About Me

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North Carolina, United States
(Allie & Harris) Wife, teacher, patient, thinker, friend, worrier, planner, seeker. These are the hats I wear on a daily basis for the roles in my life. Harris and I've been married since 1999 and we have two fur babies of the feline sort. We have a pretty good life, all things considered. But, it's not complete. Seven years ago I received a diagnosis of PCOS, a condition which has taken a toll on both my body and soul. It will not beat me though and we will be parents.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Packing already?

Over the last week or so, I have begun working on building up the things I want to take to India with us.  I find myself thinking of things in the middle of the night and having to fight the urge to jump out of bed and write down something that I'm "just sure we'll forget."  Now, honestly, I am a bit notorious for going on vacation without the things I MUST have.  For example, we went to White Lake a few summers ago for 8 days and I brought not a single pair of underwear with me.  Funny now.  Not funny then.  Thankfully, the lake is only about 1 1/2 hours from home so we were able to run back and get them.  India is not 1 1/2 hours from home.  If I forget underwear, I will not be able to come home and get them.

At the heart of this mania, I think, is the feeling of loss of control.  I am kind of a control freak and have the urge to plan and supervise everything.  That's not a bad trait - unless you're dealing with infertility, travel visa requirements that force you to mail away your passports, FMLA forms filled in by nosy nurses, and long-term subs who announce their presence in the carpool lane (where totally clueless 3rd grade teachers start giving you the eye).  Suddenly, everything is out of your hands and nothing can be guaranteed anymore.  I'm no psychiatrist, but I know that I am not really losing sleep over what to pack. 

But, since there is no other thing that I can grasp for control over, I guess I will continue to obsess over the packing.  A little tablet and pen sit by the bedside, and there is a drawer in the bathroom with travel supplies amassing.  I have ordered new luggage - ours lived a long, exciting, and valiant life until it hit on the beaches of Belize.  It was way cool to find the new set $60 cheaper on Amazon.com than Overstock.com.  I will begin tossing things into a suitcase this week when they arrive and turn a bedroom into a travel center.  Everything I suspect I may need can live there while time passes v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y until the end of November. 

W-a-i-t-i-n-g  s-t-i-n-k-s-!-!-!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sometimes the cookies are right!

Harris and I went to eat dinner tonight at a new Hibachi place in the next county over.  The meal was good, but the fortune cookie was better!  Dare we say it may be a sign?!?!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

How can I resist???

Since realizing that our trip and treatment were really happening, we have been devouring guide books.  I know it's boring, but I love to read those books and learn about new places.  One of the books I've read suggested that teachers traveling to India might be able to find a place to volunteer in the schools there.  Ever since reading this, I have become kind of caught up in the idea and think it would be such a privilege to see how school works in other places.  While I'm not sure exactly how to find a school in which to volunteer, I am planning to research it a bit more until I find one that might could use me for a couple of weeks.  It certainly can't hurt my karma, right?  Who knows?  Maybe if it goes well this time, when we come back in September to pick up our baby (that will be born then because this is going to work), perhaps I can visit the school once more and work with some of the same kids again.  It would be awesome to develop some kind of "pen pal" type program with my kids here if I could find a class that's equivalent to the 3rd grade.

At least in my mind, all of this sounds like a great idea...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

All in...

Well, it's done.  Our first payment for self-cycle has officially been withdrawn from our savings account and wired overseas to the account for SCI.  There's a HUGE mixture of emotions right now for both Harris and I.  It's like the final piece of the puzzle has been put in place and now we just have to step back and look at the bigger picture for a while, I guess.  At the same time, it's like we were one payment away from having the new truck paid for and now we're back to square one in that respect.  Don't get me wrong, we feel like this is the thing to do, and we don't have any mixed emotions about this being an investment rather than an debt.  To the contrary, this is the first time in a while that we don't feel like we're tossing our money down into a bottomless pit with fertility cycles here at home.  Still though, it's not an everyday thing for us to make retroactive progress on debt - that took some deep breathing and prayer. 

I also found out today that, unlike here, I have to be in India for Day 1 of my cycle to do the baseline or all bets are off.  Here, my experience has been that I could do a baseline on Day 1, 2, or 3 with no problem.  That is not the case with the SCI cycle it seems and that has quadrupled the stress for me today in trying to figure out timing issues.  Work already has my notice for the leave time beginning on the 30th of November; the apartment is rented from December 2nd thru 19th; and our flights have been purchased to get us there on the afternoon of December 2nd.  Sounds great, right?  Actually, no it's not.

See, even when I finish my "pills" for the month, it takes 7 days for me to get started on my Day 1 typically.  When my treatment dates were figured, it was as if the Day 1 would happen almost immediately.  Problem?  Yes.  That puts me starting my Day 1 well before December 2nd...or even December 1st.  So, I emailed Dr. Shivani about postponing the start of my next pack for a few days.  She emailed me back and said that would be fine and I should tack on some days at the end also to hold everything off (summarizing here, not quoting).  Sounds good, but now I'm worried that maybe I will have an early start because of trying to adjust my pills for this next cycle.  I mean, seriously, what if I totally begin to have my Day 1 and I'm like 4 days from leaving - apparently, I can't do the cycle then because of that.  Which in turn, means that the money on the apartment will be lost probably, my time off from work will be screwed up, and all this planning for a careful Christmas in and out trip will be for naught. 


Did I mention I was stressed out right now???  I am waiting to hear back from Dr. Shivani at this point to see if the worst does happen and I start before I get there, can I go to my reproductive endocrinologyst here to try and have a baseline done and emailed over to her?  That's assuming that she would be willing to do a baseline on me - which she may or may not since I'm not working with her anymore.  What would that do to the meds then though, you know?  There is (once again) a big murky mess in front of me and the "if's" and "but's" have begun to warp my mind. 

Calgon, take me away...

Oh, and one last thing to mention, because it's not adding to my stress or anything...nervous giggling.  Harris and I have begun to talk again about whether or not to tell his parents and my father and his wife.  Honestly, I go back and forth between wanting to spill everything just to have one less secret in our lives and sobbing because of the possible judgment and rejection that may or may not follow.  It is no exaggeration to say that the reaction from his parents could be anything from a simple, "Huh.  That's interesting." all the way to "I just read an article about someone who wanted to have a baby and they started taking ______ and now they're pregnant.  Let me go online and see if I can find out what that was."  The latter of those choices is what I dread because, inevitably, there would be a need for gossip that would come into play between his mom and her female relatives and with gossip of this sort comes either the "tough love" approach or the "pity party" approach.  Neither of which is appealing to me in the least.  Also, this is not an opinion being voiced by just me.  Point of fact is that it's Harris who is telling me these possible endings and confirming what I've thought but not said in so many words.  I honestly doubt that we could get out of their driveway before the computer, cell phone, or some other device started writing down notes on what we'd said and doing research.  While I'm a big supporter of non-violence, if the phone rang and the conversation started with, "After y'all left, I went online and it said that what you really need to do is _____________," I think I might lose it with his mom.  Again, I love her and think she's wonderful, but I cannot deal rationally with that outcome involving her.

From my father, it's anyone's guess.  His wife had some kind of infertility issue herself and ended up choosing to adopt a child domestically almost 30 years ago - so I think she'd take the news with a grain of salt and might be an interested party/advocate for us to my father.  However, the reaction from the man, himself, could be ugly.  I have envisioned everything from him cutting me or Harris off mid-story and telling us that this is something he wants no part of and then asking us to kindly leave and not come back (yes, this has happened before - my wedding - didn't speak for 3 years).  It could also end with some, shall we say "choice" words about the surrogates and how irresponsible it is for us to be doing something like this.  The best possible ending for us would be for us to get it all said, leave and give them time to digest the information, and then come back days later to talk to them again and get the reaction. 

I just don't know what to do with any of this stuff.  Urgh...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I'm not a hypochondriac, but...

It's cold and flu season and I truly believe that children are the hybrid disease carriers of the world.  If there's anything communicable or too new for a cure, it lives in the children who attend public school.  Now, if you were hearing me say this, it would be much funnier - since you're not, you will have to hear my wit and sarcasm in your mind. 

Seriously though, ever since booking this trip to Delhi and planning this cycle, I am paranoid about getting sick or a fever - or that Harris will get sick and run a fever which will kill his sperm or at least swipe the tails off of them.  How many posts have I read now about IPs who spent 14+ hours on an airplane just to arrive sick from the canned air served up in-flight???  On top of that, I had a conference with a parent this afternoon who (and yes, I'm serious) said that when she and her husband were dating, they would sneeze on one another to be cute.  I'm sorry, but there's a serious problem if you think that hacking your nasty fleghm-y germs on me is "cute".  Vile, disgusting, unsanitary, revolting, yes.  Cute, no.  She said they had told their child (who sits right beside me) this story and ever since he'd been doing it.  Well, that answers the question of why this child refuses to cover his mouth.  I was furious but remained in control whilst I told her that our nurse would be happy to give him instruction on how to cover his mouth to prevent spreading germs and, in the meantime, I would be taking a cube each time he did it.  (In my world, that threat is a serious one with consequences.)  If thoughts could wither flowers, mine surely would have at that point - again, this would be much funnier in the retelling if it was done in person.

I am wondering if any of those thera-flu or airborne products would do any good for me to take leading up to the trip and on the plane.  It has also crossed my mind more than once to do like the Japanese did during that bird-flu thing a few years back and wear a mask on the plane and at the airport.  Currently, I'm set against that as we are already going to stick out like the proverbial sore thumb on the trip and I can't imagine that wearing a surgical mask would say anything other than "hey, look at us, we're not like you."  It's not exactly the first impression I want to give.

On a positive note, I did get a check from the insurance company to cover my roof and some other damages today.  It seems like they left off a few things and I am working with my contractor to see how "off" they are.  Suddenly life has become a race to get everything done before our leaving in December.  I want to have the roof on, the ceilings replaced, the windows swapped out, and everything painted so that when we leave, we have peace of mind that it's not raining in the house or anything.  So, the goal is to have the work completed before (America's) Thanksgiving at the end of November.  Otherwise, we'll have to wait until January to get this work done and I don't want to come home to that.  After the trip and the holidays, we'll need a time to relax for sure.

One other highlight, we met up with Bernadette and Duane over the weekend while we were in the DC area.  We loved brunch in Georgetown, and it was such a comfort to get that face to face reassurance about the details still left to plan.  It was also nice to be able to congratulate them in person on the bubbles!!!  Hopefully, we can get together in a year and do brunch again with babies!!!  Here's to needing kid menus!

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Tonight Harris and I (actually only Harris) are watching the National League Division Series blah, blah, blah something.  Quality time together is a priority for us, which is why I sit here engrossed in the game (even typing that makes me laugh!).  We may not always want to do the same things, but life's about compromise and in this situation, my watching the Division Series whatever seems to be a fitting end to a weekend where he did so many little things for me.  So, I'll watch baseball, ask questions, and enjoy time with my husband.

I did find a couple of quotes that seem to fit my melancholy tonight, and where we are in life right now -

Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.
Carl Sagan

We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.
Joseph Campbell  

Saturday, October 1, 2011


After much searching, we have sent over a deposit to stay in Tulip House during our trip over in December.  It had all the boxes checked for laundry, a kitchen, western toilets, a shower with either a curtain or a door, close to M Block market, well within Kailash Colony, and they'll pick us up and drop us at the airport.  Whew, what a relief!!!

This week, Harris has transformed into an Indian research machine!  We had the argument that seemed inevitable on Tuesday of this week when I was sitting in the bedroom trying to fill out the visa application for the both of us.  On that day, I had done the paperwork where you give the designees in case you die or have a problem making it to pick up the baby(ies). I had explained the situation to designee #2 and answered questions for about an hour ranging from, "Why India?" to, "What is the process for having the passport issued thru the US Embassy overseas?"  I had scheduled Harris' appointment for infectious disease screenings, and found the link to research Tulip House. 

Now, in the midst/wake of all that, Harris walks in and asks me how to get to the doctor's office.  Instantly angry.  Seriously, you've been there before, you know the name of the doctor, you have a computer, and a GPS - can't you figure that out on your own?  Second question, "What tests do I have to get?"  Saying nothing seemed like the most respectful response in this situation because what would have come out of me was less than respectful, polite, or helpful.  I think I managed to say "read" or something along those lines. 

Waiting until the next day, we had a conversation where he was able to see what the situation looked like from my perspective and since then he's become an A#1 Indian researcher.  Even as I sit here now typing, he's looking for a restaurant that we can drive to and practice eating with our right hand only and try multiple dishes to see what we like.  He's also called my mom (with Indian music playing loudly in the background) and left her a voicemail asking her to come to dinner with us - laughs and giggles all around during that!  He went out and picked up coffee for us this morning before I was even out of bed to start our Saturday off right.

I love my husband.  Now I remember why I'm going to the ends of the earth to have his baby.  :-)