21 December 2013

I have a confession....

I've been really struggling with anger this Advent. 

Really, really struggling. 

And for those of you who know me IRL, I am not an angry person. 

I don't even deal with being grumpy all that well. 

CD1 just made it worse. 

And the reality of yet another year passing without a child in my arms or my womb has hit even harder this year. 

I thought I was getting good at dealing with the IF business, but I'm not. 

Far from it. 

And at the back of my mind I think of my BFF's cousin who is dying and is about to leave her husband and two beautiful children. 

And the guilt builds. 

I know that bargaining with God doesn't work, but I keep saying to Him to take me instead of her. 

Yes, I admit it. 

Her two children shouldn't be without a mother. 

It would be an easy exchange to take a barren woman instead of her. 

But it doesn't work that way. 

It isn't about fairness. Or justice. Or even getting what we want. 

If it was I'd have all the babies I wanted. 

Oh Lord, have mercy on me a sinner. I need to trust in You so much more. 

19 December 2013

Is He sending me a sign?

We just finished having daily mass with my BIL.

(Have I mentioned that I love being related to a priest?)

Both readings mention old, barren women. 

Samson's mom and the wonderful Elizabeth. 

Yup, two old barren women that ended up with with two amazing sons. 

This the day after my first CD1 meltdown in a LONG time.

Yes, an ugly, pathetic cry that I held in all day. 

It was pretty amazing that I was able to, but I did. 

I was barely in the door when the tears came. 

I was so happy that Mr JB was at his staff party and I was able to cry in peace. 

Hit infertile rock bottom right before Christmas. 


So is it a coincidence that these were the readings? Is He sending me a sign? 

18 December 2013


I hate you. 

I really prefer when AF arrives early in the day. 

That way I don't drive myself crazy.

With hope. 

Yes, after eight and a half years I still have the audacity to be hopeful. 

Stay tuned for an update. I'm sure AF is going to make her ugly appearance. 

Probably during my class' performance in the Christmas concert. 

Or during yard duty.

St. Jude, pray for me.
Update: No Christmas miracle for the JellyBelly household. I hate that I got hopeful this month. I absolutely hate it. 

17 December 2013

Or maybe nine...

And that's hoping that my ladyparts are more fruitful in 2014. 

16 December 2013


There has been a lot of death around me.

My lovely principal's mother passed away last week.

Then my fertile BFF's father-in-law passed away.

And then while getting ready for my BFF's FIL's memorial service, I found out that a colleague's mother passed away.

They say that deaths happen in threes.

Unfortunately, the deaths I mentioned, although expected since they were all very ill and their deaths were not tragic. All three had good, long lives and had survived to see their children grow into adulthood, and one even had great-grandchildren.

This week we're waiting to hear the news of my fertile BFF's cousin who is at death's door. She was given the sacrament of the sick on Saturday night.

She was diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of years ago, went into remission, but then the cancer reoccurred in her brain.

Her doctors gave her radiation in a last ditch effort to get her through Christmas.

Her last Christmas with her two young kids and loving husband.

I know that she is on so much pain medication that she doesn't know what is going around her. I also know that her young children don't really understand what is going on.

Her husband and kids are surrounded by a large, loving, Catholic family who have been praying for her non-stop.

Please, if you have a moment, please pray for their comfort. I can't even imagine what they are going through.

I know I can't die from my IF, although some days I feel like I can -- particularly right now on P+13 and I want to eat all the chocolate in the world, and I analyze every little symptom. One would think that after eight years that I wouldn't get my hopes up with every cycle, but I actually ovulated this month AND I have boob pain.

I'm offering all of my pain for this poor family. God is definitely trying to teach me a lesson in perspective.

10 December 2013

Patron Saint of 2014

So this lovely lady, reminded me to get my patron for the new year.

After a short prayer at my desk at school this is who was chosen for me:

St. Zita of Lucca

Never heard of her!

- against losing keys
- butlers
- domestic servants
- homemakers
- housemaids
- lost keys
- menservants
- people ridiculed for their piety
- rape victims
- servants
- servers
- single laywomen
- waiters
- waitpersons
- waitresses
- Lucca, Italy

The only connection I could make is that I've been working closely with someone who is from Lucca, Italy.

I don't often lose my keys, nor do I have a servant or am a servant (unless, you consider parts of my job as an elementary teacher, servant-like).

I am so curious to see why she was chosen for me!

Also, her feast day is the day before St. Gianna.

St. Zita of Lucca, pray for me!


Mr. JB and I finished our Christmas cards last night. It was a tough slog, but we had two delicious vegan, gluten-free cupcakes waiting for us as a reward.

Also, I haven't updated about my poor, old cat. After we took her to the vet (which is a much longer, maddening story that makes my mother sounds even crazier than she is), we found out that although she has bad arthritis in her hind legs and possible melanoma in her left eye, my cat will live for a couple more years. I found a wonderful place to board her (which also costs A LOT of money) and she's staying there while my parents are out of the country til the end of February. I get to visit her when I want and the people that work there are in love with her. St. Francis of Assisi really had my kitty cat's back!

5 December 2013

Christmas Card Conundrum

I've been in a frenzy getting ready for Christmas.

My house is decorated.

Presents are wrapped (although I still have to get a few gifts).

And the last thing I have to do is Christmas cards.


For the past eight years I have dreamed of having my goofy looking baby on a Christmas card.

One of those cute collage cards of my adorable offspring.

But here I am faced with another year of writing Christmas greetings.

No cutesy cards.

Yes, I'm feeling sorry for myself.

Yes, I am angry that even after emptying my savings account and going into debt I didn't end up with a baby.

There I said it.

Sometimes it's hard to focus on being pain-free and having a better quality of life.

I need to dig deep down and get these cards done. Perhaps not tonight (since we're watching the S.ound of Mu.sic on NB.C). But they'll get done.

For now, there will be chocolate.

And some coconut ice cream.

No wine since I'm in my Post-peak phase.

When I finally sit down this weekend to write my cards, I will offer up my angst for all of you still waiting.

I should make my pain fruitful, yes?

4 December 2013

Sacramental Prep Funnies

We have a wonderful retired teacher who comes in to help with sacramental preparation at my school. Today she read the story of Zaccheus to my students.

I love it when she comes in.

She has a calming energy and my crazy class just seems to become riveted, and they are miraculously quiet for the entire half hour she's with us.

It doesn't happen often.

The quiet, I mean.

So, after she read them the story a few kids had questions.

And this was the best one:

"Was the tree that Zaccheus climbed sick?" asked one of my lovelies.

"Why do you ask?" Mrs. Y asked curiously.

"Well you just said that it was a sycamore tree. So it was sick, right?"

She paused. I put my head down on my desk so the kids couldn't see me. It took all of my strength to not laugh out loud.

"No sweetie, the tree wasn't sick. Sycamore is a kind of tree like an oak or a maple."

"Oh...." the kid nodded, but I could tell that he didn't understand why Zaccheus was climbing a diseased tree to see Jesus.

Honestly, I could fill a book with the hilarious stuff that my students say!

1 December 2013

The Ambivalent Infertile

I didn't fall off do the face of the earth. 

I've spent the past little while trying to pretend that IF wasn't a part of my life. 

Yes, I'm still charting and half-a$$edly doing treatment (mostly because I can't bring myself to say no to my beloved Napro doctor). 

Our homestudy still isn't done. Mostly because I just can't bring myself to make the last appointment for our home visit. 

Yup, I am certain that a little more therapy is in order. 

One of my Advent promises is to blog more often. I need to move on from the ambivalence I've been feeling. 

I'm not good at trying to feel nothing. 

Not only am I trying to prepare my heart for the coming of the baby Jesus, but I need to rid my infertile heart do the cobwebs I've let grow. 

Thank you to all of you have checked in and asked for updates. I've continued to pray for you all.

I guess I have missed my little corner of the internet.....

2 September 2013

New Year's Eve

For every teacher the night before the first day of school must feel like New Year's Eve. 

I'm feeling remarkably relaxed. 

I went to yoga at noon. 

Had a tasty lunch of leftover duck confit. 

Watched a couple of Harry Potter movies (Mr JB read the entire series this summer!). 

And now that I'm ready for the morning I'm feeling a bit of denial that my two glorious months off are done. 

I don't know what to expect this year. I know that it won't be as wonderful as my class last year. I know that I have challenges with parents and a couple of kids. 

I'm one sleep away from starting my eleventh in a classroom. 

Amazing. Just amazing.

p.s. Thank you so much for all of your prayers for my kitty cat. My crazy mother is going to call the vet in a couple of weeks to have her assessed. I reminded her that putting her down may not be the option that we're given, and she seemed to listen, but I never know with her. 

p.p.s. The above photo was taken on my way home from my yoga studio. There's a school bus depot close by and all the busses seemed to be parked on the street! 

27 August 2013

In need of St Francis

So, I have a cat. 

A very fat cat. 

She lives with my parents because Mr JB is deathly allergic. 

This afternoon Mr JB and his brother visited my parents and apparently my 15 year old kitty cat isn't doing so well.

My mom wants to put her down. 

Part of me doesn't feel like I have too much say since they have taken care of her since I moved into our house before our wedding. 

And another part of me wants to take her to every vet in the city to get another opinion. 

I had no idea that this was coming. 

She's my first baby. She was my lone companion when I moved out of my parents' home. She lived with my roommates and me during grad school. I missed her more than my then-boyfriend when I moved to France.

Please pray for my kitty cat and for my parents so that they can make a good decision. 

I'm so very, very sad. 

23 August 2013

Hope in the confessional

So, Mr JB I went to confession this morning -- not at our parish since we are both afraid to confess to both of our parish priests. Yes, we are both spazzes. 

I went first, as usual.

When I started to tell the priest about our IF and my struggle with God's plan for us and our family he reminded me not to be tempted by ART, which I reassured him that we weren't.

Then he mentioned the Napro centre that we go to in the city.

I got tears in my eyes when I told him that I had been operated on by Dr Hilgers.

Thank God for knowledgeable priests! It was the first time that I felt that a member of the clergy understood my IF heart. 

We'll definitely be back there for confession! 

19 August 2013

I'm really enjoying August because....

I believe this with my whole heart. 

I'm not stressing about our contractor not being able to do the work we need before our home visit. 

I'm not freaking out about CD1. 

Everything will work out. 

I know it. 

31 July 2013

What an IF soul needs

Can't think of a better place to count my blessings....

26 July 2013

The JBs on the move

It's finally time for our trip south!!!

We'll be in Ormo.nd Bea.ch, FL. If any lovely bloggers are close by I'd love to meet up!

Please pray for an uneventful trip. We're driving to Charlo.tte, NC today!

Our Lady of Good Voyage, pray for us!

ps Happy Feast of St Anne and St Joachim. 

22 July 2013

Why do I do this to myself?

I'm a go-getter.

Yes, I'm someone with a lot of ambition.

But it's the end of July and I have no more gas in the tank (and by the way, gas is REALLY expensive up here!).

I thought that taking a course online would alleviate stress and give me time to do other things. There are ten more days left in my class -- yes, including weekends, and I have nothing left to give.

You see, I'm taking this Religion course so I can eventually take the principal qualification courses. Mr. JB and I have discussed it. He's perfectly happy staying in the classroom until he retires, and I want to move up into administration so I can bring about much needed change.

It will also help when we retire since a principal's pension is more money than a teacher's pension.

I was all prepared and excited about the course. The first couple of weeks were even exciting and interesting.

Now I have three assignments to do tonight and I'm cracking under the pressure. I've been procrastinating all day and I just have no desire to do it. Unfortunately, most of my work is for a group project so I can't just flake out.

I'm so type-A that I wouldn't and couldn't flake out.

So please say a prayer that I can get through this. We leave for our vacation on Friday and I really just need to get to Wednesday so I can breathe again.


16 July 2013


It is our eighth anniversary today. 

Usually this day fills me with dread because of all we don't have. 

If you asked me eight years ago what I pictured for us on this day, it wouldn't be childlessness. It wouldn't be the ability to sleep in. Or quiet. 

But there's peace today. 

Perhaps it's the home study being almost done -- come on contractor dude, come to my house and fix it so our social worker can see how safe it is! 

Or because I'm doing a fairly demanding Religious Ed course. 

Or because I have a summer cold. 

Regardless of the reason, I have peace. 

Taking a TTC break is good for the soul. 

And lessens stress. 

What I am going to focus on is how blessed I am to have such a wonderful, patient husband. IF has brought us together, not the other way around. 

I am so curious to see what The Lord has in store for us this year.....

7 July 2013

What does it say about me?

What does it say about me that I lied to my crazy mother about being busy this afternoon so I could miss my cousin's baby mama's shower.

And I don't even feel guilty.

I feel angry. 

And jealous. 

But not guilty. 

Instead, I will work on my coursework and then go to the movies. 

Lord, one day this will all make sense. Right? 

p.s. I'm going to have popcorn at the movies even though it's in my "can't eat before taking T3" window. Yup, I am such a rebel.

p.p.s. I went back to my old dose of T3 (7.5mg, twice a day) and the anxiety has stopped. I'm so glad since the taking my temperature four times a day got old very quickly. Stupid thyroid. 

3 July 2013

Anxious JellyBelly

Yes, one would think that being a teacher on vacation would mean the absence of anxiety.


Not me.

Btw, the last day of school was one of the hardest days of my career. I loved my class so much and I will cherish the experience for the rest of my days in the classroom. God brought me a wonderful class to heal my heart -- but I think that deserves a whole blog post on it's own.

It also doesn't help that the family drama that my crazy mother has been mired in has added stress to me -- not that she knows it or will do anything to fix the situation. My mother's selfishness knows no bounds. I'm her daughter, I've known that my entire life. Please pray for healing for her and her siblings. I'm growing weary of family in-fighting.

I know that I need to make a to-do list and knock out the tasks one by one.

Homestudy paperwork -- both of our medicals are now done. YAY!!!!

Get contractor into our house so we can have our home visit -- why are schedules so hard to co-ordinate?

Get police checks and finger printed.

Get reference letters out.

Fill in the last of the paperwork.

And yes, do my online Religion course -- which is WAY more work than my in-person class last summer. Hmmm, it was supposed to be the other way around. Why am I doing this again?

Have I mentioned that my Napro doc had me raise my T3. I'm sure that it isn't helping the anxiety levels.

Please say a prayer. Or two.

10 June 2013

I'm still here

I know I've been AWOL.


It's report card season, and these pesky things are kicking my butt.

I have never been so behind. I'd like to blame it on the disastrous student teacher that I was plagued with.

But I won't. 

But all of you know that I do.

I don't want this year to end. My class is fantastic -- we built 3D shapes this afternoon out of marshmallows, toothpicks and plasticine and they had so much fun. They were sad that we had to stop.


There's three weeks of school left and they're excited about 3D geometry.

I will probably never have a class like this again, at least not next year. I confiscated nail polish from two little girls in grade one last week and they tried to tell their teacher that it was fake. Ummm, no. I could smell it. It was definitely the real deal.

I am trying my hardest to be at peace at not doing the trigger shot on CD15. I see our Napro doctor on Friday.

I still haven't decided how much more treatment I can take. My heart still doesn't stay full stop.


I know I won't ovulate without drugs. I am convinced that I didn't ovulate this past cycle, although I didn't have any ultrasounds to prove otherwise.

Have I mentioned that I can't handle ultrasounds. Honestly, take as much blood as you want, but please don't shove a wand anywhere near my ladyparts.

Non, merci. 

Please say a prayer that I don't collapse in an exhausted heap. The end of the year is the worst -- I have no more energy and I have to make sure that the kiddies are happy, engaged and still learning even though I'm pretty much done most of my curriculum (except for math and social studies, there's going to be some serious cramming this week!).

Let's hope that my students still love me after I work them to the bone this week! 

30 May 2013

To Trigger, or Not to Trigger *Updated

Update: I didn't do it. Honestly, sometimes the madness has to stop. I was meditating yesterday and I kept on saying, "Lord, open my heart to your will." I believe His will for me is to surrender (and to not be a zombie using post-Peak meds).

Thank you all for your prayers! I'm hoping there is more peace in surrender since it was hard to find it in doing.


It's CD15.

Trigger day.

The meds are already ready and waiting.

The needles are too.

I've been feeling so torn about all this TTC business.

We're done all of our homestudy paperwork. And we're waiting for the summer break so we can track down and complete rest of it.

Yes, even after (almost) eight years of IF, the pace was scaring me.

I am so torn about doing the trigger shot tonight.

It's the end of the school year. I'm trying my best to stay at the top of my game.

I feel like a zombie on all the post-Peak medications --progesterone and Estr.ace just kick my butt!

Please say a prayer that I can discern what to do before tonight.

St. Rita, St. Gianna and St. Gerard, pray for us!

p.s. I met A Martha Trying to Be Mary on Tuesday night. She is just as amazing as her blog!

p.p.s. I switched back to sustained release T3 last week and I feel human again. Stupid thyroid meds!

22 May 2013

And the suckiness continues...

So, I'm definitely messed up. 

Day two of doubling my thyroid meds is not going well, but it may have to do with what I ate today. I didn't do well with the low GI business today. Yesterday, I ate like a superstar and I felt fantastic. 

Stupid gf carbs. 

Hopefully tomorrow will be better. 

And I will steer clear of grains. 


I'm feeling particularly grumpy because I had to buy a baby shower present for my cousin's knocked up girlfriend. 

Apparently the trick is to not be married and be uneducated to get pg. 

At least it works in my family. 

Employed, married, financially stable with a nice home? 

Nope, no baby for you. 

Still live with your parents? Have nothing in your bank account? Are completely irresponsible (hence, the knocking up your girlfriend part)? Then have a baby. 

Do I sound bitter? 

I am so grateful that I can't attend. I conveniently have a workshop all weekend, so I don't even have to lie.

I need a good dose of humility. Or perhaps a lobotomy. 

St Rita, pray for us! 

21 May 2013

I hate my thyroid

I asked my Napro doc to switch my thyroid meds when I saw her last month. 

I dragged my feet because I had a feeling that switching would be tough. 

And I wasn't wrong. 

A week of headaches. 

Low energy. 

Horrible moods. 

I'm feeling like garbage. 

Could I ask for some prayers? I have a feeling that today isn't going to be a good day. 

I have a feeling that I may be switching back....

15 May 2013

I am thankful

I am thankful that on CD1 we celebrated mass for our First Communicants.

I was able to receive Jesus and ask for His help and guidance.

I keep telling myself that one day all of this will make sense. 

And yes, TCIE, one day there will be much dancing in heaven. 

Then all this pain will be worth it.

12 May 2013

The Worst Day of the Year

One would think that eight years of IF would prepare me for Mothers Day. 

I wished all week that I could fall ill. Injure myself. Find a magical sleeping pill. 

But I woke up feeling fine. 

What does an IF woman who has a dysfunctional relationship with her own mother do? What about her husband's pain when he thinks of his wonderful mother that passed away in 1990. 

This is a painful day. 

There is no doubt about it. 

I'm going to put on a brave face. Drop off the beautiful hanging basket of flowers at my crazy mother's house and I will act like I am not dying inside. 

One day. 

One day all of this will make sense. 

7 May 2013

The tale of the mysterious CM

Oh yes, when one is IF, there is no such thing as TMI.

So I have a pretty predictable body. If you were to look at my Creighton charts you would see the same pattern.

I'm at the end of chart 10, so I am saying this with some authority.

So today, on peak +7, I see some lovely 10KL. Just once, so far.


What is going on?

I've never double peaked.

My exercise regimen hasn't recently changed.

I did had the stomach flu, but I've been better for more than a week.

I did do an HCG trigger on April 28th (nope, no coincidence there!). And peak day was two days later.

What the heck is going on???

(I apologize to those of you that saw this question in the FB IF group!).


28 April 2013


Trigger shot on St Gianna's feast day.

Hmmm, I think that God has a really great sense of humour.

This may be a particularly stressful 2WW.


St Gianna, pray for us!

p.s. Aunt K is doing better. She's come out of her coma, but is still in hospital. Thank you for your prayers!

24 April 2013

Infertile TKO

Yup, total knock out.

It was that kind of day.

I woke up stressed out. Mr. JB spent most of last night getting our tax stuff ready and our paperwork is a scary abyss. I bought a proper filing cabinet last week and I hope that next year will be less taxing on my psyche. I panicked this morning because he couldn't find the receipt for our PR.IDE (adoption training).

I sometimes feel like my house works against me.

But that's not what this post is about.

I got to work all frazzled. I haven't been feeling well all week and the strange stomach flu symptoms that have been plaguing me since the weekend are starting to cause the grumpies. I've been bilking it with my class and I did work my tummy ache into my health and language lesson (btw, the majority of seven year olds think that I should get over-the-counter meds before going to the doctor, however, I didn't listen to them).

After almost eight years on the IF train, I've gotten numb to all things baby. Yes, the IF therapist that I saw helped, but I am not impervious to feeling. There's been a lot of good news lately and although it makes me feel incredibly guilty (yes, IF's double-edged sword), it's hard. My heart has pretty much given up the hope of biological motherhood, but my head hasn't caught up. Will it ever? I doubt it.

It hurts even more when I think of the thousands of dollars we spent in Omaha -- yes, we could've afforded a move to a detached home, or I could've gotten a new car, but no, I have plunged our family deeper into debt for surgeries that didn't quite get the effect we wanted. I believe the dollar amount was over $16 000 for 2012.


Yes, I carry around A LOT of guilt.

About $40 000 worth.

I guess I should focus on the $3 500 that I will (hopefully) get back.

And being pain-free.

Yes, there's that.

So, back to the taxes.

Mr. JB texted me this morning to ask if I had grabbed our cheque book so we could pay our accountant (who by the way is not going to do our taxes next year, I'm planning to save $200 next year and do them myself!). Of course, I hadn't. I rushed home during my lunch hour to grab it and when I returned my formerly IF colleague was visiting with her newborn.

Great. I can handle babies, but newborns KILL me.

I sit down at the table with my lunch and someone starts talking about her daughter's IF struggles. I was trying to tune her out, but it was tough (thank you Rebecca for the distraction!). It took all of my inner strength to not lose it all over my pasta.

It's amazing how fast babies and IVF talk get me moving.

And the icing on the cake: our accountant commented that we were his first clients to ever have adoption expenses.

Yes, the first.

I'm sure he meant nothing by it, but my barren womb became that much more empty.

I'm not even going to get into the invitation we got from my cousin and his knocked up girlfriend. Or my pg childhood best friend who posted a photo of her new car that looks perfect for a car seat.

I'm going to try to hold it together.

Because I have an appointment with my Napro doctor in the morning.

And I'm hoping that the Lord will give me some guidance since I am not 100% certain that I can continue with more treatment. I already decided that I wasn't going to do the low dose HCG this cycle because injecting myself continuously is just not fun.

Infertility: 1 000 000 JellyBelly: 0

Now, where's the wine?

p.s. Aunt K is in a coma. We haven't heard anything else in a couple of days. Please continue to pray for her!

21 April 2013

Prayers please

We just found out that Mr JB's aunt in Arizona had a heart attack (although another family member said stroke). She's been suffering with a myriad of health problems in recent years.

It doesn't look good.

St. Joseph, please watch over Aunt K!

19 April 2013

Mental Health Day

I knew at the beginning of the week that I wasn't going to make it until Friday.

Don't get me wrong, I love my class. They're adorable and pretty easy to manage (especially now that I am student teacher-free!). I was starting to feel irritable and short with them and I hadn't taken a day off in a LONG time.

I had dreams of fiddling with the new filing cabinet that I bought earlier in the week, but I woke up with a headache and I just couldn't get the gumption to get to the basement.

Instead I made vegan quesadillas (Dai.ya cheese rocks!), read the paper and tried to avoid all of the news coverage of the bombing suspects in Boston (quite unsuccessfully).

The only things I accomplished was getting out of my pyjamas and a batch of cookies.

I'm not good at being lazy, but my body needed it today.

I've had a lot of thoughts going around my head: my adoption fears, the fact that two of my unmarried cousins have gotten their girlfriends pg, my crazy mother.

I need to let the thoughts percolate further.

Instead, I am going to remind all of you that the novena to St. Gianna starts today. Her feast day is April 28th. I wish we lived closer to her shrine so we could make a pilgrimage.

Btw, please include these wonderful bloggers (Amy, Marie, Kat) in your intentions, we need to cover these women in prayer!

And lastly, our lovely Rebecca has organized an IF retreat. Go visit her blog and get more details!

p.s. Please pray for Mr. JB's teaching assistant. Although he doesn't have all of the details, he knows that they have found cysts (but he isn't sure where) and the doctors are checking for cancer. She's a wonderful, faith-filled woman. St. Peregrine, pray for G! 

13 April 2013


It's CD1.

I suspect that despite all the freaking needles which included a trigger on CD15, that I didn't ovulate.


It also doesn't help that we're attending my crazy mother's 65th birthday/retirement party this afternoon.

Have I mentioned that I'm not the best at pretending that all is hunky dorey?

I'm trying really hard to focus on our homestudy.

Biological motherhood is not the only way.

But it always still smarts when AF arrives.

I'm just saying that there may be wine this evening.

Perhaps an entire bottle.


6 April 2013

Here's Where the Story Ends

Yes, I am a great appreciator of all things Brit pop.

So the saga of the horrible student teacher is coming to an end. 

After a disastrous math lesson (which was not that complicated -- I had taught it two times before and it was fun and straightforward) that she did not quite understand the expectations since she doesn't have a very good grasp at the French language -- yes, she told her university and myself that she wrote and spoke French. Um, nope, not so much. 

The lesson went so badly that she almost started to cry at the end.

Now, in ten years of elementary education I've had lessons bomb. All teachers have had lessons bomb. But this was the straw that broke the camel's back.

I have quite the long list of problems: she lacked motivation, she never circulated in the class or helped me when I taught (even when I pointed out which kids needed help), she's messy (the kids had problems reading her printing), she had no classroom management (she didn't need much, my class is very well-behaved), and her language skills were extremely lacking.  And to top it off I couldn't share any of my constructive criticism because she's emotionally fragile. For example, a colleague joked to her about her poor parking job back in February and she hasn't been able to make eye contact with him since!

Needless to say, she was not a very effective student teacher. 

I e-mailed her instructor and reiterated my concerns. I had a long correspondence with her before the March Break because I was writing a very unfavourable review of her progress (which totally took my student teacher by surprise since she doesn't have a firm grip on reality), so she was aware that the placement had not been going well. I had to advocate for my wonderful students since they weren't getting taught the concepts properly nor were they seeing someone that modeled French very well. 

I got news yesterday that she is being moved to an English placement at another school and I am so relieved. Part of me wishes that I was more proactive and that I had dealt with this sooner, but I'm a fixer and I was hoping that things would get better. Unfortunately, things got worse and it was like watching a train wreck in slow motion. 

She is returning on Tuesday to finish up, although I am not going to let her teach a thing. My principal suggested making a card and wishing her well. I did send her an e-mail reiterating the concerns I shared with her teacher, but she hasn't responded. I figure she won't make any contact before Tuesday.

So how does this relate to my IF struggle?

When does someone know when to stop? Since starting the homestudy process I've been half-a$$edly doing Napro treatment -- low dose HCG, trigger shots, post-peak progesterone and HCG (yes, I am a human pincushion!). My heart just isn't in it anymore, but I continue on since my doctor is just so hopeful. 

Last July, I thought I was finished, but my doctor was so excited to see that I wasn't ovulating properly. I'm convinced that my main issue is ovulation, but who the heck knows after all this time (and money and surgeries and needles and tears and pills and supplements -- I can go on forever)? 

Our social worker said that we could continue on with treatment while we start the adoption process. There is a thought in the back of my mind that once we adopt that I will miraculously fall pg -- yeah right, dream on JB! I'm starting to feel like I need to give myself a final stop date. 

So how do I choose? Should I stop treatment when we're done our homestudy? Before? I have no idea?

So friends, do you have any advice?

 p.s. Happy 700th post to me!

31 March 2013

24 March 2013

Palm Sunday Resonance

So Holy Week begins.

The end of Lent always seems to sneak up on me. Perhaps it's because I have struggled with my Lenten promises -- we had a visiting statue of the Virgin Mary at the beginning of Lent and we prayed the rosary every night, and when she left we completely fell apart. It may also have to do with the stress of having an incompetent student teacher (who was not happy with her review, but I was happy with what I wrote, honesty hurts, but it had to be done).

Today at mass during the Passion, a couple of things hit me like a ton of bricks.

I have struggled with God's will for my life and my path to motherhood. I prayed for strength. I have prayed for surrender. When our pastor read this I knew that God was talking right to my heart:

Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done.

Exactly what my heart and head needed to hear.

We met with our social worker on Friday to continue with our homestudy. I felt a bit guilty since we didn't do any of our adoption "homework" which is kind of funny since we're both teachers. There's quite a bit of paperwork to get through and the only thing I did was get my criminal reference check from France (which I am still waiting for, another exercise in patience!).

It amazes me how easy the homestudy is going, thus far. The fact that I feel so relaxed and calm just proves to met that we are doing what we are supposed to be doing.

Yes, almost eight years, four surgeries, $50K++ in medical bills, countless appointments, numerous specialists, countless medications and oceans of tears I feel ready to follow another path.

Which brings me to the other part of the Passion that almost brought me to my knees:

Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For the days are surely coming when they will say, "Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed." Then they will begin to say to the mountains, "Fall on us," and to the hills, "Cover us." For they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry? 

I am almost certain that my interpretation is probably incorrect, but it was nice to get a "shout out" from the Bible this morning. I don't often feel blessed in my barrenness, but perhaps I am in the process of discovering the true blessings.

I am going my hardest to make this holiest of weeks count. My patience has been tested in more than one way and I know that I need to refocus and keep my eyes on the cross.

17 March 2013

Back to reality...

All good things must come to an end.


It is understatement that I didn't want to come home.

I especially didn't want to have to deal with subzero temperatures (although there isn't more snow) or having to go to work tomorrow.

I've hosted a student teacher for the past month and it has become more work than I had bargained for. It's like having another larger, more needy student, not another adult. I just finished writing an interim report that outlines all of her shortcomings.

Suffice it to say that I will have a very unhappy person in my midst come Tuesday morning.

Is there an easy way to tell someone that their French is crap and they have no classroom management?

I don't have a problem telling little kids what they can do better, but a thirty-four year old mature student?

Yup, I'm having difficulty.

I'm having a particularly hard time since I've tried to tell her in many different ways what she can do to improve, but she doesn't listen (or isn't able to?). My gut says that she isn't 100% invested in becoming a teacher.

And that really bothers me.

I love being a teacher. I love my students. I also believe that God called me to my profession.

My student teacher.

Not so much.

And it really bothers me that one day she will get a job and will teach little kids. And they'll see right through her.

It also really sucks that I'm responsible for telling her this sad truth.

Have I mentioned that she is my first student teacher? And I almost begged to have one?

Honestly, why do I feel like God is having a good chuckle on my behalf?

p.s. Happy St. Paddy's Day!

15 March 2013

What a way to end a vacation....

I suspected that she was going to arrive.

No late cycle boob pain.

A call from my Napro doctor to increase my progesterone since the 200mg plus HCG just wasn't enough.

The fact that I could feel the pressure in my pelvis when I woke up this morning.

Yes, AF got to spend the day at the beach with me today.


Thank God for Margaritas.

I may have to make one when I home.

Or a pitcher.

I'm going to focus on our next homestudy appointment on the 22nd.

And I will try not to steal any adorable Mexican children at the airport.

And here is our last towel animal:

14 March 2013

Allergies & Dinosaurs

Today was a lazy beach day. The most strenuous thing I did was pool aerobics (which wasn't that taxing).

It was lovely just lying on the beach lounger.

And moving to the quiet pool.

Then the party pool.

Then back to the beach.

I'm not the best at doing nothing, so I tried really hard.

It make me kinda sad that tomorrow is our last full day here.

Which brings me to my allergies: I didn't realize that we were getting fed on our flights. The tour representative can't help us, so I emailed the airline. I'm supposed to organize my special meal 72 hours before departure so I'm a bit late.

The worst part is that our airport shuttle leaves at 6am and the buffet isn't open for breakfast until 7am. So I'm in a pickle.

Or in this case I'm out of pickles.

Cross your fingers that I can find something in town that's allergy-friendly!

Here's our cute dinosaur:

13 March 2013

Pope Francis I, pray for us!

What exciting news!!!

We have a new Pontiff!

Habemus Papum!

Even the doggy towel animal was glued to the television.

12 March 2013

Papal Conclaves & Ruins

Mr JB and I had a great day visiting the Mayan ruins at Ek-Balam and also visited the Cenote Maya (which is an underground natural pool that's 80cm in diameter). Mr JB repelled down and I took the stairs.

This is not the most exciting news of the day.

Most of you know that my brother-in-law is a Jesuit priest. He's currently studying in Rome and this morning he was interviewed by our national broadcaster's morning show. If you're interested in watching the clip you can send me an email at jellybelly_75 at yahoo dot com. I don't want to post the link here since this is technically an anonymous blog.

Needless to say, Mr JB and I are so proud of him!

Here's our towel animal of the day. It's clearly an elephant.

11 March 2013


So, Mr JB and I are taking it easy before we head to dinner -- it's International Night at the buffet, I'm so curious! The food has been amazing (even when I had to have a special meal because there was nothing I could have). AND there's nothing like a breakfast buffet, especially one that has a Vi.tamix (if you don't know what a Vi.tamix is, google it, we LOVE ours at home!).

Anyhow, back to my complaining.

We're watching "Fri.ends" on one of the few English channels that we have and the episode is all about Monica and Chandler's IF. I remember watching the episodes when they first aired, but they didn't make any impression back in 2004 when I was blissfully ignorant to my body's brokenness.

I also can't help but think that Dr Hilgers could've helped them.

I should look at the bright side: they did end up adopting.

Perhaps this is a sign?

Or perhaps I got too much sun (which I did, I got a little burn on my chest despite the sunscreen) and we shouldn't watch TV while on vacation.

I just wish that IF could take a vacation too.

Btw, here's our towel animal of the day:

10 March 2013

A dream come true!

I've always wanted to stay at a place that made towel animals.

I guess I'm pretty easy to please.

[Yeah, right!]

We went to mass in Spanish this morning at a beautiful church on the beach. It had to be one of the most picturesque masses I have attended.

I think it may be time to get acquainted with a beach chair....

8 March 2013

Leaving on a jet plane...

It is once again March Break!

I almost didn't make it, particularly because of my student teacher, but that is a story for another time.

I'm going to try to sleep a bit before the airport limo comes to get us at 2:30am. Honestly, leaving at 6:30am seemed like a good idea when we booked our trip!

I am so excited to be going away. I hope to post when we're in the sun!

28 February 2013

The Wringer

First off, I am so grateful to have been the recipient of all of your prayers. February has not been an easy month, particularly this last week.

The pg announcement from one of my oldest friends has been especially hard to deal with -- particularly since she doesn't have a motherly bone in her body and she isn't 100% sure about her fiancé (he proposed to her with a ring he had bought for his ex-girlfriend, I can't even wrap my head around that!). It was hard not to feel like God was mocking us. I wish that I didn't feel that way, but I did.

This past week I've had a hard time praying -- Mr JB and I were praying the rosary together every night as part of our Lenten promise, and I every night for the past week I've either fallen asleep or just plain forgot. I know that being angry at God isn't the best way to cope with my jealousy, but that's where I am right now.

Not only did I get the surprise pg announcement, but I found out that same afternoon that my credit card had been compromised AND that a mystery bill of $1150 materialized from Omaha (yes, after paying off almost $8000 at the end of December).  And top to it off, I woke up on Sunday morning with a killer sore throat.

It amazes me that I could even function. 

Thankfully, my class received their First Reconciliation last Tuesday and I had the chance to go to confession. I'm not sure if the priest understood my confession completely because he kept on saying that I need to be open to human life -- I said more than once that we were, but his comments indicated that he just didn't understand. Perhaps it was two hours of listening to seven year old children and their sins or just inexperience with us scary infertiles, who knows. I figured as I left the confessional that my sins were absolved regardless of whether or not he knew what he was talking about.

Which brings me to today.

We had an appointment with our wonderful Napro doctor which I wasn't really looking forward to, despite getting the miraculous news that my FSH lowered.  I did a hormonal profile, but no ultrasound series last cycle and she says that I'm ovulating late judging from how my estrogen numbers. Based on this she wants us to do a trigger shot TONIGHT! It's a day later than she would normally want to do an HCG trigger, but she figures that it's still a good thing to try.

I'm going to be quite the pincushion for the next two cycles: low dose HCG pre-peak, HCG trigger on day 15 and then post-Peak HCG (on P+3, 5, 7 & 9). Holy crap! Have I mentioned that I really don't like needles???

We also had an appointment with our social worker this afternoon. It was our first official homestudy appointment which was exciting. We went over all of the paperwork that we need to fill out and she started asking us questions about our upbringing and our home. I can't believe that we're finally on our way! She thinks that we can be done by April which would be amazing. Is it actually possible that we will be parents in the next year????

So, on this last day of being "adopted" myself. I am so thankful that all of you have prayed for me. I know that it was your prayers that kept me going this past week especially -- there were many times that I wanted to just curl into a ball and give up, but your support carried me through it.

As Amy and Rebecca both texted me today that it isn't a coincidence that two BIG things happened on the last day of adopt-a-blogger.

I believe that there are no coincidences: I just hope that one of the things that we did today will lead to parenthood sooner, rather than later.

22 February 2013


I shouldn't have gotten out of bed this morning.

I have a killer headache.

I was nauseous.

But I'm attending a big reading conference so I had to drag my sorry self to the city.

I get a text from my best friend from elementary school. We don't text often, so I was surprised.

I assumed that she was going to tell me that she got engaged. She's been shacking up with her boyfriend and I thought it was the next step.

She did get engaged.

And she's pg.

It was like a punch in the face.

Yet again.

I am trying my best to hold it together, but I want to curl into a ball and cry.


13 February 2013

And Lent begins...

It was P+17 today.

And I knew better than get my hopes up.

Because, of course, it turned in CD 1 soon after getting to school.

What a great way to begin this Lenten season.

I am going to try really hard not to think of how great a BFP would have been as a Valentine's Day present for Mr JB.

I'm going to try REALLY hard not to think about that.


11 February 2013

And we're off...

First off, thank you so much for your prayers during our first month of Adopt-a-Blogger! I have felt your prayers and I appreciate them so much. I am beyond blessed.

Mr. JB and I had a meeting with our social worker/my IF therapist this evening. I wanted her to meet Mr. JB before we officially started the home study process, but we ended up talking about all things adoption since I didn't have any issues to talk about -- again, your prayers have helped!

Since we already completed our PR.IDE training the home study should only take about three or four months. She even thinks that we may be far advanced in the process that we could go to the Adopti.on Re.source E.xchange that's happening in April. At the ARE all of the Chi.ldren's Ai.d Societ.ies in Ontario present children that are up for adoption -- kind of like a massive presentation of all the available kids that need homes. I can't believe that we would be at that point so soon, but we already have the first two home study appointments set and it'll only take two more after that.

I'm sure that there will be stress involved in the process, but I feel like this is what we should be doing at this point.

Could we be adoptive parents by the end of the year? By next year?

We are ready.

Bring it!

The biggest issue is that we also need some work done around our house and the estimate is about $2000 and the home study costs $2600 plus tax. I'm guessing that the latter is going to be the focus, and perhaps we'll get another quote for the work since it seems that the cost is higher than I expected. We definitely don't have the cash to do both! And since paying off our Omaha bills we would like to refinance our mortgage so we could pay off our line of credit (what we used to pay off the extra costs of my surgeries). Our financial planner seems to be taking a really LONG time to figure out the best way to do this. It doesn't bode well.

And it's also P+15 and I'm sure that AF is right around the corner.

The fun never ends!

31 January 2013


If you asked me on my wedding day in 2005 what my journey to motherhood would be like, I would not have had any idea.

I’ve journeyed long.

Very, very long.

And I’ve shed so many, many tears.

And I’m still here.

Four surgeries.

Thousands and thousands of dollars spent.

Injections. Pills. Supplements. Suppositories.

I’ve thought so many times that I’d like to wake up from this dream.

If only it was a dream.

I thought that after emptying our bank account (and then some) we would be closer to becoming biological parents.

I thought that after many novenas, rosaries, pilgrimages to so many different churches in both Europe and North America that our prayers would be answered.

It seems like God has another plan for us.

A plan that has taken me a LONG time to come to terms with.

I am so thankful for Amy and her idea to adopt-a-blogger. Mr. JB and I start our next phase of our adoption journey this month. I finally feel ready to get started on our  home study.

It took seven and a half years. Four surgeries. Countless appointments with numerous doctors.

And completely losing it in July when we found out that I just wasn’t ovulating (which I still believe to be at the core of our problem now that I have a freed pelvis and no more endo).

So as I venture into the 2WW and I ask my posse of saints: St. Gianna, Sts. Ann and Joachim, St. Gerard and Blessed John Paul II as well as my patron for 2013, St. Philip, I am welcoming all of your prayers. I know that it is because of this wonderful blogging community that I have not lost my mind.

Please pray that the next steps in our new journey are not fraught with landmines. It seems as though God wanted to test us to see if we were 100% ready to become parents.

Or at least that is what I’m telling myself.

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. And apparently, I’m training to become the strongest lady in the world.


If you want more information about Adopt-A-Blogger head over and visit Amy at her blog.

25 January 2013

FML or The Stresses of Being IF

I just spent the past hour in the car.

In a snowstorm.

Yes, a Canadian snowstorm.

It's pretty freaking bad out there.

Do you know why I was out in this horrible weather instead of under a blanket drinking a cup of tea? I had forgotten to get my blood drawn for my hormone profile (yes, I've lost count how many I've had, but I refused to have an ultrasound series done as well, I just couldn't do that). I had stayed a little later at school so I could tidy up and get a few things ready for Monday. I had gone every day after school, but it just slipped my mind. I guess my sore inner arms weren't reminder enough.

I was all excited to go get my nails done (yes, even a snowstorm wasn't going to stop me from being vain), and I realized that I had completely forgotten. Have I mentioned that the lab is really close to my school, but not very close to my house.

I drove for forty-five minutes (the drive usually takes fifteen minutes, tops) to arrive at a closed lab. I really shouldn't have tried, but I had no idea how quickly or slowly I would get there. I could've banged on the door since I got there just a few minutes after it closed, but I felt so defeated that I turned around and went home.

At least the drive only took half an hour.

I tried to offer up the frustration, but I felt like such an idiot.

I realize that missing one blood draw isn't the end of the world AND I can go in the morning (which also means that I don't have to go on Monday, which also happens to be my birthday, who wants to have blood drawn on their birthday???). If it wasn't so close to Peak day I wouldn't have worried.


I was so upset that I even shoveled the snow, which is light and fluffy and very easy to shovel.

I feel like crying in frustration, but after this many years of IF, I just need to shrug it off.

And wake up early so I don't have to wait in line FOREVER at the lab.

And yes, I can get my nails done tomorrow or Sunday when the weather isn't crazy bad.

What I really should've done is forgotten about the lab and just went to the nail salon. In retrospect, there was no way I could've made it to the lab in time.

Live and learn, right?

I got to practice my mad driving skills -- I'm really good at driving in the snow, although I touched my St. Christopher visor clip more than once and said a few Hail Marys for help.

Lord God, what IF makes us do.


3 January 2013

Hello 2013 & Prayer Buddy Reveal

First off, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

I'm hoping that the new year will bring more fruitful posting since 2012 was a blogging drought. Hmmm, that sounds like a resolution.

Mr. JB and I have had a busy, but a great holiday. We were able to stay home and his dad stayed with us for a few days. We saw Warhorse to kick off the holiday and to celebrate his dad's 76th birthday. We had to attend two Christmas parties since my crazy mother is fighting with some of her siblings. I have not blogged about it, but it has been an unending source of frustration for me. As most of you know, we have a strained relationship, and this has made it worse. I prayed my Christmas novena with the intention of family healing, but it hasn't happened yet.

But on to more happy things...

I got Mr. JB tickets to see the Pitts.burgh Ste.elers for Christmas. For those of you that are friends with me on FB, you know that I was more than a little afraid of being outside for four hours watching the one sport that I do not like (or understand!). It was great to see my husband's absolute joy during the game and they also won (although the game didn't count). The best part of going to Pitt.sburgh was seeing Rebecca and her husband!  They drove into the city, picked us up and we all had dinner together. It was so great to see her and to meet her dh. I was also glad that our husbands had one another to talk to while we commiserated. I think it's so cool that we got to see one another TWICE in 2012!

We got home in time to jump right back in the car to attend my best friend's parents' New Year's Eve party. We spent a couple of days with them since we hadn't seen them in a couple of weeks and we had nothing else to do. It was so nice to just sit around and relax with them. I still miss them so much and I wish that I could just go over to their house whenever I wanted, but I just have to get used to the fact that our lives have changed. It also made me feel better to hear her say that she missed her house here and so do her kids.

This morning we had an appointment with our Napro doctor and the appointment went so well! It's been a LONG time since I felt good about a fertility-related appointment. First off, my FSH has gone down to 10!!! It hasn't been that low since before my surgeries in Omaha. She doesn't think that it's related to the low-dose HCG, but I believe that it's definitely helping. She wants to continue with this protocol which is fine with me, although the daily needles are not fun. She wants me to have my B12, iron and vitamin D levels checked tomorrow (she wants me to have it done on P+6 since P+8 is a Sunday, I didn't start my HCG until P+4 since I didn't have my HCG with me at my bf's house).

Mr. JB said that he hadn't seen me that relaxed at an appointment before, which I guess is a good thing. I feel so much more relaxed since I started seeing the IF counselor. It was a definite blessing to have starting seeing her before the holidays. She showed me a few coping strategies that really helped. I'm also excited to start our homestudy process. It can't start soon enough!

Lastly, Mr. JB and I got amazing patron saints for 2013. I drew St. Philip Neri (who was the patron of my old school) and he got St. Nicholas! We did the draw at my bf's house and she chose one too and she got St. John Kanty.  I don't know what we did to have gotten such amazing patron saints! 

Oh 2013, I am so looking forward to what you have in store for us!

Prayer Buddy Reveal:

I had the pleasure of praying for Jeanne G from Knowledge Hungry. I didn't read her blog before we were matched up, but I am so glad that I was introduced to a new blogger.

I prayed The Christmas Rose Novena, Christmas Novena and the St. Andrew Chaplet for your intentions. I also offered up a lot of my teacher-related frustration for you -- although my class is so good and sweet, the last week of school was tough to get through!

I look forward to following your blog and I will continue to pray for you!


Thank you so much to Sarah at A Child to Call Me Mama for praying for me! When I got her e-mail I was so excited that she had prayed for me. We're endo sisters and she's an adoptive mama. Sarah your prayers were so powerful. I felt so at peace during the craziness of Advent and I made through all of December without getting sick (although I'm sick with an annoying cough now). God bless you and your beautiful family!!!

And lastly, thank you so much to all of the bloggers that offered prayers and intentions for all of us that are still waiting. Christmas is such a difficult time, but your prayers helped make it that much easier! God bless all of you!