Monday, March 29, 2010

I Want Off This Roller Coaster!

It has been 2 days since my first beta confirming pregnancy and this morning I went in for my 2nd round of blood work. Of course me being me and having "infertile brain" I was kinda nervous after the blood draw and the longer it took to get the call with my results, the more nervous I became. Finally the phone rang and I got the update. My progesterone and estrogen levels are right where they should be, so I am continuing my injections and gel as I have been since the transfer. The hCG levels on the other hand are another story.

I could tell right away by the nurse's voice when she called that something was not quite right. And then when she said "I'm calling to talk to you about your blood test" (instead of tell you about it) I got really nervous. My 1st beta on Saturday morning was around 230 and it supposed to double every 48 hours, which means they expected today's to be around 460. Instead it was only 385, a rise of about 64% according to the clinic. The nurse told me to be "cautiously optimistic" and then advised me to stay calm and relaxed until my next beta which is not until Friday. Thankfully she did acknowledge that this was easier said than done. I am trying very hard to stay as calm as possible but inside I am so incredibly scared.

I called Chad and relayed the entire conversation to him. He sounded like the wind had been knocked out of him and then said he was coming home. I told him he didn't need to but really I am glad he did. I just needed a hug from him if nothing else. When he got home we both Googled and I tweeted and I am happy to say we did get some reassuring information. A rise over 60% is considered adequate and there is still a good chance everything will be fine.

Of course, that doesn't completely stop me from being scared out of my mind. I know I have only been pregnant for two days but I don't think I can survive the heartbreak if it doesn't last. I am holding on to every ounce of faith and hope I have that this will turn out OK, but part of me just wants to cry out "It isn't fair!" Trying to become a mom has been such a roller coaster already. For the past 3 years I have been through so many physical and emotional ups, downs, twists and turns and finally the light at the end had appeared, only to throw me into another loop. Why can't it ever just be simple? I thought surviving last week while I anxiously waited to find out if my IVF was successful was bad, but now I have to wait almost another week to find out if my success will be short lived or not. I just want off this roller coaster already! I will gladly get onto another one, as I know parenting is a roller coaster of emotions too, but I am ready to say goodbye to this one!

Thank you so much to everyone that has been there for me today by providing kinds words and reassuring information, as well as for keeping me and Sprout in your thoughts and prayers. It means more to me and has helped more than you will ever know. I hope I have good news to share on Friday.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

And The Results Are...


I had my beta at 7:45am. After a very nervous breakfast out with Chad, we got the call at 9:38am in which the the nurse asked if I was sitting down because I was pregnant! Beta levels are approximately 230mIU/hCG and I am going in on Monday to make sure everything is doubling and hopefully schedule an ultrasound to find out if I am growing one or two little sprouts.

I just can't believe it. It doesn't feel real. Don't mind me if I am pinching myself for the next few weeks, it's just too good to be true! Thanks again for all of your continued love and support. I don't think I would've made it here without it!

Friday, March 26, 2010

With A Little Help From My Friends

Well I have survived the wait so far and now I have less than 24 hours left until my pregnancy test. Yes, I am anxious but looking back at the past two months since I started the IVF journey, I am truly amazed that I have come this far without any major emotional meltdowns. And there are many people that deserve credit for that, because I definitely didn't stay sane and hopeful on my own.

My support network has been a huge part of getting me through the past two months. I am very blessed to have an amazing husband, wonderful family, loving in-laws and fantastic friends, all of whom who are always there for me but have been especially supportive during this process, always providing an ear when I needed one and cheering me on. My husband especially deserves credit for always giving me a kiss before giving me an injection, for putting up with the mood swings I had while pumped full of hormones, and for being my partner during this roller coaster ride.

And while my real-life friends and family have always been and will always be there for me, I am also truly amazed and grateful for the friendship and support I have found in the twitter and blog community. I have been moved to tears more than once by the love that I have received from my online friends. I would have lost it many times if had not been for the encouragement of so many of you that not only know what I am going through physically but emotionally as well. I know none of us wanted to end up struggling like we have to create our families and even though it's a difficult journey, I am so glad we don't have to do it alone. I can't tell you what it meant to me to wake up the morning of my egg retrieval and transfer, anxious as all hell, and check my phone to find that so many of you remembered what day it was for me and sent me such kind well wishes. I am grateful for every text, tweet, comment, and DM. I have one twitter friend go so far as to hand make and mail me a good luck card. Seriously, thank you all for being so supportive. I truly value your friendship and can't imagine that I would have survived this without you.

I also must give credit to the Circle+Bloom program for helping me to remain relaxed and calm throughout the IVF process. Circle+Bloom is a mind-body program for fertility and conception, you can find their website here to learn more. A little over a month ago, I began beta testing for a new program that is specifically tailored for IVF/IUI and I must say I am very excited about it. I have in no way been paid or asked to endorse this product but now that I have gone through the full program, which starts with cycle day one and goes through each stage of ART, from stimulation, to retrieval, transfer and the 2ww, I am a believer that it has had plenty to do with keeping me peaceful and optimistic throughout this process. I consider myself very lucky to have been a part of testing this new program and if I don't get the news I am hoping for tomorrow, I will be utilizing it again for my next cycle.

I have to admit that I am pretty anxious knowing that tomorrow is the day I will either get the best news of my life, or the worst. But I know that all of the support I have had through the infertility and IVF journey will still be there for me no matter what the outcome is tomorrow, and that is such a good feeling.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tattoo Tuesday

Kaitlin over at Ah...My Married Life started "Tattoo Tuesday" last week to show tattoo pics and stories, and although I only have one tattoo, I wanted to jump on the bandwagon. Not only is it fun but it's a great non-IVF related distraction from the 2ww.

I got my tattoo when I was 21 and it was totally unplanned. Chad and I were living in Orlando and I went to Tallahassee for the weekend to visit my childhood best friend, C, who was there attending FSU. The weekend I was there her roommate was getting her first tattoo and asked us to come with her for moral support. While we were waiting, we flipped through the books they put in the waiting area and I spied the cutest, tiny little design of a crescent moon and star- perfect for a toe tattoo. It wasn't just cute, it was a symbol that I had been doodling on notebooks and adding to my signature for years. My bedroom decorations in high school and college had been filled with moons and stars, it is just very "me".

Just out of curiosity I asked how much said tattoo would be and was informed that because of cost of needles and other supplies, the base cost for any tat would be $50 regardless of size. So my friend asked how big they could make it and keep it that same price and he sketched out a sample and made some slight adjustments based on my requests. Then he asked if I wanted to get it. I sat for a second and thought about how totally crazy this was, and how not thrilled Chad would be that I did this with
out him. C and I stepped outside to discuss the decision and she insisted it was a good idea but I knew I wouldn't really do it. We went back inside and the artist asked what I had decided. I took a deep breath but before I could answer, C exclaimed, "Yes, she says yes" and pushed me into his chair.

course, I'm a grown up and could have said "no" if I really wanted to but I went for it and had my little blue crescent moon and golden star tattooed to my left shoulder blade. C and I agreed I'd wait until I got home and tell/show Chad about it in person. Which I did. He freaked a tiny bit for about 30 seconds but then decided it was hot and that it suited me perfectly. He is still not thrilled he wasn't there for it and got one for himself a few months later (which I was there for and he claims is unfair)
I immedia
tely loved it and still do. It's part of me now and I can't remember what my back looked like without it. It's one of my favorite things on my body. I still have more tattoos that I would love to get, but for now I love the sweet simplicity of the one I have.

Don't forget to check back here with Kaitlin's blog to see other Tattoo Tuesdays and get in on the fun yourself!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

ICLW: The Long Week Ahead

I want to start by saying welcome to all visitors from ICLW! This is my first ever ICLW, because I am a slacker and missed the sign up deadline for 2 months in a row, but I am very excited to be involved this month and honestly my first ICLW couldn't be during a more crucial week. You see at the end of this week I will learn whether another of my firsts has succeeded: my first IVF cycle. I need all the distractions I can get this week so I am very much looking forward to reading and discovering your blogs and stories.

Of course you can always read through my past blog entries to catch up on my infertility and subsequent IVF journey, but I will give you the short(ish) version here. My husband, Chad, and I married in March 2007
(I am actually in the car on the way back from our anniversary trip as I write this) and threw out the birth control shortly after. Like most couples we assumed pregnancy would just happen on it's own and didn't really "try" for quite sometime. It eventually became apparent though that even though we were just "not preventing" something should have happened by now so off we went to the OB/GYN in early 2009. I was given some very basic blood work and instructions to start charting BBT and OPKs. We were in full swing with the "sperm meets egg" plan until a few months later when my husband received a promotion that included a move across the country from Orlando, FL to Orange County, CA, where we live now.

After taking some time to get settled and entertain visiting friends and family, we got serious and had the full fertility work-up including a semen analysis, all the important blood work and an HSG. My blood work and Chad's SA came back great, no problems to speak of, it was my HSG that caused concern. My left tube showed no spillage. So my OB put me on Clomid to hopefully increase chances of ovulation on my right side and sent me on my way to continue trying. We were diligent for three months and never missed my fertile window. Progesterone draws each month confirmed I was ovulating but never getting pregnant. Which meant it was time to seek out an RE.

My RE (unlike the OB) actually reviewed the films from the HSG with us and quickly ascertained that my tubes were much more blocked than originally believed. He broke the news that our only real option for a pregnancy was IVF. We talked about it for a few days and decided to jump right in. For the past month I have dealt with the injections, the dates with the ultrasound wand (wandy), and the anxiety that come with this process and somehow managed to stay sane and even smile the entire time.

A little over a week ago I went in for my egg retrieval, where 21 eggs were collected. Of those, 15 fertilized to become embryos and continued to grow right into the day 5 blastocyst stage. On St Patrick's day, I had 2 blastocysts transferred (which you can see here) and the other 13 were frozen. And now after all that activity there is nothing left to do but wait. I have always dreaded the 2ww but this one definitely feels like it has much higher stakes. My beta blood test to determine pregnancy will be scheduled for sometime this upcoming weekend, so if you come back next week hopefully you will get to hear the good news! Or you can give me some comfort and support at a time when I will definitely need it.

I am planning to stay as busy as possible during this week and hopefully stay sane in the process, which means more blog posts to come and lots of time reading and commenting your blogs! So welcome again ICLWers and thank you in advance for your comments. And thank you so much to my current followers for all of the love and support you have given me and continue to provide. The blog community has been such an amazing source of encouragement and friendship and I am so grateful to be a part of it.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: My Lucky Little Sprouts

The transfer is complete and these are the two little embies now safely tucked into my womb. The RE said I had a perfect 3 layer uterine lining and the embryologist informed us that the other 13 embies are all great blastocysts and ready for freezing. Now I'm all snuggled in bed in my festive green jammies, ready to help my sprouts grow! This is all so much better than I expected. Feels like a lucky day!


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Letting Go Of Living It Up

My transfer is scheduled for tomorrow morning at 11:45am and I couldn't be more excited, or nervous for that matter. I am also still very in awe that this whole process is actually happening and feeling a lot like Alice down the rabbit hole. It is all still so very surreal.

After this procedure I will have an embryo(s) made up of me and Chad inside my body. (we still don't know if we are transferring one or two). Those embryos are alive and growing in the lab and in less than 24 hours at least one of them will be in my womb. Wow! there's a word I haven't used much since being diagnosed infertile, uterus sure but never womb. It feels kinda nice, sort of corny but also more homey than the medical sounding uterus. I mean is that what I will say to my kids? "You grew in mommy's uterus"? Actually I'd probably feel weird saying "womb" too. I will most likely go with the standard "tummy". Whoa, where did this sidetracked rant come from? Sorry about that. Nerves.

Anyway, once my little embie(s) is transferred, I will be operating under the mantra of PUPO, Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise. So, since tomorrow I WILL be pregnant, I have been running through the list of pregnancy no-no's and doing as many of them as I can. For the past week or so I have been having wine with dinner, enjoying sushi lunches, going out for a beer on the weekends, eating deli meat sandwiches, sipping fully-caffeinated lattes, taking the hottest showers imaginable and indulging in any of life's other pleasure that should not be had while growing a person. I got my hair cut and most importantly colored (thanks to the wonderful Bonnie and Amy). I went to Disneyland and rode every single ride in the joint, especially the coasters and thrill rides that are not recommended for expectant mothers or people with heart conditions. I have actually wondered if riding space mountain twice played a part in moving my left ovary to where I needed it to be (you can catch up on that story here) Tonight, we are having the good kind of sushi one more time, with wine of course, and then a latte in the morning before the transfer.

Not only has it been fun to live up my last few pre-pregnancy days, it has really helped keep my spirits high while enduring the daily injections and constant bloating. And I truly feel that, while I love sushi and wine, I will love being pregnant even more and I am ready to give these things up until next year. I just can't believe tomorrow is the transfer! No green beer or Guinness for me on St. Patrick's Day, but hopefully the luck of the Irish will be with me and my little embie(s). And the following day is our 3 year wedding anniversary. I can't think of a better anniversary gift than this.

Of course, I am also trying to brace myself for the anxiety of the wait until my beta test to determine if I truly am pregnant, and for the possibility that the test will come back negative, but mostly I am trying to think positive and believe that this really will be the last time I do this stuff for a long time. And now that it is all out of my system, I am just so ready to focus on relaxing and being ready to accept and nurture new life.

Wish Me Luck!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Eggies to Embies- They Grow Up So Fast!

The weekend is winding down and I am realizing what a blog slacker I have been. My wonderful husband was kind of enough to post this update while I was unconscious and having my eggs removed and was even nice enough to allow me to be the one to share the results of said egg retrieval but I waited until now to actually post an update. Bad blogger.

As Chad so kindly reported, I was pretty fearless going into the procedure, but that it must be said how easy that is to do when you're asleep before they even wheel you into the operating room. I remember the anesthesiologist telling me he was putting "the good stuff" into my IV and the next thing I knew he was shaking my shoulder telling me it was time to wake up. And as quick as it felt, I later learned it really was almost that fast. I rested for a bit and got some much needed pain meds for the aching in my abdomen, and then it was time to be on our way. Dr Jedi had been out to let Chad know all had gone well, and they would be calling shortly to let us know how many eggs were retrieved.

My phone rang even before we got home and we got the very exciting news that 21 eggs had been retrieved! The left ovary caused absolutely no problems and he had full access to all of my follicles! Nothing left to do but go home, rest and wait for a call the next morning to tell us the overnight fertilization report.

Early in the process of our IVF journey, Chad and I spent a week talking to our doctor, consulting books and websites and discussing with each other whether or not to utilize
intracytoplasmic sperm injection i.e. ICSI, in this cycle. For those that don't know, ICSI is basically the process of directly injecting a single sperm into an egg to cause fertilization. After weighing the pros and cons and taking into account Chad's high motility, we decided against ICSI because we felt that given the choice, we'd prefer the eggs to fertilize more closely to how they would inside my body. But we also knew that we still ran the risk that fertilization would fail. No one knows why but even with healthy sperm and eggs there are times when the embryologist comes in the morning after and finds that fertilization has completely failed. Needless to say, we were a bit anxious for the phone call that would deliver the news of whether such a fate had befallen our 21 little eggies.

Luckily, the call came quickly on Saturday morning and we learned that of the 21 eggs retrieved 15 had fertilized! 15! I was so excited and relieved to hear that number! The nurse told me that this most likely meant we would be doing a day 5 blastocyst transfer on Wednesday, but to be on stand-by for the possibility of a day 3 transfer on Monday. She said they would call me at about 10 o'clock Monday morning with another update.

So we spent the rest of the weekend as if it was just any other weekend. Lunch with friends, afternoon nap, picnic in the park, but really we both know this hasn't been any other weekend. I keep thinking about my embies. I keep wondering how they're doing. If they are growing and how quickly. I wonder how many are boys and how many are girls, which ones have the DNA for my nose and Chad's ears. I already feel so attached, so maternal.

We drove past the center where we know they are last night, and couldn't help but say hi to them as we did so. We told them we hope they are doing well and that we are so excited to know they are there. It is a truly surreal feeling to know my potential children exist, they are dividing and growing and they are doing it outside of body, about 20 miles away as a matter of fact. It makes me feel like I already am pregnant in a way, just not physically. I have loved my child since before we even started trying to concieve, but now that I know embryos exist that are made up of me and Chad, I can't help but feel my heart swell even more. It is truly a miracle to know that we (with the help of a wonderful team of doctors and embryologists) have created life that is part me and part him. It exists in this world and it just blows me away every time I think about it. What blows me away even more is how much I already love them.

Friday, March 12, 2010

bLoG iNFilTrATed! Success!!

Hello all, DH here, reporting LIVE from Newport Beach Surgery Center where our favorite female has just been taken from the PreOP room to surgery where IVF stage 2 (After Stage 1 where I performed nightly needle stabbings) is underway. The hardest part is trying to keep my excitement at bay because in my heart I KNOW this will work, but my head is telling me to keep my pants on and not get ahead of myself. Holly was fearless as they rolled her back and was more concerned with what I was going to get her for lunch after this is all over. She has not eaten since midnight last night. For those of you that don't know, Holly would rather lose a finger rather than go without breakfast. Anyway, this phone isnt the best typer, but I'm sure Holly will update you all after the events of today are complete. TTFN!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Pulling the Trigger

It's Time! 22 follicles on the left ovary and 13 on the right. Trigger shot tonight at 2:45am. By this time next week I could be pregnant.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Getting Real

Can this really be happening? Ever since I took my first birth control pill last month and made the decision to go forward with IVF, everything has felt very surreal. In my mind I have known what was going on. I have taken pills, received injections, had dates with wandy, had my blood drawn, signed consents, and written a giant check, but somehow it still does not feel completely real. I am now less than a week away from my egg retrieval and in my mind I know that there is a very real possibility that I will be pregnant by next week, but emotionally I just can't seem to grasp that concept. It is all at once so close and still so far away.

Being pregnant has become for me what growing up once was. Like when you were 8 years old and you talked about what you would do when you grew up but really you couldn't truly believe that day would ever come. You were going to be a kid forever because that was all you really knew. The "when I grow up" fantasies were just that, you were never really going to be an adult, you were just going to talk about it. That's I how feel about being pregnant and becoming a mom sometimes. I have been daydreaming and talking about being a mother for so long it has begun to feel exactly the way it felt when I talked about being a famous movie star someday. It was something I could talk about and idealize all I wanted because I knew I would really always be a child, growing up was just too far away to understand. But even though my 8 year old self never really accepted that I would be in my late 20's one day, here I am, so I am having faith that motherhood turns out the same way and I will be looking back on this time of my life one day in a similar way.

I know that whether I feel like this is really happening or not, it is. The slight ache I have in my ovaries lately reminds me that I have lots of potential future babies growing in there. After my RE appointment this morning I know that I have about 18 of them actually, all in great shape and size. Dr. Jedi again commented on my eggs and and exclaimed that I could be an egg donor. Not that I am bragging, I am just relieved that I am responding well to the stims and that so far things are going well. There are still so many other steps that we need to complete and so many things that could still go wrong, so having good eggs is a really a relief. And speaking of relief and things going well I got even more good news today, my left ovary moved! It is now 100% accessible! When I first asked, Dr Jedi admitted that he had momentarily forgotten about it because it was exactly where it was supposed to be! I don't if it was his mind tricks, the super-sizing meds, or all those cartwheels I did this weekend but whatever it was, it worked and I am so thrilled!

As of today, my egg retrieval is most likely scheduled for this Friday and my transfer should happen at the beginning of next week. I am very hopeful and optimistic that this will work. Every day that goes by I feel more and more like it will. But weirdly this does not make the possibility that I will be holding my child in my arms before the year is over seem any more real or any more tangible. It have just wanted this for so long, it is almost impossible to grasp the idea that I could really be so close to getting it. And even though I have clear ideas and dreams of what parenthood will be like I know that, like growing up, the reality will be so much more than I could have ever prepared for or dreamed of. I can't wait for the reality check.

Friday, March 5, 2010

All Of My Eggs From One Basket?

I can't believe it's been over two weeks since I started my IVF injections. It is still in no way my favorite part of the day but I am surviving it. Today is day 6 of stimulation meds and I am starting to really feel those eggies grow! Today I am very aware of my ovaries and I can definitely feel the pressure and bloating everyone always talks about when doing stimulation drugs. I feel like there is a small, hardened balloon in there and it my ovaries feel very heavy. It's also been a lot easier for me to get teary eyed the past few days, but for the most part my moods have been pretty good.

I have noticed this week that the shots on the left side of my stomach hurt A LOT more than on my right. I didn't think much of it at first but after my RE appointment yesterday, I wonder if there is a valid reason my left side stings more. I went in yesterday to meet with wandy for an ultrasound and check on how well my ovaries are responding to the meds. There are 7 follicles on my right side all perfectly shaped and close in size, between 7 and 11mm, exactly what they wanted to see. On my left ovary there are also 7 follicles, although they are a bit smaller- between 5 and 10mm, but they are also very well formed and doing well. My uterine lining looked great as well. I also had my blood drawn and my estrogen levels were 611, which is great for this stage of stims.

But unfortunately it wasn't all good news. My left ovary was in hiding. It took Dr. Jedi a rather uncomfortable minute or two (or 3 or 4) to actually find it and when he finally did he said that it was trapped behind my uterus. This is not good. If my ovary stays in the spot it is in now, there is no way that he can safely get to it during retrieval and all of the eggs on that side will be lost. He did say that as my ovary continues to swell and grow on the stimulation drugs that there is a chance it will get big enough to "burst free" and float up to a more accessible location. As painful as that "bursting free" thing sounds I am hoping with everything I've got that it does just that. I know that the eggs on my other side can still give me the baby I so desperately want, and even a few frozen embryos to create a brother or sister one day, but I really want to be able to have as many chances and as many healthy embies as I can. I am realistic and I know that not every egg that is retrieved will make it to transfer, so every egg really counts!

While I have not gotten completely down and out about this news, I am definitely feeling a bit deflated since I found out I might being losing all of those eggs. I try not to blame myself for my infertility, but there are days when I remember that we are only in this position because of my dysfunctional fallopian tubes and it gets hard not to feel responsible. I have been able to get past those feeling these past few weeks, because since we started IVF, it has felt like we are really doing something and I haven't had time to feel guilty. But now that I know that my ovary is stuck, most likely by the same scar tissue that damaged my tube to begin with, the self-blame is starting to come back a bit. I know logically that it is not my fault but emotionally when things go wrong it's hard not point a finger at myself. Chad has of course been great about letting me know it is not my fault and thanks me every day for everything I am going through to create our family. I am so grateful to have him through all of this.

I am choosing to be optimistic that things can still turn around before the retrieval. I need my RE to be "Dr. Jedi" now more than ever. Let's get those jedi mind tricks in gear and make that ovary move! My nurse assured me that he would "take care of me" and do whatever he could to get all of the eggs my body was producing. And of course I am doing any small thing I can to help things along too. I went back to doing injections on my left side again last night. I know logically that it has no bearing on how each side responds but even just a teeny bit more response on my left side could be the push I need to get that ovary out of hiding. And as I said, that side stings significantly more than the right during my injections so maybe there is something to it. I have also been researching yoga poses that may help things move around in there. I have a week to get that ovary to move. I just don't want to have all my eggs all in one basket, so to speak. I have two baskets of good eggs, I should be able to use both!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

We Have A Winner!

Let me first say that I am so excited about this giveaway and I really wish I had even more of this stuff lying around so that I could send you all an OPK or two!

I just couldn't bring myself to use a random number generator so I put one slip of paper for each of the eligible entries into a literal hat and drew out THE BIG WINNER! (So if you entered 5 times, you had 5 slips of paper in there, it just seemed the most fair to me this way) So without further ado the winner of my first ever giveaway who will receive a fabulous TTC Kit full of OPKs, HPTs and other goodies is.....

Congratulations to our winner, who blogs about her TTC journey over at Creating HackSpawn! I hope these goodies help you in your quest to motherhood. Thank you so very much to everyone that entered and a very big thank you for supporting me and my blog!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Feeling Good

I have been finding lots of little smiles lately. It feels good to find the happy moments.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Little Sunshine

It is day 3 of stimulation injections (I have done 2 so far). The first one was okay enough. Kind of uncomfortable and very weird feeling but not too bad. Last night's though hurt a whole lot more and even bled a bit and now today my tummy is sort of sore and bruised feeling. I was good and worked out this morning though, and that somehow seemed to help. In addition to the stims, my face is still in a half-paralyzed state and I fear I may become addicted to the eye drops I have to use in my left eye since it doesn't blink. In spite of all of this I have managed to stay in a surprisingly good mood, but I can of course still use a little extra ray of sunshine during a time like this which is why I am so grateful for not one but two wonderful blog awards from two lovely ladies!

My first award and little beam of sunlight is from the lovely Em at Creating Hack Spawn. I very much enjoy reading her blog and following her journey and I am so grateful for her support and this award!

For this award I am supposed to post where I would like to be in 10 years and then of course pass the award on to other bloggers.

In ten years I will be 37 years old and by then I hope to have (at least) two children and living happily with them and my wonderful husband. I also plan to be again working where my passion lies and providing outreach and education on the issues of victimization, particularly sexual assault and domestic violence in addition to being a very involved mommy and wife. I also hope to do lots more travel within the next ten years with one of the highlights being a cruise of the Greek Isles!

For this award I really can't pick just 10 of you that I want to pass this on to because I really want everyone to have it and I want to hear where everyone sees themselves in 10 years! It's a cop-out I know but if you are reading this then I give this award to you!

My second award and ray of sunshine comes from the wonderful Jenn at The Road to Happily Ever After. I completely share her sentiment that one of the great things about blogging is
"connecting with people...finding people who I normally wouldn't cross paths with and having them become a part of my journey (and following their own)." And with that I am honored to have her be a part of my journey and very grateful for this award!

So here's the deal:
  • Put the logo on your blog or within your post.
  • Pass the award onto 12 bloggers. (6 new blogs for you and 6 oldies but goodies)
  • Link the nominees within your post.
  • Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
  • Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award.
6 Blogs I Newly Follow
1. A Nuttier Life
2. Austin Antics
3. Kate's Corner
4. Domestic Princess
5. Mis(sed) Conception
6. Journey Toward Motherhood

6 Oldie but Goodies
1. Waiting Lisa
2. The Secondary Chronicles
3. Ah..My Married Life
4. Chasing A Miracle
5. Liberal Granola Girl's Blog
6. The Quest For Baby Hang

And as always there are so many other bloggers that I just adore and want to pass this award on to as well, but I try to spread the award love around every chance I get. All of the blogs I read and their wonderful writers give me reasons to smile (albeit a half smile, thank you, Bell's Palsy!) and so just like the 1st award on this post, this one is also truly for everyone reading! Thank you so much for supporting me and following my journey!