Monday, July 26, 2010

I'm baaaack!!!

Back from my blogging vacation and my real-life vacation too! 

It's so hard to jump back into the swing of every day life after relaxing and having so much fun! 

Here are a few sneak peaks from our trip:

We had breakfast with a duck!

Glorious sunsets on the beach!

Caught lots of lizards!

Were attacked by parakeets  (hahah...just kidding)!

Saw lots of live alligators...this one was only subdued by Isabel's fingers in it's eyes.

We played with a beautiful baby boy!!  
(Look at Isabel's face!  Do you think she's ready to be a big sister already??)

We ate, played, swam, lounged, relaxed, visited with great friends and just thoroughly enjoyed our time together as a family!  It was lovely.

And Prayer Buddy.....I just have to say that whatever prayers you've been saying, they are working miracles in my life over here!  Can't wait to fill you in!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Blogging Vacation! **Updated with some test results**

I am taking a short blogging don't worry!  I'm still alive!  :)

And never fear, Prayer Buddy!  Because I will not be taking a vacation from my prayers for you!!

Two things that I'll leave you with....first is a quote from Fr. Corapi that I've been really thinking about this week:

"Every one of us is called to take our place on the battle line.  Every one of us has a unique, precious, unrepeatable role to play.  To the degree that you correspond to that grace, souls will be saved.  To the degree that you fail to correspond to that grace, souls will be lost."  Fr. John Corapi

And the second is this scripture from Colossians:

For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may have a walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.  Col. 1:9-12

**Update**   NaPro doc called with SA results and I need some help/advice.  Here are my notes:

Count is great at 134 million. 

Two things were "off": 
1.  Morphology (percentage that are normal) = 14% and that is "relatively low"
2.  PH = high = infection

Her recommendation was for DH to see a urologist locally and "sometimes they tell you to supplement with Proxeed to improve morphology."

Anyone know anything about Proxeed?  Or what have your DHs done to improve sperm morphology?  Also the infection thing is kind of weird too, because we were both on antibiotics in December/January per my regular OBGYN to try to eliminate any possible infections.  I mean I guess they can come back (duh).

Would love ALL comments on this!  Dr. C did say "morphology of 14% shouldn't exclude as far as absolute infertility" (which I took to mean that there was probably still something else going that wasn't our only problem).

Thank you!!!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

7 Year Wedding Anniversary!

Sunday July 11th, 2010 marks 7 years of marriage for Rob and I!

It would also mark Mary Grace's one year birthday; had she joined our life here on earth.  Last year on this anniversary I was in a completely different state of mind.  I was still very focused on the "what if she had lived" scenario.  I don't think you ever completely move on from that place.  It just occurs less often now; that my mind pauses to imagine her as a healthy one year old...possibly taking first steps...grinning, giggling, following Isabel around like a relentless little puppy.  Sometimes it's like a sweet almost-memory for real that I can almost remember it happening.  Of course, that is my own fantasy land.  She wouldn't have been healthy even if she could have lived.  What is reality is that she is healthy and healed in heaven...and God-willing, I will meet her there one day.

This year I feel much more able to celebrate my wedding anniversary!  I was still caught in the unwillingness of allowing myself to want to be happy...everything was still too fresh last year.  But this year I've even been anticipating the date with great joy and very few of the conflicting feelings I had last year.

I was recently sharing my story about Mary Grace and our other failed pregnancies with a lady who had lost a baby right after birth.  She looked at me at one point and said, "You know you are a statistic now; 50% of couples who have lost a child end up divorcing."

I was immediately flustered, I was so in shock!  Not in shock that some marriages end in divorce after they lose a child...I can totally understand that.  Maybe a little shocked at the percentage she gave.  But mostly because I was thinking, "Oh you have no and Rob?  There is not an inkling of a possibility of us ever divorcing!  If only you knew us!"  I don't mean to sound boastful or arrogant, but it's true!  We are that solid in our marriage and let me tell you, we do work at it.  Marriage takes alot of hard work...of give and take...of communication (and boy have we had some issues with the last one lately) ;)  Not to say that we don't have work still to be done!  There is always room for improvement and I know for sure that I could do a whole heck of a lot of improving.  But nothing would ever break apart the sacrament and vocation with which we have committed ourselves to in front of God and our friends and family!

Always and Forever.

That is our motto.  And to keep us strong in our love for each other, we love God first.  We worship together at Mass.  We serve together with Catholic Engaged Encounter.  We go to confession as a family.  We take time to thank God for our blessings and ask Him to protect what He has united.  Our relationship with God is a vital part of what keeps our marriage together!

And something that I'm really excited about is the anniversary present we are giving ourselves!
A second honeymoon, you ask?
A new car?
No!  Although those things are lovely we decided on a marriage encounter weekend!! 

I can't wait!  I am so excited!  I have been wanting to go on one of these weekends since before I was pregnant with Mary Grace.  I had heard about how exceptional the experience was and wanted to take advantage of a chance to work at our own relationship.  And now we get to go to one in August! 

 So Happy Anniversary my Love!  I'm so grateful to you for wanting our marriage to be successful till death do us part.  We may have had our share of hardship in the past and there may be more to come, but our relationship is so much stronger because of it, and most importantly we have grown in our love for and faithfulness to God.  Thank you for loving me the way you do and seeing the good in me.  You are certainly my very best friend!  I love you!
Always and Forever, 

 Awwww....we were so young!!! :)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Regular OB meets NaProTechnology

Called up my regular OB today, Dr. S. to see if they could perform my Follicle ultrasound study and the different lab work that NaPro doc (Dr. C) wants done.

Receptionist has no clue if they can do it...."we have an ultrasound machine."   (Yes, I'm well aware of that; it's a Level II...that's how we found out about Mary Grace.)  I say nothing.  She patches me through to the nurse answering machine.

I leave a very detailed message including every type of blood test listed on my order sheet.

Nurse calls back and asks why I am seeing a doctor that is 3 hours away.  I ask if she's ever heard of NaPro Technology.  She hasn't.  I explain that Dr. C is a specialist in this area of fertility care and that is why.  Nurse wants Dr. S to call me back and speak with me personally.

2 hours later phone goes straight to voicemail!?  It is Dr. S.  I listen to his message and call him back.

He answers immediately and wants me to explain what is going on.  I tell him that I'm seeing a new OB who specializes in NaPro...ask him if he's ever heard of it.  He has not.

He immediately starts in on me asking why my new doc thinks it's necessary to do a follicle study considering my history.  Especially, he adds, when there is no research to back up doing a follicle study or assessing hormonal events throughout my cycle. 

What??  I'm thinking in my head about the 30+ years of research that NaPro is based on, but I can't really interject anything because he is continuing on in a diatribe about me being better off using techniques that insurance will cover that have had many years of research, and that he wants to make sure that I'm not having tests done unnecessarily, and why don't you just go here (a fertility clinic) because they helped him 10 years ago, and it's going to get really expensive really fast if your insurance doesn't cover this.  Well he knows darn well that we won't go certain routes because we've had that discussion in his office many times before.

He must have asked me 8-10 different times (I thought at one point about starting a tally to keep track) if I was sure I wanted to continue with this other doctor and aren't I sure I wouldn't rather start with injectible meds and give that a try first? 

Whew!  To say I was flustered and upset at the onslaught is understating it!  About the only thing I was able to affirm several times was that NaPro was the route that DH and I were now pursuing at this time and I trusted the judgement of my NaPro doc about which tests she thought we should undergo. 

Now...I don't want you to misunderstand.  I believe my OB (Dr. S) absolutely said all these things believing that he has my best interests in mind.  I think he honestly believes that I am about to get "taken" by some quack doctor who is going to take advantage of my infertile position and run all kinds of useless and expensive tests on me just to make a dime.  So I'm not mad at the way he reacted when I told him about new doc.

I am however, frustrated by the fact that he has never heard of NaPro and therefore knows nothing of what it might be able to do for me!  I pointed him to and I have to say that I am hopeful about what he might think once he looks into it....and oh boy, he will!  After my ectopic pregnancy we got into a discussion about the ethics of it all and once I explained my views as a Catholic (he is Jewish, I believe), he went and did his own research about what Catholics believe on this issue because he wanted to have an informed opinion to be able to better serve people like me.  Which I thought was really awesome! 

I just know he will come away with some insight after reading that website and getting linked to Pope Paul VI Institute's website!  So I am asking you to say a quick prayer for him right now!  And prayer buddy if you are reading this, please say a prayer for him that his heart would be open to learning about this technology!

All we can do is tell others, right?  God has to do the rest.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Delicious Dish Spotlight!

Okay I have to point the finger (in a good way) at Karen over at Hope-Pray-Trust!  She gave the recipe for Chocolate Stout Cake see: The Best Chocolate Cake EVER! and DH made it for me on Sunday and it was spectacular

We celebrated the Fourth of July with his side of the family and also had a late birthday celebration for me (which is why I didn't make the cake myself; can't make your own birthday cake, right?)  So DH volunteered and did an excellent job!  The only slight mishap was trying to remove the cake from the bundt pan before it totally there was a bit stuck inside the pan, resulting in a slightly misshapen cake...but it certainly did not take away from the taste! 

(DH with his cake...pic is taken outside because my camera wouldn't cooperate with the lighting inside, however you still cannot see the cake since it is dark and on my black plate!  At least DH and DD look cute!)

(Picture really just does not do it justice....just make it and taste it!  Your mouth will thank you!)

This cake was so awesome....I don't like overly super-sweet stuff and this was just perfect! 

Thanks Karen for posting that recipe, now everyone get over there and print it out!  It is definitely one for the recipe box!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

So excited about Prayer Buddies!!

Can you hear me giggling with excitement over here?  Well believe me, I am!

I am so excited to get to participate in Summer Prayer Buddies this time around...this is my first time joining in since I just discovered the wide world of Catholic infertile bloggers during Lent!

I think it will be very cool to focus a special part of my prayer time on this particular person to whom I've been assigned.  I do want people to know that there are lots (40 is lots to me!) of people who read my blog.  Most of you, I don't even know!  There are Catholics, Protestants, non-believers too who have taken the time to follow Mary Grace's story.  I have always spent my time praying for all of you!  I do not discriminate in my prayers.  I pray for all couples who are experiencing infertility or pregnancy loss.  I pray for people who have not experienced any of this.  I pray for those who have gone on to get pregnant; that their pregnancies would be successful and their children a tremendous blessing to them!  I lift you up at Communion, I offer up little sacrifices here and there throughout my day for you...If you read my blog, know that I have prayed, am praying and will continue to pray for you!  I pray for readers past, present and whatever situation you are in.

Do you know why you are special to me??  Because some way or another, God brought you to this blog!  God wanted you to be a part of Mary Grace's story, and that touches a mother's heart in a simple but deep way.

I am Catholic and my viewpoint is that of a Catholic!  Being a Catholic Christian shapes how I see and interact in the world.  I will not apologize for that.  There are many who will disagree with my viewpoint!  That is okay.  I am still praying for you regardless of the issues upon which we disagree.

With that being said, I have added a "Welcome!  I'm a Catholic!" disclaimer to my page (hey, just in case you didn't already know).  I think free speech is important on my blog as well as in the comment section; however I do ask that we be respectful of everyone.

Lord, I ask that You send Your Spirit in a special way to those who read this blog.  Please bless us our hearts and help us be conscious of the words we speak/type that they may be charitable and full of love.  Please open our hearts to both give and receive Your love in every situation; even those which seem most difficult to us at the time.