Tuesday, October 29, 2013


I have officially decided to take part in NaNoWriMo this year! As such I'm not sure how much I'll be around next month. I mean I'm already way behind on reading and commenting due to some health stuff I'll probably post about tomorrow but I probably won't be writing blog posts much either. Friday Findings usually takes me a few hours and my Wednesday updates can end up as long as the daily word goal! I have quite a few puns saved up so I'll probably just schedule those before November gets here.

The official word goal is 50,000 words but I've decided not to hold myself to that. With my health in the state it is I feel that would just be setting myself up for failure. If I start to get behind I'm likely to just quit and I don't want to do that. So my goal instead is to finish the first draft of the ghost story my mom and I have been telling orally for years. I don't expect it to end up being that long, maybe 15-20k words. If I can get that done I'll be happy because then next year I can work on polishing it and maybe eventually self publish.

If I finish that fairly early then I'll start working on my other ghost story idea but if I don't finish it that's okay. There is always next November. That story will be in second person and I've never written in second person before, so I can look at whatever I get done during nano as practice. If I do somehow reach the 50k and "win" that would be super awesome and I'm going to reward myself with something like a sims DLC or some new clothes. That way I have motivation to still try, but I won't beat myself up about it if I don't get there.

To write 50k words in 30 days you need to write approximately 1,667 words a day. At the beginning it doesn't seem like much but around the middle it starts to feel impossible. Or at least that's what happened the last time I participated. Since I know I tend to drop out of month long every day things (like 30 Days of Thanks or 30 Day Blogging Challenges) I'm going to try and do Reverse Nano instead. You start off strong writing 3346 words the first day and then the goal decreases every day. If you are able to meet the goals you have 20k words by the end of the first week! The word count drops after that by about 5k a week. During week three your goal ends up less than the 1,667 you'd be doing normally. Week four you are writing less than a thousand words a day. The last two days you only need 117 words combined! I'm hoping this will help keep me going as long as I can meet the high word counts of the first week.

What about you? Have you ever done NaNoWriMo or are you planning on doing it this year? If so what's your strategy? Feel free to add me as a writing buddy on the website, my username is FrozenOJ like always.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Punday 10/28 - Halloween Edition

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Angelversary Recap

I wasn't sure what to expect for my baby's first angelversary (which was Monday). There were times when I felt so bad it was almost like the day it happened. But I also felt extremely supported in both my private and blogging life, which is something that I didn't have until a few days later last year. I had a few friends message me privately letting me know they were thinking of me and that they were there if I needed anything, which was greatly appreciated. The day before we went grocery shopping and I got a big bag of Riesens which is my favorite chocolate candy as well as some ice cream and root beer for floats. I'm actually surprised there is still so much left!

The new Sims 3 expansion came out yesterday and the patch for it came out a few days before that, so it's not a good idea to play my families until the mods get updated. I was actually grateful for this as I'm normally okay playing families with babies but I don't think I could deal with it right now. I spent a lot of the day reading the fourth Percy Jackson book (The Battle of the Labyrinth) which thankfully is about middle school kids so they don't have any babies lol. And of course I got lots of puppy cuddles from my furbaby. That night we watched The Walking Dead and there was this scene with Michonne holding a baby and starting to cry. For those not familiar, she's a total BAMF. Not the crying sort at all! She wields a katana and at one time kept two zombies as pets. I don't know if I was reading too much into it but it really seemed like she lost a baby of her own.

In a way I feel like I'm lucky because most of the really emotional days happen so close together. Remembrance day the 15th, then the angelversary on the 21st, then our TTC anniversary on the 28th I think. It makes for a really rough half of the month but it also gets it all over with quickly. I think it would hurt more if everything was spread out. This way I can feel what I need to feel and hopefully come out of it feeling like it was cathartic in November.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Friday, October 18, 2013

Friday Findings 10/18

Chemical in Plastics Associated with 80 Percent Higher Risk of Miscarriage
"Scientists analyzed 114 pregnant women who had histories of infertility or miscarriages and found that those with high levels of BPA in their blood were 80 percent more likely to miscarry than the rest of the participants." This makes me so sad. Like the article states, plastic is everywhere and cannot be realistically avoided. I have heard that chemicals leaching out of plastic could impact fertility but that in increases risk of miscarriage is new to me. However it's important to note that they don't know why the levels were higher in some women. It may not actually be due to increased exposure but how your body metabolizes those chemicals or even some other reason. It's definitely something that needs to be researched more.

Is bacon a male contraceptive?
"Processed meat intake was associated with lower percent morphologically normal sperm while white meat fish intake was associated with higher percent morphologically normal sperm. Dark meat fish intake was related to higher total sperm count." So it's not just bacon that could be a problem, unfortunately. More info here.

Cinnamon May Help Ease Common Cause of Infertility
"A small study by researchers from Columbia University Medical Center in New York City found that women with polycystic ovary syndrome who took inexpensive daily cinnamon supplements experienced nearly twice the menstrual cycles over a six-month period as women with the syndrome given an inactive placebo. Two of the women in the treated group reported spontaneous pregnancies during the trial." When they say small, they mean small - only 16 women were included in the study. I personally took and ate cinnamon while actively TTC and didn't didn't see any noticeable improvement. Cinnamon is pretty cheap though so it's worth a try.

Live births higher with letrozole than clomiphene in women with PCOS
"In a randomized prospective study, 27.5% of women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) who received letrozole (Femara) had a live birth, compared with 19.5% of women treated with clomipheme.Investigators said femara should be the "new standard for care" rather than clomid which is the current go-to. If your doctor is still hesitant to try femara you may want to show them this article

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

We Remember Them

I'm lucky in that there's a group here who organizes events for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. On Saturday they had a Walk to Remember with a remembrance ceremony, and actual walk around the park it was held in, and both a balloon and dove release. I have been ill the last week or two and wasn't able to go but I would definitely like to attend next year.

Yesterday they also hosted the Wave of Light. I remember last year I lit a candle at home for my friends who lost babies, not knowing my own pregnancy would end a week later. One of my friends actually messaged me yesterday morning about it (her SIL's baby was either stillborn or died shortly after birth, I can't remember), otherwise I would have missed it! Another friend of mine was planning on going as well but she ended up going to the wrong park lol. Hopefully we will both be able to attend both activities next year.

Crappy phone camera FTW?
Even though I'm still not feeling well I really wanted to go to this. Since it was mostly just standing and not walking or anything I figured I would be okay but I am feeling it today. When we got there they asked for our baby's name and gave us a paper with a reading on it. A bit before 7 o'clock they started with three readings, one gender neutral and one each about baby boys and baby girls. After each reading they lit a big candle on the memory table, you can kind of see in the picture above the candles with pink, white, and blue ribbons around them. Then there was the reading we were given the words too. The man in the blue shirt would read out a situation, like when it's raining or when flowers bloom in spring but more detailed and poetic than that, and then everyone would respond "we remember them". I'll be honest I didn't always respond because at this point I was pretty choked up.

Then it was time to light the candles. They read out each baby's name and their family would go up to the table and light a candle for them. If you went to the walk on Saturday but weren't able to come to this they read your baby's name anyway and one of the people in charge would light their candle. A lot of the families had special shirts with the name of their baby on them and their angelversary. I just wore a blue dress with a pink cami and Josh wore black. After all the names were read they played a song but I'm not sure what it's called. I've tried to search for it but no luck. Anyway I totally broke down crying and got snot all over Josh's shirt. It wasn't pretty.

I'm really glad we went even if it was super depressing. A lot of the families had small children, some of them definitely rainbow babies. Maybe next year?

Saturday, October 12, 2013

From Left to Write: The Funeral Dress by Susan Gregg Gilmore

Could I steal a baby? That's what I was asking myself throughout this book, especially near the end. Could I decide to keep a baby left temporarily in my care, and hide it from the mother? If she got the baby back, could I involve CPS to get the baby officially taken from the mother? I don't think I could.

Once my mother saw a baby carrier sitting by itself and was tempted to bring it home to us. Thankfully the carrier had been left but there was no baby inside. Even if there was a baby and she did bring it to us I think I'd have to report it abandoned and hope they let us keep it. I mean you can't just start treating a baby as your own when you have no birth certificate, no social security number, no name. Eventually you'll have to tell people these things and it'll be obvious the baby isn't really yours.

Remember a while back I talked briefly about a family member in an abusive relationship? Well I just found out she's pregnant. Wouldn't be surprised if she did it on purpose to try and fix her marriage and her relationship with us. I fear for that baby, I really do. When everything was going down we thought what a blessing there are no kids involved! It's just not the kind of situation you should bring a child into. I won't lie, I wish I could take the baby from her. We may not be perfect but neither of us are abusive and it would be a much more stable home life. Right or wrong I feel like I deserve a child more than she does. I know the baby stealers in The Funeral Dress felt similarly. But could I actually take the baby and work it prove to the state we should have it instead? I don't think so. All I can do is hope she comes to her senses and leaves his sorry butt for good.

There are two couples who struggled with infertility in the book and I'd like to think I'm more similar to the other one. Instead of trying to take the baby as their own they opened their home to both mother and child, taking on a more grandparent type roll. We've opened our home to the pregnant family member before, but right now we won't be doing it again. Not if he kicks her out, at least. Not at first. If she were to stand her ground and leave him I think we would. We would be so happy she finally "got it" and would dote on that baby like you couldn't believe! Her baby can never take away the pain of not having our own, and while sometimes it might be triggering I think it would be worth it. If he kicks her out again and it becomes apparent he is not willing to father a child and will not be taking her back, I think we would offer her a place to stay if she hadn't found someplace better already. There are other people she could stay with in the meantime so they wouldn't be homeless.

If in 20 years from now we are still childless, or even if we aren't, and a young family member or friend needed our help (and they weren't in an on and off relationship) I'd like to think we'd take them in without hesitation. I can't really say what we'd do for sure since we've never been in that situation, but I know we wouldn't force her to give her baby to us. Adoption is certainly something on our minds but the birth mom would have to be okay with it.

No one has ever entrusted impoverished Emmalee with anything important but she takes it upon herself to sew her mentor’s resting garment in The Funeral Dress by Susan Gregg Gilmore. Join From Left to Write on October 15 as we discuss The Funeral Dress. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Random Thought of the Day

I'm really sick so not doing a full post today like I normally do on Wednesdays. I just had a thought though, and honestly I'm not sure I'd be posting about it on the internet if I wasn't so sick and not thinking clearly.

Sometimes I wish I was a fully transitioned male to female transexual. Is that weird? It probably is. I definitely feel like a girl on the inside, even if I don't do a lot of girly things like wear makeup and horde expensive shoes. But being a biological female sucks! Due to my PCOS I already have too much testosterone than I should and have to deal with things like way too much body hair. There's a very, very good chance I will never carry a child to term in my own uterus. If I had been born male but transitioned to being a female that would still be true but I wouldn't have to deal with PCOS and endo because those only affect biological females. Instead of my natural boobs growing to a gargantuan size (J cup currently) I could have gotten fake ones of the perfect for me size (full C). Obviously being trans comes with it's own problems, especially in the south, but I think I'd rather deal with that than the health problems I deal with now. I could always move and surround myself with people who accepted me, but I can't move away from my endo and PCOS. Plus I already feel/felt like the odd one out due to being kinda asexual. And oddly enough, I think my husband might have been okay with it as long as I had sexual reassignment surgery and everything. Unfortunately though if I was born a male to female transexual things probably wouldn't have been better, as I wouldn't be able to afford all the necessary steps to transition physically any more than I can afford the best treatment for my conditions now. But it's still something I think about sometimes.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Friday Findings 10/4

I decided I would go ahead and make a button. What do you think? I made it while Josh was asleep so couldn't get his seal of approval first. Now on to the news! I found one article about a diet for endometriosis, but it pretty much said "eat more vegetables and protein, eat less sugar and saturated fat" which is basically what's suggested for everyone, isn't it? So I don't see the point in posting it.

Infertile woman treated with new ovary-stimulating technique, IVA, gives birth
In Vitro Activation (IVA) is a new technique developed for women with Primary Ovarian Insufficiency. They can "switch on" dormant follicles by blocking a protein called PTEN, which allows them to produce mature eggs. 27 women diagnosed with the condition were selected for a study, in which their ovaries were removed for a closer look. It was found 13 of them had these dormant follicles, and after blocking the protein small bits of their ovaries were transplanted back near their fallopian tubes. Eight of them experienced follicle growth and five of them developed mature eggs. One of them has given birth to a healthy baby, another is currently pregnant, two are still waiting for their embryo transfer, and one failed to establish a successful pregnancy. More information about this amazing advancement here.

Fertility breakthrough could aid millions
Research has discovered that, "Normal fertility in humans depends on the key cellular location of signalling between a protein named kisspeptin, and its receptor, Gpr54". This signalling can act as a "master controller of reproduction". Using medications to turn this on or off could increase fertility or act as a new contraceptive. Funnily enough kisspeptin was named after Hershey's Kisses by researchers in Pennsylvania before they knew of it's important role in fertility. Read the full article here.

For some infertility patients, twins are the best outcome
In this article Dr. Norbert Gleicher compares the risks and benefits of transferring two embryos instead of one. He says single embryo transfers have been suggested because many doctors see a twin pregnancy as an adverse outcome. However he says when a twin pregnancy is compared to two consecutive singleton pregnancies the risks are pretty much the same. Those needing IVF but desiring two children may find a twin pregnancy more desirable (and cheaper!) than two singleton pregnancies conceived through IVF. Transferring two embryos could be the optimal decision since it does not come with more risks than two singleton pregnancies but has a higher success rate than a single embryo transfer. A more detailed explanation of his thoughts can be found here.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Caught up just in time to fall behind

A few weeks ago I posted about how behind I was in general from all the crap going on in my life. Well I'm proud to say for the most part I'm all caught up! I'm currently 1% ahead of my reading goal for the year. My feedly has been down to 0 unread blog posts, although right now it has about two days worth of posts to be read. That's how it is most of the time so I'm not worried about that. I finally got my hair cut which I talked about last week. I even managed to get it a few hours of the sims! The only thing I still feel behind on is meal planning, grocery shopping, and cooking which all go together. I don't remember the last time we had a meal that you actually had to prepare but wasn't from a restaurant. Lately cooking around here equals putting chicken in the oven and stouffer's mac and cheese in the microwave. But overall I feel pretty good about where I am, although typing it out makes me kind of sad. I mean my life has gone so downhill that finishing a few books and getting my hair cut is an accomplishment. Unfortunately there's not much I can do about that so I'll take what I can get and be proud about it, even if my accomplishments seem silly or no big deal to others!

So that's the good news. The bad news? I've picked up some kind of cold. I'm back to sleeping 12+ hours, my throat is killing me, and I've felt like I was going to sneeze for like two days. Too bad they don't have a cold shot like they do for the flu! So I feel like I was at a good pace but now I'm slowing down again. Since it's October I was really hoping I could get ahead this month. Read a few extra books, freeze some meals, make my paracord bracelets to sell at homecoming, etc. November is NaNoWriMo and I'd love to participate this year if I can. Now I'm starting to get discouraged. I need to decide which is going to make me happier: participating but not getting very far and having to quit, or not even starting so I can't disappoint myself. Thankfully I don't have to decide yet as I already have a pretty good idea what I'm going to write about and don't think I'm going to do a lot of planning beforehand anyway. I guess right now I'm going to go with the flow and try not to worry about it too much. Do what I can, and if I don't meet my self-imposed goals try not to beat myself up about it.