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God has blessed me tremendously with an amazing husband, Doug, and two gorgeous little boys, Gavin and Joey. It has always been a dream of mine to have a large family but God may have other plans. I had a series of 6 consecutive early miscarriages when trying for baby #2. We are currently trying for baby #3 after our 7th miscarriage. I am faithful that God's plan is perfect, even when I am not happy about it. I love comments and meeting new followers so please don't be shy!

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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Who Are You Calling Fat?

Joey's loves showing off his squeezable physique. Happy Wordless Wednesday!
Which way to the beach?

Can I buy you a milk?

I not fat!  I'm big boned!

You are cropping my thighs out of this one, right?



 

Kayce Jones Designs: Giveaway

A few months back I posted about some of the many ways we can memorialize out little angels.  One of my favorites is still jewelry.  I like that with jewelry you can always have it close to you.  Like a wedding band becomes a part of you, so can these beautiful hand crafted pieces.

When I came across Kayce Jones Designs on facebook, I just loved her work.  She has so many products that can memorialize the babies we have lost, honor the ones that we have, or even remind us of hope we have for the future.

I ordered a ring from Kayce about a month ago and a very short time later, it arrived in the mail.  Since my blog really honors everything that I feel is important in my life, I decided to ask Kayce to put LLAOTWM on my ring.  When it arrived it was exactly as I had expected.  It is charming, attractive, yet understated.  She has graciously offered to make a 1" pendant like the one pictured to the right for one of you!  You can ask for whatever lettering you wish, as long as it fits!  She also has a variety of adorable charms, awareness ribbons, and birthstones to add to necklaces or charm bracelets.

The options are virtually endless.  The good news is that no matter your style, Kayce Jones Designs has something that will make you smile.  Psst... get your husbands for this.  It's okay.  I'll wait....  This jewelry would make a wonderful gift for any woman!  If you want to enter to win a 1 inch pendant use form below.  If you are ready to start shopping you can go to her page and tell her that Maria says,"Hi!" 


CLOSED!


Congratulations to Maria M. entry 6 chosen by Rafflecopter and Random.org.





Monday, August 29, 2011

God Will Provide

This weekend I finished my Red Clover project and was super excited about how easy it was, how fulfilling it was to feel like I was doing something as God wanted me to, and felt so close to God and nature.  I was so happy about my finished product, I started looking online to see if anyone out there was selling it.  Of course they were, but I could totally beat their prices!  So, it was official!  I was going to make as much of the tincture as I could and offer it for sale! 

Then, come Saturday night, Doug points out that it is very likely that the season for Red Clover could likely be coming to an end.  That we might not be able to make a lot but we could certainly start in the spring and make as much as we wanted then.  I was sort of disappointed since I was so excited about sharing this with those of you who were interested. 

Yesterday afternoon, I decided that I was going to go for a hike and find as much as I could so that I could at least make one batch to sell, and also have enough to hopefully get me through the winter as well.  I walked around outside hunting for clover blossoms.  I found a few here and a few there, but looking at them in the big virtually empty bowl was borderline depressing.  I searched and searched and could occassionally find one or two hiding under some taller grass.  I was sweating between infrequent cool breezes but determined that I would at least fill my bowl once even if it meant walking to the neighboring property and asking to pick their clover.  Then, as I was staring at the ground hoping for a splash of purple, I saw 3 or 4 blossoms right next to each other.  The only problem was that they were on the other side of the electric fence that I was not a big fan of handling.  But, there were several blossoms just out of my reach.  As I reached for the handle on the electric fence to disconnect it and carefully step over, I was amazed.

After 25 minutes of hunting for clover and yielding enough to make a tincture for a very fertile mouse, I noticed that the whole field ahead of me was full of Red Clover.  Seriously.  Completely full of very purple, very fluffy, Red Clover blossoms.  I almost cried when I saw this sight.  I could fill up my bowl 300 times if I had the patience (and a better back). 

I am not sure that I felt as close to God as I did yesterday.  I am so thankful that God provides us everything that we need!  As I gathered as much clover as I could fit into my bowl, I was thanking God.  I was amazed and hopeful.  I felt connected not only to God but the baby he will bless me with.  I just know that He is with me in this journey!

 

After I came in and told Doug about all of the clover, he went out and brought back two more bowls full!  And, tonight, he will be going out again to harvest some more!  Do you know what this means?!  This means that if you have any interest in buying some, I will have plenty on hand!  If you are itching to start it as soon as possible, drop me an email!  Otherwise, in the near future, I will be announcing the launch of my new herb website and blog.  I have decided that, while the herbs and the trying to conceive things overlap, not everyone is interested in both.  If you are, I hope very much to have you a part of both journeys! 


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Red Clover Tincture Update

A couple of weeks ago I posted about making my first tincture of Red Clover. A tincture is when you use a liquid, most commonly an alcohol and water mixture, to extract the healing qualities of an herb. I had read in the The Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year that Red Clover is the "single most useful herb for establishing fertility."





Since I am really just setting sail on this voyage with herbs, I will share with you the words of Susan Weed.  She explains:
It's high vitamin content is especially useful for the uterus; its high protein content aids the entire body; its profuse and exceedingly absorbable calcium and magnesium relax the nervous system and promote fertility.  Its high mineral content, including virtually every trace mineral needed by the glands, helps restore and balance hormonal functions.  In addition, red clover alkalinizes the body and and may balance the acid/alkaline level of the vagina and uterus in favor of conception. 


I was looking for natural alternatives to increase my fertility and this seems perfect!   So a few weeks ago I harvested the flowers and put them in alcohol to soak.  Since I had read initially that the jar should be kept in a dark place and shaken once daily that was my strategy at first.  Susan Weed stated that she didn't feel that it was necessary to shake the jar or even keep it in a dark place.  I compromised and kept it in a brown paper bag and shook it only when I thought about it which was a few times a week.

When I opened the jar, I smelled it to make sure nothing smelled spoiled or strange. It smelled like sweet alcohol.
I opened a piece of cheese cloth over a wide glass container and poured the contents carefully into the cloth.






After the majority of the liquid was in the container I picked up the cheese cloth and squeezed with all of my might to get any remaining liquid into the container.




 

Then, using a funnel, I poured the tincture into blue 2 ounce tincture bottles with dropper lids.





I was happy to see that one wide mouth pint jar filled to the top with the blossoms and then alcohol yielded almost 10 ounces of Red Clover tincture!






Starting last night, I am taking 2-3 dropperfuls in hot water 3 times a day.  The taste is actually very plain, maybe a little sweet and non-offensive.  I may experiment by putting into peppermint tea at some point but right now plain hot water is just fine.   











 
Thursday, August 25, 2011

Baby Making

Everyone knows what it is that we need to do in order to become pregnant.  But, when "baby making" becomes a priority instead of a pastime, there are a few other techniques that you may become familiar with. 

The Sprint
This happens when we get the positive ovulation test.  For whatever reason, we feel like because there is a smiley face on a stick, that we have to get busy.  Now.  No time for dinner.  No time for hello.  The door opens and the bedroom door closes in a matter of seconds. "Honeeeyy.  I'm- Ahhh"



The Handy Man
We all know that after a few months without a pregnancy we start pulling out all the stops.  Out comes the pillow to prop up our hips so the swimmers go the right way.  The supplements, tricks and tools are all laid out strategically on the night stand and in the surrounding areas.  Everything is ... well... handy!  


The Pretty Woman
It is inevitable.  An illness will strike at the most inopportune times.  But, breathing is really not all that important, is it?  The baby making is still a go but there will be no kissing on the lips. Who said a snotty sniffle and a sneeze or two can't be foreplay?



The Mime
This applies to anyone who is trying to add to their family while not waking the baby.  Trying to make a baby with a baby in the next room causes even the most passionate of lovers to put a lid on it.  "Shhhhhh.  Did you hear that?"  Hand gestures are as wild as this show is going to get.


Have you found yourself with a lesser known baby making technique?  I invite you to share!  

Disclaimer- Pictures are not drawn to scale. Ha Ha Ha! 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Ways to Take Welcome Womb

If you are one of the lucky ladies who have managed to choke down Welcome Womb then you know that there is nothing yummy about it.  In fact, most who have let the Welcome Womb pass their lips have either gagged, dry heaved, or spoken words that they may only speak again in childbirth.  So, after yet another request for ideas on how to ingest the herbs, I was inspired to turn my answers into a post.  


My most successful cocktail is brewing a cup of peppermint tea as strongly as I could.  By "strongly brewed", I mean I left the teabag in for about 10 minutes.  I then put a couple of teaspoons of honey in and then, while being very careful to not smell the Welcome Womb, I added it to the brew.  I would stir it up and make sure that the tea was cool enough that I could essentially chug it.  That was by far the best way for me. 




For the times that I didn't feel like having tea or didn't have time to make it, I made friends with juices.  The more flavorful the juice the better.  Plain apple juice or grape juice didn't work for me.  It would just make the whole glass of juice taste like the Welcome Womb.  I found that thicker juices like a V8 Fusion or something that also had some vegetables in it seemed to mask the flavor more.  When I used juice I would put the the WW in the glass first then pour no more than a swallow or two of the juice into the glass.  Then... One, Two, Three... Down the Hatch.  I would then pour just a little bit more juice into the glass and chase it.  Although, it might be better to have a different glass with the chaser so that the chaser doesn't smell like or have any hint of the herbs.  


 

I did try it a few times in coffee with flavored creamer so if you are still drinking coffee or a cup a decaf this is also an option.  It did a pretty good job of hiding the flavor enough that I could drink it.  But, like the tea, I would make sure the coffee isn't too hot.  The faster you can drink it the better.  So if you like to savor and enjoy your coffee, don't ruin it with the Welcome Womb.  




If you have used Welcome Womb and have come up with any other methods of taking the herbs, I encourage you to share your tips and tricks in the comments section!  If anyone has any other questions that aren't covered here or in my Welcome Womb Experience post, feel free to drop me an email!  Or if you just want to chat, I would love to hear from you!








Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A New Vaccuum-WW

I bought a new sweeper this week, and first, had a little fun with the stickers. 

I learned that while I was looking for great suction I didn't mean that I wanted it to tear up my favorite Ohio State Buckeye's door mat.   It seriously grabbed that thick thread and ate it up like it was Lady and The Tramp stood her up!  I had to stand with both feet on that mat while attempting to reach around with the arm not trying to restrain the sweeper and push on the foot petal to turn it off.  I managed it but will never use that sweeper on anything that is not bolted down to the floor. 


If you are a fan of seek and find games this one's for you.  Find (2) Child Sized Socks, (1) Farm Animal Pig.


Monday, August 22, 2011

I'm Honored!

A few weeks ago, my dear friend Arpita @ Up, Down, & Natural gave me this wonderful Kreativ Blogger Award.  Several months ago Arpita featured and article I wrote for Infertility Awareness Week.  Some months later, our paths crossed again and I have truly felt blessed for having an opportunity to meet her.  She is such a sweet woman with a heart of gold.  She will make a great mother someday very soon, I'm sure of it.

I am now supposed to share 7 things about myself.  This could be really fun!



1.  People who are not aware of their surroundings drive me CRAZY.  Like, how some people can be in the aisle of a grocery store with their cart parked just far enough in the center that no one can pass on either side without clipping their cart.  How can they not see that they should a) pull their cart to the side and b)notice that there are 3 people toe tapping while you take 3 minutes pick which can of kidney beans you are going to get.



2. I live on a farm in the middle of nowhere.  It makes for spectacular views and we always know if we have unexpected visitors.








3.  We have two adorable dogs that don't get near enough attention on my blog.  My dog is Chino, a Chocolate Lab, and Doug's dog is Zen, some sort of lab mix.  We still have no idea what he is mixed with but he is a neat dog.  Chino was in an accident about 5 years ago where he was run over by a Ford F-150 pick up truck and one of his legs was shattered.  I was so devastated.  After a visit with a surgeon in the next biggest city, he offered me two options.  Fixing the leg which was going to cost an astronomical amount of money or have him put down.  I couldn't put down my one year old four legged friend.  So, Chino has a metal rod, four screws, and eight wires in his bionic leg.  It was a long road of recovery but I wouldn't have changed it for the world.




4.  My grandmother, who I haven't talked about in a long time, will be 99 years old in two months.  99 years old!  That is so exciting.  But, I have posted before that I am always afraid that the last time I saw her will be the last time I saw her.  I always told her that I wanted her to know my children and I am so glad that the two I have do know her.  Her passing is going to be very hard on me and I have no idea of how it will affect Gavin.




5.  My husband proposed to me, down on one knee, in a chicken coop.  I went to his house (up the lane from where I lived) and saw him going into the barn with some animal feed.  I went in his house to grab a basket for the eggs that I collected every day when I came home from work.  As soon as I opened the door to the chicken coop I saw a big plastic egg in one of the nests.  I tried to act casual and not run and grab it as I suspected a ring was inside.  Instead I picked up a few other eggs to put into the basket.  When Doug showed up in the doorway of the coop, I asked him about the plastic egg.  I opened it up and found the ring box inside.  Doug proceeded to get down on one knee and ask me to marry him.  After saying yes quickly and doing a little happy dance, I told Doug to get off the floor of the coop.  It was kinda gross down there.

6.  I would love to have twins someday.  Mostly because I want a large family and what a better way to have a large family than to have babies two at a time!

7.  I am hoping to hear from the RE's office soon regarding Doug's analysis that I worked so hard to drop off last week.  Also, on Saturday morning I went to the lab to have blood work done to test my hormone levels.  I am really curious what the results are going to be.

And now to pass it along to 10 other bloggers!

Three Cats and a Baby
This Is More Personal
iNeed A Playdate 
Inconceivable! Journey of a Living Heart
the misadventures of missohkay
Infertile Myrtle 
Love, Audrey
Adventures in Infertility-land
The Broken Birds & Bees
Putting On A Smile




P.S. For those blogs I chose, don't feel obliged to pass this along! I mostly just wanted you to know I enjoy reading your blog and hope others will too! If you do decide to participate, great! I look forward to learning those 7 things about you and the blogs you choose!
Saturday, August 20, 2011

Gladrags: Review and Giveaway

 
Until about 2 years ago I didn't think that anyone really used cloth diapers on babies. If they did, I wouldn't have any idea where to get them. As it turns out, tons of people use cloth every day! I became one of them. I use cloth diapers part time with Joey and love that I am never without a diaper. I never run out. I never have any emergency runs to the store to buy any. Then, it dawned on me. Why would I let my baby make a mess on cloth, wash it, reuse it and love it and not do the same for myself.

Each month that I am not pregnant, I find myself spending another 10 dollars on various feminine pads or tampons. I didn't have to be a genius to do the math that I was spending 120 dollars a year on more smelly garbage. Not only does that garbage smell, I am helping to fill up a landfill with gross trash. Plus, who really knows how many different chemicals they use to enhance the absorbency, deodorize, and wick away the moisture. And we are putting those chemicals right up against our skin or, in the case of tampons... well, you know where those go! Don't we want to be a little more cautious when it comes to our future children's first home and their likely exit plan? 


I was thrilled to be able to try Gladrags reusable pads! I was sent a box of three pads that each come with two inserts. The first thing that I noticed was how soft the all organic cotton pad was. I read the instructions thinking that my period would be starting at anytime and I should probably "prep" them. All I needed to do was wash them (only once) before the initial use. I was totally expecting to have to wash them 3 or more times like I had to do with the new cloth diapers for Joey.  On day one of my cycle I put two inserts into the GladRag, snapped it around my underwear and off I went with my day.  I intentionally did things that I thought would be a bit more challenging like playing on the floor with Joey, sitting "Indian style", and stepping over the baby gate. 

I did need to do a little bit of adjusting to make sure it was positioned well and not slipping to one side or the other, but I am sure that with a bit more practice this wouldn't be an ongoing concern.  It does feel different than my usual extra thin disposable pads but not different in a bad way.  I actually don't miss feeling that plastic-y feeling right next to my skin.  After a few hours, I changed the pad.  I was happy to see that I had not soaked through even the first insert.  So, for the next one, I only used one insert.  It was much more comfortable with just one.  I washed the used pad immediately in cold water and there was only minimal staining.  For me, I think that I might need to try their overnight size pads for my heavier days. While I really like the concept, comfort and chemical free approach, I think I need a bit more length to the pad. 

  Used and washed! Can you tell? 
Not sure you are ready to commit?  I also think that GladRags will be ideal for the days when you are expecting your period to show up at any time but don't want to walk around in a pad for a day or two awaiting her arrival.  I also think that those of us who have spotting or really light days that seem wasteful to use a whole pad for a spot or two, GladRags will be perfect!   I also think that they would be an excellent accessory for those of you who are pregnant or plan to be.  I know that in my pregnancies I had a couple of things going on that I would have loved to have a comfortable cloth pad for.  The first is the increase in vaginal discharges.  Many women have a hard time with vaginal infections in pregnancy because if the increase in moisture.  An all cotton cloth pad would do a great job in keeping things dry and less prone to infections!  The second issue is a bit more embarrassing.  At the end of my pregnancy with both boys, even more so with Joey, I had a bit of... well.. a tinkle problem.  If I sneezed or coughed I would pee just a little.  So embarrassing!! Even for a few months after Joey was born I had the same problem until I managed to strengthen my muscles again.  I wish I would have had GladRags as a back-up plan!  I went through so many really unused disposable pads in those months just trying to avoid an awkward situation.

Give GladRags a try too!  Be sure to enter the giveaway below and win a box of 3 daytime pads (each with 2 liners) a $44.49 value!!!  
 


Also, The Natural Fertility Shop has pages and pages of items that you might be interested in including vitamins, herbs, books and more!  Be sure to stop in and browse around! 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Just Trashy!

I can't help but snicker every time I see a craft idea that claims that it is "green", "recycling, " or "re-purposing" something.  These projects can be fun for kids and inexpensive because you can use things on hand. They can also be a great way to keep kids busy for a while so that you can sneak in a cup of coffee and read a celebrity gossip magazine. But, let's get honest. These projects are just prolonging the inevitable certain end of the items' life.

Regardless of how involved the craft the project is, you are just decorating trash that will look like sparkly, cute trash with eyeballs and arms. Then, after playing with, proudly displaying it, or gifting it to someone, it still is nothing more than decorated trash. The difference is that now there is a guilt trip glued to it. If you throw away the craft project, you are throwing away your child's hard work. The kid probably wouldn't miss it but how would you live with yourself just pitching the margarine tub donned with glitter, the paper plate puppet with button eyes, or brown bag lunch bag that has been fashioned into a candy dish.

I think this is how hoarding started. I watch that show when I need to get inspired to clean my house. Not that my house is ever anything close to a hoarder's house but there is something very motivating about seeing a filthy, disgusting, rat infested house on TV that makes me want to do some dishes, mop the floors, and fold some laundry. I encourage you to watch an episode of Hoarders.  Listen to the homeowners and how they describe why the don't throw things away. So many times it is because, "It might be good for something." or "I am going to make something out of that." I can totally see how a well intentioned mom wants to save everything for a re-purposing craft since, well, everything can be fun with some glue and glitter so they start collecting... EVERYTHING!! I mean, really! One day it will make a really cute pencil holder, paper weight, or other trinket.

So I propose this... instead of trying to decorate our garbage, lets just throw it out. One less glitter decorated something-or-other thrown away now is just as good as a glitter decorated do-dads snuck into the trash can while your kid is using the bathroom. I am not bashing fun projects for kids, but lets not encourage our kids to save all things worthy of meeting the trash compactor by telling them that we are saving the environment by gluing beads, yarn, and other odds and ends to trash. They will still end up in a landfill, but now there will be more stuck to it than a banana peel from lunch.






Wednesday, August 17, 2011

UsMoms HPT and OPK Review and Giveaway!!!

Few things make me as happy as pregnancy tests! The runner up is ovulation tests! So when I was given the opportunity to review and wait for it... wait for it... giveaway ovulation and pregnancy tests, you would have thought that I had been looking at the winning lottery ticket! Sometimes, it is the little things! UsMoms has been more than wonderful when it comes to customer service. All of my emails have been responded to promptly, all of my questions answered, and all with sincerity. They really care about their customers and making sure they are happy! I was sent a variety of ovulation tests to use this cycle and share my experiences. Not that I am bashful about everyone knowing that I am a test-a-holic, but it was nice that my yellow envelope of tests showed up very discretely. Since I usually order my tests in large batches, it will be nice to know that the postman isn't going to think that there must be 12 women hiding in my basement all trying to get pregnant.

Since my ovulation is usually pretty predictable (CD 13 or 14) I had stopped charting. But, for the purposes of reviewing these tests I dusted off my thermometer and put it back in it's former home on my nightstand. I was sent several types of OPKs to experiment with including the test strip, the midstream, and the cassette variety. They were all easy to use with very detailed instructions and easy to determine results. My favorite was the test strips since I am one to pee in the cup to test anyway and it was just more my "style" if one can claim a pee stick style.
It was so easy to tell when it was positive! In fact, my chart corroborated this nice positive test with a temp rise the following morning! And just for fun, this is another brand (name brand) opk used in the same urine at the exact same time. The UsMoms ovulation test is so much easier to read!
After being most certain on my ovulation date, I buckled up for my two week wait. Well... not really. I have never been able to wait two weeks before I test. First of all, my luteal phase since having Joey has never been more than 12 days. Second, if I make it to 8 days past ovulation (DPO) before I pee in a cup, that is an accomplishment. Plus, UsMoms send me an "Earliest Pregnancy Test" that reads 10mlU/ml. I couldn't wait to give that a try! At 9 DPO (4-5 days before my expected period) I used the Earliest Pregnancy Test. While I certainly was hoping for an nice squinter or something, alas... 'twas not meant to be. Then I tried again on 10 dpo with an Early Pregnancy Test. Nope. Maybe something on 11 dpo? Sigh.

The good news is this. The pregnancy tests from UsMoms didn't make me go through the roller coaster of hope due to the "maybe there" mystery shadow lines that other "internet" test strips seem to do. It was negative. It stayed negative. Even after hours of sitting around it was still completely negative. This is a slide show of about 20 photos taken periodically starting with as soon as I took the test, a few waiting for it to dry, some at the time limit for reading the test, and then a couple way after the time limit and one from hours after the time limit. Notice that there is never a squinter, shadow line, or evaporation line. Even after hours of sitting on the counter! If you want to stop on a picture to examine it better you can hover over it and it will pause the show.

I am not joking when I say that these are my new favorite internet tests! It was so nice to have a clear answer. No guessing. No running to the store to buy an expensive test to verify that the test was in fact just playing games with my mind. I recommend these tests to anyone who is trying to conceive especially if you like to test early and often! They are inexpensive and reliable!

*Disclaimer* I was sent the tests at no cost. I am not being compensated for this post. All of my opinions are 100% my own. I really like these tests!


If you would like to buy some tests, visit UsMoms and start shopping now!

If you would like to win a gift package of 25 ovulation test strips, 10 pregnancy test strips, and 2 FSH tests compliments of UsMoms, enter below!!!


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Adventures in Secondary Infertility

As a result of my last appointment with Dr. M., my reproductive endocrinologist, Doug was asked to have a semen analysis. I was looking forward to knowing where we stood in regard to his "swimmers". So I urged Doug to schedule his appointment and drop off since collection could be done at home. Well... He did make the appointment. I was requested (by him) to do the drop off. It was today. This is how it went.

I had the kids packed up and ready to go since I knew it was important that I get the sample to the office by the appointment time. Let me say that I was less than thrilled that I had to tote the kids along with me on this adventure but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. The boys and I were hanging out by the door waiting for Doug to take care of his end of things so that we could make a break for it.

While we waited, Gavin asked, "Where are we going Mommy?"

"Uhh... We are going to see a doctor for a couple of minutes," I explained.

"Oh! Is he going to show me all of the tools he uses to make you better like they did when you went to the dentist?" he wanted to know.

"No, sweetie. This isn't a dentist. Actually, I don't need to see the doctor. We are just taking something to him." I tried to end the conversations. I should have known better. Gavin would never be satisfied without feeling like he knew everything.

"What are we taking to him?" he asked.

I thought about my answer with a silent and inward grin. I couldn't tell him "Daddy's little swimmers" since I am sure he would want to look at them and well... that is just not something I was interested in showing to him. So, I decided to just tell him, "We are just dropping of a package to him."

"OH! A package!" I was relieved until he said, "Mom? What is in the package?"

This was an excellent opportunity for me to tell Gavin to put on his shoes and ask him if he wanted a lemonade on the way home. He was so excited about the lemonade that I finally felt I had dodged that bullet.

A few minutes later, Doug appears on the first floor with cup in hand. I am an adult. Really. But there is something really funny about seeing your husband with a cup of semen in his hand. Funny and just a little bit gross.

I tuck the cup into my shirt to keep it warm and pick up Joey and head out the door. It is at about this moment that I realize that I feel like I am carrying some sort of time sensitive bomb. I am in a hurry and acutely aware that I have something strapped to my body. I had the cup in a bag and was starting to regret that decision since sweaty, sticky plastic stuck to my belly was far from comfortable. I intentionally didn't turn on the air conditioning since the point of me wearing this cup in my shirt was to keep it warm, it seemed silly to me to have cold air blowing on me although I really needed it. I was sweaty, nervous and anxious. I think because of that drive this morning, I now know what drug smugglers feel like when they are crossing the border.

I manage to arrive right on time. I get Joey into an umbrella stroller, get Gavin to walk next to me, and manage to hold my purse so that the giant cup protruding from my shirt isn't as obvious as it feels. I walk as quickly as I can into the building. The finish line is now in sight!

I climb into an elevator with an adorable old couple who I am pretty sure were going to the cardiologist on the same floor as Dr. M's office. I may have given them a heart attack had they known I was carrying my husbands sperm in my shirt. At least they wouldn't have had to go far. The door to Dr. M's office is just steps away. I then remember the other reason that I didn't want to go on this, shall we say, "mission," with the kids. I am about to walk into an infertility clinic with a 3 year old and a one year old. I feel like there is something insensitive about this whole situation. As Gavin opens the door for me and the stroller, I hold my breath. I am hoping to see an empty waiting area. Nope. Full. As in only 3 chairs available. Me, the stoller and Gavin take up all of the existing space in the room. All eyes on me.

The window slides open. "Last name?"

I answer.

"Oh! Do you have something for us?"

"I do."

Awkward pause with smiles and my eyes darting back and forth as if to see if the coast was clear. It wasn't. Everyone knew exactly what I was doing. The receptionist smiled and told me, "Don't worry. They have all done it too!"

I laugh awkwardly and reach under my shirt and handed her the bag with the sample inside. The girl sitting about 2 feet from me smiled reassuringly and chimes in, "I just did that an hour ago."

I felt better that the sticky sweaty plastic bag with the goods was officially not my responsibility anymore. But now, I had to fill out some paperwork. Both sides of the room are lined with women and couples waiting patiently. As I am hurriedly filling out Doug's information, Gavin keeps asking at a clearly audible tone, "Did you deliver the package, Mom? Did we deliver the package? Did we give them the package?" I am trying to quietly answer him, while focusing on the paperwork and trying to tune out the snickers and giggles from all around me. I feel my face warming as I blush.

I finish the paperwork, hand it to the lady on the other side of the window, and can't get out of there fast enough. Of course, the wheels of the stroller are stuck sideways so I am fumbling around trying to get out of the door. I am not fast enough. Gavin asks one last time while still in the walk in closet sized waiting room, "Mom! Did you already give Dr. M. the package? I want to see what is in it!"

The door closes. I can only imagine their faces on the other side of that door. I laughed out loud at myself and the whole situation.

"Why are you laughing mom?"

"I am just thinking about how much you are going to enjoy your lemonade, honey."

"Oh! I love lemonade!"

Doug owes me big time. Huge!


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