Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Photography Give-Away ... And Come Visit Me!

Remember this picture?

And this one????

And this one????

Remember me telling you about my AMAZING friend Kristine Pringle and her AMAZING photographic talents?  

So get this...she and two other instructors with her photography company are going to be holding a workshop in August.  She will cover the things all we 'Momtographers' want to know...how to get out of the little green automatic box and take some great shots!  She'll cover lighting, composition and action as well as the Big 3—Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO adjustments for those better, more-purposed pictures we all love and get giddy over when posted on FB and liked a million and three times!

I am going to go!  I've wanted to go to one of her workshops for a while now, and conveniently, this IVF cycle puts me up in NoVA just in time, ha ha.  The workshop will be on August 12 from 11 am-2pm in Richmond, VA.  We'll be in beautiful Maymont Park, and I cannot wait!

The best part?  Krissy has generously offered to giveaway a spot in this workshop for blog and FB friends.  How cool is that?  Come learn from an amazing photographer and meet me.  (Seriously...I'm joking about the meeting me part...You will fall in love with what a sweetheart she is and she and her co-instructors will ROCK YOUR WORLD with their mad skills...but I'd love to meet YOU!)

Because the workshop is so soon, I'll close the giveaway on Sunday, August 5.  She didn't have any requirements for entering (because she is just that precious), but I'm going to ask that you go to her FB page and 'like' her, if you haven't already.  While you are at it, take a look at her blog...her pictures are gorgeous, but I'm telling you...the stories she writes as she showcases them will have you in smiles and tears all at the same time.  

So, if you are in the Richmond, VA area (or driving distance!  I'm driving!), leave a comment and tell me that you visited her blog or FB.  Super, super excited to be a participant of this workshop, and super excited to share!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Laugh Out Loud!

My sweet, sweet boy,

I just do not have any words to tell you how much I adore you....how precious you are to your daddy and me and how you truly are the joy of our lives!  I pray every night that I get spend every day of the rest of my life letting you know how special you are to us.

You were feeling better yesterday morning, but woke up yesterday afternoon a hot mess...literally!  We gave you some medicine, and that perked you up, but still...Daddy and I were just disgusted with the icky fever you've had all week.  We just can't stand knowing you have something attacking your body and we can't do anything about it or even know what it is.  Daddy has been super busy this week and he's hardly seen you, so seeing you as pitiful as you were yesterday was hard on him.

I told him he should try being me...day in, day out...just staring at you being so, so, so pitiful.  Having to hold your little arms down so they could get a urine sample...just awful.  I try to be realistic in knowing that you WILL have tears in life.  Things WILL hurt you and that's pretty much a part of life...

But watching you suffer, sweet boy...even with just some dumb viral thing...when you are that pitiful, my heart aches.

So we are SO, SO, SO thankful that you seem like you are back to your normal, happy, jolly self today!  You woke up at the crack of dawn, which is unusual for you, but you were so HAPPY!  You wake up every morning saying, "Ook? Ook?  Ook?" and Daddy and I are happy to indulge you in your love of books!  This morning was no exception!

You had such a fun day with Daddy! (Figures...you are all better when he's around to take care of you, ha ha!) I tried to step back some so you two could have time together, but I was so glad you were feeling better, I couldn't help but sneak in to giggle and laugh with you.  We went to Andy's for lunch, and you ATE!  You haven't eaten since Monday.  You even tried an onion ring on your own and laughed and laughed the whole time.  You took good naps, showed us your fun 'donkey' kicks and bubbles in the pool, ate a great dinner (you are hilarious to watch as you try to feed yourself soup, but you don't do too poorly!) and before I put you to bed, you curled up in my arms like a sweetheart as we said our prayers.  You have learned that when Mommy says, "In Jesus's name," you say, "A-en!"

I melt.

We are so busy every day it seems like too much I want to freeze time for just passes by and I don't document it like I should.  I want to remember every.single.amazing thing you do...and there are so many! You are a parrot these days...I cannot believe how many words you have and say and attempt.  You and Daddy go over your vocabulary book every day and you astound me with what you know.  You are really good at saying, "Ep Me?" when you need help, and even better at saying and signing "Please?" without me asking you to when you want something.  You KNOW you are supposed to sit on your bottom when you are on the sofa, but you love just daring me to take you down!  You have such a mischievous little smile—I was letting you have milk and you started to blow bubbles all over the place.  I said, "Oh, buddy...no bubbles!" and gave you another sip.  You put the straw in your mouth, looked up at me with such a devilish little grin, and then smiled like you were going to blow bubbles and wanted to see my reaction.  Of course, I laughed and laughed.  And laughed some more.

I love you, precious boy.  You make my heart laugh out loud every single day.  Thank you!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Trust Issues....

Trust is a tricky word.

One definition is the reliance on the ability, integrity or strength of something or someone or something; confidence.

Another is the confident expectation of something happening.

To me, those definitions are pretty far apart a lot of the time.

When people tell me to "Trust in God," I say, "I do."

And I do.

But that doesn't mean that I'm confident that what I expect to happen will happen.

Actually, it sort of does, I guess.  I guess I've gotten to where I sort of expect the worst to happen and am just overjoyed beyond belief when it doesn't.

I know that people mean well.  I do.  I know that there is freedom in just laying things down at God's feet and saying, "I just can't do it all.  I need you."

But I also know what it feels like when I say that...and still, I bury my son.

I lose his baby brother for no reason too.

I know that trusting in God does not mean that He's always going to let what I want to happen happen...and sometimes, when people give that statement to me, it seems so...well, pat.

So easy..."Oh, just trust God.  It'll all work out."

Yeah, it does.  But for some, not without great, great, great devastation and heartache.

A funeral.
A lifetime of longing.
Unanswered questions that I just stopped asking because there is no answer that I can live with comfortably on this earth.

I took Luke to the doctor yesterday.  He's been running a fever for several days, and with no other symptoms.  Frankly, he has been PITIFUL.

Lethargic.  Whiny.  Clingy.  Not eating.  Not drinking.  Just pitiful.

Because he has hydronephrosis, if he runs a fever of 101 or higher, I have to have his urine tested to rule out UTI.  He's had four fevers in his life—two (low grade, never over 100) with strep throat in February and in May with Hand, Foot, Mouth.  One other time—his first fever—came on at night and was gone by morning.

My point is that we have not had many fevers, and certainly none (thankfully!) that we've had to have urine tested for...

Until yesterday.  There were no other symptoms, no exposure to anyone with anything, and he was running around 101.7 for several days.  Yes, he was teething, but the doctors said that teething fevers are lower and inconsistent...they felt this was more.  And, given his history, we had no choice but to test his urine.

My poor boy.  He was miserable to start, but let me tell you that holding him down while they did that broke my heart.  I cried and cried.

I didn't cry at any vaccinations.  I didn't even cry when he was 2 months at Children's and had that horrible VCUG done.  I don't really cry much with him and doctor visits because I'm confident that he's going to be ok.

I'll walk out with him alive.

But I cried yesterday because it was just so pitiful and I hated him having a fever and not knowing why.

His urine came back with elevated proteins and ketones.  Ketones elevated are normal because he's not been eating (at all) or drinking (much).  But the proteins concerned the doctor because it could be indicative of something more involved with his kidney.

Again, it's common to have elevated proteins in urine when sick...and especially in little ones...but when co-morbid with an already diagnosed kidney condition...well, I got nervous.

The doctor said not to worry just yet.
God was bigger than anything, and this was not even a for-sure something yet.

But really, I didn't care.  My baby boy was running a pretty significant (for him) fever, did not have a UTI, and could have some kidney problems.

And I was sick to my stomach.

I do not know what would happen if I lost him.

He is our world.

Yes, I lost Matthew...and Trey...and am surviving.

But because of Luke.

My sweet little Luke.  He is exactly what God's healing feels like on this earth and without him, I don't know what we'd do.

We were so, so blessed to get pregnant with him when we did....to give us hope when our world was so dark.  Luke, our bringer of light.

I remember daring God to heal my heart...dared Him to make it new.  Knew He couldn't after losing Matthew.

But He did.  He gave us Luke and reminded us that He is good and we can be happy.

What if I didn't have Luke?  What if Luke died?  What then?

What could He possibly do that would help heal that loss?

I trust that I'd survive.

But I wouldn't want to.  And wouldn't try to.  I know myself well enough to know that.

All of this may seem extreme to some...and in light of more results today (no UTI, proteins were low and not initially indicative of anything more—will find out for sure on Tuesday what the urologist thinks), my being sick to my stomach yesterday was not necessary because Luke is feeling better.

Fever broken.  More energy.  Still won't eat (except Lucky Charms) but at least is drinking and more like himself.

Yes, that's a Lucky Charm Marshmallow in his hair.  Don't judge.  Desperate times call for desperate actions!

I know many who are going through much worse with their children and I feel sort of silly being so dramatic...letting my mind go there when I work SO hard to try and prevent that.

But like I said...I admit I have trust issues.

I'm working on them.

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Journey...

So, I know sometimes I say or write something that others may see differently.

I mean, I can't be right all of the time, can I?

Ha ha.

In seriousness, though, I have to say I can't stand the usage of the word 'journey,' sometimes.

As in, "What a journey you've been through," or "This journey of yours has been quite amazing."

Honestly, I do NOT feel like the last three years have been a journey.

To me, a journey is something we have a choice in—decide to go to college?  Maybe a journey.

Decide to get married?  Maybe a journey.

Decide to change careers?  Maybe a journey.

Decide to keep breathing as you walk away from your dead baby's casket on a cold December day?

Forced survival.

Decide to keep breathing?

Love for your husband and hope for the future.

But journey?  Just don't know....

I meant it because I was (gasp) sucked into the last couple of Bachelorette shows—the home visits and her choice.

I nearly gagged as they talked about this amazing 'journey' they were on and wanted to continue.

So romantic.  So idyllic.

I don't know...so unrealistic.

Over the last few years, people obviously have shared many of their lives' stories.

Some call them journeys.

That's ok!  Their words and lives to define!

Some even tell me they wouldn't change a single thing because though the 'journey' was difficult, so much was gained from it.

I think that is wonderful.  Truly.  I think it is a wonderful thing for people to be grateful.

It's just not me.

Do not doubt for one.single.second that I'd not choose this life I live.

It's a GREAT life.  An AMAZING life.  A life that I give God thanks for over and over and over throughout every day.

But it's a life where my babies died.  I had to bury one and have another mutilated and sucked out of my body.

And there is not a day that goes by that if given the choice, I'd not choose for it to be different.

Every day, I'd choose for Matthew to have lived.


Would Luke exist?
Would Trey exist?

I don't know.

But honestly, when people imply that I have to be ok with Matthew being dead because if he'd lived Luke wouldn't exist (and maybe not Trey either), I just....

Well, I bristle.

To me, that's like telling me I should be completely able to take a living Matthew and a living Luke, throw them both in the ocean and then choose one to save.


So, no, the euphamism of life being a 'journey,' is not one that fits me.

To me, life is a gift.

I may make choices that put me on different adventures and journeys (HELLO!  Marry a Marine and definitely prepare for a journey!)....

When I make those choices, that's when I'll call them journeys.

When things happen to me that are clearly out of my control, I'll endure and survive.

With as much gratitude as I can.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Adoption Loss IS Loss!

I'm not really sure how to write what I have been thinking about for the last 24 hours.

I mean, other than the pain in my ....


Anyway, the whole reason I started this blog four years (gasp) ago was because we'd come to the point in our family-building that we'd decided to adopt.  We started down the path of Russia, then looked to Kazakhstan, then our agency convinced us that the new Kyrgyzstan program was for us.

Little babies.
Beautiful little babies.
Fast process.
Great program stability.

Um, yeah.  And an ocean front house in Malibu with every baby adopted.  Sure.

The babies WERE beautiful.  So many different ethnicities creating such beautiful, beautiful children.  Sign us up! We started the process,  I started this blog so I could keep record for my little one to read about one day, met lots of other moms and dads from this country, as well as others and were on our way!

And we all know how it didn't turn out....about a week out from our expected referral, the country closed.  A year and a half...all that money...and again...we spent another Christmas without a little one looking at the twinkling lights.

Obviously, this 'setback' was what made us decide to look into Shady Grove's Shared Risk program, and obviously, I am beyond grateful we did.

But don't love hearing, "See...it worked out the way it was supposed to!"

Two dead babies for me and a country full of orphans stuck without the full-time love and support of families who so desperately want them?

Don't tell me that's how it was supposed to be.

ANYWAY...of course we are grateful for what we ended up doing...and grateful for the lives I've been honored to carry.

But we still miss what could have been with that little girl we named Emma.  I remember the day I woke up (do you remember, Terri?) and KNEW that was the day she'd been born...I just knew it.  I felt it.  I went to school, was giddy, and couldn't contain my excitement knowing that the little girl we were going to adopt was born and somewhere across the world, waiting for me.

Then again, we know how my gut works, so....whatever.  The bottom line is that we were in love with what we thought would be.

And heartbroken when it wasn't.

But I admit...of course loss can't be compared and I don't know why people do except they are just not validated enough in their feelings and they feel like they have to create their own validation. Sad for so many on so many levels.  Regardless, as sad as I was, John and I were SO thankful we had *not* gotten the referral yet.

Had not gotten the glimpse of her...who she was and what she looked like and how she would fit in our family.

Because to have seen that and lost it....well, we know how that feels and it is just life-changing and painful beyond painful.  We were glad that we had not actually been told that our child was just waiting for us to come and get her.

Especially since that wait would go on for at least three years.  Or more.  To be blunt, we were grateful we were not as attached as we could have been just a few weeks later.

Attached like 65 other families I knew were....families who had gone to Kyrgyzstan...met their children...held them.  Loved them.  Imprinted what those babies felt like in their arms.  Families who had no choice but to move Heaven and Earth to bring them home—even if that meant putting out insane amounts of time and money and heart day after day after day.

This last few months has been hard on those families.  Sadly, children have died while waiting.  Heartbreaking.

Other families have had to drop out—for whatever reasons—and I cannot even begin to imagine how hard those decisions were.

Other children have become 'unadoptable' and that in itself has been a travesty and devastating to the adoptive parents.

But some...some have been able to have their families—families who have been waiting for three or more years to come back and get them—go back to Kyrgyzstan and continue the process, as their moratorium recently was revoked.

Some are LITERALLY days away from those children being theirs forever.

And then another blow.  Another moratorium.  Who knows if they will be grandfathered in?  Who knows if they will be able to bring them home?

I want to scream for these families.  I can't imagine.

Yes, I've buried a baby.  I've lost another's heartbeat inside of my body.

But death, though devastating and not final in my beliefs, IS final on this earth.

There is no wondering what Matthew is doing in another part of the world right now.
There is no wondering whether or not he is hungry.
There is no wondering whether or not he is tired or cold or just needs his mama to hold him.
There is no gut-wrenching pain knowing that he COULD be in my arms but the politics of another country are keeping us apart.

I am just sick to my stomach because I know how much it hurts missing your child...feeling the ache of knowing that family members are missing.

But I can't even begin to imagine how it must feel for those families—who are there in that country or about to be and may be told that those beloved and prayed for children will STILL not be able to go with them...that when they leave those children, they may never see them again and it's NOT DEATH that is stopping that.

Death can't be controlled.

But politics can.  And that's heartbreaking.

Please, please, please pray for those families and those children.  I am laying all I have to God and begging Him to have mercy on those parents' hearts.  I know just a little, in a different way, how much they are grieving right now, and the weight of that pain on their hearts is crushing mine.  Please pray that these children will be grandfathered through and these babies will finally, finally be able to come home...that these parents hearts will finally be able to heal.

Please, just pray for that country and orphans everywhere.  The thought of Luke being alive, and yet, me not ever being able to hold him again literally has me crying my eyes out right now.  Pray for all mothers and fathers who may suffer that as their reality.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Pain In The Bum...Literally.

While this last FET we did unfortunately did not bring us another pregnancy, lucky me, it gave me something else...

Something that might be permanent.

Something that might make me remember the failure of this cycle forever.


Apparently, the progesterone shots I gave myself gave me something back.

I hit a nerve.  Literally.  I knew it the night it happened (July 6).  It stung like I've never felt...and I've given myself quite a few shots in the last three years.

I didn't realize what I'd done.  I just thought it was a painful shot and that was that....it would get better.  Only because my rear end is still numb...still sore...back aching—I'm talking can't-bend-back-aching—did I mention something to my nurse.

She said, "Lori.  I hope you didn't hit a nerve."

She told me to get to the doctor quickly to find out what is going on and especially since I'm about to start my medicines in two weeks.

So I did.

Definitely hit a nerve branched from my sciatic.  Ibuprofen allows me to bend a bit more, but I still am pretty uncomfortable.  My bottom is pretty sore...can't sit on that side, sleep on that side, put much pressure on it...and the numbness feels like when Novocaine just starts to wear off and that cold numbness is all you can feel.  There is definite weakness in the muscles, and I have to watch out for more.

My white blood cell count is a bit elevated...which could be from the progesterone, this cold I've had, or an infection under the skin from the injection site.  I am supposed to look out for fever, aches or chills, and if things don't feel any better or get worse, will need an MRI in a few days—mainly to just gauge damage and be able to compare.  They are also talking about an EMG, which I sort of zoned on when they were explaining it...except I definitely heard, "It's kind of painful."

Well, sign me up!

There really isn't much that can be done—unless there is serious damage and needs surgery at some point.  Really???????  Hopefully, it will repair itself.  I now have a very legitimate reason (and doctor's orders!) for massages and that should help lessen the pain.  There are some physical therapy strategies I can try as well....though it's hard to do that with a sweet little one attached to my hip.  I could take a steroid shot, but that could mess this cycle up.

The fear is that I get pregnant and it exacerbates things and then I can't take even ibuprofen.

Super fun.

Apparently, this doesn't happen that often.  When nerves off the sciatic are damaged, it is usually due to an intramuscular injection, but it's not common.  My nurse and the doctors I saw today have never seen it.

We all know what a great odds beater I am.

The neurologist said I may never get feeling in my bum back.

It may always be sore.  There may not be more chronic damage (that's my hope and prayer) but it may never get better.

Literally, I may have a pain in my bum for the rest of my life.

I can't help but laugh.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

These Days Will Pass Too Soon...

I held you a bit longer tonight.

You were exhausted...a long, fun day with your aunt and cousins and the awesome Marbles Museum in Raleigh.   Only 1/2 and hour of nap all day (whew...) and you were in your crazy, giddy, punchy-tired mode for quite a while.  Fun, but challenging because you are so darned cute when you are mischievous!

I was unpacking the car, with you sitting in front of Backyardigans (a new show you like...still not much tv, but Wonderpets are getting a few friends in the form of Backyardigans and Sesame Street...COOOOKIE!).

Or so I thought.

When I walked in from the driveway, you weren't in the chair.  I walked quickly down the hallway, and called your name, obviously startling you...because I came around the corner and saw you had moved the stool all the way over to the pantry...climbed up on it, grabbed a small bag of Krispy Kreme Crullers and were desperately trying to get into the bag.  When you saw me, you got a look that was a mix of "Busted!" and "Thank God!  PLEASE get me one of these!!!!" and I seriously thought I'd melt right there at how cute you were.

And then....that cute little voice...waving the bag at me and chanting, "Don-ee...don-ee...don-eeeeee...don-eeeeeee!"

You are your Mama's child and you love those Krispy Kremes.

I adore you, Luke.  Literally, some days I feel like I can't take another breath because I am just so overwhelmed with love for you.

Mommy was exhausted tonight too.  I'm still feeling pretty icky with this bronchitis-like whatever it is...and I'm tired because I haven't been sleeping well and daddy has been busy and you are such a mover and a shaker!  It was hot, hot, HOT bringing all the stuff in from the car, my back STILL hurts so much that I can't bend (makes carrying all the heavy stuff in fun!) and Dixie would NOT.STOP.YAPPING!  I still have no idea what that dog kept barking about—NOTHING made her happy and of course, as you adore her, you were giggling and laughing and "Woofing" every time she did.  So much for settling you down for bed!

I was tired.  Chest burning.  Back Aching.  In the middle of a mess of chaos—groceries to be put up, our things from the weekend scattered, a fabulous poopy diaper to clean...I just wanted to have a nice glass of wine and a hot bath and let calgon take me away.

But I held you longer.

I know all too well the days will pass too, too soon.  Even the ones that drive me nuts and make me sigh because it seems like I take three steps forward and eighteen back and every.single.thing is a chore.

They will be gone too soon.

So, exhausted as you were, you fell right asleep in my arms.  We sang a couple of rounds and you fell sleep curled up like you were my sweet little newborn after nursing.

Such a luxury these days...you falling asleep so contentedly and easily in my arms.

And I held you for nearly an hour like that.  Listening to your sound machine.  Looking at each wall—and being overcome with how loved you are.  The wall quilt Mimi made you.  Your L*U*K*E letters made to match your bedding as a surprise from sweet Miss Amy.  Your Luke painting created just for you by Miss Stephanie.  Another painting created just to match your nursery given by Auntie Shelby.  Your birth stats and your beloved "cabby", star-"ish" and sea-"orse" lovingly cross-stitched by Miss Diane...the picture Grandma cross-stitched for your daddy...and gave to us for Matthew...and now looks over you as you sleep.

You are so loved.

It is the most amazing honor and privilege to be your mother.

All the aggravation and frustration of the day just disappeared as I held you and listened to you sleep as I rocked in the chair with you so perfectly fitting in my arms. The rhythmic, soft breathing that took me back to the very first days we had you and I just could not believe that God could make my shattered heart feel as amazing as it did when I held you.

These days are just passing too quickly.

I'm grateful for the nights I am reminded that I need to soak up every.second.I.can.

Monday, July 9, 2012

What's Next?


Great embryos and great doctors and great lining and great transfers and great EVERYTHING do not always equal great success.

This is why I often get under-my-breath infuriated when I hear things like, "Why don't you just do IVF?"

Because it's not "Just doing IVF."

There's so much involved in an IVF cycle that people's minds would spin if they realized what we who do it actually go through.

How much medicine is involved.  The toll that medicine takes on one's body.

How much it costs.  The program we are in is mega-expensive.  Then you throw in medicine on top of that.  Luke's first and maybe second year of college already spent.

And hey, don't forget about the toll on one's heart.  Because trust me, it's huge.

Hope is beautiful.
Hope crushed is really, really painful.

IVF is not the automatic guarantee one will get to bring a baby home that so many think it is.  It's not popping into the doctor's and walking out pregnant.

And even if that easy, it sure as heck is no guarantee that one brings that baby home and gets to raise it.


THREE fresh cycles and TWO frozen.

Do the math.  Look at my life.  Tell me if those numbers add up—If I'm just not "doing IVF" right?

Anyway...this morning's test results were obviously negative.  As perfect a scenario as could be...and still negative.

So we are at a point of decision.  We still have 5 more fresh cycles we can try.

NO WAY.  That's another $25K in MEDICINE alone.

Not to mention my heart.

John would like to do one more fresh cycle.  I told him that I had one more in me.

One more where I could maintain hope...excitement...a positive attitude.

One more for which I am willing to put my already very tender heart out.

Just one more.

So many people have been very, very kind in telling me how brave I am and how strong I am.

Really, it's just self-interest, I promise you.

The reality is that I am willing to ONCE again put my heart out because the pay-off is so amazing.  That little boy I hug and kiss all day long is the most unbelievable joy in my life.  In John's life.

Yes, we want more of THAT.  I want to be able to give more of that to John.  To Luke.

To have for me.

Look at this miracle cleaning up on his half-birthday.  Can you blame me?

I am completely, completely ok with accepting that may never happen...that Luke is the only one we get to raise.  He's MORE than enough, as I tell him over and over.

The opportunity for more is here though, and I am so much more fortunate than so many that I can take advantage of it, so I will with a grateful heart.

But only one more time.  That's all this heart can take.

Funny, it seems like I say that a lot...I can't take much more.

But there it always is...more.

I start a new cycle within the next two weeks.  Please keep us in prayer over the next month or so.

Friday, July 6, 2012

How Infertility Shapes Who We Become… | Still Standing Magazine

This month's contribution....thoughts and ramblings on the way to this last transfer....

And yes still waiting for Monday, ha ha!

How Infertility Shapes Who We Become… | Still Standing Magazine

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Two Weeks Worth of Yuck...

So, when Shady Grove gave me the all the little paraphernalia paperwork about how to endure the dreaded Two-Week Wait before I take my pregnancy test, I sort of laughed.

Because really, I've done this four times before. 

I've already done this wait enough times to know how to handle it.

I know it stinks, but goes by quickly.  Sort of.

I obviously know lots and lots of women undergoing infertility treatments.  There are those who obsess and begin home testing (otherwise known as peeing on a stick or POAS) the day of their transfer...waiting to see negative so they know the hcg is out of their system and then POSITIVE to prove pregnancy success.

Others don't do daily tests, but will take a test or two a day or two before...you know, just to see.

Others don't at all.  They just wait.  Rather get the 'official' let-down phone call.

I'm sure one can guess where I fall, just by calling it the 'let-down' phone call.

(I know, I know...even though it's more often than not the official "Congratulations!" call, I still expect it to be the let-down call.)

Anyway, like I said, I have now done 5 transfers.  I only have tested before my beta twice.

Once, the morning of my transfer with our little Yellow Fish after Matthew.  Caveat?  I didn't look!  I covered the stick, did it, and then let it sit on the counter until I got home from the beta.  The drive was about four hours round trip and I didn't want to have to wait until that afternoon for results.

I was called before I even got home and told it was negative.

The other time I tested before the beta was with Trey's cycle, and really, that was because my nurse was worried about OHSS and thinking it was getting worse because I was pregnant.  She was right on all accounts, and I did NOT want to test before the beta.  My sweet friend Karie can attest to that too!!

So, anyway, what on earth made me test the other day?

I'm NOT that way.  I don't WANT to test early.  I always feel like for whatever reason, I'm supposed to WAIT!

But I didn't.  

7dp5dt, or seven days past a 5 day transfer, I tested.  In the afternoon.  With a cheapo dollar store test.  That expired a year ago.

It was negative.

I know, I know...it was early. (Though on this very same day with Trey's cycle, I had an hcg of 54...I know that was a twin implantation, but still...I was making hcg that day in the cycle.)

I know the tests have expiration dates for a reason.

I know that the dollar store tests do not have anywhere close to the sensitivity levels that the good ones (my fave is First Response—can detect hcg as low as 6!).

Still, that little lonely line was pretty depressing.

I feel pregnant.  I'm crampy.  I'm moody.  I'm hungry.  I'm not.  

But, as always, the curse of the very medicines I inject to hopefully help a pregnancy and maintain it is that they make one feel pregnant.

Success there.

Speaking of injections.  Those suckers hurt.  That is all about that.

So, anyway...I'm waiting.  I had my annual GYN appointment on Tuesday and I was a wreck. 

A friend asked when it ever got easier to hear that women are pregnant?  When the sting of jealousy goes away?  

I had to be honest and tell her it doesn't.

Infertility, like loss, changes who you are.  How you look at things.  How you look at what you have and what others have and how you try to balance your contentment.

It's not fair, but we all know life isn't.  On the way home from that appointment, as I was contemplating taking another test in a few days (beta is on Monday, July 9), John Waller's "While I'm Waiting," came on the radio.

I started to cry.

I'm waiting.

I'm hopeful.

It is painful.

But patiently, I'm waiting on you, Lord.