Monday, September 30, 2013

Punday 9/30

I would like to thank my mother for this first pun, as she snapped this picture of a local furniture store. I had been meaning to get a picture of it for a while now but always forget until we pass it!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Do you have any children?

I never know what to say when someone asks me this question. I know usually they are just making small talk and aren't looking for a deep, sad conversation. In my heart I have a child. It's death does not sever that parent-child relationship. I feel like I should be able to acknowledge his or her existence. Yet answering yes feels like... I don't know, denial? Because what they're really asking is if I'm parenting any children, not if a human was ever created using my eggs. If I say yes they'll then ask more questions like how old are they, is it a boy or a girl, etc and I don't have any good answers for that either. I can be honest and talk about how my child died before it was born and I was never able to find out it's gender but that usually just makes things awkward. Strangers and acquaintances don't want to talk about heavy stuff like that. I could answer some with what should have been, I could say I have a three month old, but if they ever found out the truth it would just make me seem even crazier. I've come to the conclusion that it's best to approach this question the same way I do "How are you?" People don't care how you actually are. Even if you're sick, or depressed, or having surgery the next day, you just respond "fine" and move on. You lie. Even if my heart breaks a little more each time.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Friday Findings 9/27

How uterus checks embryo reveals why some do not implant

New research suggests that the lining of your uterus looks for chemicals put off by embryos to determine whether to let them implant or not. If the embryo doesn't give off a strong enough signal the lining shuts down the genes necessary for implantation. Hopefully this new information can be used in IVF as another type of grading, where top quality embryos would not only look good but also release enough of this chemical.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

How I lost 10 inches in one day!

That's right, I got my hair cut! Oh, if only it was that easy to lose 10 of the other kind of inches... I would totally spend like 2 hours and $50 to do that. I've been planning on getting my haircut since I started having neck and shoulder pains in the middle of freaking July and finally got around to doing it. They cut off 10 inches everywhere and up to 12 inches in some places for me to donate to Locks of Love. Then I got it colored since I also haven't dyed my hair since the middle of July lol. I had like an inch of roots; it was bad. I wanted to go back brown but they said that was basically impossible. There was too much red in it from when I got the supposedly violet permanent color from England that actually turned out to be maroon. They said they'd have to do too much to strip the color out especially since I haven't used that color since I think January and it was still holding strong. (Since then I've been doing something called medium mahogany brown which is way more brown than red but just red enough that the top three inches of my hair blended in with the old stuff decently.) They gave me a row of reds to choose from and I picked something called 6RV Dark Red Violet Blonde, though I'm not sure how something can be dark red, violet, and blonde at the same time. /shrug It came out a lot redder and a lot brighter than I thought it would!

Saturday as I was about it get in the shower I looked at my hair and it was so long, so naturally curly I just knew I would miss it when I cut it off. Then I got in the shower and started washing it and immediately changed my mind! This is going to be so much easier to maintain with a bum shoulder, plus it's amazingly lighter so I suspect my neck will thank me the rest of the time too. Usually getting my hair washed is my favorite part of going to the salon but my neck was not having it today! I was pretty bummed out but I know a little extra temporary pain will be worth it to save me from the recurrent pain of dealing with so much hair. I even think when my roots start to show again I might be able to color it myself without being in agony, unlike I would have been before. I don't know, we'll see when the time comes.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Punday 9/23 - Pirate Edition

I was going to do pirate puns last week, but it was storming and the power went out so I actually never did punday last week! They're still funny even if they are a few day late for Talk Like A Pirate Day. Arrrr!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Friday Findings 9/20

I'm thinking of making some kind of button for this, since it seems other bloggers who do themed days have buttons. Worth it or not worth it?

Artist raises awareness of endometriosis

If you live in or near Halifax you can visit the exhibit this weekend from 12-5pm. Here is the artists story and here is her website, where you can view some of her artwork and a short film about endometriosis. 

New Controversy Over Experimental IVF Method

The method in question is called mitochondrial replacement, where they replace the DNA present in egg mitochondria with DNA from a donor to avoid disease causing mutations. Apparently mitochondria have their own DNA separate from the egg and eventual embryo. This method would basically allow a child to have three biological parents. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

You will be upgraded. You will become like us.

I'm feeling much better physically than I have for the last several weeks. Well I mean, other than the cramps of death. First I had that horrible bacterial infection where I couldn't eat anything, and then I got an ear infection after, and a sore throat, and I had no energy, and it just sucked. But now I feel better. I'm not nearly as fatigued as I've been, I'm not sick, I even think my neck and shoulder are less sore and I have more range of motion. Doing my PT gives me a headache but it's worth it. So overall I'm feeling pretty good.

Last week when AF made a surprise visit I didn't call Dr. E because I already have pain meds for my arthritis. Friday I thought she had left for good, which is about how long I'd expect it to last based on the last few times. Well Saturday she came back, I guess she missed her flight or something. And she brought with her possibly the worst cramps I've ever had in my whole life (which is really saying something). I'm already on anti inflammatories which I've been told are supposed to help, as well as muscle relaxers which I assume would help, you know, relax the cramping muscles. Then I took the absolute max amount of pain meds I am allowed, but I was still in a ball crying and trying to make a deal with any deity who would listen to just make it stop. They've been pretty bad ever since but thankfully not quite as extreme. Played phone tag with Dr. E's nurse on Monday and finally spoke to her rather than her machine yesterday. Right now the plan is to increase my endo meds from 5mg to 7.5mg and see if that stops the bleeding.

I'm now trying to play catch up with pretty much everything I do regularly lol. As of last Thursday I had over 230 blog posts waiting to be read but I'm now down to only 33! Woohoo! I'd be down to zero but you guys insist on posting new things all the time. =P I may go through my subscriptions and remove a few that I find I usually skim. I was also two books behind on my reading goal for the year. I finished one but I'm not anywhere close to finishing another one. I'm on chapter 5 of Percy Jackson 1 but there's like 20 something chapters. I haven't done any meal planning or grocery shopping in forever so we've been eating out a lot (well, takeout). I still haven't gotten my hair cut like I meant to do like a month ago. I know this isn't really important, but I haven't played The Sims (or any other game) in a few weeks and I'm really missing my families. It just seems like there's so much to do and not any time to do it. I did manage to have some sister time with my favorite little sister and made this awesome clay robot. As much as books and blog posts and video games are important to me, making time for my family is what really matters.

Tomorrow is our anniversary! I'm so glad I'm feeling better in time for that. Since I'm still cramping we're keeping it low key and just doing dinner and a movie. I think we're going to see R.I.P.D. No idea where we're going to dinner. Along with our anniversary comes the end of my OPK and HPT giveaway! You have until midnight tomorrow to get your entries in. Remember that commenting on this or other posts is worth 5 entries but they aren't counted automatically, you have to manually enter at the link above.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday Finding 9/13

Ugh, I know! I started a new themed post and then promptly neglected to do it for a couple of weeks. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, there doesn't seem to be that many interesting news stories anyway.

Test-Tube Babies: A Simpler, Cheaper Technique?

A new cheaper method of IVF has been created which could only cost couples only $265! It's designed for developing countries but I can't imagine once it gets approved they wouldn't offer it here as well. They are able to reduce the cost by using cheaper, generic, oral fertility drugs, doing no screening or ICSI, and foregoing the expensive incubator for two test tubes and a heating block. The article says this new method could help about half of infertile couples. Unfortunately those with severe MFI or "very few eggs left" (and I'm assuming poor responders) would not be good candidates for this procedure. I'm a little skeptical of the price though, since they still have to do the retrieval and transfer and I can't imagine those being done for like $100 each. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

This Week Sucks

This has just been a sucky week so far. I'm ready for some good news and happiness! On Sunday I found out an IF friend lost their baby just a week or two after graduating due to anencephaly. For those lucky enough to not know what that is, basically part of the skull and/or brain do not form because of a neural tube defect. So yeah, that sucks.

Another friend who I mentioned two weeks ago has been in limbo since then. It's not my place to really talk about it all, but it's kinda been a rollercoaster of good news and bad news. Today she found out for sure it's not viable. My heart truly breaks for them, in fact I'm on the verge of tears. She is one of the people I care about most and I hate that she not only has to go through this, but there's nothing I can do to make it better.

Then I got a few pregnancy announcements from people who either weren't trying or weren't infertile. I've gotten a bit better about taking announcements well but these just came at a bad time. It's hard to see people get pregnant so easily when my IF friends are suffering so deeply. I cleaned out my Facebook friends list, going from over 200 friends to 98, and hid some of those I didn't feel like I could delete. I need to do my instagram as well since so many are announcing on there now. I think now there is a smaller chance of seeing announcements from people who I wouldn't be genuinely happy for.

Yesterday night AF showed up out of the blue. Since I've been on the Aygestin she's only shown up when I missed a dose, but I know for sure I didn't this time. After I missed a dose and got AF in June I set an alarm on my phone like I used to do for birth control to remind me to take it. There are also a few other medications I'm taking at the same time so I know I didn't just turn the alarm off and then forget. I finally get used to what my body's doing and then it switches it up on me. Thankfully the Aygestin is at least doing some of what it's supposed to and keeping my lining thin because it's much, much lighter than my usual, however it's still very painful.

Along with that we've also been dealing with some drama over the last two weeks that came to a head last night. I'm glad I'm "out" about my blog most of the time, but the downside to not being anonymous is not being able to talk freely about stuff like this. Someone I really care about is being mistreated and over the last few weeks things have escalated until Friday this person was removed from the situation and they came to stay with us. We have tried to be supportive and help this person as much as we can, but there is only so much we can do. Yesterday they ran back to the abuser despite everything we've done to keep them safe. This is a pattern that has been ongoing since I was a teenager and we just feel so used and angry at the both of them. As much as we want to see this person out of the situation for good, we have to remove ourselves from their cycle of abuse for our own good. You can't help someone until they're ready to help themselves.

Our anniversary is coming up next Thursday the 19th which also happens to be Talk Like A Pirate Day. We don't have any plans yet but I'm looking forward to having something to celebrate rather than mourn.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

From Left to Write: Raising My Rainbow by Lori Duron

This post was inspired by the memoir Raising My Rainbow by Lori Duron as she shares her journey raising a gender creative son. Join From Left to Write on September 5 as we discuss Raising My Rainbow. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review.

I really enjoyed this book. It was a fairly easy read which I appreciated considering how sick I've been. Lori started off blogging about her son before she wrote the book, which I obviously think is awesome because bloggers are cool. It also means that their story doesn't end with the book, with C.J. going into kindergarten, because I can just follow her blog right now!

As far as my own story goes, I think I'm going to share with you today something I've never really talked about with anyone - not even my husband. Like C.J. I grew up different, although thankfully I didn't realize how different until I was an adult married to my husband. It's generally believed that sexuality is a spectrum with gay on one end and straight on the other. What most people probably don't realize is there is a second spectrum, one that determines whether you are even sexual at all. On one end I suppose you'd have people who are attracted to a vast array of people, who feel the need to be in romantic relationships all the time, and may or may not enjoy casual sex. On the other end are people who aren't attracted to anyone, who have no desire to be in a romantic relationship, and would rather remain celibate their whole lives. People like Sheldon Cooper, for example. People at one end are called sexual and people at the other are called asexual. I'm sure most of you can see where this is going.

I am in a romantic relationship with my husband. Historically this blog has focused on our quest for children, so yes we do have sex. I am attracted to him, although I think my attraction is much different than that of "normal" people as it doesn't have much to do with how he looks. He does have some amazing eyelashes though. Because of this and the few other men I've "like-liked" (as the kids used to say) I'm not sure I'm comfortable labeling myself as asexual. Since I've learned about this concept I've refused to label myself. I suppose maybe because by thinking of myself as asexual I become The Other rather than just weird. It opens me up to possible backlash. Now that I'm married and plan to stay that way, does it really matter? I am about 99% sure had I known about this distinction as a child I would have been thankful for the label. As Lori says in the book, regarding an incident on the playground where another child tried to make fun of C.J.:
When Chase [C.J.'s older brother] didn't react the way Kyle expected, when he gave C.J.'s behavior a legit name and then not a second thought, the power shifted back into our favor. When we unabashedly own our differences, we shed our weakness and cloak ourselves in power.
 Thankfully I did not grow up with the kid of bullying a homosexual, gender nonconforming,  transgender, etc child would face. For the most part people care more about who you love than if you love at all. Mostly I just felt left out and got accused of lying, at least in elementary and middle school. Girls would get together and discuss who they had a crush on or which celebrities were super fine. I had nothing to add to these conversations. Over my whole life the people I had a crush on could probably be counted on one hand. I've had a total of one celebrity crush, Sean Biggerstaff who played Oliver Wood in the Harry Potter movies. I'm already a shy introvert so feeling left out of the group didn't help any. When I was included I was often accused of lying and not trusting my friends as much as I should. They told me who they liked, why I couldn't I tell them? My friends were often offended by this seeming lack of trust. They couldn't wrap their heads around the idea that no, I really didn't like anyone. There were a few instances where I did lie to them, by pretending to have a crush on someone so they'd get off my back.

Once I got into high school things changed somewhat. Some parents had rules where you couldn't date before then so me not having a boyfriend was more accepted. In high school it's harder to use that excuse to turn down suitors. I got teased more and I still had friends who thought I was lying and didn't trust them. Occasionally I even had people call me asexual as a slur. Not because they knew there was a name for not being romantically/sexually inclined, but to insinuate that I was less than human and could asexually reproduce. To say I was a freak. I also had people both in high school and before say I was a lesbian and that's why I didn't want to tell people who I had a crush on.

It was upsetting, especially since I didn't know what was going on myself. I kept waiting to be normal, like my brain hadn't gone through puberty the same time the rest of me did, like I was just behind the rest of the kids and not different. I got better at pretending, as if practice makes perfect. I might never see a guy walking through the mall and think he has a cute bum, but I could kind of figure out what features my friends were attracted to and play along.

There were a handful of people I did develop a crush on over the years, but they all had one thing in common: I was friends with them first. I valued their presence in my life and it seemed like they accepted me for who I was. I dated a couple of them and even thought I was in love once, only to realize I wasn't really after truly falling in love with my husband. It's kind of funny really, because it seemed like me being romantically involved made some of my family and friends uncomfortable. I'm glad they became okay with me not being interested for the most part, but it was still kind of frustrating. I remember hanging out with three or four male friends, and somehow they started talking about hymens and how it hurts and bleeds when a woman loses her virginity. I pipped in saying that's not true for everyone and you should have seen their faces! They looked at me like, "who are you and what have you done with Tasha? Because she most definitely knows nothing about sex and is probably going to be a nun." It was like them thinking I may have had sex completely destroyed their world view. In reality I was a virgin and have never been with anyone but my husband, but I knew that I and a few other friends had broken our hymens other ways such as horseback riding and swimming.

Anyway now that I'm married it's not much of an issue. I still feel left out of some conversations pertaining to celebrity crushes, but that doesn't happen often. My husband thinks it's quite weird that my attraction to people or lack thereof has basically nothing to do with looks, but we don't talk about it often. I'm glad to know now that there isn't anything wrong with me. I may be different, but this is a real sexual preference that approximately 1% of the population identifies with. If you would like to learn more about it, there is a documentary called Asexual that at one time was on Netflix and may still be. I'd also be open to answering any questions you may have, or at least attempt to!

Remember, commenting on this post makes you eligible for 5 entries into my HPT/OPK giveaway, but you are not counted automatically. Go here to claim your entries!