Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday of Infertility Awareness Week

This video needs no introduction.  It shows what I have dealt with and people who have this disease deal with daily.  Please watch and share.

What IF? A Portrait of Infertility from Keiko Zoll on Vimeo.

Monday, April 26, 2010

I am an Infertile. (part 2)

So where were we?  That's right, we had just met with Dr. H.  Everything was kopasetic...oh, except we weren't pregnant.  So went to the drug store right from Dr.'s office and got the Progesterone...and $182 later(!) we were feeling rather empty, monetarily that is.  Then headed to the grocery store for some fish and veggies.  And we needed to digest how we proceed.  The doc had also told me that I might have Endometriosis (Endo).  With all the pain I was having during AF, it was very probable.  I investigated the surgery that would look to see if I had it as we wouldn't know until they cut into me...doesn't that sound fun?  So after lots of Dr. Google research and talking to various people, I decided I wanted to try Acu first.  At some point - September 2008, there was also a Healing Mass that my parents recommended.  That was quite an experience.  Read about it here.

I interviewed many acupuncturists and finally found one who had dealt with Endo herself and infertility, was close by and somewhat affordable.  What a good place to be?  Scheduled my first treatment and was very skeptical and nervous.  But Debi completely put me at ease and I was "high" after my first treatment.  I literally felt giddy.  I went about every week for a while, then backed off to every other week once I was feeling better.  She would always ask me about my cycle and what else was bothering me.  She became my therapist and my acupuncturist. 

So another couple months of trying and negatives.  After researching the OV watch for quite some time, I decided it was worth the money.  I found one on Ebay that someone had and had gotten pregnant from and purchased for a lot cheaper.  Got it and used it for a month and lo-and-behold, it told me to BD the EXACT same days that Dr. H had - days 8-16.  Was a bit bummed the first month, so tried again.  The next month, OV watch was not so nice.  It wouldn't work, I switched sensors, I called the hot line, I did everything.  And then I gave up on the OV watch.  It was just adding more stress than it was worth, for the same diagnosis that Dr. H had given us.

We called Dr. H in August and asked to start an assisted cycle - meaning fertility drugs and doctor intervention.  I was prescribed Femara (better than Clomid, hopefully less side effects, but not nearly as cheap - $125 for 10 tiny pills).  On day 10 or 11 of my cycle, we would go in for an ultrasound to determine when to be inseminated.  That evening I would inject myself with another drug (name escapes me now) and 2 days later (always on day 14 mind you) we would go to the doc's office in the morning, with J's sample in hand and they would inseminate me and let me lay on the table for about 20 minutes.  Then I would go home and while the doc said it wasn't super important, would be horizontal for the rest of the day.

I was positive the first cycle would work.  So was J.  I think there is even a post about how the next one will be from a pregnant lady.  I took a test on day 32 (cycle was running a little crazy because of the Progesterone) and it was negative.  I didn't believe it.  I insisted I needed a blood test.  So went to the doc's office and had that done.  Later that afternoon, the doc's office called me to tell me the bad news.  We were not in fact pregnant.  I was destroyed!  Literally destroyed!  I was sobbing, screaming and so very angry!  I was angry at my body, I was angry at God and I was just hysterical.  I would be doing laundry and just start screaming and crying.  J was upset as well and I think I even saw some tears, he never cries.  We both wanted it so bad.

So we continued.  We tried again.  Same deal, same scenario.  Only this time we were skeptical.  We didn't know if it would work.  We tried not to get excited.  I ate right.  I did everything I could think of to help it along.  I refused to drink anything with caffeine or Stevia.  And it didn't work.  Negative.  I cried again, but not as hard.  And in October we did it again.  Third time is the charm right?  No luck.  So we determined that it was time to stop for 2010 after three IUIs (Interauterine Inseminations).  My 30th birthday was coming and we had a big party planned.  At least no pregnancy meant I could drink at my party and relax a bit. 

That was where we stopped.  I asked Dr. H if I could stop all meds, including Prometrium (of course after stock-piling because I had finally hit my drug deductible) and he agreed that was fine.  I was hoping the spotting would still be gone, on my own.  November, no luck.  December, no luck.  We had a relaxing holiday season, well, as relaxing as the holiday season can be.  But at least we didn't have the added stress of trying to procreate.  It was very nice.  And I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders.  The New Year came and I was ridiculously sick.  I had a sinus infection and an ear infection.  I was out of work for a week.  Then, we started fresh.  2010 was here and we were relaxing.  We talked about going back to the doc, but we were both enjoying the reduced stress level.  So January came and what-do-you-know, no spotting!  I was ecstatic!  Something was going right.  February came, NO spotting!  March, NO spotting.  It was great.

We decided we should have a visit with Dr. H and see what our next steps were.  I had been doing some research and knew some about IVF and other possibilities but I wanted to know what Dr. H thought.  I was supposed to go get blood work done before the meeting on day 2 or 3 of my cycle.  And of course, that was the ONE time AF was late.  I tried not to get excited, but I did.  1 day late. 2 days late. 3 days late. On day 4, I had had enough.  I had been taking HPTs the whole time and they were popping up negative.  But still no AF.  Called the doc and asked for a blood test again.  Went in and after I registered I started to feel cramps.  I still had the test done, but I was pretty sure AF would be waiting for me when I got out.  And she was.  So again, we weren't pregnant.  We had to reschedule the discussion with Dr. H because AF was late and we didn't have time to get the results before the meeting.  So two weeks later, we went in.

I had a list of questions for Dr. H.  J and I met at the office on a Tuesday afternoon and had an hour and a half discussion about our options, the success rate, the side effects, adoption, etc.  We discussed everything and Dr. H was very patient (as usual) and answered everything honestly.  Short story, IVF is our next step and we heard about the cost and the procedure.  You can read about that here. We both decided we weren't ready for that step yet.  But it was nice to hear Dr. H's opinion and be able to make an educated decision. 

And that brings you to where we are now.  We are relaxing.  We are drinking.  We are exercising.  We are eating better.  We are being us.  And we aren't waiting until...we are living in the now.  For any new readers out there, I urge you to nose around my blog and ask questions.  And for the old faithfuls, thank you for all the support you have given me in the past and I know will give me in the future. 

Love <3.

I am an Infertile.

Hi, my name is Niki, and I'm an Infertile (meaning that my husband and I have been trying to conceive for over 12 months (almost 3 years to be exact)).
This week is National Infertility Awareness Week, and I want you to
know someone you know and care about has been impacted by infertility.
Please feel free to ask questions about my condition, or talk to me
if you are struggling with fertility challenges yourself. You can
also go to to learn more. I do also blog about our adventures at the address below. Thanks for your support!

I posted this as my status this morning on Facebook (sorry folks, I don't Tweet).  I wasn't going to and then my beloved Kate did, and after some serious thought (I was thinking about all the people who are my friends on FB) I decided that it wasn't something to hide anymore.  Now while I don't think infertility should be celebrated, I also believe that it isn't something that needs to be kept in hiding.  So for those of you that clicked the link for the first time to see what this is all about, I am going to attempt a quick(!) synopsis of our journey.

In July 2007, AF (see the right side for definitions of the abbreviations) was a couple days late.  Having still been on birth control, I was a little nervous.  I took a Clearblue Easy Digital Pregnancy test having told J (my husband) what was happening.  The test immediately showed "Pregnant".  I darted out of the bathroom and was immediately having tears of joy as I gave him the test.  We had a celebratory hug and when I looked down again, the test was blank.  I reread the directions and it said that it should have showed for at least 24 hours until the battery died.  So a little concerned that something was up, but I started to get ready for my day of working at home.  Called one of my best friends (who at the time had only one child, now she has 2) and told her of my worry with the test.  She came by the house at lunch bringing me another pregnancy test that wasn't digital and it turned up negative.  My heart sank.  But AF never showed so I kept taking tests and at one point even went to Planned Parenthood for a blood test.  That came back negative too.  But because all this was going on, I had stopped BC.  We were officially "trying."

I immediately started to collect pregnancy books and read through the first chapter or so.  A couple months later (near Thanksgiving in fact), I was having SERIOUS pain in my much that we considered not visiting J's parents 2 hours away and going to the hospital.  But it subsided a bit for the weekend and when it returned on Monday, I called my doc.  They recommended an ultrasound.  So that was scheduled and it was discovered that I had some cysts (probably from the stoppage of BC).  The only way to cure that, go back to BC.  As that defeated our other purpose, I dealt.  

We tried and tried.  I bought OPKs of all brands at various times to figure out when I ovulated.  I took my BBT consistently every morning for almost a year.  I bought more pregnancy books, not broaching the infertility spectrum yet.  But we tried and tried more and more.  I bought lots of lingerie...trying to make it more interesting.  Finally, at my normal OB/GYN appointment, I mentioned it to my OB and she prescribed a slew of blood tests for me, an SA test for J and Clomid.  All the blood tests and J's test came back fine, so the Clomid was our next step.  

Clomid basically makes you more eggs and makes you crazy!  I had hot flashes, sleepless nights and crazy feelings.  At one point, I actually had to show J where it said in an infertility book (yes, I had bought some by this time) that it said "Clomid can make you crazy!"  But after 6 months and still no pregnancy, you can't take Clomid anymore because it does more harm than good at that point.  That was when my OB said that we should meet Dr. H, our current reproductive endocronologist, (October 2008) and have an HSG (sorry, not gonna spell that one).  HSG is a test where they put dye in your uterus to make sure your fallopian tubes are open.  Dr. H did the HSG and then we were scheduled to see Dr. H at his office a few weeks later.  HSG was fine and then the drama of October 2008 hit...the stock market crashed and everyone's job was in jeopardy.  Knowing that things could go insane, we backed down from Dr. H's appointment until things calmed down and the holidays were past.  Also at this time, I had started spotting a day or two before my period without cramps, which was way new.

March 2009, we rescheduled our appt with Dr. H.  It went well.  He did another ultrasound, discussed our previous blood work, discussed J's results, and discussed our options.  All were positive.  We were young (I was 29 and J was 31), we were healthy, we were fine.  Diagnosis - keep trying and maybe lose a little weight, eat a little better, exercise a little more and for the abdomen pain, add some Acu.  Also, prescribed Progesterone to hopefully stop the spotting.  And call him in 4-6 months with progress report and next steps.

I'm gonna have to stop there for now folks, but I promise I will finish later.  Am due for lunch with some old friends!  

To Be Continued.... 

Monday, April 19, 2010

Memoir Monday - Pappy

I did one a while ago for my Mom's Dad, but we can't forget my Dad's Dad who we lost when I was in college.  Pappy to me, Bud to friends, although his true name was James, was hard on the outside but somewhat of a softie on the inside.  He always smelled of peppermint and tobacco, and while I am notoriously known for being against smoking and tobacco, I grew to know that smell because of him.  And it is because of him that I am so against both of the above listed.  We lost him to emphysema far too early in life. 

He was a stern man, but seemingly I got by being on his sweet side.  He had the greatest smile that lit up the rest of his face like the Fourth of July.  And boy did that face light up when he saw his granddaughters.  Yup, apparently girls run in the family because there were 5 born before the first baby boy came around, and he was appropriately named James.  (Same deal on my Mom's side...there were 4 girls born before the first boy appeared!)  You know now that I am seriously hoping for a little girl...hell, I'd even settle for 2 of them.  Anyway, back to my story...

I wasn't the first granddaughter on Pappy's side of the family, I was the third.  So maybe his roughness got used up on the first two, but there was always a sweet spot in Pappy's heart for me.  One year (I was maybe 10), I remember having Christmas at his and my grandmother's house and all the grandkids got presents of course.  But after the last present was opened and the living room cleared, Pappy said, "Phyllis (my grandmother), one present didn't get opened!  Niki, do you see it under the tree?"  I stooped and saw nothing and told him so.  Then he got that silly grin on his face and said, "What if you look IN the tree?"  I circled the tree and immediately spotted a long box and pulled it out.  It had my name on it!  He smiled and urged me to open it and inside was a gold chain necklace that was beautiful and at 10 years old, it was the most expensive necklace I had!  I ran to him with a great big hug and lots of kisses!  What a happy Christmas that was, and not just because of the present, but the man behind the present.  I still have it to this day and even though it is tarnished I can't bring my self to get rid of it because of the memories it holds.

And below is the poem my Dad once again read at his funeral that I wrote.

By  Niki Vance (Rowe) 
May 11, 1920 - March 24, 2001 

The onery old man
that always had a gentle hand 
for me.
A present hidden in the 
Christmas tree.
A smart remark for
anyone around.
But a sweet smile and the smell of
mint chewing tobacco whenever hugged and kissed him 
He watched me grow up and
I watched him grow older and 
sick -- too sick.
I watched him struggle to 
walk and breathe, 
but he never forgot to tell me he 
loved me and be onery to everyone around him.
But that's Pappy.
The last time I saw him,
he didn't see me.
He "held" my hand and I kissed 
his balding head.
And when he released his final breath,
the nurse said to him, 
"You did real good Bud." 
He definitely did.
His family and friends are proof.
He did real good.

This is my Pappy and he is always remembered and loved, even though he isn't on earth anymore.  I know he is giving Jesus a heck of a time up in Heaven! Love you!

How come my memoirs always reduce me to tears?! I guess meaningful memories do that.


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Happy me! (part deux)

Alright, to sum up...

January 2002 - J and I met.
March 2002 - We said "I love you."
May 2002 - I graduated from college.
June 2002 - J proposed and I accepted.
July 2002 - We moved to Denver, CO in a rented townhouse in Highlands Ranch, CO.
September 2003 - We moved into our new house in Aurora, CO.  I got laid off from my job.
April 2004 - After being gainfully employed again, I interviewed for a job more to my liking and got it 2 days before we left to drive to Arizona to get married.
April 16, 2004 - We got married surrounded by 85 of our closest friends and relatives at Wild Horse Ranch in Tucson, AZ.

I think that is where we left off.  After returning home from our wedding, we both had a few more days off to spare and on the first day we were awake again, we headed to the Dumb Friends League (basically the Humane Society Denver style) and found the pup who was to be our wedding present to ourselves.  When they showed us the picture of her and called her a Rottweiler, we didn't quite believe it.  When she came racing into the room and jumped into my lap, I was sold and she wasn't a Rottweiler, she was Australian Shepard.  She was so lovable and sweet.  I couldn't imagine why the people before us had given her up.  Apparently, she was nipping.  Hello!  She's a puppy!  They tend to do that!  But I thank God that they gave her up.  J had to work the following day, but I wasn't due to start at my new job until the next day, so I spent the whole day with her - and that first night was difficult...she cried all night from her crate!  But we persevered and learned about each other and it all worked out great.

Starting the new job was very nice.  The first person I met was Tia who had recently been married as well.  She was my "cube-mate" and as lovable as they come.  I was reintroduced to the rest of the ladies, as I had previously met them when I interviewed.  The first day at a new job is sometimes like the first day of school...learn the rules, get checked in, yada yada.  And from there, we happily tooted along getting to know our neighbors and co-workers more and learning how to be married now with a dog and a cat.  Everything was going pretty great.

We took our honeymoon later in 2004, as to not use all of our fun up in one fell swoop.  It was a cruise around the Hawaiian islands and it was grand.  The scenery, the nature, the company - oh, did I mention my parents went with us?  I know that sounds weird, but they were in a separate suite and without them we would have never had a honeymoon that grand, or probably at all!  They were celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary and their gift was to take us on our honeymoon.  We had plenty of time apart and plenty of time together.  It was great times!  (Especially, when my naturally thin husband tried to put on the pants he had worn at our rehearsal dinner and the buttons were 2 inches apart!  Sorry, I couldn't help but laugh.  Turns out married life adds weight to your waist!)

We started thinking about kids, but nothing too serious.  Just talking about what we would want to teach them and show them when they were growing up.  Secretly, I was hoping my neighbor across the street (Mary) would babysit for me because she had raised two amazing children and I could totally see her fawning over our little one someday.  But we didn't do anything drastic to get us there.  We just kept going the way we were and loving every second of it...or so I thought.  (Don't get worried!)

At some point, one of my sisters called to tell me she was engaged and there was to be a wedding in April 2005.  I wouldn't have missed it for the world, so the planning on how to get me there as money was tight.  Finally figured out that I would go and J would not.  It was sad, but also exciting to go home and see one of my bestest friends marry the man she had been loving for a LONG time - I was the first one introduced to him when we were freshman in college!  I flew to Tucson for a long weekend and a wedding.  When I left Denver, they were predicting snow.  Arizona sounded better than ever as it was April and 75 degrees outside. 

I had a wonderful weekend with my family and at the wedding.  Sunday morning, J called to tell me the airport had been shut down and the weatherman had been right...a lot of snow!  After calling my airline, we determined that I was stuck in Tucson for at least a couple days.  I called my boss and let her know and there wasn't a whole lot either of us could do.  So I got to spend some more time with my friends and family and finally got my flight booked for Tuesday of the same week.  In that same weekend, my Mom had told me she wanted to talk about her business with me.  At that point, she had been a prominent financial planner in Tucson for over 20 years (now that number is closer to 30!) and was thinking about her future and eventually her retirement.  As she was now looking for someone to pass her clients on to when she retired in the next couple years (again, now looking like 5-10), she wanted to offer the job to me first which was her dream.  After much discussion with her, I told her I had to discuss it with my husband.

I called him and told him and his exact words were, "Stay put!  I'll pack up the house and meet you there!"  Apparently, that last bout of snow was his last straw.  We had both talked extensively about missing our families (which both resided in Arizona) and how vacations were always going to be home.  But this still took me aback a bit.  I loved our house, my job and our new friends in Colorado, however there is nothing like family.  So in the blink of an eye, our lives changed and I took the job.

We decided to wait a bit to put the house on the market and not do anything too quickly.  Well, then the real estate market started to sky rocket in Arizona and tank in Colorado.  So it was time to put the house up for sale.  That was possibly the most fun ever in my life - NOT!  After 2 realtors and countless showings, it finally sold but the kicker was we had to be out in 2 weeks!  Yes folks, 14 days!  Mind you, I had even told my beloved job or boss that I was moving and the packing wasn't even started.  So the minute the deal was solid, I had to tell her.  I not only had to tell her, but the other 5 ladies I worked with and loved dearly!  Thankfully it was a Friday and I heard first thing from the realtor so had all day to get the job done.  I started with the easy people, the ones I knew would cry with me, and worked up to the people that might be mad.  No one was mad, they all cried.  They all understood, but were sad.  I told them I could stay with friends if they needed me after my husband had left, but it all worked out that all the loose ends got tied up. 

The packing began and it was tornado-ish.  My folks flew up to help us once again drive home with an overstuffed truck, two different vehicles, a dog and a cat.  We closed on October 31, 2005 and were on the road on Halloween day.  We had seen the neighbors off the night before and had countless other send-offs from our beloved Colorado friends, but that didn't make it any easier.  I was very sad to leave Colorado.

So 3 days later and unknown tanks of gas, we were home in Tucson, AZ where even in November, the weather was slightly warm.  I started at my Mom's office and J went back to his old job where they welcomed him with open arms.  And as they say, the rest is history and here we are.

Oh - one last thing - this morning we watched our wedding video as we try to do every anniversary.  Had to drag out the VCR and put batteries in the remote!  Very funny watching it on video versus DVD.  It was a trip to see how we looked (so young and thin), how our friends looked (so young and thin), how our parents looked (such different hairstyles - even though it was only 6 years ago), the people that were there (and we still talk to a lot) and the people that were there (and have disappeared from our lives).  It was a trip!  And I am sure next year it will be an even bigger trip!

That's all she wrote folks.  Have a great week!  Love!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Happy me!

Hello is a great day.  First off, tax season ended yesterday (!) which means no more annoyed accountants calling for cost basis or tax forms!!!  YAY!  Secondly, today is J and my 6th anniversary!  Yes, hard to believe but we have been married for 6 whole years...together for 8!  Insane, I know.  So, in recognition of this momentous day - which will be celebrated tomorrow at the Gaslight Theater in Tucson (small theater that does hysterical musicals - the only musical J will go to), I figured I would give our our meet and marriage story.  It's kinda cute and I'm sorry, a bit corny.  But here goes...

The year was 2002, I was a senior in college at the University of Arizona and not-so-much on the prowl for my true love, but living it up with whomever asked me out and I thought was cute.  Having recently gotten out of a relationship with a man (also named Jason) who had a 3-year-old daughter (whom I think I fell in love with instead of the man), I just wanted to have fun before reality of the real world hit.  J and I met in January, a couple days before his birthday - January 28th.  Actually, we met at a bar.  Doesn't that sound awful?! But truth be told, we had met before that.  First off, J worked at the Safeway where my parents shopped while he was in high school and while I don't remember him from there, we are sure our paths crossed at least a couple times.  Second, he also worked at another bar that I frequented in college due to one of my BFFs working there called Maloney's.  And thirdly, at the time we met, J was very good friends with a guy who I happened to work at Outback Steakhouse with his wife.  (He was actually in their wedding, but sadly we have drifted from them since).  They were our age so all of us would go out sometimes together.  Therefore, I had seen J before and knew of him...however, at the time they all called him Rowe because there were 2 Jason's in the crowd and it made things easier to keep track of. 

Anyhow, back to the bar.  So it's January 2002 and all of us had headed out to this bar in Tucson called Gentle Ben's.  Kinda cool below, open-air bar up-top with lots of dancing (coincidentally, before the bar was there it was an apartment and my Dad lived there in college for a bit...random!).  The crowd that I knew was there, including J and we were all chatting as we usually did.  We had both just returned from getting drinks at the bar, and the entire crowd disappeared to go dance.  Having just gotten fresh drinks, we weren't ready to go do that yet so we started chatting and flirting.  Mind you, in the back of my head and as I had thought previously, I am thinking "this guy is way to hot to be into me!"  (Only later to learn that he had thought I was too hot to be into him...funny!).  We ended up chatting for quite some time, when his ex shows up and kinda elbowed her way into our conversation.  I gave him my number, thinking he would never use it, and headed out with my girlfriends for another bar.  End of story...?

The next day was Sunday and despite my better judgment, I was in search of him.  So knowing a friend was dating his roommate, I called her for his roommate's number.  His roommate was excited that I was calling because he thought I was hunting him down, and sounded a little forlorn that I was looking for J.  He gave me J's cell number and I called it, having been told he was at a BBQ with friends.  No answer.  Hung up.  Tried a couple hours later.  Left a message that I would love to meet him at Maloney's (the bar he worked at) that evening.  All in all, I think I called him 15 times, but only left 1 message. He finally called back and agreed to meet me there.  I might have had to work that afternoon, but I can't recall exactly.  Anyway, met him there with his roommate and it was fun.  He asked me to dinner for later that week.  I agreed.  YAY for me!

Wednesday, our dinner date.  He came to pick me up.  At the time, he was driving a HUGE orange pick-up truck that he had re-built and I was driving an ES300 Lexus that I had "bought" from my Mom.  Quite the difference!  So when he drove up and saw my car, he got a little nervous about where I wanted to go to dinner.  I'm not huge on the expensive restaurants with little food, so I recommended this place called Oregano's in Tucson that I love.  Fun atmosphere, lots of food and not expensive.  Think, little Italian pizza joint.  Anyway, we had a wonderful time at dinner and then headed to the movies.  Classic, dinner and a movie.  Beforehand, stopped somewhere to get a drink while waiting for the movie to start.  We were supposed to see Kate and Leopold (classic date movie right?) but it was sold out, so we saw....Black Hawk Down!  It was the only other thing playing!  Good God!  Talk about a bloodbath.  Not the ultimate date movie.  But we made it through and because there were lots of tense moments, there was plenty of time for hand holding and squeezing!  We survived!  He drove me home, and kissed me goodnight and I swear in that moment I knew.  When he left and Melslaw (my BFF and roomie) came home, I told her I was going to marry him.  She, of course being of sound mind, didn't believe me. 

We continued to talk and go out.  A couple days later, we were set to go out and I came down with food poisoning.  He actually came over and watched movies with me.  Very sweet and very odd to such a new relationship.  Then his birthday showed up.  So I cooked him dinner and he was excited when he came over.  It was good, and then we went out to meet up with his friends.  Melslaw had told him that he wasn't allowed to drink too much, because the bathroom was by her room and she wasn't prepared to hear the aftermath.  Off we went.  At the bar with the people that had introduced us, they were buying him all kinds of drinks and unbeknownst to him, doubling up on him.  So when he thought he was getting 7 and 7s, he was really getting 14 and 14s!  Needless to say, about 2/3rds into the night, he was hammered.  I took him back to my place, as I had class the next day, and I swear he was in the bathroom all night getting sick.  Poor J and poor Melslaw!  I stayed up and tried to help with water and bread where I could, but he kept telling me to go to sleep.  I think we finally went to sleep about 3 am, and I had classes the next day.  When we woke, he was better but in no way 100%.  He drove me to class in my car, and then took it while I was away and washed it, then picked me back up after class.  Again, very sweet. 

This whole story has taken place in about 2 weeks!  We have both seen each other sick and are still sticking around.  However, I still am calling him Rowe and not Jason.  So we go to dinner at Old Chicago one night and after he asked me to be his girlfriend, and I said yes, he also asks me to call him Jason, and not Rowe.  (Let me explain something here....I had this thing in college about names and karma.  I refused to date someone who had the same name as someone I had previously dated.  So at this point, I didn't even KNOW his first name!  Were you paying the beginning I said that the guy before him that I dated was named Jason!  My heart dropped when he told me this!  But, since I was so far in already and falling hard and fast, there wasn't much to do, but stick with it.  Theory went out the window!)  So now we are together.

Fast forward a few months.  He asked me what I was doing after college and I told him, point-blank, "moving to Colorado" for an advertising job.  Without missing a beat, he told me he would go with me.  End of story there.  He was the one who wanted to meet my parents first.  He was the one that made ME go up to see them almost every Sunday for lunch, at one point even cooking for them!  Oh man, am I falling fast now.

Now we are in March.  At this point, school is getting close to being over and I am hardly sleeping at my place anymore.  J would wake up and go to working (having to be there about 7 am) and when I woke up I would get up, make the bed, leave him a note, and let myself out - with my key to his apartment!  One morning, as I was driving home, it started to snow.  Now snow in Arizona is a big deal.  Time literally stands still because it doesn't happen often.  Snow in March in Arizona is a M-I-R-A-C-L-E!  My cell phone rings and it is J and he wanted to know if it was snowing where I was.  I said yes and we chatted for a moment.  He said, "I love you, bye."  And hung up.  He had NEVER said that before.  I immediately called him back and said,"did you say what I think you just said?"  He answered yes and I repeated it back to him.  I knew that I loved him, but didn't want to be the first to say it.  Let's just say I floated on air that day.

So then I went on Spring Break with my girl friends on a cruise through the Mediterranean and had a blast, leaving him at home to work.  I was in bed early every night while they partied hard and the cruise was great.  Then comes graduation and of course J is there.  I have met his parents by this point.  They like me, I like them but am intimidated by them.  But they are way nice. 

After graduation, my parents, some of their friends, and I went on a trip to the Grand Cayman Islands (if you haven't been, add it to your is awesome!).  We are gone for about 10 days, maybe 2 weeks.  I called J a couple times, and it was pricey so keep the phone calls short.  But 1 I remember in particular.  I had seen a tanzanite ring that was pretty inexpensive as far as tanzanite goes and wanted to buy it. My parents were funding a trip for my Dad and myself to fly to CO for an interview I had and to find a place for J and I to live.  My Mom told me that if I purchased the ring, it would show them that I had plenty of money to fund the trip myself.  I didn't buy it and was upset with her.  So I called J to vent and told him about the situation and he said the strangest thing to me..."you'll run out of fingers."  I didn't get it at the time, but looking back it makes sense. 

Anyway, the night before we left Grand Cayman, I had this dream that I was meeting all of J's family and everyone I met kept telling me I was late.  I would ask, "late for what?" and they would say for my wedding and give the day.  The last person that told me I was late and the day before I woke up, happened to be the day we flew home.  We got home around 11 pm, so after I told the crowd we were with the story, we joked that J wouldn't have much time to pop the question because we would only be home an hour before midnight.  We get home and J had been watching my parents' house, so he picked us up from the airport and drove them back there, then I followed him back to his place in my car that was at my folks house.  I'm dog tired.  I change clothes and crawl into bed, and say goodnight.  I slide my hand under my pillow and run into a velvet box!  I'm awake immediately!  I pop up with the box in my hand and now J is sitting there with a huge smile on his face.  I open the box to see the sparkliest ring ever (he says I closed it then and reopened it, but I don't remember that) and said, "is this what I think it is?"  He then asked me to marry him and I recall screaming "yes!"  Looked at the clock and it was 11:50 pm.  He made the deadline of my dream.  How crazy is that!  I called Melslaw and told her.  She was excited.  I called the friend who had introduced us, and she already knew because J had called her for ring advice, but picked it out on his own...having picked it out because it looked like a flower and was the sparkliest ring out there.  (My nickname at Outback in college was "Sparkles" because I always had glitter on my eyes when I worked).  I don't think I slept that night.

He got up the next day to go to work and I (still having not slept very much) was up at well.  Hit Starbucks on the way to my parents' house.  Who were very surprised to see me at 8 am!  My Mom asked me what I was doing their that early, and all I could say was, "I'm engaged!" and show off my ring.  Both of them went ballistic having loved J.  It was a pretty crazy moment!  I don't think I ate much that week.  I was so excited!  I even remember dressing up a lot because with this beautiful ring on my finger, I felt the need to be decked out!  Craziness, craziness!

We still had to tell his parents.  Went to his sister's house for July 4th celebration and decided to tell them there.  His sister was happy, as was her husband, I guess.  Mid-party, we took his parents outside alone and J told them he had proposed and was moving to CO to be with me.  They weren't all that excited.  They tried to be, but he was moving away and that didn't make them happy.  We tried to see them as much as possible before we left, but it was hard because they don't live in Tucson, they are about 2 hours away.  They got used to the idea. 

Beginning of August, we got a Uhaul and a trailer and with the help of my parents, moved to Colorado where I had found an apartment with my Dad's help and some friends of my parents that already lived there.  It worked out almost perfectly...there were some slips, but we all survived.  They left, and we were alone.  J immediately got a job because he is a mechanic and at the time it was very easy to do that.  I started searching for a "real" job, and after about a month, went into the Outback up there and was quickly hired.  I finally got a real job and started to be a growed up.  Yada yada, life went well.  We fought a bit and I questioned whether we were going to make it, but being that neither one of us knew anyone else, we had to get through it.  I think it made our relationship 10 times stronger and I wouldn't change it for the world. 

After "living in sin" (we were engaged, but not married and living together) for a while, we started to think about planning the wedding which would be in Tucson of course since that was where we had both grown up mostly.  In that, we also decided that if we were going to get all these presents, it was better to have a house that we could make them work in, rather than a rental townhouse.  So the house hunt began.  I think it truly only lasted a month or so and pretty soon (after a couple different realtors) we found one and put an offer down.  We got it.  We closed on a Wednesday and on that Friday, my boss called me into her office and laid me off.  It was horrid!  We had literally just signed the papers and I freaked.  Thankfully, I got the remainder of the month in severance (which was about 3 weeks) and looked for another job. 

We moved into the house and the day we moved in, each one of our new neighbors came to say hello and bring us cookies or a plant, or something.  After the 4th neighbor, I looked at J and said, "where did we move....Mayberry?"  But those neighbors became some of our best friends and allies.  They taught us how to care for our house.  They taught us so much compassion.  And they taught us parenting skills...that I will someday use!  They all had kids ranging from 6-13.  (We will get to see them when we go to CO and I can't wait!)  I got another job rather quickly and everything was working.

Wedding planning, wedding planning and more wedding planning.  Do you know how "fun" it is to plan a wedding in a different state?!  OY!  We did it.  Took us me 22 months, but we I did it.  Neighbors watched the house and cat (J adopted Sonoma for my first birthday in CO even though he was allergic.  He got over in about 2 weeks and now he is her favorite!) while we were gone.  A friend who I had met in Denver got ordained online and drove down to marry us - she rocks and I still see her often! 

The week I was supposed to leave for Tucson, I had an awful time at work.  My boss went off the deep end.  I had been corresponding with another agency at the time and I emailed them to ask if they now had any openings.  Turns out, the assistant had just quit THAT DAY and they wanted an interview.  So 2 days before we are leaving for AZ to get hitched, I had an interview.  I loved the job and the ladies and prayed it worked.  They told me they would probably call me while we were in AZ with an answer.  Bummer, I wanted to know before I left.  Strike that, the next day I got a call that they wanted to hire me.  I gladly accepted and the following day, the day I am leaving for my wedding, I handed my boss my resignation letter - giving the 2 weeks I was to be gone as my 2 week notice since they already had a temp lined up.  It was awesome.  I got to leave for my wedding, knowing that I had a job I was looking forward to coming back to.  Was I happy girl!

We drove down to AZ.  Got through everything and had a lovely time.  The one hitch was one of my bridesmaids had to have emergency surgery in Denver and couldn't make it.  I took it in amazing stride and we continued to go forward, not worrying about replacing her as it just wasn't worth the hassle.  Everything else went off without a hitch and it was great.  That day was 6 years ago today.  There are a ton of pictures and I have a couple posted here.  One of the things that made me laugh was when they "dressed up" my truck (Yellow Xterra), they also found my Dad's truck and on the back window wrote "My daughter just got married."  It was classic! 

We drove back to CO a couple days later and our lovely neighbors, had done a treasure hunt in our house with champagne and glasses waiting in the fridge and fun decorations all around.  So very sweet and awesome.  Now you know why I love these folks so!  Well, partly...that is just a taste of how great they are.  In our few days off after the wedding, we adopted Sierra as our wedding present to ourselves, so this day rings special for her too.  Well, maybe next Tuesday is the day we got her...but you get the picture.

Obviously there is more to the story because we moved back to AZ, but I think this post has gotten long enough.  Another day...hopefully this weekend or before we leave at least. 


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I'm a bad blogger!

Hi Bleaders!  I'm sorry I haven't been blogging but life has been pretty calm lately.  No complaints and no excitement.  Plus UBER-busy.  I'm lucky I have these moments to write something. 

AF showed up Sunday before I walked in the Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure.  I knew AF was coming but unlike last month when she was way late, this month she was way early.  So early in fact that I thought it was spotting to begin with and I got mad, only to realize later that the cramps were there too - only time I have ever been relieved to have cramps!  Who would have thunk it?!  So as hard as it was to get up THAT early on a Sunday, it was even harder with cramps, and then to realize that all the people I was supposed to walk with had to bail for sadly...very good reasons!  So couldn't even be mad.  Thankfully, I knew my neighbor was walking so I texted her at 6 am and asked if I could walk with her and her family, and she gladly obliged.  So the day wasn't a total loss. 

But really, that is all my excitement.  This weekend will be C-R-A-Z-Y!  Two children's birthday parties on the opposite sides of town on Saturday, to be followed by dinner with J and the Gaslight theater to celebrate our 6th wedding anniversary on Saturday night.  And then we get to pack for our vacation....not telling exactly when we leave...the important people know! ;)  Don't worry...our housesitter is a "live-in" and if you get past him, you have to deal with the cat.  Ask anyone....don't you dare!

Alright dear ones, I swear I will actually post before we leave and maybe even taking the laptop!  Love to you all and good night.

P.S. I hope your taxes are done!  I'll be glad when Thursday is over!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

On a policital note

First off, my 200th post was on Sunday and now looking back, it was B-O-R-I-N-G and not worthy of being the 200th post!  Sorry about that Bleaders.

So, hopefully this one will make up for it.  I'm going to put in an email I got today from RESOLVE (which is The National Infertility Association, for those of you unawares).   I'm on their mailing list. It's a little frightening to read, but please do.

Dear Niki,
The only person that can stop SB 1306 and 1307 from passing is YOU! The Arizona House of Representatives is about to take the last steps to pass SB 1306 and 1307. 

RESOLVE volunteers have heard it straight from the horse's mouth that the goal of SB 1306 and 1307 is to interfere with or stop medical treatment for infertility in Arizona.  The goal is to make it harder for us to have babies safely.  At a March 31 hearing on the bills, a witness for the bills testified that if these bills pass there will be NO cryopreservation of eggs (sorry, cancer patients!) and NO cryopreservation of embryos (hello, future “octomoms”!).

We must stop these bills or it will be difficult or impossible to practice IVF in Arizona.  Doctors have examined the bills and determined they would not want to practice medicine under these new Arizona laws.  That means YOUR doctor may leave the state with no one to help those diagnosed with infertility.

MYTH: “My representative told me these bills have been fixed.”

FACT: That is false.  While a few amendments were made, the bills that the House Committee passed last week -- and that the House Rules committee will consider today, April 6 -- are still designed to impair the way IVF and egg donation are practiced.  Please visit RESOLVE’s website for details and a full analysis.

Please stop what you are doing and register your opposition!  It may be your last chance.  Tell your lawmakers what they are doing to couples who want to have a family. These bills may take away their only chance to have a child. They don't understand that many, many people will be harmed by these bills, that many, many people oppose them.  No one will act for you -- we need you, and we need you NOW!

Thank you!
Barbara Collura
Executive Director

P.S.  The bills actually criminalize the practice of reproductive medicine. Doctors who treat infertility can go to prison for treating a patient to the current standard of medicine! Is this family-friendly? I don't think so! We only have a few days left! Please help us get the word out. 

Seeing as our next step, should I not "spontaneously impregnante" is IVF, this is downright frightening.  Aren't there other bigger issues to worry about than someone who really, really, really wants to get pregnant and can pay for it actually happening?  I get the Octo-Mom thing so yeah, arrest those crazy docs.  But if this means Dr. H has to leave the state, I am screwed!  Please help a sista out people and go to the site.  They have a letter all ready for you to send and even figure out who to send it to for you based on your zip code.  It may not be happening in your state yet, but you never know until you try!

200th post over.  Peace out and protect IVF.  It may be our only chance!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

April - crazy time!

Hello my dear Bleaders...just wanted to drop a note to apologize for my absence.  April is always a crazy month with tax season, Easter, a ton of children's birthdays, our anniversary and our annual vacation somewhere.  So I will try to blog, but know that if you haven't heard from me in a while, nothing is wrong, I just don't have time to sit at the computer apart from when I am working!!!

Easter was good, nothing crazy...just lunch with the family and lots of goodies!  But I am getting way excited for our trip to CO later this month and then San Francisco next month for Melslaw's 30th!  So excited!  We are also going to walk in the Bay to Breakers after her birthday.  If you have never heard of it (neither have I) but here are some interesting photos!  Bay to Breakers Enjoy and pray for me.

Happy Easter folks!


Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Infertile Fight Song

So once again I am stealing something from Busted Kate who stole the idea from someone else.  What can I say?  She's a smart lady!  Anyway, here is Michael Buble's song "Haven't Met You Yet."  I am pretty sure that he wrote it about a girl, but if you think about a mother singing it to her unborn (or yet to be conceived) child, the words fit perfectly.  (Those who get this via email might have to go to the website to see the video, but so worth it - video on

Sorry it is so big, I can't get it to be smaller.  So if you right click on it, and choose "Show All" it gets a bit better.  Otherwise, head over to Busted Kate's blog - because she is more internet savvy than me - and look at it there.  

Hope you enjoyed and I promise I will blog some this weekend...just been a crazy week!