "egg tickler") to see exactly which ovary will pop out the egg.

Quick lesson on eggs:  your body prepares several eggs every cycle.  But only one of those eggs will actually get released, the rest just get absorbed by your body.  WELL not completely true, sometimes an extra one sneaks out and Voila! Fraternal Twins.  But for the most part, one lucky egg is headed into the great unknown of our uteruses.  Okay back to the original birds and bees lesson.  Your eggs are held inside of follicle.  The follicle that gets the biggest is the one that will release the egg.  You can actually see the follicles with the "egg tickler" as they are developing.

On day 11 I went in, and I had a follicle on one side that was 12 something and on the other side 12.5.  Sooo, basically we couldn't tell which ovary was going to pop that baby out.  What we did know for sure?  I was going to ovulate late this month.  Apparently the 12 range isn't all that spectacular for size.

On day 14 I went back in and POW there she was, busting at the seams!!

Here for your viewing pleasure is my follicle holding the egg.  Yes they let me take a picture, the sacrifices a blogger must make, like saying "is it weird if a I take a picture?"



That night I went home and had to have the Warrior Princess give me a shot of HCG in my every so soft and fluffy  belly.  (It actually stung a little bit I am just trying to make it sound nice).

The HCG acts as a trigger for my follicle, it basically said:  listen hear egg, in 36 hours you are going to bust a move out of here so don't get too comfy.  In my mind I was really saying, oh happy egg, are you ready to go out an play??  Good Egg, Happy Egg.  :) (zen thoughts).

36 hours from the trigger shot I will go in for the IUI.  Yay!!! Round 2 here we come.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

BFN


BFN, what does that mean?  I kept seeing it on blogs and message boards and on websites.  BFN, OPK, DPO and then as was introduced to you in the last post TWW.  
Well, BFN means Big Fat Negative :( BOO! lol

I mean rationally I know the likelihood of getting pregnant on the first try is relatively low.  And as most of you know I am a betting woman and well... I wouldn't have taken this bet.  

Emotionally I went all in!  I totally had myself psyched out that I wasn't, but I was and I am.  I mean I can't say I know many women who look forward to getting their period but I never thought I would cry about it either!
The nice thing was it ended the suspense, no more wondering, waiting, thinking and can I tell you: don't go garage sale shopping if you aren't sure! It was like putting an Iced Americano in front of me and telling me I couldn't drink it.  Why couldn't I buy anything you ask?  Because the Warrior Princess might have said that I wasn't allowed to buy anymore baby stuff until I am actually pregnant.  You see, I might have amassed a small collection over the last couple of months.  What? Don't look at me that way!  It's called planning people, planning.  

But you know there is a little saying in sales, each no means you are closer to a yes. So hot dog, this means I am just one try closer to getting a BFP!! (Big Fat Positive)

Keep an eye on my tracker at the top of blog for key points this month.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Two Week Wait

The TWW or Two Week wait is the hardest part of this whole process! Are you or aren't you?  What should you be eating, what not?  What kind of excercise can I do?  How soon can I take a pregnancy test?  It is very stressful!

To help everyone track where I am on my journey I have added a tracker to the top of my blog so you will know where I am in my cycle pertinent to different goals:  Days to ovulation (basically when I will go to the clinic) and then Days to taking a pregnancy test (or to AF - Aunt Flo arriving lol, these are the official terms of blogosphere I will have you know.  Technical aren't they?)

Welcome to my rollercoaster!  It is a crazy one for me so it might be for you too.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Picking up the kids

We picked up the "kids" yesterday and now we are just waiting for my LH surge (positive smiley face ovulation predictor kit).  

So who is the donor, you ask?

There are lots of different ways people decide on their donor choice.  Some women choose a donor that resembles their partner as much as possible, others look for distinct traits to either complement or balance their own traits, in the 5 books I have read on the subject so far (so I am slightly obsessive) one women literally called the sperm bank and asked which donor had the most pregnancies because the most important thing to her was that the swimmers were getting the job done! Let me tell you at $600 a try, that is very important!  You really don't want to have to try more than necessary, and let's face it I am on a timeline.  I would be lying if I didn't tell you that the fact that the donor already had 2 kids of his own wasn't reassuring.

We opted to choose a donor that we could both use since the plan is for us both to have a baby (NO not at the same time, though tempting...).  So we looked for things that would balance us both out.  I know crazy isn't it??  After you throw down several grand to ensure adequate supply getting to pick and choose doesn't seem so crazy.  

Now there are never any guarantees with genetics (okay maybe some) but you can certainly increase your odds.  The donor is tall and thin (long distance runner), hey I need to balance out the fat gene.  Brown hair and blue eyes, we both have blue eyes recessive in our immediate families so it couldn't hurt to throw that in.  No immediate family history of cancer or alcoholism (so I might have a few things I need to balance out). Has 3 degrees that spans both mine and the Warrior Princess's interests.  This is really quite summarized for the 20 page document of essays and personality tests and family medical history but you get the picture.  

I know it seems superficial in many ways but I have to tell you we probably have way more information on the donor than most women have on the men they are marrying.  Additionally, I can say with certainty that it is more than you get with a Yahoo Personal.  I do feel pretty good about the process.  

What do they look like?  Well, here is a pic of me picking them up at the bank yesterday and bringing them home.  For the record, they recommended seat belting them in! :)

Friday, April 15, 2011

An Egg Walks Into A Bar...


There are bars, match.com, eharmony, and apparently the produce section at Trader’s Joe’s. And now allow me to introduce you to the ultimate shopping aisle for your future children: the sperm bank. For some, there is an endless free supply found it the form of an intimate partner.  Mine does not come with such a supply, but hot damn if I can’t get pregnant I just happen to have a second set of ovaries on hand as a back up plan. As the Warrior Princess puts it “we have two shots at this”.  The fact remains we need some little swimmers to get our little kickers.

Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE to shop.  I must admit, that in all my adventures I have never shopped for anything like this. 

At first I thought there was only like 1, but with modern shipping and technologies you can access facilities all over the country.  Their prices, “products”, requirements, and philosophies vary so much it is almost incomprehensible.  Some charge more for PHD graduates, another has only donors that are willing to be known after only 3 months after the baby is born.  While others still get down to the basics and don’t mess around with fluff.

Now let me tell you!  There is almost too much information out there.  I started making spreadsheets …and had to stop.  Some banks offer celebrity look a likes, while others still offer baby photos of the donors, or photo matching to someone you know.  Kiersey Personality tests?  You bet.  Wanna hear their voice? Some have that too. Facial feature assessment by staff? Sure, why not.  Baring everything privately medical out for the whole world?  Required.

Sperm banks of the movies?  I don't know that those places actually exist.  You can't just walk in make a deposit and leave.  One showed the level of attrition of donors from when they first come in until the ones that are actually offered up and it was only like 1% of the initial applicants.  Can you imagine?  As I was filling out my own medical questionnaire for my fertility clinic I realized that no one would want my sperm if I had any to offer.  I totally would have been washed out early on.

Ladies, before you get married have your man donate sperm.  Why you ask? Because you will find out more about him and his family's medical history then you ever even thought to ask about.  Sure it takes away some of the mystery of getting to know someone, but heck you will have a full panel STD test done and at least you won't be getting to know him in a way you didn't want to.  Seriously, as a guy I would think you would have to have certain tough skin to make it through the screening process. Then you have to wait 6 months and do it all over again.

Needless to say this part of the process has been months in the making because of the sheer volume of information to absorb and work through.  But I do want to make a declaration: We are thankful for the dedication and tenacity of these donors.  Because of their willingness to follow through a minimum of 6 month process and uncomfortably private questions and testing done on them that a majority of people would never have done, we, and many other families have a chance to have a baby.  So thank you! (Not that any of them are reading my blog lol)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Welcome to my Blog!!

I decided to set-up this separate space for my friends, family, and anyone else who is interested in following what is bound to be an adventure filled with heartache, heartwarming and most importantly humor!!

So why Zero to Pregnant?  Well for those of you who don't know... I never wanted kids, well to be more exact the idea of pregnancy completely grosses me out (still does) and I had no faith in my ability to do a good job (still have to wonder).

But that changed somewhere in the last 3 years.  A perfect storm of events if you will.

1) I was diagnosed with cancer at 29.  Cancer itself is a wake up call (good morning this is the hotel operator with your 7:00 wake up call) about your future, getting told you might not be able to have kids because of it?  Alarm Clock going off LATE (Get the hell out of bed. You are running late and you have probably already missed the bus. AAAAAHHHH).

It's one thing to make a choice to not have a child but you always know the option is there so you can change your mind.  But to have that opportunity taken away? Ouch.

2) Turning 30. I know, I know it's cliche. So sue me, I am sure this won't be the last time, but it's true!  I used to be awkward around kids (same with dogs) didn't really get the whole "maternal instinct" thing and cringed at the idea of diapers.  I turned 30 (okay I think it was closer to my 31 Birthday) and holy smokes my biological mommy clock went into overdrive.  All of sudden I could see myself with kids, found myself being interested in a family, and was drawn like a moth to a flame to adorable little babies. Little feelings of jealousy when everyone around me was having babies and seeing how this one simple thing made them whole.

3) A precious baby.  My niece was born 2 months premature and truly when they say it takes a village, this little girl needed a village.  I was honored to be a part of that group.  To watch this beautiful baby learn, struggle, see, touch, and well...fart, I was blown away.  okay pun not intended lol.  Through this I learned that not only could I care for a child, but I wanted to.

4) Stability.  I am in a great place in my life, good job, car with room to grown, etc. most importantly with a beautiful partner whom I adore and builds me up.  She  (names and identifying information will be changed to protect the completely guilty, snazzy pseudonym to come) is my rock and together we build a strong foundation.  I don't know if there is ever a perfect time but now is as good as it will ever get. So here we go!!

Welcome to my Adventures in Conception... the NOT so old fashioned way :)