Thursday, December 17, 2009

Same Story, Different Cycle

Well, IUI was a bust. We'll be trying the whole process over again at the end of January. We could have started sooner, EXCEPT . . . .

we're going on a CRUISE!!! My parents were so sweet, and kind of nudged us into taking a cruise to help us relax and just have some fun couple time. So our Christmas present this year is a vacation! We need a fun adventure to get our minds off of the horrible fertility struggle. My doctor's office was asking me if I was ok with bringing my Lupron shots on the cruise with me, and I was like "I think that sort of defeats the purpose of this cruise. It's supposed to be to forget about all of this." So they put me on birth control (ironic) for two cycles and I will be starting up the Lupron shots middle of January. Oh how I am missing the bruised belly-three shots a day-raging hormones-bloated belly.

Anyway, so our cruise is through Norwegian Cruise Line and it is a 7 night cruise. We leave out of Miami on December 27th, head to Roatan, Honduras, Belize City, Belize, Costa Maya, Mexico, and Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas, arriving back in Miami on January 3rd! We are so excited! I especially can't wait for the snorkeling -- they say it's the best snorkeling outside the Great Barrier Reef of Australia!!

I just tell myself, you know what, there are a lot of PLUSES to not having children. I need to appreciate the time I have childless (because no matter what, adoption or in vitro, I will have a kid some day). There are so many fun things to do in life that are easier to do without children. So, we're going to live it up while we can!

So, this baking blog has become quite the infertility blog. That will hopefully change this weekend. I am hoping to do the Daring Baker's challenge this weekend, as well as my annual cookie bake with Chris' mom PLUS a cookie bake party at Faith's house tomorrow night! I should definitely have some baking photos up very soon! And then, after that, CRUISE photos!!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Sorry for the long delay in my long update of fertility crap! Well, as was expected, I didn't get to go through with the IVF. I only developed 1 mature follicle, and they won't do an egg retrieval for just one possible egg (with good reason). I think that they were almost too cautious with me in the beginning, fearing I would overstimulate, but ended up with the opposite result of not enough eggs. BUT, we did get to convert to an IUI!! It's better than nothing! I am hopeful and optimistic that this could be the ONE! I will find out this coming Saturday, November 28th if I'm preggo or not! If not, we will do it all over again (with a different protocol) starting sometime in January or February.

In the meantime, I thought this was funny, my Doctor wrote me a prescription for progesterone suppositories that I must take until I find out if I'm pregnant or not (if I am, I have to continue them for 8 weeks!). That's not the funny part though. The funny thing is that she told me that I needed to take 2 per vagina three times a day!! Chris and I looked at each other and tried to contain our immature laughter. How many vaginas do I have, we wondered?! No wonder I have to go through fertility treatments!! Oh, that Dr. jargon, so silly.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Something only a Speech-Language Pathologist would truly appreciate

This is pretty strange and awesome at the same time.  I used to scope people like this when I had my hospital internship, but we never made them sing -- just swallow things.

Friday, November 6, 2009

As Promised . . .

Better late than never, here is my video of the Menopur shot:

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


I think part of the reason I want to have a kid so badly, is that I had an AWESOME childhood.  I want to recreate my childhood by giving a new generation a similar experience.  I was sent a video by my dad today that brought me right back to those worry-free days:

I Can't Take Anymore Bad News!

Today was kind of a downer.  I went in for more blood work and my first ultra sound since starting the stimulation medications.  My estrogen level went from 200 on Monday to 700 today, which is not that great of a thing, since I only have 1 measurable follicle.  The estrogen level should rise more consistently with the increase in follicle sizes.  So, there's maybe a 50/50 chance that this cycle will be cancelled, or in the words of the nurse practitioner, "it could go either way."  I go back in for another ultra sound tomorrow, Friday, and Saturday!!  They're watching me very closely to make sure I don't go into over hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS).  I'm feeling a bit uncomfortable today, but the nurse practitioner said that may be a good sign (as in, maybe I'm "bloaty" because my follicles are growing).  AAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrgh!  Why does this process have to be so incredibly hard for me and so easy for others?!  Just another example of how unfair life is.  I look at all the parents in my neighborhood, community, city, country that have children that they neglect, abuse, or just flat out don't appreciate and wonder how they got to have kids and I can't?  And, not just that they get to have kids, but they got to have kids without the year of trying tons of medications, constant anxiety and hope, and then disappointment over and over again, in addition to all of the crazy amounts of money spent (since insurance doesn't cover anything), shooting yourself up with tons of shots, being prodded and poked constantly, all for more disappointment.  I'm so ready for something to work out for me and for some happy, hopeful news.  I just want to even have a chance to hope to be pregnant.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


This year we celebrated Halloween by going to a party over at Tim and Faith's house. It was quite an entertaining evening!

There were lots of spooky treats:

My haunted trifle is "triflin'" as John mentioned.
My spider web sugar cookies (it was quite the task to get that icing that color!)
Faith made creative labels for the soda bottles
She had stuff to make S'mores over the bonfires she had going outside (unfortunately, we were all too full from the other sweets to make S'mores).
Mummy candy
Faith also made these awesome "meatheads"!!! She spread cream cheese over some plastic skulls and then wrapped them with procciuto and gave them olive eye balls!
Doll-part cupcakes made by Micah and Jenna
Carrot fingers
I also made some marshmallow bones that looked a little more like limp 'bone'rs.

I was a cupcake this year! How appropriate. . .

Equally appropriate, Chris was "Death by chocolate" -- those are Snickers pinned to his shirt.
Octavia was "Hannah Banana" -- her way of making fun of Hannah Montana.
Faith was Julia Childs . . . so cute!
John was a Mad Scientist -- maybe even a head shrink

Justin and Jenn were Mario (or Larry) and Princess Peach . . . very cute!

And I just realized I didn't get any pictures of Jenna and Micah! They even won a prize for best costume!! Sorry guys!

We even dressed Wembley up this year as a squirrel. Ollie chewed on his little squirrel tail a bit!

And another hilarious video to close the post:

Saturday, October 31, 2009

MenopurELY Painful

I started my stimulating shots yesterday!  Who else, other than people with infertility, would get so excited to begin injecting themselves with three shots daily?!  Well, the excitement quickly wore off after I felt the Menopur shot!  It, for some reason, was much more painful than Lupron, and by far more painful than Follistim (which isn't painful at all).  Plus, there are a lot of steps involved in prepping the Menopur for injecting.  I will make a video tomorrow morning to post, but today my camera battery died at the very beginning of the process.  I go in on Monday for blood work to assess my estrogen level and determine if we're on the right track or not with dosage.  I will probably also go in on Wednesday morning for an ultrasound and more blood work.  The RE (Reproductive Endocrinologist)'s office said that they still anticipate an egg retrieval around November 9, 10, or 11th despite the lowered dosage (They lowered my dosage due to the fact that I had a VERY high antral follicle count (try 50 in each ovary!!!!!) and they don't want all of the follicles producing eggs too quickly or I would over hyperstimulate).  The anticipated retrieval date is, of course, if everything goes as planned . . . 

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Delayed Birthday Gratification

I love it when my birthday lasts for weeks!  Today I received a cupcake from Jilly's cupcake bar on my porch from Shawnee!  It was a "Missylicious" cupcake, which I believe is vanilla cupcake with vanilla buttercream.  Shawnee is living in Kalamazoo, Michigan and orchestrated this cupcake delivery from afar.  Thanks, Shawnee!

Last Friday night, Katie took me out for a fancy dinner for my birthday!!  We went to a swanky restaurant in Clayton called Araka.  We ordered a couple glasses of wine.

Katie ordered butternut squash soup with a balsamic dribble on top to start:

I got a ceasar salad with "potato croutons" to start:

Then, I got a butternut squash-filled ravioli with a parmesan foam and crispy fried sage:

Katie got a pork dish with some apples and sweet potato gnocchi:

Me with my food (and my really cute new dress that I got from H&M, too bad you can't see the whole dress):

I'm also wearing my brand new necklace custom made by none other than Katie of Scarlett Garnet.  I will have to take another photograph of it for the blog, but it's a metal cutout of a turtle (my request, as the turtle is a Native American symbol of fertility).

Here is the lovely Katie:

Thanks for making my birthday stretch out over a week girls!!  It's more fun when you have little surprises to look forward to over a period of time!

Laduree's got nothin on these Macarons!

The 2009 October Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Ami S. She chose macarons from Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern as the challenge recipe.

I was SOOOOOOOOO excited to do this month's Daring Baker's challenge: French macarons!! Ever since our trip to Europe in 2008, I wanted to make macarons. We visited Laduree at Harrods in London, and OMG! I fell in love with French macarons. There was one in particular that beat out all the others: salted caramel mmmmmmmmmmmmm.

I didn't want to get too crazy with flavors for my first try, because all I was really worried about this time was technique. I wanted to make sure that my macarons had "feet", and sure enough, I must have done something right, because there are feet!! I made pumpkin spice macarons with chocolate ganache filling. Delicious!!! I can't wait to experiment with other variations! I was so proud of myself and the way they turned out on a first attempt!

Here's the recipe if you'd like to give 'em a go:

Confectioners’ (Icing) sugar: 2 ¼ cups (225 g, 8 oz.)
Almond flour: 2 cups (190 g, 6.7 oz.)
Granulated sugar: 2 tablespoons (25 g , .88 oz.)
Egg whites: 5 (Have at room temperature)


1. Preheat the oven to 200°F (93°C). Combine the confectioners’ sugar and almond flour in a medium bowl. If grinding your own nuts, combine nuts and a cup of confectioners’ sugar in the bowl of a food processor and grind until nuts are very fine and powdery.
2. Beat the egg whites in the clean dry bowl of a stand mixer until they hold soft peaks. Slowly add the granulated sugar and beat until the mixture holds stiff peaks.
3. Sift a third of the almond flour mixture into the meringue and fold gently to combine. If you are planning on adding zest or other flavorings to the batter, now is the time. Sift in the remaining almond flour in two batches. Be gentle! Don’t overfold, but fully incorporate your ingredients.
4. Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a plain half-inch tip (Ateco #806). You can also use a Ziploc bag with a corner cut off. It’s easiest to fill your bag if you stand it up in a tall glass and fold the top down before spooning in the batter.
5. Pipe one-inch-sized (2.5 cm) mounds of batter onto baking sheets lined with nonstick liners (or parchment paper).
6. Bake the macaroon for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and raise the temperature to 375°F (190°C). Once the oven is up to temperature, put the pans back in the oven and bake for an additional 7 to 8 minutes, or lightly colored.
7. Cool on a rack before filling.

Yield: 10 dozen. Ami's note: My yield was much smaller than this. I produced about two dozen filled macaroons.

* I added a generous dose of pumpkin pie spice to the macaron batter, as well as a sprinkling on top of the baked macarons.

Catty Carvers

This week the "Catty kitchen" was to be held at Jenna's house!!  We brought over pumpkins to carve.  Jenna had set up a cute little Fall-themed spread for us to enjoy including muffins, nuts, and candy corn!
Jenna and Micah have a really cute little dachsund mix.  I found it quite hilarious when Jenna unwrapped a bone that was the same size as the dog for it to chew on.

Pumpkins were carved by all, and there was quite a variety:

Octavia was impregnated with a pumpkin baby:

Jenna was such a sweet hostess.  Here she is cleaning up after all of our messy carving:

She even put away the slimy pumpkin seeds despite it grossing her out:
Meanwhile, Kora drank cider and Faith contemplated the Crate and Barrel catalogue:
Whilst I video taped this hilarity:

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Shootin up some babies!

Here's a picture of all of my IVF meds for this one cycle:

And here I am giving my first Lupron injection. I plan to document the process all the way:

Anniversary celebrations

For our anniversary, Chris and I considered going to Pere Marquette again to stay the night.  But, because we had just had a lovely trip to Chicago, we didn't want to spend all the money (plus we have a wonderful new king sized bed of our own that we don't have to pay to sleep in).  So, instead we decided to go to Pere Marquette's AMAZING brunch that happens Sundays throughout October.  We invited our parents along (we had already done the romantic "alone" time dinner the night before).  The brunch had anything and everything you could ever want, including a bananas foster station!!

After brunch we went hiking at Pere Marquette State Park -- it was beautiful!!  Then, we all headed over to Eckert's to pick some FUJIS!!!!  My favorite!  

Mama and her apple

My dad and his "apple stick", demonstrating that it really works!
Bob for apples (ha!)

Apple stick in action
All the Fujis were on the ground!!!!  :(

We also got pumpkins, kettle corn, and Indian corn.  My dad pulled the cart and looked like a little boy doing so.  Here is the apple stick in motion (tilt your head 90 degrees counter clockwise):