Sunday, January 29, 2012

Dear Fertiles, Just Want To Set The Record Straight

Many times in my TTC journey I have heard the words "Stop stressing and poof it will happen." or "I bet if you adopt it will happen, I knew a couple that that happened to them."

Well me being the good student I am (hehe) read this in my research methods textbook today. Ironic don't you think.

So to set the record straight. Your remarks are not scientific at all and your intuition is leading you astray.

In case you are curious my textbook is called: "Methods in Behavioral Research" Tenth Edition by Paul C. Cozby. I quote pages 3-4.

Thank you and have a nice day.

Sincerely and lovingly,

Glad to do this service. Fist Pump.

"Most of us either know or have heard about a married couple who, after years of trying to concieve, adopt a child. Then, within a very short period of time, they find that the woman is pregant. This observation leads to a common belief that adoption increases the liklihood of pregnancy among couples who are having difficulties concieving a child. Such a conclusion seems intuitively reasonable, and people usually have an explanation for this effect:;for example, the adoption reduces a major source of maternal stress, and the stress reduction in turn increases the chances of conception (Gilovich,1991)."

This example illustrates the use of intuition and anecdotal evidence to draw general conclusions about the world around us. When you rely on intution, you accept unquestioningly what your own personal judgment or a single story about one person's experience tell you about the world. The intuitive approach takes many forms. Often, it involves finding an explaination for our own behaviors or the behaviors of others. For example, you might develop an explaination for why you keep having conflicts with a co-worker, such as "that other person wants my job" or "having to share a telephone puts us in a conflict situation." Other times, intuition is used to explain intriguing events that you observe, as in the case of concluding that adoption increases the chances of conception among couple having difficulty conceiving a child."

A problem with intuition is that numerous cognitive and motivational biases affect our perceptions, and so we may draw erroneous conclusions about cause and effect (ef. Fiske & Taylor,1984; Gilovich, 1991; Nisbett & Ross,1980, Nisbett & Wilson, 1997). Gilovich points out that there is in fact no relationship between adoption and subsequent pregnancy, according to scientific research investigations. So why do we hold this belief? Most likely it is because of a cognitive bias called illusory correlations that occurs when we focus on two events that stand out and occur together. When an adoption is closely followed by a pregnancy, or attention is drawn to the situation, and we are biased to conclude that there must be a causal connection. Such illusory correlations are also likely to occur when we are highly motivated to believe in the causal relationship. Although this is a natural thing for us to do, it is not scientific. A scientific approach requires much more evidence before conclusions can be drawn."

Friday, January 27, 2012

Be Kinder Than Necessary..For You Never Know The Battle One Is Facing

I've heard this so many times and lately I've realized just how true it is.

-After I had Jayda at 26 weeks I thought that was by far the worst thing that could have happened. Til I met a mom of a 23 weeker that spent a year in the NICU and 6 months in the PICU.

-After Jayda came home from the NICU and had her eating issues,cried all the time, and I was at the brink of checking myself into a psych ward I had a friend who lost her preemie after 6 months (her blog here). Colic seemed like a speck compared to what she had to deal with.

-When I had bitter feelings for not going full term I found a blog of a woman who had a full term baby but who was diagnosed with a rare brain cancer at 3 months old and is still battling it now (Her blog here).

-When I felt bad about my preemie experience and bitter that it happened to me, I realized that at least I HAVE a baby. I always used to joke in the NICU that I made the dough but they cooked the cookies for me. I always felt proud that I made that dough even though it was severely undercooked. I know a ton of blogger moms dealing with infertility who would love to make that dough even once. Or even one mom who did an IVF, got pregnant but lost her baby at 22 weeks and who still is struggling to concieve again. For even as short as the time was I got to feel life inside me.

-I thought Memorial Day 2009 was one of the worst days of my life (the day my water broke) but then on Memorial Day 2010 one of my friends had a stillborn with her second baby.( Her blog here). I was very wrong.

-Infertility is hard, but at least I have a chance every month. There is a couple I know that cannot have kids because in high school he had cancer and the radiation made it impossible to have kids. Adoption is their only way.

I could go on and on, but I won't because its pointless.

Just when you think the dark won't ever end....a light shines from the other side.

So I guess what I'm trying to say is that you can't compare trials. Your reality of a trial could be trivial to another person but to you it's one of the hardest things you've had to go through. For a long time I felt like no one understood how hard it was to have a preemie but going through infertility has taught me a lot of how to be grateful for what I do have. If I could reach through time I wish I could shake Ashley 2009-2011 and say "You ungrateful little girl! Look at what the Lord has blessed you with!"

It could always be worse. Until you're dead in the ground.....and even then you have so much to be grateful for.  I refuse to let this make me bitter any longer.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Acceptance or Numb. One of the two.

 Acceptance or Numb. One of the two. All I know is that when AF showed up yesterday I wasn't bummed. Wasn't in a bad mood. I just went along with my day.

I didn't test a million times (or at all) to tilt a million different ways or find every light in the house to shine it under hoping for the smallest line. I didn't do the 2 week wait boob soreness check every hour (got a lot less wierd looks that way). I didn't analyze my progesterone symptoms to see if they were fading as "she" was approaching. I didn't have insomnia because I was worried about whether AF was actually coming or not. I didn't have vivid dreams that I was actually seeing two solid lines or giving birth to a beautiful full term baby...or hell any baby at this point. I didn't worry if exercise would hurt the "non-existant" baby. I didn't even know what CD I was on. I just didn't. And damn it felt good. 

So much for "not stressing". What good that did.

To quote one of my favorite psychiatrist's Bruce Perry about a study they did on learned helplessness in rats sort of explains how I think this is. In the study there are two different groups of rats. One group of rats presses a lever to obtain food. When they get the food they are shocked which of course is stressful for the rat, but it's in the their control and they know when it is going to happen. In the other group of rats they can press the same lever to recieve food but instead they are shocked when the first group of rats press the lever. So they have no control over the situation nor do they know when they will recieve the shock. This rat becomes sensitized to the stress, not habituated to it. Over time they see that this group of rats don't even seem to feel the shock although of course it is still unpleasant.

I guess I feel the same as the second group of rats. I have been shocked too many times to count. I'm becoming numb to the shock but knowing it's there still doesn't suck any less.

One thing my therapist said the last time we met with him is to be someone that is a positive influence in other people's lives and if you entered the room someone would feel your presence. Not hear your presence but feel it. I've really tried to do that lately. I've removed the negativity out of my life and replaced it with positivity. I've gone out of my way to be more social and have congratulated people and geniunely have meant it. And that feels good. All at once the jealousy is gone and it's replaced by joy.

I've also let go of trying to "sell" my infertility to other people. Infertility isn't like cancer. If a person tells you they have cancer you don't tell them to "stop stressing and it will go away". That would be insensitive. But people just can't fathom how getting pregnant would be that hard since its so easy for them. So it must be something YOU are doing wrong especially when you have concieved easily before like me. But I've let go of worrying about that. Ignorance is bliss and worrying about what "X,Y,Z" said shouldn't ruin my day and I'm not letting it anymore. 

I've become ten times closer to my daughter and have enjoyed and soaked up every minute with her. I just feel like I missed out on her first year due to her challenges with eating which in turn caused me to be a hellicopter mom. You know those moms that hover and worry about every.little.thing. Yeah that was me and it was stressful to the max. I still worry about her and still have traumatizing thoughts that she is dead if she takes a long nap or going to break into the bathroom and drown in the tub but I'm trying to push those thoughts out of my mind because I want to just let her enjoy herself and not be that kind of mom. We laugh, we sing together. She is my best friend and a miracle at that. I know I have such a blessing that a lot of "mom's" (some of the best mom's I know are without children) would love to just have one. For that I feel truely grateful.

How can you not smile at this? We're starting potty training and Jayda insists on carrying ALL her panties everywhere she goes. When she first walked in and saw her princess and minnie mouse panties she said, "WOW! Thanks!" Love my little girl.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Jayda- The Duckies and Sick

Earlier this week we took Jayda to feed the ducks by a local golf course. She had a blast but you can't tell it from the video. But she really did love it. She keeps telling me all about how one of the big ducks bit daddy's hand. She thought it was pretty hilarious. Silly bug.

She has been sick for the last couple days. A couple nights ago she was just plain miserable. Running a fever and just hacking up a storm. So we let her sleep in our bed while I slept on the couch. And Chase is sick. Poor guy. I'm sure I'll fall victim next. She's so precious though and I know it sounds sick but one thing I love about her being sick is that she is a little cuddle bum and just wants to cuddle, kiss, and caress us (that sounds iffy...ya know what I mean.)

I will say so myself that her being sick is 10 million times better then when she was sick as a baby. I dreaded when she got a cold because I knew it was going to be 1+ weeks of pure hell. Pure refusal to eat or drink which usually ended up in an ER visit or a visit to the PEDS unit of the hospital. This time she was down for one day , drank faster than I could fill, peeing through her diapers hydrated and then has been up and about all day long playing as if nothing happened. She's such a strong little bugger.

Last night she decided she wanted to say the prayer. All I could get out was Jesus and Amen among the gibberish but it was just precious. Half way through the prayer she looked up at me and pointed her finger at me and said "Mama, close eyes...PRAYERS!" I just wanted to freeze time right at that moment.

This is it....

I bet you thought I meant "it" it. Nope. Hell to the no.

So I feel a bit overwhelmed. I find myself shaking and my heart racing most of the day. Perhaps I've caught the anxiety bug from my hubby. Luckily it has nothing to do with TTC. I've pretty much lost hope on that home front. I got my p4 lab today and I just don't give a crap what the level is (ok I do but this month I'm not checking and re-checking online every 30 min to see if its posted).

I'm starting my LAST semester of school before I graduate with my bachelors in Psychology. I feel a lot of pressure to do well since this is it. And me being the smart person that I am left all the harder classes for my last semester. Not necessarily harder but just more work than other courses. AND I'm taking an additional class for the hell of it. It's not really a class but a practicum for 3 credits. Why you ask? To get my full 12 credits so that I can get my full grant. The left over grant money helps so much with bills. Thank you Obama, you rock my world!

This semester I have my senior project which I am super stoked about. I don't have all the kinks worked out but I plan on doing an applied project that incorporates a community support group for women with infertility, miscarriages, preemies, stillborns, etc. Then on top of it I have to write a 25 page writeup of the proposal. Kill me now.

Then for my research class I have to make a research proposal. Again, I plan to make a proposal to research women who suffer from infertility and m/c's in our community. I want to propose that we get a sample of 100 women in the community that have suffered a miscarriage in the last year or two to be apart of the study. We then compare those that have talked to someone and had a social support system and those that don't. Then see who's stress levels are higher. Obviously we need to figure out a way to make that possible but thats the skeletal idea at this point. I believe it has to be 20 pages as well. Why did you not kill me yet?

For my practicum I have to read two books. One of which I already have (The boy who was raised as a dog by Bruce Perry and a Neuroscience book). Then my teacher wants me to plan a seminar to present to a group of teachers on children's trauma and how it effects their brain development and essentially the way they learn and act in school. Then I have to go to one day of her Family Mental Health class every week and write a thought paper every week on what I learned to put into application.

Finally, the one I am most of all scared of is Statistics of Psychology. Why you ask? It's math and excel related. Two of the worst things invented. I not only have the hardest psych professor who thouroughly enjoys tricking you on exams and making you feel like a douche for asking "idiotic" questions but we also have to do lab assignments that I have heard come striaght from the depths of hell.

All in all if I'm not dead by the end of the semester it will be a shock for sure.

But I wouldn't have it any other way. It's just my nature to take on too much at any given point. Bring it on.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The results are in...

So the waiting is over...we got Chase's sperm analysis results....thank goodness! He was really starting to drive me cray-cray! It wasn't great and it wasn't bad. His fertility score was an 18. 25-30 is normal 16-24 is moderate and 15 is low. So he's at the low end of "average". His count was 42.8 million/mL (139million overall). His morphology wasn't spectacular but ok I guess. He only had 11% normal heads but I'm told that morphology isn't as big of a deal as count and motility. I'm guessing that is because it can change more? Who knows. We were both kind of bummed yesterday but the nurse said that that shouldn't be something to stop us from getting pregnant and that it was pretty average.

She said they got 3 SA's in yesterday (chase's being one of them). One was 18 like him and another was 15. When I told Chase that to make him feel better he just said "That's probably because we're all screwed up!" That's my hubby for ya!

As for now though he is going to start working out and actually eating veggies and fruit (he fights me ALL the time) and taking his vitiamins to make it better.

Ya know I find it kind of funny that both Chase and I are healthier than we were the first time we got pregnant. I was ike 145-150lbs 5'3" (grody) and he was 230+ 5'10". We ate crappy crappy food and were so lazy. Now I am 120-125lbs and he is 185. We are much more acitve yet have more problems. It's kind of funny how that works out.

Aw well. All we can do is move on and do our best to keep positive.

All it takes is one but with my pesky uterus I feel bad for the little guys.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Healthy Breakfast, Snack, and Din-Din recipe=Yummy and Nice to My Hips

So thanks to good ole Pinterest I found two new healthy recipes that I decided to try but with a twist. YUMMY stuff right there. I have really been trying this week to work out good and eat healthy. I've really fallen off the bandwagon with taking clomid. It upted my appetite and even though I only gain a couple lbs it all  went to my belly and thighs! So bye bye fat...hello fit Ashley. Oh how I missed you.

For breastfast today I had this oatmeal banana smoothie. It was divine.

I did a few different things than the original recipe that I found on

I literally can't wait to have this again tomorrow
I used:
-1 banana
-about 8 or so almonds
-1/2 a of a light boston creme pie yogurt (yoplait)
-a few spoonfuls of cooked oatmeal (plain)
-a tinge of skim milk

Then for a snack today I made this awesome guacamole salsa which is from

I used:
-1lb tomatillos
-1/3 bunch cilantra
-1 big slice of red onion
-1 clove of garlic
-1 alvacado
-juice of one lime
-1 jalepeno

It was pretty difficult at first to get the juices going but I just had to keep stopping the blender and mixing it up. I think I put too much onion or too big of a jalepeno because it was super super spicey but still good.

Then I decided to put it on wholegrain tortilla scoops and put pico inside. It was delish and healthy!

For dinner I had this awesome Pecan Roasted Chicken. Super easy and healthy. I've made this before since I found it in the Biggest Loser cookbook.

I used:
-2 chicken breasts cut into slices (since we have a smaller family)
-1 egg white
-1 small bag of minces pecans

All you do is put the egg white in one bowl and the pecans in the other. You first dip the chicken in the egg whites and then press it in on one side of the chicken. You then stick that on a non-stick pan (I sprayed mine with sunflower oil). Pre-heat your oven to 350 and cook for 20 min and then add the cilantro for taste. Easy Peasy.

I also use Dijon Mustard as a dipping sauce and put a little salad or veggies with it.

Monday, January 2, 2012

NYE night

So for NYE night both Chase and I were sick with colds but we didn't want to be party poopers so we went out anyways. Jayda stayed the night at my parents house and took her to church the next day so we could sleep in. Chase had to work until about 9 but then we went over to some of our friends Bret and Sandi's house to play games. We played this game called Perpetual Commotion and it was pretty fun. We are all competetive so its always fun to play games with them.

Then after games we popped out the Martinellies (mormon beer) and watched the ball drop in NYC. Then we came home and popped a Nyquil and sleep in until 10:30am. Thank gosh!

We're party animals.

Bring on 2012! We best be preggo this year OR ELSE!

The Hubbs Turn

So this month it was Chase's turn to have a go at it. Currently at DRMC lies Chase's SA sample in a little chamber and he is hoping and praying they swim like little mini Michael Phelps. He was so nervous after we dropped it off because I think any man wants it to be a good number. It was one of the most awkward walks into the hospital to the lab that I've ever had and I've had quite a few of them. They said we should know in about a week but possibly before...just depends. So we'll hold our breath until then.

No he didn't pose for this. I took this on NYE without him knowing. Don't even ask why it looks like he is praying.
But through all of this Chase and I have grown so close to eachother. I'm not a very lovey dovey person so I don't talk about it often but I just love Chase so much. I feel like the love I feel is so much stronger than the day we got married. We've been through so much together and we have truely been blessed with so much. I can always count on him to make me feel better or even just let me cry and vent on those really bad days. He's my best friend.

But Chase and I have felt so blessed in the last two weeks. Chase made great money this week at work and it seems like we just keep getting blessed money wise left and right. My meds were covered by insurance. Then we found out that Chase's SA was 40% off if we paid money upfront. So instead of $150ish it was $80! Then *hopefully* my HSG will be covered by insurance...were still waiting to see if they actually did which saves us $600. Then our textbooks for school that we needed were cheap so we get to pocket all the extra money from our school grant which is a lot of money. So if we HAVE to do IUIs I think we will be just fine to do a few of them. Hopefully that won't be necessary though.

Maybe all this praying is actually starting to pay off.