The run-down

This will probably be an extremely boring post for those not undergoing any fertility treatment.  I have to admit until very recently I skipped over these types of posts because they seemed ridiculously detailed and, well, I’d get bored.  Similarly to the way I now skip over details of what an X month baby is doing and/or not doing on schedule these days.  Don’t feel like you have read this is you fall into that category. 

 

The Good:

–  They were able to remove three spots of endometriosis on my pelvic wall and three more spots on my left ovary using the laser (which is apparently not as good as the surgical knife but only has a 20% reoccurance rate and means I don’t have to come back for another surgery).

–  My tubes are still open with good pressure gradients.

–  I have good mucus and seem to ovulate on my own (will be confirmed tomorrow hopefully).

–  I have good levels of estrogen pre-peak and good progestrone levels in the first part of post-peak….(wait for it…)…

–  I have thyroid levels in the range of normal…(wait for it…)…

–  My husband has an extremely high percentage of normally shaped sperm…(wait for it…)…

 

The Bad:

–  My FSH/LH hormone ratios is reverse what they should be. (Does this imply crappy ovulation?)

–  My T3/Reverse T3 hormone ratio is also reverse what they should be, which from what I understand, is making my body act hypothyroid even though my levels aren’t individually within an abnormal range.

–  I go from the highest progesterone zone to the lowest progesterone zone in one day, which is more than a 50% drop and puts me as a Type III Luteal Phase Defect (and likely contributes to my massive PMS each cycle).

–  My right ovary has “polycystic tendencies” but Dr. H was “unimpressed” (maybe that should go into the good column…)

–  My husband’s sperm have a slightly lower than normal count and motility.

–  And probably most disconcerting, I have an unusual endometrial lining, what I believe he called “endometris stippling”.  Could be due to low-grade infection but I don’t have the compulsory tail-end brown bleeding that accompanies that, so…its a little different although once the biopsy comes back I’ll probably still be proscribed an antibiotic.  He seemed to be really excited to have a great picture of it to show his fellows though.  It looks white/pinkish and bumpy, although I can’t seem to find what a good endometrium looks like to compare it to.

 

So there didn’t seem to be any one, clear reason why we’re not conceiving, but a bunch of little factors that may be contributing.  He gave us a 50% – 75% of conceiving assuming my husband can take some supplements.  I was hoping for higher, but I’m not even sure how he came up with that number.  We have a few directions of where he wants us to go from here but I think I’ll save that for later.

Ok, so feel free to comment on this post so I don’t feel like a weirdo for putting all this out there.  Anyone ever heard of this stippling and how serious it is?

Oh yeah, and this being the 4th day after surgery I feel MUCH better.  Hopefully the rest of our 30 hr car ride out west will be tolerable…

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What I did this weekend

Was amazing.  Perfect weather, lots of family, and a great reason to celebrate.  And so fun I’m just now recovering! (no, not like that.)

Grad school is officially over.  And I have the pictures to prove it!

My favorite part was how so much of our family came in to help us celebrate.

These years have been hard for us.  Yes, they started out fun (we got married!) and we had a lot of great benefits by going through it together, but these past two years especially have been rough.  Anyone who knows me knows that I was thisclose to just calling it quits and moving off to Mexico last summer.  Sometimes I felt like I was doing a disservice to our marriage by coming back here part time to stick it out.  Not to mention all of the other fertility related pain in our lives and sometimes I think its a miracle that I did finish.  It felt nice to have a reason to celebrate!  Sometimes I really feel like I’ll never have another reason in this world to have a celebration  because there will never be a baby shower or baptism or Christmas at our house.  It was nice to have it affirmed that no, we still matter, even if all the people who came didn’t know all the gory details, at least a few did.

It meant the world to me that we have all these amazing people in our lives that cared to come out, sit through a hot Texas ceremony with us and celebrate with us in this very glamorous city (and believe me, I told them this too and I’m pretty sure its all on video!).

We are enough.  And we have reason to celebrate and things to be happy about.  Good reminders.

It is done!

Well almost, I still have to turn in minor revisions on my thesis.  But still!  I defended on Friday and passed and now? It. is. done.

So, thanks for all your support!  I was much more calm and peaceful than I thought possible.  Two days later, I’m still trying to calm down and have a feeling vacationing in Mexico is JUST what I need.  And only 4 more days of long distance marriage.

Here’s to all the hard work for the past 5 years and new beginnings!

We aren't photogenic, but this is one of the better photos of us from that day!

Celebrating outside with the flowers he “surprised” me with :)  The Dr. Matching Moonheads! 

Thanks be to God!

*Updated to say, I just realized my tongue is red in this picture from the chili mango candies from Mexico!  Ha!

Round-up #2

The IF Cross asked these questions a few days ago and I’m just now getting to it.  The point of her Round-ups is for us all to get to know each other a little better :)

I answer some of them below.  The reasons I can’t answer all of them are two-fold, 1) I don’t have an answer for all the questions, and 2) I don’t have a good enough memory to remember the answers.  I don’t remember a lot of things from my childhood (does that mean something bad?).

Ok, onto the answers!

Tell us about a childhood injury. I have several, since I was a very clumsy child.  I had learned how to climb higher in the neighbors tree from my older brother and my neighbor.  I was so excited to try it that I came home from swim practice and climbed all the way up there.  Unfortunately, I hadn’t learned how to get down, so I just jumped.  And I compound fractured my arm and dislocated my elbow.  Apparently my mom, well-versed in non-emergency screaming/crying children, was able to tell that I was seriously injured right away.  I want that talent when I’m a mom.

Name something you did as a child that your parents don’t know about. I ate a cupcake before we were supposed to on July 4th one year and let my parents think it was my little brother.  Mom, it was really me. 

Worst roommate you have ever had. Would definitely be the one that would hot-box our room on a routine basis and then have the nerve to get upset when we burnt the popcorn.  Umm, right. 

How many times have you changed your hair color? I got a little crazy with the sun-in in high school and then moving to a place with no sun-shine meant I had to fix it by dyeing it.  I would do this ‘cool thing’ (so I thought) and dye just the tips red or orange with henna.  The worst was when I had my little brother help me one time and it ended up being not the tips but half my head.  I ended up just slathering the rest of the henna just all over my head and I had uneven orange hair for winter pictures and honor band.  I haven’t touched hair dye (or sun-in) since.

What was your best Halloween costume? I was a turtle and used a laundry basket for my shell one year in high school.  I walked around really slowly and cracked myself up. 

What was your first car and what do you remember about it?I didn’t drive until I was 18 and didn’t get a car until I was 20.  It was my grandpa’s old car with a v6 engine.  I had only been driving for a year when I met my husband and one of his first memories of me is peeling out in the car after dropping him off after a bubble tea date.  I totally didn’t mean to, the gas was just really sensitive.  But apparently I looked really tough!

What was your first job? My sister and I ran a “Kiddie Kamp” for the local neighborhood children during 2 weeks in the summer, so that was the first time I made money.  Officially, I worked at a fireworks stand over the summer after 8th grade.  I had to check people’s ID to make sure they were 18 to buy fireworks, but I could be 14 and sell them.  How does that work?

Do you have a favorite TV show? I admit it, I’m a 16 and Pregnant/Teem Mom watcher.  And I have no shame in the game.  I honestly watch it because sometimes I need the reminder that while every child is a miracle, not all pregnancy situations are ideal and some are far from it. It is easy to start to idealize every pregnancy when you’re sub/infertile.  If you can watch that show and walk away thinking “Lucky, even those girls can get pregnant” I think there’s some serious tunnel vision going on.  Those girls are facing their own set of problems much, much different than mine.  I don’t, however, advocate for the reunion shows that start to push more sex-ed policies based on these girls experiences.   

Do you have any OCD tendencies that you feel comfortable sharing? Other than not putting wet towels or luggage on the bed, I’m pretty OCD free.  However, I have some great ones on my OCD husband.  I guess I’ll just keep those to myself :)

Ok, if anyone else wants to join, here are the questions!

Piled Higher and Deeper

That’s me right now.  Trying to get the final results so I can graduate.

Its also the name of Jorge Cham’s PhD comic series.  He was a graduate student that basically found a lot of success writing comics about grad school life and eventually giving basically stand up routines using the comics.  He came to our university last year and gave a talk on the Power of Procrastination and seriously, it was awesome. The man has brilliantly motivated many a graduate student by helping us realize that this whole experience is just part of it all.  My favorite was during the Q&A after he gave the talk and one girl asked him “So, like seriously, what do you do with your PhD. now?” (He graduated from Stanford in Mechanical Engineering).

“Umm, this.”

His point?  Pay attention to what your procrastinate on.  He wrote comics in grad school and look what he’s doing now.  It helped me sort a lot of life questions out for myself (though I don’t claim to be done).  We also gave him a couple ideas for comics we’re still waiting to see on his site…ha!  If you know a graduate student, I highly recommend gifting them a book!  (If they haven’t procrastinated away on the website already…)

Anyway, here are a few comics that I’m finding particularly entertaining now:

And if you didn’t laugh at those…well…this is probably why!

Wedding dress memory lane, anyone?

Betty Beguiles asked about wedding dresses the other day and I’ve been wanting to chime in but have been limited in my free time.  So here I am a little late but, better late than never.  So here’s my post about my wedding dress!  Which yes, was very special to me.

But first a quick digression.  I was flipping through digital wedding photos while a sample was running in lab.  I came across our wedding photographer’s blog post where she posted all our wedding pictures and a flood of emotions came over me.  Just seeing those pictures and remembering how I felt walking down that aisle and cutting that cake and seeing all our goofy smiles to prove it just made me tear up.  I look forward to the day when I get to see that man every day again, instead of little trips every few weeks before we separate again.  I haven’t written much about it, but this has been emotionally/mentally/physically challenging and I just can not wait for it to be over.  For us to be a normal couple again that commutes to a normal workplace 30 min. away instead of internationally.  I know it will be worth it in the long run, but until then it is not easy.  So I was looking at these pictures and silently tears started streaming down my face, tears of joy/nostalgia/tiredness and everything and who walks in but my boss. She hasn’t walked in like that in months.  Embarrassing.  I acted like I wasn’t crying (even though it was obvious) and I just answered her questions.  But her husband lives in China so maybe she understands.

Anyway, onto the dress.  I was never one of those girls who imagined my wedding dress.  In fact, I was one of those girls who screamed and kicked every time I was forced to wear a dress when I was younger.  For this reason, I was concerned about finding a dress that was ‘me’.  Of course, as soon as I saw it I knew it was perfect.  The one.  And well, for me, I think it was :)

It had little cap sleeves and a square/Queen Anne neckline and lace all over.  Lace was the only thing I knew I wanted.

"Model" shot my sister took of me while our photographer was taking someone else's picture. Hence fake smile.

But the open back is what really sold me.  It kind of looked like a heart.

The back is what sold me.

And another favorite part was my bustle.  French, as opposed to American I guess?  Either way, it was way cool.

The French bustle

Especially when I twirled!

Ok, enough bragging.  My dress was tight.  And so was my photographer.

It was funny though, because I tried to get a friend of mine of similar stature to use it later.  It was just so beautiful I wanted to share it!  She respectfully declined and I thought it was because she didn’t want a used dress, which I could understand.  However, it later came out that her mom didn’t think it was modest enough.  Ooops.  Oh well.

Her loss.  Ha!

You should post about your wedding dress too so I’m not the only late one :P

Why is negative inspiration stronger?

I’ve realized that I rarely write in my blog when I’m really happy.  It is not my impulse to write when I’m happy (although I occasionally do get it) but rather, just enjoy the moment of being happy.  Usually I finally get around to writing something after I’ve had a thought in my mind so long that won’t go away and I just need to work through it in order to 1) get it out so it will stop bothering me or 2) to figure out why I am feeling a certain way.  Negative or bothersome thoughts are the ones that make it out more easily, because I really want to stop thinking about them.  Happy, fun thoughts I want to keep around so I don’t have the same impulse to “get them out already” on my blog.  I realize this may skew my writings to make me seem more negative than I am in reality.  I’m really a pretty happy, goofy person!  I know that’s convincing if I have to tell you.  I’ve noticed that I’ve done this all my life in diaries too: write more when I’m upset.

Apparently, being unsettled is my muse.

Anyways, I know this will be hard to change, but I guess its good I recognize it.  I hate the idea of putting only negativity out into the internets and although that has been my tendency, especially as I work through issues relating to my sub-feritlity,  I’m going to try to balance it is a little better.

Starting with…more knitting projects!  I’ve made a couple more things I hope to have pictures up of soon.  And fortunately for me it was cold enough recently to actually wear them!

My marriage/faith/fertility time-line

I compiled this nice little time-line of my marriage/faith/fertility a while ago and never published it.  I guess I will now, just to share.  Its way more detailed in terms of life events than a treatment history but, maybe understanding where I’ve been will help you understand where I’m coming from and serve as a reference on this blog.  Enjoy learning more about me than you ever cared to!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

April 2012 – After being on progesterone shots and suppositories for 36 weeks, we gave birth to our healthy son, Samuel, at home!  God is good!

August 2011 – Get chastised for not taking my temp 4x’s a day to increase my T3 dosage (still at 7.5 mcgs – which is funny, considering someone once told me Dr. H won’t even look at temperatures?) Parlodel, both 2x a day.  HCG on peak +3, 5, 7 and whoops, ran out of it on day 9.  Order it for next month.  Did  my blood draw, took a pregnancy test on August 15th – peak + 12 and nothing.  Waited for the cramps to bring the flood but they didn’t.  August 21st – peak + 18 took another test.  Positive – we have conceived for the first time!  First full cycle after antibiotics + surgery combo!  Wow.

July 2011 – Finished up antibiotics.  Did HCG on peak +5,7, and 9.  Noticed increased irritability, anger, and strong emotional reactions, but luteal phase was 14 days.  Symptom review from Hilgers comes back and makes me a candidate for new thyroid study.  Started T3 on next CD1

June 2011 – Visit Omaha for a week to complete: laproscopy, selective HSG, endometrial cultures, and ultrasound series.  Some endometriosis is removed from pelvic lining and left ovary, tubes are open and with good pressure, and ovulation occurs on day after peak with 2.6 cm follicle.  Diagnosis of chronic endometritis of the uterus.  Culture results come back positive 2 weeks later and start 5 weeks of antibiotics.  I guess I’m in “treatment” now.

March 2011 – Perform and send in to Omaha a month long blood draw panel for thyroid and other hormone testing.

February 2011 – Finally send in new patient forms to Dr. Hilgers after finding out he’s covered by our insurance starting Jan.1st.  Increasing folic acid amount (from 400 to 1200mcgs), starting loaded veggie diet with (intentionally) limited meat and no low-fat dairy.

November 2010 – Miss a cycle for the first time in over a year due to distance from husband.  Wow, it feels good not to wonder if I’m pregnant.

October 2010 – Receive referral back from Hilgers.  My cycles are “functionally abnormal”.  Now what.  Stop taking magnesium, messes my stomach up too much.  Wait.

August 2010 – Send in our 2 months of charts to Dr. Hilgers and move to Mexico.  Per practitioner’s recommendation, now taking  magnesium and vitamin D3 in addition to B-vitamin, flaxseed oil, folic acid.  Tired of peeing bright yellow already.

July 2010 – HSG shows slightly tilted uterus with two open tubes.  Pain feels similar to my period and self-proclaim that I’m a hoss…maybe I got lucky or maybe those period cramps are pretty painful after all…

June 2010 – Meet the Creighton practitioner, begin classes and begin charting.

May 2010 – Appointment with doctor on day 28 of my cycle. Charges me $50 to tell me I’m not pregnant.  Blood test for Progesterone and CA-125 (indicator of endometriosis):  Progesterone comes back low (get period next day) and CA-125 is low too, indicating no endo? (not entirely conclusive).   Go back two weeks later for ultrasound of my follicles.   I guessed which follicle I thought was maturing based on pain and was wrong.  That’s not right.  Despite that, great follicle growth and post-coital test reveal all systems go on day12, 12 hours after the deed.  Email Sew (yes, she made my timeline) after reading about her history involving ovulation pain.  She strongly recommends Creighton (surprised?).  I sign up for classes that day. Decide to learn Creighton to see what the hype is about and to practice charting when we move to Mexico, because oh yeah, we’re moving to Mexico.

April 2010 – Husband receives grant in Mexico.  Actually toy with the idea of going.  Make a doctor’s appointment to see what’s up.

January 2010 (also) – Have a chance to talk to an NFP-only family practitioner at an NFP training course and she mentions that my ovulation pain (still present, some months much stronger than others) and irregular temperatures in the luteal phase may indicate a hormone issue that might be helped with certain vitamins.  I eat healthily but it’s a good place to start anyway.  Begin taking evening primose/flaxseed oil and continue with the Optivite (which I was also on due to PMS symptoms.  Also was already taking folic acid).

January 2010 – Famous misread pregnancy test incident (2nd I’d ever used – from a 2-pack). Think I’m pregnant and am delusion-ally happy for a full 20 min. before my period starts.  I had never understood those commercials that said 1 in 4 women misread pregnancy tests, but afterward understood how one could “will” themselves to see two lines.  Develop deep contempt of my 17 day luteal phases and pregnancy tests and upon husband’s advising, vow to never take another test again.

September 2009 – Husband applies for grant in Mexico for 2010 year while I’m in China.  Attend retreat and have unintentional spiritual guidance (is spiritual guidance ever intentional?) regarding starting our family.  Realize that now all of our personal reasons for postponing are non-existent, unfortunately for the study.  We know we need to change something.   Take a leap of faith and decide to leave the study after 8 months (which we were told would not affect the statistics) and stop using NFP to avoid.

Summer 2009 – Gnawing feeling that this study is not what we should be doing.  Talk about how having a child before graduation might actually be more flexible/speed-up graduation.  Discuss with husband and decide that we will not back out on our commitment for the year.

Spring 2009 – Begin to realize that reasons to postpone children should come from within rather than outside forces (read: a study).

February 2009 – Finish NFP certification process and begin teaching classes jointly.  With each passing month, will and reasons to postpone feel weaker.  Decide to enter an NFP study for  a year to recommit ourselves to postponing pregnancy for another year, since we do feel like a unique couple who would love children but would probably be best to wait (We did note that there is an option to leave the study if intentional).

November 2008 – After some prompting, begin the process to become NFP teachers.  Think “Who is going to listen to teachers who have only been married for a few months?!” (fortunately, this girl did) but quickly realize that before we have children is a great time to get trained, if anything to ease the load of the teachers with kids.

October 2008 – Get married.  We are both still 2 years from graduating and live far from family, so we decide that will use NFP to avoid pregnancy until I’m closer to graduation (he’s ahead of me – so we thought probably in 1-2 years).

January 2008 – He proposes, I say yes :)  We get stuck in an elevator for New Year’s/our engagement.  Go to mass at the L.A. cathedral the next day.

Summer 2007 – Curious about this NFP thing.  Order kit and start charting, just to see if it’s possible.  Surprised at the ease and fall in love with the data. Nerd.

Easter 2007 – Confirmed in the Catholic Church and the boyfriend’s whole family flies out for the big day and my parents/brother come too. Good times.

October 2006 – Went to doc for increasing pain around my abdomen around the middle of my cycle (later realize it’s probably ovulation pain, but something’s off – it really, really hurts for up to 4 days of my cycle).  Get one ultrasound done and am supposed to come back in two weeks to get the other.  Pain goes away and I don’t go back, to “save money”.  Stupid (grad) student.

Summer 2006 – Entered RCIA classes to “learn more”.  Famous last words :)  Also started strong acne medicine that requires you be on birth control.  Convince my doctor that I do not need birth control because I will not be having sex.  Hard sell, but she lets me sign a waiver (and the rights to sue her).

Spring 2006 – Learn about NFP (and call my now-husband crazy, as he is the first person I’ve met in my life who doesn’t want to use contraception in their marriage) and later, Catholicism. (much more detailed version of my conversion here)

January 2006 – Get off the pill on a whim, 2 months after meeting my boyfriend (now-husband) mostly to help us commit to a chaste relationship, a change for both of us.  Normal cycle returns soon after.

Fight, flight, and fertility – A little more personal

I’ve realized I may not have done the best job explaining exactly what I meant by “what makes me me” yesterday.  So if you didn’t read that, please do.  I attempt to clarify how I think that study relates to me here as well.

I can’t seem to access the full article now, but what I remember is that the study (referenced here again) looked at fertility of women over a year and found that higher levels of alpha-amylase, the enzyme that is released under acute stress, reduced fertility over a period of the first month, but over the course of a year of trying to conceive those values had no influence.  What’s interesting is that ‘infertility’ is defined as inability to conceive after a year, not just a few months.  It seems then that yes, this enzyme would be effective in delaying conception, but statistically not for what the medical community defines as infertility.  I wonder though, if someone is under extreme acute stress for an extended period of time (unlikely but still possible), would fertility be compromised?  The article didn’t address that.

Cortisol levels were also measured, which is more of a measurement of how your body is trying to sooth itself basically.  More cortisol would maybe mean that you have experienced a lot of stress and your body is trying to recuperate.  This study found that higher levels of cortisol actually related to higher fertility, which is totally confusing.  So short term, acute stress is bad, but long term stress seems to be good?  Mixed messages much?

In life in general, I don’t buy that stress is entirely bad.  Stress makes us do extraordinary things.  Perhaps I wouldn’t have worked as hard as I could on that project if I didn’t fear about turning in a bad version, maybe I would never have received that fellowship if I hadn’t “stressed” to get the application turned in on time, and we stressed to make the money/time commitments work to see our families when it otherwise wouldn’t have been possible.   Stress makes fathers provide for their families (how many young dads stress about finding jobs once they have children?) and it helps mothers feed their babies when they’re crying (which produces stress).

What I thought was interesting about the article is the difference between involuntary vs. voluntary stress.  Voluntary stress to me is more related to your situation:  having a stressful job, being in grad-school, being in financial/martial stress, etc.  Those are stresses that aren’t guaranteed to be constant forever and have the potential to change (although you made very well need to stay in those situations for the time being – this says nothing to the immediacy that they can be remedied) and are related to cortisol levels.  Involuntary stress is how your body naturally responds to stress, more along the lines of how we have designated “Type A” and “Type B” people.  There are people (like my husband) that it just takes forever to get them stressed out.  Then there’s me, where it seems like I have an automatic response button or as my dad puts it a “sense of urgency”.

This is why I think the part about the alpha-amylase enzyme via acute stress was what I was referring to yesterday.  It’s really interesting because your “fight or flight” mechanism really seems to be something that’s hard to control, its just automatic (hence, fight or flight). I know whenever I get in a conflict or tense situation (for example, when I am asked a Catholic theology question by my evangelical family member at a family gathering), or even right when I’m about to do any public speaking, my heart starts beating so fast, I get hot, and I feel like I’m either going to choke or throw-up.  I literally have to practice what I’m going to say until I have it memorized because my brain will cease to function from nervousness!  I have absolutely no control over that and its been with me my whole life.  Of course its debilitating in other ways (its really hard for me to give an improvised talk because of this) but I’ve learned what I need to do and considering I still have to give talks on a regular basis, I know I have improved.  But it will still never be ‘easy’ for me.

Seeing that that could be linked to not getting pregnant, well what’s a girl to do?  Beat myself up more?  These situations will always happen in my life, even if I limit them.  I know breathing exercises and centering my thoughts and focus through prayer has helped calm it down, but that heart beating thing in a sudden situation just happens anyway.  I’ve learned the best I can do when it happens is to just keep breathing and speak calmly.  It seems like you could limit a stressful lifestyle, but could you erase that immediate response mechanism?  This is what I mean by I am who I am.  It seems to me that some people are geared like that and others aren’t.  I look at my husband and he doesn’t even know what I’m describing when I tell him what happens to me!

But he has lived with me for 2 years and known me for the 2 years prior and has seen my natural responses and I guess knows me well enough to realize that this really isn’t something that I can just ‘turn off’.  And I love him for expressing to me that even if we never have kids because of it, he still loves me for it.

Anyways, I’m certain I can’t be the only sub/infertile blogger that has these issues…

Summary of 2010

I’ve felt no desire to blog lately, probably because I’ve been very happily enjoying the holidays with both of our families.  I thought a nice little 2010 summary would be in order, although as a rule I never do these things, it did seem like a good idea to reflect on this past year before I start another one.  I got this one from Kacie.  I’ll be back to blogging soon if I figure out something important to say!

1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?
Live in a foreign country with my husband.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I have a bad memory…I don’t think that I did, other than to take my vitamins everyday.  I did a decent job at it, once I found out how to take them all in an order that didn’t make me nauseous.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Too many friends to count.  But no family members.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
my grandma
5. What places did you visit?
california, toronto, new hampshire, mexico, oklahoma
6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
a PhD.  HA how’s that for surprising?!  I need to finish this phase of my life.
7. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Mother’s Day – my grandma died.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I proposed my thesis in April.  And I survived this year.  I’m happy with that.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Not keeping my mouth shut when I should have.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
No!  Thank the Lord.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Spanish classes.  Mucho dinero, but they helped us out a lot and gave us a smoother transition to Mexico.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My husband because he became the first Dr. Moonhead.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Ahh, careful waters here, but watching loved ones repeatedly choose materialism over marriage and family probably depresses me the most.  Its hard not to take offense when you really really believe in something and others just, don’t.
14. Where did most of your money go?
Mortage and spanish classes.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Moving to Mexico.
16. What song will always remind you of 2010?
Pa Panamericano.  Riding a little pesero in Mexico thinking, is this song for real?! And then coming back to the states and finding it an international sensation.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
Happier.  I’ve learned I’m stronger than I knew I could be.
b) thinner or fatter?
The same?  Despite operation increase BMI.  I need to work harder.
c) richer or poorer?
Poorer in money, richer in experiences :)
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Laugh.  Study Spanish.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Thinking my life was going to be over.  Worrying about what my adviser would think of me.
20. How did you spend Christmas?
In California with the in-laws.  My first Christmas away from my parents.
21. Did you fall in love in 2010?
With my husband, yes.  I don’t think falling in love is a one time thing.
22. What was your favorite TV program?
Profugas del Destino, a Mexican soap opera about, get this, 3 female inmates that escape prison, pose as nuns that died in a horrible car accident, and then all the drama they get themselves into.  Its too good to be true!
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
I don’t think I really hate anyone.    I have let go of a few grudges.
24. What was the best book you read?
I’m still reading it….St. Faustina.
25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Drake?  Ha.
26. What did you want and get?
Opportunity to move to Mexico.
27. What did you want and not get?
My adviser’s blessing to come to Mexico.
28. What was your favorite film of this year?
Finally saw Inception.  That was way better than the other few movies I saw (Predators and Tron….something else…)
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I was 26 and we drove to Galveston.  It rained but I got a massage  :)
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
ahhh, well.  I’m sure at this point its obvious.  I’d take a glimpse into the future, to see with my own eyes that everything works out.
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?
It would be, Don’t buy anymore clothes and try to wear everything that’s in the closet in new combinations or just get rid of it already.
32. What kept you sane?
Oohh…good question.  Honestly, what kept me sane was being apart from my husband during that time in the fall.  It was hard and I wouldn’t recommend it as a solution to all life’s problems – especially martial ones, but I had just gotten too wrapped up in trying to make a square peg fit a round hole and only in being apart was I able to see that and refocus on what is truly a non-negotiable in my life.
33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Next.
34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Immigration.
35. Who did you miss?
I miss who I used to be.  I miss being thrilled beyond belief when I heard about a pregnancy announcement.  I miss not being consumed with my own issues.   I know I’m ever growing into a new person, but still.  I miss that girl and her innocence.
36. Who was the best new person you met?
Best new person?  That’s a little vague.  I would have to say, it would probably be the other couples and women that I’ve “met” online and in real life that have given me valuable wisdom in dealing with in/subfertility.
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010.
So cliche, but – When God closes a door he opens a window.  Don’t stand starting at that closed door so long you can’t figure out how to get out.  That and that all I really need to do is get through today.
38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

You know me,
Oh you think you do you, you just don’t seem to see
I’ve been waiting all this time to be
Something I can’t define so let’s
Cause a scene
Clap our hands and stomp our feet or something
Yeah something
I’ve just got to get myself over me

The Format The First Single