My Life…

In Pictures!

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Koa graduated from puppy class last week–one of the proudest days of my life! It was hard–he’s my first puppy. But we did it! And look at him in his little graduation cap–could you die of the cuteness?!

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Mr. MLACS and I took Koa to an apple farm to pick our own apples. I loved picking apples and Koa loved chasing and eating them!

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Then I decided to try my hand at making homemade applesauce and *canning*. Applesauce is easy, but canning is challenging…but it worked! All my jars sealed! Also note the date–I lovingly completed this task on my (dear departed) Mother’s would-be 65th birthday–I lit yummy candles and the whole house smelled and felt cozy, like an embrace from her 🙂

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I bought flower’s from Michael’s and placed the bouquet on my Mother’s grave in honor of her birthday and in celebration of the fall season. I also included 3 little silk butterflies–two for my angels and one for the baby I carry now ❤

I gave away over $3,000 worth of fertility medication. I offered it to several people, a couple IRL and a couple bloggers, but in the end I really felt I was supposed to hand it to Dr. Angel–a good man who certainly knows people who can use the help. I handed him a 900iu Gonal-F pen, 12-15 boxes of Endometrin suppositories, and 2 boxes of Crinone. Enough drugs to get somebody pregnant and to offer them progesterone support through the first trimester. It felt SO GOOD to pass that stuff along. And even if we need it again, we are blessed with good insurance and all of that stuff put together might have cost us $500.

**Pregnancy mentioned & photos**

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I saw my baby! Specifically, I saw my baby’s foot–complete with toes! And it was like a *lightbulb went on* and I realized…that’s a baby…that’s MY baby! And I just couldn’t stop smiling. And I found out the gender from an ultrasound but I can’t tell you just yet… 😉 Do you guys have a guess??

And I don’t know if you remember my “Disclosure” post, where I talked about going to see them in concert and how I love their song “Latch”. I attended the concert and felt a sort of “transformation” in myself–just 3 days before I conceived this baby. I don’t think this is a coincidence, any more than I think the PF Chang’s fortunes were coincidence, or the dreams people have had about me having a baby… And I have to share with you, that every time I hear it on the radio, I know it’s my baby’s spirit communicating with me. The words are perfect and it’s *our song*…and the chorus…

Now I’ve got you in my space
I won’t let go of you
Got you shackled in my embrace
I’m latching onto you

Here’s the Youtube video:

And I cry Every. Single. Time. I hear this song. I’m crying now! I didn’t dare admit to anyone that this is how I’ve been feeling–that I’m so deeply invested in a pregnancy that I’ve been so afraid to believe in…

But I can’t help myself. I’m so happy. I’m so *in love* with my baby. I love my husband, my cat, and my puppy too. And I’m so grateful for every moment, no matter how ordinary.

Here’s my 16 week “bump”–I’m 17 weeks today!

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XOXO,

MLACS

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One Lovely Blogger Award

I’m always a little behind on the awards front, but I’d like to thank the ladies who graciously nominated me for the One Lovely Blogger Award: Awaiting Autumn, Electric Mystery, Spiritbaby Come Home, Waiting For Baby Bird, My Perfect Breakdown, and My Hope Jar–(by default, since she nominated us all)! These ladies are all amazing bloggers and I’m very proud to be recognized by them.
So then, there are some rules to accepting the award:

1. Thank the person who has nominated you.

2. Provide a link to his/her blog

3. List the rules

4. Include 7 facts about yourself

5. Nominate 15 other bloggers and let them know that they have been nominated

6. Display the award logo and follow the blogger who nominated you.

I’ve been thinking about what facts I should share about myself. Things you don’t already know and might find interesting.

1. I was born with curly red hair. Which became deep brunette with auburn highlights. But now I tend to mask the red with ash blonde highlights, and I flatiron my curly hair most of the time. It was hard growing up with crazy curly hair! I still like to wear it curly, but if I straighten it I can go up to 2 weeks without washing it! Jealous much??

2. I love Disney movies and soundtracks! They are so emotional for me. I used to nanny for a little boy when I was in college (in Honolulu) and I actually took his Disney compilation CD home and made copies for me & gave one to my Mom ❤ My husband secretly adores that I drag him to animated movies.

3. Besides nannying, I loved working in the service industry at bars and restaurants. My first job was at Dairy Queen (that sucked) but I’ve worked at the highest and lowest establishments–short order diners, blue collar watering holes with concrete floors so people could ash their cigarettes and throw peanut shells on them–but also fine dining restaurants and trendy nightclubs with bottle service. I treat people the way I want to be treated wherever I go–whether it’s my cashier at Walmart or my server at a trendy cosmopolitan restaurant. Being in the service industry has given me personality, manners, and respect for others.

4. I f*cking LOVE coffee! I started drinking coffee at age 15, in a diner near the University (I’m from a  Midwestern “college town”). I felt cool drinking coffee and rapping with artsy-intellectual types. Unfortunately I also started smoking (cigarrettes and pot). But now I don’t smoke. But I do still love coffee. But I can barely drink it while pregnant. But you can bet your sweet ass I still went to Starbucks and got a decaf pumpkin spice latte *the moment* they hit the shelves. But I couldn’t finish it 😦 I am a *gold level* elite member at Starbucks. Which means I spend WAY too much $$$ on coffee. C’est la vie.

5. I am a gifted baker–mostly everything I make turns out fabulously no matter what I do. I think the prettiest and most delicious thing I make is a Jewish passover bread called Challah (pronounced “hollah”) bread. It’s a pretty braided bread and a huge loaf of it on a wooden cutting board is a worthy centerpiece for any table or occasion. I started watching cooking shows on TLC at age 12, long before it was “cool”, before pinterest (before the internet), before *everybody* became a gourmet chef. I made my  first brie souffle at age 13 (total black sheep as my family is typical Midwestern meat ‘n potatoes, no frills folks–but I’ve always been *weird*).

6. I love snail mail. When I moved to Hawaii I delighted in sending and receiving packages from home. I move around a lot and colorful letters and packages are such a warm ‘n fuzzy way to show you care or to be cared for, in my humble opinion. I love surprising the people I love and making them feel special. And I love hanging postcards, cards, and pictures on my fridge to remind me that I am loved, too.

7. I love flora and fauna. We played *outside* when I was a kid, often with no shoes on, running across sticks, rocks, and acorns. I loved the forest behind our house–and there was a creek too! “Camping out” in tents, catching lightning bugs in jars, raking leaves into big piles in the fall and then jumping in them! Sledding down our big hill in the winter. And even now, I love to hike and explore. I love to walk and bike trails. I marvel when I see a fox or a snake or a groundhog–even a squirrel. I feel most spiritually connected when I’m in nature. And it’s worth noting that I LOVE the fall/harvest time in the Midwest! It’s simply brilliant.

And now for the nominations…I’ve done this before and I’m doing it again–if any of you haven’t been nominated and wish to participate (and I wish you would–would love to know more about you) then please consider yourself nominated by me! Don’t be shy!

XOXO,

MLACS

The Closing of the Bones Part 2

I don’t know where you’ve gone, Schrodinger, but I still think about this post. To my ladies who have suffered losses and repeat losses, what do you think about this ceremony “The closing of the bones” as a ritual post-loss? I think it’s painfully beautiful. XOXO

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Ok, so. I’m a little better rested and a little better equipped. I’m going to try to tell this shit.

Samantha invited me to her beautiful little garden cottage in the woods, where she and her mentor Bernadett had prepared the space for the ceremony. I was fawning over the five 8 week old kittens when a tiny woman with long gray hair stepped barefoot through the grass to greet me. Bernadett didn’t seem to mind that I was too wrapped up with the kittens to make a proper introduction.

I am a product of my field and there were several things about this that were unfamiliar to me. First, I would never in a million years invite a client into my home. That’s just not what we do. And while I knew that this wasn’t the same thing as what I do for people I wasn’t sure exactly what it…

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1 Year Blogiversary

v39*Please read this, it’s NOT about pregnancy*

Truth? When I started this blog last year I didn’t think I *really* belonged here.
I had one traumatic miscarriage, a chemical pregnancy, and a cornucopia of scary (mostly autoimmune) medical crisis’. I didn’t exactly fit in with RPL (repeat pregnancy loss), because a year ago RPL was classified as *three* or more consecutive miscarriages–I had only had two (both documented with betas).
And a year ago, I had been pregnant once by dumb luck and the second time only 4 cycles post-miscarriage, so I definitely didn’t consider myself IF (infertile).
It occurred to me, after reading some seriously sad and difficult RPL/IF stories, that things *could definitely* get worse for me–but I still figured I would be pregnant after a couple rounds of Clomid and timed intercourse. Maybe with twins! Ha.

But oh, what a difference a year makes…

As it turns out, I came to the right place.

As it turns out, Clomid didn’t do sh*t for me.

As it turns out, neither did Letrozole, Bravelle, or Gonal-F.

As it turns out, I spent 10 months on this blog, navigating treatments and living my life in a series of two week waits.

As it turns out, I couldn’t have done it by myself–I needed you guys.

As it turns out, I think that you needed me, too.

We needed each other.

As it turns out, A LOT of my fellow bloggers have moved on to pregnancy and parenthood–but everybody has done so in their own way.

As it turns out, some of my favorites are still struggling and working to build their families. ❤

I’ve learned SO MUCH.
About pain and loss.
About hope and perseverance.
About fragility.
About strength.
About acceptance.
About denial.
About fear.
About courage.

On this *anonymous* blog I’ve had the freedom to be myself and to share my journey with you–my kindred spirits.

I don’t think you get how much this means to me, so I’ll try to explain.

I like authentic relationships–I like transparency. I despise bullsh*t–which is what most people feed to your face, like on facebook.

You guys have been REAL with me, and I have been my true self with you, and that is priceless to me. You know I try to be funny (I think I’m funny–you guys play along, so thanks for that). You know I get really indignant (like at doctors and blog trolls, and sometimes at my husband) and I’m prone to rants and b*tch fits. You know that I relish my nickname, MLACS (I do, it tickles me). You know that I’m a lover and a fighter–I have become really attached to some of you and I have really pissed off a few of you (sorry, not sorry). And after I became attached to a few of you, I stopped tagging my blog–the only way other people find me is through you guys. Because I don’t need or want 1,000 followers. I didn’t start this blog to become a leader in the IF/RPL community and I don’t care if anyone gives a sh*t about what I think or say–except for you guys.

The ones I love.
The ones I cheer for.
The ones I cry with.
The ones I am *always* offering unsolicited advice to, like an overbearing mother.
Yes, I’m talking to YOU.
Your stories are the first thing I look at in the morning and the last thing I see at night.
Even when I don’t comment, you are in my thoughts. I don’t say it enough, but you’re VERY important to me.

And the *one* thing that sucks about being pregnant is that I don’t want to hurt any of you. And so in the grand tradition of other PAIL bloggers, I guess I’ll have to leave you one of these days.

I have no idea where to go. And I’m not ready to “pack it in” yet. NOTHING can compare to or replace my IF/RPL sisters (trust me, I’ve looked around and it’s just one big cyber disappointment).

But just know that I feel a void in my life already, and I haven’t even left yet.

Hopefully this all makes sense. But for my blogiversary I didn’t want to re-cap events. Suffice to say, it was a rough mf*ing year. But You made it bearable. And I wanted to tell you ladies how much you mean to me, and that (eventually) I don’t know what I’ll do without you and it makes me sad. Thank you for being there for me and for letting me be a (sometimes obnoxious) part of your journey.

XOXO,
MLACS

Taking The Good With The Bad (Panorama test results)

*This is all about pregnancy stuff*

So today we went to see Dr. Angel for the first time in several weeks.

Well actually first we went to Walmart to pick up some CD-R’s to take to his office so we could get a digital copy of our ultrasound. Also, I’ve stopped having so much trouble with nausea (for like a whole 24 hours–this may be wishful thinking) and I’ve started having heartburn. Dr. Angel gave me a list of ailments/things I can take, and for heartburn he listed tums, malox, and some other gross chalky thing. But I hate chalky things (like my friend milk ‘o mag) so I googled zantac (a pill) and it said it’s ok to take in pregnancy. So I went to buy some at Walmart and Mr. MLACS is all like “That’s not on the list”–this frustrated the crap outta me. And I turn to him and hiss “I’m NOT taking nasty chalky sh*t for the rest of my pregnancy. I’ve reached my limit! The kid can deal. Besides I googled it.”

Why can’t sh*t just be easy for once? I’m SO sick of all the meds and supplements and suppositories and injections. It’s uncomfortable and inconvenient.

Sh*t hold on a second…

●I stopped typing & turned to Mr. MLACS and said “Damn I feel like I’m gonna puke. Will you please go get my Zofran off the counter? I have *one* left.” Mr. MLACS is tired, so he rolled his eyes and said “Which counter?” in an annoyed tone, as if he doesn’t know where I’ve kept it for the last couple of months–same spot, by the keurig. A**hole. And then I reply with the typical female response “Oh *nevermind*” and then “I’ll probably puke anyway and waste the pill. But I’ll tell you what–if I puke I’m not taking my PM meds over again. F*ck that.” And then I knew I was going to puke and I rushed to the kitchen for ice water (everything comes up better when it’s cold) and then rushed to the bathroom and whipped out my toilet bowl cleaner and circled the rim (I hate sticking my head in a dirty toilet) but didn’t get to use the scrub brush before…and up came my spaghetti dinner and my PM meds–gross-est combo ever.●

Never. Eating. Spaghetti. Again.

And furthermore, my nausea has NOT been replaced by heartburn, it is now *accompanied* by heartburn.

And I am not re-taking my PM meds. F*ck that.

But anyways, this was never the point of this post. I hope you got a laugh out of it though.

We left Walmart with some CD-R’s, some Zantac, and a new laptop computer that was on clearance–the laptop was an impulse buy on Mr. MLACS’s part but I should’ve been more excited because I hate our crappy laptop. But all I really cared about was the Zantac.

I digress, this is still not what this post is truly about.

So we left Walmart and went to Dr. Angel’s office. First thing is I got weighed and…

I’m down -4 pounds from my pre-pregnancy, which was already -7lbs from when Dr. Diet told me I needed to lose 15lbs! Essentially pregnancy has taken off the infertility weight I put on this past year. *Bonus*

Then I saw Dr. Angel and gave him a HUGE hug–I missed the guy!

And we were off to the US room. The image popped up and I smiled when I saw the outline of a *baby*, no longer looking like a space prawn. Then I started asking questions–most importantly how am I measuring and…

At 14w4d, I was measuring AHEAD at 15 weeks!

*WOO HOO!*

And heart rate was 158 bpm.

AND I got to keep my pants on. So awesome.

BUT…

I asked for our Panorama results, excited for Dr. Angel to find out and celebrate the gender with us. However, he said he had not seen the results yet–even though it’s been 2+ weeks since my blood draw–and we’d need to call Quest to find out what’s up.

It was 4:53pm on Friday afternoon, so I just knew they wouldn’t answer.

But they did!

And turns out Quest was having technical issues so they said they’d fax the results, and Dr. Angel offered for us to wait for the fax.

So we waited.

And finally Dr. Angel came out and told us…

The Panorama results were *INCONCLUSIVE*.

Meaning: there wasn’t enough of baby’s DNA in my blood sample to provide accurate results, so we got NO results. The test requires at least 4.3% of the sample to be baby’s DNA, and my sample only had 4% baby DNA.

I was f*cked over by a measly .3%

Seriously?! WTF.

So now I have to have blood drawn again. And I have to wait.

Also, Panorama test *claims* that 95% of women will get accurate results on the first blood draw, as early as 9 weeks (I took it at 12w1d).

But I’ve read that as much as 15-20% of women have to take the test over again due to inconclusive results.

So there you have it. I’m thrilled that the babes is doing well and that I’ve actually lost weight.

I’m SO GRATEFUL to have made it this far. Like I would eat 1,000 tums (gag face) if it would help my baby (but I’m also sure I’d barf them back up).

But I’m totes frustrated about the Panorama test results being delayed. I just hope it works the second time around.

Have a great weekend ladies! Extra hugs to those of you going through tough times–believe me I am always hoping and praying for your health, happiness, and success.

XOXO,

MLACS

Brave New World

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Dude…I’m 14 weeks today…it feels totally surreal…like, I think I’m in shock…

And Koa is growing up too fast…it was just 4 weeks ago that I cradled him like a baby…now he’s hard to lift and constantly trying to hump my leg…

I marvel that things can change so quickly *for the better*. It never surprises me when life takes a nosedive. But I wasn’t prepared for life to take flight–a wise friend matter-of-factly told me “You are to used to being in *survival mode* and you don’t know how to cruise at altitude”.

He NAILED it.

I’m too used to struggling, and honestly I have a sort of “warrior spirit” that thrives on rising to the occasion…but now all of a sudden…

Everything is OK.

I’m not broke. I’m not sick. I’m not fighting breast cancer (my Mom’s & my Grandmother’s), not burying loved ones, not sucking it up at a job where I’m overworked + underpaid, not fighting with my husband…not lamenting my miscarriages and infertility EVERY day, ALL day…

And this is a *brave new world* for me–one where I am stable and crossing the threshold into the 2nd trimester.

Holy balls. Is this really MY life?!

Or a dream?

If it’s a dream then don’t wake me up.

This post is short ‘n sweet ‘n celebratory (my FIRST celebratory post, eek!) But don’t worry, I haven’t gone ‘soft’ on you. Promise.

**warning: bump pic below**

**Note: the dog photo-bombed the pic**
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XOXO,

MLACS

Apart at the Seams – Kindle’s Daily Deal Today!

Just Another Infertility Blog

Chances are any of you reading my blog have already heard this a time or two, but just in case…

Apart at the Seams – a novel by Melissa Ford aka Mel of the Stirrups Queens blog/website – is today’s daily deal.  This mean you can get it on the cheap.  By way of her blog, the hub of resources and blogroll on her site and the ICLW movement, Mel does so much for this community and doesn’t ask for much in return. Helping her promote this achievement is the least I can do. I plan on taking advantage of this fantastic deal and hope you do too.

Congrats Mel!

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