Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Show & Tell: Leave A Legacy

One Disney story a week for Show & Tell until I've used p all my pictures! That's how I finally decided to share my Disney pics from my conference trip a few weeks ago. This idea has two advantages: 1) I won't break up the TTC/IF thoughts with Disney stuff; and my Disney trip report won't get interrupted by TTC/IF thoughts! :-) 2) Disney stories make me smile. Might as well spread those smiles out as long as possible. One guaranteed smile per week for Show & Tell sounds pretty nice to me. (I apologize in advance if you're not a Disney person and/or Disney doesn't make you smile. Feel free to share your Disney-like place in the comments!)

So, without further ado...Disney story #1.

Epcot is by far my favorite park. If I could pick only one park to go to or stay at, it would be Epcot. It seems fitting then that a picture of DH and I forever sits just beneath the gleaming Epcot golf ball, otherwise known as Spaceship Earth.

That's right, a picture. In 2004, DH and I spent our honeymoon at Disney World. And, it just so happened that Disney was doing a special promotion at Epcot called "Leave a Legacy." You could have your picture taken and added to a tile that would be placed on giant granite slabs beneath the golf ball. I know that I'm a total Disney geek, but this sounded awesome to me: Commemorate our wedding day...and be able to bring our kids back on our many future family vacations to Disney to show them Mom & Dad gloriously happy on their honeymoon at the happiest place Earth.

The "Leave a Legacy" monument had really only just begun when we were there in 2004, so it was hard to imagine what it might look like 5 years later. It was also hard to tell how the little picture of a grinning newlywed DH and his Bride Minne-eared bride would look etched in steel and attached to those giant granite slabs. I knew that one day we'd be back (I even dared to dream with kids in tow) to see our honeymoon picture on the monument.

Five years later, I got my wish (minus kids in tow, for now). Here's a view of the monument as a whole (sorry for the crappy angle, I can't find my better pic at the moment). The granite slabs line either side of the main entrance to Epcot, all the way back to Spaceship Earth.

What a joy it was to find our tile on my trip last relive those memories of a somewhat more innocent, naive moment and to think of how far we've come. Though the memory of that innocence is alluring, I wouldn't trade one bit of it for the strength, love and stronger connection we have 5 years later. I didn't understand that saying "I hope today is the day you love each other the least" 5 years ago. I get it now.  And, I honestly like the people we've become better than the people that we were (nice when that happens! :-)!  Still, it's nice to know that that particularly beautiful moment has a special place at one of our favorite places. We'll always know exactly where to find and how to relive that wonderful moment in our lives!

So there, on the monument's west side, row 2, section B, panel 3, tile 10-20 reside the newlyweds frozen in time...

Thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to see what the rest of the class is sharing over at Mel's place!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Busy, but not Busy Enough!

Sorry everyone. I just haven't felt "in the mood" to post lately.  I guess it's because there hasn't been much new to say.  There's still not much terribly new to say today.  But, I think--I'm hopeful--that there will be much to discuss in the coming days. 

I suppose there have been a few new developments recently, some bigger than others.  Most notably, we had dinner with very dear friends and their 3-year-old daughter over the weekend.  They had a request for us that both shocked and awed us and ultimately left us honored and humbled.  Amidst our troubles trying to conceive, that someone would trust us, in the event of a terrible worst case scenario, with their own IF miracle just leaves me speechless...awed...thankful...and humbled.  And, it feels a bit like God reminding us that we're on the right path, but must wait our turn.

It's that last part that continues to be a struggle for me, though.  DH has been on the Tamoxifen/Arimidex combo for about a month now.  Our first follow-up with the urologist is Friday.  It's not as if we're not busy on the TTC front.  We're not exactly not doing anything.  But, it feels so "low impact."  I want to do more than have DH pop a pill. I'll just be shocked if that alone makes all of our TTC troubles go away.  And, to be fair, I have learned great respect for meds through DH's depression.  A well-prescribed anti-depressant can make all the difference in the world (and vice versa on a poorly prescribed one).  But, even the best anti-depressant can't make DH's depression completely go away.  It still takes "management," for lack of a better term. 

I suspect that TTC will be that way for us, too.  The Tamoxifen/Arimidex may help, but I just don't see them as the silver bullet.  And, if IUI and/or IVF await us, I'd rather just get there.  That's the catch, though, if the Tamoxifen/Arimidex have any chance of improving the counts, we need to give them time to do their job.  I'm just impatient. 

So, we're busy, but we're not busy enough for me yet.  Of course, the next valid question you may be thinking is what would "busy enough" look like for me.  It's a good question.  I don't have an answer.  I just know that I want to do more.  We'll be asking the urologist for a timeline for IUI/IVF on Friday and if he's aware of any clinical trials that might apply to us.  And, I'll probably be looking to set up a RE appointment soon...adding that to our urologist appointments and DH's psychiatrist, sleep specialist and endocrinologist appointments.  Hmmm...I think DH will feel BUSY... 

Patience...anyone have tips on learning patience?  I've been trying for years, but I don't think I've made any progress! :-)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Hello Cycle #7

Witchy AF found me today. The odd thing is that I could some up Cycle 6 in one word it would be "indifference." This is the first month that I didn't shed a single tear at the sight/thought of AF. And, I even managed to escape my normal pre-O crazies this cycle. All very weird...and welcome....I think.

Indifference is a weird feeling for me. I guess I rarely ever feel indifferent about anything. SO, to feel indifferent about this is especially odd. It was a welcome change of pass from the past few months, though. Until we get more encouraging SA results or move on to IUI or IVF, I hope this feeling sticks around, I think. It's just so much easier to not get my hopes up quite so much.

At the moment, if the choice is between indifference or obsession, I choose indifference. And, I have yet to find a "somewhere in between" setting!

P.S. Finally got the Disney pics uploaded last night. Hope to post some tonight or tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Disney Did You Know...

I ended up at a work dinner last night and got home know Disney photos uploaded yet. However, I'm just dying to talk Disney, so I thought it might be fun to share some interesting Disney "Did you knows." Specifically, these relate to now defunct or unfinished Walt Disney World hotels/attractions. Who knew that these things were hiding at WDW? You will after today! :-)
Disney's Pop Century Legendary Years
Many of you will probably already know about Disney's Pop Century Resort. The resort that many know and love also has a more specific name: Disney's Pop Century Classic Years.

Why the distinction, you ask? Well, because across Hourglass Lake and Generation Gap Bridge sits this unfinished phase 2 construction: Pop Century Legendary Years.
As you can see, The Classic Years cover the 1950s throguh 90s. The Legendary Years were meant to show the 10s through 40s. Construction was promptly halted following 9/11 and the ensuing drop off in tourism. For nearly 9 years now The Legendary Years have sat just across the lake unfinished.
The talk on Disney message boards and blogs is that Disney plans to finish The Legendary Years and turn them into family suites. Whether this is true remains to be seen. Nonetheless, it's always seemed weird to me that Disney lets them sit unfished and unthemed. Many guests of The Classic Years with views of Hourglass Lake can also see the unfished Legendary Years. Given Disney's usually zealous attempts to keep all on-property views tightly Disney themed, it just seems odd. Until, hopefully, Disney finishes The Legendary Years, they will continue to serve as a unique bit of Disney history and trivia.

Disney's River Country
Just off of Bay Lake (the lake the Contemporary Resort sits on) sits a now defunct water park. In fact, if you take the Disney transport boats from the Contemporary or Fort Wilderness and you look very closely, you'll actually be able to see yellow water slides jutting out of the woods!
Apparently, River Country, the world's first fully themed water park, was built six feet or so higher than Bay Lake so that runoff from the water park would flow into the Lake. Well, at some point water from Bay Lake contaminated the water park and the ensuing environmental nightmare would have cost too much to clean up vs. the amount of revenue the park brought in. That's all web speculation, though. Nonetheless, River Country sits eerily abandoned.

Disney's Discovery Island
Have you ever wondered where the animals for Animal Kingdom came from? Well, many of them came from AK's predecessor park: Discovery Island. DI served as a sort of walk-through zoo, tropical paradise themed. I was shocked to learn that DI was open when we went to WDW when I was a kid. I never remember hearing about it!

And, that is one of the major reasons it was closed! So, many of the animals were moved over to AK and DI now sits, abandoned, as a bird sanctuary.
Do you have any "Disney Did You Know's" to share? Did any of you ever visit DI or River Country...or have you seen the Pop Century Legendary Years for yourself? Please share!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Harassment Training and Infertility

I know that I promised a Disney recap.  It's coming.  I need to get my photos uploaded, hopefully tonight.  In the meantime, I wanted to share an experience from yesterday.  I had the pleasure of sitting through my company's recurrent harassment training.  Fun times...

My company recognizes a rather amazing number of protected categories-- some mandated by states, others just because it's "the right thing to do."  Of course there are the usuals: race, sex color, national origin, religion, age, etc.  We also protect our employees from harassment based on sexual orientation and gender identity.  And, of course, pregnancy.

The interesting thing about that last one is that my boss was hired for her new position mere weeks into her current pregnancy.  Clearly my company makes good on the training by following policy with action.  And, I'm glad to know that when our day comes, I can expect the same consideration from the company.  In the meantime, I'm reminded that the company attempts to "protect" a large cross-section of people from unnecessary pain, but so often people fail to consider their words through the filter of infertility.

Now, I'm not saying that I think that infertility should be a protected harassment category.  It's not as if I would ever file a harassment claim based on someone's ill-conceived, fertility-related comment.  However, it would be nice if there was ever a mention of it just to plant the seed in people's minds that they might want to tread lightly. 

I'm always shocked at the ridiculous things the people who do know what we're going through say.  In fact, sometimes those people say more ridiculous things than people who don't know!  Harassment training left me wishing that more people would try to put themselves, even if just for a few minutes, in our shoes...and even more than my shoes, because I haven't walked this journey for very long, the shoes of those of you have been patient for so long and endured so much pain. 

Harassment is a strong word that shouldn't be thrown around lightly.  I don't think it really applies here, in most cases.  But, "relax," " God's time," or "don't you want kids," etc. shouldn't be thrown around so lightly either.

And the other thing that I realized in harassment training...just about everything has the potential to remind me of our infertility journey, especially days away from AF.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Welcome IComLeavWe'ers!

Just a quick post this morning for September's IComLeavWe kick-off! 

A bit about us...
DH and I are on TTC Cycle #6, though it feels much longer.  Our TTC journey began in January 2009, but was put on hold until I could have exploratory laparoscopy in March.  One adhesion was removed, no endometriosis found.  Great news, but we knew that we weren't out of the woods yet.  We hadn't even begun to explore possible fertility issues on DH's side.

We officially began TTC in March.  We set a date...if we weren't pregnant by month 4 we'd get an SA.  I know that seems really early to a lot of people.  But, we knew to start looking early since it took the in-laws many years to conceive due to MFI.  The fourth cycle came and went without a BFP.  We did get our first SA results this cycle though...

Answers are good.  They get you one step closer to your goal.  But, that doesn't mean they're easy to hear.  Our SA results definitely fit that mold!  Count is low, motility is low and morphology is 0% normal.  This is DH's first month on Tamoxifen/Arimidex combo that Dr. B hopes will improve the numbers.  We'll find out if we're making any progress at our next appointment on October 2.

What to expect during IComLeavWe...
Last week I was and Disney World for "business."  I dutifully went to my conference from 7-5 Mon-Wed, but spent every evening at a Disney park.  I have a problem...if Disney is open, I can't sleep.  So, I came back exhausted and sore beyond belief, but I had a BLAST (And learned a lot at my conference, too ;-).  I'm hoping to posts my trip report, including pictures this week.  Probably less TTC-related posts than distraction-related posts for the next few days!

That said, AF is due any day, so I'm quite certain there will be a TTC post or two (or three) scattered in!  I hope you enjoy you visit to Our Someday Family!  Please pull up a chair and stay awhile.  And, don't forget to say "HI!" while you're here!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Still around...

Just CRAZY busy! We've had some good news since the last time I posted, too. Luckily, we got a new offer on the house...someone who's not concerned with the inspection issue that doomed the last offer.

And, I found out last week that I'm attending a conference for work at Disney World this week! WooHoo! Feeling like a lucky girl for the first time in quite awhile! :-)

So, I'll be scarce the next week, too. But, will come back soon with a trip report!

Oh...and on the TTC front...4DPO with nothing very exciting to report.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

And it all comes crashing down...

Ok, maybe that's a bit melodramatic; maybe it's not.  That covers how I feel at the moment pretty accurately, though!

Got the second SA results back today.  They were the same.  That's not the "crashing down" part, though it sucks.

No, the primary reason for my awful, terrible, bad day is this...15 months ago we put our house in Minnesota on the market.  At some point we decided that we would need to short sale the house due to the market conditions.  2 months ago we got our first offers (2 in the same week).  Monday the buyers had their inspection.  Today they cancelled their offer.

Back to square one.

I was taking some small amount of solace in the fact that God was only giving us one giant life drama to deal with at a time...that we would close on the MN house and be able to focus all of our attention on the TTC drama.  Not so, apparently.

I still believe that God only gives us what he know we can handle.  But, he must really think that we can handle a lot...

Edited to add:  Just to give the clear picture, I should say that we moved from MN for work relocation reasons, and also because the lack of light/general environment of MN was really hard on DH and his depression.  Even though the MN side of the move sucks in that we can't get rid of the house even 15 months later, we've been incredibly lucky on how the TX side of things has worked out.  We're happy in this new life in TX and just want to get rid of the "dead weight" that keeps us from closing the MN chapter of our lives and lets us fully move on.  I guess that's why I get so upset about it. 
For those of you that like to see the numbers (and so that I can record it for later), here are the 2nd SA results:
Count: 5 million (no change)
Motility: 14% (down from 22% a month ago)
Morphology: 0% normal

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Bad News is Good News?

Well, Maybe. At the very least, bad news equals hope, for the moment.

We got Hubby's blood work results yesterday. His testosterone levels are extremely low (normal for his age is 600; his is 190) and his estradiol levels are borderline high. Tomorrow is our second SA, the baseline, and after that he'll be starting Tamoxifen (for the testosterone) and Arimidex (for the estradiol).

The interesting thing is that regardless of whether or not balancing the hormon levels helps our MFI issues, low testosterone can lead to depression and extreme fatigue...two issues that DH deals with in spades. Even if it doesn't help the swimmers, it would be AWESOME if it helped with either the depression or fatigue. And, perhaps we'll even get a win-win out of the deal

I'm feeling a bit more hopeful today, even though I know that the Clomid/Tamoxifen route is rather hit-and-miss on it's effectiveness. At least it's a ray of hope to hang on to in the shorter term! And, it feels good!

Question: Dr. B had already discussed the Tamoxifen, but this was the first we'd heard of the Arimidex. Do any of my lovely readers have experience with Arimidex?

Update: Thanks for all the good luck wishes yesterday. My presentation ROCKED! It was awesome...probably the best I've ever given. So, the lesson is that practicing the presentation ten times to a bored, and eventually sleeping, audience of Gracie and Audrey is the key! :-)
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