A Quilt For Patty

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About six months ago my mom posted a little fabric challenge to our family on Facebook. She asked for a few fat-quarters of fabric to be sent for inspiration and in return we would make the sender a lap quilt from their fabric.

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My cousin Patty took mom up on her offer. She sent us a awesome pack of fabric in greys and blues. It was fantastic to work with colors mom and I aren’t normally drawn to. We needed the push to do something new and we both really love the way the quilt turned out! It’s very calming and peaceful -so relaxing to look at and cuddle.

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It’s been so great to make something for someone we both love so much and who got to personalize it a little bit. We’ve already packaged up our little masterpiece to send off to its new home. Of course, even as I stitched on the label mom asked “What are we working on next?”

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Pattern: Meet Me At The Corner by Atkinson Designs
Machine pieced, hand bound.
Long-arm quilted by Dream Catchers Quilting

Green Light

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It felt a little like we were playing a game of Red Light, Green Light today. Luckily, ultimately, we got a green light!

I had my baseline ultrasound today and HALLELUJAH it was clear! My prayer warriors are talking the good Lord’s ear off and I am so thankful!

♡ Seriously, I love you guys. ♡

The ultrasound tech did play a small game of Keep-Away with my ovaries. They apparently wanted to hide. I had to assist her and push them into view so she could capture pictures. (Is this a sign of my parenting style already?!) The good news is that they were kinda hard to see, which means there’s no cysts in there. Cysts are very easy to spot, they are big black holes in the surrounding grey of the ultrasound.

Alrighty.
Now I get to take drugs.
Woo!

I have a little chart that tells me the days for taking Clomid (pills) & what day to go in and get my Menopur shot. After that then I’ll have another ultrasound to see how the little eggs are developing in there. Then when the eggs are the right size I’ll get an HCG trigger shot to make my ovaries release them. (Release the hounds!) Then, after the HCG trigger I will have two days of IUI.

Whew!
That’s a busy couple of weeks!
I’m living in the optimisticly faithful lane and just focusing on our part, God will take care of the rest.

Also, how grateful am I that I grew out of that debilitating fear of needles?! My Dad is up in heaven just laughing his butt off about that I’m sure.

So, that’s the update! Good news!
Thanks for being such a beautiful cheering section. 
♡♡♡

Curious about all those drugs and what they do?
Ok, here’s that break down:

Clomid: (clomiphene) is a non-steroidal fertility medicine. It causes the pituitary gland to release hormones needed to stimulate ovulation (the release of an egg from the ovary).

Menapur: contains follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone activity. These hormones stimulate healthy ovaries to make eggs.

HCG: Human Chorionic Gonadotropin is a hormone that supports the normal development of an egg in a woman’s ovary, and stimulates the release of the egg during ovulation.

All caught up?
(I’ll happily answer any questions if not.)
:)
Okie doke.
Onward!

Dear Baby

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Dear yet-to-be-created Baby,
    This is what it looks like outside your window today; the day we began painting your room. It’s a cold, wet, snowy day. Your dad and I picked this color a few days ago when the sun was shining with bright blue skies. One day you’ll understand just how common that is here in Colorado and you’ll tell people the cliche phrase we all say at least once in our lives “Don’t like the weather? That’s ok, just wait a minute. ”

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    The color we chose is called Porpoise, it’s a beautiful medium grey. I’ve been dreaming about you for a long long time you see, so I’ve had nursery plans running around in my head quite a while. We obviously don’t know if you’ll be a boy or a girl so I tried to pick a color that was a good neutral. I’ve been loving greys lately in many things and so it seems just perfect for me to spread that color love all over the walls in the room that will one day be yours.
    Also, it doesn’t hurt that the color is Porpoise and your Florida-girl-mama happens to love marine wildlife. The only thing that could’ve made this color any better is if it had been called Manatee. One day I’ll share my love of water with you and we’ll take trips to the aquarium and the ocean and you’ll learn all about some seriously cool creatures. I think you’ve got a pretty decent chance of being an animal lover like your parents.
    Your Grandma Elaine and Aunt Sharon came to help me paint today. We talked about what your name might be and where your furniture might go. Your dad is with Grandpa Ralph working on tractors, something you’ll also come to find common. Something you could be doing with them, if you are so inclined, when you’re old enough. Boy or girl we hope to encourage you to follow your interests wherever they might lead you. Plus, your dad would love to have a tractor pull pal and to teach you all about his passion.
    You’ll be one lucky little human, because your dad is an excellent teacher. He knows lots about mechanics and sports and all sorts of things, and he makes them easy to understand and interesting even when they really aren’t ‘your thing’. I speak from experience, my love, because many of his things aren’t mine, but I still love for him to teach me about them.
    You might find it funny little yet-to-be-created child of mine that we are so eager to get started creating this space for you. That’s something we’ll teach you about together: walking in faith. Sometimes you just act in the direction of your dreams and trust God to get you through. You’ll also learn your mama is a ridiculously hopeful, optimistic person. Even my darkest moments can’t talk my heart out of believing in miracles, and that’s what you’ll be for us -a beautiful miracle.
    So, my miracle-waiting-to-happen, we’re working on your place and when you’re ready to come we’ll be ready to welcome you home.
   Love,
Your-Mama-In-Waiting
   
   

The Romance Of Scheduling

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I’m so glad the sun was out today for our afternoon of doctor appointments and errand running! I could have done without the cold wind, but I’ll take what I can get. Besides, today was a good day.

Today we had a little sit-down with Dr. B and he offered us two next steps in our baby journey.

Option one is for super-ovulation and timed intercourse. In which I’d take all the necessary meds to up my egg production. I’d be monitored closely, then be given a hormone to make my body release the egg at the optimal time, and finally be sent home to do the rest the old fashioned way.

Option two is for all of that meds and monitoring stuff but instead of ‘the old fashioned way’ we’d have insemination for those two peak days. Which means we’d make sure those little swimmers do not pass go and do not collect two hundred dollars.

We could go with option one for a couple cycles then switch to option two for a couple more. And, I’ll tell you honestly the hubs was up for Option one.

But… I’m of the mind that (I’ll even use one of Dr. B’s metaphors, he’s a fan of them when he explains all the things.) if we’re in for a nickel we might as well be in for a dime. Dr. B is pretty great about laying out all our options, giving us pros and cons, and not swaying the conversation. He wants us to do what we feel good about doing -all of us. He’s for good medical choices and good couple choices. Lucky me, when I told my guy let’s just go for it, he was all in.

And there’s the romance of baby making. It’s in the signing of consent forms. It’s in the filling out of schedules. It’s in the knowing that in six days I have an ultrasound to see if my next cycle will be our first IUI.

Six days.
Yeah, I’m nervous as heck, y’all!
Here’s the next link in our prayer chain:
a clear ultrasound.

Every month we ladies have the opportunity to develop a cyst in the ovary that just released an egg. My dumbed-down explanation is that the egg leaves a little hole that fills up with fluid after it is released. Most times that little fluid pocket re-absorbs and all is well. Sometimes it doesn’t and it causes a cyst. Most times your body deals with the cyst itself over the course of the next month. Sometimes it doesn’t and the doctors need to intervene.

There’s a whole lot of ‘if this, then that’ in our lives right now. It sure stresses me out! So, if you’re a pray-er we’d be blessed for you to add that little test to your list.

In other news; I’ve been having some chronic hip/lower back pain since December. I’ve seen a chiropractor to try and get relief and it’s not really fixing the issue. I have another doctor’s appointment later this week to see if maybe I need something more invasive. I could use some prayers surrounding that as well. Being in pain sucks. There’s just no nice way to say it. And, hello stupid back! I need you strong enough to carry a baby, yo. Get it together!

Ok, sweet readers, that’s my baby making update. Maybe I’ll find something interesting to talk about over the next week while we wait for the next thing. Feel free to chat back and join the conversation below, it’s a little one-sided up in here. :)
♡♡♡

Las Vegas, short & sweet

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DSCN3633DSCN3637DSCN3645DSCN3730DSCN3732~> Every three years in February my guy and I take a work/vacation trip to Las Vegas. We go for the World Of Concrete convention and spend about half our time doing convention stuff and half our time doing fun stuff. This year we invited some friends from California to meet us there and spend the afternoon/evenings wandering around Vegas with us. It was awesome! Well worth the exhaustion, aching feet and sore back from all that go-go-go. My favorite thing was riding the High Roller at sunset. Beautiful! These are just a few of my favorite photos captured during our week away.

Stress Ball

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I’m not afraid to admit I was a nervous wreck this morning.

The hubs had gone to work and I was home alone waiting for him to return in time to leave for the surgery center. I woke up at 6am from a strange and vivid dream about having brain surgery -literally dreamed I was having holes drilled in my head to have lesions removed.

I distracted myself by watching YouTube and doing laundry.  I follow inspiredmom824 on YT and she’s been talking about her infertility journey over there. I found listening to her Chit Chat Get Ready With Me videos super calming this morning.

Then it was time to shower and get ready to leave and I discovered that I was still spotting from my period. I panicked. I can’t have the HSG if I’m bleeding! Even though they had said light spotting was ok, it seemed like too much. I fell to my knees and just began praying hard for it to stop. Praying hard that my Dr would still do the test. I teared up admitting out loud to the Lord I was really worried about the outcome of the test and having to delay it a whole other month was just too much to take now that we’d been set on this road.

The thing is I didn’t even think I was that nervous about the whole thing until I thought it might not happen today. But once the nerves started I was wound up and coiled like a spring. I was nervous I couldn’t pee for the mandatory pregnancy test. I was nervous there’d be something wrong with the paperwork. I was nervous something, anything, would go wrong.

Then we were there and the paperwork was over and the administrator handed me a stress ball (these places have funny ‘gifts with purchase’, lol, I just really needed that one) and we began the in-take process. I peed like any normal person, my blood pressure was fine, I put on the hospital gown and the funny non-skid socks. The surgical nurse came in to check on me, Dr.B came in and explained everything and reassured me the spotting was not a problem. Minutes later I was in the surgery room, climbed up on the table, and it all went just like he said it would.

I got to watch, with a little cramping sensation, as the dye flooded my uterus and then the fallopian tubes. A few clicks from the x-ray machine, a couple ‘you did great’s from the Dr and the nurse, and that’s all there was to it.

But, of course, even though it was quick and easy I still had a lingering suspicion he’d seen something ‘not right’ that my inexperienced eyes couldn’t see. More polyps that would require another DandC maybe.

So, when he finally came in to recovery and said “The test results are in and you get an A+” I could finally breathe! He showed us the x-rays and said it all looked good and normal; there is nothing to be worried about. It was only then I could believe it. Relief is a gift a Dr can give unlike anyone else.

When Dr. B said we could call his office and schedule an appointment right away to talk over our IUI options I’m pretty sure I lit up. It’s not a baby obviously, and it’s not a guarantee, but it’s hope and the next step. I’m happy for that. Happy to have the next thing to do on the journey.

Thank you all who are praying us through and cheering us on. Thanks for taking this walk with us -we hope there’s a great big (birthday) party at the end of it.

Step One

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Ok, sure, technically you could say step one was having an appointment with our Reproductive Endocrinologist. Which we did, but I’m considering his idea of step one our real first step.

What is his version?
I’m so glad you asked!
It’s testing. Boring. Necessary. Testing.
Blood work for me and an SA (semen analysis) for the hubs.

It’s been six years, six years, since we’d visited that doctor’s office. Six years of…what felt like running towards the ocean, then getting scared and running back to a mountain. Six years of prayer and hope and waiting. Six years is long enough that you kinda just start back at the beginning.

On Saturday morning I offered up a vein and a curly topped redheaded guy a dozen years younger than me filled six tubes while I crossed my fingers. This morning I got the sweetest phone call.
Hallelujah!
Everything looks good.
I look good, the swimmers look good…
Ok, everything except my Vitamin D level saying I’m deficient. Which is fine, it’s common for me, and I just boost my vitamins. The good news is we are onto the next test and another step closer to our goal!

My next test is in a week and a half. I’ll have this thing called an HSG (Hysterosalpingogram) I call it the x-ray/flush test. Basically the doctor uses dye to flush through my fallopian tubes and uterus and takes x rays during that process. He’s making sure there’s no blockages in the tubes or uterine polyps to be concerned about later. I had a couple polyps when he did my laparoscopic surgery six years ago and he wanted to make sure I’m all clear before we try to make a baby in there. (Uterine polyps can cause miscarriage.)

So. ..
Then.
Hoping and praying all is well and we get a green light for. .. What step are we on after that? Three maybe?

Let’s just call it IUI (Intrauterine Insemination) round one.
It’s the least invasive way for our doctor to help us make a baby, and it’s where we’re headed.

Round one because it might not work. Usually couples try around three times and then if it hasn’t worked they move on to something else.
But let’s not jump ahead.
We’re on a journey here, a bit of a long one for better or for worse.

I considered waiting for that glorious positive pregnancy test to talk about the process. Or waiting for after the first trimester like you’re often advised. But then you would miss the messy, frustrating, anxious, hopeful backstory. If it doesn’t work you’ll know the road we walked. If it does you’ll celebrate every moment with us along the way.

Like I mentioned in my last ramble - don’t go it alone - and I’m not. I’m too nervous to keep it in, too excited to hold the secrets, too anxious people won’t understand looking from the outside. We each have a story, hopes and fears, I’m just putting mine out there. Maybe you can relate.

Don’t Go It Alone

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You should know that when I go through hard stuff I tend to curl up and find a familiar hole to crawl into. I hide, I take refuge, I go inward. You should also know I try very hard to reach out when I need to, even though it feels strange. It like I’m burdening people I love, it feels needy and helpless and I don’t really like it.

Growing up means coming to terms with the fact that sometimes you really need the things you don’t like. (Is anyone else crinkling their nose up at some awful medicine on a spoon from childhood?) God made us for connection, He made us to need each other, and He made us to need Him.

For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. {Romans 12:4-5}

One body, each unique, each with a different purpose or gift, each a member of a greater whole. We are meant to connect to each other, share our lives, ask for help and give help in return. When one part of your physical body hurts other parts can compensate for the injury. When you feel joy you don’t feel it in an isolated part of your body, joy is all-encompassing. All the parts of your body work together to help carry a load, they also work together when you rejoice. So it should be with our community. 

Recently, when I was having a hard day, I went looking for some encouragement and found just what I needed in Holley Gerth’s book The ‘Do What You Can Plan’. I borrowed Chapter 4’s title for this blog post because it just encouraged me when I needed it most.  The verse she used for this chapter is Ecclesiastes 4:9-10.

Two are better than one,  because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.

Holley talks about the journeys we all go through on our way to reaching our goals and she mentions something I far too often forget: Reaching a goal is much more satisfying when you have people alongside of you, encouragers, who know the messy backstory.

If you let others into you journey and cheer them on as well, you’ll not only go further but find much more joy all along the way. {Holley Gerth}

When you think about the people in your community, in your spiritual body, and you think about the people you want to share your journey with, remember you get to choose. You get to choose to share your journey with encouragers, with people who speak with wisdom and not criticism, with people who guide you back to faith.

I’ve been thinking about the journey I’m on so very much recently…I’ve been thinking about its success or failure and what that means if I share it here. I don’t like to be embarrassed or vulnerable and my great big messy life has plenty of room for that.

I’ve also been thinking about what it means to feel isolated in a crowd. Knowing you’re not alone in whatever messy life you call yours is such a passion of mine. My friends can certainty attest,  I don’t care if we agree on all the things, I just need you to know I’m willing to listen. When one of my spiritual body (I refer to these people as MY people) has a need my instinct is to say “What can I do?” Because, let’s be real, when you’re hurting or frustrated or scared and you have the courage to reach out the last thing you need is someone to criticize how you got there.

I’m passionate about people knowing there’s always someone to call. I’m passionate about people not being made to feel embarrassed when they ask for help. I’m passionate about saying “you are not alone”. So when I think about the things I have to share in this space I realize sometimes being the vulnerable voice is scary and uncomfortable, but someone might need me to go first. I’m certainly willing to try.

Let’s talk about our journeys and our goals. Let’s find more joy along the way. Let’s start here:
What are you passionate about?

The Time Is Now

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I’ve been thinking a lot about waiting recently…

Waiting for the right date on the calendar. Waiting for the right feeling. Waiting for someone else to make the first move.  Waiting for a specific event, a sign. Waiting for the fear to go away.

You could wait yourself into nothingness. You could wait and never do.

When my husband’s father and grandmother had a major life altering car accident in November we had been stuck in a cycle of endless waiting. But like life altering things do -we were shaken- woken up to the fact that The Time Is Now. No guarantees, no better day, no better occasion, or prefect moment.
Now.

I had been gifted a lovely journal for my birthday and I was waiting to use it. Saving it for a really good reason to”mess up” the crisp, clean, pretty pages. Saving it for January 1st perhaps, or the day we got a positive pregnancy test. You see I love journals, I love writing, but sometimes the possibility in a bright and shiny new something leaves you paralyzed with finding just the *right* moment, the right inspiration, the perfect words.

Here’s the thing-
There is no *right*, there is no perfect.

The whole of life is one big beautiful imperfect mess. You can’t order and organize it out. Oh, you can try, you can tell yourself that if you wait things fall into place or you can wait until you force them there. And then life can drop a bomb in the middle of your tidy plans and remind you: If Not Now Then When?

Don’t take your moments for granted, you could lose years in a well of waiting. You could lose joy and laughter and time with loved ones to that well. Open up to the hard things, take a deep breath and step into the scary places, make a choice for importance and let go or show up as needed. Take a deep breath and breathe through it. Even on the days you’re shattered and think you can’t go on, you do. It’s amazing and crazy and you’ll say “I can’t believe I did that. ” The things you’ll learn about yourself and the people in your life might surprise you. You might find that an awkward, shaky step forward feels really good and leads to another. You might find yourself re-engaged and re-energized for life. Step out in faith, jump in fear, get going friend -the time is now!

Dormant

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Dormant: adjective; having normal physical functions suspended or slowed down for a period of time.

Yep. Dormant.
That’s what I’ve been around here.
My normal functions were suspended this last year and I found myself in places and situations I never expected to be. 2014 was a rough ride for my family to say the least.

Big words with even bigger emotions tore up our normal this year. Words like: cancer, chemotherapy, brain trauma, pulmonary edema…big words with big events surrounding them had us all pulling in and holding on while we waited to come up for air. And at long last it is becoming so, just in time for us to dive into another year and see what it brings us!

That being said, I’d like to come back to some normalcy. I’d like to awaken from this dormant slumber and begin again. I’d like to start writing here in this space once more; document the extraordinary, ordinary, everyday -hoping we have many more of those days to look forward to this year.

Let’s chat about some life and stuff.
Whatta ya say?

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