Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My 2013

2013 was actually not such a bad year. I mean, they all have their ups and downs, but compared to 2011 and 2012, this year was stellar in comparison. I'm jumping on the bandwagon and doing a year in review.

1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before? 

Visited NYC, participated in a Walk of Hope, rescued a pup, ate Brussels sprouts, put up a fake tree after I said that would NEVER be something I would have in my home.

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I honestly don't remember if I actually wrote any down or made a list. I pretty much always have goals, and I've been rolling some around in my mind for the past week. So whether or not I'll share them or they'll be "official," there will be things I'm working on.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? 

My best friend from high school and quite of a few of my internet pals.

4. Did anyone close to you die? 

We lost my 95-year-old grandmother in May.

5. What places did you visit? 

NYC, Western NY, Illinois, Ohio, and Seattle.

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013? 

Better physical and more in savings.

7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? 

February 1 - my best friend told me she was expecting. 
March 29 - Grandma passed. 
September 22 - we adopted Sparrow. 
November 18 - found out my sister is pregnant. 

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Recognizing that my best friend's pregnancy threw me for a loop and I needed to return to therapy. I also worked really hard on a project at work and was named as a recipient of a company-wide award for it.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I always feel like I can do something better. I could have been a better employee, I could have been a better wife, more patient with the dogs, and I could have been healthier with eating and exercising. 

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I've had 3 colds in 4 months, which is really weird for me, but other than that I've been lucky to be pretty healthy.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

We took some proceeds from the sale of my grandmother's home that we were gifted and invested in new windows for the house. It's horribly boring (compared to, say, the new flooring I would have preferred), but it's a wise investment in our home. Also, NEW WASHER AND DRYER! I also found a red wool coat by chance - I've been looking for one for quite a while. I also got some makeup that I'm pretty jazzed about.

12. Where did most of your money go? 

The mortgage and the windows.

13. What did you get really, really, really excited about? 

PJs at TJs, being asked to be the Arizona Affiliate chair and WoH co-chair for Resolve, my friend's baby (though I was initially very distraught and conflicted, the pure excitement did eventually come), seeing friends in NYC and IL, the weekend getaway Buddy and I took a couple weeks ago. 

14. What song will always remind you of 2013?

Carry On by Fun. It was used in the NIAW video one of the #75strong ladies made. 

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder? Happier - finally!
b) thinner or fatter? I'm actually thinner - I'm starting 2014 about 7 pounds lighter than 2013
c) richer or poorer? About the same.

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Honestly? Intimacy with my husband. It's still something we struggle with, but it's something we both agree will be a focus in 2014. Also, baking and decorating cookies. I miss doing them, and the fact that they're time consuming and messy needs to not be an excuse, because I genuinely do enjoy them.

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?

I admit I didn't always deal with my feelings in healthy ways. I'm back in therapy and have some health-minded goals to turn that around.

18. How did you spend Christmas this year?

On Christmas Eve, Buddy and I had dinner with friends and then went home and watched Christmas movies. On Christmas Day, we made breakfast and then both sets of parents came over. We had roast beef, crab legs, potatoes au gratin, and asparagus and opened gifts. Everyone left by about 5 and then we hung out together. It really was just perfect.

19. What was your favorite TV program?

Pretty much anything on the Food Network.

20. What were your favorite books of the year? 

I really liked the Divergent series, Gone Girl, and Await Your Reply. Oh, and Wally Lamb released a new book, We Are Water, which I also enjoyed.

21. What was your favorite music of the year?

I actually really liked a lot of the Top 40 stuff, especially for listening at work, but I mostly stuck to my hard rock tendencies. 

22. What were your favorite films of this year?

Catching Fire, The Muslims Are Coming. We really didn't see that many new movies.

EDIT: I totally forgot that my friend, Kelly, took me as her guest to screenings of both Kings of Summer and The Spectacular Now and I really liked them both. 

23. What did you do for your birthday in 2013, and how old were you? 

I turned 32, and Buddy threw me a surprise party.

24.What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? 

I wish I would have been able to take the news of my friend's pregnancy with nothing but happiness. I struggled a lot with feelings of guilt and sadness, and I think if I could have just embraced it, I would have been happier overall. 

25. What kept you sane?

My husband, as always. He is my rock. Also, the #75strong ladies, and my friends both IRL and virtual. I've been blessed with some really wonderful people.

26. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.

Time really does seem to heal. I always thought that was cheesy, but it's true. Time fills your heart with peace and your life with things that make you feel fulfilled and dull the woes. 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Geeking Out

This week has been very Resolve-centric. In a GOOD way. On Tuesday night, I met with the current AZ affiliate chair and two representatives from the professional community to discuss the Walk of Hope. I was just amazed at how well she knows these folks and is so in tune with the goings-on of the community. I feel like such a newbie to volunteering, but I know that will go away in time as I hit my stride. It was just really interesting to hear the comments and concerns of the local professionals. As a no-longer-patient, I feel like I'm in a good place to hear what are sometimes contrasting views and bring my ideas to the table. I think we stand to forge great relationships with the nursing staff, and I'm excited to explore that.

On Thursday, I had my kick-off meeting with the folks at corporate and my co-chair to discuss sponsorships and volunteer needs. The development manager is new since the 2013 Walk, and I think she's bringing in some really great ideas to bring the community together - there has been some perceived alienation of the adoption professionals in the past and we all agree that a goal this year is to create a "one community" feel. I think a lot of what she's suggesting will work towards that. Again, I felt like an ultra-newb, but it lit my fire to learn all I can so I can be just as knowledgeable as soon as possible. And I'm going to need it, as I've been tasked with handling the professional sponsorships.

Yesterday, I met with a local student business organization who has agreed to help us with developing a marketing plan for the Walk. What's really interesting is that they go to a relatively conservative school, and there were quite a few questions about ART. Understandably, none of them have heard of us - why would they? Most college students are trying to AVOID pregnancy, and with a conservative student population, I imagine that many of them are not even worried about that. So it felt like good practice for me to talk about what I know and give them a top-level understanding of what Resolve aims to do and how it serves it market from the perspectives of support, legislation, and education. I'm really excited to see what they come up with and how they propose we reach parts of our community that weren't well represented at last year's Walk of Hope. We have a goal of signing up 400 walkers (up from 250-ish from last year) to honor Resolve's 40th anniversary, and I think a marketing plan could be an amazing tool to get us there.

I feel like I have a to-do list a mile long, but I'm really excited. I think this is a really good fit for me, even though there's a lot I have to learn. Everyone starts somewhere, right?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Where are your manners?

Now is a great time to have Ginger's latest Bring Back the Words prompt, because oh boy, do I have something to get off my chest.

Buddy is the best man in a wedding on Thursday afternoon (not evening. Afternoon). Groom is his friend since 4th grade. He lived with us as a roommate for 6 months after his first marriage fell apart and started dating Bride before he'd even moved out from his home with his first wife. Anyway, Buddy is the best man. On Sunday, after dinner, Groom asked us to come meet him at the bar his brother works at for a drink. Buddy told me on the way over that at the bachelor/ette party (yes, joint), Groom had asked if he could stay with us this week because Bride wants to build wedding day anticipation by being apart, and that was probably what he wanted to talk to us about. Buddy said Groom told him it would mean a lot to him, and who am I to say no, and fine whatever. So we had a couple of drinks and went home. 

Yesterday, apparently, Groom texted Buddy, "Hey, Brooke mentioned the rehearsal dinner last night. My parents are only inviting the bridal party." So Buddy texted me that I'm not invited to the RD, and I was like, "rude, but whatever." But now, the more I think about it, I am pissed. Okay, so judge me how you will, but I spent the better part of a couple of years spending a lot of free time on the Etiquette board of TheKnot.com. I'm pretty well versed in the etiquette of weddings, and have particularly strong feelings about a few things. Yes, I acknowledge that there are some things that are antiquated and that etiquette evolves with social and cultural norms, but one thing I do not ever feel is appropriate is inviting only one spouse to a social event. Okay, I can think of one exception - I was fine with a coworker only inviting us without our spouses to his small wedding, as I was pleased to be invited without Buddy than not at all to witness his wedding and Buddy would have been bored anyway. I think the coworker exception can be reasonable. But for 99.99% of situations, spouses should be invited. Period, end of story. I don't care if you hate your best friend's husband of 15 years because he has awful taste in clothes and wear mandals everywhere and has an annoying hyena laugh that he uses after his endless inappropriate jokes. He's your best friend's husband and you invite him and smile and thank them for coming and thank your lucky stars she married him and took him off the market so you'd never have to. 

So I'm uninvited to the rehearsal dinner. Or more like not invited to begin with, which is rude in and of itself. I am trying to remember, but I think the envelope the rehearsal dinner invitation came in was addressed to Buddy without my name, so YES, I wrongfully assumed I was invited. BUT, the invitation came from Groom's parents, and Groom's mom also hosted Bride's shower, the invitation to which I received only two days prior to said shower. So I probably didn't think anything of it, or I chalked it up to general ignorance or mess (this is not the most well planned wedding, folks) and didn't give it another thought. Never did it actually cross my mind that I wasn't invited. Because people with decent manners, which I assume just about everyone to be, wouldn't do that. 

So aside from the etiquette part of it, where the gracious Emily Post tells us that we invite spouses and we go out of our way to make our guests comfortable because etiquette is about being a gracious host and not an asshole, I have a few other reasons I'm miffed and ranty. First, Groom's sister and her family live next door to Groom's parents. Neither Sister nor her children are in the bridal party. So is she invited? Kind of hard to have a fancy dinner for one child with the other next door and not invite them. What about the husband of Bride's sister, who is the maid of honor? Will Bride insist her brother-in-law is invited? And if she does, do I have any grounds to feel "why her and not me? I'm a spouse, too." It makes me feel like my marriage is not being acknowledged. Buddy and I are a unit. And if an exception is going to be made for anyone else on this "bridal party only" nonsense, it's hurtful that it's not going to be made for us.

Second, I'm making the Bride and Groom's wedding cake and cupcakes. I know that doesn't make me bridal party, but considering I'm the wife of the best man and I'm allowing the Groom to stay in my home while they do this anticipating the moment thing (yes, I'm eye-rolly), does that not give me a leg up for an invite? So basically, Groom and Buddy are going to go to Groom's parents' house for dinner Wednesday while I'm knee deep in cake frosting and covered in flour and I'm left to fend for myself. That just seems... rude. On a different level from not being invited just based on my spousal status. Like how awkward is it going to be when Groom and Buddy leave the house Wednesday evening and they're all, "see you later Brooke. We're going to go have dinner. Thanks again for making my wedding cake." Is that not weird to anyone else?

And something someone else brought up is that this event is linked to a wedding, an event where one ACQUIRES a SPOUSE. it was actually mentioned in the context of someone on Twitter saying they hadn't been invited to an actual wedding (as opposed to a rehearsal dinner) with their spouse, but still. Weddings are about marriage and joining families and celebrating love, and these people are basically saying "eff you" to all of that, in my mind. "Let's celebrate Bride and Groom getting married while completely disregarding the marriages of the people Bride and Groom care enough about to stand up in this circus of a wedding." Makes sense. 

So, yeah, I'm pissed. It's just rude on many levels. And I'm not the only one who's upset by it. My husband is, too. Do you know what it takes to make a guy like Buddy - who doesn't know Etiquette from Adam - say "WTF?" Asshatery, that's what. I admit, I'm lucky in this way - we like to be together a lot. He's fine with me going out and doing things on my own and with my friends and doesn't feel that he always wants to accompany me. But he likes me to come with him to most things when he has to go some event or whatnot. He's bummed I won't be there with him, and his general statement is "at least I'll have an excuse to leave early - I want to come home and help with the cupcakes you're making as a favor to them." (It's not truly a favor. They paid me. But their other friend/baker backed out, and I basically have to use my vacation so that I can make cake and cupcakes for a Thursday afternoon wedding. So yes, it feels favor-y). So he gets it. And I feel justified in feeling totally snubbed.

That's my rant. People, invite spouses to things. It's the right thing to do, if for no other reason than to keep people from getting pissed off and going on the interwebs to complain about you.  

Check out the link-up on Ginger's blog

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The One

Four years ago today, I married my husband. I admit I was a little scared - it's a big life decision, and no matter how much you love someone, there's something serious about the commitment of forever. I wasn't sure if I ever believed in "The One." Words like "soul mate" made me want to gag. There are six billion people on this planet, and it was hard for me to wrap my head around the literal thought that there was only one man I was meant to be with. I believed that there can be multiple people that we could cross paths with and make a happy life with, yet I knew confidently that Buddy was the person I wanted to spend our lifetime with. I was honored and thrilled to be marrying him, but I guess you can say I didn't fully "get" it.

And then infertility happened. Something that could have ripped us apart and strained our young marriage brought us closer and put us on the same word of the same paragraph of the same proverbial page. It was devastating for us, but we were a team. He was my rock, and he loved me when I fell apart and came back together again and again. We never lost sight of what we most valued - our marriage. Even now, as we move forward and enjoy life as our family of two, we are so in sync with our decisions and goals that it's hard to imagine doing any of this with any one else. Sure he drives me nuts with little things - we're both only human. But on the things that really and truly matter, we're a perfect match, moreso than I could have imagined or foreseen. I finally understand what it really means to find and love The One.

Happy Birthday, Buddy. And Happy Anniversary. I love you more and more every day, larger than I know how to express, and more fully than I can understand.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

I'm an Auntie!

Like it did for a lot of people, middle school sucked for me. Absolutely S-U-C-K-E-D. People were awful, mean, nasty, and I hated every second of my two years in that hell. High school was my new beginning. Most of the kids from my high school went to our neighborhood school, but I went to a magnet school across town. It was awesome to meet all new people. I stopped doing synchronized swimming after 4 years and decided to focus on traditional competitive swimming as a freshman, and I was great at it. I took art and dance and excelled at science. I discovered contact lenses and hair blow dryers. It was a totally new world. I made friends - people who liked me and were kind and included me at lunch and after school activities.

At the end of the school year, one of the closest friends I'd made, S, was celebrating her birthday with a sleep-over and invited me to her party. I was SO excited. She had fun friends, including people I had classes with but hadn't really had a chance to get to know. One of them was R. She was sweet, pretty, funny, well-dressed, talented in sports, confident, and popular. She was someone that I admired from afar and aspired to be perceived like.

The night of S's party, I was a little like a fish out of water. Most of the girls had gone to S's middle school and knew each other. Some knew me, others didn't. I wasn't a super girly girl, and all these girls were. They were playing with makeup and doing their hair and talking about boys. I sort of sat back and observed a lot of it, not wanting to do or say the wrong thing. Out of nowhere, R walked over to me as I was sitting on S's bed geek bopping, handed me a brush, and said "brush my hair." She crossed one foot over the other, and in one graceful move, spun and landed with her legs crossed sitting in front of me.

Uh... whuh?

I have to tell you about R's hair. It was long, blonde, and perfectly done every day. Every.day. She did it straight, curly, up, down, but her bangs were perfect mid-90's glory that could have withstood a hurricane. Her hair was what I could only assume was her Thing. And she was asking me to brush it. So. I did. And it sounds weird, but we've been friends ever since. She invited me to her BBQ she was having the next day, and we were inseparable for the next 4 years.

R and I have been friends for over 17 years now. We were close all through high school, and despite going to separate colleges and settling in cities 2 hours apart, have stayed close over the years. We have that awesome kind of friendship where we may not talk constantly now as busy adults, but when we get together for lunch, it takes us a good 30 minutes before we even look at the menu, and we chat for three hours. No matter how long we're apart, we pick right back up and it's like there was no time or distance between us. She was a bridesmaid in my wedding and I was her matron of honor. I was the first person she told when she found out she was expecting.

And today, she became a mom, and I became an auntie. Auntie Nerd, to be exact, honoring the nickname we've used for each other for the last 17 years. It's been a rough road for me, navigating my feelings about her pregnancy, but today, I feel nothing but joy. If I didn't have to work tomorrow, I'd be in the car on the way to our hometown to hold that baby. I am just so excited! I can't wait for all the things her daughter and I will hopefully do, see, and bake together. And although I won't connect with her as a mom, I can't wait for the next stage of our friendship.

Uh, and you should see the picture of her from just after the birth. Perfect hair. Of course.

This post is part of Ginger's Bring Back the Words. Click the link to go to the prompt and check out the other entries.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Timeline of Exhaustion

I'm almost close to passing out, I'm so tired. Last night was almost comical, so I figured I'd share how I turned from a well-rested person into a giggling maniac. It's a good thing I've reached my fun-money budget because I'd probably be ordering some crazy shit right now.

8:30PM: I fall asleep on the couch, under 3 dogs (we got a third dog, if you haven't heard)

11:30PM: Buddy wakes me up to go to bed. My body apparently feels like 3 hours was a nice little nap, I feel alive and energized, and I can't shut my brain off.

11:30-1:00AM: I think about all sorts of things. Buddy snores. I push him over every 5 minutes telling him to roll over.

1:30AM: I'm mad at my sweatpants and have to pee. I find capris to sleep in and think I can finally sleep. I shove Buddy a few more times and he finally finds a position where he's quiet enough for me to not feel like I want to punch him. I love him, I really do. But I need quiet to fall asleep.

2:00AM Paisley gets up and pukes on the floor. I get up to clean up and discover that at some point, somepuppy also peed on the carpet. The commotion stirs Buddy enough that he moves and starts up with the snoring again.

2:05AM: Buddy wakes to me standing over him saying "please roll the fuck over. I can't sleep with you snoring and a dog peed on the carpet and...."

2:06AM: I burst into tears while Buddy calms me for 22 seconds before he starts snoring again.

2:07AM: I calculate how much it would cost to replace all the carpet in the house with tile/anything but carpet.

2:13-4:45AM: At some point, I fall asleep. Sort of.

2:30AM: I'm hungry.

4:45AM: The dogs start stirring and wake me up. I lay still so they won't think I'm getting up to feed them.

5:00AM: Buddy's alarm goes off and I have to get up, too. Any possible sleep potential is flushed down the toilet and I'm officially a zombie for the day.

5:15AM: Shower, slap makeup on, I think I wore clothes.

6:45AM: I grab a pumpkin spice chai latte in a desperate attempt to make myself feel slightly awake.

Yada yada yada, boring accounting stuff...

2:30PM: I reach the point of goofiness and I'm pretty sure my new boss thinks I'm an idiot. I book a $1.4M entry backwards with the world watching. Okay, not the world, but a lot of people. People with Maseratis and stay-at-home wives. I feel glad that one of the company mandated goals in 2014 is literally "do my job," because I feel like I can crush that most days and days like this will be a wash.

2:41PM: I find out you can rotate a PDF instead of tilting your head to the side or rotating the screen. Coworkers have a good laugh at my expense, despite the fact I brought them all Munchkins yesterday. Jerks.

2:45PM: Stay-Awake Geek Bopping

At some point, I drove home.

6:57PM: Bed time, is that you?

6:58PM: I'm bored with this post, but I already wrote it, and now you will ALL suffer!

Night, peeps :)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Obligatory "Happy Fall, Y'all" Post

I love this image from Pinterest. It cracks me up and rings so true of what my near-entire Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter feeds are full of right now. Every year, it seems, as soon as the temps start to cool, and Starbucks brings back its famous Fall drink, everyone goes nuts for all things Autumn. And I am always jealous, because it's still over 100 degrees here most days in Arizona. We'll be well into the rest of the country's Fall before we get our own sweet relief from the heat and our landscape is slightly less brown. But still, it is one of my favorite times of year. Fall and Winter mean family holidays, football, yummy food, sweaters being appropriate (I work in a cold office, so I wear them year round, anyway), our wedding anniversary, and just generally being able to be outside comfortably. For us, Fall is the kick-off of grilling season, because you finally don't feeling you're standing over an oven (of sorts) while simultaneously standing IN one. It's also my favorite time for crafts - wreaths, gifts, and decor to make our house feel festive and even more homey than usual.

So I hope you and your family have a wonderful Fall. Bust out the boots, enjoy your tailgating, and yes, have yourself a pumpkin spice latte.

This post is a link up with Ginger's Bring Back the Words. Visit her blog to check out the other posts.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

32 Candles

This past June, I turned 32. Solidly in my 30's. And it was honestly one of my best birthdays. On my actual birthday, I actually went to work- I usually take it off. We had dinner with friends at one of my favorite restaurants (don't laugh), Native New Yorker and spent our late evening watching movies and eating ice cream.

The day after my birthday was the most unexpected, wonderful surprise. It was the 2 year anniversary of the day we got Buddy's test results. It's a day that stays in my mind as an AWFUL day. The day after my 30th birthday was honestly one of my worst - it was just heart-breaking for us both. The day after my 31st, a somber day that I tried my best to not be ruined, but still felt "blah," no matter what I tried to make myself feel. But the day after my 32nd birthday - that was amazing.

Without my knowing, my incredible husband planned a surprise party for me. I had suspicions, but nothing was concrete enough to make me know for sure. He cleaned the house, shopped in secret, invited friends. He made enough food for 20 people under the guise of "well, we can freeze meals and make it into good stuff later." My own medicine, used against me. I even tried to call his bluff as a last ditch effort to learn his motives, changing into PJs and figuring he would never let me answer the door in my pajamas. I was wrong. He invited about 6 couples over and when I opened the door for the first, I was most definitely wearing a tank top and my cupcake PJ pants. He even had a friend make me a cake - in the same flavor of the wedding cake the day we got married. We hung out, drank, ate, and laughed all night. It was perfect.

I always bragged that I was too nosy and too sneaky to ever be surprised with a party, and the day after I turned 32, I was just about proven wrong. It was more than just throwing me a birthday party. Buddy knew the day after my birthday is difficult, and he did what he could to make it a day I'd remember for something good. And he was amazingly successful.

Friday, August 23, 2013

"WTF, seriously?" is the best tile I could come up with

I got a text a few nights ago that my sister was diagnosed with PCOS. Wow. It still feels a little surreal. What are the chances that two of us in one family would have issues? It made me hurt for her. I know how sad and scary it is to have a diagnosis that puts fertility and a baby in jeopardy. I felt angry that my sister would have to hurt. I fought back tears as I told her I was sorry and then I set to work. I called on my private message board girls and asked them what she needed to know. I gave her all the information I could - we had a two hour conversation about what she should do, what to expect. I gave her every bit of information I had so that she could get the best possible and most thorough care, so she could advocate for herself.

She made an appointment with an RE and even sent me a draft of an email to her new boss to critique regarding needing to miss time at her first week at a new job. And then yesterday, I found out she started fertility meds with a nurse at her OB's office who works part time at a fertility clinic. I panicked and felt punched in the gut. I know it's irrational, but I felt hurt, and shocked. Here I had armed her with everything I could, and I felt like everything I said went in one ear and out the other. I feel that she's not being diligent or responsible with her health, and it scares me. It makes me angry, with both her and her nurse. Fertility meds aren't a joke. They're not candy. There can be adverse effects. Not to mention, she hasn't had all the testing she needs - what they're doing could be risky to her health when they may only know part of the picture. I probably freaked her out, telling her again what she needed to do.

One thing that stands out is that my sister is very conscientious about what she puts in her body. She's an avid swimmer and runner, watches what she eats (albeit displaying some possibly disordered behavior at times), and seems educated on nutrition. And yet, she'll take drugs she knows nothing about, based on our conversations. When I was in New York, I overheard a conversation between her and my mom where she said she couldn't have protein powder with 5% RDA vitamin A in it because she was taking a prenatal with 100% RDA and that could be dangerous. Yet, a simple Google search led me to info that toxic levels of vitamin A result from sustained levels of 25,000 iu a day, something she'd be highly unlikely to surpass with just a protein shake and a vitamin. So while she's aware of what she's putting in her body, I feel she's misinformed, both when it comes to vitamins and when it comes to fertility drugs.

I feel like this shouldn't upset me. She's an adult. She can do what she wants. And yet, I feel it's the flippant prescribing and taking of fertility meds just like this situation that give fertility treatment a bad name, make it a joke, keep people thinking it's okay to take Clomid without proper care. And I feel snubbed. I gave her info because I care, not for shits and giggles. This isn't stuff I want to know. And then there's the stupid thinking that if she is successful going this route, she'll think I over-reacted. I don't feel I am. Actually, I know I'm not. I won't ever feel sorry for thinking she should go see an RE, complete testing, and do this responsibly with a professional who is trained and educated in the treatment of infertility. It frustrates me and makes me want to throw things. I feel strongly she rushed into this. I'm mad that her doctor/nurse/whatever isn't being a responsible professional by not referring her and insisting she go to the right kind of doctor. I feel like the sister I know would scoff at "she's a nurse at my OB who works part time at a fertility clinic." A nurse. Who works part time. Really? It just blows my mind.

I know I need to let it go. She's going to do what she and her husband feel is right, just like Buddy and I did. She's choosing a direction I wouldn't choose and I need to respect that. But I can't. I can't stop thinking about it and shaking my head and thinking "WTF, seriously?" I never expected this turn - for her or for me - and certainly never could have expected all these thoughts and emotions.

Saturday, August 17, 2013


Home. When I think about it, a couple of different places come to mind. However, when I really think of where I crave being when I'm away (like I am now), I think of our Home in Peoria, Arizona.

I was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona, and lived there until I went to college at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. That worked out for two years until I decided to transfer to the University of Arizona and change my major from optometry to accounting (I am SO exciting). I loved Flagstaff, but the break-up of my relationship with my high school boyfriend made it a painful place to be. I ran from it, quite honestly. My broken heart needed comforts only a hometown can provide. When I graduated from UofA, I moved to Scottsdale for my first job and lived with a friend. After I got more settled, I chose an apartment in northern Phoenix. I moved to a new apartment every year (sorry, Dad!) for the next three years until I settled - single for the first time in over 2 years - in Ahwatukee, a southern neighborhood of Phoenix. 

And then I met Buddy. We lived in Ahwatukee until March of 2011, when we bought our house in a northwestern suburb of Phoenix. We specifically looked in the area we did to get him closer to his work and to get the most house for our money - Ahwatukee was simply too expensive and the commute was miserable for Buddy. Even though leaving Ahwatukee took us 25 miles farther from my family in Tucson, it put us close to where we spent our time on weekends, with friends and his parents. It felt like the true start of our marriage, quite honestly, though we'd been married almost 18 months at the time.

When we purchased our home, we thought of it as a starter home. We chose which bedroom would be the nursery and knew that within 5-7 years, we'd be looking for a larger home to have enough room for the 2 children we imagined. Time and life have passed, and we now think of the house as our forever home. We don't debate whether bigger projects should be done - I used to have a fear about doing a big project and loving it and having to leave it. We both feel that will never be an issue - we both see ourselves staying in our home for... well, ever. We hate moving, love our home, and see no reason to leave. We're set.

The thing is - and it's funny that this topic came up on one of my private IF-related FB groups tonight - is that there's a part of me that wonders sometimes if someday I'll crave a totally new home. We chose this house as the place to raise a young family. I still sometimes think "this was supposed to be the nursery" when I walk into my office/craft room. Not every time, but the thought is there now and then. It doesn't knock me back or cause an aversion to the room. It just is. But if we had a home that was chosen and only lived in after infertility, after choosing childfree, would it be easier? That's the only reason I could think of to ever leave our home. To have a clean slate - a home with no kid-related dreams tied to it. A home where I wouldn't be thinking "this is where we were supposed to raise a family," but rather, "this is where I'll grow old with him." Can I have that in our home? I don't know. I think the "life should have been..." thoughts could follow us anywhere, if I allow it to. I'd rather stay - at least for a while - in the house we first shared as husband and wife and focus on that wonderful milestone in our home.

This post was prompted by Ginger's Bring Back the Words - go check out the other posts :)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The One Where You Find Out I Have Questionable Taste in Television

Pull up a chair, have a seat on the couch. One of Ginger's Bring Back the Words topics this week is favorite TV shows, and well, I'm more than qualified to discuss this one. I'm not sure you can say you learn a lot about a person based on their TV show choices, but I suppose it's possible. What does the fact that my tastes are almost equally divided between Food Network, trashy reality, and sitcoms say about me? You tell me.

In no particular order, my favorite shows:

The Big Bang Theory - LOVE this show. I love Sheldon in particular, as well as Penny. I'm not super geeky about it. I sing Soft Kitty and am familiar with Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock, but I don't have fan gear or anything like that. But I could watch this for hours on end.

Parks and Recreation - I forgot this one and had to come back and had it. I love April and Andy, and Anne, and Leslie. And Ben. And Tom. And Ron, of course. It's brilliant and funny and feel-good like little else on TV is.

Master Chef - I want to be on this one, but I have to work on my skills. I have a serious crush on Graham Elliot and love me some Gordon Ramsay. I just love watching people grow on this show and am always impressed by the volume of knowledge these home cooks have.

Chopped - another huge favorite cooking show, I really enjoy the adrenaline rush and creativity. Dan and I like to play our own little virtual home game. We'll ask each other what we would make with the basket (not that we'd necessarily even know how). On road trips, we'll name four random ingredients to try to stump each other.

Will & Grace - I loved Megan Mullaly as Karen and Jack was just the funniest, sweetest, sassiest character. I wanted to be his friend. It did eventually derail some for me, but early W&G was wonderful.

Toddlers and Tiaras - here's where things go downhill. I just adore T&T. I love the crazy moms, the whiny kids, and pageant judges, the props, and costumes. I giggle with delight when a mom says that her tantrum-throwing, screeching toddler just loves performing and being on stage. It's one of my favorite train wrecks.

Teen Mom - speaking of train wrecks, this little MTV offering is FULL of shenanigans. I admit I'm not sure how I feel about the cast of Teen Mom 3, but the first two were fantastic, in a "why am I watching this crap... WTF, Farrah?! Chelsea, you IDIOT!" kind of way.

The Office - I miss this show. So so much. Granted, most of the best episodes were before the departure of Michael Scott, but there was just something so endearing about this series from start to finish. I'd gladly watch a marathon any day.

Laguna Beach - otherwise known as "the beginning of my love affair with reality TV." I was definitely Team LC, and still am. There's something that captivates me about rich 16-year-olds who have absolutely no clue of the real world and consider "dunzo" to be a word. Loved it from minute one.

Wife Swap - oh, the awesomeness. You take an uptight, regimented, feminist upper-class mom and make her trade families with a submissive hill-billy wife with an affinity for burping contests and chili dogs and you get something amazing. LOVE.

Ace of Cakes - probably one of my super-faves, despite the fact that there hasn't been a new episode in well over 2 years. I have a crush on Chef Duff (how could you not, I mean, really?) and I just love his staff. They're funny, creative and talented, and I'd flip at a chance to learn from them for just a day. When I visited Baltimore with Buddy, I may or may not have hung out at the bar across the street for 2 hours hoping to catch a glimpse of Duff.

Other favorites that I just about never miss: Bar Rescue, Restaurant Impossible, Iron Chef, Deadliest Catch Honey Boo Boo, Dance Moms.

Okay, so when I said  "equally divided" up there to describe my tastes, I was delusional. I clearly have a strong attraction to reality TV.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


One of the hardest parts about infertility for me is thinking about the things my husband is missing out on by not being a father. I see him with our dogs or with other people's children, and he is just so fun. He brags about how our pups follow him around doing yard work and talks about the funny things our friends' kids do or say.

One of my earliest memories as a child was playing baseball in the front yard with my dad. We had a huge yard that was divided into three spaces: grass in the very front, then gravel in the middle, and in inner courtyard where we had out patio table that we'd use to eat at in the summer. Don't think this was a sprawling estate, by any means - the house was barely 900 square feet with the addition my parents completed, but the yard was a kid's dream. It may not be as big as I remember, but for a young child, it felt that we had so much space and plenty of room to enjoy our swing set, tree house, and sand box. We didn't want for anything, when it came to a place to play. I was a tomboy, daddy's little girl, and I got a big red bat and ball for my 4th birthday. I would pitch to my dad and he would - of course - hit the ball clear from the grass in the front all the way to the house. I would make him crawl around the bases while I ran as fast as I could to retrieve the ball. He always let me win, as daddies do. I just had do much fun playing with him. He still talks about those games in the yard - they were obviously unforgettable and special for us both.

And yet it's those memories that also break my heart. I see so many of my dad's best qualities in my husband, I can't help but be assured that Buddy would be an amazing dad, too. The bright side is, I can see him - both of us, actually - being really special and fun people in our friends' kids' lives. It's one of the things we thought of when making our decision - we could still have an impact on children in our lives without being parents. My husband may never crawl the bases in our yard with his own daughter, but I hope he can be Awesome Uncle Buddy for kids we love.

I'm linking up with Ramble Ramble's Bring Back the Words... come join us!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Moving on up!

This past weekend, I met up with 7 of the other volunteers in my area for an appreciation breakfast "hosted" by Resolve. It was amazing to get to meet other support group leaders, help-line answer-ers and one of my fellow Walk of Hope 2014 planners. Did I mention that? I'm the co-chair for planning AZ's Walk of Hope in 2014! After breakfast, one of the other planners - who happens to also be a board member for Resolve - and I got to talk about our strategy for next year's Walk in terms of marketing and approach with the area's doctors. I'm so excited to be getting more involved in an organization and a cause I feel so much excitement for. Turns out, the plan is for me to help plan 2014, and take over as the lead in 2015. Ahhhh! Very exciting. And, even better, the planner/board member is looking to step down from being the coordinator for AZ volunteers so she can focus on her board member position. So she was thrilled that I was interested in taking the coordinator position.

This is truly my passion. It keeps me sane. It gives me a purpose. It turns something awful in our life into something beautiful. Resolve helps give other women and couples the gift I feel so blessed by, and I'd truly do anything to contribute to the cause. I've made it my goal to go to Advocacy Day in 2014, and now I have quite a few other things on my plate, and I could not be more thrilled.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to the 75 ladies I hold so dear for being such a support as I find my stride in advocacy. You've given me a confidence I can't repay you for :)

Monday, June 17, 2013

New Direction

I haven't blogged here in a while, not consistently at least. I haven't blogged anywhere, really (I have another blog, too). I miss it. My other blog, which I started when I was engaged to Buddy and became a chronicle of our wedding planning and life as newlyweds, doesn't really feel like home anymore. It started out so happy, and then infertility happened, and I came here to have a safe space to vent frustrations. I'm not either happy or sad all the time, and I still crave having a safe space, so this feels like the right place to stay. That said, infertility is not all I am. It's certainly a part of my life, but I have more to share than the bad stuff. So I want to make this place a spot where I talk about more of my life, but I can't deny that my view has been changed.

Thanks to Ginger, I feel a spark to get back into this, and I'll be starting to join in her link-up through her Bring Back the Words prompts.  I want to start talking more about my life in general, and not feeling like this place has to be so infertility-centric. I hope to make it a place where readers can get insights into me, and what life is like for me and Buddy after choosing childfree, all aspects included. I can't guarantee it'll be interesting, but there will certainly be more activity.

So, here goes. Why did I start blogging? Like I said, originally, I started my first blog to keep a record of our wedding planning, newlywed life, home buying, etc. My intention was that it would eventually become a family blog. It had room to grow. And then, it just... stopped growing. I felt like I had nothing left to say. I started this blog to have a space to talk about more private things, and to keep those private things off the radar from family and friends. This space connected me to other women dealing with the same things I was while providing me a little but of anonymity, especially when I felt a need to talk about people in my real life and my frustrations. Pretty plain and simple. It serves its purpose well. I tend to write when I'm emotionally driven to do so, and my new direction and vision for this space will hopefully get me back to where I started with my first blog 4 years ago.

I think the result of my activity on both of my blogs ties in to Ginger's second prompt: What's the best decision you've ever made? I've made a lot of good decisions in my life (leaving bad relationships, moving to Phoenix, marrying my husband, going to therapy when I felt I was being crushed by IF-induced sadness and uncertainty), but the decision to blog and open myself up to the world of the internet has brought me a lot of friendship and support. While I was blogging about wedding plans, I also ventured onto TheKnot.com's message boards. While some could argue that blogs and message boards are part of a virtual world of faceless strangers, they brought me friends I wouldn't have otherwise - people I talk to daily, in some cases. I gained new perspective, learned some etiquette I might have been an a-hole bride without, and gained friendships that continue to be meaningful and special to me. It's because of message boards that I even know our link-up hostess, Ginger (Brooke --> Temerity Jane --> Ginger, etc.), and a lot of my Twitter friends.

When I graduated from The Knot to The Bump when we started trying for a baby, I met even more people who became valued friends. The idea that I think we all had not long ago that the people in the internet aren't "real" or safe is gone for me. I have more friends there, it seems, than in real life. There's a bigger pool of people who have shared experienced than I have in my real-world social settings. I've traveled to meet and see people, been lifted up in support, and offered my help and knowledge to women all over the country. It's fascinating when I stop and think about it. Those relationships have been an invaluable part of my life. I'm thankful to be in an age where those barriers and taboos about meeting people online are quickly becoming a thing of the past. In many ways, I don't know what the last 3-4 years of my life would be like or where I would be emotionally if I hadn't started my first blog or ventured onto The Knot.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Join the Movement

When my husband and I were diagnosed with multiple fertility issues almost 2 years ago, it was a devastating time for us. It was heart-breaking and isolating. I felt that my husband’s diagnosis was particularly tragic – to be told at the age of 27 that he had less than a 5% chance of ever becoming a biological father shattered me as his wife. Infertility has affected the most private parts of our marriage, and is with us every day. I was – thankfully – fortunate to be a part of an incredible community online that provided love and support as we eventually came to the decision that we would choose childfree living as the resolution to our infertility. We were fortunate to have incredibly supportive parents, family, and friends. 

Not every couple is so lucky. Not everyone has the support of friends and family, and many people struggle in silence and/or lack of understanding. To the non-IF world, talking about these things is taboo, and there are misconceptions and hurtful opinions to endure frequently. There is a lot of pain, guilt, and isolation that 88% of the people we come across cannot even fathom. We have to teach people how to respond to us and how to be part of our support system. We have to tell law-makers how legislation can hinder and hurt us. We have to be the voices for our community, especially for those who struggle in silence. That’s why I’m Joining the Movement.

Being involved with infertility awareness and advocacy has been a big part of my healing, and it will continue to be as I get more involved. I’ve struggled a lot, especially early in our diagnosis. I admit I felt hard to find which way was up. It took the help of an incredible therapist to help me find my way – I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: she was the best gift I ever gave myself. There’s no shame in doing whatever one needs to do to get themselves on the right track when something like infertility threatens your dreams of a family. My hopes of making life as an infertile person a little better in society, a little easier on the wallet, and a lot more filled with love and support and understanding are what drive me. It’s something I want to do, but it’s also something I have to do. It’s how I feel fulfilled and happy and like I’m taking something awful and making it something good. Advocacy is my therapy. That’s why I’m Joining the Movement.

Each year, RESOLVE celebrates National Infertility Awareness Week with a blog theme, and this year, it’s Join the Movement. I am joining in because I have been touched by the support that RESOLVE helps provide through peer-led groups, the Walk of Hope, endless information on their website, and insightful discussions on social media. I’m joining the movement because of all the same reasons I chose to participate in the Walk of Hope. I’m joining because this is for US, where “us” is me and Buddy, our wonderful families and friends, the members of my support group, the friends who struggle alongside me in real life, and 75 very special ladies who’ve held me up for the last two years.

This is a screen shot from a video made to honor The 75 by one of its members, an incredible woman named Kati. This screenshot is about me. It brought tears to my eyes, right at my desk at work, the first time I saw it. They’re proud of me. Seventy-five strong, resilient, and beautiful women whom I’ve never hugged but who know some of the deepest parts of my soul, are proud. Of me. Seventy-five women I respect so very much. And it’s humbling. Because of their strength and support, I am strong.. Because they may be proud of me, but I’m 1,000 times more proud to know, represent, and be sisters with them. That's why I'm Joining the Movement.

Check out the Bloggers Unite Join the Movement posts at RESOLVE's NIAW page
Helpful links:
Infertility 101
About NIAW

Monday, April 15, 2013

NIAW 2013

National Infertility Awareness Week 2013 is only 6 days away! Below are status messages I've put together for Facebook, and you're welcome to borrow them. I plan to do one or 2 a day, and also plan to have spontaneous messages if a conversation is sparked in the comments or if someone asked something specific either publicly or privately. Last year, on the last day, I offered to answer any questions any one had. The only rules: be respectful and polite, and I'm free to refrain from answering something publicly (but will in a PM) if the answer is outside the guidelines Buddy and I have in place.

  • Thursday, April 18th: Sunday marks the beginning of National Infertility Awareness Week. This is an issue that is obviously close to my heart, but I also respect that it can be an uncomfortable topic for people. I understand if you choose to hide my feed this week, but I will assure you that you’ll learn something valuable. We all know someone dealing with infertility, and I hope to give facts, insight, and tips in hopes of helping my friends and family support others who’ve lost a piece of themselves to IF.
  • Happy NIAW 2013! This is an important time for us as a community to raise awareness and allow our voices to be heard. Please feel welcome to comment and ask questions at any time. I’m fortunate to be part of an online community of amazing women with a huge variety of experiences, and they’re invited to jump in at any time with anything they feel willing to share. I only ask that everyone please keep conversations polite and respectful.
  • Infertility is a disease that affects 1 in 8 American couples – roughly 12% of our population. Infertility is defined by the inability to conceive within 1 year of trying if the female partner is under 35. Over the age of 35, infertility can be considered after 6 months. Statistically, infertility is caused by a female issue in 30% of cases, a male issue in 30%, a combined issue in about 20% and the remainder of cases are unexplained.
  • Testing to diagnose the cause of infertility involves – at the very least – blood work at two different and specific parts of the female partner’s cycle, a sonogram of the fallopian tubes, and a sperm analysis for the male partner.  The testing can be ordered by an OB/gyn, but the proper specialist to interpret the results, form the plan of action, and treat infertility (including through the prescription of Clomid) is a reproductive endocrinologist. Often in cases where male factor infertility is a concern, a urologist will be consulted. Consult with your OB/gyn or insurance company for providers in your area.
  • Despite the fact that infertility is a disease of the reproductive system, very few patients have coverage through their insurance companies. Only 15 states mandate varying degrees of coverage, and employers are often able to exempt themselves through loopholes. This leaves most couples paying out of pocket for their testing and care.
  • The cost of infertility depends on the treatment plan. Most infertility treatments involve hormones and/or other drugs for ovarian stimulation. These are often not covered by insurance and can cost anywhere from a couple hundred to a few thousand dollars per cycle. Intra-Uterine Insemination (IUI), which is a relatively non-invasive treatment, carries an average cost of $865, and generally gives only a 10-15% chance at success. In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF), which is an invasive surgical procedure involving anesthesia for the female partner, costs an average of over $12,000 for a single cycle, and this may not include the thousands of dollars in medications needed. Donor sperm, donor eggs, and a manual fertilization procedure called ICSI serve only to increase these costs, making infertility treatment a financial hardship and sacrifice for most couples. Surrogacy is reported to cost a couple as much at $100,000.
  • There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to infertility treatment. First, the goal is to create one baby, not multiples.  Stories like those of Octomom and Kate Gosselin are examples of irresponsible medicine and the ignoring of specialist advice. While certain procedures certainly raise the likelihood of multiples, this risk is carefully weighed against the goal to succeed with achieving pregnancy while not compromising the health of the mother or her potential fetus(es). Secondly, treatments are not always successful, unfortunately, and even with multiple rounds of IVF (which generally only comes with about a 40-50% success rate, at best), sometimes a pregnancy is never achieved.
  • “Just adopt” and “adopt and you’ll get pregnant” are things that couples who struggle with infertility hear often from friends and family, and can be very hurtful. Adoption is not an easy road, and it can cost twice as much as a single cycle of IVF, depending on the type of adoption chosen. While it offers an opportunity to parent, it doesn’t cure infertility or address the associated feelings of inadequacy and loss of biological lineage. Everyone knows someone who knows someone who’s adopted and then found themselves blessed with a spontaneous pregnancy, but that doesn’t happen for the majority of infertile adoptive parents, and it certainly shouldn’t be a driving reason to pursue adoption. It is a very personal decision, and should be chosen as a positive end to a couple’s infertility and not viewed as a second-rate option.
  • Choosing to live childfree is another valid positive choice as resolution to a couple’s infertility. Choosing childfree after IF means walking away from treatments and adoption, and embracing life with your partner as a family of two. While a couple is no longer going through the emotional roller coaster of treatment or the adoption process, there are still great losses, and they will be experienced throughout the couple’s lifetime. For insight on a couple’s personal experience choosing childfree after infertility, I highly recommend Sweet Grapes by Jean and Michael Carter as a great resource.
  • Infertility is something that is often not understood by a couple’s family and friends. Even though 12% of the population is directly affected, it’s often not talked about, and so friends and family may say things that are minimizing, hurtful , or offensive to the couple without realizing it. RESOLVE offers many resources, including “Infertility Etiquette” and Q&A for friends and family. http://www.resolve.org/support-and-services/for-family--friends/

Monday, March 25, 2013

Walk of Hope recap

Saturday was RESOLVE's Arizona Walk of Hope, and it was an awesome experience. I knew I was excited, but wasn't entirely sure of what all to expect. My mom and MIL walked with me, as did my beloved puggles, Paisley and Clover. We left a little later than intended, and got a tad lost, which stressed me out. But we finally made it. The dogs were jumpy in a totally new situation, but about 1/4 mile in, they calmed down and it was really very nice that they were there. The walk was really nice. It was a leisurely pace, and there were about 220 walkers. There were IF graduates there with their hard-won children, and a lot of other people brought their dogs. There were both teams and individuals. Thanks to the generous support of our family and friends, I ended up as the second highest fundraiser, and I was so proud.

As we walked, there were signs with facts about both IF and about how the money raised at the event could help, such as "$500 provides training and support to start a new group." Tucson is getting it's support group up and running in April which will be a couple's group led by Denny and Lisa - Denny wrote Almost A Father about his IF journey to achieve pregnancy with their daughter, Elliana. So the timing felt especially poignant. It was kind of amazing how my mom and MIL were unfamiliar with some of these stats. I've been spouting them for what feels like forever now, but they had a hard timing believing that 1 in 8 couples is affected. Well, it's true, folks, which is why we need to raise awareness. Not only so people realize what a very real problem this is for so many people, but so that we can start to teach compassion and etiquette and feel that our disease is accepted and cared about and not minimized or viewed as being on par with wanting a nose job.

After the walk, I got to meet Denny, and there were awards for the funniest shirt ("My Baby Survived the Ice Age"), best group name, the most money raised (yay, Tonya!) She led my group before I did, and moved to CO so it was great to see her), and a raffle drawing. Arizona Senator Linda Lopez was honored for her pro-family work in Arizona and her impact on our community. Representatives from fertility centers were there, and they were thanked - along with our community advocates - for stopping the advancement of SB 1376. After the formal stuff, I had the opportunity to meet Betsy, whom I've been corresponding with in regard to my desire to be a more formal advocate. I also got to meet other members of Resolve's team, and I'm looking forward to joining their efforts and making an impact in Arizona.

All in all, it was a terrific experience. It's amazing to be among a large group of people who understand where you've been and there was a feeling of being at home with them, even if I didn't actually meet them. I  encourage everyone to particpate in a walk in their area. If there isn't one, and you'd like to spearhead the planning of one or even just find out what would be involved in helping to start one, feel free to contact me.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

No longer screaming

** Loss mentioned (not mine) **

I wrote this almost exactly a year ago. It's incredible how far we've come. We're not without trials and heartaches, and there are certainly moments where I wonder if I will ever find my center again. But the good days far out-number the bad. I remember the time so vividly when I would cry silently at my desk literally every day over something and hope no one came looking for me. I won't lie. I get stuck on some things here and there. Certain thoughts cause a lump in my throat or put a damper on a day. But I am - over all - something I couldn't see myself being a year ago: happy. I am, truly. I feel a sense of purpose. I feel loved and secure in my marriage. I feel over-whelming support from family and friends.

One story feels especially poignant and representative of where I am now compared to then. Recently, a coworker, E - who had baby #1 through IVF - lost her spontaenous baby #2 at 20 weeks. She wasn't someone I'd ever really talked to. I sat near her, and was able to hear conversations she had about going through IVF for #1, but I was never actually introduced to her and so I never really talked to her. (I know. You're thinking this is weird. But this is coming from someone who didn't speak to her dorm neighbors until Halloween-eve because they didn't talk to me either. And then I became besties with them. I'm just weird with social stuff sometimes.) A coworker, S - with whom E shares a baby-sitter - had told me she lost Baby D because I'd asked HER (not the expectant mom, of course) only weeks prior if E was pregnant again after over-hearing a conversation between the two of them. E asked S to tell people at work about the loss so they wouldn't ask her when she returned to the office. For whatever reason, I decided to sack up and offer my condolences to someone I didn't even really know and I confided in E that while I didn't know about child loss, I knew the struggle of infertility and that I was just so incredibly sorry. And then we had, like, an hour-long conversation. About all of it, totally comfortably, just like I would with the girls of my Resolve group. I'm not sure of what her support system entails, but I got the impression that she hadn't been able to discuss the loss with someone who knew the IF side. I felt so thankful for the progress made over the last year that allowed me to put myself out there and be a comfort for someone else.

Point is, I no longer feel like I'm screaming. I'm sharing, shouting, informing. It feels amazing to be a year out from Screaming Underwater.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


I woke up excited yesterday. Really excited. The Walk of Hope is this weekend, and NIAW is about a month away. These events just have me in a great mood. I'm excited to meet people I've been corresponding with at Resolve, and the Walk of Hope feels to me like a celebration. This is OUR day. There are cancer walks, and March of Dimes walks, and fundraisers for all sorts of different causes and issues and illnesses. But this one is OURS. NIAW is OUR time to show how many of us there are, how we feel, what we think, what issues pertain to us and how others can support us. It's OUR time to show we matter, and that we aren't taboo, and that everyone out there knows and loves someone who's struggling with infertility. It's liberating to feel free to talk about it, and to be passionate about making a difference. I can't wait for OUR Saturday, and for OUR awareness week - to stand with and to share facts and messages of hope (however that looks for everyone) with other people who know what it's like. I'm just so excited!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Why I Walk

**Sorry about the formatting - I give up on you, Blogspot.**

On March 23rd, 2013, I am participating in RESOLVE’s Walk of Hope. My mom is joining me, and I’m excited to have her support. So why am I walking?
-          Because I remember what it was like to feel alone
-          Because people should be made more aware of our feelings as infertile couples
-          Because 12% of Americans deal with this
-          Because everyone knows someone who’s struggling, some most likely in silence
-          Because infertility is not shameful
-          Because legislation is being considered in our state that would restrict or even end Arizona
      couples’ options to build their families and I want them to see the impact and strength of our
-          Because myths and misperceptions about fertility treatments persist
-          Because there is strength in numbers
-          Because I am a RESOLVE peer-led group leader, and I am proud to represent them and the  
      other women of our community who need support
-          Because currently, support groups only exist in the Phoenix area and I hope that resources from
      the walk can be allocated to help bring support to Northern and Southern Arizona
-          Because I believe in RESOLVE’s mission to bring about awareness and support of couples who 
      are pursuing their dreams of building a family or who have resolved their fertility by other
-          Because no one should walk alone

I am proud to walk in the Walk of Hope, and I would be proud to have your support. If you find yourself able, contributions can be made here.

Monday, February 25, 2013

I Oppose SB 1376

Dear family friends of Arizona,

There's an important piece of legislation being considered in Arizona right now that I want to tell you about. SB 1376 is a (poorly and vaguely) bill written by a "pro-life, pro-family" group called Center for Arizona Policy (CAP). The bill wants to require that Arizona Fertility speciailists use a database to log the creation and use of every embryo in our state. This includes the disposition of any embryos deemed not viable for implantation through IVF (in-vitro fertilization), and those used for training or testing. This information is already collected by the CDC, and is therefore mostly redundant. The difference is that this data is tied to specific patients, and is a blatant violation of privacy. Additionally, because the bill is so vaguely wirrten, it's a legitimate concern that the information in the proposed database could be used to prosecute doctors and patients at a later date.

SB 1376 is part of a bigger agenda by CAP to attempt to establish personhood laws in Arizona. For those not familiar, personhood laws work to grant full legal rights to embryos, meaning that any demise or loss of embryos could lead to prosecution of the fertility specialist. Unfortunately, embryo loss is often a part of fertility treatment - not every embryo is viable for IVF, despite the skilled and diligent work of reproductive specialists. The same goes for "natural" (referred to as "spontaneous" in the IF and medical community) reproduction - not every embryo created spontaneously results in a birth, and we certainly don't prosecute mothers for miscarriage. Because the legal risks of practicing assisted reproductive technologies (ART) in jurisdictions with personhood laws is so great for specialists, these laws effectively end fertility practices, leaving patients without accessible and safe care to build their families.

CAP may call themselves "pro-life," but they are not "pro-family." Personhood laws and the provisions of SB1376 would work to inhibit family building by preventing life to be created in the first place and shaming the couples who have to make difficult decisions in regard to their embryos. Some families rely on ART for family building, and they have a right to privacy in doing so. My husband and I would be one of them had we not chosen child free living as our end to infertility. However, this bill will affect my friends, member of my RESOLVE peer-led support group, and hundreds of thousands of other Arizonans. Please contact your local representative and State congresspeople to let them know you oppose SB 1376 and help safeguard the reproductive rights of Arizona families.

Thank you,


Some important links:

Keiko Zoll of The Infertility Voice

RH Reality Check

Almost a Father's letter to Senator Ward

RESOLVE's official letter to Arizona Senators