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Journey To the Finish Line

PR's, 4 children, hopes and dreams; I'm always running after something

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birthday

We are Two

So much can change in just a few years.

Three years ago we into our third year of infertility. It isn’t that I wasn’t enjoying my life, but something was missing, and infertility meant that I could never be sure I’d get the chance to fill the space.

Two years ago, after our successful IVF cycle and a somewhat high anxiety pregnancy (not because of complications as much as worry), two healthy babies joined our family.

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Last year, we celebrated their first birthday, having survived twin infancy intact!

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Today is the twins’ second birthday. I chuckled at people that said time goes by so fast, but it does. Holy cow it does. And how different they are from just a year ago. How much they are like little people.

I took the day off and we spent it together. First, they had a doctors appointment and that part was not so fun, but after that we went to Chick Fil A for lunch and played in the play area. After nap we took a walk in the wagon and swam in the little pool in the backyard. We had cake. We watched Pocoyo. We hung out with family. We laughed and ate and I took lots pictures. We did all the little things I daydreamed about three years ago. I’m not one to write a really long, sentimental post, but I will say this.

I am grateful.

So much.

Happy Birthday, Miles and Abby.

The Target Vortex

Two days ago, I ran a couple of errands before work.

First, I ran into Bed, Bath and Beyond to get my sister part of her birthday present. I did so without a hitch. Next, I wanted to get a birthday and anniversary card, so I did the most logical thing I could think to do, which was walk down the plaza to Target.

This is where things began to go awry.

I walk into Target and am immediately drawn to the elusive Dollar Spot, because out of the corner of my eye I can see Halloween things. I love Halloween and so Halloween things excite me. The Dollar Spot has also helped my planner decorating habit so I often go there to see if I can find stickers, pens, washi tape etc. I pick up a magnetic To Do list and some hand sanitizer (because you know, its a dollar). From The Dollar Spot I force myself to walk by the clothes only to find myself drawn towards the shoes. Heat and humidity still runs rampant here and so any sign of fall now makes me happy. Boots, flats, sneakers; I nearly had to force myself to leave.

Perhaps not coincidentally, the athletic department is right by the shoes. I again force myself to walk by the athletic department and somehow end up in the baby clothes.

Uh oh.

Hey! A set of winter pajamas on sale!! Abby needs these! Oh! And a bathing suit for next year! She needs this too! Oh, and while I’m here, lets try a couple new straw cups! I am rocking this!

From there I head to the makeup department to check out the gel nail starter kit my sister has been eyeing, though I decide to pass it up in favor of the one she says is cheaper at Sally’s Beauty Supply. I check out and force myself to leave some Halloween stickers on my way out and pride myself that I only spent $20!

I walk to the car, open the door, turn on the car, and then I realize…..

I forgot the cards.

Curse you, Target.

 

(Share your Target Vortex story…you know you have one)

How a Bacteria Stole My Birthday

Every birthday in high school was “celebrated” with long rehearsals up and down the band field, in my case with a flag in hand (or dropped on the ground, depending on the moment in time). Some might moan and groan about a birthday at band camp but as I was and am still one to enjoy the social aspect more than anything else (I am a Leo after all), I looked forward to birthday wishes. 

Not the singing, though. I’m still not much for the singing.

Every morning during band camp I’d get up, shower, put my hair in a bun (because it was the only thing I knew to do with the curly fro I had at the time) and put on my short shorts, ankle socks and spaghetti strap sports bra and tank top in my attempt to minimize the farmers tan that surely awaited me. We did marching drills, learned our spots, memorized routines and in return we took home the farmers tan, papers that marked our field spots and routines to practice (*cough* that never happened). 

My senior year, I caught strep. I can’t remember if my birthday was on a weekday or weekend that year but what I do remember is spending my 17th birthday sleeping on the lap of my then boyfriend while he watched movies. Consequently, that was also the year I found out I was allergic to amoxicillin after I was sent home as my body grew a huge red rash. Despite not feeling well I insisted on going back to band camp anyway because it was picture day. If you look closely at my picture that year, even though I tried to hide it with make up, you can tell my face is swollen. Ahh, memories. 

Fast forward about 15 (yikes) years. 

It’s August 22, 2014, and even though my birthday is technically over, I know Bryan has something up his sleeve (because he told me, and because he told me to come straight home that morning, when I usually make a grocery run after work). My alarm goes off at 7am. Bryan gets up and comments that his throat hurts, and not just a little bit. The twins, who have been back in day care for a total of 3 days at this point, both wake up with runny noses, but are acting fine so we get them ready and I drop them off.

At about 10:00 Bryan texts me that he has a fever.

Fifteen minutes later I have a voicemail from the day care saying Miles has a fever.

On the way home from picking Miles up, Bryan gets a call that Abby has a fever.

*facepalm*

Hearing of Miles’ fever Bryan scheduled a doctors appointment, which I was hesitant with at first because usually the docs won’t do anything for a fever until its been 72 hours. But after Abby had one too, I left work early so we could take them. Even once we got home we debated keeping the appt vs waiting it out and treating the symptoms, but in the end decided to go because a) it was Friday and if we didn’t we’d have to wait until Monday or visit the ER and b) since Bryan was starting to wonder if he had strep we figured we’d just get them tested.

Ironically, even though Miles had the highest fever (104) and was acting all sick and pathetic and Abby was acting fairly normal, SHE is the one that tested positive. They sent us home with two scripts though since he was showing symptoms. 

I didn’t know what Bryan had up his sleeve but as soon as I heard Miles had a fever too I figured it was going to get called off. 

He had planned a surprise birthday party. He was going to decorate, had planned to put together this cool big birthday card of online messages he had compiled, and invited some people neither of us had seen in awhile. 

Instead, I spent the evening taking care of two sick toddlers while he drove himself to the VA to get tested for strep himself. After waiting for 2 hours the doc did the test but said he was sending him home with antibiotics regardless of the result, so while we aren’t sure if he officially had it, he’s pretty sure he did. 

Two days later I’m sanitizing my hands like its my job, looking out for symptoms myself, and cursing strep throat into the fiery pits of hell.

Suck it, strep. 

The Third Anniversary of my 29th Birthday

So I’m officially 32. I just chose the title I chose because “My 32nd Birthday” didn’t seem all that interesting (because, really, it isn’t).

I still get excited about my birthday.

I hope I always do.

I started the day with a picture request – one like last year where I’m holding both Abby and Miles.

31st birthday - August 19, 2013 (twins are 3 months)
31st birthday – August 19, 2013 (twins are 3 months)

This year was a bit different.

They were much more cooperative at 3 months
They were much more cooperative at 3 months – but we got it.

We re-enrolled the twins in daycare and yesterday (my birthday) was their first day back. We kept them home for breakfast and dropped them off about 930, then Bryan and I spent a few hours together. We perused the outlet mall and bought them some shoes, me some workout clothes and he some shirts. After that we both got a pedicure where I was allowed to sit in the chair and soak my feet in the warm water for almost a half hour. I got an extra long massage and a large glass of wine. We had a quick lunch after I did the nerdiest thing of all – visited a sports store to have my running gait evaluated. There, they videotaped my running and recommended shoes based on the way I run. I got to walk out of there with a shiny new pair of running shoes.

On the way to dinner we stopped and picked the twins up from daycare. Bryan managed to get some friends to come that I hadn’t seen in awhile and it was really nice to catch up. The twins were a bit cranky and Abby didn’t want to leave my lap, so I enjoyed the cuddles while we talked (and shared my french fries).

Celebrations are definitely different now, but in a good way. It was a great day. I looked back at the pictures often. I can’t believe how fast time has flown.

A side by side comparison
A side by side comparison

Bring it on, year 32. 🙂

It

Finding a Balance

Hi. My name is Theresa. I have catastrophe brain. I am a catastrophe-brain-aholic. (I also consume a bit too much sugar, while we are confessing things)

On birthday morning my alarm went off at 7 so I could give myself my injection.Then I loaded up my ipod and took the dogs for a walk while I rocked to some recently downloaded Ace of Base. (On a side note – I had the cassette tape of their first album in 1996 and listened to it SO MUCH that I literally wore the tape out and had to get another one) After a couple trips around the block I dropped them back home and walked some more on my own. The sun was shining and I thought to myself that having to kick my activity down a notch to walking once I start stims might not be so bad. The slower pace allowed me to be more observant. I stopped to give a dog a belly rub. I stood and watched a butterfly land on a flower and just hung out for a minute before flying by me and away.

I was getting dressed thinking about how I might start my birthday blog post about how peaceful I felt when the phone rang.

It was the skydiving company.

As soon as I saw it I knew what was coming.

Canceled due to weather. My huge mess finally scheduled on the last slot ON MY BIRTHDAY skydive wasn’t happening. And not only that, they didn’t have any spots open next weekend. Meaning: no skydive before IVF.

Without thinking much about it, I confessed to the lady that I was scheduled for a procedure in September and couldn’t jump after August. (I felt slightly guilty about this admission later, not knowing what the outcome of this was going to be for sure). She took pity on me and the fact that I was choking back tears and squeezed us in for next weekend.

So I can still do my skydive.

But at the time it didn’t matter – all that inner peace and zen I had an hour ago? Gone. I was annoyed that the plans were ruined and annoyed that I hadn’t thought of a back up plan.

I finally decided to go shopping. Bryan and I keep some separate finances and so his gift to me was spending money – because in all the craziness of infertility among other things, I’ve been a nut about money (ok ok, I’m always a nut about money) recently. Even shopping I couldn’t quite relax. I’d pick up clothes I like and Bryan would encourage me to buy them and I just couldn’t because “this sweater is$40!”. (Though I did manage to chill a bit later and had decided to say screw it -went back for said sweater and didn’t like it once I tried it on later anyway. True to form I found 2 sweaters and a tank top at a different store for the same price as the one I was fretting over…old habits die hard)

Sigh.

We had thrown together some last minute dinner plans and found 8 people willing and able to join us. Unfortunately, the waiter totally sucked, kept forgetting things, and when he brought out birthday ice cream, put it in front of the wrong person. Then, at the hotel, the fireplace didn’t work. (Yes, I know its August. I was cold) And I left my Ipod there. (Its whereabouts are still currently unknown)

Annoyed, I declared once the night was over that this birthday “kinda sucked”.

Going backwards a bit – a blog friend of mine a couple of nights ago had sent me a tweet about a difficult yoga pose that was causing her some frustration. The elusive Crow – a difficult balance pose. I went to yoga once a week in college and that was one of my favorite poses. I can manage to get into it and hold it for a few seconds. I tried it Sunday morning and found that while it took a great deal of concentration, I have some decent muscle  memory.

I fell out of this the second he snapped the picture

I sent this picture and she asked me what muscles I used more…my abs or my arms. I thought about it and realized I wasn’t sure, so I tried it again. I said it was really a mixture of both in combination with the placement of your legs to find the right balance….some pun intended.

Fast forward. This morning I got out of bed for my  run – that I so happened to time perfectly with the sunrise. Stopping to watch the sun rise over the Charleston Battery I found myself not really caring any more about the sucky birthday.

Life, birthdays, yoga, infertility. It’s all about finding a balance. Of muscles, relationships, plans, of the good and the bad.

No, I didn’t get to skydive. Yes, the waiter at dinner sucked and yes the day as a whole didn’t go at all as planned, but it didn’t suck. I still got to spend the day with my husband who so sensitively gave me a perfect birthday present, had a good time hanging out with those who could come to my last minute birthday dinner and make fun of the waiter, and ended up with 60 some odd birthday messages on Facebook. Will this new found insight keep me from having catastrophe brain in the future? Probably not any time soon, but I’m quickly learning that very few things are true coincidences.

This is before I realized my Ipod had gone AWOL

And just because I found this to be absolutely hysterical today:

Everyone have a good day and shit

30 to Thirty

What do you want for your birthday?

(Does anyone else have the issue where you’ll be idly shopping and can find about 20 things that would make cool birthday gifts, but when someone asks you are suddenly stupefied and unable to respond? Just want to make sure it isn’t just me)

Life can be ironic sometimes. A year ago, we were faced with the reality that IVF was likely the only way we could have children. Then, shortly before my birthday, hubby found out the VA was going to supply him with hormone replacement therapy to help us out. Put IVF off. A few months in we had a better sperm count but still not enough to help out much naturally. Just as we had decided to move forward with IVF, the doc decided to add in another hormone, so we put plans off again. Miraculously it worked, we were back up to normal, went with the flow (after much deliberating), changed plans and promptly received yet another fertility related kick in the balls.

Last years news did result in a fantastically awesome birthday party though.

In 30 days I will turn 30. In a bit less time we hit the mark of year 3. I will be 30 and I will not yet have children. I will be 30 and I will not be pregnant. (I realize there are many of you out there over 30 and in my situation) Though it is not at all what I had imagined for myself, I have (mostly) accepted it.

The IUI cancelation thanks to ol’ righty and it’s best friend Phil(opian) tube brought up quite a few questions about whether this blockage could be fixed. Just like last year I’m finding myself wondering what is the best path to take.

We could opt for a fallopian tube recanalization, an outpatient (I think) procedure that could open the blocked tube. I HAVE heard success stories from people who have had this procedure done. It’s been suggested I could get another HSG (dye is injected into your tubes to check to see if they are clear) done to actually confirm the blockage, because sometimes what looks like blockage actually turns out to be a spasm caused by injecting the dye. Statistically, though (and anyone please correct me if I’m wrong) the odds are not in my favor. Typically the procedure to open the tubes works, but more often than not it will eventually close again. In a couple of studies I have read, about 55% got pregnant after this procedure, but only half of that 55% did so within a year. Even if we were to do this procedure and couple it with an IUI, my chances are still no more than 20-25%.

I’m still young, I get that. I still have time to wait, I get that too. Last year I begrudgingly opted for the chance. This year, I want to opt for the statistics. We are now two people who are functioning mostly correctly. We have enough sperm. I ovulate on my own. I have one blocked tube and mild PCOS. Other couples like us could probably get pregnant without help. We haven’t. We could wait, we could always have an excuse to wait, we could wait forever hoping for some kind of miracle.

Maybe its crazy to not try everything else first.

There will always be something that needs fixing, a debt to pay, another reason to wait.

What do you want for your birthday?

I want the best chance.

Happy Birth….man I forgot AGAIN!

You know, the problem isn’t that I forget birthdays.

The problem is that I remember them too early.

Bear with me, here. I am, admittedly, horrible at remembering birthdays on time. What seems to happen is that about 3 weeks from said birthday I think to myself “self, your mom’s birthday is in three weeks” and I reply to myself “self – well its still a bit early for a card, but perhaps I should write it on the calendar”

And then I forget.

So I’m at dinner with my friend today and a text comes through on my phone from my sister:

See? I’m not the only one (sorry for throwing you under the bus sis….haha)

Believe this or not, Food Lion has some pretty funny cards.

After stopping at the store for the card I called and got her voicemail. I was going to just leave the traditional message, but instead hung up and decided to get creative. Then a couple minutes later I called back and left this cool birthday song: (sung to the tune of “Happy Birthday”)

Happy Birthday to You

Bet you thought I Forgot you

Good thing Natalie texted me an hour ago!

Happy Birthday to you!

Your card is in the mail…….tomorrow……

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