29 August 2008

Capsizing kayaks

It's a gray and rainy on Shingwak Island, so I've spent the morning finishing up the last bits for my class. I've finished labeling and putting together my communication folders for each of the kiddies, and I've start my communication binder. I'm relieved to know that my desk arrived and will be ready to set up on Tuesday morning and that I have enough activities copied for the first couple weeks of school.

I arrived at the island after three and a half hours of very scenic driving down the 401 East. After spending July in Europe I am reminded at how absolutely beautiful Ontario is. I found myself looking at the lush, green trees and marveling at the beauty of it all. We're going on a kayak tour of the 1000 Islands later on in September and I'm looking forward to seeing the leaves change colour.

I started my first full day on the island with quite a bang yesterday. Aside from swimming, there are plenty of other water toys that guests can enjoy. First Mr. JB, fresh from his drive back from NYC, and I paddle boated back to our cars to retrieve my sunglasses then I decided that going on a little kayaking adventure would be the most fun way to spend my time. Little did I know that the kayak in easy reach was not docked in the most convenient place for entry. Since I did kayaking lessons last summer I felt pretty confident that I could get in and paddle away.

Alas I was quite wrong.

I tried to get into the flat-bottomed kayak and immediately started to teeter back and forth. In an effort to steady myself I grabbed onto one of rungs on the bridge to the dock and after about 17 seconds of hanging on for dear life I head the board start to crack. Before I knew it I was in the water. Thank God I put on my life-jacket!

Not to be deterred I decided that I was going to go to the other side of the bridge and try to get in again, and I proceeded to flip the kayak a second time. This time I needed help to empty the kayak of all the water since it was so crazy heavy with all of the water it took on. Thank goodness my best friend's hubby volunteered his water removing expertise or else I would still be scooping water out! I had no idea that there was a valve at the end of the kayak to let all of the water out.

Well, after three tries (and with some assistance) I finally got into the kayak and got to putter around the lake. I almost tipped in when a blood-thirsty deer fly tried to take a chunk out of my leg, but I successfully swatted it away while keeping upright.

After my little jaunt I decided to go for a little dip in the very cold lake which was fun, but kind of slimy. The island is on Pine Lake and has quite a rocky bottom so we have to wear water shoes to avoid injury. The rest of the day was spent lazing around, visiting town for groceries and learning how to play Euchre.

Honestly, I could stay here forever!

So aside from the sore shoulder and the bruised pride, I'm having a great time. I can't say enough about how glad I am to have finished all of my classroom preparations early. I'm thinking that it's going to be a yearly occurrence. I'm trying not to think too hard about the end of the summer and what that means.

On the infertility front: I gave myself the third needle of HCG Wednesday and I will be giving myself the last one tonight. I'm thinking that it's making a difference since my period has not come as of yet. When I was on the oral progesterone my period always came around now, and there's no sign of it. I really hope that these needles are doing their job!

Just cross your fingers that it stops raining so we can go outside!


Update: I just fell down the stairs and banged my back on some rocks. I haven't been this accident prone in a very long time. OUCH!!!!! I visited my RMT on Monday and she fixed my back all up for the first week of school, I really hope that all of the good stuff didn't get undone by my fall.

Perhaps I do have to go back to the 'burbs...

25 August 2008

Two down! Two more to go!

I just gave myself my second HCG shot and it was not as bad as the first. I was in such a rush that I forgot to numb the spot on the left side of my belly with ice. I was so focused about getting the medicine into the syringe that I bent the first needle! It took me two tries to get the needle into my skin, but I almost didn't feel it going in (despite having to watch it go in! eek!).

I do have say that although my doctor said that it wouldn't hurt, I definitely have still have a very, very dull pain on the right side of my belly where I gave myself needle one and I do feel some numbness in the left side as well. I guess that doctors have to say that needles won't hurt even though they always do!

Although I feel very accomplished after administering my first two shots, but I am so glad that Mr. JB will be giving me needles three and four.

I had a good meeting today with the other Immersion teachers. We planned out our first week and I have a clearer vision of how things are going to work with the new class. I also adapted a first day activity that was given to me at a workshop and I passed it out to the others. I'm so glad that instead of worrying about every minute detail (like the other teachers) I'm actually doing something to help the situation. I have never been the calm one in most teaching situations, but I'm so glad that I'm an observer to their madness and not a participant!

I'm so looking forward to Wednesday when I head out to my best friend's family's cottage until Saturday. I'm so happy that I pushed myself to finish up my classroom set-up so I can have some downtime before I set off in my grade one adventure. Maybe getting the next two shots on the idyllic Shingwak (I think that's how they spelled it!) Island, won't make it so painful!

24 August 2008

Infertile confessions

In the light of my first injection of HCG last night, I've had some interesting thoughts.

I'm a goal-oriented person, an obsessive list-maker and before all of the infertile business, I was very unfamiliar with failure. We've spent the past three years consumed with trying to make a baby. We went from temperatures, to charting, to Clomid, to a HSG then to an infertility clinic (where I had the joy of the dildocam and blood tests) and acupuncturist then to a NaproTechnology doctor. I have no idea how much money we've spent (I'm scared to do that accounting!) or how much time and emotion we've invested in making our baby JellyBelly.

After three years I've reached a point where I just feel numb. I no longer feel sad when AF arrives and I'm actually not even surprised. I take the drugs that my doctor gives me to lengthen my luteal phase without complaint. I visit the doctor and numbly take the diagnosis that certain drugs seem to not have worked. I even learned how to give myself needles despite my lifelong aversion and horrible fear.

But despite going through all of the motions of trying to make a baby, I can't seem to wrap my head around ever actually making one. I feel that my infertility has become such a big part of my life that it's become my identity (although a secret one to most). Have I gotten to this point as self-preservation? Or has the long road to making a baby distracted me from the end result?

I feel like I need a new distraction. Perhaps it's a good thing that school starts very soon...

23 August 2008

One down, one more to go

I survived giving myself the first needle of progesterone.

It took three tries, almost hyperventilating and an ice pack, but it's done. For some reason I imagined the needle going in without any force so when I had to press the needle point into my skin I had to reset myself a couple of times.

I'm so glad that Shinejl suggested that I numb the spot with some ice. Instead of focusing on the pain of the needle entry I had the reminder of the cold of the ice on my skin.

I have to give myself the second needle on Monday night and I'll be on my own since Mr. JB will be in New York to see his beloved Yankees (he had to make the trip before the team moves to the new stadium). I think I'm going to need a lot more infertile lovin' then.

Now that the drama is over I'm going to have a drink.

22 August 2008

Call me crazy...

I know I just lamented about hating needles, but I just decided that I just have to be a big girl and learn how to do it.

There it's in print. I can't go back on it now.

I figure that I've come this far in the infertile wilderness that I can stand sticking myself in the belly twice before Mr. JB gets back from his trip. I even volunteered to do the first needle while he's still in town, just in case I chicken out.

Please, please send me some good sticking vibes.

I'm so brave. I'm so brave. I'm so brave.

(If I say it enough will be come true??????)

p.s. A BIG thanks to My Reality for volunteering to stick me in the butt. You rock!

20 August 2008

Where did the rest of my summer vacation go?

So I haven't been jetlagged for the entire month, I've just been so ridiculously busy trying to enjoy the month of August (which is basically impossible for any teacher!). I am so glad that we went away for most of July since I really don't feel like I'm in vacation mode at all.

I've spent the better part of the last two weeks attending workshops to get me prepared for the big grade change and getting my classroom ready. The only problem is that I am missing 75% of the things that I should have. I don't even have a piece of chalk! It's going to be pretty interesting starting the year off with only a quarter of my resources and most of my classroom furniture missing! I don't even have a desk! I can't even commandeer one of the children's desks since they're in grade one and they're too small!

Anyhow, before I melt down (and trust me, I'm trying to be as positive as possible at this point) we do have a few developments in the TTC saga. We saw our Napro doctor at the beginning of the month and I was told that since the oral progesterone didn't make any difference with my luteal phase and the brown bleeding that she's switching me to injections. Which made me almost throw up.

You see I am petrified of needles. When the doc showed Mr. JB how to get the needle ready I had to leave the room because I felt so nauseous. When he did the practice injection I had to hold onto the examining table so I didn't make a break for it. I know that it has to be done and that hopefully this will be the answer to my progesterone problem, but my fear is quite irrational (but even knowing that doesn't make it any better).

I'm pretty stressed right now since Mr. JB is going away for the last week of August and I have to administer the needles myself. My best friend is also going to be away so I can't even ask her to do it. I've been working up to it, but I just can't imagine sticking myself with a needle when I can't even look at one.

Does anyone have any advice or would like to come to my house for four evenings and give me the damned things?

I know that in the end when I have my little baby that the needles won't matter, but at this point I'm really thinking that adoption is a good option....

5 August 2008

Fog walking

I'm suffering from extreme jetlag, even with taking melatonin and getting a full night's sleep. Hence I am a total crankbox and all I want to do is veg out and be grumpy. I was being very optimistic since when we arrived in France I adjusted so quickly and was ready to get into the sightseeing routine. I'm trying to avoid napping during the day and I'm also trying to get as much sunlight as possible, but I'm still hurting. Badly.

Being so out of it has gotten me a little stressed as well. Although I've washed all of our dirty trip clothes, my house just isn't in order. I'm pretty compulsive about the organization of my home, but I just haven't been able to think clearly enough to put everything back in it's place. It also didn't help that we went to my father-in-law's for the long weekend. I really wouldn't be stressed out, but our house is pretty small and anything out of place is pretty obvious (well at least to me and not to Mr. JB!).

I started the long weekend on the wrong foot -- I was supposed to have my progestrone levels checked on Peak +7, but it being Sunday we couldn't find a lab open anywhere. I assumed, wrongly, that my regular lab (since it's associated to a major hospital in my city) would be open. I expended quite a bit of energy trying to find a lab, but couldn't find anything open in the GTA. I decided after calling a couple of hospitals and my best friend that it would just have to wait until today. Thank God that my Creighton practioner called me right back to tell me that I didn't have to worry about it and that all I had to do was note the blood test date on my chart. Apparently I wasn't paying attention when she told me that I didn't have to worry about being a couple of days late with my bloodwork!

Also I think that I've started spotting. I'm on day 26 of my cycle (Peak +9) and I've been taking my progesterone since Peak +3, but it seems like my cycles aren't getting any longer. I was told that I shouldn't start my period until about three days after I stopped taking the progesterone and this isn't happening. I see my Creighton doctor on Friday and she's going to put me on antibiotics for the ureaplasma (a month-long course, hopefully it won't be as bad as the first course). I really hope that the antibiotics will stop all of the spotting before I get my period.

So I guess it's back to reality. The trip did a very good job at distracting me from all of the baby-making business, but we're not rich enough to stay on vacation forever. Wish me luck that my body starts to function in my time zone and that I can stop being so damn cranky!

2 August 2008

Catalan Memories

The heat and the exhaustion of traveling for two and a half weeks caught up to me in Barcelona, hence the non-blogging. In retrospect, even though I enjoyed our time in Spain, we really should've just stayed in Biarritz. Now I'm trying to fight through jetlag and function like a normal human being (although I feel like I'm walking through a heavy fog).

So here's some memories of our five days in Barca:

We arrived late Saturday night after thirteen hours of train travel. The SNCF (the French train people) "forgot" to add ten cars to the first train that we were supposed to take to our first stop, Bordeaux. Instead we got on in Biarritz and were basically sardined into a first class car where people were trying desperately to sit and hold onto their bags. We ended up having to change in Dax about thirty kilometres away. It was a pain in the butt to say the least, especially since I paid for seats in first class! Needless to say I was very stressed trying to make our change in Bordeaux, although the conductor promised that we wouldn't miss our train despite the delay.

Our voyage continued as we changed to a train in Bordeaux to Narbonne. The train was quite nice and our car was almost empty which was good. Our two hour stop in Narbonne was extremely frustrating since the table service at the train station restaurant had the slowest server known to man. It took twenty minutes to get acknowledged and almost an hour to get a plate of charcuterie (honestly, a simple plate of a few cold cuts, some bread and a few lettuce leaves, you would've thought that we were getting served Beef Wellington!). Our first class car to Barcelona may have been first class about thirty years ago, but the bizarre train noises, itchy seats and strange conductor man that sounded like he was going to lose a lung all made for a strange ride.

We arrived in Barcelona absolutely exhausted and starving. After a relatively cheap cab ride we got to our beautiful hotel. And much to our surprised we were upgrade to a junior suite since they had no more double rooms! Woohoo! I was really excited about our stay in Barca since I booked a four star hotel knowing in advance that we would need some pampering at the end of our trip. I absolutely could not believe how awesome the room was. We had two bathrooms (Mr. JB and I don't share a bathroom at home so it was nice to have my own space again!), a living room area and a good sized bedroom. We also had two televisions so we didn't have to fight about what to watch. I loved that the hotel had their own toiletries -- not just soap and shampoo, but a shaving kit, shoe shine sponge, comb, dental kit, bath sponge and shower cap! I could've just spent the entire five days holed up in the hotel! We also loved the buffet breakfast. All of the places that we stayed, with the exception of the apartment in Paris, had breakfast, but the French don't really appreciate breakfast like North Americans. I was sick of eating baguettes and jam! When we had breakfast the first morning and saw bacon, cereal, fresh fruit and vegetables, three types of juice and three types eggs for Mr. JB (I'm deathly allergic). We ate so much that first morning and for the first time in almost three weeks we weren't hungry an hour later.

We spent our first day in Barcelona on the Bus Turistic -- the double decker tourist bus -- and basically took all three routes to see the city. The city is huge so it was great that the bus took us to all of the spots to see. I visited the city seven years ago with my crazy mother and we also did the tourist bus since she really doesn't like to do anything when she travels and it was the most passive way to see the sights. It was great that the bus had an audio guide that explained everything. I've thought more than once that I'd like to play tourist and take the same bus in Toronto so I could really see the city that I grew up in. Let's see if I ever get around to doing that!

We walked down La Rambla to see what was going on. There were some street performers dressed up in costume, musicians and dancers, and a TON of people! The funniest thing that Mr. JB thought that the sign above the newsagent said, "Ihola" not, "Hola." Needless to say he doesn't have a flair for languages (espeically since he took Spanish, and failed, in university).

Our third day in Spain we decided to visit Montserrat. Legend has it that St. Luke carved the Black Madonna and hid it in a cave to protect it from war. Years later shepherds found the statue and then the Benedictine monks tried to move it. When they couldn't they decided to build their church and abbey around it. The wait was over an hour to see the Black Madonna, but it was definitely worth it. A few years ago my father-in-law went to Montserrat but he refused to wait in the line! You can see the statue from inside of the church, but one the way to the statue there is so much beautiful artwork and sculpture that the wait wasn't too painful. The church and the abbey were beautiful and the mountains were spectacular. I can't believe that the monks had the tenacity to built the abbey on the side of a crazy high mountain!

We spent the last couple days in the city doing as little sightseeing as possible. I did get some good shopping in and we ate a lot of tapas. It's too bad that we went to Barcelona last since we had no more energy to be the thorough tourists that we were in Paris and Normandy. We had a great afternoon on the beach before we went home and although they have cleaned up the waterfront quite a bit the water wasn't as clean as it was in Biarritz! It was also pretty distracting to see a completely naked dude sunbathing! I think that I was pretty accustomed to the topless sunbathing, but the naked guy was too much!

Although we loved our hotel room and it was so convenient to have the tasty breakfast buffet, we were both so happy to go home. The ten hour plane ride was frustrating since the airline didn't have the meal that I requested (although I filled out paperwork and verified with the airline). I will never understand why it's so hard for airlines to fulfill simple requests. Since I have so many allergies I requested a kosher meal so there wouldn't be any risk of having any milk products. Instead the stewardess tried to feed me some vegetable stir fry that had milk ingredients! Then they offered me pizza. Now are these people dumb, or what? I ended up eating a crappy veggie sandwich and an apple that bruised.

So we're home and back to our normal, albeit, jetlagged life. I know that it's going to be a while before we can afford to spend three weeks in Europe. I do have to say that although I love traveling, especially to France, but I am so glad that we live where we live.

So I guess I'm going to have to start imagining where we're going next...