26 April 2011

JellyBelly Conundrum -- Advice Please!

I got a phone call from my boss at the Ministry of Ed (yes, that tough job that was mentally and physically exhausting, but was so good for making connections AND it looks amazing on a resume!).

And she offered me another job for the summer.

Three weeks. $4500. All expenses paid.

My first instinct is to say yes. That cash can go towards surgery in the US or our adoption or even our next house.

I think that it's a compliment that she called and although she said that it would be okay to say no, I don't want it to reflect badly on myself.

Last night Mr. JB and I were talking about how we were looking forward to a nice, relaxing summer. Needless to say, he's upset that I'm considering it, but he knows that jobs like this don't come along often.

So what do you think? Do I take it? Do I turn it down?


25 April 2011

Happy Easter & Prayer Buddy Reveal

This was a particularly difficult Easter weekend.

Not only was I feeling under the weather, but my latest diagnosis has really gotten me down. I've almost been afraid to eat since the glycemic index is something completely new to me. It also doesn't help that the Met.formin is doing a number on my belly. I am no stranger to stomach upset and I have learned the hard way to take the new meds immediately after eating. Does anyone else have any advice concerning Met.formin? I'm on two 500mg pills, twice a day and I have no idea if it is the slow-release kind.

What stumps me the most is my non-PCOS diagnosis of insulin-resistance. Mr. JB swears that my Napro doc said that it has no bearing on my fertility, but I am doubtful. The research I have done on Dr. Google has not proven very fruitful!

Mr. JB has been so incredibly supportive. We went to the bookstore today and he helped me pick out a cookbook and a GI guide to eating out. My biggest concern is incorporating low GI eating with being gluten, dairy and egg-free. My diet is already so limited, having yet another set of restrictions is just crazy-making!

I'm going to try my best to pray for patience. I will continue to offer up this new set of frustrations for my prayer buddy.

Which brings me to my reveal...

I had the wonderful blessing of praying for a blogger that I have had the pleasure of meeting WAY back at the first barren wives weekend in August 2009. She is such a lovely person and I am still in awe of the fact that she went running in the crazy hot Tennessee weather! I was praying for E at God's Plan is My Joy

I prayed my daily rosary for her intentions, I offered up many a yoga class (there was a lot of sweat offered up for you E!) and I was able to pray for her in front of St. Anthony's relics when they were visiting a local parish. My favourite place to pray for you E was on the beach in the Dominican Republic. Every day I took a solo walk on the beach (I love my husband, but the 20 minutes away while praying was wonderful!) and listen to the rosary on my i.Phone. It was one of my most beautiful places I have ever prayed!

I am so blessed to call you my friend, E! I will continue praying for you and your beautiful family!

And lastly, thank you to my wonderful prayer buddy Karey at All You Who Hope! She was also at the BW weekend and she has been such a supportive friend. I read her blog post today and I started to cry tears of joy in the car as Mr. JB pumped gas! My Lent was quite the adventure and I felt your prayers!

Happy Easter everyone!

20 April 2011

What next? (Yes, JB has yet another diagnosis!)

I'm going to start with the good news first:

My hormones ROCK! Apparently the regimen that Dr. Nora has me on, coupled with the HCG and Es.trace has finally done the trick. In February my Peak +7 progesterone was 109.9 nmol/L and my estrogen was 588pmol/L. And at my last Peak +7 (we were away in the DR, so I missed March, wasn't that wonderful?), my progesterone was 98.1 nmol/L and my estrogen was 688pmol/L.

Five viable cycles.

I'm so happy that my body seems to be working.

Unfortunately, this is where the good news ended. Dr. T wanted me to have my insulin-resistance tested and I dragged my feet for the longest time to get it done. I knew that I didn't have PCOS, so I didn't think that it was important.

Alas, my bloodwork proved otherwise.

My glucose fasting level was 4.7mmol/L and after two hours it was 6.2mmol/L. My insulin at fasting was 56.0pmol/L. After drinking the nasty orange drink and waiting two hours my insulin was 247.0pmol/L.

That is not good.

I am so glad that Mr. JB was with me and that I had my i.Phone so I could text TCIE and Sew. I don't have PCOS, and my male hormones aren't elevated (at least they weren't when I had my last full hormone panel done in July). I have a prescription for Met.formin and yet another bunch of dietary restrictions.

I feel so defeated, but I know that I should feel relieved that I have something else to fix. My insulin-resistance could be a missing link. I was hoping to get tested for MTHFR, but my doctor had an urgent call about a patient in ICU and the end of our appointment was cut short. I hope that Dr. Nora and I can work on a game plan so I can present a better case to Dr. T in June.

So, what do I do now? I eat really well, but I'm lost when it comes to low GI foods. From what little I found out from Dr. Google is that foggy brain and fatigue are two symptoms -- two things that I have attributed to adrenal fatigue (Dr. T was okay with my self-increase of my morning dosage, she even wrote me another prescription, so now I'm at 10mg in the morning and at lunch).

I'm trying not to freak out, but it's hard. My diet is already so limited that yet another set of restrictions may push me off the edge!

Mental Health Day Gone Wrong

Since going gluten-free and radically changing my diet, my immune system has gotten so much better. However, the manic weather plus my germy students were way too much to handle. I've had a cold since last Thursday and instead of getting better, I have gotten progressively worse.

I was hoping to take most of today to relax, read blogs and get ready for the weekend, but instead I slept in and then lay on the couch because I have no energy. Getting sick is an occupational hazard. I know that my students can't be kept home when they have the slightest sniffle, and I haven't really taken any sick days this year. I just wish that I didn't feel like such crap!

I always seem to get sick around Holy Week. I had my first surgery during Holy Week (an anniversary that I conveniently forgot!). School and church life seems to go into frantic mode, and then my body shuts down. Perhaps it's a good thing that I feel too sick to do anything!

I have an appointment with my Napro doc this afternoon. I'm going to ask again to get tested for MTHFR. She was hesitant since I don't have a history of miscarriage, but I just want to cross it off the list. I'm also looking forward to getting the results of my glucose-intolerance test (which I took in January!). Please say a prayer that we get some good news.

I promise to update later on tonight!

17 April 2011

Happy Palm Sunday!

This morning I joked with Mr JB if we could take our godson (my fertile bf's baby) to church with us this morning. I've blogged many times about how much I love my bf's kids, and the feelings are definitely reciprocated. The kids always make me feel so loved and they are so much fun to be around.

My bf's husband is away on business and she had a very grumpy baby on her hands so she asked us to take the two older kids to mass with us. And of course, I jumped at the opportunity.

I did feel like a bit of an impostor and our parish priest raised his eyebrows in question when he saw us with two adorable blond and blue-eyed children (there is NO WAY I could pretend to be their mom since I am definitely NOT blond, nor blue-eyed!). The kids were so good and it was so much fun to take them to mass. I have a feeling that it won't be the last time that we take them with us, which I don't mind at all.

At every Palm Sunday I feel so much anticipation. It's not only the start of a very busy week church-wise, but there's always so much going on at school. It's also tough that Earth Day falls on Holy Thursday! We're planning to schedule Earth Day activities in the morning and religious stuff in the afternoon.

We're also ramping up our sacramental preparation for First Communion which is on May 7th. I think that I'm more nervous than the kids! I am so glad that there are four grade two teachers at my school so I don't have to worry about it all by myself!

In cycle news: It's Peak +9 today and I'm feeling so good. I upped my dose of H.ydrocort yesterday (I really hope that my Napro doc isn't upset with me when I see her on Wednesday, but when I take E.strace it just zaps my energy and the extra 5mg in the morning makes me feel normal). Dr. Nora lent me a book late last year (by Christine Northrup, unfortunately I can't remember the title!) and in the section about IF it talked about a book by Nir.avi Pa.yne called The Wh.ole Pe.rson Ferti.lity Pr.ogram. I got it from A.mazon a while ago, but I didn't start going through it until tonight. I definitely think that my negative self-talk has done a number on my fertility. I promise a full review when I'm done with it!

In real estate news: Another house came up on the market last Thursday. It was in a great location and priced within our range. Our real estate agent looked at it and said that it wasn't for us. Despite having the right bones, it still had electric baseboard heating, nothing was done, the basement was musty AND there was already and offer on the place! I'm thinking more and more that moving needs to be put on the back burner while we work on our family. I know that's what Mr. JB wants to do, but he's been humouring me since I really want to move. Have I mentioned that my husband is a bit of saint?

Lastly, I can't believe that Lent is almost over! My soul spring cleaning has gone well, but I know that I have a long way to go. We're going to Confession tomorrow night, so hopefully that will help!

p.s. TCIE's post on Creighton as well as my IF support group meeting yesterday (thanks Tishi!) with Dr. Nora has gotten me thinking about my own experience with Creighton. I have a post brewing in my head, but I want to make sure that it isn't just a stream of consciousness post like I normally write. If you're curious check this and this out. I may not be a success story (yet!), but I'm the healthiest I have ever been! No "conventional" IF doctor could've helped me get this far!

13 April 2011

Is this a sign???

So my friends, is this a sign??

12 April 2011


Apparently I am a masochist.

For the past couple of years I have done our taxes and this year  I volunteered to do my parents' as well. I thought I was being a good daughter since I know their accountant charges them WAY too much money for a simple return. Unfortunately, my mother and father have decided to make their taxes the most difficult feat possible.

My parents hate coming to our house. They complain that it's far and they're busy (yes, my retired dad who has no hobbies is SO busy, and we live in the SAME city, only 20 minutes away). Yesterday, I called my mom to remind her to get the access code from Re.venue Can.ada and she said that she wanted me to call for her since she had no time.

Yes, my mother who had the day off did not have the time to make a five minute phone call. She said that she wanted me to call on her behalf. She didn't care that I was driving (don't worry, I was using my Blue.tooth!) and on my way to the eye doctor. She also didn't care that I have a job where I have work to do at home, nor does she care that I actually lead a busy life.

So I just got off the phone with my crazy mother and she said that she can't come over to my house until EASTER MONDAY because of her busy schedule. I have been pestering her about their tax return since early March. It is April 12th today. Apparently my mother thinks that celebrating the resurrection of our Lord with stressful finances is a great idea.

I'm hoping that I can get our taxes done tonight so I can cross it off of my to-do list. I'm hoping that I don't have to pay too much back, if any. My job with the Ministry last summer wasn't taxed so I'm more than a bit afraid that I will have pay back (one of the biggest reasons why I banked my earnings in a high yield savings account.  I hope that I don't have to touch it since I decided that if my provincial health care doesn't pay for surgery with Dr. H, then I will be able to pay for surgery with Dr. S in PA).

I hate dealing with money. And I also resent the fact that money stands in the way of so many things -- mainly what type of adoption we are going to pursue and what type of fertility treatments that I am willing to do.


p.s. If you want to share any of your favourite vegetarian/vegan recipes just click on my post from yesterday and leave a comment. My mouth is watering just thinking of trying your suggestions! 

11 April 2011

Culinary Distractions

I honestly have nothing new to report on the TTC front, aside from the fact that I always forget to order my prescription of HCG and then I have to wait to start my needles on Peak +4 because I'm not prepared. For some reason I really don't care, let's call it IF-related apathy. So there.

So Mr. JB and I have been doing meatless-Mondays since the new year started and it has been going really well. I usually do most of the meatless cooking since Mr. JB is more of the staple chef -- he's got his repertoire of recipes that he is comfortable cooking, while I am the more adventurous one in the kitchen. [Just a sidebar, when we first met Mr. JB was a hot dog and take out kind of guy, since we got married and moved in together he has become quite the proficient cook. He hated waiting for me to come home from work or working out to start dinner so I told him early on that if he wanted to eat early then he had to cook. Lucky for me he rose to the challenge! I just wish that he could do more handy things around the house too, but I shouldn't complain.]

I've rediscovered the cookbook written by the woman that runs the retreat centre that I visited a couple of weekends ago. The recipes are great, but they take a LONG time to prepare and need quite a few ingredients. When I lived in France I learned to make tasty food with simple ingredients, however Nicola's recipes require many spices and interesting ingredients, but the results are always so amazing. I spent a couple of hours yesterday preparing salad dressing, a salad, a beet dip (which is so amazing, I ate it for breakfast this morning!) and then I made a big pot of vegetarian curry for dinner tonight.

I have toyed with the idea of going vegetarian many times in my past and I know that I feel fantastic the less meat that I eat. My two biggest roadblocks are the fact that I crave meat (there's nothing like a steak taco salad at my favourite Mexican place) and that my husband is a carnivore. I couldn't imagine having to prepare two different meals in our tiny kitchen! We have changed our meat-buying habits in the past few years. I will only buy organic and free range, and we're so lucky that our grocery store has quite the selection of traditionally-raised meats. I have noticed the taste difference since switching and when I don't eat organic meat, I can tell!

Now I know that we are very fortunate to be able to afford to eat organically. There are many things that I would give up first before I changed my eating habits. Since I suffer from digestive issues I can appreciate feeling good after eating.

At my fertility yoga class last Friday we talked about all of the things that we have deprived ourselves of because of our IF. I know for me that the paradigm has shifted. I have no idea if I will ever conceive, but I know that all of the changes that I've implemented -- from changing my cleaning products to my diet, will help me in the long run. I may be infertile, but I am the healthiest that I have been in my entire life. Who would've thought that I would be grateful for IF!

Do any of you have any interesting vegetarian recipes that you'd like to share? I will cook just about anything as long as it's gluten, egg and dairy-free!

6 April 2011

Protecting My Heart, the Real Estate Edition *Updated

We're going to look at another house tonight.

[breathing deeply]

At first our agent thought it was overpriced, but he saw it in person today and he says that it's a better house than the one that we didn't get.

I would've rather not seen the house since it doesn't have a garage, but our agent thinks that we can get it for less than asking (I'm more than a little sceptical about that since it's totally a seller's market) and it is completely renovated.

Who would've thought that IF would've taught me how to protect my heart from disappointment?

So friends, could you please say a little prayer for us? I promise to update later this evening!


Update: It was a much better house than the one that we fell in love with, but it wasn't our house. We could see why our real estate agent loved it so much, but after our visit we spent 15 minutes convincing ourselves why it was a good house.

Definitely not a good sign.

The best thing about seeing this house is that we're open to looking at different types of houses -- ideally I would like a side-split or a back-split (basically, I don't want a conventional two-storey house since I want to grow old in it and I don't want to be an old lady climbing up huge flights of stairs), but this was a bungalow and it had more space than I thought it would.

Apparently the Lord wants to teach me more patience.

I didn't think that I needed more practice, but He knows best, right?

Thank you for the prayers! (Prayer buddy, I'm making you work overtime!!!! Thanks!!!!!)

3 April 2011

Insert sigh of relief here

My yoga retreat was exactly what I needed. I was able to eat everything, and with abandon I might add (I wept tears of joy in front of my friends at lunch today because I was so overcome with joy at the food! It is very rare that I don't worry about eating when I'm away, so the tears shed were a true expression of happiness).

Only three of us weren't trained yoga teachers so I was a bit intimidated, particularly since I am not as fit as I was before my surgeries. We did a two and a half hour led class yesterday and it was amazing. I wasn't able to do a few of the postures, but I felt such a sense of accomplishment.

I was able to get some good prayer time in as well. I ate too much at lunch yesterday so I took a walk by myself and prayed the rosary and this morning while in a restorative pose I listened to the rosary on my iPhone. I am so glad that I have found creative ways to incorporate prayer into my yoga!

This weekend I prayed mostly to have a open heart. I have been focusing so much on what I don't have that I've failed to see all the blessings that I have now. Surrender is something that my (non-Catholic) yoga teachers talk about in class -- particularly when talking about being frustrated with your body, and we all know that I have many bones to pick with mine! I have to trust in the Lord's divine plan for me. I can't coerce or force my wants and desires from Him.

There is a beautiful wall hanging in the practice room at the retreat and the words ring so true:

In the end what matters is
How well did you live
How well did you love
How well did you learn to let it go

I needed to be reminded of this, and I definitely need to let my anger go.

I hope that I can hold onto this feeling of calm that I have in my heart. I may have to bookmark my own post as a reminder!