Monday, October 31, 2016

Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month


Today, I want to use the last day of October, to acknowledge that October is Infant and Pregnancy Loss Awareness month.   Just five  months ago, I had my first miscarriage; at 29 years old.   And just a few months after that, I had my second miscarriage.  If you're keeping track, which I'm sure those of you who have been following are, that's two miscarriages in three and a half months. While 20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, only 2% of the population will have two sequential miscarriages.

If you're reading because you're curious about miscarriage
If you're reading because you had a miscarriage and you're trying to navigate this new territory
If you're reading because your wife had a miscarriage
If you're reading because your best friend had a miscarriage
If you're reading because your daughter had a miscarriage
If you're reading because your granddaughter had a miscarriage
If you're reading because your niece had a miscarriage
It sucks.

But you know what makes it suck even more?
When you feel that you can't talk about it because it makes other people uncomfortable.

And that's why I created this blog, and that's why I'm publishing this post-there is nothing wrong with talking about a miscarriage. However I will add, that if you are feeling so overwhelmed with sadness, or others think you are overwhelmed with sadness, please seek help from a professional.  There are therapists that specialize in infertility and miscarriage. Part of how we cope, is by seeking and receiving validation-that's psychology 101-always validate someone's feelings.  But if we don't talk about "it", how do we receive validation? How do we ever actually begin to feel ok with the hardship we've been dealt if we aren't seeking validation from others?  That's why talking is so important.
To our family
To our friends
 To our co-workers
To anyone you want.
I can't even begin to tell you how many times my miscarriages have come up in conversation because it is such a huge part of who I am, and where I am that no can even begin to validate my feelings and support me without knowing that crucial piece of who I am.

So, I'm here to tell you that it's ok to talk.  In fact, I recommend you talk. Not only will you most likely feel better, you're also doing such a huge kindness to society by easing the burden of one of life's most difficult handouts.
Imagine if talking about a miscarriage was like talking about your wedding, or the loss of a loved one.  According to uscdfertility.org, a miscarriage is an emotionally traumatic experience-so then why should women not be given the support they need when they go through that traumatic experience? Women can, and they will be if we all stand together and #endthetaboo

 Another important piece of advice I want you to know, it gets better. It really does get better.
But, there are times, when the pain will come from nowhere and knock you off your feet. Like today, when I was at the gym. Or right now as I'm typing this.  Or when your friends make their pregnancy announcements and you watch their bellies grow and you know that you should be doing the same.  

However, more likely than not, we will all come out the other side-somehow, someway.    And when we do, the feeling of the missing puzzle piece finally falling into place, will make all of this worth it.
But until then, take care of yourself, and allow others to walk this journey with you.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Decorating for the season

Sunday night we'll enter into the last hurrah of our holiday season! It can be so much fun, at times, but quite overwhelming all of the time.  It has just been a constant rotation of shopping, cooking, cleaning, and eating. I love the time it gives us together as a family, and it allows us to delve more into our new community, but it is oh so challenging not being near friends and family.  #mamaneedsanapandavacation 

Our last holiday, Sukkos, or commonly known as The Feast of Tabernacles.  You can find out all the info and traditions surrounded the holiday HERE!  But, this holiday focuses on the harvest. 
Traditionally, people go apple picking before Rosh Hashana to pick the apples.  We have done that in the past, and I'd love to do that on a regular basis, but this year it didn't work out to go. I was ok with that because Dovy did get to go with his class, and the apples we ate dipped in honey, were picked by my wonderful five year old.  

A few weeks ago, a local educational farm had a whole day of activities! If you haven't noticed, we love farms! One activity they had was pumpkin painting.  Hannah was the only one I'd let participate in the activity, because it is still semi-appropriate to allow her to take off her clothes in public-but from my experience, even "washable" paint from Home Depot stains, so my boys were banned from pumpkin painting, but, like what any good mom would do with two eager boys-I promised them their own day to paint pumpkins. 

We headed out to a different local farm, Larriland Farms. I picked this location based on the activities they offered in addition to crop picking.  One can only come up with so many baked apple goodies to justify so much apple picking!


We went on a hay ride


Went through a very appropriately haunted barn, and a corn maze!
We also picked up Indian corn and gourdes to add some seasonal decor to our sukkah

And, lastly, drove to the pumpkin patch to pick out our most prized painting pumpkins.
Tip: bring gloves-some pumpkins were quite thorny, and with slim pickings on pumpkins by now, it was hard to pass up a beauty just because she was a little prickly.  
My boys were most excited about the wheelbarrows!



I made each child their own pallet, handed them some brushes and a cup of water, and away they went!  


I had no secret agenda for this project, just to let them each create their own masterpiece, which is just what they did!





I did some searching around and found out that acrylic paint was the best paint, but because little ones are involved, I figured the painting was more for the thrill of the activity, and went with this  kid friendly paint!



 I had no idea when I ordered it that it was glittery, but that added such an awesome dimension to the pumpkins.



 It was also the perfectly sized containers, and the perfect price that I didn't feel bad throwing it out after only having used it one time! 


Having some fun...




I can't wait to take these with us to our Sukkot destination, and I know my kids will look forward to this tradition for many years to come! 


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

A new year, new cycle

It's kind of fitting that in Judaism, we're fresh into a new year-less than a week in fact, and I get to start the year off with a brand spankin' new Frozen Embryo Cycle.  
I'm not sure if that's something to feel grateful for, or to feel anger about.
It's also fitting that tonight begins the completion of the 10-day cycle which the Jews pray for a successful year: our whole year, every aspect, is determined at this time.  Tonight and tomorrow that time period comes to a climax, and boy do I have something special to pray for.

IVF Got This: Because Giving Up Is Not An Option:

Of course I'm thankful, I mean, to get to move right into another cycle, without missing a beat (other than my clinic being closed the month of October due to all the holidays) I jumped in as soon as I could-which is just how I like it.  Someone posted in one of the groups I'm in, asking how you handle the pressure of a new cycle, and the waiting.  My answer: try to emotionally detach from the experience, but remember it's not the last chance for success. This is just a matter of time. So, like I've said after the other failed cycles, as long as I can keep going, as long as this is done on my time frame, and on my emotional needs, I'm ok.

Image result for ivf needles

I never thought I'd find myself eight months deep in trying for another baby.  Not after I seemed to find the answer for my body-IVF (invitro fertilization). It was back in 2008 that we tried for eight months before getting pregnant with Moshe. So, to say I'm surprised to have faced negative cycles, miscarriages even, is something I've had to adjust to.   But, this is all normal.  I was just talking to a close friend last night, and I mentioned that I actually feel thankful to have been given this trial because I feel that it allows me to create even more of a platform, and relate to even more people, that can actually relate to me! It's very uncommon for people to have only success, and when I would share my story, I found it rather hard to relate for many people.

Ha! Finally one of these that isn't whiny! Infertility is horrible, but feeling sorry for yourself won't help!:

Last night, I took my first dose of Lupron.  
I go in a week and a half for an endometrial biopsy-which not only will scratch my endometrial lining, which has proven to increase the rates of implantation, but we'll also get another look at the plasma cells.  A few days after that, I'll start my estrogen, and the transfer is tentatively scheduled for the week of November 11-16.  Logistically, this is a nightmare, but, all worth it.  

Right now, I'm just going through the motions.  If this doesn't work, I'll be taking some time off (we're undecided when we'll try again, for financial and logistical reasons) but in addition to that I need to lose the 20ish lbs I've gained in the past seven months #myclothesdontfit

So, here we go, again! 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Monday Munchies...

I'm sure many of you can relate to that feeling when you finally come up with a winner: a recipe that please the adults and the kiddos.
Today, I'm sharing that winning recipe with you my friends #canIgetanamen

Image result for baked flounder with panko

4 flounder fillets 
1/4 cup butter
1 cup panko crumbs 
2/3 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon salt 
ground black pepper 
pinch dried thyme 

Preheat the oven to 400 and lightly spray a baking dish, and place the fillets inside. Brush the fillets with melted butter. 

Combine the remaining butter, panko crumbs, cheese, salt, pepper and thyme, and mix.  Sprinkle over the fillets.  

Bake 15-20 minutes or until the fish flakes easily.  
    I've now made this recipe twice, and both times it was a hit.  The first time I made it with flounder, the second time I made it with tilapia.  I found the flounder more tasty.  I also like that there's room to remove calories if you need that.  You can cut out the butter on your personal fillet, and just spray with some non-stick spray, or use olive oil instead-anything to allow the breadcrumb mixture to adhere.  You can also add breadcrumbs, essentially doubling the recipe to bread both sides.  And let me tell you, the cheese is perfection here.  This could easily make it into the rotation weekly, add a nice side salad or soup and this makes for a quick, weeknight meal that pleases all! 

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