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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Approach to New Beginnings

How is it that a period of time can form a transisiton? How can moving from 11:59pm on December 31st to 12:00am on January 1st change you? Does it?

For me it will. Again.

I'm antsy, anxious even. I desperately want to jump forward to 2009 and bid this year goodbye and good riddance. I want to hope for so much better this next year that I could cry.

I have so many hopes and dreams that are so close to being tangible. I've come so close twice to one of them and once again I find myself on the verge of being there once more. Ryan and I are taking the leap again and hoping we'll be lucky to get pregnant on the first try again. We're also hoping against all hope for a happy ending.

What are you doing New Year's Eve? Many people do something special and stay up late to ring in the New Year with glee and happiness. Drink Champagne, eat wonderful food. I'll be eating some lovely food I'm making and we're staying in. If I make it to Midnight, so be it but I'll be just as happy to go to sleep early, find the peaceful oblivion of sleep and wake up in 2009.

I'll be curled in my blankets all nice and cozy. Wake me when it's over.

Monday, December 29, 2008

A New Meme: Show and Tell

Still trying to recover from my Christmas entertaining (another post to follow about that later) and I haven't had a chance to think about Show and Tell when...

I've been tagged! I missed it completely in the insanity that has been the last week, but better late than never. So no pics, just some fun. If you check back tomorrow I shall probably have some more holiday merriment to share.

1. Link to the person who tagged you. Thank you Kim. :)
2. Share 7 random and/or weird facts about you.
3. Tag 7 random people at the end, and include links to their blogs.

Okay, here we go...

1. I have a 2 1/2 inch birthmark on my back that my husband says looks like India. It's a great indentifying feature.

2. On my right hand, on the top of my palm underneath the beginning of my index finger is a grey dot that could technically be considered my only tatoo. It's the residual mark left from a very sharp graphite pencil that I accidentally stabbed myself with years ago and has decided to never go away. Yes, go ahead and laugh, I know you want to...

3.Whenever life scares the sh*t out of me (ie. I go through something traumatic) I do something drastic. I like change and tend to go all out. I have in the past, gone back to school, quit school and chopped and coloured my hair for examples (2006 & Fibro= short red hair).

4. I have always wanted to be a singer/musician. In high school, it was Broadway/ musical theatre. Earlier this year, I started learning the guitar so I could write my own music. And yes, I can actually sing.

5. In connection with #4- I have recorded two songs. In high school with four other girls, we sang with a local folk singer for a Watershed Sustainability project. I still have the album and am proud of being involved, but don't expect me to be recording anything anytime soon. I think it's a desire more than a reality (many things are for me).

6. I am a classical OCD Virgo. I like things neat and tidy. I will straighten things on a table top, desk, ledge or counter so they are just so (glasses, candles, coasters, papers, magazines, you name it). But I hate cleaning (must be the artist in me). Go figure...

7. I have Career ADD. I love so many different things but get bored easily. I have to be constantly growing and learning new things or I start to get antsy and start looking for some new job/ challenge to sink my teeth into. Usually this happens every four years or so. It drives my Mom nuts as it has resulted in a pretty hefty student loan. For the years and $ I have put into the educational system, I should have a Masters degree by now. Instead I have a Business Admin diploma and a lot of debt. But I don't regret a single second of it. The problem is that I want to do more art/ photography classes. Yeah, I will be saving them up and doing them one at a time.

Okay so I tag the following people:

1. Claire

2. Dave

3. Are You Kidding Me?

4. Meg

5. mlr

6 & 7. Okay, so my readership is still pretty small, so I don't think I have 7 people who will even know they are tagged, and since this thing is making it's way around the ALI community pretty swiftly, if YOU are reading this, are not on my list already and haven't yet done this: Consider yourself tagged. Yes, YOU. Seriously!

And don't forget to check out what the rest of of the class has to say this week...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Determination is Everything

Shortbread. Glorious Shortbread. And so much more tasty since the whole trying-to-burn-down-the-apartment incident. And not just any old shortbread, but my favourite scottish shortbread. But I decided to modify the recipe and make them chai chortbread. They melted in my mouth. Yum.

I think I'm enjoying them so much because of the pain (literally) involved in making them. It makes me think of the journey I've been on so far in my life. The many times where pain was involved and where sheer determination was able to bring about happiness.

When I was diagnosed with my fibro, I was so discouraged. I was in pain, both physical and emotional and I didn't know how to get out of it. Once my doctor told me that losing weight would help my body feel better, I had a plan of action. So began my journey to a healthier lifestyle. It took months of work with A, my personal trainer, but in the end I walked down the aisle on my wedding day pain free and confident. I also danced the night away with R. It was the best day of my life to date. Fantastic in every way.

This last year has been so difficult (again). The two miscarriages took so much out of me and it is only now that the clouds have lifted that I can see just how much I lost; not just my babies, but of myself too. It's like I had willingly given away parts of myself these last years without even realizing it. Pieces that on their own seem so insignificant but when you gather them altogether they form a hole.

But what I've realized is that the hole isn't empty. It's been filled with other things. Filled with the love and compassion from others. Also faith and hope that the journey I'm on is a worthwhile and amazing one. I'm gathering all the strands of my courage to take this next step. January is the beginning of a new year. The month itself I think holds another new beginning. I can't be sure just yet, but I'm hopeful. I'm also determined. No giving up for me. Never really been the kind. But sometimes I've been known to need a swift kick in the behind to get off my butt, stop feeling sorry for myself and take that next step. I'm ready now, really ready. I feel joyful and so light inside. Everything is possible.

I started out talking about cookies and ended up here. What is it about food that makes me turn philosophical?

P.S. My fingers are doing much better now. Thanks for all the comments. And yes, I do know about parchment paper and fully intended to buy some the other day but forgot. It's on my list to buy tomorrow.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Close-Calls and Injured Pride

I am typing this with my left hand and the ring finger on my right hand. I had glorious plans to be eating homemade scottish shortbread this evening. Plans that have since gone awry.

No less than two minutes into the oven and I start smelling something like a lit candle. I turn around and open the oven and smoke starts pouring out! I turn on the overhead fan, grab the potholder and reach for the pans all in the space of a second. The potholder slips a little and instead of the cloth acting as a protective layer between the hot pan and my fingers, the pads of my index finger and middle finger are now grasping the baking sheet. The stupid thing was that it took a moment for it to register before I threw the pan on the top of the stove and reached for the the second pan. A moment to long to be good news.

I run over to the balcony and whip the sliding door wide open. It's freezing (literally) and snowing quite heavily. I run back and grab a couple pillows just in time for the two smoke alarms (conveniently located on either side of my tiny kitchen) to go off. I fan both of them and within 30 seconds, the incessant sounds turn off.

The smoke having cleared the place, I close the blacony door and go back to the kitchen to figure out what the hell went wrong. As it turns out, while wax paper apparently works great in the microwave, it's a bad idea in the oven. Hmmm, I think I missed that note somewhere... (this is where you get to LOL at the would-be Martha)

Four hours later, my fingers now longer need to be on ice. All I can say is that deep burns (however small) hurt like HELL! And they leave big white blisters.

But in the grand scheme of things, it came down to my fingers or saving my apartment from fire. Hmmm, very tricky choice...

Is it bad that I'm still pouting because I really, really want my shortbread now? I can almost taste them. Gods I'm hungry

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Show & Tell: Decking the Halls

It's that time of week again. Since a lot of people have been sharing their Christmas Trees for Show and Tell, I thought I'd throw in my decking-the-halls-galore pics. Keeping in mind that we have a 730 sq st apartment and you'll realize why my friend CT once gave me a mug that says "Just call me Martha". I collect vintage Christmas ornaments. This year I added two new ornament (not vintage)- one for each baby.

Alex's Ornament

Kenneth's Owl

A wreath I fashioned out of a garland and suspended from our dining room lights.

We are not allowed to have a real tree inside, so I made one for my balcony. It is cedar branches wired to an inverted tomatoe cage and set on my potted bulbs (the crocuses of which have sprouted already).

What I did with the leftover cedar branches.

So this is half of my festive decorating. Go see what everyone else is bringing to Circle Time!

Seriously? Since When?

6:22. That's the time this morning that I dragged myself out of bed. Not because I had to be up early, but because after waking up to take my temp at my normal time of 5:45, I couldn't go back to slepp. My brain simply wouldn't shut off. It's running through Christmas menus and the list of errands and groceries to get. IT. WON'T. SHUT. OFF! lol. Oh, well. At least I have loads of time to get things done. Again. At least when this happened to me yesterday I made it to 6:45 before getting up. As I finish this post it is 6:35. The last time I was up this early on a Sunday morning was, oh wait, when was that? Travelling maybe?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Maybe a Little Dented, But Not Broken

OMG OMG OMG!! I am soooooo excited!

So... my GP freaked us out for no reason. My OB has seen plenty of miscarriages and chromosomal abnormalities and she's not concerned at all. She said that the trisomys only seem more rare becuase they don't test all miscarriages. So she says it's up to us but doesn't see any need for us to go through genetic counselling unless we have three unexplained miscarriages or we keep having the same chromosomal abnormalities show up. We're all pretty sure that this last pregnancy was a fluke. Things went wonky and it wasn't going to go forward. We weren't meant to hold Kenneth. And there's nothing we could or couldn't have done that would have changed the outcome.

As for my LPD, which she does agree with, she's ambivilent about treatmentt but says that if I'd like to try progresterone, she'll prescribe it for me because it can't hurt. So I have my prescription of Prometrium to fill. Here's hoping it does the trick! We have officially been given the all clear to try to conceive again!

I walked out of there feeling like the biggest of weights had been lifted off of me. I'm not broken! A little dented though and worn in. But still whole. I'm not completely f*cked up, only a tiny bit. But hey, I already knew that long time ago. :)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Much Anticipated OB Appointment

So tomorrow is the day we take our next steps. There's so much I don't know about this new journey we're on. The original path to have a baby seemed so innocent and easy before. We took the steps we needed to make ourselves ready and jumped in without a clue that things could go differently. I like to think that we've still maintained some of that innocence, that we can take these new steps with faith and optimism.

I'm still scared. I don't know what to expect. I have an inkling of the steps involved in this next phase, but really, the whole concept seems overwhelming to me.

What will she say about everything? What will she suggest? Despite the uncertainty, I am excited about this appointment because I still believe that our journey is an amazing worthwhile one and that in the end we will hold a baby in our arms. I have to believe that. I have to...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

30 Minutes to Rest and Relief

I hate being sick. I turn into a pouting miserable person. I just got over a bug last week and now I'm sick again. It's a stupid head cold. :(

I'm going to bed very soon and am looking forward to my Ad.vil Cold & Sinus knocking me out.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Finally Getting Somewhere

Our appointment with my OB is Thursday. 1:45pm PST. I'm nervous and excited all at the same time. What will we accomplish? Will we walk out with a plan? I need to know that she has a solution to my LPD or in the very least, goes along with the one I've already figured out. We'll also discuss those fateful test results. However, while I'm interested in her opinion, it's really out of her hands now.

We finally got an appointment with Medical Genetics at BC Women's. The reason we didn't get one sooner? The requisition was faxed in instead of called in (as is pretty standard when sending medical history). But clearly this makes a difference in the validity of my appointment request. In any case, my GP's office has followed up and secured the beautiful (and much sooner than anticipated) date of Jan 8th.

It's safe to say that things are finally starting to happen.

And yes, I get it. These last three months were the Universe's lesson in patience. Would it be too childish to stick out my tongue?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Show & Tell: Rare December Snowfalls

I live in Vancouver (BC that is). It's mild here. It deosn't snow very often and I can't remember in my lifetime of living in the South Coast having a white Christmas (maybe when I was young and living in the Fraser Valley). This year we stand a prety darn good chance, considering that as I type, we are having the loveliest snowfall and it's the second time this week. It probably won't stay (it rarely does), but it's lovely while it lasts. Being the photogrpaher I am, guess who's getting up nice and early before everyone else to go over the Central Park to get some lovely pics on untrodden snow. DH is coming too.

Don't mind the blurriness as 1) it's snowing hard, 2) pretty dark and 3) I'm not using a tripod. The view is from our 12th floor apartment. And yes the balcony was VERY cold on my feet! :)

P.S. My favourite part of nighttime snowfalls are the orange glow and the supreme blanket of quietness that settles over everything, even when the noise of the city continues on. I find it so overwhelmingly peaceful and meditational. It calms me and centers me.

Now that you've experienced Vancouver snowfalls, go see what's happening in other people's worlds at Show&Tell.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Letter From a Secret Society Member

Don't you wish you could just stand on the roof somewhere and tell the whole world what you're really thinking and feeling? Dealing with RPL, I feel like I'm supposed to be quiet about it, like it's something to be ashamed of. But I am not one to stay quiet. Face.book makes things so difficult. There's all these people on there who have no idea what we're going through, who know nothing of our pain and anguish. Those who do are pretty good about saying what they need to support us without giving away our "secret". In a moment of utter frustration, I wrote this letter. You should know that I have had every intention of actually posting it on my Face.book profile. Howver this journey isn't a solo one and I had to take into consideration the feelings of my dear husband. In the end, while he really liked what I had written, R wasn't comfortable with me posting it. I can handle that. But I did warn him that I'd post it here. Afterall, it's not like I'm revealing new secrets here. Here's my letter:

To All Our Face.book Friends: A Letter From a Secret Society Member

I feel like I belong to a secret society, or worse yet, a cult. We keep our day-to-day business secret from most people. Why? Because it's not a topic for polite conversation? Because people feel awkward and don't know what to say? I don't think those reasons are valid enough for us to have to stay silent.

Face.book makes it even worse. I feel like a live a double life. I post a status but it's not really what I'm doing or feeling. If I make a random odd comment and someone calls me on it, do I tell them what's really going on? Most of the time. But I'll send them a message instead of writing on their wall in return. So no one else knows what I said, you see. I don't do this because I don't want others to know, but because it's what so many people in our position do, what's expected. It's what we're made to think is normal. It's so very wrong.

Infertility. A strange word that often garners looks of pity and spurs on comments and advice from people who mean well but really have no idea what they're talking about. For us it's worse. We don't have any problems getting pregnant but rather, our issue lies in carrying our babies to term.

We have lost two babies. BABIES, not just pregnancies. Yes, they were with us only for a short while, but they were our children. The first came and went so quickly we didn't even know we were pregnant until it was over. The second, we knew all along and bided our time waiting for that magically moment when you get a heart beat and your chance of miscarriage goes down to 5%. We started to get excited. We never heard the heartbeat. I carried him for over 10 weeks (we found out later from testing that it was a boy) but he had died at 6wks 4 days. We've grieved and grieved and tried to figure out how to make sense of all of this. Test results may indicate a more serious problem that could impact our ability to have healthy children. Or it could be a fluke. We don't know yet.

So how do all of you fit into all of this? Well, you're on the outside looking in trying figure out what to say. What's the ettiquette here? Do you say anything at all? So from all of us who have experienced loss, here are some guidelines:

1. The appropriate response to hearing about someone's loss is ALWAYS "I'm sorry". No more, no less. We want you to acknowledge the brief lives of our babies. They were real and have had an impact on our life. Please respect that.

2. We don't need your pity. Trust me when I say that we've got all the pity we need and it comes from ourselves in our darker sader moments. Please don't add to it.

3. Kindly keep advice to yourself unless we ask for it. We know you mean well and don't mean to be hurtful, but unless you've been through it, you can't really know how we feel or what the best next steps for us. That's for us to decide. In my particular case, it also involves the opinions of medical professionals, who believe it or not, probably know better than you do.

4. It's okay to admit that you don't know what to say. We're okay with that. Words aren't always necessary. But maybe a smile and a hug the next time you see us, would lift our spirits. Sometimes all we need is someone to listen or give us a shoulder to lean and /or cry on.

5. Lastly, a general note about infertility (and yes, recurrent pregnancy loss is a form of infertility). Think about all the couples you know in your life. How many of them do you think want children? Have you gone and asked them recently when they're planning to have kids? Do you realize how hurtful it can be? You see, 1 in 6 couples have some form of infertility. Some require meds to make their bodies work properly. Some will go through very expensive treatments just for the off chance that there will be one magic moment when things actually go their way. Others may be told they can never have kids. Still others will endure loss after loss waiting for the numbers game to roll the dice in their favour.

I bet you know more people in your lives dealing with infertility than you ever imagined. Our secret club tends to hold our cards close to our chests, hoping no one will see the sadness and the desperation. But here's another secret. We also become so very grateful for the things we have in our lives. Everything becomes so much more precious and amazing. It's a perspective that only resilience through difficult times can bring.

I have always been a very open person. If you ask, I'll probably answer. It can be a fault of mine, or simply a part of my charm. Depends on the day. Ryan on the other hand deals with things differently and may or may not want to talk about it (and yes he knows I'm writing ths). At the end of the day, this is a COUPLE'S issue not an indiviual issue. So we'll carry on together hoping for our chance at the amazing journey called parenthood. Meanwhile, we're just trying to move forward with our lives. We're taking it day by day, step by precious step. It's all we can do. It's all any of us in life can do.

Sincerely and lovingly,
The (No-longer Secret) Society Members,
Lindsay and Ryan

P.S. Don't ask us when we're having children. We really don't know. If we do get pregnant again, it's a safe bet that we won't tell you until we know that our child has a chance of making it. Unless of course you want to know and are really willing to take the chance with us of risking having to share potential grief again. We're pretty optimistic about our chances next time though, just so you know.

P.S.S If you're wondering what we truly want for Christmas, I don't think you'll have to use too much imagination to realize that the ultimate gift will never come in a box with a bow. We'll settle for peace of mind and happiness this year.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Magic Number 8


That's the number of pounds I've lost since I was pregnant. I had gained four during my relatively short pregnancy (most due to the fact that all I could stomach was carbs- the more refined, the better).

In October I started walking everyday at work. I lost four pounds by the beginning of November. I have also been in the gym. Not always regularly due to fibro and my stupid hip causing me pain for those couple of weeks a little while ago. But I've tried.

I've also been pretty good when it comes to what I eat. While I do indulge in the Christmas goodies that pervade our office every holiday season, I've been good about keeping it to the occasional taste. What? I have willpower?

I weigh-in most Wednesdays. On one of the boards on the forum I'm on, there's a Weight-Loss Wednesdays thread. We all are trying to lose and it's a great way to cheer each other on and kick ourselves in the butt if we fall of the wagon.

At my 1st OB appt back in Aug, I weighted 184 lbs. Ugghh, don't even say it, I know. Being 5'7" with a body fat % that is considered obsese scares the sh*t out of me.

I weighed in this morning and nearly fell off the scale. I've been losing very slowly or staying the same. Never gaining, which is good. The magic number today?

176! Down 2 pounds! Read them... 1 & 2! Ha! Only 11 more to go until I reach goal weight #1 (165 pounds- which is what I weighed at our wedding last Sept).

I can't wait for the day when I see my GP and he stops asking me if I plan on losing weight. I can't wait for the day when it's obviously that I already have.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Sweat, Peace and Bliss

I love the Seawall in the winter. There's barely anyone there. I go for a power walk pretty much every lunch break. Rain or shine. Now if it's really down pouring I might reconsider (especially if it's raining) but generally I operate under the assumption that I won't melt from a little moisture.

These days, the few people you do see are those who live in the area and the few people willing to brave the cold and maybe the rain and hit the pavement. Some of them are running, some like me, are walking. There's a leisurely feel even though I clock almost 3k in 30-40 minutes.

Today it was a little warmer. It was supposed to be sunny but the clouds hung around threatening to drop rain. Fog had nestled itself around Stanley Park, hugging the treetops like a big soft blanket.

I love my power walks. They're intense and relaxing all at the same time. I have my iPod on and walk to the beat, letting any tension and stress slip off of me.

It is sheer bliss.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Show and Tell: Creating Christmas Cards

This is my first week doing show and tell.

I'm so bad this year. I'm way behind. I still haven't bought or made any Chritsmas Cards this year. So figuring I should really get on it, I went looking for the image I wanted to use on them if I should decide to make my own as I have done in the past. I tend to use an image from my photography.

So here is this years: (R gave his vote of approval)

So, now that you've heard my bit, go and check out what the others in the class have up their sleeves: Show and Tell

P.S. If you're reading this and likely to be getting one of the beforementioned Christmas cards from me, pretend you never saw this.

Friday, December 05, 2008


In a moment of clarity it was born. It came into being after much thought and deliberation; some deep soul searching too.

I decided that in this journey called life I am a warrior. I have fought some interesting battles and no doubt will face more in my future. I also continue on. Each challenge brings new ones and those bring further challenges. In order to cope with this state of being, you must endure. And in many ways, I know I have.

Consider these definitions:

Steadfast: loyal, steady
Warrior: a person who shows or has shown great vigor, courage, or aggressiveness

Henceforth, I will be known as The Steadfast Warrior- committed to fighting the battle and enduring with dignity.

What do you think? Is it a keeper? Should I try again?

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The Great Debate

We could throw all the caution in the world to the wind, say screw it, and decide to try again. Soon. As in now.

My darling husband is the one who started it. Yes, I'm blaming him for putting the idea into my head into the first place. After all, we've been resigning ourselves to The Wait. We've gotten comfy with it. We invited it in and ever so impatiently told it to have a seat. Offered it tea even. All a bribe for sure. Maybe after a great cup of tea, it'll give us the benefit of the doubt. Maybe even give us a break.

Two weeks away from our OB appointment and here we are considering walking into that office possibly being pregnant. Could we really? No, that isn't the question we need to ask ourselves. Afterall, we're two for two on the instantly pregnant front. The questions we should, no need to ask, is SHOULD we?

Aye, there's the rub! Our miscarriages weren't small things. They were the end of our two babies' lives. I can't and won't make light of that fact or brush it aside. It would be wrong. But...

But we could try. With my short LP, there's a pretty good chance we wouldn't even get pregnant. Or we could and we could miscarry again. What about the possible genetic issue (if in fact there is one)?

But we could win the numbers game i the biggest way imaginable. We could really win it this time. Lucky 3. It could be. You never know...

The other thing that complicates this is that I thought that this was the last cycle we could possibly try without making it difficult to be a part of AL's wedding on Oct.31 next year. However, someone reminded me that we still try the next cycle and still be okay on the timing front. Hmmm...

So where does that leave us? Do we try and risk heartbreak again? Or do we wait another couple of weeks, have our appointment, and go ahead (whenever that might be) with our Dr's blessing and support?

I think that maybe I have my answer.