Now there’s a balloon in my uterus.

I know you all are just dying to know about that measly old troll from my uterus. Well, I had surgery a few days ago and this is what we found:

Troll- Dora

Oh no, wait. That’s the grumpy old troll from Dora. That chick is flippin every where in this house.

I’m not going to show you the real pictures of my uterine troll because that would be weird. And gross. And really weird. Instead I’ll just tell you what they saw.

*If you all have been following my story, you know that I went in for a diagnostic/operative hysteroscopy. Basically they dilated me and shoved a camera up there to see all that there was to see in the holy land.  If they found something they had to removed or needed to repair, they were going to do so. Check out the link above to read how we got here so far, and about my journey through recurrent pregnancy loss*

So after a comfortable 4 hour wait where I couldn’t eat or drink anything (and hadn’t since midnight before, and J didn’t eat in front of me because he’s awesome like that/I would have probably jumped him) we finally went back for surgery. But then we waited another hour or two until I *actually* went back to surgery. In between that time the rookie anesthesiologist just about made me faint from trying to insert my IV. Great start.

Finally they give me my cocktail for a med induced nap, and I’m out before I really recognize that I’m in the OR. About 45 minutes later (or so they say) I was in recovery. Easy-peasy.

Well, not so much. I really, truly thought that this surgery would be like my D&C. They’d go in there, grab what they needed to, be out and I would have virtually no pain. Not-uh, not this time. I woke up feeling like I was in LABOR. I had such bad cramps and the meds they were sticking in my IV were not working. On top of that, my doctor couldn’t get upstairs to talk to me because the Prez himself decided he needed a doctor’s appointment or something because the whole place when on lockdown.

Finally the meds kick in and I’m transferred to discharge. Its another hour or so before the doctor comes up to speak with me about what they found and what they did in there.

J had told me when I was in recovery that the doctor called and said what they had seen in the ultrasound a couple weeks prior was scar tissue. We are assuming its from m D&C because I’ve never had any other surgery that far north. The doctor explained that  they had snipped the tissue and inserted a balloon in there to keep the tissue from reforming where it was before. I go back in a week to have the balloon removed. In the meantime I am on ibuprofen for the pain, as well as Estradiol for the next 30 days to help the healing process.  Eventually I will start taking progesterone and then Provera to help jumpstart my first cycle after surgery. J and I were instructed to wait one full cycle before we start trying again.

I am conflicted in my feelings about the outcome of this surgery. Of course our biggest worry when the doctor said he found an “unidentifiable mass” was  cancer. So its pretty good that its not that. But I also kind of wanted to it be *something* that was maybe causing the miscarriages. As J put it, we wanted a scaepgoat for why all this was happening. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. Since the scar tissue probably came from my D&C, it obviously cannot be the reason for the three previous miscarriages. ALL of my labs, and J’s chromosomes, came back normal (except for my MTHFR which they said really isn’t a reason for concern since I only have one mutated copy). So right now, we are deemed as having “unexplained secondary infertility.” At this point we are told to “keep trying.” We have a 50/50 chance of having a successful next pregnancy until miscarriage #6. At that time, the odds go down but I’m not sure how far. I didn’t want to ask.

I feel like we are kind of back to square one. I feel like the surgery wasn’t totally necessary but I’m glad we are taking the steps we need to to make things go smoothly the next time, whenever that may be. As always, the waiting game is the hardest. Its hard to wait until I’m off these meds. Its hard to wait one FULL cycle to start trying. It all sucks, especially when E was so easy.

At least I’m documenting all the work we are doing to give E a sibling so that when/if he/she arrives, they can automatically feel guilty about taking so long.

I kid. Kind of.

PS- Thanks to my awesome parents to helping us with E these past couple days . Recovery would have sucked with out you! And of course, thanks to my amaaaaazing husband for being my biggest shoulder to lean on through all of this. From the days when I’ve been crazy with worry to the nights I have cried myself to sleep, you have been there with chocolate and hugs on hand. I love you!

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I need to file a missing person’s report.

If you read my post a couple days ago, you’d know that E and I have been traveling. It was a short flight so that was nice, but traveling just takes alot out of a person. Especially a small person who doesn’t have her own seat on the airplane.

E has been a cranky tired mess since we got home. She has pretty much cried non-stop. I’m guessing this is because she doesn’t have a constant playmate anymore like she did when we were visiting her cousins. Another reason why she really needs a sibling.

But now we are back to “real life.” Life after the chaos of experiencing multiple children in a household. I am back to the normal every day stresses of our home stuff, like WHERE THE F IS MY PERIOD?!

Yes, that is my main concern right now. Not my new day school in which I will have several little munchkins nipping at my heels three days a week. And not going back to school. And not this race I have in a month. Nope. Its totally and completely my damn Aunt Flo.

Aunt Flo

Except she’s missing. Stupid. 

Seriously, this chick is a skank. She never tells me when she’s coming, she’s ALWAYS late, and she hurts me like Chris Brown would if Rhianna was a uterus (too soon? Whoops). Its been 6 week post-D&C and I’ve been waiting. And waiting. And waiting for this chick to show. The stupid thing is I’ve been waking up almost every day saying, “Today’s the day!” like its my freaking wedding day (uterus style), but alas, she is still missing.

And the cops just laugh at me when I ask to file a missing person’s report on my period. Jerks.

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Its not that I miss the cramps, bloating, and feeling like someone is stabbing me in my stomach. And I know J doesn’t miss the awesome moods she puts me in. But its that I have to sit here and wait for longer and longer to do any testing or to even *think* about TTC again until she rears her ugly little head.

Like I said- skank.

But, as one mom put it, all my issues with infertility have done *some* good. For one, I’m sharing my story with others. Also, I have been able to throw myself into things I’ve wanted to do for a long time but have put off because of baby making/not really baby making like fitness, starting my own business, and going back to school. So even though Aunt Flo is awful at RSVPing, at least she’s giving me a chance to cool my jets and focus on some good things for our family.

Oh, and uh, we’re planting trees today. Not like, “Oh let’s save the Earth and plant some trees,” type trees. We’re planting trees so we don’t have to look at people in our neighborhood. More like, “Get out of my face trees.” But they are apple, pear, and cherry trees so at least they will be bearing some fruit. Unlike someone else in this household (achem, myself…)

So I guess we’ve got alot going on. But its fun right now. And after a week of seeing life with 3 kids (really 4), I think I need to take a break from the idea of having more than one child. That was traumatizing.

Enjoy your weekend, ya’ll.

 

Dependasaurus

So the other day I was perusing through Facebook and I came across this article on Military Spouse Magazine. At first I was like, “Heck yea! Way to stomp on those milspouse stereotypes!” But as she continued though the article, a few things struck me: 1. That the author, Erin Whitehead, didn’t think those stereotypes should exist at all; 2. That a spouse’s general character and appearance doesn’t affect the service member; and 3. The term “dependasaurus.”

Now, I may be the minority here but I think stereotypes exist for a reason: enough people in a given population exhibit particular characteristics that allow others to generalize certain things about that group. In fact, Military Spouse Magazine posted this article today in response to the original article saying that “rip the Band-Aid of [those] stereotypes the hell off.” I don’t actually agree with this. There are certain milspouses, both men and women, who do exhibit these stereotypes. THAT’S WHY THEY EXIST. So I don’t think the problem is the stereotype itself. Obviously enough people have exhibited these traits that those outside (and inside) the milspouse community are able to say, “ALL military spouses are: fat, lazy, unmotivated, marry for the money, pop out a million kids….you fill in the blank. I think the problem is that we, as a milspouse community, are giving people reason to stereotype us in the first place.

Now, I’m not saying that we need to wake up with our hair done, makeup perfect, and in a dress and heels. I’m not saying we should have 2.5 kids each, work outside the home, workout every day, and handle everything perfectly when our husband steps on that plane or ship to leave us for months at a time. I’m not saying that every milspouse everywhere has to change her life to be the perfect image of a “wife,” whatever that may be, to battle those outsiders (or insiders) who think we are a bunch of freeloaders throwing Thirty-One parties and drinking wine on our husband’s dime while our kids are at the base CDC. No, no, and no.

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Image courtesy of sodahead.com

I do, however, believe that as a milspouse, you do incur certain responsibilities that spouses of accountants or marketing project managers or whatever don’t have to deal with. Yes, you are a representation of your service member spouse. Maybe it’s because we do so many “regular” things on base, like grocery shopping and LIVING that our spouses are always “at work.” And/or maybe it’s because so much of the military career is focused on the family in that each command is asked to take a personal interest in their service member’s family issues. I mean, seriously, what other job out there does the boss “counsel” you if you are having issues in your home? In what other career does your spouse’s boss get a report on his desk if the police are called to your home? So no, I don’t agree with Ms. Whitehead that our appearance doesn’t reflect on our husbands.

But before you go all Nancy Kerrigan on me, understand this- I’m not talking about physical appearance like weight as in the article. I’m talking about showing up to a unit function in sweatpants looking like you just rolled out of bed. Hey, we all have bad days, I get it. Ive gone to the commissary looking like sh*t because my daughter didn’t sleep and my husband is deployed. Or just because I didn’t feel like getting myself together. But when you show up to something like a family day or pre-deployment brief looking like you don’t care and cussing a storm at your kids, the command is going to look at that as a reflection of your husband. Again, I’m not saying you need to dress to the damn nines, but put on some jeans for goodness sake.

Now, I’ve been a milspouse for about 5 years. My SIL has been a milspouse for ten years. I have met countless other milspouses over this time. Some have kids, some don’t. Some work outside the home, some work from home (I count stay-at-home parents in this category!), some don’t work. Some are officer spouses, some are enlisted. Some workout every day, some don’t work out ever. Some eat all organic, some eat out all the time. Some become extra motivated when their husbands are deployed, some just want to sit and do nothing until he comes home. Every.single.spouse I have met is different than the next one. Her life (I’ve never met a male milspouse) is complicated, fun, scary, and amazing. But I know every single one of them like they are my sisters because I am one of them.

But this…this boiled my nerves.

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Image courtesy (I don’t think that’s quite the right word) of Marine Wife Burn Book Guide: How Not to Be a Dependasaurus. There is seriously a Facebook page for this crap?

I heard the term “Dependasaurus” for the first time in Ms. Whitehead’s article. According to urbandictionary.com, a dependasaurus is defined as:

A gossipy, loud mouthed, jobless woman who is a dependent of her unhappily married husband. They often target unsuspecting military members to be their paycheck, I mean husband. Once they have married them, they immediatly take credit for all things that their spouse has accomplished. “We’ve been in the military for blank years..”, “We’ll be promoted next month”, “We’ve been to Iraq twice.” They enjoy driving their minivans or company car around with their husband’s position title on the windshield because they command the same respect that their husbands get. You can find them congregrated at Pampered Chef parties, where they feed off the hostess, I mean food that the hostess prepares.. The Dependasaurus is much like a cackling hen, always sitting on their ever growing ass, talking about anyone and everyones business, while their husband stays late at work so he doesn’t have to come home to another McDinner nite, cuz the wife he bought 5 years earlier has morphed into a waste of carbon who’s let herself go, doesn’t do anything but spend his money, neglect his kids, sit on her ass all day and uses the common excuse of not knowing how to cook to avoid making some kind of nutritious meal for the family. Dependasauruses come in all shapes, colors, and sizes, the majority of them are large beasts, however a growing number of them are starting out smaller. No matter how small they are before they get married, this is just a clever ploy to attract dumb shallow men, and Dependasauruses always quickly return to their natural form of unattractiveness and selfishness. Key identification features of the Dependasaurus include: gold necklace with their name in Arabic with a cotton t-shirts paired with jean shorts a Coach purse and a blue tooth or cell phone attached to their ear, 5 starving children clothed in rags from Ross or any other thrift store trailing behind her, they have an inability of controlling the volume of their voice when talking about money or medical issues so that Us little people can hear them. Dependasauruses usually travel in large packs, I mean clicks of other Dependasauruses.

Seriously? We, military spouses, came up with a term like this FOR EACH OTHER? Excuse my language (or don’t) but what the hell is that bullshit? Dudes, I get it- there are women out there that marry for the benefits, that go all limp when their husbands leave, that wear their husband’s rank, or that commit adultery. But I wouldn’t call that person a “dependasaurus” or as one of my readers recently heard it “a dependaho.” No, I’d just call that A SHITTY PERSON.

I know that these types spouses exist, because they exist everywhere and not just in the military. But contrary to (apparently) popular belief, most milspouses are highly motivated and driven women who not only love their husbands and children (all 5 of them hanging off the cart, obvi) but they also love their country enough to have a polygamist marriage with *enter branch here.*

But like I said, I know stereotypes exist for a reason. But as a community, why are we pointing fingers at those few, and yes I mean few, spouses that make us all look bad? Why are we giving a name to that group? All it does is bring attention to those bad apples in our classic American apple pie and promotes the stereotypes that we all loathe. Seriously, cover that crap up with whipped cream and get over it. Those dependasauruses aren’t worth the name you give to them.

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Image courtesy of Google Images

And let’s try to remember that maybe, justttt maybe, that chick you see walking though the PX in her husband’s pt gear with her screaming toddler in the cart and crying baby on her hip isn’t a dependasuarus. Maybe her kids are crying because she won’t give them that toy and she’s actually sticking to her guns instead if giving in. Maybe she was on the phone all night with her husband’s command because he is being transported to Germany, then Walter Reed “if all goes ok.” Maybe she’s just had a flipping bad day. So instead of judging her, be a REAL milspouse and buy her a damn coffee. Or tell her you’ve been there. Or just give her a smile of encouragement. Because every person has a life you know nothing about, but as a fellow milspouse, you’ve probably been in her shoes a time or two. So be kind, and knock it off with this dependasuarus crap.

WE BOUGHT A ZOO!

Ok no, we didn’t buy a zoo. But I think of that movie every time I tell someone we just bought a house. And sometimes it feels like a zoo here. Things are crazy and chaotic, and out of the ONE MONTH we have been here we have spent exactly ONE WHOLE DAY in the house without leaving once to go to some store or run some errand. Oh, and there are animals. Lots of animals. Deer, turtles, beavers, rabbits, snakes, spiders, squirrels, and CICADAS. Those freaking things are so loud that there is a constant humming all day. But you don’t really notice it after awhile so its ok.

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TURTLE!

In all serious honesty, that’s why I haven’t been here to post at, like, all. I have barely had time to check Facebook. I have missed writing though, so while my husband is busting his tail making a cabinet for me, I am sitting here on my new recliner typing away. Plus, I want to brag about our new house.

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Here’s a little backstory to get you started: We are now living on the East Coast. We live in what some might call “the boonies.” It’s six miles to the closest gas station and/or grocery store, we have a constant buzz of cicadas outside our door, and we have well water, a septic system, and NO INTERNET. That’s right people. Even Verizon was like, “Uh, we can’t get a line out that way so you have to get a mobile hotspot.” Thank God on high for technology because this house may have gone right back up on the market if there was no internet here. Just kidding. No, but seriously.

Anyways, we sit atop 4.4 acres of land, some woods and lots to mow. So we now have a riding lawn mower. And so does everyone else in our neighborhood. In fact, its so country out here that the other day while J and I were refinishing our rocking chairs (kind of country), our neighbor drove by on her John Deere pulling her daughter in a trailer behind it (super country). Yep, boonies. And we love it.

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Of course with a new house comes a learning process for all things inside of it and outside of it. We had to figure out phones and internet because nothing works out here (5+ hours at Verizon and we finally got it worked out). We had to learn how our water system worked and how to get that gross egg smell out of our well-water. We had to learn where the best place to put things was going to be and what our new routine was going to be. But most importantly, we had to decorate.

Ok, so maybe that is what is most important to me. And perhaps you’re sitting there thinking, “Oh wow, decorating a new house must be so much fun! Lucky her!” WRONG. Wrong wrong wrong. If you’re a MilSpouse and you’re thinking that then you’ve been at your current duty station way too long, so pull out your moving boxes sister. Heck, on the drive across country I was thinking about how much fun it would be shopping and picking out new stuff. But its not. Its stressful and frustrating and flipping expensive. Those first days after our stuff was all unpacked I was so worked up about where to put what, what colors to use in each room, and how much it would all cost that it was keeping me up at night. Its all I thought about and I wanted to get it done NOW. 

All in all, the first few weeks sucked. More for J than for me because the grass was about waist high and he had to cut it all. It literally took him a week straight just to get the yard somewhat maintained. He got bitten by so many bugs his whole body looked swollen. It was hot, sticky, humid, and gross out. He did this all while having deck builders at our house for two weeks and with us running around from every store in the state trying to find the items we needed whether it be for the yard or for the inside of the house.

We are finally getting to the point in our house-setting-up process where its starting to slow down. We have completed most of our big outdoor projects (see pics below! Yay!) and we have decided on how we are going to decorate the inside of the house. We are just about done with our first major indoor project- the mudroom- and we have started planning out the ones which are the laundry room and the office.

I have put some pictures below of our before and after of the projects we have done so far. I will be posting pictures as the projects come along. For now, here are some pictures from our road-trip as promised.

Road-Trip Across Country. Sans Baby = Awesome

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Moving day. So sad.

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This is really how E got across country. 

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First stop- Utah! Maybe. I don’t remember.

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Colorado was flipping cold. Good thing I was prepared with the proper footwear. P looks pretty regal though.

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Visiting family in Oklahoma!

That’s the last of the roadtrip pictures because after Oklahoma we just booked it back to my parents house to get back to E. Not that it mattered to her; she didn’t even know we were gone!

HOUSE PROJECTS

Deck Project

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Before. No deck. Boo.

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New deck! YAY!

Front Yard Maintanence

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Notice the overgrown grass, huge leaning trees, and unkempt bushes. Gross!

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Trees gone, grass cut, hedges trimmed!

Soon to come- our new driveway and indoor projects! That is if my child ever takes a decent nap. I will also be talking about tips for moving out, moving in, and getting DIY projects done with kid(s) in tow.

PS- Be sure to check out my weekly meal plans….they’re back! WITH NOTES. You’re welcome.

Good news: no one died on our cross-country trip.

I’m not going to lie- I thought about it. Especially in Utah where there was no Starbucks at ALL because there was like a million miles between exits. But we survived. And so did the surrounding motorists. Winning.

This was not the first time J and I drove across country. Ohhhh no, this was the third. AND WE ARE STILL MARRIED. Amazing, I know. The first time we drove across, we took a northern route from Virginia to Washington and then down to Southern California. The second time, we took the typical I-40 route through the south. This time, however, we went straight across the middle through Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma (to visit family), and then back on to the I-4o through Arkansas, Tennessee, and then Virginia.

It took us about 4.5 days to drive the whole thing. We stopped in Oklahoma for a day and a half, too. You’re probably thinking we are crazy for driving that fast through but we had sent E with my mom so we wanted to get back to her as fast as possible. Which ended up being pointless because I don’t think she even noticed we were gone. Perfect.

I did, however, do what any famous and awesome blogger would do in a situation such as this- I thought of a bunch of awesome tips for a road trip that probably a thousand other people thought of but I’m going to undoubtedly think I’m the only person EVER to think of these things.

I know all you really care about are pictures from our trip. But I haven’t uploaded onto the computer yet because I’m still stuck in between paper and boxes and more paper and more boxes. I’ll put them up soon…ish. If you still care, read the tips below.

  • Have kids younger than 5? Don’t bring them. I know this isn’t an option for everyone but if you can work it out, send your offspring to the relative closest to your destination. Maybe I sound cold-hearted but you will thank me during those long stretches of no-mans-land when your three year old just wants OUTTTTTT for five minutes but there is no exit for 52 miles. We sent E with my mom and I bawled for the first hour after we dropped them off at the airport and I was super anxious the entire trip, but J and I got to actually have some what comfortable trip (ie, sleep) and spend some time together not talking about the baby. It was like a long date night. Perfect.
  • Don’t overpack the car. I know you’re probably like…duh…but its easy to say, “Well, let’s just bring this. And this. And this would be good too.” But if you cover every square inch besides your seats with stuff, you’re more likely to kill each other because you will be uncomfortable as all get out. Leave spaces for your feet, make sure you can recline (another reason to ditch the kids), and try and keep the important things like food and phones in arms reach.
  • Have a dog? Bring soft treats and a yoga mat. If your dog is anything like ours, he/she/they won’t each much during the trip because the are nervous. They are like kids though, so they always seem to be able to munch down a treat or twelve. My suggestion is to bring soft ones, like these, because they don’t put a million tiny crumbs all over your back seat that you find 8 years later. The other thing we found to be awesome for this trip was a yoga mat. We have leather seats and every time Pendleton would sit in the back I would cringe with the thought of her nails digging into seats. Blankets don’t work because they slide. So, being the genius that he is, J discovered I forgot to give the packers my yoga mat and put it on the back seat to hold the blankets. Worked like a charm. We could have bought one of those dog blankets for the car, but you know, we’re cheap.
  • Take pictures OF EACH OTHER. Despite this being our third road trip together, we are still really bad at taking pictures of each other. We probably have thousands of scenery but honestly, who cares about that stuff? A few of the general area are nice but no one is going to remember/care if that tree was in Colorado or Kansas or your backyard. So take pictures of each other at the different stops and in the pretty scenery.
  • Have a to-go bag. When you PCS, you have to remember that you may get to your destination before your boxes do. That means you have to be prepared with clothes and toiletries for the road trip AND up to a week after you arrive. If you’re like me, that means almost your whole wardrobe which means a big heavy bag. However, if you are stopping at hotels at night, you’re not going to want to dig out and bring that big ass bag inside with you every night. So pack a t0-go bag- a bag with a few outfit changes, travel toiletries, and a bathing suit. Why a bathing suit? Indoor pools people. Especially if you are sans kids. They are wonderful after a long day in the car.
  • Everything has a place. This was the end-all-be-all for our trip. When you’re spending day after day in the car, its easy to lose track of where you put the camera, your phone, the extra set of keys, etc. So designate a place for every thing. Even if its going into a purse or bag, make sure it goes in the same place every.single.time. Believe me, it will save you from a lot of “WHERE DID YOU PUT IT?! DID YOU LEAVE IT INSIDE THE MCDONALDS BATHROOM?! Oh no, here it is…” type arguments.

Road trips can be really fun or they can really suck. It just depends on you make of it. Make sure everyone is comfortable, everyone is FED (hungry people are cranky), and don’t get to stuck on a time line (unless your orders depend on it!). Taking your time and being comfortable will make everyone feel better about being in such close quarters together.

Right now, we are at our destination and in our new house. Our goods have already arrived and the house is unpacked. Nothing is in place yet, but its all out of boxes. J has been working fervently on the yard while I’ve been honing it out on the inside. I’ll have pictures for you of our road trip, some tips for packing and unpacking, and pictures of the new house (yay!) soon. We do, however, live in the boondocks so we are JUST getting internet and I barely have time to write right now. But I’m really excited about all the work we are doing (and the shopping!) so stay tuned!

If you are making a PCS drive soon, good luck. The drive ends, I promise. Please feel free to post any tips/tricks you may have for long road trips below!

To Honor the Fallen

It has been a hard week for the United States Marine Corps. We have lost ten service members while they were stateside. Seven were killed in a training accident involving a mortar, and three were killed in a murder-suicide.

There is not much I can say to relate to the friends and families that have lost their dear loved ones. I have not experienced anything remotely close to what they are experiencing. I am terribly saddened for them.

The news of these Marines’ deaths brings back the feelings I had when I heard of helicopter accident in Yuma, Arizona last year. We lost 7 men that night, and all I could think about was the families who were receiving those CACO Marines at their door thinking, “No, you have the wrong house. He’s home. It can’t be him.”

I think most military spouses feel the same way I do when I hear about the death of a service member- although you may not know the family, you feel an odd closeness to them. You feel as if you know them. You want to cry with them, hug them, and let you know you are there to support them because you know it could be you in their shoes. You literally buckle at the knees at the thought of hearing the gunshots and song at their military funeral. You hurt for them because you are just like them.

However, in reading the news about the recent tragedies the USMC has experienced over the last week, it dawned on me that even though this is a horrible tragedy, why aren’t we giving equal recognition to those service members that are dying overseas? When the war started TEN YEARS AGO it was news when service members were killed. Nowadays, however, you only hear more if you live in the local area of a KIA. On a national level, you may hear that x number of service members were killed, but then they move on to Lindsey Lohan’s latest DUI.

I guess that’s the way of the world though. Unless you are military or have a loved one in the military, these losses aren’t nearly as important as other trending news. It’s not right, and I don’t think it does justice to any of the service members who signed their name on that dotted line or their families.

I can’t change what the news puts out there. But I can do something to honor the fallen, even if it is through my little blog that only a few people see. I have decided that each Monday I will scour the news for the names of those killed in action or reported as POWs for that past week, and list them on my blog. It’s not much, but it’s my way of honoring those who sacrificed it all. Maybe, hopefully, one day I won’t have anyone’s names to write.

To Honor the Fallen

March 18, 2013- Hawthorne, Nevada

Aaron Ripperda, 26, USMC

Lance Cpl. Josh Taylor, 21, USMC

Robert Muchnick, 23, USMC

Pfc. Josh Martino, 19, USMC

Lance Cpl. William Tyler Wild, IV, 21, USMC

Lance Cpl. David Fenn, 20, USMC

Lance Cpl. Mason Vanderwork, 21, USMC

March 22, 2013- Quantico, VA

Cpl. Jacob Wooley, 23, USMC

Lance Cpl. Sara Castromata, 19, USMC

Sgt. Eusebio Lopez, 25, USMC

March 21, 2013- Afghanistan

Sgt. 1st Class James Floyd Grissom, 31, US Special Forces

Please leave a comment to honor the fallen. Any comments that are disrespectful will be removed at my discrestion. Please email me at barefootandboots at gmail dot com if I have missed a fallen service member for the week, or if you would like me to add a service member that was KIA or POW previously. Thank you.

I think my husband found a new calling.

And that would be as a realtor.

We have been house hunting for about a week now and J has been busting his butt trying to find us the perfect home. Checking Redfin and Zillow, looking at mortgage rates and loan companies, and researching areas, drive-times, the closest Starbucks (ok, that was my job), and a ton of other stuff I’m not really sure about because 1. it all sounds like jibberish, and 2. E.

In all seriousness, he has been working super hard for the past week and I’m really proud of him. Astonished might be the better word. Not because I didn’t think he’d do such a great job, but because he’s going above and beyond to make sure our family is covered and protected, and in a house/area that is great for us. He’s an awesome husband.

Even through all the jibberish and E suddenly learning how to make her body go limp when I’m trying to walk her over to change her diaper, I have learned a TON through this whole house-hunting and buying process so far. I went into this venture thinking that it would be fairly easy to find a home we loved. I thought I’d walk into a house and think to myself, “This is it.” I thought my husband and I would agree on everything. NOPE, NOPE, and HA.

But what I have learned is that things are complicated. Not just the terms, not just the math and finances, but emotionally. There are people on both sides of the process, and I think you forget that when you’re in the midst of looking at homes. You see the house but not the people selling it. You don’t know why they are selling the home and what that means to them. You walk through their house and see their pictures, their clothes, their dirty dishes in the sink, etc and you realize that people LIVE here. They have laughed, cried, fought, hugged, and given their little brothers noogies here. It personifies the home and this whole process in a way I didn’t expect. It’s kind of…bittersweet.

But let’s get to the person that really runs this show: E. Anyone who has a baby, toddler, child, teenager, or sometimes (but let’s hope not) grown adult sucking the life out of your wallet knows that traveling away from home can be difficult. Luckily through all of this, E has been pretty good. Sleep hasn’t been fantastic (she’s waking up at night for quite awhile and is crying when we lay her down), but I figure that comes with being a relatively new environment. She is getting along fabulously with my parents who have very graciously watched her while we have spent 6-8 billion hours out looking at houses each day. And we were worried about how E would handle us being away from us and with people she doesn’t see too often (ok, I was worried) but she surprised us all.

When we traveled to my parents house over Christmas E was NOT having it with anyone. She was all

KOBYRA0117 KOBYRA0116

whenever anyone looked at her.

And now she’s all like

20130312_172155 20130316_173310

and saying, “nooooo” when I try to take her from Nana or Gramps. So it is great that her attitude towards family members has done a 180. Looks like we found some babysitters!

The post that you may never see.

Except of you’re reading this you’re obviously seeing it. But as I sit here and type I’m not sure I’ll ever publish it. I know I can’t right now. Its all too fresh.

This is going to be a long post so you better get a comfy seat and some snacks. You know how women get when they’re all sad and stuff- its all cry, cry, cry, and talk, talk, talk. And we might take a breath to eat a spoonful of Ben and Jerry’s.

A few weeks ago I wrote about my and J’s journey up the fallopian tube river of trying to concieve. But God forgot/didn’t want to give us a paddle and now we’re swimming in some sh*tty creek. And now I’m part of some statistic that I never thought I’d be a part of: miscarriage and pregnancy loss.

Three weeks after J had gotten back from deployment he left for a seven week course 3 hours away from home. Needless to say, the baby making time was minimal. When he got home at the end of October, it was on. But nothing happened. On Christmas Eve we flew across the country to spend the holidays with my family, and I kept thinking how cool it would be to tell everyone Christmas Day that we were pregnant. Our flight was at the azz crack of dawn so while J was packing up the car with my 32984934 bags (I’m a light packer) I decided to take a pregnancy test. I went to go put Evelyn in the car and planned to check it before we left. Well, I forgot. And I think God was looking out for me because it ended up being a good thing.

On Christmas Day I got a visitor: Aunt Flo. Again, I had no idea she was coming because she always shows up unexpectantly. Rude. So I chalked it up to not being pregnant and we went about our time with our family as usual. When we got back home from our visit, I felt kind of funny and I had some spotting (my “period” had stopped by then) so I took a test- positive! We were EXSTATIC. I texted my brother and sister-in-law who are expecting and we told my parents via Facetime by having Evelyn wear a big sister shirt. We wanted to keep it mostly to ourselves though until we had it confirmed. It was amazing and we were really happy it was finally happening.

The next day I went to the doctor to confirm the pregnancy so I could get a referral to OB. I told her about my period on Christmas and she seemed worried. We got my beta levels checked and sure enough, they were declining. That “period” that I thought had happened on Christmas Day was actually me miscarrying and the hormones were just still in my body. We were crushed. I cried alot over it and I couldn’t believe it had happened to me. I was angry and upset and I didn’t know what to do with myself. Oddly enough though, I was actually thankful that I didn’t know it was happening when it was happening. Igorance is bliss.

My nurse told me that since it was such an early miscarriage that we didn’t need to wait to try again. So I got my period about a week later and we were off and running to see what the furture held for us.

I wrote that post about trying to conceive on a Wednesday or Thursday. I hadn’t shared the miscarriage because I wasn’t sure I wanted to, and I felt alot better about it. That following Saturday I got another positive. Oh my gosh, I couldn’t believe it! I was pregnant again ALREADY. We were so very happy that we were blessed with another chance. We felt confident and excited. We told my parents and a few close friends (because someone, achem, J, can’t keep anything exciting to himself!) but we still wanted to make sure things were going ok before we yelled it out to the world.

I went that Monday to get it confirmed. I had the same nurse as last time and I could tell as soon as she called me back that she thought I was some crazy lady who is making up my pregnancies. She said the urianalysis was negative. HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?! I had taken 4 tests, all positive. Either she didn’t believe me or she didn’t care. She told me to come back in ten days to test again. I asked her for a blood test, to retest the urine sample, to come back later and she told me no. no. no. Come back in ten days. I walked out heartbroken and PISSED but I was still confident that I would come back in ten days and rub my positive pee stick all up in her face. Not literally. Only in my mind.

Well, about a week later I decided to be that crazy pregnant lady and take another test. It took FOREVER to come up and was super faint. I freaked. After taking 2 more tests that day, I felt a little better because they had gotten darker but I still knew something was up. So I called the next day to leave a message for my doctor. I went on a huge runaround with the nurses and receptionists (which I will explain at a later date if I ever post this), and I finally just went in. They didn’t want to draw my betas but finally I got the nurse to speak with my actual doctor and they ordered the blood test for me.

Anyone who has every had their betas drawn or anything other test done where you have to wait DAYS to get the results knows how much the wait sucks. I was nervous, anxious, I couldn’t sleep. My first beta came back low- 173. I knew this was bad, but I couldn’t help but hold out a tiny bit of hope. My second betas were worse- 149. So it was confirmed. I was miscarrying a second time, in a row, in 2.5 months.

Even though I knew it was happening after my first beta came back, I was crushed. I cried. Alot. For what seemed like an hour. How is this happening to me? FOR A SECOND TIME IN A ROW?! Why is this happening? We want this baby, we would love this baby. We want to give E a sibling, we want to expand our family. What did I do wrong? Is it me? Why is God letting this happen when all I’ve done is pray for this baby?

At this point, I feel like I am failing- my body is failing, I’m failing my husband, I’m failing E, I’m failing myself. I’m afraid it will never happen for us- that I will never be able to keep another pregnancy again. I’m afraid to try again because I’m afraid its going to fail. I don’t want to go through the emotional rollercoaster again.

I know others have it alot worse than us- they’ve had more losses, late losses, or aren’t able to get pregnant at all. And I know that it happens to alot of people, and many of those people go on to have successful pregnancies. One of my closest friends who has her unfair share of loss told me that when she was going through this she felt the same way, and she didn’t understand why it was happening. But now that she has her adorable child, she understands. I know hindsight is 20/20. But right now my vision is blurred by tears and fury.

We will keep trying. I don’t know when, but I know that my desire to have more children is stronger than my fear of miscarrying. I’m scared, I’m worried, and I hate that this is happening to our family. But I am also still confident in God’s plan for us. I don’t know the reason for this, and I may never know. Maybe He is testing me, trying to make me realize that He is in control. Maybe he wants me to have more time with E by herself. Maybe He has big plans for our next child, and it wasn’t their time to come into the world yet. I don’t know. I guess I have to trust Him. But its not easy right now.

A special thanks to everyone who has been there and supported me through this- my friends, my neighbors, my parents, my family. But a huge HUGE thank you to my husband. You have been unbelievably strong, supportive, confident, and loving in this very painful time for us. You have been my rock. You have given me your shoulder to cry on and you have literally held me up when I want to fall down and crumble. You are my everything and I love you with everything in my heart, soul, and being.

Please feel free to share your story below if you’d like. Please don’t feel as if you need to post condolences, that’s not what I wrote this for. Thanks for listening/reading.

Editor’s note (duh, I’m the editor): It has only been days since my second miscarriage happened. Not even a week. But after talking with J and with some friends, I decided I needed some closure. Another one of my friends (who reminded me that this is a perfect time to cherish what I have with E as an only child) reminded me that miscarriage and pregnancy loss is somewhat taboo- people don’t talk about it, and I think it needs to be talked about. The care I recieved from my medical team has been less than stellar and I know I’m not the only one. If anything, I hope that I can get people to realize that they should not be afraid to ask questions and push their care providers for the appropriate care. I think that in the military healthcare system, many women get pushed aside and they feel as if this isn’t a big deal because the doctors make them feel that way. But it is. You have lost a life, a child. Its heartbreaking and difficult. So if you’re reading this and going through something similiar, I hope it inspires you to get the care you deserve if you aren’t already getting it.

Home, Sweet Home: Wait, where is that exactly?

So Uncle Sam came a-knocking and finally told us a few weeks ago that we are PCS-ing (for those non-military, it actually means Permanant Change of Station. Or pack up you’re sh*t because we’re moving you). We are super excited about where we are moving to because we will finally be close to family, but with this being our first “real” PCS, its freaking scary.

First of all, we have a whole house full of stuff to pack and move. This time we are having packers and movers come because like hell if I’m packing up all this crap and then watching J and a bunch of his Marines scratch up my stuff while they load it. Again. So I’m pretty nervous about that because I’ve never done it before. I don’t know the procedures. And I hear if you’re not careful they’ll pack up your garbage!

Secondly, we are moving clear across the country. Granted its a place I’m pretty familiar with but we also have to do this with a 19-month old and a dog. We want to stop and visit some of J’s family that hasn’t met E yet, so we have to drive together at least part of the way. I’m trying to convince him to buy an RV so we can just hang out in the back while he drives, but he’s not taking the bait. Dang.

Thirdly, and probably the most-scariest (totally a term in this case) is that we are thinking of buying a house. Military families are constantly putting their lives on hold. For J’s whole career there will always be an impending move. But we also need to set down some roots. Its good for our family, and the Marine Corps is getting better at letting families do that by keeping them in once place for a longer tour. The area in which we are moving to is where we would like to be long term, too. We only have orders for a year but we are thinking we will end up staying for at least 3. Base housing is crazy difficult to get and for a house the same size as what we have now, or even a little smaller, we will be paying more than our BAH (Basic Allowance for Housing). We are tired of throwing our money away on rent, we are financially sound, and we are ready to make a steady investment.

In beginning this journey, we have asked friends and family for advice and their experiences. Some things are the basic house buying procedures, but some things are great advice that we didn’t really think about. Here are some of the wise-words we’ve heard so far:

  • Speak with neighbors: don’t be afraid to knock on your potential neighbor’s doors and ask how they really feel about the neighborhood, area, and even other neighbors. They may give you some insight that no realtor ever could.
  • Check the neighborhood at different times during the day: sure it looks like Pleasantville at 2pm when everyone is at work or school. But drive around during the early morning, afternoons, and late evening to see how the neighborhood functions on a daily basis.
  • Drive to local stores and gas stations: you can really get a feel of the surrounding neighborhoods when you walk into the few places that everyone, no matter what, needs to visit on a regular basis.
  • Take your planned route to work during rush hour: commuting is a huge part of living in the suburbs. Can you deal with the drive or the ride day after day. After day. After day.
  • How marketable is it?: This is especially true for military families who often end up renting their houses out. Just because you can stand the 50 minute commute, will most people in your situation? Where is large city-center where most people are communting from? Is the space easy to fit different furniture?
  • How close it is to Starbucks and Target?: ok, so maybe that’s just for me…

I’ll be honest, not everyone thinks this is a good idea for us for different reasons- the length of time we have orders being the biggest one- but we are exploring our options at this point.  We understand that our family and friends are nervous for us. Its unpredictable. Its a scary thing. But its our thing. We aren’t doing it just because we think its time to buy a house. We aren’t doing it because its “the next step.” We are doing it because, right now, we feel like this is a smart decision and the best one for our family. Luckily, our family is wonderfully supportive and although they are relaying their cautionary tales to us, we know they will stand behind us in our final decision.

Do you have any thing you’ve learned from buying a home? Have you heard any advice from family and friends when you were going through the home searching and buying process? Leave a comment below!

I’m going to tell you all about how we are trying to make a baby.

 Get your mind out of the gutter. I’m not going to actually tell you how J and I are trying to make a baby. Hopefully, if you’re reading this blog, you already know how that all works.

 The stork, duh.

Right, so now that we have that covered, I’m going to talk about our journey to expand our family. We thought that it would be in the world’s best interest to have another adorable replica of ourselves. We are willing to make that sacrifice. We are givers, what can I say. Case in point:

230

 

You’re welcome.

But guys, here’s the thing: it’s not always easy to create life. When we got pregnant with E, it took us about a month and a half after he got back from his deployment. Wam bam thank you ma’am. And now, here we are, SIX MONTHS after J got home from deployment and there is a still a vacant sign on my uterus. What the h.

In all honesty, I know six months isn’t a long time in the trying to conceive world. And I know other people have struggled for YEARS to have children (my wonderful, beautiful, STRONG neighbor is one of them, as well as one of my closest friends). We are lucky that we have E and we are so very grateful for her and for our health. But in some more all honesty, that doesn’t always make me feel better (I know that probably makes me sound like a brat, but I’m trying to be truthful about my feelings here so bear with me. Or just close this page. Whatevs).

However, if you’ve ever been in the baby making boat, you might know what I’m talking about. You’re anxious. It’s all you ever think about. Every little twinge, pain, poke, and sore spot on your boobs makes you go, “PREGNANT?!?!” Then you pee on a stick and it’s a big fat negativo. Or Aunt Flo arrives as an unwelcome guest. Either way, your heart sinks and you flip back on the neon vacant sign *sigh*

If you’re lucky enough to be like me whose periods come oh, maybe every other week and then skip a few months, you never know what the flippity flip is going on and you’re constantly on edge. I swear to the One Almighty that I have peed on more sticks than a damn beaver in a stick field (is that a thing? I don’t think it’s a thing, but let’s pretend it is). I never know if I’m late because I never know when my period is coming. I’m not regular. I’m far from it. And its annoying.

If I was regular, I’d be getting close to Aunt Flo coming for a visit. But I don’t know if she’s coming because she’s flaky and never calls beforehand. Rude. Either way, I’ve taken a few tests. Four-ish. In 5 days. I say –ish because I can never keep track anymore (damn you Dollar Store tests! So cheap and so convenient).

All negative.

So I guess we just keep trying. I know J doesn’t mind. I know I shouldn’t stress about it. I know it’s all in God’s hands and there is a reason for His timing on this. But damn it, I want things to happen when I want them to happen!

WAIT. Do you hear that?

 

 

It’s God laughing at me.