Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Here we go...


We woke up early on Friday and got our Transfer Tattoos on.

I found these at a cute little store named Hello Friend. It's an adorable shop
and when I saw these... I knew I had to buy them!

We met Tina at our acupuncturist's office and then were off to the clinic! We were pumped! (Side note... the nurse almost left one of the needles in Tina's ear! Thank goodness she noticed!) When we got to the clinic we gave them some pumpkin bars that were DELICIOUS. The office has been so helpful and patient dealing with us, that we try to bring them goodies when we can. We filled out some paperwork and were sent down the hall to meet with the doctor and check out our baby blast.
OF COURSE we had to stop and take a selfie!

And here is our little baby. A little bitty Baby Blastocyst already loved.

I have to say... our doctor was absolutely HILARIOUS on this particular day. He was in such a great mood, seemed excited, and was even telling jokes about some of the tools... "And this was made by a man...." We were all cracking up in there. He was just being so great the entire time and the mood in the room was great. The doctor was pointing things out on the screen, which he hadn't really done before, and we all felt like we were really understanding the whole process even better. And our nurse described this moment on the screen like a shooting star.... Just watch.

TransferVideowords from Erika Perales on Vimeo.

And this time, by the way, we were back in the room where I'd had my retrieval done. Remember that closet with the window? ...We'd come full circle.

One thing I forgot to mention about the ride to the clinic... right after I had posted a picture of my awesome fake tattoo, a really awesome friend of mine posted this on social media. She sent this prayer out into the world for us and suddenly all the prayers multiplied. When we got home later that day, it was so uplifting to see the words of encouragement her friends had for us, total strangers. But their hearts were genuine and their prayers were definitely felt.
Thank you so, so much.

Instant tears.
Our transfer day ended with this arriving in the mail... a baby catalog from Target with a gift card on the back in case we want to register.... OH! And not ONLY this. The next day a package came in the mail. It was meant for the people who used to live here.... It was baby formula. No joke.
...Did you catch what the doctor said, right after he transferred? I hadn't until just now.
And the very next day I sent Tina a clip from "Friends"... actually, several clips. But the one I had stuck in my head, for about a week, was of Phoebe's transfer day. She's laying upside-down on the couch with her guitar and singing a song (which I told Tina to feel free to sing outloud to her belly). 

"Are you in there Little Fetus
In nine months will you come greet us?
...I will... buy you some Adidas!"

"At some point, fairly early on, someone asked me how we were feeling.... Well, with our emotions and expectations all over the place, I can only describe this time as both scary and exciting... basically, like being on a roller coaster."
---excerpt from a letter to our baby

Happy Birthday Tina! 
Thank you for riding this roller coaster with us!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

2nd time around


Life is about second chances right?

It’s not that I expected things to go smoothly, but at some point things that you want take patience, focus, redirection, a whole slew of things. I am thankful for Tina and her family for the commitment that they have given to us. The idea of carrying a child is already huge, but going through the preparation for a transfer is not an easy thing. So up front I can think of nothing else but to be thankful for this moment, with this family.

School of course had kept us busy and preoccupied, but for a very short time, I got a little down about the results of our first attempt. I did spend time thinking about the potential our little embryo had. We never knew if it was a boy or girl embryo. When I think about it now, I am more amazed at our own lives. We get all of our intelligence and insight as we grow older and we think that is what makes humanity special, the ability to increase our knowledge of the world. I now come to think that the obstacles and barriers of conception add to the most miraculous part of our existence. Our doctor (whom we trust very much and who has done this for years) told us with a straight face, “I don't know why it did not work.”

Because conception is not a one hundred percent guarantee, life still holds that sense of miraculousness. So maybe that is why this whole process isn't meant to be easy. If conception through assisted reproduction technology was a one hundred percent guarantee, humans would potentially lose their sense of awe and wonder. But that's makes us human... our feelings of wonder, hope, and the unexplainable.  

This second attempt has a familiarity to it. I am not worried about what is going to happen, but anxious to start the timer for a result. In the bigger picture we know this will be but one of the many more obstacles that we overcome on our way to being a family. We have been fortunate enough to have so much support from friends and family. And it's always nice to hear and feel your encouragement.


August was a tough month and it really forced me to let go… of a lot of things. I spent the last half of that month clearing out an old classroom. I called it “The Purge.” The stuff was just taking up space.… So shelf by shelf, box by box, I threw stuff out (going to donate a lot, too). And though the process of cleaning out the room (and reorganizing another one) was a ton of work, time consuming, and labor intensive, it was also, almost, therapeutic. Letting go really was the theme of my month.
This calendar hangs right next to my desk. The work is by Katie Daisy. Love her work.

At the end of August we celebrated our 8 year anniversary. This year also marks 17 years in our relationship. We’ve experienced so much over this span of time and could not have imagined going through half of what we've gone through without Luis by my side. 

At my first faculty meeting, which just so happened to be on our anniversary, and the day before school started, the principal popped this up on the screen as a reminder for all of us as we move forward in our classrooms.

This slide completely resonated with me, and I could not get over how perfectly it bullet-pointed my own personal life experience in that moment.

But now we are in September. And this is now what my calendar says.

I am choosing to live in Happiness, not Fear and Worry. On Tuesday I overheard a conversation about letting things go and grieving. How Grief and Sadness are healthy and good places for us to visit, they help us heal... but we should never choose to live there. I want to live in Hope and Gratitude, with my eyes facing forward.

And so here we go. We are ready to take our next step. Tomorrow will be our second attempt at a transfer and we are excited! ...Well, excited isn't even really the right word. It's something more than that, and something that might exist in some other language... (if you know of one, let me know).

I dropped off some goodies for Tina yesterday evening.  My favorite thing in the bag… besides some AWESOME temporary tattoos that the three of us will be wearing tomorrow (oh, and Brownie Brittle), is a book that really gets to the heart of our current feelings.
I sat in a bookstore and read this book one day over the summer. It's the best.
Waiting is hard, but along the way I am learning, growing, and finding peace amidst the unknown.

We remain thankful. Thankful for the wiat… for the built up anticipation… for the extra time we’ve been given to get ready… for the lessons in patience and perserverance.

We remain thankful for Tina, her heart, and the growing friendship that we’ve found in each other. Also thankful for her kids who make me laugh every single time I see them.
Bag Boy. A very close relative of Sponge Bob.
We remain thankful for our friends and family who pray, ask, encourage, and share with us their common hope.  And for those of you who silently think of us and read our words… thank you.

Tomorrow we move forward. Tomorrow will be filled with Joy and Excitement! Tomorrow is going to be a good day.

"One day we are going to look back on all of this and realize how small this wait really was, compared to the lifetime we get to spend with you." 
---excerpt from a letter to our baby