Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Tonight we had a lovefest with the animals.  All three were involved and committed to the playing with toys. The cats were so excited that they just about had an aneurysm. They were overloaded with joy at the experience of their life not being boring for 20 minutes.

David made some really delicious lemonade the day before yesterday. He used half the recommended amount of lemonade mix (Countrytime) and then sweetened it up with Sweet n low. Then he added four slices of lemon to soak. And it is sooooo tasty. And pretty. I am addicted. Usually full strength lemonade leaves me feeling a sugar overload, but this stuff is nice, light, and refreshing. And it doesn't leave my lips feeling sticky.

Yesterday we drove all 35 minutes over to our adoption agency. I wanted to meet our new caseworker in person before the homestudy, and we had the last of our paperwork all gathered up to turn in. She was SO nice!! She seemed to really like us, and was way more on the ball and accommodating than the last guy. She is also really good about getting back to us quickly. She went ahead and gave us a tentative time and date for the homestudy! I was impressed because their initial policy line is, "I'll check and see who is available, and after the director looks over your file and approves it we will get back to you." But this awesome lady was just like, "You know what? I have some free time, so I'll just do it. Can I put you down for next Monday?" Can I say again that she is awesome? And she emailed today to let us know that the director is fine with it, and she will see us Monday morning at 10:30. Great!

Before we went to the agency we stopped by the hospital to get my blood drawn for another test. They are looking at my progesterone levels to see if I ovulated this time. There is some doubt in my mind if I did or not, because there was a big mix-up and I didn't end up taking the Ovidrel shot, which would help trigger ovulation. I forgot to call and tell the pharmacist when to fill the prescription, so when we needed it, they hadn't ordered it yet. Doh. So I freaked out a little, and then just decided to stop worrying about it and let God work in this. If He wants me to get pregnant, nothing will stop it. If He doesn't, then nothing will make it happen. I know I will soon be a mommy either by adoption or by biology, and that He delights in creating families, so I feel secure. He has promised to make the barren woman a happy mother of children. And sometimes that is through adoption. Not everyone clings to and claims that promise, but I do. And I think that some women who struggle with fertility problems end up being very fruitful spiritual mothers, even if they don't get to raise as many (or any) children in their home as they would have liked.

Last weekend we went up to IKEA and finally bought a crib and changing table. We wanted to have it all set up and put together for the safety inspection. I am super pumped about it.  The nursery is pretty much in order now, except I still want to get a rocking chair for the nursery and a bassinet for our bedroom.  Also, I need to get two changing pads- one for upstairs and one for downstairs. And there's a whole list of other stuff I need to get, but I'm sure that someone will want to throw a shower and I can register for some of this stuff.

So, I find out tomorrow morning if I ovulated or not. I am anxious to hear. And I have 5 days left til the homestudy.  This is the big one, folks. The one we have been nervous about since we first started the process. The one where the agency decides if we are sane and stable enough to take in a baby, and if they like us enough to help us do so. I don't know of any reason they wouldn't decide in our favor on both of those topics, but I am nervous about being judged all the same. 

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Dreaming of Quiche

I have had this insatiable craving to gaze longingly at pictures and recipes of quiche lately. I'm hesitant and quakey at the idea of actually trying to make one, but the pictures of them just look so, so, so good. So I just thrill myself with a handful of Raisinets and a couple hours of perusing food blogs with pictures and recipes of other people's quiches. Lorraine, asparagus, broccoli, even cheeseburger... they all melt my butter.  I am an equal-opportunity quiche admirer.

Today I took my last dose of estradiol and dexamethasone (i.e., hormone supplement and steroid). If my ovaries were a high school football team, the meds I take each cycle would loosely be characterized: Clomid as the coach, estradiol as the cheerleaders, and dexamethasone as the parent coalition. The Clomid tells the ovaries to make the eggs, the estradiol supports the development, and the dexamethasone (the steroid) keeps everyone from acting up.

Anyway, at this point I feel like I would do anything for a baby. I would even like to just borrow one for awhile. The hormones are running high, and I have a bad case of the baby-gimmes.

We now have a scheduled date for our safety inspection of our house. We are doing our best to jump back into the process of getting approved to adopt, and that is the second to last step.  The final step is the home study.

This whole adoption journey has been complicated.  It's a practical, time-consuming, and emotional journey all rolled into one. We went through a phase in the last four months or so where we both got pretty overwhelmed by it all and just needed to stick our heads in the sand for a while. After all, this isn't like buying a goldfish.  This is an eternal, human life we're considering incorporating into our household for the long-haul, and training, teaching, and discipling for the glory of God. That, and ultimately we have the same issues as every human being on the face of the earth.  We are subject to fear and selfishness.

We debated for a while whether or not we were pursuing adoption to please God or to try and circumvent His plan and fulfill our desires for a child ourselves. We want a family so badly, and we wanted to be careful that we weren't rushing forward by our own purposes and designs like Abraham and Sarah did with Hagar. We want to trust God with our family, and sometimes it gets a little confusing trying to tell which direction he wants us to go.

So, we took a break. And, I had my surgery.  I decided that it would be good to make sure that I am healthy before we deliberately take on more responsibility. It would be one thing if God had just gone, "BAM! Baby!" and I got pregnant the way I was- obviously He knows best and would have sustained me through it. It's another thing to initiate a child's arrival ourselves while in a condition that's not conducive to being the best mommy I can be.

The break was also nice because we went through a very stressful period where well-meaning friends and family members suggested different scenarios where a baby might be available for adopting or need a home. I know that each time my friend/family member's heart was in the right place, but each time was such an emotional roller coaster. This happened three times, and by the time January was on its way out I was exhausted. I even went through a phase where my heart cried out, "God, if You decide to miraculously cause us to conceive a baby, fine. But I'm really okay with just my husband and my cat."

Thankfully I have pulled through, and am firmly on the other side of those sentiments. I once again feel emotionally secure and capable of survivng the process and cherishing children of my own. The desperation and impatience isn't eating me alive anymore.

I know some may wonder if it's wise to jump back into pursuing adoption while we are trying to conceive naturally as well. I wonder that, too. I also know that the more avenues I am pursuing the less anxious and obsessed I feel about each particular one. Having both options open clears the air, and helps me feel secure that it is going to happen. And not pursuing both avenues leaves me feeling sad.  I have a very strong feeling that God wants to build our family in both ways, and I am excited to see what he is going to do.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Tomatoes and Eggs

I was so, so tempted to buy me some baby chicks today. David is so, so lucky that I chose instead to distract myself at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  As a result, there are now ruffles adorning our shower and a spiffy new set of shelves for holding towels, and no baby chicks making the noise with the peeping.... And yes, I am aware that I just finished using a whole lot of really bad English.  I felt like it.

We started off this morning with the doctor. David had to get some blood drawn, and then I went for an appointment with the fertility doc to count eggs.  This is my second round of Clomid. They found one egg/ follicle. I was a little disappointed.  I was hoping for two or three follicles, in hopes that it would give us better odds of just getting one baby, but as a wise friend of mine pointed out: "All you need is one." We are hoping that I get the benefit that others have noted of increased fertility post-hystersalpingogram. They did that test on me Monday- they injected some dye into my innards to make sure my Fallopian tubes were all clear.  They say that doing that test kind of flushes everything around and refreshes things, and gives a temporary spurt of increased fertility. It wasn't pleasant. It also wasn't the worst thing ever, but I would prefer not to do it again.

So, after the egg hunt and doctor visit was over, I dropped D off at work, and then proceeded to merrily gallavant around the town, tra-la, tra-la, tra-la-la-la-la, flinging coins to the peasants and twirling ribbons. And found myself wandering around a plant nursery daydreaming about making my way home with a truckload of flowers. To decorate the coop for the baby chicks. And maybe a duckling for good measure....

David and I have been talking about planting a garden, and honestly, the idea is just too scary for me at this point.  But I salivate over the thought of fresh-picked tomatoes. And fried green tomatoes.... droooool.... So, I bought a couple of patio tomato plants that can stay in their little pots they came in and still sprout off a few fruits before they wither and die. I am delighted. And tickled pink. And a little giddy....

Then, to top it all off, I went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond and got a few little things to give my master bath a facelift. And now my house is the proud owner of gratuitous ruffles.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Feeling Weigh Down

This is the second day I have felt completely terrible. David passed on a doozy of a bug to me! I can't eat anything without feeling queasy and disgusted, and drinking isn't much better.  I have been doing my best to stay hydrated despite it all, though. I have discovered G2 Raspberry Lemonade. It tastes great, which increases my minuscule amount of desire to drink it.... Also, it isn't quite as loaded with empty calories as normal Gatorade, and it helps replace electrolytes.

In our house, Gatorade is now referred to as "my Alligator", due to the overwhelming cuteness of one of our friends' sons. His name is Judson. He is two. I bought him and his sisters Sonic slushies last week, and the entire afternoon he was beside himself with glee over his Gatorade slush, which he called "my alligator." Love!

The upside of feeling bad is that my diet has taken care of itself lately.  I have gotten to the point post-surgery where I can eat enough to not lose anymore weight-- especially if I am bad and eat foods classified as "sliders". Sliders are anything with high carbs/ high sugars that slide right through the sleeve. Things like candy, chocolate, crackers, chips, etc. Fruits and Vegetables also slide pretty easy, but they don't count as bad foods since they are high in nutrition and low in calories. The addition of dips, dressings, butter, oil, etc. would change their status to bad, though. If I am good about sticking to my eating plan, and stick to mostly meat and vegetables, I am not quite at the place where I can eat enough to gain weight. Meat and protein-rich foods stay in the sleeve longer, and make you full much quicker.

Anyway, the point is that I haven't wanted to eat anything in 24 hours, let alone the bad stuff. It hasn't been pleasant, but it will be nice to see the weight go down with little effort. My wonderful David has been so good to me, and has indulged my whims for liquids just to make sure I don't get dehydrated. Also, he is bringing me home some Orange Sherbet Push-pops. I love them.

This whole weight loss surgery process has made for an interesting few months. David has been so supportive and understanding throughout it all. The week before the surgery last December, he bought me a recliner for me to sleep in while I was recovering (I read on several message boards that this was a must-have, and I highly recommend it). It is now my favoritest place to sit in the whole house. For a good 8 weeks after surgery I was almost completely miserable.  I didn't want to do anything. All I wanted to do was sit in my chair and either sleep or read a book. I had a few spurts of energy here and there, and I was super encouraged seeing the weight come flooding off, but for about 85% of the time I felt terrible and had to try very hard to be pleasant. Plus I had to make 3 separate trips to the ER. David was my champion through it all.

I don't know that there's any deep, significant truths or reflections in all this. I'm sure there are, but sometimes it takes time for them to find words. I am just so glad that I have a faithful God and a faithful spouse to walk with me, even through the yucky times.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Back After Another Hiatus

I just realized it has been an incredibly long time since I have posted anything! Again!

 So, to update, the adoption stuff is on hold. We still want to, but we decided to take few months and see if we can have a baby naturally. In the meantime, Trinket is getting plenty of cuddles.

Also, we decided to move forward in finding Zenzi a new home. We knew we would have to do it eventually, since she never met a child she didn't want to test her teeth on. It's been one month since we said goodbye, and I have gotten several updates from her foster mommy that she is doing really, really well. She loves having other Keeshonds to play with, and her sleeping arrangement has been upgraded to being in bed all night with her beloved peoples.

Another major change around here is that I had weight loss surgery last December. I have lost about 60 pounds so far! This is another reason why we wanted to give pregnancy a shot. Of course, we don't believe in doing anything to prevent a pregnancy, I just use that language to signify our using fertility meds. Today was the beginning of my second round of Clomid. I am also going in less than a week for a hysterosalpingogram, which is a test to make sure that my Fallopian tubes are clear, and don't have some kind of blockage preventing pregnancy. We are praying that everything is clear and that this round is successful. They checked out my ovaries yesterday to make sure everything looked good before starting this round of Clomid, and it all looked great. This is the first time in two years that I am completely cyst-free!

The biggest thing lately has just been an onslaught of illness- David came home Monday with a violent stomach bug, and promptly shared it with me. It has been a little miserable around here the last three days. This is also the week that our church is doing VBS, and I am supposed to be helping. I made it Monday and today, but I'm not sure if I will be going back. Puking on the kids would be a bad thing, I think.

We also just got back in town from Louisiana- we were there over the weekend for an Above Rubies retreat/ family camp. We met several new friends, and were so encouraged gathering together with like-minded believers.

That's about all I can come up with at the moment. Prayers for wellness and a bouncing bundle are appreciated always!