Big Announcement!!

SORRY!  It’s not what you thought!!!  (Although I wish it were!!!!)

There are SO many things going on in our lives right now.

Good things!  Potentially GREAT things!!

  • J and I are just waiting for the sellers to pick a firm close date.  We’ve already given our notice to our apartment complex.
  • We should be hearing ANY day now about the determination of the IVF grant.
  • AND we are up to $2,000 in our IVF fundraiser!  Almost enough for one round of medications.
  • I have finished writing a letter to my employer asking them to consider adding infertility coverage as a benefit to our health insurance plans (fingers crossed!!!).
  • To support a statement in that letter, I had to search Google for an article and when I typed ‘infertility 3rd most serious’ into the search engine, MY BLOG was the 4th top result on Google’s main home page!!!!  (I totally shouldn’t be geeking out about it – but I COMPLETELY am!!!)
  • During National Infertility Awareness Week, I was approached by a national fertility organization and asked to blog for them!!

Yup.  You read that right!  My little ol’ piddly blog somehow captured the attention of Attain Fertility and I was asked to blog for them!

happy emoticon

It is not a paid writing gig, but the exposure will be AMAZING!!  The blogs I write will be published on the Attain Fertility website, blog, Twitter, and Facebook pages.  Their Facebook page alone has over 30,000 fans!!

Plus, I will be able to more effectively promote awareness for this disease that NEEDS more attention!!!

So, I’m excited for all the things that are coming…  but I’m exhausted just thinking about it!!!!  What an adventure!!

If you’d like to keep up with the blogs I write on that website, you can always ‘Like’ our Munchkin McNabb page on Facebook for a really easy way to follow!

I just want to say THANK YOU to all of you that have read my blogs and are following me!  The support that I get from all of you is simply amazing.

I hope that you will stay tuned for my ramblings blogs on Attain’s website!!

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Hope – Noun or Verb?

Some days are easier than others.  Some I can plaster a smile and crack jokes and laugh louder than anyone.  Other days it’s all I can do to not cry.  Some days, hope is one of those words that I hold tightly to…  and other days, it hides.

hiding_bear

In school, we learn that a noun is a word used to describe a person, place or thing, while a verb is an action word.  Hope, as a noun, means “a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.”  As a verb, means ” intend, if possible, to do something.”

Infertility is a noun.  But my response?  A verb.  There’s no ‘if possible’ about it – I intend to be a mother.

Women who battle infertility have to do things that we never expected to have to do.  We take our temps first thing in the morning before we even get out of bed.  We chart our cervical mucus (*ewww*).  We have way too many different people explore our sacred places in hopes of answers.  We have an intimately familiar love/hate relationship with Mr. Dildocam (ultrasound wand).  We take pills that give us bad mood swings.  We inject ourselves with medications that give us WORSE mood swings.  We risk damaging, or worse yet losing, our reproductive organs in hopes of reproducing.  We shatter when our dreams slip through our fingers.  But – we get up, dust ourselves off and try again faster than most kids can get over dropping their ice cream off the cone on a hot day.  And if you asked any one of us if it was worth it… we’d all say yes before you finished the question.  Otherwise, we wouldn’t keep trying again and again.

fall down

It’s a pricey process – emotionally and financially.  Some women are extremely lucky, and others – not so much.  Unfortunately, we fall into the latter category.  The multi-billion dollar corporation that my husband and I work for has got just about the WORST insurance coverage when it comes to infertility.  Which leaves us in a spot that – quite frankly – makes me kinda uncomfortable.

A few months ago I wrote a blog about something that we are doing in order to make hope a verb for us.

I try so hard not to inundate people with the link.  I don’t want to be that annoying person that is asking people for money every day.  But really, that’s what we are doing.  And the response has truly warmed my heart.  These days, it’s not easy to part with a hard-earned dollar.  But every single time I log onto our YouCaring account and see that someone has donated – I am reduced to tears.  Every single contribution makes us feel like YOU believe in our miracle as much as WE do!  And that is an indescribable feeling!

Hope isn’t just something that we have in our hearts.  It’s something that we see every time someone sends an encouraging word.  Or reminds us that they are praying for us.  Or tells us how our strength is inspiring.  Or adds a dollar to our fund.

We TRULY, TRULY thank you from the bottom of our hearts!!!

thankyou_heart

Can You Just Imagine That?

I’ve been thinking over the last week ” I REALLY need to blog again! It’s been SOOOOOOO long!!” and then I looked when I logged in and really, it’s only been 2 weeks.  That is a long time, but it seriously felt like YEARS!  It’s been an action-packed 14 days!  Birthdays, bad weather, broken teeth (not mine, hubby’s), dr’s visits, diet changes (I FINALLY went completely gluten-free, even of cross-contamination, and I feel great!), heated arguments, counseling sessions…….  SERIOUSLY action-packed.

exhausted woman

Part of the reason it’s felt like it’s lasted so long is because, of the last 14 days, I’ve bled 11 of them.  Yup.  You read that correctly.  Bled.  11 DAYS.  (That may be more than some of you want to know, but TOUGH!)  I’ve gotten to know how my body works pretty well.  I’ve got an app that helps track everything for me, but I’ve gotten so in tune that I can just about narrow it down to a couple hour window of when my period is going to start.  And then I bleed for 3 days and it’s on to waiting for ovulation.  Well, little did I know that not starting when I’d expected to was merely the beginning of the abnormalities for this cycle.

First couple days it was just real light.  Then the third was, let’s say, medium.  I remember thinking “Huh.  This is an easy one.  Lucky me.”  And it kinda stopped for a couple of days…  And then, it was full force.  **Information to follow is not for the queasy**  For 2 days, I passed clumps that were kind of scary.  After already experiencing a miscarriage, my first thought was “here we go again.”  I called my OB’s office and they said that it sounded like an early miscarriage and that I needed to take a home pregnancy test and come in for blood work.

negative test

You’d think I’d get used to the stark-white window glaring back at me.  Not so much.  Not matter how many times I look at that little window, all I see is Mother Nature flipping me the bird.  Just once, I wanna be able to flip it back at her!  My OB’s office called the next day to see how I was doing and when I told them that I’d failed the test again but was still bleeding, they said that I needed to come in for an ultrasound and to see the Dr.  So, I prepared my heart the best I could and went in.

Let me just say – I always HATE going to the OB’s office.  All these oh-so-cute pregnant women around with that glow reminding me that I’m so very NOT pregnant.  Ugh.  But this time, I got the immense pleasure of witnessing this woman in the waiting room – who I was about 1.5 seconds away from putting in her place when they called my name – that was sitting next to her doting husband and rolling her eyes while he talked about little things.  After checking his phone, he told her that he needed to go on a work trip at a certain time, but that they should plan a ‘new family’ vacation/celebration around it.  She then proceeded to tell him how inconSINderate he was to even THINK about going because it was going to force her to go back to work sooner than she wanted to and what a HUGE favor she was doing by carrying his child and how miserable she was.  And then, she went on to tell him that he needed to go get her some wet paper towels so that she could clean her hands before she ate her snack, “but don’t touch any part of the part I will touch because I made you cut all those onions and I do NOT want that smell on my hands,.”  **hair flip**  Honestly 1.5 seconds away from putting Bitchy Barbie in her place when they called my name.  My best friend and I joked in text message that she would have been REALLY sorry to miss it because the woman probably would have gotten REALLY ghetto and I would have had to politely make her look stupid!.

This could just as easily read "Infertile Post"!

This could just as easily read “Infertile Post”!

ANYWAY!  An early miscarriage couldn’t be confirmed, but she said my ultrasound looked GREAT.  With the exception of some leftover blood, my lining was the thinnest they’d seen it and I have a follicle developing in my left ovary.  I asked if there was a test they could do to find out if my body will even ACCEPT a pregnancy and she said that there is a clotting disorder that they can test for.  It’s normally something they do after a woman has 2-3 miscarriages – but due to my age, family history, a previous miscarriage, four failed medicated cycles & treatments and the fact that we’d been trying for 28 months, she could go ahead and order it.  According to her, it’s a very hefty amount of blood and there is QUITE the price tag on it, so she suggested getting the codes from the lab to check with insurance and make sure it would be covered.  She wasn’t kidding!!!  Over $3,200 before insurance!  I called my insurance company and thankfully it’s covered – well, most of it.

Speaking of insurance companies…  Can I just say I am NOT happy with mine right now?  In researching my new policy, I have learned some discouraging, unfair and downright DISGUSTING facts!!!  In exploring the “benefits” I found that they will cover contraceptive supplies and service, voluntary sterilization, elective surgical, non-surgical or drug induced pregnancy termination, health services and associated expenses for elective abortion and fetal reduction surgery.  But for infertility,  NOT A DANG PENNY!!!  Family destroying, covered.  Family building, not so much.  I understand that Lowe’s thinks that they are saving money by doing this, but in the long run, it’s costing them MORE.  According to an article on resolve.org “recent studies indicate that including comprehensive infertility coverage may actually reduce costs and improve outcomes.”  It makes so much sense!!

In reviewing all of this, I decided that I’m not going to be silent about this.  I did something I HATE and posted a fairly cryptic request for prayer on Facebook and without going into great details,  I will say – I am going to challenge my employer and the insurance company regarding our coverage.  I know it’s big, and maybe nothing will come of it, but I feel so strongly about this and think that the reason that so many employers are afraid to cover anything infertility related is because they don’t actually understand what it actually means!!  If nothing actually changes, I’m right back in the sucky place we started.  But if my standing and shouting as loud and as long as I possibly can actually DOES change something…  Can you just imagine that?

inspire

Can I Say That?

Well, its come.  And its gone.  Christmas is like a dream – it all happens so fast, that you can barely remember all the details.  All the hustle and bustle, hurry up and wait and then it’s gone.  *poof*

smoke

My poor husband and I spent this Christmas sick as can be.  We mustered the strength to spend Christmas Eve with his family, and that was very enjoyable – as always.  I had some trouble making it through the night without tears, but by about the 10th breakdown of the day, I was learning to hide the tears very well.  Plus, being sick, I had something to blame the sniffles on!  We did our traditional “Dirty Santa” gift exchange and I must say – we came out the big winners!  One of the rules is that, a gift can only be owned by 3 people.  Once the third person has it in their possession, it’s frozen!  When my brother-in-law opened a ginormous mug with Mickey Mouse on it, I KNEW it had to be mine!  I coolly waited my turn and then went in for the kill, making me the second owner.  Thankfully, my husband and I make the BEST team.  He stole it from me and – VICTORY!  (You know, what’s his is mine, and what’s mine is mine!)  When I say GINORMOUS mug, I mean GINORMOUS mug!!  After that we did our traditional, draw-a-name gift exchange hosted by none other than my husband – Santa Jon.  Seriously though, I wish he wasn’t trying to grow his beard out to truly fit the role.

mug

We made it home about 10pm that night and by then, I was MISERABLE!  I know that when we first got home, my temp was hovering around 100 degrees.  It was straight to bed for me, and straight to the couch for my husband – my coughing could have woke the dead.  It felt GREAT to sleep in on a Wednesday!  For a brief second after I woke up, I had to fight the urge to take down all of our Christmas decorations, but then my inner voice kicked my butt into submission and pushed me onto the couch – where I remained parked all day.  When hubby joined me, we began a movie marathon.  My only requirement was – NO CHRISTMAS MOVIES!

Then this morning, first thing at work, I decided to do some digging.  I know that Kentucky is NOT a fertility friendly state.  (only country I know that would rather give women free birth control than try to help a woman become pregnant.  But that’s another book blog.)  The company my husband and I both work for acquired a new insurance carrier this year.  As I started to look online at their policies, I saw a VERY promising line – one that made my heart & stomach collide and do a little dance.  “Covered Services: Infertility”  They continued to tango until I was on the phone with the agent from the insurance company and they assured me that, while the insurance company DOES offer those services, that our state doesn’t mandate that coverage and our company hadn’t elected that to be one of the benefits of the extra money we would be paying into our sub par policies.  I then proceeded to call 3 different supplemental agencies only to be reminded that – people don’t want to be REMINDED that there are women out there that have trouble getting/can’t get pregnant naturally, therefore there is no insurance to COVER it!  We seriously need to move.  But ANYWAY!

wish you were here

Some parts were not so great.  Some parts were really great.  I got to speak with someone who I hadn’t spoken with in quite a long time, someone who means SO much to me.  I always hear people say how they didn’t realize how much they missed someone until they talked to them again…  I don’t know HOW that can be true.  Speaking to this person only reminded me just HOW MUCH I had missed them.  What a blessing!

With all that said – I’m glad it’s over.  Can I say that?!  I feel like such a Scrooge!!  But it’s never been truer than this year!  I am SO ready for 2014 to start.  I’m ready for hope and blessings and maybe even a miracle thrown in.

always believe