Monday, February 28, 2011

Looking ahead

Today is the last day of ICLW for February.  I have to admit, I'm kind of sad!  LOL, probably seems ridiculous but I know I have enjoyed reading others blogs and getting comments here (although so far, no comments here today!  I need a reply here people haha)  Still nothing in the HPT department for Rachel, but we should know for sure one way or the other in the upcoming week so feel free to keep reading even with ICLW ending.  I know I'm going to keep reading a number of new blogs!

On the upside, I have been fairly steady losing weight since last Thursday.  I stepped on the scale for the first time in I don't know how long and was pretty shocked and dismayed to see the number at 250lbs.  But it was the shot in the arm I needed.  I've been changing my eating and trying to walk once a day.  Feeling pretty good since changing back to Paleo, and the amazing this was that this morning I was at 245.5lbs.  4.5 pounds in less than a week, now I just need to stick with it and not give into my cravings for crap food.  I was cleaning today and pulled out some dresses from high school and can't imagine that I used to fit in them.  But that's my goal, to get back in those silly things and make Scott take me somewhere nice for a celebratory dinner.  (Sounds only fair to me!)

Wishing good things for March for everyone out there in blogland.  It has to be at least somewhat good, it's my birthday!  Yay :)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sing a little song

I recently joined my church choir.  I sang in multiple choirs in high school, and was involved in all sorts of theater.  I forgot how much I enjoy singing.

It has been difficult giving up horseback riding, but I had to do it because we just couldn't afford it.  And if we want to be parents, we have to think about where our money is going and what it should be spent on.  But that left me feeling... like someone had taken a piece of me.  A big piece.  Horses have been a part of my life since... before I could walk?  My mom took me to some "mommy-and-me-ride" at the park (where they plop the kid on the horse and are walked around by someone on the ground) and the rest is history.  Horses are in my blood.  Usually I feel fat, uncoordinated, slow.  On a horse, I feel graceful, powerful, synchronized.  My heart and spirit soar.  With my history of panic attacks, and general over-worrying, riding was the one thing I could do when things were bad that would take my mind of my problems.  Partly, because riding takes a lot of mental focus and physical disciple so there isn't energy left to think about everything else.  Riding was my retreat, where I could rejuvenate.

So since selling my horse and giving up lessons, I've been a bit adrift.  I've tried riding friends horses, and while it is fun and I would never turn it down, I get frustrated that I can't pursue the sport like I want to.

So back to joining choir.  It was mostly just to get involved in something with Church, get to know people etc.  But as I sang today I realized that while it is not the same, this could be my new retreat.  When I'm focusing on the notes, my breath and tone, my mind focuses on what is most important.  I can explore emotions in a way I can't in just talking to people.  So I decided that maybe I could start voice lessons (has to be cheaper than riding lessons, right?) so I called up an old friend who has her masters (maybe a PhD?) in music to ask if she did voice lessons.  She said no... but that she does direct a community choir and it is FREE, and invited me to join them Monday nights!  I'm very excited and giddy.

There are two things I would say I have a natural talent for.  And not trying to brag, but just know that I have a knack for them.  The first is riding.  And the second is singing.  I can't believe I forgot about singing for so long!

So as I wait (im)patiently for a positive test for Rachel, I am going to do something that I enjoy, am good at, and can feel good about me.  I realize this post seems to have nothing to do with infertility, but really, I think that as infertiles we often forget to do things just for the FUN of it.  So here is hoping you all out there have something you do for fun, to recharge from disappointment and anxiety, and embrace living life.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Surviving the snow

For all of you worried about me and Rachel on the roads last night - we survived!  Actually the interstate was pretty clear by the time we were on it.  AWESOME CONCERT.  Ryan Bingham and the Dead Horses, and opened by The Silent Comedy (which was so good I bought their CD) and Liam Gerner.  Juts a single guy and his guitar from South Australia but he was good too!  Any-who, Ryan was still going strong at 12:30 so us old folks decided to head out early because we were tiiiiiiired.  (Hey, we had been standing in that theater since 8:30.  That's 4 solid hours of standing,.  Plus we had an hour drive home)

Of course Rachel was especially tired... no test has come up positive but she's got all the symptoms she had in her previous pregnancy.  We debated between which test brands were the best so I got her a box of EPT and First Response Early Detection.  And a balloon.  But that's just for fun because it made me smile.  :)  I've been waffling between excited certainty and cautious realisticness. and to be honest, even once we get a positive test I'm going to be holding my breath until the blood tests show good doubling, and then I'll be on pins and needles until the heartbeat ultrasound... GAH!  And I wont really be able to take a deep breath until we are past the first trimester.

Even with all this worry talk, I'm sure I'll be squealing with joy when we do finally get a positive HPT. :)

Waiting, waiting, waiting.... It's the Dr.Seuss book but in real life.  And less colorful.  At least I have a new CD to distract me  :D  Seriously, if you like texas-style rocking country, check out their website

Friday, February 25, 2011


Scott didn't get home yesterday.  It's a long story but he got stuck up in Wyoming and while he hopes to get home today, there are no guarantees.  But I know I married a good man - two of his crew that he is supervisor of were with him, and only one needed to stay so he sent those two home.  As much as he really dislikes his job he has a strong sense of work ethics and practices what he preaches.  We got hit with snow last night so pray that he gets home safely!

And on another note about the stupid snow: Rachel and I are supposed to go to Denver tonight for a concert.  Hello, roads, we need to drive over an hour south on you!  It's not just that it snowed.  In Colorado we get snow.  A lot more snow than we even got last night.  The problem is it was warm for a few days so when the snow first fell it melted.... and now there is ice beneath that snow.  And the couple days of warm weather is surely to have made a lot of people forget how to drive in snow and ice and there are going to be a lot of morons out there to contend with.

Rachels test this morning was negative.  Which I know doesn't really mean anything, but I must admit I was secretly really hoping for a positive even this ridiculously early.  We still have over a week before her expected cycle day 1 so lots of time to hang out on my pins-and-needle.  Joy.
(On a side note, I wish people were like cats.  None of this once-a-month business.  They go through months of "fertile periods" and because they are induced ovulaters, stimulation of the vagina causes them to drop eggs like confetti on parade.  Ok, I don't want a litter, but you get my gist)

And to top it off I had a crummy conversation with my mom Wednesday night that has been percolating in the back of my head and am only now thinking of all the things I wished I had said.
Don't get me wrong, I love my mom.  She always has good intentions.  She always wanted the best for her kids.  But I'm just going to go ahead and admit that I'm a "daddy's girl".  Not in the obnoxious spoiled way, but my dad is super laid back and doesn't tend to get worked up very easily.  My mom on the other hand gets very passionate about stuff and sometimes in her enthusiasm for something doesn't think through the implications of her questioning. On Wednesday, my mom started in with the "are you sure you really want kids?  They scream and cry, are you ready to be up all night with a crying baby, because you know Scott will need to sleep because he has to go to work" etc etc. 

Now, I realize that some things about parenting cannot be fathomed or appreciated until you are one.  But I have been a nanny.  And my roommate has a 2-year-old and when we moved in together her daughter was just 6 months old, and before that we were neighbors when her child was born.  So while it's not my child, I know about diapers, groceries, and sick and fussy babies.  A friend just yesterday introduced me to Resolve.  How I have I been IF for a year and a half without finding this source in all my random infertility googeling???  If you don't know what it is, check out this link specifically for friends and family of infertile people:
Now how do I share this link with my mom without coming across as a terrible daughter?  I know she says this stuff because she cares, but I can't figure out how to tell her how much it HURTS.  (Partially because she will get upset, and then make some statement like "Well then I just wont say anything" which is just annoying)

Just so you people don't think we have a terrible relationship I will now list some of my best mom-daughter memories from my childhood:
-she made me a Belle costume from Beauty and the Beast.  My neighbor friends mom also made her one but mine was SO MUCH BETTER.  My mom is really excellent at sewing.
-she taught me how to cook: she always welcomed me in the kitchen even though I sometimes made big messes and ruined food (let's not talk about the time I "marinated" really good steak in straight cayenne pepper...)
-she took me to disneyland.  A lot.  When I know she would have rather taken me to Australia or something but me being a kid thought that theme park was way cooler than any exotic country.
-she also took me to exotic countries.  Hello Bahamas!  I must admit I didn't appreciate that trip as much as I should have, again being young and ignorant.
-she never missed a show.  I was heavily involved in choirs and plays starting in junior high.  And she was always there cheering me on, usually with flowers.  (My dad was/is a workaholic so he often was late or missed them altogether)
-my mom let me grow up.  I had a friend who's mom was still dressing her in little-girl clothes in 5th grade.  My mom took me to the mall and taught me how to apply makeup without looking trashy.  It was all age-appropriate, but she showed me high heels and cute clothes.

There are a lot more, but that is what came to mind first.  So all that to say, don't judge me for venting a bit on my own blog.  I love my mom but she also knows exactly what buttons to push on me to frustrate the ever-living-daylight out of me.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Near and Far

I was being a nerd and looking at my "stats" tab and was absolutely AMAZED by the places people are reading my blog from.  US (well, ok, duh), Canada (Hello neighbors!  I had great summers up there!)  The UK (I've only been to Scotland but very much enjoyed myself and hope to travel more someday) but THEN: Australia, South Africa and South Korea!?  I know that infertility strikes regardless of race or country but I am absolutely blown away.  I suddenly feel this pressure, like "wow, if all these people are stumbling onto my blog, I hope it is what they thought it was.  I hope it helps them.  I hope it touches them"  I always knew I wanted to write this blog to reach out and touch others.  But seeing as how it's not even a month old I would never have expected that kind of range of an audience.  Welcome, Welcome!  Grab a comfy chair, a drink, a brownie and chat a bit.  Comments really are welcomed and encouraged so I know you are out there!

And now onto the real post:

Today I had coffee with my friend L.  She and I met while in school and while we are very different people our shared love of animal medicine and particularly animal nutrition has lead to a good friendship. Today was the first time I had seen her since Scott and I decided on surrogacy, so I of course told her.  She was very excited and inquisitive about the process and how it all works.  And then she said the magical prophetic words.  "I think it's going to work.  And I think it's going to be a girl."

Now, on one hand, who is to say she is right or wrong besides God, and his fax machine still doesn't seem to be working so I haven't been getting direct messages from him.  Only time will really tell if Rachel/us gest pregnant, and what gender it will be.  But hearing someone else say with such confidence that we will have a good outcome is incredibly exciting.  Probably more exciting than it should be for a sane person.  And then I have these thoughts of "You haven't gotten pregnant in a year and a half.  What makes you think that this will work?" and then I start worrying that I'm doing the masochistic-setting-myself-up-for-failure-thing.  I keep wanting to text Rachel and ask "Did you take a test yet?!?!" but I know that 1-she only just ovulated Monday.  If an embryo did form, it may not have even implanted yet.  So a test very well may not work. and 2-if Rachel had taken a test, and gotten a positive, I KNOW she would have called me or at the very least texted me or something. 

So it's a stupid question. 

But I keep thinking it. I keep wishing there was something I could do or say to help Rachel out because I know she is just as excited and anticipatory as I am, but even after a year of two-week-waits, I got nuttin'. 

At least Scott should be home tonight from working in Wyoming all week, so I will have someone to talk to besides the dogs.  *looks around the room* I probably should start cleaning so he doesn't think I just blog all day....

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Warning to rude people

The bottome line of what this blog is about:

1- to reach out to the infertility communiy for support for myself, Rachel and Scott.

2- hopefully, perhaps someday we can support others.  Perhaps even people that consider surrogacy for themselves.

So if people start thinking of leaving rude comments, realize that I am not doing this for your approval.  Scott, Rachel and I have not gone down this path lightly, but with MUCH thought, discussion and prayer.  This blog can only catch snippets of my experience but cannot possibly encompass all of our lives and histories.

Let's just support one another, ok?


In the last 24-48 hours I have really been hit by the pain all around me.  And I'm not talking about the infertility community, but in my friends and family.  I name no names to protect my loved ones, but I have to share what my hearts is breaking for.

A marriage over with two young children.
A mother-to-be whose partner wants nothing to do with the child or a relationship with the mother.
A woman alone and struggling with her singleness.
A family whose sole income was lost today.
A mother who still grieves for her husband who passed away this summer, and the little boy who will never know his daddy.

It is easy in our infertility journeys to feel so alone and isolated.  We pull away to avoid dishing out our pain.  And while I have never stopped caring about my friends and family, perhaps I didn't ask often enough "How are you?".  Compassion, empathy and humility are traits I value and strive for in my life and relationships but I must admit I often fail in them.

I hope my loved ones know how much they are loved and prayed for in these times.  I hope I can be the shoulder to cry on, goodness knows I've cried on their shoulders more than my fair share.  I don't think this post adequately appeals to the pain and devastation but I cannot think of what different words to use.  Sometimes, there are just no words.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

New and Improved ABC's

Thank you Mrs.Gamgee of for this twist on the "ABC's"! 

A-AGE: 25.  I turn 26 on March 18th.  I know I know, I get the "But you have so much time for babies" comment all the time.  Let me ask you, if I'm having trouble at this great young age, do you really think it's going to get any better as time passes and my reproductive tract gets older???

B – BED SIZE:  King.  And sometimes when all three of our dogs sleep with us, it's still too small.  But it was a great change after sharing a full size bed for 3 years!

C-CHORE YOU HATE: All of them?  Ok, my least favorite would have to be vacuuming.  I absolutely love hardwood or tile.  I actually kind of enjoy mopping... but really and truly hate vacuuming,  Not sure what the difference is.... carpet is just gross.  And of course that's all rentals ever have.  Bleh.

D-DREAM JOB: Working in a  large animal clinic.  Getting to do a lot of surgical nursing.  (I'm a veterinary technician)  But for now, I'll do anything in my field that pays the bills!

E-ESSENTIAL START YOUR DAY ITEM:  Cell phone?  Gotta check if I missed any texts or calls...  I'm not really someone who has to have coffee or anything.

F-FAVORITE COLOR: Green! Wait, no... Blue!  Wait, no... Green!  Hm.... Blue!  Ok, it's a tie.

G-GOAL IN LIFE:  To be understood. And to understand others.

H-HEIGHT:  5'2". I love that I can get away with 6" heels... except I have long since gotten out of the habit of wearing heels so when I do it hurts :(

I-INSTRUMENTS YOU PLAY:  My voice.  I played the viola a bit in elementary school, and piano for a bit then too, but I was involved in multiple choirs in high school and took private voice lessons.  My voice has kind of gone to s**t since I've been out of practice, but would love to take up voice lessons again, even just so I can sing along with opera songs for myself again.

J-JOB TITLE: Between jobs.... Had a temporary position for a dream company that unfortunately ended.

K-KIDS:  None.  Unless you count my 4-legged-and-furry kind.  In which case the answer is then 3. In my dream world?  One boy and twin girls.

L-LIVE: In a college town in northern Colorado.  I've been trying to leave for years but keep getting sucked into staying for one reason or another.  It's ok, but I've really outgrown the "college" scene.

M-MAJOR IN COLLEGE: Associates of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology.  But for a time I also studied Biblical Studies, Theology and Psychology.

N-NICKNAMES: As a small child kids couldn't pronounce "Kira" so it went to "Kiwa" and finally to "Kiwi".  Nothing else really comes to mind.  Except my husband called me "Babydoll".  Which I totally luv :)

O-OVERNIGHT HOSPITAL STAYS:  None in my memory.  Probably all as a baby if any.  Unless you count the time I went into the ER around 1 or 2 in the morning for sever vomiting and diarrhea and didn't get out until 5 or 6.

P-PET PEEVE:  Slow drivers in the left lane.  MOVE OVER!  KEEP RIGHT EXCEPT TO PASS!!!

Q-QUOTE FROM MOVIE: Lots of good ones out there... but tonight I saw "Baby Mama" for the first time, and I love the description of labor as "I'm pooping a knife" or something along those lines.

R-RIGHT OR LEFT HANDED:  Righty.  Same as my dad.  Interestingly my mom and brother are leftys.  My dad and I were born in March.  Mom and brother in January.  Dad and I like creamy PB, Mom and brother like crunchy.... Maybe that wasn't actually interesting, but random at the least.

S-SIBLINGS:  One older brother who is 4 years older than me and is 30.  One stepsister that is a lot younger than me.  I want to say either 9 or 10?  I rarely get to see her since she is in Washington, and her mom and my dad have only been married for about a year.

T-TIME YOU WAKE UP:  Depends on the time I go to bed.  Recently no matter what time I go to bed I wake up around 5, but have been able to roll over and go back to sleep until about 8.

U-UNDERWEAR: Usually a thong.  With fun colors/prints. 

V-VEGETABLE YOU DISLIKE: I can't really think of anything.  Usually if I don't like something it's because of how it was prepared.  I was vegan for a year and got to try all sorts of veggies and it broadened my palate.  I guess all things soy because all the soy available in the US has been genetically modified and does crap to your body.

W-WHAT MAKES YOU RUN LATE: If I can't find my keys or my cell phone.  My cell phone is like my security blanket... but usually I'm the person 15-30 minutes early because I'm paranoid about being late. And my town has a LOT of train tracks across it and you never know when you are going to be stopped by one... or two.

X-X-RAYS YOU’VE HAD DONE:  A lot to my hips as a kid because my legs were growing unevenly.  Upper Back when I was having weird chest/back pains (turned out to be stones in my gallbladder).  Most recently an HSG of my uterus and fallopian tubes that showed nothing.

Y-YUMMY FOOD YOU MAKE:  I. Love. Baking.  So this could be a long list... Scott always complements my meatloaf and lasagna and guinness cheesecake.  I will say that I suck at making soups which seems silly since they are supposed to be so "easy".

Z-ZOO, FAVORITE ANIMAL:  River Otters (not to be confused with sea otters)  They are just so happy and comical!  Wish I could become one, they always look like they are having a BLAST! I have a tendency to take life to seriously...

Nerd. Geek. Dork.

Yay, Rachel is back in town!  It's not like we hang out every day or anything, but it makes me happy that she's back in the state, although I do hope she had a great trip this weekend.  On the flip side, Scott left to travel for work at 4am Monday morning.  Boo :(

I always miss Scott when he travels for work, but I admit that I've found the silver lining.  Most notably, I get the giant king-size bed all to myself!  Well, myself and the three dogs.  Amazingly, Corgis have this supernatural ability to stretch out, lay down and suddenly weight 50lbs so that moving them is quite the task.  And all three lay triangulated on the bed so that while it is a king size bed, I am left with little room to sleep on it.  They also are great about laying down on the blanket in such a way that pulling it up to my chin is equivalent to weight lifting.

So as I lay in bed last night cuddling my real-life stuffed animals, I was thinking about about the various controversial subjects in parenting and this is what I came up with:

Infertiles, as a group, are generally rather well read.  I mean, what else are we supposed to do to keep ourselves busy as we kill time between treatments, during the terrible 2WW or whatever else we wait for. So we read.  We read about infertility, and often we read about parenting so that when we do get pregnant we are "prepared".  In light of this being ICLW week, I have made a pseudo poll, about some of the controversial subjects of parenting.  Some of these I admit I already have an opinion on, but I welcome people to share their personal experiences or research. 

But just a little reminder - we all want what is best for our future children.   Often the reason something is controversial is because there are good points on each side, otherwise everyone would agree.  So play nice :)  I know you all would anyway but I just had to say it...

-CoSleeping: Yea or nay?
-Babyfood: tiny pieces the child can pick and choose from and feed themselves, or blended and spooned in?
-Cloth diapers vs. Disposable diapers?

Discuss :)  I had more but figured I would save some for future posts.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Lost and Found

In light of this week being ICLW week, I thought maybe having a big religious post would not be the best way to encourage new readers and comments.  (See the IComLeavWe link on the right sidebar for an explanation if you don't know what that is)

I was thinking of all the things Scott and I have put on hold "just in case" we got pregnant....  I know for Scott it has been staying with a job he HATES.  He wants to go back to school and get his EMT so her can pursue a career in the fire service, but is worried there wont be enough money if he quits his job.  (As I am at this moment between jobs, I'll be honest, it's true)  But I don't want him to put this off forever.  I fully support him going back to school and pursing his real interests. 

I have put off trips.  My mom loves to travel and a couple of times has invited me to go places with her.  Sometimes I couldn't go because I was finishing my degree, but sometimes... was because I wasn't sure that I would be able to fly if I was potentially possibly pregnant.

I have put off losing weight.  I know, I know, being over or underweight can hinder your chances at fertility, but so does dropping weight quickly.  And while I have always tried to eat well etc, I have never really pushed myself to hard-core diet and work out and drop the weight just in case THAT inhibited my chances at pregnancy.

I even tried to postpone surgery to have my gallbladder removed a year ago.  But the pain was just too intense that I gave in.  But really, that was stupid.

Infertility takes away a lot of things from people, but I never thought about outside of the "robbing me of my dignity and my future" sense.  It has robbed both Scott and I of living our life.  Surrogacy has not been a complete fix (Scott is still not going to quit his job and go back to school, but is looking for a different job as a compromise. His current job has great insurance that covered a bit of my fertility stuff so I had discouraged him from leaving just so we wouldn't lose that.  Go ahead and stick me in the crap-wife-hall-of-fame)  but it has given me a chance to breath and think and look at my life.  And make some changes.  Like with Scott's job search and my efforts in weight loss.

Of course it has changed our life in different ways.  We had planned to move to the Seattle area when our lease was up in July this summer.  To be closer to my family, to have a better job market, and the climate is my absolute favorite.  (I hate the heat of Colorado summers.  It's just too much!)  But now, if Rachel get's pregnant, we are going to stay in Colorado.  And most likely for a while.  We want to be here for the whole pregnancy.  And nobody wants to move halfway across the country with an infant.  So I'll admit it has been hard to realize that that plan, the plan to finally move to MY "happy place" is being postponed.  Yet again.  But... it's worth it.  I recognize the disappointment and frustration, but I also see that our family complete and content, with an adorable little baby, far outweighs the disappointment.

**Also... I would welcome comments to old posts so if the "Faith" post doesn't speak to you, feel free to enjoy the previous posts and know they are about different subjects. I only started blogging about a week ago so there isn't years and years of posts to sift through.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Scott and I finally was able to sit down with our priest tonight.  Of course I had done some "google research", and spoke with some women in the church about the Orthodoxy's stance on surrogacy and had come away with a sense that the church found it to be too new of an issue for the church to have a decided stance on.  (And one person even asked her priest who gave that answer.)

Apparently, that is not that case.

The Orthodox Church does not agree with it for two reasons.  Firstly, from a practical standpoint there is concern about it being confusing for the child.  Secondly, we must be careful to have faith and not force something.


Of course as catecumens we are not really held to all the standards as we are still learning.  And it is not a moral law (as would be, say, "Do not murder") that we are to be punished or condemned.  If a child is conceived it will be loved and accepted without question.

I realize that when it comes to the Church, their position is not really up for debate but here are my thoughts and feelings.

First of all, in today's culture of blended families, surrogacy is not that complicated.  Perhaps it would have been hard for the child raised 50 or 100 years ago, but in the culture our child will be raised in, it wont be abnormal.  Our child will know it is loved and wanted, and mommy wanted it SO much but she couldn't carry it in her tummy, that Aunt Rachel helped.  (Or however we will explain it, age appropriate and all that)

And as far as forcing something... I know this is a highly controversial issue today but I kind of feel like to say that, is to put God in a box.  If God doesn't want something to happen, if He doesn't want us to be parents than we wont be.  Rachel wont get pregnant, adoption wont be an option and we will remain infertile.

We are called to have faith, to listen for God in our hearts.  I cannot possibly express in a single post the amount of time spent in prayer, the tears that have been shed over our desires to be pregnant.  I've asked for a miracle.  I've asked God to take this desire off my heart if it is not His plan.  I've asked for confidence in which path to choose out of the multiple myriad of infertility options. 

Well, I have not miraculously become pregnant.  My desire for a child is not just as simple as a kid desires a candy bar.  I feel like in some alternate universe we DO have kids.  We should be reading bedtime stories and checking for monsters every night.  And I weep and ache for this ghost of a child that we don't have.  All I can do is sit and wonder "Why? Where did I go wrong?  What path did I go down that took me away from my child?"  Like a mother in a movie who was brainwashed to think she never had kids but in her heart has an empty ache even though her brain says she doesn't have a baby.  And meeting Rachel like I did, when I did... as soon as I began contemplating a surrogacy with her I felt a calm certainty.  It may sound hokey, cheesy or delusional, but I feel like God brought us together for a reason.  I haven't felt this kind kind of certainty often in my walk of faith.  I felt this in high school when I walked away from my faith for 6 months, and when I agreed to go to a church service and it started my heart leapt for joy, in feeling home.  I felt it when I married Scott.  I felt it when I first visited the Orthodox church.  And I felt it when I thought of Rachel being our surrogate.

So while on one hand it is disappointing not to have the full support of my faith behind me, I know that one of the wonderful things about Orthodoxy is the freedom.  Father M assured us that from this point forward no one would say anything.  That he wouldn't have even said anything to begin with except he didn't want 3 years down the road for it to come up in some random discussion and us to feel embarrassed or confused.  He knows we didn't do this out of rebellion or some terrible motive.  There is much love and grace.  And that is very heartening.

The Controversy of Family

It came up yesterday from a friend, an inquiry.  Why don't I post updates on my Facebook page? 

Most of my family is supportive and even excited.  One person has remained skeptical.  A combination of not be able to comprehend our infertility.  "We have strong genes!  We've never had infertility in the family!" ( I don't even know what strong genes is supposed to mean) and a fear that Rachel will change her mind and we will be one more face on the news about the hoodwinking of surrogacy.  However, this person is slowly coming around as they ask questions.  LOTS of questions.  And hopefully will be fully on board once they meet Rachel.  I am lucky.  To have family and friends that support me, see Scott and I as competent adults able to make a decision.

Unfortunately, Scott is not as lucky.  Most of his family would be supportive.  His mother was adopted for petes sake!.  But his parents?  Well... lets just say they were relieved when we miscarried.  To a certain extent, no matter what our income or living situation, they will never think we are "_______ enough to have a baby".  They will not understand or support our surrogacy.  In fact, I anticipate some real anger and bitterness.

I am friends with Scott's sister on facebook.  I imagine she will be very supportive of our decision... but as she lives in the same town as Scotts parents I also imagine it could easily come up in conversation.  Scott feels it is better in this circumstance to wait until after we have passed the 12 weeks to tell his parents.  As such, my facebook posts have to be... discrete. 

Some blogs I have read would say (Or seem to say) that this is wrong.  That I should be at the forefront of educating.  But I know that in this situation it is not that Scotts parents would take issue if one of their friends pursued surrogacy.  It is the fact that WE are pursuing surrogacy that they will take issue with.  Lets face it, every family is different.  I am trying to respect the dynamic between Scott and his parents.  Especially as they live in another state and we see them a handful of times a year, it makes changing family dynamics difficult if not impossible if the people are not open to the change.  What really upsets me, is that they are going to miss out.  It makes me sad to think that they will miss one-third of the pregnancy of their grandchild.  Quite possibly, a lot more than just that.

Thinking of his parents relief made me think of all the things people said in response to our miscarriage.  Most... were not helpful.  Some, was downright hurtful. I think the hardest thing was the people who said "Oh, something must have been wrong with it.  It must have not been meant to be."  Perhaps if I was a super-scientific person that would be helpful.  The embrio had implanted very low in my uterus, almost on my cervix and the pregnancy probably would have been filled with complications from this.  A very high likelihood of a placental privia.  But as I am someone who believes in God, those statements are really hurtful.  Like God somehow doesn't love people who have a birth defect?  And if it wasn't meant to be, why allow it in the first place?  My roommate was the queen of such offhand and stabbing comments.  I know her intentions were there... but the thought wasn't.  She still holds a grudge on me for my move to Washington.  Like any of that was about her.  Like that didn't put a HUGE strain on my marriage?  Sometimes when I get hit with the emotion of it, I picture myself back in the northwest, on a ferry looking out and seeing the water and the trees.  It helps me to take a deep breath. If the baby I had miscarried had not miscarried, we would be looking forward to it's birth in this March.  As my birthday is also in March, I remember when we got the due date thinking "I hope I still get to celebrate my birthday and people don't make corny comments about the baby being my birthday present" 

I was so foolish to think that we would actually make it there.

The best thing anyone ever said me?  "I think God's sad too.  I don't think He desires things like this to happen.  But part of our fallen nature is sickness, disease, mortality.  I think God is crying too."  For me, that said my emotions were ok.  And it didn't try to place blame on anything.

Infertility is a strange thing.  Most of our lives, especially in this american culture, we are told that if you want something bad enough, and work hard enough, where there's a will there's a way.  But no amount of me wishing, or trying to force my body to do things by medication or the power of thought actually got me anywhere.  My ovaries, and uterus, are not a part of my body I can control as I would my hands or feet. I can't think "ok, ovary, drop that egg into the fallopian tube!"  ...well I could, but it wont accomplish anything like if I thought "hand, drop the clothes into the laundry machine" 

I have struggled my whole life with my weight.  I still vividly remember my mom telling me I was fat in 5th grade.  I look at childhood pictures and really, I don't think I was fat, but I wasn't slim.  I inherited my dad's side, the hefty Swedish side.  My whole life has been about trying to make my body do things it just wont do.  My whole life I have been in a body that didn't work.  Like somewhere deep inside is the real me, with my real body that does what I want it to do, that isn't overweight and if I could just find the zipper so I could get out of this charade of a body, then people would see me for who I really am. 

I know it is all too common for infertiles to feel defeated, at war with their body, betrayed by their body... for me infertility felt (and still does feel) like one more drop in the bucket of a crap body.  So maybe it is a good thing I wont be passing on my genetics.  I wont be passing on a part of my broken and rebellious body. 

I still don't know what "strong genes" means.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Currier service, sign here ma'am

I made the shortest trips ever last night and this morning to drop of "the stuff" to Rachel.  (She literally lives 5 blocks from me)  I'm excited and nervous all at the same time.  Now to wait... Luckily for me she has gone to visit her boyfriend this weekend so won't be in town for me to pester her.  Asking how she's feeling... randomly giving her white sticks to pee on... even though it is too early to really be able to tell anything.  Why can't it be like on the "Friends" episode where Phoebe is a surrogate, takes a test that day and gets a positive!  Ok, I know why it doesn't work that way but STILL...

Scott is excited too.  I hope for HIS sake that it works this time, so he can stop over thinking everything.  Guys brains work so differently!  I've read in other blogs that this is not uncommon.  Usually the woman is all gung-ho and the guy is more hesitant, less involved.  I know it's not because they don't care or don't want a child, they just think differently than girls.  We had a whole talk last night about getting the baby cute little cowboy boots, and carhart overalls... Carhart even makes diaper covers! Which I think is hilarious :)  Check them out:    

After a year and a half I really feel optimistic!  We could totally have a baby!  Of course then the paranoia sets in that I'm setting myself up for disappointment... But I can't think like that.  Positive, positive, positive.  We can test on the 28th... Is it the 28th yet?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Being an "Adult"... Mostly.

Wednesday I had my last left-overs from my Chinese food with Rachel on Monday.  It was also my last fast food/junk food day.  Yesterday I got up and had eggs for breakfast.  I actually cooked my meals.  And took my dogs for a walk.  Something clicked like "Ok, Rachel's going to get pregnant which means I need to get my s**t together and start to get healthier, drop some weight, and stop wasting money on eating out."  I know that we can't guarantee Rachel will get pregnant this time around, but it just finally felt "real". We are gonna do this, bitches!

Today, I'm going to clean.  Ya, I've ignored the dog hair and extraneous dishes long enough.  I know it's not like the place has to be baby proofed tomorrow, but I am an adult.  And an Intended Parent.  Time to start acting like one.  (Plus Scott said he would feel like a better intended parent if the place was clean.  Stressed-Scott is no fun, so if for no other reason I'll do it.) But I want it to be clean too.  I hide out in my bedroom to avoid my roommate, but I can't let the place fall apart just because I'm in a tense living situation. (Which will be over in 5 months! YAY!)

Scott was so cute last night after he chilled out a little.  He kept poking me and saying "I wants a baby" and "If this works, we're going to have a baby" in his sleepy voice.  Melts my heart y'all.  Of course he had to be a smart-ass and add "You did warn Rachel that if this baby isn't a boy, Rachel has to keep it?"  He can't stay serious for too long.  I better warn Rachel that he's sassy.

I am so incredibly excited for tonight, I can't even tell you! I feel like I slammed 10 coffees and I haven't had ANY. All jittery and can't sit still, I think it's gonna work people!  Not enough exclamation points in the world for me to communicate my excitement!!! EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Or as my thesaurus suggests:
anxious, avid, breathless, eager, enthusiastic, expectant, impatient, in suspense, on tenterhooks

Ok, I should stop putting off beginning my cleaning.  It's not going to be fun but I'm excited to see Scott's face when he comes home tonight.  I think today I will tackle the living room...

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Pulling Scott Off the Ceiling

Scott has been out of town on work all week and got home tonight.  Part of his day included a 6 hour drive home.  WAY to much time for him to over think and over analyze. By the time he got home he was in full-on freak-out about becoming a parent.

Now, I know becoming a parent comes with all kinds of fears and concerns.  My concerns tend to fall into the "I hope I don't mess them up emotionally/mentally" while Scotts tend to lean more towards "I hope I can provide the financial/material needs".  Both are equally important, but me being a girl it's easy to focus on the joy of parenthood and feel some semblance of sanity.  Scott being a guy and thinking like a guy and compartmentalizing everything does not.

Scott loves kids.  He wants kids.  But like clockwork, every time we are a day or so before the "trying" stage he hits this spot.  However, I KNOW that when we realize we aren't pregnant, he will be really disappointed.

So on a monthly basis, I get to remind him of this.  I thought girls were supposed to be the emotional ones?!?!

Thankfully he is back in his happy head space of balancing the excitement about a prospective baby with all the scariness babies bring too.

I need a bubble bath.  Or at least some kind of wife award.  Comforting can be exhausting!

But I know that I will have my freak outs, and Scott will be the one to talk me off the ceiling, and help me focus on what matters and what I really care about.  That's why we love each other.  We are an awesome team.  Maybe we should get jerseys...


Because I've had a couple people ask what certain words and phrases mean, I figured I would attempt to clarify.

IP -Intended Parent(s).  The people that are receiving the greatest gift, a baby.
IM- Intended Mother
IF-Intended Father
Traditional Surrogate - A woman who carries a baby for another person or couple, and is also the egg donor.  The husbands sperm is placed inside of her for conception.
Gestational Surrogate - A woman who carried a baby for another person or couple, but has no biological tie to the baby.  Conception happens via IVF.
IVF- Invitro Fertilization.  Eggs are harvested from the biological mother and sperm is collected from the biological father, and are combined.  This is the "petri dish" method.  The goal is to make multiple embryos because a percentage will die in the process of conception, before they can be transferred to the uterus.  Also extra embryos can be frozen for future cycles in the case that the transfer does not take with a pregnancy or the parents want siblings for their child.
IUI- Intra Uterine Insemination.  Done in a doctors office, sperm is collected, washed and then inserted into the woman's uterus, bypassing the cervix which is a hurdle for the sperm to find their way through.
ICI - Intra Cervical Insemination.  This can be done in a doctors office or at home, this is the "turkey baster" method.  It's chances are equivocal to normal intercourse.  Sperm is collected and put into the vagina by a needless syringe and/or placed into a cup designed to sit on the cervix.  The woman elevates her hips for about a half hour and then goes on with her day.

Check out for a great resource on explaining all thing infertility.

We are doing a Traditional Surrogacy, using ICI.  A big part of the reason for this, besides cost, is that we cannot find a doctor in northern Colorado willing to work with a surrogate.  When I called up my infertility doctor's office I was told (rather snottily) to try to find a doctor in Denver.  So while we wait to find a doctor in Denver we are trying what we can.

And on that note.... SO EXCITED FOR THIS WEEKEND! 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Two sides to the coin

Hey, I figured that while some people have found Rachel's blog, others may be sitting there thinking "This Rachel girl sounds super awesome-amazing and fun!  I wish I knew what her blog was!"  Well people; your wish is my command, your dreams are coming true, you're getting the flip side of this coin.

On a side note, I know for a fact that Rachel is nervous for this weekend.  I surprisingly, am not.  I feel really calm and confident.  I'm impatient as all get-out, but not really worried.  Which is amazing because duck-liner that I am, usually if there is something to worry about (and even times when there is nothing to worry about) I will worry about it.  To death.  I dunno, I think it's gonna work.

So go cheer her up people!

Pull up a milkin' stool!

I have had a lot of questions today about breastmilk.  Not just on here, but out in the real world too.  So I figured I would take a second and let ya'll know!

Ideally I hope to induce lactation and be able to breastfeed myself.  Breastmilk is incredibly important for an infants physical development, and the World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding a minimum of 2 years.  (I was pretty darn surprised to read that!)  Not that you wouldn't introduce solid foods before that, but recognizing the ongoing benefits for the baby if you can continue it.

Breastfeeding is also an amazing way to bond with the baby, and that is a wonderful thing!

Also, let's not ignore the fact that breastfeeding can burn a LOT of calories.  Hurray for weight loss!  (In most cases... I know some women who don't drop weight because their body recognizes it needs to meet a demand and prepares for potential famine.)

However, in the possibility where I do not lactate (goodness knows my body OFTEN does not do what I want it to) there is something in the contract that Rachel will try to pump breastmilk for a time.  Although if her milk supply runs low, I would certainly not turn down milk from my other breastfeeding friends as some have generously offered.

It all depends on how things pan out.  Which I can't predict.  Although I can have lots of back-up plans!

One thing you MUST know about me... I like my plans.  I like my ducks in a row.  When ducks scatter and go all over the place and my plans get messed up, I tend to have tantrums.  Plan-changes are not my strong suite.  Scott on the other hand is WONDERFULL at the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants approach to plans and is a wonderful balance to my OCDness.

So in an attempt to avoid such freak-outs, I have back-up plans up the wazoo.  It can sometimes be exhausting coming up with answers to all the "what ifs" but it makes me happy to have them in place.  Think I'm nuts? Blame it on my mother ;)

Why? Why? Why? Why? WhyWhyWhyWhyWhy?

I thought I should take a second to explain WHY we chose surrogacy over a multitude of options.

I think most people assume that if a couple cannot get pregnant, they should adopt.  And we considered adopting, we really did.  But there were a number of reasons we didn't pursue it.

First of all, we wont qualify.  The income requirements state we have to make more than we do currently.  Secondly, currently we live with a roommate and while that will end this summer, we can't pursue adoption until after we have moved in order to pass the home inspection. Thirdly, I have some real fears of infant adoption.  There have been too many stories of birth mothers changing their minds at the last minute and the adopting parents have to start all over again.  I cannot imagine the heartache. 

So we considered international adoption, or toddler adoption, but I don't want to miss out on the first two years of my childs life.  Maybe as an option for a second child, but I want the whole experience of them discovering the world.  Going back to domestic infant adoptions, there are also concerns associated with how healthy the birth mother is.  Often they do drugs or drink alcohol while pregnant because they don't know they are pregnant.  And finally, the waiting list for domestic infant adoption can take years.

I'm not saying that adoption is bad.  I applaud all families that pursue it!  It just isn't right for us right now.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Doing my homework...

I just finished reading the ENTIRE contract. All. 29. Pages.

For a non-legal-person such as myself, I must say I am impressed with my dedication and maturity to read the entire thing, as opposed to the skim-initial-sign I usually do with long contracts.

Feel free to applaud.

Everything reads like what we discussed and outlined, I'm excited for Scott to read it (He will probably do the skim-initial-sign thing.  Relying on my excellent reasoning skills to have read and understood the entire document) and give his official approval.

I feel like lately I have been overusing the words Excitement, Happy, Thrilled and Giddy.  But I can't help it!  I feel optimistic, light, buoyant!  What other words can I come up with... must pull up a thesaurus...

After some pretty dark and deeply depressing times it feels like the emotions are finally getting balanced out.  Of course the flip side is that I am also impatient.  Waiting for Scott to read and approve.  Impatient for this weekend to get here.  Impatient for Scott to get home in time for this weekend.  Impatient to ICI.  Impatient to begin pregnancy testing (We can start as early as the 27th!)  I need something to do with myself with all this time on my hands.  I need to do more reading.  Rachel ordered some books from  I need to get my Nook to a place with WiFi and download some surrogacy/pregnancy/parenting books of my own.  I should take my dogs for a walk... there's a good idea!

Women's intuition

I would like to post something I wrote to a friend a little while back.  I feel like it sums up some feelings nicely.  This was prior to my latest diagnostic exam which was an HSG, or Hysterosalpingogram.  The test that produced "nothing wrong" that solidified my desire to move forward with surrogacy.

February 6 at 3:15pm
Gut feeling? Intuition? Who knows?

Way back in the land of our early marriage, when the conversation of future kids would come up, I would always joke "Well, we'll see. Who knows if we will have trouble having kids?" And they would reply "Oh, I'm sure you'll be just fine. You'll have kids with no trouble!" but in my heart, I just KNEW, it wasn't going to be easy. Of course I was hopeful when we began starting, but there was a part of me that was not at all surprised to find myself calling up Dr.B at the fertility clinic to make an appointment.

In July when I got pregnant, I remember CRYING to my mom, because I just felt like.... like I KNEW that we would miscarry. She assured me the pregnancy would be normal and I just needed to not stress.  And then we did miscarry.

And now... I just FEEL like ... I'm not going to get pregnant. We are going to use a surrogate. And/or adopt. I'm going to hope I'm wrong, but... I don't know if it's intuition or what....

I'm kinda of sad, but I also feel like I want these tests done and over with so we can just move on with using a surrogate and stop wasting time, emotion and money.

And that's where I'm at today. 
I cannot even express how excited and thrilled I am about our decision to pursue surrogacy.  I feel that it was serendipitous that I met Rachel when I did. She has such a moving story of her own fertility... it was an instant bond.  When I said in my previous entry that I didn't handle my miscarriage well, I really mean it.  
I held myself together just long enough to finish my degree in August, and then decided overnight to move to my home state of Washington.  My husband could not immediately follow me, so I moved myself and my three dogs across 6 states (Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, Oregon into Washington).  Got a job, rented a house, totally started over.  
While there were some great high points (being back in my native state, being close to family and childhood friends) it also had some terrible low points, most intensely the time when I would get home at the end of the day and having to call my husband in order to talk to him.  Having a job, a place to be, things to do, saved my sanity.  The job did not end up being a good match, so after exactly one month on the job I was done working for them.  I had the most understanding homeowner who let me out of my lease.  I moved in with my mom for 2 weeks to try to figure out my next move.  
Randomly, the dean of the department I had graduated from just happened to send out a mass email to my graduated class with 2 job listings back in Colorado... and on a whim I applied.  And got an interview!  I loaded up my Ford Focus wagon once again with clothes and dogs and drove back, getting in very late the night before my interview.  The job, while a temporary job, was for a dream company and I got it.  
It was not long after my return to Colorado that I met Rachel.  And the rest is history... or our future to be more exact.

Monday, February 14, 2011

A little background... OK, a long background

Here is a little back story for everyone's enjoyment.

My name is Kira, and I have been married to my husband Scott for over 3 years at this point.  We have no children, but do have 3 dogs, all Pembroke Welsh Corgis.  The oldest Radar is 12, Glen is 4, and Emma is 3.

A year and a half ago, we decided to start trying to get pregnant.  I read the books, charted my cycles, and waited for conception to happen.  After 6 months of charting, I noticed that my basal body temperature did not have the appropriate temperature fluctuations, and went to see my OBGYN.  She would not refer me to a specialist until we had been trying for a year.  I decided I didn't want to waste another 6 months, and so called up the local fertility clinic.  After numerous blood draws, and looking at my 6 months of charting, they decided that I don't ovulate naturally.  Clomid and HCG injections to the rescue!  In July of 2010 we got pregnant, but quickly miscarried.  To say that was a difficult time would be an understatement.  After grieving and healing, we began to try again, without success.  My doctor decided to run more diagnostics, but couldn't find a reason for our inability to conceive.  Scott and I felt that if we couldn't find the problem, we couldn't fix it, and instead of continuing to put money into expensive and invasive diagnostics, or medications, we decided to pursue using a surrogate.

I met Rachel a couple months back through a mutual friend.  We really clicked, and began hanging out.  During my fertility journey I have had many options put before me.  Adoption.  IVF.  Surrogacy.  I was blessed to have a number of friends offer to be surrogates, but Scott and I didn't feel that it would be a good match... Until a fateful lunch I had with Rachel.  She was the third friend to offer... but the first who had really put a lot of thought into what that meant, what it entailed.  We had a good conversation talking about generalities of surrogacy, and the conversation stayed in my mind.

When I got the news the doctor couldn't find anything wrong, I was disappointed.  I had hoped they would find some small problem that could be easily fixed and we could move forward with making a family.  But when I considered the possibility of Rachel being our surrogate I felt... Excited.  Optimistic.  In a way I haven't felt since that very beginning when I was charting my cycles and making all kinds of graphs.  I know I'm going to miss out on some wonderful things.  Feeling the baby kick for the first time, feeling life inside of me.  But the most important thing, a beautiful little baby, is such an amazing thing.  For me it is about Scott and I being a family.  My heart warms every time I think of it.

We decided to pursue a Traditional Surrogacy for a number of reasons.  We are Orthodox Christians, and believe that life begins at conception.  So for us, the use of IVF wasn't on the table.  With many IVF cycles producing 5-10 embryos we couldn't possibly ask anyone to try inserting all of them, and we can't leave them frozen or dispose of them.  Scott and I have seriously considered adoption, so I know without a doubt that I can love a child regardless of biology and DNA.

This may not be a traditional family, but it is going to be a wonderful one!

Rachel and I sat down tonight to begin outlining our contract (did I mention she does Family Law?  Irony!) and with each issue and point, I was excited to find us both on such similar pages.  Scott unfortunately was out of town for work, so he's getting an email of everything, but if we can get all the details figured out this week we will be looking at an ICI this weekend!

With Scott out of town, and Rachel's boyfriend also out of town, we were each others Valentines.  Chocolate covered strawberries and Chinese food along with the movie "Crazy Heart" sounds like a great evening to me!

I'm giddy with excitement!!!!

Test blog

This is my first blog, so bare with me as I put everything together...