Served On A Silver Platter

Happy 2014! Merry new resolutions and half-ass attempts at healthiness to you all. I for one have not really made any resolutions because they are made to be broken. I just can’t do that to myself this year, it’s exhausting. On the the other hand I have plenty of crafting projects, home upgrades, family events, a back log of recipe testing and last but not least the deepest most pertinent desire to have a little one running around this house! While I have many diversions and tasks to keep my mind from drifting off into the sea of sadness and “why has no one picked us??” thoughts; I am fueled to wholly focus on what needs to be done to become a mom.

Leading up to the fantastic moment I get to become a member of the mommy club and spend my life catering to another beings every need and wish…I decided it’s going to be all about me for awhile. Yes that’s right I’m just gonna do things for me, cook things for me, read things for me, buy things for me and serve everything to myself on a silver platter…literally.

After this last year of waiting to adopt and the pain and the losses and the depressing-ass-shit that all went down we decided (my husband and I) that we have nothing to lose in trying to conceive through IVF. This is a bit of a 180 from exactly one year ago when I was so certain, so very sure that adoption was THE WAY to start our family. I have always felt like we are meant to adopt, that not getting pregnant naturally was a sign. I still feel that it WILL happen but it just won’t happen in the way I romanticized it in my head. I’ve had my reality check. So we are doing this thing backwards, a reverse order of steps that most people take I suppose. We are not putting our adoption plan on hold but we are concurrently doing IVF and waiting to adopt at the same time.

This is how my first cycle of IVF meds came delivered with a cooler pack for the HCG and Gonal-F Injections
This is how my first cycle of IVF meds came delivered with a cooler pack for the HCG and Gonal-F Injections

It’s all happened pretty quickly once we decided IVF was a go. We got our financials lined up to do a multi-cycle plan. Basically we will have the option of up to 2 fresh and frozen embryo transfers that we paid for up front to get what I would sum up as bulk discount. We decided it was wise to plan on multi-cycles since my doctor will only be implanting one embryo at at time due to a condition I have called unicornuate uterus. With this condition I have half the size of a normal one. Carrying one child is already high risk, having twins is not an option and therefore implanting only one embryo. This is combined with my husband’s 1% normal morphology issue and my PCOS…all contributing to the ineffectiveness of natural conception.

IVF meds 002

The week leading up to my trial embryo transfer, sonogram and consent form signing I was completely freaking out. I had started birth control which they use to take control of the hormones. My first day of the pill was the day I flew home from California after Christmas, the 27th. The nurse has instructed me to continue taking it until the 6th of January which is today, woohoo. Of course for me, birth control drops my estrogen levels and is a sure-fire way to a migraine. I endured a 3 day hell in which I had a hormonal migraine and had gotten a flu/cold from my family while visiting. Nothing like your head pounding to make you second guess everything you had set out to do. That was a fun pity party and no I was not excited about starting IVF. I was just plain terrified.

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Then I joined a group of women through my fertility med website. http://www.freedomfertility.com There are forums and monthly “cycle buddies” so I can talk with other women going through the same thing as me at the same time. Several of these women have already done multiple cycles and some it’s their first like me. I can not say how thankful I am to have these women, total strangers, to bring me out of my cloud of negativity. They shower each other with wishes for “lots of baby dust”, they are hopeful like me, nervous like me and having lots of emotions like me. It’s so easy to think things are only happening to you when going through such a difficult time. It’s so easy to believe absolutely no one understands what you are going through and you are alone in this crazy, isolating journey while the whole world is happy and couples make babies just looking at each other. It’s so much easier to just not try, I’ve thought, because trying and failing over and over again will break me into a unglueable amount of pieces. These women are doing it though, THEY are trying and they are EXCITED! I’m trying to be excited with them and to let myself believe that this WILL work. We hope for the best and plan for the worst, it’s excitement tempered by self-doubt.

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And so here are all these drugs and needles before me, staring me down. I will serve them up to myself on a silver platter because during this time I want nothing but the best. I want everything around me to be aesthetically pleasing, to be a stress-free zone, a zen sanctuary. I will take them and be thankful that we have a chance to try and try our best. Bring on the 4 times a day stabbings in my stomach, the steroids, the catheters, IV’s and probes. I’ve made up my mind and I’m doing it, despite my intermittent terror. No one dare tell me they know it will all be fine and all work out because the truth is it might not be fine and it might not work out and for a lot of people it doesn’t. It’s life and it’s reality. People just can never think of anything else to say. The point is for me that I’ll give it all I’ve got and there is nothing else that can be done.

Cake and Babies

CAKE!!!!!!….CAKE!!!!!…..MORE CAKE!!!!!

MacKenzie turned 1 and we had a super fun beach party for her on a very windy yet sunny Saturday afternoon. Chris and I had flown in the night before and it was the first event of the 12 day trip back home to Monterey. I felt the party to be such a momentous occasion since Mac is the first baby in my immediate family and now that we live all the way across the country these kind of family gatherings just mean a lot more in general. When we first drove out to Cannery Row to help set up around noon the wind was making me cranky and I thought Kimberly had lost her mind having a party on the beach for a 1-year-old. Once we got things set up and the wind died down I got a little less judgy and just went with it. I can be a real uptight jerk when I can’t control the elements. So I removed the pole from my butt about an hour or so into it and actually admired all the work and planning my little sister had put into her baby’s first birthday. I was impressed…minus the melted cake and cupcakes…

Fish shaped cupcakes
These were way cuter before they semi melted in the car, ackk! They still tasted awesome though. Kimberly made vanilla and chocolate because you can never go wrong with the classics. She arranged each individual fish cupcake into a school of fish in a giant shape of a fish (does that make sense?)
cake and cupcake casualities
The transportation of meltable goods was not so brilliant for the event. Leaving the icing to melt in the car while setting up tables makes for sad cakes. The octopus is still smiling though, poor guy!
MacKenzie's Octopus Birthday Cake
See what I mean? His tentacles started to melt off…it was the cutest cake ever too before it got all jacked up. The designer is a friend of Kimberly’s named Luz and let me tell you she is exceedingly talented. I so wish I could have photographed the pristine version of this cake.
MacKenzie with her Daddy
No she’s not having any fun at all! Hahaha
Octopus Dip
What a clever idea! Kimberly made hummus and used a bell pepper to make an octopus.
The Beach Party Setting
Not a bad location eh? What my dad is sneakily doing in the background I have no idea, plotting to take of the universe I think!
MacKenzie goes for a walk
MacKenzie just started walking about a month ago. It’s so crazy how much different she is since I last saw her only a couple months before.
She has her eyes on that pigeon.
Big Girl Chair
I feel like she is about to demand a beer or something. Definitely a classy baby. What do you think the caption for the photo should be?
MacKenzie's Great Grandma arrived
This was such a cool moment. My grandmother, who’s 90th birthday we would be celebrating the next day, has arrived and all the kids are running over to greet her! She is a great grandma now 6 times over and they all call her GG Ma. It’s pretty darn cute.
Mac Surrounded by Presents
Spoiled much!? Well, duh!
Ryan and Nancy
My cousin Ryan the Rocket Scientist…yes he really is and that is how I always refer to him now. I told him his status as a rocket scientist has both dwarfed all of our accomplishments and yet elevated the coolness status of all the rest of us in the family just because we are related to him. He will soon be moving to New York so hopefully I will get to see more of the guy and brag to random strangers about my cousin the rocket scientist. My Aunt Nancy (on the right) is exceedingly happy he made it to the party. He took the train up from Santa Monica just for the day. That’s like 8 hours of traveling for Mac’s birthday. He’s pretty cool even if he wasn’t a rocket scientist!
The fam bam
Good times, good conversation. I imagine my brother is telling Ryan right about now about his new truck and his sick new gps system thingy….he was talking about his truck a lot that day. Thanks Cameron, we know you got a new truck, cool, happy for you….
Oh what funny skin you have GG Ma!
Birthday Princess Throne
Mac is set upon her princess throne and commences royal cake devouring
Cake Smash
just getting started, think it tastes good but not sure yet
Are you sure this is allowed?
“Are you sure this allowed mommy?” Hahaha, face full of cake
East some more cake
Yes it does taste good.I think I’ll have some more, please and thank you.
Sugar High
…..and the sugar high commences! “Arggghh, this is the stuff!”
save some for us
Thank God she saved some cake for us. Look at that deliciousness!
Tutu time
After the cake Mac put on her new tutu over her bathing suit. She is real fashionista that one. She had so many gifts she didn’t know what to play with first!

Chris and I gifted her the book Madeleine, which I remember loving when I was a little girl. Mac already loves books, the cardboard kind anyway. I think she’s gonna be a reader! Among many other talented things. It was a fun day! After the party us adults needed a drink and so Chris, my brother, sister , my cousin the rocket scientist and my bestie Ashley all went over to Baja Cantina for dinner and Margaritas. Whew! The next day I woke up with a headache for my grandma’s 90th birthday, oopsie! So that and the following 11 days I will tell you about in future posts! Wishing you all good cake and happy babies!

My Beautiful Baby Niece: MacKenzie is Almost 1-year-old!

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Macaroni takes a bath

I’d like to take a moment and introduce you to the first baby on my side of the family: MacKenzie Marie. She is my little sister Kimberly’s baby and she is going to be 1-year-old very soon: August 9th to be exact! Almost a year since I was in the room helping to deliver her into the world. Almost a year since her big head scared my sister half to death, haha! Almost a year since I held her for the first time with great trepidation as she stared into my eyes in awe.

It’s still very strange to me that my sister has a baby, like woah. When did any of us become adults ready to have children? I still remember making mud pies and pine needle forts like it was yesterday. I still get a kick out of the memory making Kimberly sick twirling her around on the tire swing. Now here she is pushing a stroller and dressing her little girl up in her baby doll outfits. I guess it’s like being kids all over again in a lot of ways.

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Baby Bunny Mackers in the Woods
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Maczie really likes bunnies!
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Mischievous MacKenzie
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Frilly Foo Foo Mac-A-Doo
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Smiley Mac Smilerson
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The High Flyin MacDoodle and Papa Geoff
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Mackabee and Mommabee
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Mac Blue Eyes
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Mackers Goes On a Photoshoot
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MacKenzie Marie, how lovely can you be?
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Macdizzle’s duck face
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Miss Mac Goes to the Monterey Aquarium
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Goofy Auntie Kendra and Princess Prima MacKerina Ballerina on Halloween
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Mac Attack, you’ve been baby dialed

This one makes me smile so much. She loves to hold the phone when I FaceTime with her. She often hangs up on me or has her thumb over the camera but everything she does is pretty funny and cute!

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Her momma teaches her “Why stop and smell the flowers when you can eat them?!”
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Moppy Mackeroo
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Surprised or hypnotized?

Is she seriously not the most expressive baby you have ever seen? Those eye brows kill me.

My sister is a photographer in the Monterey Bay/Northern California area. You can visit her website to see more of her work at www.cypressphotogallery.com

She specializes in Fashion Editorial since we also own a women’s boutique selling mainly special occasion dresses. Kimberly has a natural talent for style and fashion and she does the majority of the photography for the store.

Since she’s a mommy she has developed a beautiful portfolio with other babies as well and shot family portraits, pin-up portraits as well as bridal and wedding events.

You can also view the website and/or follow the blog for our cute little sassy store, Girl-Lee Boutique, which my sister also maintains: www.girl-lee.com