Monday, July 29, 2013

Monday Munchies...Moving Edition

So our kitchen is all packed up...
We've been eating take out/fast food for days...

I think in honor of that, this week's recipe will be for a breakfast fast food.

I love me some Dunkin Donuts, in fact, as I type, I'm eating my egg and cheese on a toasted everything bagel that's left over from today's morning run pre-movers.  

Back when we had a microwave, my husband had figured out a way to use the microwave the create the egg part of the sandwich, and then adding in a slice of cheese and toasting an English muffin or a bagel is a piece of bread piece of cake!

So without further ado...the recipe is from Tastes Better From Scratch

I also love me some eggs with a broken yolk...yum!!!

Broken Yolk Breakfast Sandwhich 
Sourdough English Muffin
1 Egg
Cheese
Bacon
Tomato 

 Crack egg into a hot skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Cook 1-2 minutes and then flip. Place 2 pieces of cheddar cheese on the egg, and remove from heat.
Cook 2 pieces of bacon, and place on top of the egg.
Toast the English muffin. Put egg, cheese, and bacon on the muffin. Top with a thin slice of tomato.


  


If you end up making this, let me know how it goes.
And then come over and cook for me!

Friday, July 26, 2013

An official countdown...

So I'm writing from my phone-let's see how this goes. It doesn't look I have the ability to do much, other than type and use pictures from my phone.

First of all, I want to let you know that I have a blog schedule-all nicely writen out in my calendar. Isn't there a saying, something about having the best intentions....

Anyway-I'm WAY behind on letting you all in on my thoughts, opinions and plans for welcoming, G-d willing, our third child in the upcoming weeks.

But most importantly, we have an official countdown!!!!

17 days
2.5 weeks
2 more IVIG treatments 

And then we will FINALLY be able to meet this fiesty, drama causing child of ours! 

Let's back up shall we...

Last week we had an ultrasound and a meeting with the second in command.  The ultrasound looked great, the baby is developing as it should.  No new bleeds, and everything just.looks.good! Thank  G-d!!! 

With the confirmation that things are progressing as they should, we were offered two choices: to just do a c-section, or perform a PUBS and check the baby's platelets to determine if a c-section is required or if it's high enough, to move forward with an induction. 

Here's where it gets a little tricky.  The PUBS is done, typically, between 34-36 weeks as an outpatient procedure.  However, everyone agrees that it wasn't the best idea to do this procedure and risk a complication at 34/35 weeks.  So, everyone feels that the PUBS is a reasonable option, but only with constant monitoring after.  

What we've decided is that at 38 weeks 4 days, aka August 12, in the early evening, I will be admitted and will undergo the PUBS. 

Want to know how the PUBS is done? A needle is inserted through my stomach and into the umbilical cord.  That way, a sample of the baby's blood can be taken and tested.  Sounds super exciting right?

I will be having an epidural beforehand.  The PUBS will be done and if a c-section is required I will already be prepped with my epidural! If a natural delivery is allowed, then an induction will begin.  I'm not too nervous about forcing labor before my body is ready and then ending up with a c-section; this is my third birth and the other two times I walked around dilated to 3 cm for weeks!!!!  So I'm hopeful that an induction would be successful -I am not anticipating a quick labor by ANY means, it'll be a looong night!!!

The doctor on call is the second in command and will be there through the night, so hopefully she'll deliver.  If a c-section is needed, she will be there, but so will the highest of the highs.  

At this time they do not think a
C-section will be required and they don't think the baby will require any NICU time! Although they will do an ultrasound of the brain to confirm all is well.  I'm not holding my breath though-I think every time I've let myself breathe a sigh of relief, something else has popped up!   I'm trying to mentally prepare myself for either possibility. 

So, here I sit, for my third to last IVIG, as the final countdown is officially ON!!!

Now to survive my move this week...

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Third times a charm...

I hope...

This is the third summer in a row we're moving.  
Only one of the moves has been planned.
It gets harder and harder to pack up and move, as we're accumulating not only more stuff, but more kids!!!! 
I feel terrible that my kids have to go through another few weeks of a house turned upside down, pizza for dinner every night, missing toys, and too many babysitters!
But, it is what it is, and thank goodness my parents are in again, for our annual move!
Oh please let this be it for awhile...

I've been stressing the arrangement of furniture, matching decor to the undesirable olden day kitchen and bathroom, and trying to not break the bank.  
Oh how I love Craigslist.  
 
You can follow my  
board on Pintrest.

Here are some of my pinspirations

 Via

 Via

 Via

 Via



I can't wait to show you what I've come up with!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Monday Munchies...

I'm guilty of falling into a meal routine.  
I often find myself like a song on repeat when it comes to weekly meal planning.  
I know there are a bunch of services out there that for a small fee will create meal plans and shopping lists for you.  And while that sounds great-I am restricted because of keeping kosher.  
But sometimes, a great idea will pop into my head!  
Or, particularly a craving.  
For meatballs!!!

I love meatballs because they're delicious, but I have come across an incredibly simple recipe.  Only problem was-the cookbook is packed.  
And I didn't have time to search on-line for one that would suffice.  
So, I used my knowledge from making the turkey loaf, and what I could remember from the actual recipe, and I created a meat mixture.  
I hoped it would work!
My kids will tell you that it definitely worked!

So what's the rule of thumb?
It goes by weight of meat.  For every lb of meat-use 1 egg, and 1/4 cup of flavored bread crumbs.  You could also add chopped onion, but since the bread crumbs are flavored you don't need the additional flavoring.  

There are many options when it comes to cooking and sauces but I enjoy boiling on the stove top.  I think it ensures a better cook, and it's minimal work-just dump them in, stir occasionally

On a whim meatballs
Meat mixture:
2 lb. ground beef
1/2 cup flavored bread crumbs 
2 eggs. 

Sauce:
2 jars marinera
2 cans cranberry jelly-with whole cranberries.  
*the sauce can probably be halved, but I find it easier to have more sauce because there's more liquid for the meatballs to be placed into initially-which is when they're fragile and mixing them at that point always makes me nervous!!!

Combine the marinera and the cranberry jelly in a pot, bring to a boil. 



Combine the beef, bread crumbs and eggs in one large pot.
Now, honestly, using your hands to mix it all together is your best bet-I always try to bypass this part, however, other utensils just don't cut it!  


Once your meat is mixed and the sauce has boiled, begin taking small pieces of the meat mixture and roll it in your hand to make a meat ball.  
Then place it in the sauce.  
*Once the meatballs are all in the sauce, lower the sauce to as low as it can go-and let the meatballs cook for 45 minutes or until they appear done. 


Not only are meatballs delicious, but they store well-in the refrigerator and in the freezer!  I often times make a large batch and freeze in individual child servings.  

Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Handmade...with love

My three year old loves to "go to work."
What does that mean?
His work is to create endless piles of scribbles, finger painting and stickers stuck on construction paper.  
Although I will admit, his resume did improve this year with school.  
We don't have endless wall space, and I do love hanging on to his masterpieces.
Handmade...with love
 Although not all of it is worth saving-contrary to his belief!  
For instance, while doing some organizing and packing I came across a pile of white printer paper-probably 10 sheets, at least, all scribbled with yellow marker. 
Mr. Piccaso I tell ya! 
Yeah, they're no longer with us.

Sometimes I find good excuses to get rid of the artwork-last Chanukah I laminated as many of the bigger drawings and paintings as I could and laminated them and sent them off for family as homemade place mats!  I think it went over well!  
A lot of his projects now are holiday related, so I put those away with our other holiday decorations.  
But because of the move-all of his artwork had to be taken down.  
Our little hallway of masterpieces was seriously one of my favorite places in the house...aside from the bathroom with my favorite shower curtain.  I kid, I kid.  

I've loved hanging all his artwork on our art hanger-original inspiration found on the one and only Pintrest.  
It has also been a wonderful year of growth for Moshe and I've loved hanging up his weekly letter.

With the move, things had to come down.  I used this opportunity to explain to Moshe that not only were we moving, but we had to make room for all of the wonderful work he'll bring home from school next year!  
He was cool with it.  

But I didn't want to throw out everything-so we made piles for all of our family members and sent them off. 
After a really annoying trip to Staples, where I was informed that one sheet of lamination costs over $2, I bought a laminator on Amazon and laminated all the letters, along with a couple other book-like projects,  made a cover and back cover page and will have them bound.  
I will show you a finished product soon-the binding is on my To-do list for next week.  

But I also had to decide what I wanted to do with some things that didn't fit into the holiday specific category, or book category, and I just didn't want to send off-like the things with his pictures.  Or the mothers day heart he made me where he told me I make yummy pancakes.  

Another Pintrest idea was to buy file folder storage and make a folder for each year.  
So that's exactly what  I did.


For now, his work fit nicely into this file folder that is in a container!
Thank you Container Store for always coming to the rescue!  

And, my favorite part, is how I labeled the bin itself


Handmade with love...yes indeed! 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Monday Munchies...

We have an important fast occurring tonight through tomorrow night.
As in no drinking or eating...
Of course that means we must indulge in a rather satisfying meal beforehand.  
I made baked spaghetti and red lentil soup.
But then this afternoon I realized I hadn't planned for dessert.
And what's a real meal without dessert?
Going to the store to purchase a pre-made dessert wasn't an option due to time constraints and taking care of a few obligations at the new place.  So I racked my brain some...and realized I basically had the ingredients for cake or cookies on hand.  
I chose the latter.  

A friend recently asked me for the recipe, and although I've known of this recipe for years, it has been quite some time since I've made it.  I don't have the original one anymore-I think it died with our old laptop, but a quick search on the interwebs and it was revealed to me!

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick plus 3 tablespoons (11 total tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature 
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar 
1/4 cup sugar 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
5 oz bittersweet chocolate-chopped or chips

Combine the flour, cocoa, and baking soda-sift. If you've noticed, I try to cut out unnecessary steps-and sifting is one of them.  I mixed the dry ingredients with a fork and tried to rid the mix of any lumps and bumps. 

 Beat the butter.
 Add in the sugars, salt and vanilla and beat for 2 minutes


Slowly add in the dry ingredients-mix as minimal as possible.  You will work with the dough by hand, so it's ok if the flour is not mixed in perfectly.  Plus, the less the dough is handled, the better.  


Mix the chocolate chips-just until blended


Place the dough on a workable surface and roll into a 1 1/2 in in diameter log and wrap in cellophane.



 The directions say to refrigerate for 3 hours, however-I don't usually have time to do that, especially not today when I made this on a whim.  So I wrapped it and froze it.  
It was frozen within an hour and a half.  
Use a sharp knife to cut the log into 1/2 inch pieces.  
The dough does not have to defrost before baking, just bake for one minute longer-325 for 12 minutes, so if frozen, 13 minutes in this case.

The cookies do not look done-not at all, but once they cool, they will stay together and they will be amazing!    

The dough can remain in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and in the freezer for 3 months.

I can tell you without a doubt-these cookies will definitely bring about peace-maybe not world peace, but my house was peaceful while we enjoyed these delightful cookies! 


Monday, July 15, 2013

Onto the 9!!!

I can't believe we've made it this far! 
The homestretch...
Single digits...
Let the madness begin!

I think there has been a lack of overall pregnancy updates-mainly due to being overwhelmed with the medical aspect of this pregnancy.
I've been holding my breath for awhile...still doesn't seem real that this will work out.
I'm trying to not think like that...
And I'm definitely acting as if a live baby is going to be living with us in a few weeks, and I pray to G-d that's the case....


 Total weight gain/loss: 45 lbs.  I totally forgot all about weighing myself on my own scale, minus breakfast, lunch and clothes! Those few pounds really make a difference!  It's not as bad as I thought, so I'm continuing to enjoy my icecream.  Hey, it's really hot and humid!




Maternity clothes? They don't fit, I feel like I have nothing to wear...everything I do wear just showcases my lovely rolls-oh well.  Most people I've encountered think pregnancy is beautiful, so it appears that no one is looking at me the way I look at me.  Although my dad has started asking me point blank, "so, how big are you?" 
I get big, I know...oh well.  
As my husband reminded me-wouldn't you rather look good after pregnancy than during? 
True, he has a point-but why can't it be during both?
I guess beggars can't be choosers.  
I did buy my second and third non-maternity, post baby clothing items-some cardigans, that were 40% off at GAP, can't wait to wear them!





Sleep: Waking up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, and I need lots of pillows, and my hips hurt, and my heartburn is out of control....





Best moment this month: Hmm...IVIG has become a weekly part of my life, I've become friends with the nurses, I have a routine. 




Movement:TONS!I still love that mostly when I start to freak out, I get a kick, which is great.  But the movements are also starting to hurt...





Exercise:What's that? Even walking hurts...


 

Gender: We know and some friends and family have been let in on the secret. 





Labor Signs: Nope! Definitely having the braxton hicks-which have never happened to me before. They're no fun!!! Not painful, just annoying-it's like this weighted ball pulls me over.





Belly Button in or out?Mainly out





What I miss:running, feeling healthy, not having rolls of fat, breathing.  But it's fine, I've done this before.




What I am looking forward to: Appointment Wednesday with the Highest of the Highs, his colleague and a tour of the NICU.  We've definitely solidified that the birth will be taking place at the academic hospital near me.  I'm sad to not be delivering at the place where I had the boys-only because I know it.  I also have no idea who will deliver me.  I know, typically, your OB will not be the one to deliver you.  It happens to be that I had him deliver both of my boys.  So, I'm a little upset to have that pattern disrupted. I'll be more nervous if we do end up going with a c-section, because again-it won't be my doctor.  But he's promised me he'll meet with them, I'll meet with them, and he'll give them thorough instructions and what they better do! 



New Symptoms:  My hips are really bothering me in the morning.  I definitely own the pregnancy waddle.  

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

To test or not to test...

Given the nature of this blog, one might think I'm referring to pee sticks.
Also known as pregnancy tests for all you fertiles.  
But, given my current state, we don't need a pee stick to know that I am with child. 

And I'm not talking about a pee stick anyway.
I'm talking about preimplantation genetic diagnosis-PGD.
This is where the embryo is screened prior to a transfer for any type of chromosomal abnormalities/genetic diseases.  It's not 100% fool proof, but it's a worthwhile option that many people rely on when it's necessary.

I didn't think PGD would be something I would have to think about, but because of the Neonatal Alloimmune Thrombocytopenia (NAIT), it has been mentioned.
Even I know I'm crazy, but we want more kids.  
So we've had to discuss with our doctors how to address our situation.
At first it seemed like a no brainer-we would find out from the blood center what the deal was with my husband's blood-does the NAIT appear to be present 100% of the time, or only 50%?
If it's 100% of the time, then the only way to get around that would be to use donor sperm.  
If it's 50% of the time we could then do PGD on our embryos and remove the ones from our pool that present with NAIT.  Or use a gestational carrier for the ones that do have NAIT.

Fine, PGD seemed like a great option, no problemo-I'd screen my embryos today
But then it hit me, and I had one of those walk two moons moments.
Ever read that book? Walk Two Moons, a childhood favorite. 

I have seen so many fellow bloggers go through unsuccessful cycles-be it IUIs or failed transfers.  And a lot of times they had reactions that I couldn't understand.  And I'll be honest, I thought their reactions were kind of foolish.  To have a failed cycle or transfer, and to then mourn the loss of your babies seemed ridiculous to me.  It wasn't a baby, it was some cells that had the potential, but in no way was it like actually losing a baby.  I would venture to believe that someone who had a miscarriage, or a baby born still, would be able to empathize, but at the same time tell you it's different.  

And then I walked two moons.  
I had to face the reality that screening the embryos means I might very well have to get rid of an embryo, or more. 
And I can't do that.  
And now I get it. Those four remaining embryos that have been in storage for over four years now, are my babies.  
We plan on giving them every opportunity to join our family when the time is right.  I can't say for sure how my emotions will run if a transfer doesn't work-I've never experienced it before, but after realizing I might be faced with discarding any of them, I get it.
I can't.  
I won't.  
Truth is, I can't even say that we decided we won't screen. Because that's not true.  I decided I won't screen.  
When weighing the options-discard the embryo or commit to IVIG for 28+ weeks-it's a no brainer.  I have insurance coverage for the IVIG, and all it is is a time suck for me.  But I can't imagine having discarded this embryo-which G-d willing in a few short weeks will be my third child.  
What if we discarded one of the boys as an embryo?
I really can't fathom discarding an embryo, one of my babies, because I don't want to be inconvenienced.  

I obviously understand the need to discard if the condition is life threatening or impacts the baby's quality of life, but that is not the case here.  
Just a little inconvenience.  
And I'll inconvenience myself any day for my babies. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Monday Munchies...

I've already let you all in on my love for desserts that are assigned to the breakfast category.
I love it even more when I can find a way to make them healthy.
I love it even more when it means using up ingredients from our freezer!!!!
That's right folks-moving preparation has begun!

What does this week's Monday Munchies have to do with moving?
Frozen bananas. 
Sounds funny right?  Well, before we started going through bananas like toilet paper, I would buy a bunch, and regularly have browning bananas.  My husband and I are both finicky when it comes to bananas.  Slightest bit brown-goner.  
So I would either be throwing them out or convincing myself I should freeze them and I definitely make something out of them. 
I think when we moved last summer I threw out 14 frozen bananas. 
This time, I only had 6, and I didn't feel like throwing them out.  
So, what better excuse than to make banana bread!

Banana Bread
2 cups all purpose flour
*whole wheat 
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
*1/2 cup apple sauce
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 1/3 cup mashed banana
*1/2 cup chocolate chips

You can see the changes I made to the ingredients, and I can tell you it tastes delish, although anything with chocolate chips is golden in my book!

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar.
 The recipe calls for a separate bowl to combine the eggs and mashed bananas, but I used one bowl-plus the defrosted bananas just mush right up-I mixed everything with a spoon.  


 Pour into greased loaf pan, bake at 350 for60-65 minutes.  I don't even pay attention to time when it comes to these loafs because I find the time really varies by oven, and how the recipe was altered.  

I would say my bread was in the oven for about 45 minutes.  I just pay attention to the browning on top and how jiggly it feels and looks when I take it out of the oven.  If it looks like batter between the cracks in the top, I'll put it back in for about another 8-10 minutes.  
I have no idea why, but when putting things back in the oven, 8 is my go-to number.
But 3 is my lucky number...just sayin' 


Truthfully, I was expecting a harsher taste considering I did straight whole wheat flour and applesauce.  
However, this did not disappoint!
I can't wait to give this to my boys tomorrow morning with breakfast!
 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

July 4



Today has been a day filled with excitement!
Can you sense the sarcasm? 
Now, don't get me wrong-I am happy to be spending the time with my boys, and I wouldn't trade it for anything-well, maybe a nap and some quiet time.  
The thing is-when your husband's a resident, it's a little tough.  
Ok, a lot tough. 

My husband is working nights this week which means I'm pretty much the single parent.  
I couldn't get the errands done I needed to get done this week.
I have to do every household task myself because the hours my husband is home, he's just not capable of doing anything helpful around the house-for instance, he comes home many times after the boys are gone for the day-so I have made breakfast and lunch.
He gets home late enough that he rises and gets dressed just in time to greet the boys as they walk in the door, eat dinner with us, and go to work-all before the bedtime routine.  
I used to think I was supermom and could handle it all-duh, I babysat triplets+1 and would take them everywhere!
Heck we even spent 3 days at my grandparents in Indiana!
 I'm not supermom, I give up, I surrender!  
Just please stop 
hitting
kicking
biting
whining
running
 spitting
 grabbing
jumping out of your seat
spilling your water
trying to climb out of the cart 
touching all the candy at the checkout aisle 

Ok, I wasn't meant to be a single parent-I don't know how they do it!!!

But aside from that, it's been a good day, and it's quiet. 
My husband took the boys to a BBQ we were invited to. I decided it was too hot to join, and I just needed to eat my ice cream in silence
and no-I don't share! Guess I can't blame the kids now...

Anyway, there's just something about that Memorial Day/July 4th attire that I absolutely adore.
Plus, who isn't drawn to the navy and white striped.
It's a running joke between my husband and I that if it's navy and white striped, I'm on it-I'm all over it if it has gold buttons! 
Here are some kiddie outfits I put together...
July 4




And just because I didn't attend that BBQ I was so looking forward to
I'm not being sarcastic there, I really was looking forward to it...
Not to worry, I didn't send my boys empty handed

  photo.JPG 
Happy 4th!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A Journey to Parenthood

This months A Journey to Parenthood is a story that I truly treasure and admire.  
I've relied on her more times than I can count for advice, support, guidance and love. 
 She encapsulates the true meaning of finding the silver lining.
I know it's not easy to be successful at that, and it didn't come easy for her.  
I've witnessed her struggle for years now; I've seen her morph before my eyes, and she's even more of an inspiration now than she was when I first met her. 
She was with me through all my initial cycles-I even had to have injections administered at her apartment when we were visiting. 
She's been with me through it all-three times now.
And I, again, have to ask G-d why?
Why me and not her?
I don't know the answer, and I know she doesn't know the answer, but I'm so thankful for the preservation of our friendship through my success and her trying times.  
I could have easily lost her-in fact, I thought I would, I knew I would. 
However, she's stood by me, and this battle is not easy, but if there's anyone who can handle this journey with such grace, beauty and determination-it's her.  
I can't wait to see what the future holds!

***************************************************************

I’m not sure when things changed. There was a certain point during our infertility journey when I transitioned from feeling depressed and miserable with our situation, to feeling love and satisfaction with the life that God has given us. That’s not to say that I don’t still want a child. I do, very much. But in the interim, between fertility treatments, I’m learning to focus on the good that I’ve been given in my life. And I can say with certainty that this wasn’t always the case.

I was diagnosed with PCOS in high school and my OB-GYN put me on birth control to regulate my periods. Before I got married, I mentioned to my husband that I had this condition but he wasn’t worried. He explained that he was marrying me and was willing to go through any potential struggles together.
I wasn’t too concerned about having babies at the beginning of our marriage. I knew that my parents had struggled with infertility for 5 years before they had me, so I didn’t feel pressure to try getting pregnant immediately. Anyways, the issues that my parents had encountered were totally unrelated to anything that my husband and I had.

After one and a half years of marriage, we started trying for a baby. I went to the Reproductive Endocrinologist from the very beginning, knowing that I had PCOS and probably would need assistance. We tried Clomid for three months with zero results, besides for me feeling moody. During that time, my husband and I took a belated honeymoon to Israel. I remember crying and crying on that trip. We stayed in an area of Israel that was heavily populated with young families. I was feeling so emotional from the medication and had an ominous feeling that our struggle with infertility wouldn’t be short-term.

That summer, we moved from New York to Chicago and were referred to a new Reproductive Endocrinologist. This new doctor was part of FCI – Fertility Clinic of Illinois – a huge corporation specializing in fertility treatment, especially catering towards women starting families in their late thirties and early forties. The doctor at FCI decided not to put me on another round of Clomid because it made me very depressed. Instead, he decided to start preparing me for IUI (intrauterine insemination). Usually doctors try other ways of inducing ovulation (such as Metformin) before moving onto IUI’s but I think we skipped this step after the doctor saw how little I responded to Clomid.

I was not a candidate for IUI because my ovaries hyperstimulated, producing so many eggs that it was dangerous and near-impossible for me to become pregnant like this. The doctor took another look at my ovaries, saw that I continued to present with signs of PCOS, and decided I was a prime candidate for IVF. So at the age of 23 years old and after 6 months off of birth control – we began cycling.

Shortly before we married, I had been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis – an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that affects the lining of the large intestine (colon) and rectum. Crohn's disease is a related condition. I had been in remission approximately 6 months before we started IVF. Once we began treatment, I consistently experienced ulcerative colitis symptoms, including frequent and painful diarrhea, bloody BM’s, and nutritional deficiencies. I needed to go on short doses of steroids to keep my GI system running smoothly in addition to the strain that the fertility drugs put upon my reproductive system.     

We underwent 2 back-to-back IVF cycles, and both failed. At this point, we had been cycling for the better part of 8 months. I was exhausted physically, emotionally, and mentally. I needed to take a break from fertility treatment and regain my health.

I was accepted to graduate school around this point in time and so I chose to take a more laid-back approach to fertility treatments as a result of extra demands on my time. About one year into graduate school, a friend who had also been suffering from infertility, underwent a laproscopy –  a surgery that uses a thin, lighted tube put through an incision in the belly to look at the female pelvic organs to find problems such as cysts, adhesions, fibroids , and infection. She also underwent ovarian drilling. While this procedure is controversial, it has a fairly high success rate in treating PCOS.

This surgery proved to be enormously effective in my friend’s case. Adhesions and scarring were found on her uterus, and the doctor was able to scrape these out. Soon after, my friend was able to conceive naturally. Inspired, I decided to try the laproscopy and ovarian drilling procedures also. We switched from the RE practice that we had been using, to my friend’s doctor, part of IHR (Institute for Human Production) in Illinois. I underwent the surgery and soon after, I experienced a light period without any medication. I was so excited! I was convinced that this was the end of my fertility journey.

But this was not the case. I went off birth control, became an avid subscriber of acupuncture and homeopathic medicine, and still wasn’t pregnant after a year. Finally, we decided to do our third IVF. I entered this cycle very optimistic and determined to really take care of my overall health with this treatment.
I became pregnant last summer. The emotions that ran through me were amazing! I never thought this day would come. But as I underwent blood tests to confirm a healthy pregnancy, my doctor noticed that my beta levels weren’t rising appropriately. After 2 weeks, the doctor determined this was an ectopic pregnancy, and I needed two doses of Methotrexate to completely abort the embryo. This was a painful and devastating experience and my GI symptoms also spun out of control.

Finally, this past spring, we underwent another IVF cycle and the embryo transfer was unsuccessful. But we still have hope. I don’t know when God will provide us with a baby, but I believe that it will happen. And I continue to look at this entire journey as a gift – for appreciating the beauty and miracle of life, understanding the power of kindness, love, and friendship; and the intimacy with God that comes with tears and heartfelt prayer.    

Monday, July 1, 2013

Monday Munchies...

So, I don't actually have a recipe to showcase today...
I wanted to do something in honor of the 4th, but since that's a few days away, I figured I'd show you some recipes I'm interested in, as well as the one I plan on making. 

fourth of july desserts Fourth of July Sweet Treats!

http://media-cache-ak2.pinimg.com/originals/4f/dd/e0/4fdde0a02db7cdabeae718b6168f125a.jpg 

 Red-White-and-Blue-Coconut-Berry-Popsicles willcookforsmiles.com 

 July 4th free printable circles 

I'm loving that a lot of the Red White and Blue feature are actually fruit!  
It's great when my kids eat, but it's a bonus when it's actually something great for them. 
I actually bought ingredients to prepare the Red White and Blue parfaits, item 7-and I know they will be a huge hit because who doesn't love fruit and whipped cream??? 

It has been sweltering here in NY and those popsicles look divine right about now! 

And who doesn't love a free printable?

 
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