Our Journey

2002 Uterine Fibroid Surgery #1

2003 1st consult with an RE, you know, just in case

2003 Got Married (at 37 (me) & 34 (DH) years old)

2003/2004 Naturally conceived pregnancies BFPs #1, #2, & #3 and miscarriages #1, #2, #3

2005 Uterine Fibroid Surgery #2

2005 IVF #1, BFN #1

2005 IUIs #1 and #2, just because, BFN #2 & #3

2005 FET from IVF #1, BFN #4

2006 Exploratory surgery to remove scar tissue from fibroid sugery #2

2006 IVF #2 (w PGD), BFP #4

2006 Emergency cerclage for IC @ 16w6d (5 months + 1 week of complete bed rest at home ensues)

2007 Our son is born @ 38w by scheduled c-section

2007 IVF #3 for baby #2, BFN #5

2007 IVF #4, BFP #5, miscarriage #4

2008 IVF #5, BFP #6, miscarriage #5

2008 IVF #6, BFP #7, miscarriage #6

2008 DE IVF #7, BFN #6

2009 DEFET #8, cancelled, embryos don't thaw

2010 Decide to adopt domestically

12.17.10 Profile is live with our agency

November 2011 Consult with RE re: donated embryo cycle

Early January 2012 Cleared to proceed with deFET

January 2012 Freeze our profile

1.20.12 deFET begins
2.12.12 eSET of one compacted morula
2.22.12 BFN

3.23.12 deFET #2 begins
4.14.12 transfer 3 embryos (1-8 cell, 1-5 cell, 1-4 cell)
4.22.12 + HPT
4.24.12 Beta #1 = 48.4
4.26.12 Beta #2 = 125.7
4.30.12 Beta #3 = 777.8
5.11.12 1st U/S - Singleton!
7.12.12 It's a Boy!
12.26.12 C-section: Baby G is born, 9#5oz, 20.5"

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Colorado, Part I

When I reflect upon my life, I see it in four parts: before the accident, after the accident, my struggle with infertility, and my life as a wife and mother.

Most of my pre-accident childhood memories surround our yearly summer trips to my great uncle’s ranch in Colorado. My grandmother’s brother was a real American cowboy. He was tall and lean with a long face and a hang dog expression. His voice was booming and there was always a twinkle in his eye at seeing us. My older brother and I would join my grandmother in visiting the ranch every summer since I was very young. My mom and dad stayed home with my then baby sister who was too young to make the trip.

It was a sprawling working ranch, hundreds of acres or more, in the middle of nowhere but exactly where it should be. There was a rambling creek that ran through the property to the back of the ranch house, river beds that would swell with rain during the winter but evaporate and crackle under the hot summer sun, hills and crevices for children to run up, roll down, and get lost in. He had thousands of head of cattle, a dozen horses (my favorite was a thoroughbred named Charlie though I often rode a quarter horse named Moonshine), chickens, goats, sheep, and pigs. In a lot of ways, I felt the most like myself while on the ranch riding a horse. It was an idyllic way to spend a summer.

We did all the things you would think one would do on a ranch in the middle of nowhere: we drove the cattle across acres of land to graze, we learned to shoot (rattle snakes, prairie dogs, bottles, cans), we branded the new cows, castrated some bulls to keep the population in check, went to auctions to buy horses and steer, went horseback riding until we thought our legs would fall off, went to the rodeo, visited with the other cowboys whose ranches butted up to my great uncles, visited the Indians who lived up the road a piece in a geodesic dome, and had cook-outs. We stayed up late and rose early. We had chores and were expected to contribute.

It was another world, really, far away from our confined life in the city with its rules and hidden dangers. It was like being part of a different family with my great uncle and grandma standing in as parents and my brother and I free from our toddler sister back home. We had cowboys and Indians as playmates and guardians.

Given that both my parents worked full-time and that my grandparents, particularly my grandmother, cared for us during the day, it was totally ordinary that we’d spend most of the summer with her. No one thought anything of it. Life was simpler back then. There was no cable or Internet or hand held video games. Our toys were made of wood and had rubber wheels. I don’t think any of them took a single battery. There were no play dates or extra curricular classes. We spent a lot of our time with our extended family. We entertained ourselves, mostly outside. I don’t remember ever being bored.

And there was no such thing as boredom on the ranch. I can’t recall now if my great uncle even had a TV but it seems to me that he didn’t. I remember the ranch house being long with the living room being the first room we entered, the kitchen to the left, a bathroom off the kitchen, and two bedrooms and another bathroom to the right. There was a long front porch with a rocking chair and a bench. And the screen door. I remember the slap of that door even now. The springs creaked as they were stretched and then they’d pull the door back to the frame with a slap that reverberated through the house and out to the yard.

The ranch house had wood floors. In fact, everything seemed to be made of wood. And, it was dusty from the constant in and out of folks with boots on. The kitchen table had wood benches. Oh, the meals we had from those benches. I remember my grandma cooking up Rocky Mountain Oysters. I tried them exactly once.

To the right of the ranch house was a big barn where we kept hay, and feed, and saddles, and bridles, and all manner of tools. On the days that we went riding we’d call the horses in and saddle them up in the barn.
I remember we’d first get the bit in their mouth and fastened the bridle around their head. I loved being that close to those big brown eyes. And, there is nothing softer, save a baby’s bottom, than the muzzle of a horse. Once the bridle was secure, we’d pick out the saddle blanket and lay it over the horse’s back. Then, because the saddle was so heavy, my great uncle would hoist it up, over and into place. I remember him teaching me where and how to cinch it. The position of the saddle on the horses back was so important both for the comfort of the horse and for the stability of the rider. Once the saddle was cinched, we’d adjust the stir-ups. Then with one foot squarely in the stir-up I’d place my other foot in my great uncle’s interlocking fingers and he’d propel me up and onto the horses back. Oh how I loved being on the back of a horse!

And, off we’d go. Depending on the day, we’d be driving cattle, or checking the fence line for downed posts or boards, or riding for fun. It really didn’t matter to me as long as I got to ride. The feeling, as a child, to be on the back of a horse on the wide open plain, is empowering and freeing. I loved the feeling of the reins in my hand, or my hand around the smooth leather of the saddle horn, or the horse’s mane and tail flicking about. Even though I rarely have the opportunity or occasion to ride these days, just being in the presence of a horse has the most calming affect on me. They are the gentlest of gentle giants.

2 comments to Colorado, Part I

  • I am very thankful to this topic because it really gives great information :.’

  • Sue

    You are such a terrific writer, I felt like I was there with you. In fact, I was probably only a few hundred miles away from you on those summers at our farm/ranch in Nebraska where I grew up. It most certainly feels like a lifetime ago and a whole different world. I think today although elements would remain the same, it has probably changed quite a bit in reality from those idyllic days. My father (in his 70s) still farms the same land – and just yesterday I got an email from my mom that she was up on a ladder with a power drill sanding the eaves of the house and repainting them. I guess farm living is good for health and longevity – my grandmother was in her 90s when she finally passed away.

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