Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Ear to Ear

If you saw me driving around town today you probably laughed at the expression on my face. I smiled huge on my way home from Base this afternoon. I ran into so many awesome people while running my weekly errands. Every one of them gave me a compliment that made me beam with pride. Sometimes I feel like I'm dreaming. I remember growing up, I was very shy. I sat in the corner watching the "cool kids" interact and dreamed of being one of them. I guess you could say I was kind of nerdy. I STILL AM NERDY! But that is one of things that makes me ME. I like to have fun. I'm giggly and "think" I'm funny. Probably not... but I can laugh at myself, and I think that's a great trait to have. Sure... there are loads of things to be SAD about. We've been through a lot in the last couple of years. And I do mean a lot. But guess what... I don't want to dwell on it. Yes, my husband is gone for the fifth time. Yes... our IVF failed. Yes... yes... yes to a bunch of other worse things even. Of course there are those days I just want to sit and cry in my pillow. But guess what I HAVE AN AMAZING LIFE! Who gets these opportunities? I don't want these next 2 years to slip out from under me. So... if you see me running around with a giant smile on my face... maybe you can just smile back. I don't have time for frowny faces ok?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

It's NOT Working!! Or is it??

I confess... I am a daily scale checker. I just can't help myself. At one point my weight even went up 4 lbs from my original starting point. What a frustrating way to do this. Every week I check the scale and have only seen about a pound difference. I was convinced my workouts weren't enough this time, so I invested in a heavy bag and have been taking out my frustrations on it. I also dug out an old step from the attic and had a time learning the moves again while tripping over my feet. This morning I weighed myself again and the scale is finally moving in the direction I want it to. 5 lbs gone! My goal was 10 for this month and I still have a week left. I'm sure with our trip to Majorca, that's going to be a little more difficult than expected, and I might even put a few back on. But I'm going to try my darndest not to! It's awesome what the power of a pound can do for your motivation! Trying to stay positive and not give up! Week 4 begins today!!!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Ready for change...

10 years ago I was on a mission to lose weight while John was deployed in Iraq.  I was determined and nothing was going to stop me.  I followed a strict diet and did my workout program every day.  I wanted to get sexy for my John-o before he came back.  I even carried my workouts with me on vacation.  I lost 40 lbs. 

You look at me now and ask... how do you go back to living like this after you lost so much weight?  Trust me, it wasn't planned, and I wasn't happy about it.  John came home and I tried to stick to the program.  But it was too easy to go out to eat or skip a workout while he was home.  I'm not blaming it on him at all.  But here is the real truth.  Shortly after his return, we found out we were pregnant again.  It was a miracle baby.  We had been trying for about 4-5 years for this.  We were thrilled.  I even continued to do my workouts to keep my body as healthy as possible.  A couple of weeks into the pregnancy, I noticed some spotting.  I went to the doctor and was told that I was probably having an ectopic pregnancy.  I didn't believe it, and I fought to keep the pregnancy.  I kept coming back for blood tests every day to make sure my levels were normal.  But they were far from normal and it was a lost cause.  The doctor gave me the methotrexate shot to dissolve the pregnancy.  It didn't work and I was in the emergency room twice complaining of severe abdominal pain.  They kept saying I was fine and that I just needed to go home and get some rest.  I felt like I was dying.  I had John bring me back one more time because I knew something wasn't right.  But the doctors couldn't figure it out by ultrasound, so they decided to go in by laproscopy to assess the situation.  Come to find out, my tube had burst and I was bleeding a slow death (well... this is my conclusion from the excruciating pain I was feeling).  They had to cut me open along the old c-section scar to remove the pieces and clean up the mess.  When I woke up, John was over me and asked me if they spoke to me.  They hadn't yet, so he had to break the bad news to me that my tube was gone.  I was horrified.  All I could think of was that I could not have anymore babies because of it.  They didn't do a very good job of stitching me up because the wound got infected very quickly.  So they had to cut it open a little more to let it heal.  My recovery was not fast.  It took me months to heal, and even longer to come to terms with it.  I was depressed, and I gave up on workout out or eating right.  I became comfortable with my new way of living and I had no determination to get my body back.

Here I am world.  182 lbs.  I've been happy the last few years with my life.  I'm in Germany seeing the world.  I have an amazing husband who does anything to make me happy (even when he's gone).  I have a successful photography business.  And awesome friends.  The only thing that could make me happier would be getting pregnant.  But I've already written about that, so I won't talk more about it now.  Anyways, a few days ago I was photographing a friend.  She inspired me.  I don't know what it was... but something just "clicked".  I want that back.  I want my old body back.  I did it once before, why can't I do it again?  And I have 3 months until John comes for a visit.  The program I did last time was exactly 3 months.  I have to do it.  I know I have to do it for ME... but I want to do it for him too.  It's got to be hard watching your spouse slip away.  He hasn't changed in my eyes.  He's still just as sexy and attractive to me as the day I met him.  A little older, but that just makes him sexier to me.  So.. here I am starting my new journey.  I hope people can be supportive and understanding.  It was easier last time when I was cooped up in my house with no friends.  And I know there will be temptations this time around.  And I hope that my body takes to this new routine soon.  I'll report back in 30 days and let you all know how it's going ;)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

World Travelers...

What's new.  Lets see... I had my surgery, and we are taking a little break from IVF until after summer. I don't want to be depressed with that crap all summer.  I'd rather be spending it traveling with my "almost" TEENAGER!!!  J-boy went on his bi-annual field trip to the desert.  This one feels like it could go by much quicker than the last (for Aidan and I at least).  Not sure I can say the same for J.  He misses flying, and I don't blame him.  Who could be happy being a desk jockey for 6 months (or more)?  Waste of a good pilot if you ask me.  At least this gives him the opportunity to go back to school.  He's such a smarty too!

But ANYWAY....... 

Aidan and I are at it again.  Traveling, keeping busy, passing the time until he returns.  Last time it was a visit with the folks in AZ and a visit with my BFF in Hawaii.  This time we are at it alone.  No plans to visit friends or family... just to get to know this beautiful land.  It's so easy to hop in the car and drive 6 hours to Paris, or 5 hours to Italy.  Or even a cheap Ryan Air flight to some place I've never even heard of before.  Why not?  The only obstacle is kenneling the hunds.  But even that isn't very difficult.  Ok... maybe it could get expensive (Thankyou photography chump change!), but if we plan it just right we can see half of this place by the time he comes home and the other half when he is here.

Before John left we did Paris for block leave.  Amazingness.  I took a couple of girl trips without Aidan.  Poland to shop for Polish Pottery.  I loved the cute little B&B we stayed at (Blue Beetroot).  And a ladies trip to Amsterdam... love the canals there!  But Italy?!?!  Wow!  Aidan and I tackled the west coast all on our own.  I was so nervous about doing it... but we dove in head first and made a great adventure out of it.  We ate the most amazing pasta in Cinque Terre and road peddle boats in the Italian Riviera.   I've never seen water so clear as we saw on the Island of Sardinia.  Stintino was like a giant natural swimming pool.  We did the touristy things too... saw the Leaning Tower of Pisa and Leonardo Da Vinci's "The Last Supper" in Milan.  I hope this kid remembers what an experience it was.  I know it would have been better had Dad been with us.  But there will be plenty more to see later.  I remember seeing the Grand Canyon when I was young.  I thought it was pretty cool... but I'm not sure I appreciated it as much as I would if I saw it now.  I am thankful to my parents for taking us to see it, and for the memories, but I don't remember having the goosebumps I get now when I see things like that.  I actually cried when I saw the Mona Lisa even though it was so much smaller than I had expected.  John laughed at me and the two of them got a kick out of joking on me about it later.  I can't help it.  I am a sentimental girl and yeah... i cry over spilled milk :P .  

We are home for a few weeks now... relaxing and giving the checkbook a break.  Doing a couple of sessions to help pay for our adventures.  But at the end of the month, we are off to Austria with a bunch of cool girls.  Aidan is excited to see the Salt mines in Salzburg.  And I'm excited to see Vienna!  I'm also hoping for a trip to Gran Canaria in August as a Happy Birthday to ME getaway.  We'll see though.  

That's pretty much that!  Counting down the days until my best friend returns... miss him madly.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Vow of FB Silence...

When you marry a soldier, there are certain things that come along with it. One of them involves keeping your mouth shut when it needs to be shut. When J is deployed, I try to stay away from any form of News.... TV, yahoo and so forth. Well here lately, avoiding the news doesn't even matter because I'm going to find out eventually through Facebook about the most recent attack, crash, or injury. Guess what people!!!?? I'd rather not know... and you have no place to be talking about it on Facebook of all places. ESPECIALLY if the incident happened in your own immediate company. Little comments like "freaking out about my soldier"... or "praying for my friend"... any of it will send your followers into an uproar. Just don't do it. Keep whatever information you have (that you shouldn't have in the first place mind you) private!!! This really hits a sore spot for me as I've seen loss with my own friends recently. And guess what... it's not your place to contact the person in question either. Do you really want your voice or face to be what she remembers when she found out?? Let the Army do it's job. There are trained officers that handle this stuff. The best thing to do during a blackout is to "KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT". I wouldn't even be posting random, curious, trivia like statements on FB. It does no one any good. If you need to talk it out, fine... do it in the privacy of your own home or a friends home. I'm taking a new vow this go around. If I see anyone posting little comments like that during a blackout or after recent news of an "incident"... they have no place on my friends list. Lets take a vow of silence ladies. We owe it to each other and especially to our men. It's the right thing to do. Just sayin...

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Paid Vacation???

I need to get this off my chest. It's one of those things that irks me and just makes me want to scream at people. As a military member, you accrue 2.5 days per month towards Leave. It takes 1 year to save up 30 days. And 3 years to save up 90 (the max you can save up before you start losing them). So when my husband goes on "Leave" for 30 days, and someone says to me... "Must be nice to have a month off with pay", I really want to scream. Remember how nice it was for me.. when he is gone for 1 year at a time every other year. This Leave came with a price. We've earned it. We've saved those days all year waiting to enjoy one last month of togetherness before he is shipped off to the middle of nowhere again. It must be nice to not have to worry about those kind of things though. I would gladly give up 30 days of paid leave to keep my man home for more than 12 consecutive months at a time. Just sayin...

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Another chance...

Yesterday, what was left of my tubes were removed and the gaps leading into my uterus were closed off. I had a minor moment of weakness in the recovery room when I realized what I'd just done. I regretted it up until today. But we went in to see the doctor today for a followup and she showed us pictures of what they looked like before the surgery. They were huge, swollen and blocked with scar tissue. The regret was then relief. They are gone now and we can start with a clean slate. They were just another hurdle to our baby making. But now we can start again. I hope this was the answer and we will have more beautiful baby Kimballs soon. I'm nervous, anxious, and excited about the next round!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Bye Bye Fallopian Tubes...

Yesterday we finally went in to see the OB that will do my surgery. At first I was impatient and wanted to have this done immediately. But after Tricare pulled their stunt with taking away our medication costs, I got frustrated and gave up. After all... that means another 1000 euro or so to add on top of what we already paid and will be paying again. Yes I'm complaining, and I know I should consider myself lucky that we aren't doing this in the states. I know it costs 3 times as much there. But this was one of the many reasons we came to Germany. Because we were told fertility treatments were easier to obtain here. And now Tricare is making that even more impossible.

We decided to take our time with this. Some days I am ready for the next step... some I am so negative about the whole experience, I just don't care to put myself through it again. But I will because I do want more babies. So the next step is one I thought about long and hard. Removing what is left of my tubes. It was not an easy decision... do not be excited about this "for me". It's not exciting for me and it does not make me happy. Remember, 4 months ago I had no idea my girlie parts were deceiving me. I just thought "it wasn't our time"... "it will happen when it happens". NO! IT WON'T. It will happen WHEN I MAKE IT HAPPEN! And now I am taking away any chance of it ever happening on it's own. No matter what the doctors tell me... there is still that little thought in my head that says... but what if we had a miracle. What if one of those embryo's fought it's way so hard to make it down the tube through the scar tissue and MADE IT! This surgery will remove any of that hope. And I am incredibly sad about it. But... I will do what I have to to remove any and all obstacles standing in our way for our next round of IVF.

I met the OB yesterday and she was very nice. I like her and look forward to seeing her when we do get pregnant. She explained the surgery to me. It is a simple outpatient surgery... laparoscopically done through the naval and then two on the right and left sides of my abdomen. They will cut out the remaining right tube and clean up what remains from the left one. They will also close off the holes where the tubes connect to the uterus so that fluid will not continue to leak in and wash away my beautiful embryos. I asked her if I could go back to work the following day, but she suggested that I take the rest of the week off. I had to reschedule 5 photo sessions. I have no days off between now and the day before my surgery... so that was stressful. But I'm ready to tackle my busy season I guess.

The surgery is scheduled for April 3rd. John has to take the day off from work to be with me. We met the anesthesiologist and he explained his process. He was also very nice and spoke English very well. I guess that's that. Hoping nothing else goes wrong when they get in there... We really want more babies!!!!!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

This is Why I LOVE him...

I can't begin to describe the feelings I have for this man. I don't know if I deserve him all of the time. I've taken him for granted soo many times. It's easy to get mad and forget the reasons why you fell in love. But sometimes out of the blue, he amazes me with just a few words. Three months ago I asked John if he would build me a wall. As random as that may sound, it's not really shocking coming from me. He has grown used to my strange requests. I showed him a few samples and the wheels began turning. I described to him a beautiful spring booth that I was envisioning. I found flooring and furniture and all I wanted from him was a wall. I wasn't sure he'd go for it... but I was surprised when he started making decorating suggestions. He even looked at frames with me. All he had to do was ask me a simple question about my booth and it turned me into a giddy mess! I love that he supports me and this business. I think back to when I first started photography. We were out sunbathing in our pool and out of nowhere he asked me if I was serious about photography. He said he thought I was better than "walmart" and that I had potential. Those little words made me want it more. I know he is proud of me because of the way he brings it up randomly when I'm not even talking about it. He picked up a picture of Aidan in the house the other day and said "The picture that started it all". I love him because of those words. He spent hours outside in the cold building a frame for the wall. He rented a van, and carried all of the supplies to the hangar the day before the Bazaar. He spent the entire day Thursday putting together my wall and helping me arrange the furniture. He never once complained about it. And then this morning he even RAN the booth when I had to be somewhere else. I am so lucky to have this man in my life. He will do anything that I ask him to without a question (well except letting me have a baby pig...booo). And he supports me in a way that no one else can. When I was purchasing materials for the booth, I felt guilty. I was spending too much. I asked him if he thought this would all be worth it. His words... "Hellz yeah... show these people why you charge what you do and that you deserve it". I love him for those words. He probably doesn't even realize how happy he makes me when he says them. I am soo incredibly proud of what he did for me this week/end. He knows me more than I know myself. My vision was even more beautiful than I expected. It was perfect and he made it that way. And here it is... My Ansbach Debut (thanks to my amazing hubby)!!!!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

What is wrong with Me!!!!!

When we started this whole IVF thing... I decided I was going to share it with the world. Good or bad... I wanted everyone I knew to know what I was going through. Do I regret that decision? Not in the slightest. It is interesting though, to see some of the things people say to me. I can't blame them... most have no idea what I'm thinking or what will make me feel better. The truth is... it hurts. Nothing that is said will make it better. All I really want to hear is "it sucks dude". I don't want to hear "it will happen when it is meant to be" or "things happen for a reason". When I hear that... all I think is "well why wasn't it meant to be RIGHT NOW"? And it makes me angry with myself. And it is still new. I'm not sure how long I'll be "upset" about it... but I know people think I should be over it already. Well.. I'm not. And I don't see any light at the end of the tunnel. I'm not asking everyone to tip-toe around me. I just want people to think about me... and what they know about me. Think before you speak (write) to me or if it doesn't sound right... don't say it at all. If I don't respond to your email.. don't be offended... I'm just not in the mood. Yes, I'm being a selfish, spoiled, little brat. I will come out of it eventually... but right now it's all about trying to feel better about this. I am not happy... and I don't want to "act" happy just for the sake of being happy. What is that? Over the last couple of weeks, I've noticed that I can be happy when I'm not thinking about it. I can be happy and enjoy my friends. But then there are just days where I see lots of babies or ultrasounds in my newsfeed and I am like... why isn't that me? Is that completely selfish? I am not excited about the next step because I know it just means I will be losing more. THREE months ago... I was clueless. WE were clueless. We just thought "it will happen when it happens". And now... I know it will NEVER happen without the help of doctors. There won't be any miracles unless we are dishing out thousands of dollars to make them happen. How can so many decisions change in such a short amount of time? And now tomorrow... I will be requesting a surgery that removes any chance of those little miracles. I used to think the only way I'd ever request to have my tubes removed or tied was if I never wanted to have babies. Why would I want that? And now I have to do it if we want one. HA! Removing my woman-ness one tube at a time. Yes... I am ecstatic about that! I promise I'm not asking for sympathy here. I just whine and complain to get it out. It feels better to get it off my chest than to sit here thinking it in my head privately. Anyways... Giant Baby Out!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Rainbows and Butterflies... Um... No.

Yes... it is what it is. Yes... I have a great family and I am blessed. Yes... I have a great life, and I love it! But, right now... I am grieving. In my mind I have lost 3 beautiful babies. They may not have had a heartbeat, hands or feet. But to me, they were real. They were my future. I pictured them running around making messes, spilling boxes of baking soda in my kitchen. Making crayon masterpieces on my walls. Leaving socks in my bed sheets. Feeding their veggies to the dogs. Smiling and giggling to a peek a boo morning. And in one moment... all of those visions were gone. I just need... time. It has only been a few days. I need time to accept it. I know he is angry that we spent all of this money and it didn't work. And I know he hates watching me cry. But I need to. No one said there wouldn't be disappointment. Or that it would happen over night. He told me he doesn't want to do it again. He can't stand to see me hurting. But I can't give up that easily. I know that one day all of this torture WILL be worth it. I do love our Aidan. More than anything in the world. But I am not ready to have an empty house. When he leaves, I will be 39. 39!!!!! This is not our first "loss". 6 years ago we had an ectopic pregnancy. We were soo excited for another baby. I fought for it. I told the doctors they were wrong and that my baby was fine. I waited too long to take the drug to remove the pregnancy. And so, I lost the tube. Over a few months, I managed to come to terms with it and accept that it wasn't "meant to be". I will accept this one too. But I need more time. Don't expect me to be my bubbly, happy normal for a little while. Don't expect me to always be polite. I am trying not to take it out on anyone else... but sometimes I can't help it. IT IS WHAT IT IS. I AM WHAT I AM. Get over IT!!!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Self Destruction...

During my two week wait, I read a lot of blogs from people in my same situation. I came across a blog from a failed IVF cycle. She prepared a list of self destructive things she did the day she got her bad news. I wanted to share my list as well...

1. Cry and Scream and Curse and Hate the situation until your head feels like it is going to explode.

2. Take a LONG hot bath. I have been avoiding baths since the embryo transfer because I read that the rise in temperature was bad for blood flow to the uterus, and also that water could get in there and wash them away.

3. Pig out on non-healthy crap in the pantry. We had gone grocery shopping the day before, and I prepared appropriately. I bought all the junk food I could find knowing food has a weird way of comforting me. I'm not a skinny girl. I like to eat. I ate chips, guacamole and queso, chocolates, and then my hunny cooked me up a big fat juicy ribeye for dinner with baked beans and tomato boats. I also drank a few cokes. I probably put on about 5 lbs just yesterday alone.

4. Drink a beer. I love my new German beer. John bought me a case a few days earlier. I was actually pretty good and only drank half of one. It was warm and didn't really make me happy. It didn't help though either that I have to go back in for another blood test on Wed just to confirm that we are indeed not pregnant. What a crock.

5. Lay in bed and cuddle with the fur balls all day. My Bailey always gives me such warm snuggles. She is curled up at my side as I type this. John says I favor her over Kahlua... but I don't. Kahlua is just more hyper and never sits still long enough to get in the good snuggles.

6. Hug Aidan. He came home and immediately came to me and asked how it went. I shook my head no, and it looked like he was about to cry. He hugged me and told me he loved me and that we would do better next time. God I love that kid. He sometimes seems more adult than me. I hate that I am soo weak and let him see it. Even when John deploys... he is always the one holding us together while "I" cry. What an awful mother I am to do that to him!

7. Watch a bunch of rerun episodes of desperate housewives. Even knowing it's fiction... something about watching someone else in a crappier situation than mine... just makes you feel not so alone. I know my situation is not the worst. And I know there are people out there who have been trying much longer with no luck. But it's never easy to lose something you want so badly.

8. Facebook. I love all of my friends on facebook. Their words of encouragement always keep me going. Even the people who I don't know personally. I know a lot of people in my situation choose to keep this stuff private. Well... I am just not a private person. I can't help myself from sharing it with the world. If my story can touch ONE person. Or sympathize with just ONE situation, then I can feel good about it. I am questioning wether or not I want to share our next cycle. I'm not sure it is completely fair to let my friends and family go through this with me again. But at the same time, I need their support. I want it. And I would be lying to myself if I said it would be easy to keep it from them. I just can't help myself. When we finally do get the answer... I want them all to know the struggle we've been to to get to that point. Isn't that fair?

9. Take a daily photo. This was kind of fun. Instead of breaking glass or dishes, I broke eggs. 3 of them. One for each embryo that I lost. Not quite sure what John thought when he saw the broken eggs left on the counter... but he cleaned them up while cooking for me.

10. Blow snot into Johns shoulder until we fall asleep. Normally he would tell me to stop crying and relax. But last night he let me cry it out until I had no more tears.

11. Wake up and see a brighter side to the new day and plan to start all over ;)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Broken Eggs...

I knew it. I just had a feeling that we weren't pregnant. But I tried and tried to be positive. I know I made lots of negative comments... but that didn't mean I wasn't sitting inside my head hoping and hoping and wishing for this to be our time. We went in for our ultrasound yesterday and I cried on the table. I always cry when I'm nervous. The doctor actually said everything looked good and that my lining was nice and thick. It was 18 when usually it would be about 6 (from what I've heard). He sent me on my way for a blood test to confirm. On the way home, I cried some more. John kept telling me to stop it and that everything would be OK. We got home, had some lunch and the call came right at noon. The voice on the other side sounded hesitant. And I knew. She said I'm sorry... but it was negative. She told me to continue taking the medication and then to come back in a few days to take another blood test. For what??? I'm already devastated and now I have to wait a few more days to take another negative blood test??? I emailed the good Doctor and asked him why couldn't we just start over, why was my lining so thick, and why was the blood test negative? He said he doesn't like to believe the blood test and that sometimes his clinical experience is more important. I have a love/hate relationship for this man's emails. In one hand I love that he is trying to give me a little glimmer of hope that I still might be pregnant. But at the same time, I have already given up on this cycle, and I'm kind of irritated that I'm being set up to go through the same bad news again on Wednesday. It is time to readdress the surgery to remove my blocked tube and close off the side that was removed. I didn't want to have to do that... but it seems like the only logical explanation. Maybe I'm just fooling myself. Maybe my uterus just hates me and there are no explanations for why we can't get pregnant. 2 losses now. 3rd times a charm???? Happy Valentines day everyone ;)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Our Aidan...

I know I've been blogging a lot... mostly just random thoughts and feelings. It helps pass the time. Maybe I sound overdramatic sometimes... oh well. With one day left until we find out our big or not so big news, I started thinking about when we found out we were pregnant with Aidan. We got pregnant almost immediately after we got married. So soon that people would even believe that was the reason we got married. But it wasn't. We knew we wanted a baby even before we married and knew we wanted to start right away. Even after three months we went to the doctor wondering why we weren't already. We were very impatient. The doctor told us we were crazy and to come back and see him in one year if we still weren't pregnant. The next month I was waiting for my monthly blessing to come along and it wasn't showing up. We immediately went out and bought a pregnancy test. John bought it. Haha! We got it home and I did my thing and laid it on the sink. I stood over that stick for what seemed like forever and nothing was happening. I called for John and told him it wasn't working. He walked into the bathroom, picked up the stick, and turned it over. "You had it upside down... look... we're pregnant"

Saturday, February 11, 2012


All of this waiting around, constantly thinking about what could or could not happen... finally just made my head stop. One day I was happy and excited about the possibility of being pregnant. The next I was in tears thinking about what would happen if I wasn't. It has really just been confusing and exhausting. I try to be positive in my comments about it... but I know I probably just sound like a bitter old hag at this point. So I apologize to my fertility posse... you know who you are ;). Today I woke up with nothing. No feelings about it either way. Either I'm pregnant or I'm not. There is nothing I can do to change the outcome. So what is the point in even trying to imagine what my reaction will be on Monday. A few days ago I was looking for any sign I could find to tell me I was either pregnant or not. Then I realized any symptom I had could be construed in two different ways. For instance.. cramping could be either from the embryos implanting... or it could also be a period on it's way or even just a side effect of the progesterone. There is no point in obsessing over this or looking for those little signs. We will know in good time. Very glad that this 2 week wait is coming to an end. Less than 48 hours until we know what is in store for us. If we are pregnant... GREAT!!! If not... We've already decided we will try one more time immediately before things get too hectic around here. Of course... still wishing we won't have to :).

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Waiting... Waiting... WAITING...

The last week has been the longest week EVER. It has been exactly one week since they put my 3 beautiful little embryos back in. We have 4 days left of waiting. It doesn't seem like very long... but it is an agonizing wait for me. 12 years all rolled into this little week and a half. So many scenarios are running through my mind. If it works and we have 2 babies just like we wanted... how excited will we be... or will we even believe it. If it doesn't work... who will I be? I've already decided to take that week off just in case. I know if it doesn't happen I will be a mess. I wish it were easy to see the signs either way. I wish I "felt" pregnant. But I still just feel bloated from all the drugs pumped into my body. I finally had my last progesterone shot last night. Thank goodness those are over. I did not enjoy them one bit. I had a little bit of cramping a few days ago... but that seems to be gone now too and I just feel FAT. At least I can finally button my pants again... but I was disappointed in myself on Tuesday while shooting my session. I was panting like a dog in heat. I could barely breathe. I think it's slowly going back to normal though. I just need some patience. Calm, relaxing, patience until Monday. But I/WE really want this. I think we deserve this. I know we do.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Sticky Buns...

My awesomely, incredible friend Claudia offered to drive me to my appointment in Nurnberg on Monday. She drove all the way out to my house with a big pan of beef and cheese enchiladas for Aidan and I to eat for dinner. She really is an awesome friend... and I feel blessed to have her! She kept my mind occupied on the drive up to the office. When we arrived, we immediately found parking in the close parking lot! Great... because I didn't have to walk far when the procedure was done! We went up to the 1st floor and they sent us up to the third floor. There we sat at a small coffee table. We laughed because we felt like at any minute we would be served crumpets and tea. Hahaha! The anesthesiologist came out to ask me a few questions. What are you allergic to, have you had any surgery... bla bla bla. Can you eat Soy Sauce? HUH??? Apparently the medication they use has the same base. I thought that was odd...but ok! She asked me to go back downstairs to use the restroom one more time. It was funny because there was a line of girls doing the same thing. While I stood by the bathroom door waiting for my turn... Dr. V came out of his office. I gave him a little school girl wave and he rubbed me on the shoulder. It was good to see a smile on his face... especially knowing that he was about to possibly get me pregnant...LOL!

I went BACK upstairs and one of the nurses came out to have me finish filling out the paperwork. She asked me to go BACK downstairs to drop off my 2500 euro. I think they were just trying to make me work out. I was exhausted from walking up and down those stairs all morning. Finally around 10:45, the anesthesiologist came back out and got me. I wasn't sure what to expect, and I feel bad because poor little Claudia had to sit out in the waiting room with the other husbands. They didn't allow anyone to go back there but the patient. I went into this tiny room where she gave me a knee length shirt. It had stripes. I remember thinking... am I going to jail? Later I noticed the other girls had plain blue ones with a little bow in the front. Probably because they were skinnier. Haha... the fat girls always get the moo moo dresses :(. She then gave me an IV and asked me to walk into the next room where I climbed up onto the table and put my legs in the stirrups. She covered my girlie parts with a sheet until it was time to do the procedure. She switched my IV out with the sleepy stuff and said... "Night night... sweet dreams". I closed my eyes and drifted of to sleep quickly. It took me a few days to remember what I dreamed about, but I finally did. I was in a Facebook contest and I won a Camera. Haha! Next best thing to babies I guess for me!

When they woke me, I was already in a new room with 3 German girls. The first thing I said was.. "How long was that". Someone said it was an hour and that I had to stay in the new room for another hour. Some of them gave me the evil eye, but I rolled over and pretended not to see. I kept thinking about Claudia sitting in the waiting room bored out of her mind. I was soo grateful to have her there, but also missed John. After all... if this works, that would have been the day of Conception! I laid there for my hour, the whole time holding my belly. I guess I don't take to pain very well because I was cramping a lot and the other girls seemed to be just fine. I was the last one to finish my IV, and they finally sent me on my way with a slip of paper that told me how many eggs they retrieved. 4 out of 8 made it out. I had hoped for more... but this was ok. I met Claudia in the waiting room and we headed to the pharmacy.

She then took me to China Wok. I hadn't eaten since the night before and I was starving. Scarfed down my food like no one's business. Then home. Aidan just got home too and he gave me a quick little look... glad you're alive mommy. He was so nervous the previous night thinking I wouldn't wake up. What a joker that boy is!!! The rest of the evening I spent mostly lying around in bed. I know a bunch of girls are fine after this procedure but for me, I've never done well with stomach pains or cramping... so the bed was the place for me.

The next morning I received a phone call from the office telling me that my eggs were not fertilizing. I immediately started crying and thinking this was such a waste of time and money. But my support group picked me up and I was actually ready to start again right away. I had to wait one more day though "just in case". On Wed I got another phone call from the office. I wasn't excited about this one, but the nurse sounded enthusiastic. "Misses Kimball!!! I have good news!!! 3 of the eggs have fertilized!!" I didn't know what to say. I questioned the quality of the embryo's since it took them longer than normal to fertilize, but I agreed that it was worth a shot to implant them. She called me again later and asked me if I could come in Thursday morning for the transfer. My buns were going back in the oven!!! John wasn't scheduled to return home until Thursday evening, so again, my good friend Claudia accepted my request for her to join me. This time they allowed her to come into the room with me and she watched as they put my little embryo's back in. It was quick and simple and I had 15 minutes of lying flat on my back before I left.

Claudia was worried about me walking around and wanted to get me home as quickly as possible, but I had to make a pit stop at the commissary for a Pineapple! I was told the core of the pineapple helps with implantation. So I've been eating it for the past 3 days. I'm kind of sick of pineapple now. That's pretty much it. Now we wait. The big day is Feb 13th. There are so many things rolling around in my head. I just know that if this doesn't work, I will be devastated. But I know my friends and family will be there for me, and luckily I have John by my side this time. We love our little Aidan... but I don't want to have an empty nest in only 6 years from now. We want more children. Aidan wants a brother or sister... or both. I know there's nothing we can do about it. I'm trying to be patient... but it's hard. REALLY HARD!!!!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Year In-Between...

I was just sitting here thinking about the title of my blog and how appropriately it has reflected our life. I originally named it before the last deployment. It was intended to be a diary that he could come to while he was away for that year. I knew I would continue to write when he returned, but I was worried the title would not fit anymore. But... it still does. Over our 13 years of marriage, we have shared 3 together. The timing of his training activities/deployments/field exercises.. always lands on our anniversary for some reason. He once said to me... "Hunny... it would not be our anniversary if I was home". This is soo true. I don't even know how we would celebrate it. Our first anniversary together was shared when I had to take emergency leave to see my grandmother in the hospital. Shortly after we left her, she passed away. The second anniversary we shared was in Ft. Rucker. It was the night before he went to SERE... so he was frantically packing up his bags. The third anniversary we shared was at Ft. Campbell. That was the night before he left me again for High Altitude training... so he was consumed with anticipation then as well. Oct 23, 1997. That is the only day that matters. It was a PERFECT day. We skipped on over to the courthouse in downtown Fayetteville and were wed by a country man. Our vows were unique. When the justice of the peace read them to us, we both confused his words for "In richness and in property". And we BOTH repeated them that way. We then went with a couple of my friends for an IHOP celebratory breakfast. Next, John and I went on our barracks honeymoon. Beer, pizza, and movies. To me... that was the perfect day.

I'm getting off track here. My point is... it is not only A Year Without Him. There are soo many times that he is gone during important life events. I'm not sure how we plan it this way... but it just happens. Today. I woke up wanting him here with me. I always wake up wanting him here. But today we might actually be conceiving a child (or two). It just seems odd that he's not here for that. Of course... I would not wait for this. We've been waiting for this for 12 years. It's time... and so what if it landed at an inappropriate time? It's happening... and it has to work. I can't wait to make new life with him. It was so incredibly, awesome the first time. I just want/need more. And now I'm off to my surgery!!!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Change of Plans...

Just a little update. I went in on Tuesday and the doctor said he thought we'd have a better chance if we did ICSI instead of just IVF. The only difference is that instead of just putting the sperm and eggs in a dish and letting them fertilize themselves, he will actually inject each egg with a sperm to make sure it has a chance to fertilize. This also means more money (300 euro per egg). At this point, I don't care about the money anymore. If it doesn't work, yeah, then you will hear me whining. He checked my follicles (for those that don't know what a follicle is, it is basically a little house that each egg lives in until they have matured enough to move out... that's my vision anyway), and there are still 8. They are growing and I think when I went in today I heard him say the biggest was at 20 (whatever units they measure follicles by). I was a little concerned about the number of follicles because originally he told me that he wanted to see at least 10. But that was when we were doing IVF only. So "I think", now that we are doing ICSI a smaller number is ok. At least that was the impression I got from him. John is still away in Poland, so I was a little emotional this morning. I went in expecting to start the process all over again. But after talking it out a little more, I felt safe to say 8 was enough. If we started over and ended up with 15 eggs... I'd still have to make the decision whether or not I wanted to pay for all 15 eggs to be fertilized. And at 300 euro a pop... that's just too many! So I am betting my money on these 8 and hoping all of them make it to the final stages... pretty please! I was given another prescription of the Puregon hormone injections to use until Saturday. On Saturday night I will take a different injection which will induce ovulation. I am scheduled to go in on Monday morning for Ovum pickup! Since I will be under anesthesia, I was lectured on finding someone to drive me. Since John is away, my friend Claudia offered to take me. Boy am I nervous about all of the possible what ifs. What if the retrieval doesn't get all of the eggs and we end up with less? What if even less can be fertilized? What if the fertilized embryo's don't make it to implant day? What if all of this is for nothing? I know those are all risks associated with doing IVF/ICSI, but I can't help myself from thinking about them. It is going to be a long weekend!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Is this Really happening?

My brain doesn't shut off anymore. Some nights I can't fall asleep or even get tired until after 3am. I've always been a night owl, but here lately it has gotten worse. By the time I fall asleep, it's time for Aidan to get ready for school. After he leaves I am finally exhausted enough to get some real sleep. And then.... I sleep, and sleep, and sleep. Before I know it, the day is half way done, and I haven't accomplished anything AT ALL! When I know I have to get up early the next day, I find myself dosing up on pm's. I know they aren't good for me, but I don't know what else to do. I asked the doctor if it could have anything to do with the hormone injections. He nodded and said this was hard to diagnose, and I should know after the egg retrieval. Which leads me to one of the many things keeping my brain running...

After my first prescription of 100 units of Puregon, I returned to Dr. V to check on the follicles. He said they weren't progressing much and that they were very small, but that there were about 4 of them. So he upped my dose to 125/150 alternating days and I returned to see him again 5 days later. At that time he found that there were 8 follicles (the largest measuring at 12). On the left ovary there weren't many follicles and they were very small. But on the right side there were several more and larger. He still wants to see more follicles (at least 10) and growth. So he prescribed 175 units of Puregon per day and asked me to return in 6 days. He seemed very positive that we will be doing the Egg retrieval surgery this week.

I think this whole process is starting to hit me. I just realized that we are actually doing this! 3 months ago I was completely in the dark about the IVF process and it didn't even cross my mind that we would be doing it soo soon. I thought we would try injections only... but I had no idea we would actually be making PETRI DISH BABIES (yup... if it works I will be calling them petri dish baby 1 and 2). I'm freaking out a little. The money is a huge part. We have saved for a while, and it will be devastating to see that money go to waste if this doesn't work. I'm also scared to do this alone. John had to go off on a little adventure in Poland, so I'm stuck here to do the surgery without him. Yes, I have my friends... and I love them for wanting to be there for me. But I want/need HIM. I feel like he is often gone when I need him most. Oh... how loving a soldier can be soo satisfying, yet soo painful all at the same time. Argh... I miss him. Which leads me to the second reason my brain won't shut off...

My emotions are running wild. Maybe it's all in my head, or maybe it's the hormone injections. But I can't seem to make it through one day without breaking down somewhere over something extremely retarded! John snatching a menu from my hand (REALLY????)... a sappy song on the radio (GAY!!!)... WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME????? My god I feel like a moron! Crying in front of people I just met too (STOP!!!!). Anyways... yes... I am excited... but no... I am not getting my hopes up. I know how this works... I know it's not always in the cards. I want more babies. John wants more babies. But I don't believe it is really happening. How could it be when we have been trying for 12 years? 12 years of hoping... and 12 years of having that hope crushed. And... I'm laying it out there for everyone to see. Is that wrong of me to get people excited if it's just a shot in the dark? Ok brain... you can shut off now!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Open Book...

That's right... I am a huge open book. I don't care who knows our lives, our ups, our downs. I put it out there. Through blogging, through facebook, even an occasional hit on my business page. I figure if you don't care to know... you don't have to read it. But the way I see it, I have hundreds of friends who do care about what goes on in our life. They are excited to hear about our Germany adventures, our fertility treatments, my photography, what's happening with my pre-teen. I think we have a pretty interesting and amazing life. I love it... why not share my experiences with the world (or at least my friends and family)?

That being said... I'm just going to jump right into the TMI. John and I started seeing the fertility doctor just about a month ago. We hoped that we wouldn't have to do procedures like IVF. I was praying that all we needed was a little kick. Maybe a shot or two of those amazing fertility drugs they make these days. But after our first Ultrasound a couple of weeks ago, we found out that we don't have many options at all. I only have one tube remaining after the ectopic pregnancy. And well... it is completely blocked :(. So there is absolutely no way for the egg to travel down the tube or the sperm to travel up the tube. Our only option now is In Vitro Fertilization. I've always had it in the back of my mind, but didn't actually think we would go through with that so soon. We have a little money saved up, so decided to just go for it!

He started me off with a Monats-Depot shot. Don't ask me what that was for... but it made me bloated and bitchy.. and oddly hungry! I was told to come back in on day 2 of the next cycle... which was today! He did another ultrasound, more blood work, and prescribed me Puregon injections for the next 5 days. I am supposed to take 100 units each day. Let me just say... I put John in charge of the first injection and he jacked that all up. He gave me 175 instead of 100! Hahaha! What am I going to do with this boy? I told him he would have to suffer the wrath of the extra hormones he just gave me. You think this gives me a license to nag for the next few days??? Hehehe! Anyways... I go back in to see him again on Monday to check on the follicles. From there we decide if I need more or less units of the Puregon. The plan is to stimulate enough follicles so we have plenty to extract next month... but at the same time trying not to overstimulate my body. If that happens, I will have to give my body a little break before we can move on to the next step. And that could mean months. We don't have too much longer before this next movement... so I'm hoping to get this going as soon as possible!

I did want to touch on one more thing that I have noticed here. As an American, I was raised to hide my body from the world. So when it came time to see the OBGYN, I was always embarrassed to have my girly parts all out in the open. I even neglected to go in for my annual checkups because of that. The Germans are different with this kind of stuff. They definitely aren't ashamed. So when I see the Doctor here, there are no paper robes to hide behind, and you don't have a moment to re-dress yourself after he is done looking at you. He will let you know what needs to happen while you are getting dressed, and expects that you will be comfortable with that. At first I was a little taken by it and I was provided with a blanket to cover myself. But when I went in today, I had nothing. I sat on the table naked from the waist down. I looked over my shoulder once and realized that the nurse had even left the door to the reception area open. When the Doctor came in, he was followed by a female nurse AND another Male. It didn't seem to phase me much this time. I feel free and relaxed. Like I do not need to be ashamed of my body anymore. So I have a few fat rolls and stretch marks. Why does it matter as long as my husband loves me for ME.