Monday, March 10, 2014

Weight Loss & Lowest Medical Bill Ever




Today I got a bill for my blood work that was done from just a few weeks ago. I was completely shocked to see that it's less than $6! I'm not sure how this worked out this way, but I'll take it. My last bill for blood work was $700.


I also got email confirmation that I won my most recent dietbet games. I'm down from 215 to 172. I'm doing great with eating healthier which seems to still be managing my endometriosis pain. Having less fat could contribute to less endometriosis symptoms since fat increases estrogen. Only 35 more pounds to go and I've already lost over 40! I'm over halfway to my goal.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Catching Up on CD 2...almost 3



Despite being MIA for the past couple weeks, I'm still doing good with eating on the healthy side. I've also done my best to keep up with taking pictures of new meals that I've tried. Everything is surprisingly very simple, but pleasing. Most of my meals consist of regular old fruits and veggies. It's the spice department that I'm really exploring lately. I've found myself using spices I never new existed.

My favorite spice combination is thyme and rosemary. Before the last month or so I'd never purchased either of these spices. I'm really starting to warm up to basil, dried, not fresh, yet. I've also been playing around with a little balsamic and coming up with some interesting things. The salad in the picture above actually has a basil balsamic vinaigrette on it. The other salad in the bottom picture has a little gluten free thousand island. Yum! Next to that is thyme and rosemary roasted red potatoes and scrambled eggs with onions, bell peppers, and tomatoes, topped with salsa.


I know that dairy doesn't do me well, but the huge pile of fruit sitting next to the heap of plain Greek yogurt was so delicious. Crazy enough, I didn't add any type of sweetener to the yogurt and I actually enjoyed it. I tried Greek yogurt once, years ago, and hated it! And it was actually flavored. This wasn't sweet at all, and was honestly a little on the tangy/bitter side, but paired with the fruit it was really good. I have to admit the texture of this yogurt was a lot better. I don't remember what the brand of the first one I tried was, but it was so gritty. Taking a bite resembled dumping a load of sand into my mouth. Not cool.

I got on a roasted portobello mushroom kick a while back and the ones pictures were actually pizza mushrooms. I made the same homemade pizza sauce that I made before using tomato sauce, basil, oregano, and garlic salt. It was pretty good, and I could eat that sauce all by itself. Heck, I had some tonight :)


The picture above shows two of my favorite meals in the past couple weeks. I found a box of gluten free gnocchi pasta and a box of gluten free rice noodles marked down at Kroger. I cooked up some onions, bell peppers, and tomatoes and  seasoned them both with Italian seasoned olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I discovered the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and Italian seasonings combination quite a while back and it has become my preferred sauce for any pasta or pasta substitute.


This last set of pictures shows the same meal from a few nights ago. I've been calling it black bean veggie tacos. It's just cooked onions, bell peppers, diced tomatoes, jalapenos, and black beans. I season it with cumin and toss it on a tortilla. It is so yummy. I've actually had it three days this past week and looking forward to having it again. It's so quick and simple it's not funny.

Speaking of funny, since changing my diet I've really started to enjoy cooking. I used to see anything that didn't come from a box and go straight into the oven or microwave as a chore. Now, it just doesn't feel right if I don't have my cutting board and chopping knife out when fixing a meal.

Weight Loss:
Well, I'm happy to report that as of yesterday I'm down to 175.5! I wasn't sure I would ever get away from 179 for a while there. It seemed I was doomed to stay that weight forever. In all I've lost 39.5 pounds. So close to 40. My goal is 130 so that means I only have about 40 more pounds to go! I'm half way there. I have to be honest though, when I started this journey, a huge part of me didn't think I'd have the chance to drop this much weight before getting pregnant. I guess I thought it was going to be my cure all. Now, I"m feeling pretty confident that I'll make it all the way to my goal.

TTC News:
Today is cd 2, almost cd 3, and I wish I could say I was surprised about starting another cycle, but I can't. I'm really starting to have mixed feelings about being forced into a TTC break in less than three weeks. I have to confess, I've spent weeks trying to figure out a way to have the surgery and continue to TTC while I'm in MD when the hubby comes to visit. It was only recently that I faced the fact that it just can't happen. There's no guarantee that he'll be able to make it up during my fertile window, and who knows if we'd even get the chance to try??

As much as it sucks, surgery after the break will be best. I'm still back and forth on whether or not I'm going to take the birth control pills I've got. I have some anxiety about taking medicines, especially new ones, and how my body will react. It kind of scares me that I could have a bad reaction while I'm up there alone with Peanut. I know it's just birth control but, what can I say, I'm super paranoid. I'm also a little confused about how I should take them if I do. Do I take the sugar pills to induce a period or not? I've read that girls do it both ways, but I"m not sure which is the right way for me. I don't want to do anything that will screw up my cycle and I know that taking birth control is risky in that department anyway.

Life News:
On top of everything, I'm starting to feel anxious about being without the hubby for so long. He started a new job about six months ago and I think I'm still adjusting. Before this job, he spent 8 years at a job with extremely flexible hours. We were lucky enough to spend pretty much all of every day together. When he did have to go in to work he usually went after hours and took us with him.

It was super hard in the beginning. We went from being with him all the time to barely seeing him at all. He's gone before we wake up and he's only home for about 4-5 hours before he's ready for bed. Most days he falls asleep on the couch before 9pm. To make it worse we lose almost an extra 2 hours with him since he has to drive almost an hour one way to get to work. We've been talking about relocating lately, but I'm not sure we will because we have a pretty nice home set up where we are currently. We'd be crazy to leave just yet.

Lately though, it's not really the amount of time we get to spend with him that's really bothering me. For about the past week or two I've been feeling really insecure about myself. For the first time in our 11 years of being together, I'm scared to death he's going to get bored of me. He's made several friends at work and he's always telling me about them when he comes home. Now, don't get me wrong, I enjoy listening to him, especially when it's some juicy work drama, but I never have anything interesting to say back.

I cook, I clean, and I teach. That's my day. My life.

I'm trying really hard not to let my fear leak out. I don't want to push him away by becoming too needy or too attached. I feel like I need to find something for myself to do. I'm just not sure what?

Friday, February 21, 2014

CD 20 & A Portobello Mushroom Sandwich



I had the best sandwich ever yesterday! I really wanted a sandwich made with these skinny bagels (not great for my endometriosis but I just had to try them), so I decided to season a portobello mushroom cap with salt, pepper, and garlic, roast it and use it as the "meat". It was so yummy! I topped it with lettuce, tomato, and half of an avocado seasoned with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. The other thing on my plate is something I came up with after craving a blooming onion. I call it the naked blooming onion. I cut it so it would open up like a flower, seasoned it with salt, pepper, and garlic and roasted it. I'll be making more of this same stuff again today.

Weight Loss:
I've been stuck at 179 for almost a month. I've had two splurge days over the past three weeks and I've been getting a little carried away with macadamia nuts. I've started tracking on myfitnesspal so maybe I can get it under control again. I only have 2.5 weeks left on my dietbet and I have 4.3 pounds still to lose.

TTC News:
I went back to see my new doctor on Wednesday. He did a full pelvic ultrasound and went over my blood work results. Good news is I do not have PCOS, but he's not sure if I had it before. He said if I did I don't anymore, which is what matters. I did, however, have a cyst that had ruptured recently on my right ovary. It's weird because I thought if I had a cyst rupture I'd know it, but I had no idea. I'm pretty sure I know when it happened now, but at the time I thought it was ovulation. In fact, if that was the cyst, I've had them before. I've read that some girls with endometriosis have higher pain tolerances. Maybe that's why I didn't have excruciating pain?

My blood work came back great. My TSH seemed a little on the low side to me, .72, but still within normal range. My AMH was 2.32 and in the normal range. The only problem he saw was my vitamin D was low. He told me to start taking 2000-5000 iu/day. We have nothing else planned for now other than a new semen analysis and my second laproscopy plus the HSG to make sure my tubes are open. I'd love to do the surgery now, but I still hate the idea of having it done right before a forced 3-4 month break. I don't want to lose my best months to try. My mom offered to come and help me and Peanut out if I do the surgery after we get back. Since she's willing to help, I'll probably just wait.

As for my current cycle, I'm pretty sure I'm around 6 dpo or later, but I'm for sure cd 20. My breast are just becoming sore, I think. This usually happens around this time. Sadly, I woke up to some spotting this morning. I've never spotted this early before, but I felt the same pinching feeling that I always get before my spotting begins. There was one month I started spotting on cd 21. I just hope that I don't spot all the way to AF this month. It's so annoying.

Friday, February 14, 2014

CD 13 & Valentine's Day


Happy Valentine's Day <3

Today has been such a fun day. Peanut spent a lot of time making Valentine's Day cards for me and the hubby. It was so sweet and I just love it when she puts her mind to work on something creative. She left a handmade card in her dad's lunch box last night and he found it this morning when he left for work. I wish I had been up to see him find it. I hope he knows how much us girls love him!


Let's just dive right on in to the good pictures, shall we? I fixed this sweet little tray up for the hubby and Peanut tonight to go with dinner. Despite the yumminess loaded on this tray, I was good and only had three strawberries with a bit of chocolate. It was so delicious and so worth it if I bloat or if a war between my ovaries and uterus breaks out.


I also made some heart shaped biscuits. Funny enough, the hubby jokingly said better get some heart shaped biscuits for dinner. Little did he know I already had them planned. I took the left over pieces, tore them into small pieces, dropped them in a cupcake pan, and drizzled melted butter with cinnamon and sugar over them. I didn't take a picture of them, but they were actually pretty cute and the both loved them. I'd never made that before, but it was really simple and I'm sure I'll be doing it again.


I also cut heart shapes out of bread and made french toast with them. I put a little butter on the rest of the bread and fried and egg in the center. That didn't really come out as planned since the egg spread out and didn't really look to much like a heart inside the bread. I should have used the next biggest cookie cutter. Lesson learned I suppose.

There was also bacon and gravey to go along with all this other stuff, but I stayed strong and stuck with a scrambled egg, black beans, jalapenos, a banana, a few strawberries (3 with chocolate), and that was it. I will not lose these other two dietbets!

The hubby called it his 'manly heart shaped dinner' <3


And I have to share this amazing mascara I got today! I got them HERE! They're called 3D lashes and I absolutely love them. My lashes are really short and you can't really see them curl up like they are now. I had a picture where I did one eye not the other but I must have deleted it. I'm not a big makeup fan, but I think I'll be using them pretty often, if not daily. I've always wanted longer lashes but hate the fake eyelash look.

TTC News:
I'm pretty sure that tomorrow will be ovulation day. My belly bloated up pretty bad and I had some pretty bad right ovary pain. For a minute I thought I was having an endometriosis flare up, but it went away after a couple of hours which is typical the day before ovulation. I'm not temping again so I can't be 100% sure about that, but I know that I've had lots of EWCM lately so I'll have a pretty good idea when that dries up.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

CD 12 & I don't know what to do...


Since my visit with my new doctor yesterday I've been struggling with what I want to do. I'll will be leaving for Maryland in less than two months for Peanuts surgery. We will be there for 3-4 months and the original plan was to do surgery after I get back. My new doctor thinks it would be best to go ahead with surgery before I leave, but I don't know what to do.

Surgery before we leave for MD
Pros
  • Our deductible will be broken up over two different months instead of coming out of our pocket all at once.
  • I won't have to worry about recovering while Peanut is in a fixator and still needs me more than usual.
  • If there is a blockage, I won't waste my sanity on two more pointless cycles.
Cons

  • I will be taking birth control when we leave, but I fear my endo could build up over the months we're gone.
  • I could be tossing away my best months to try while we're in Maryland and unable to TTC.
Surgery after after we leave for MD
Pros
  • We will get to TTC during the first few months which offer us the best chance of getting pregnant.
  • I won't have to take birth control and risk making my cycle wonky.
Cons
  • I will have to recover while Peanut is unable to get around as she usually does and while the hubby is away for work.

We're still waiting to find out how much we're going to have to pay for a laproscopy. I had hoped to hear back from them today. I do know that we'll have a flat fee of $200 that the insurance will not cover for checking my tubes. I'm not sure if we'll do the SA before or after MD, but I do know it's going to cost us $150.

I wish we had started pushing this insurance stuff long before now.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

CD 11 & A light at the end of the tunnel?


After all of my insurance confusion recently I decided to look for an ob/gyn that does fertility as well. When I found one I called to ask a few questions and ended up scheduling an appointment. That appointment was today and I think it went really well. Way better than I expected.

I'm still not sure what our insurance will or will not cover, but we talked about my past few years with my old doctor. He wants to do another lap sooner rather than later, but I'm unsure if I want to do that now or after I get back from Maryland. He said that birth control should keep my endo at bay while I'm away. He also suggested doing another SA for the hubby. He went ahead and took blood today and I go back in a week for an ultrasound.

Both the hubby and I both wish we had made the switch sooner. One of the first things he asked was whether or not my old doctor had checked to make sure my tubes were blocked. I told him I thought he had during the lap, but I wasn't sure and it didn't say anything about it in the report.

Speaking of...

I picked up a copy of my records and I finally know the details of my endometriosis. Right after the surgery when I had asked about what he'd found he just told me that it was on my abdominal wall and that he had removed all that he could see. However, according to my surgery report I had it not only on my abdominal wall, but also on my right ovary, right tube, and I had filmy adhesion attaching my bladder to uterus and uterus to abdominal wall. It did say he was able to remove it all easily.

Something else weird in my medical records was where he listed PCOS under my history. It also said that I was taking metformin, but I've never taken metformin nor has he mentioned PCOS. I brought it up with the new doctor. He doesn't seem to think I do have PCOS, but I think that's why he's doing the ultrasound and one of the things he's checking with blood work.

I totally forgot to ask about the preauthorizing forms so I'm going to mention it during my ultrasound appointment on Wednesday.I hope there isn't any trouble with the insurance. I'd really like to get knocked up at some point, preferably sooner rather than later.

Endometriosis Diet & Weight Loss
I'm still doing well, but my meals are pretty basic and boring lately. I've taken a few pictures but they're not that appealing to look at. After my preveious dietbet ended I splurged on pizza and a fish sandwich and fries before starting my new one. I gained a couple pounds, mostly bloat from sodium I'm sure, and my weight loss stalled for a while, but it seems to be going back down now. As of this morning I'm down to 179.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Dare I Hope...


The hubby brought up having a baby today without me initiating the conversation. At first I didn't know what to say, partially because of the question itself, but mostly because he has never done this. He's not against a baby, but he's not ready to dig deeper into medical assistance for my endometriosis. Anyway, the question was...

"So if we have a baby, are the girls (breast) going to be spraying everywhere any time I even look at them?"

After a brief pause, I couldn't help but laugh at the question. I suppose in his mind I'd have a pair of sprinklers on my chest ready to blast milk everywhere at any moment. He knows I want to breastfeed as I did with the daughter, but I guess he forgot that it wasn't really that messy. In his defense, it was 10 years ago.

The only other time he mentioned having a baby without me starting the conversation he started the question with, "this doesn't change my feelings about having a baby but..." He didn't do that this time and I can't help but hope he's warming up to the idea.

I did recently find out that he favors the name Edwin, after his great grandfather and grandfather. He's not gaga over Oscar, but he is not opposed to it since it was my grandfathers name. I prefer Oscar, but I'm not opposed to Edwin at all. Edwin Oscar, Oscar Edwin...

Now we just need a baby boy to take the name <3

**I have an appointment scheduled with a new ob/gyn that specializes in fertility for Wednesday.**

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Starting All Over



I picked up a package of baby arugula the other day and decided to cook it up with some mushrooms and some of my homemade italian dressing. It turned out pretty good. I fixed the entire container of both arugula and mushrooms and ended up eating every bit for lunch.

This endometriosis friendly food stuff is getting easier and easier. Seriously, I had pizza a month ago and a piece of cake and ice cream about two weeks ago. That is all the processed foods I've had. Oh wait, I take that back. I have had two glasses of dark chocolate silk almond milk over the last two days. It has more sugar than I need, but it's gluten and dairy free :)


About two days ago I had take out food for the second time this month. For me, that's good. I had a veggie burrito from Qudoba at some point this month. I guess you caught me in a lie about no other processed foods. Anywho, I had a veggie salad from Subway and although it was good, it cost $6! Seems like a lot for  a salad. I could have bought all the stuff for it and made several salads with that.

I completed my dietbet today and have already gotten back my response verifying me as an official winner! Yay! I've lost a total of 36 pounds from my highest weight. I have a lot more to go, but I'll get there eventually.

TTC News:
I wish I didn't have to say that I'm back at the beginning of another cycle, but I have no other choice. Today is cd 3. I never did really get an answer about our health insurance. HR got this response from one of the managers from Cigna which said...

"Diagnosis and treatment of the underlying cause of infertility if medically necessary and preauthorized by the Medical Claims Administrator’ means that the testing and treatments are covered for medical issues with a medical diagnosis, but infertility treatments specifically are not covered. 

Coverage will depend on the specific tests and procedures in question and the diagnosis and procedure codes the provider submits on the claim.   Specific coverage questions are best answered through a ‘pre-determination’ by the provider’s office and in-network providers are familiar with the process.

Because there is medical treatment coverage prior to an infertility diagnosis, the way a question is worded can make a difference.  If the employee called us and asked if ‘infertility treatments’ are covered, the answer would be no.”

Still, neither of us is sure what exactly this means. I went ahead and scheduled an appointment with my current doctor to get that referral to another doctor moving. I had originally told him I wanted to wait. It looks like the only way we're going to get a straight answer is to just try to go and see what happens after the doctor sends the pre authorization forms.

Don't you just love insurance companies?

Friday, January 31, 2014

CD 29 & Feeling Stuck in the Mud


I feel exactly like the tire pictured above. Stuck. I'm stuck on my couch with my laptop in front of me and my phone beside me. Despite searching Google yesterday and since I've been up today and with no explanation of what our health insurance means for family planning, I can't stop searching. And I can't walk away from my phone for more than a few seconds for fear of missing a call from the hubby with a response from HR.

The sad thing is, I know that I'm going to be told that insurance doesn't cover anything because (fill in blank with whatever excuse they have), but I just need to hear it. I can't move on until I do.

They'll have an excuse to not cover anything. I know they will.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

End of the Road & Infertility Coverage



Well, after my little depression party the other day, the hubby began looking into his benefits information. When he was offered this new job one of the first things he asked about what whether or not infertility would be covered. He was originally told it would be and he found this in the packet...

Family Planning
The plan covers:
■ Surgery for sterilization (reversal of sterilization is not covered).
■ Diagnosis and treatment of the underlying cause of infertility if medically necessary and preauthorized by the Medical Claims Administrator.

So why am I being told no every time I call and ask the benefits people???

He decided to contact the human resources lady where he works, which happens to be the same person that told him we would have coverage, to try to find out what's going on. I tried to call a RE that is close by to see what I could find out as well. The girl I talked to said that it sounds like I do have coverage, but she's not sure why they would tell me no when I call customer service, which is what she suggested I do.

Hopefully we'll hear something tomorrow, but the waiting is killing me. When he took this job about six months ago I thought I would finally have a shot, and then that hope was ripped away. Now they've got my hopes up again and I'm so afraid of having it crushed, again. The pessimistic side of me just knows that there is some sort of loophole for them to get out of offering coverage and that's why it's worded the way it is. The hopeless optimistic side says it's clearly says it will be covered if there is a medical need and I have a medical need, right?

I want to know the answer, but at the same time I'm scared to know.

TTC News:
If you can't tell, AF is on her way in. Some stupid part of me actually thought that if I truly let go this month it might actually happen. Ha!

Who is this bitter, angry person?

Here's another dose of my stupidity for you. I still keep thinking of names. My newest favorite boy name is Oscar Edwin. Oscar was the name of my papaw and Edwin is the middle name of the hubby's great grandpa. Or maybe Edwin Oscar?

Monday, January 27, 2014

CD 25 & Cycle Confusion


Well, I thought I was around 7 dpo today (cd 25), but I had some spotting on cd 22 after some bding. I thought maybe it was related to the aspirin I was taking because it stopped on cd 23. On cd 24, however, it started back up and has continued today. It's scant and brown externally, red internally, and looks exactly like what happens when AF is approaching.

It could be one of three things...

1.) I will have a week of spotting leading up to AF.
2.) I am wrong about my O dates and AF will be here in the next couple of days.
3.) The baby aspirin

There's no way it can be implantation bleeding. It looks too much like pre-AF bleeding. Maybe the aspirin is causing early spotting? Who knows? Only the next several days will tell what's really going on. Either way, if AF doesn't arrive after the end of January I will test. I have a feeling she will come sooner rather than later. It's just weird that my bbs may have gotten sore later than normal. 6 dpo is average and 8 dpo is the latest it has ever happened.

Despite all the confusion, I will most definitely be doing away with tracking again next cycle. I'm normally very bad about stressing all day every day during the tww about how I missed this day or that day around my fertile window. I literally will stare at my chart or other charts on fertility friend for hours. None of that at all this month. I don't even know what days we bd on for sure anymore.


A few other girls and I have been working to lose weight to help with fertility. We each have our own reason/need to lose weight, but our end goals are the same. One of them fixed this quote with this image. I thought it was great and inspiring so I wanted to share. It's nice to have others working toward a similar goal. I have managed to lose 35 pounds and I have 35 more to go. The other girls have different goals, but I know we can all reach them!

I have 8 more days left in my dietbet and although I actually made it to my goal weight, I gained a bit in the last couple of days. I really need to buckle down and get this weight back off so I don't lose my money. Hopefully I can make it.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

CD 24 & Cake


Yep. That's cake. Yummy, yummy cake. Nope. It's not something I should be eating, but I was at a birthday party. What was I supposed to do?! The birthday boy would have been disappointed. Okay, maybe he wouldn't have been, but I couldn't resist. It was a homemade Reese's cake! How could I resist?

So, yeah. My healthy eating went straight out the window today. However, I was good and only had a little piece and one small scoop of ice cream. The only other thing I had today was shrimp fajitas from a restaurant and a tortilla chips and salsa. I'll make up for it tomorrow with lots of veggies and exercise.

TTC News:
Today is cd 24 and my boobs are sore for sure! Oh man they hurt. This means I'm anywhere from 5-8 dpo. I had a bit more spotting today, but not a lot. It should be way to early for spotting, but I could be having a crazy spotting cycle or something. Normally I start spotting around cd 26-27. On wacky cycles I've started as early as an entire week before AF comes, which would match up for my spotting now. I'd much rather it be implantation spotting. Usually AF comes around cd 29, but it has been known to show as early as cd 26 and as late as cd 35. If nothing by February first I'll test.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

CD 23 & Trying Something New


A friend from a forum I visit often made this image for me. I absolutely love it! The colors are perfect together and for me because if I do get the chance to have #2 the hubby and I both want to be team green all the way. This image doesn't suggest one specific gender and I love that about it.

I've been trying a couple new things this cycle and I'm hoping it helps me get a BFP before I'm able to go to the doctor in half a year. Of course there's the healthier eating, but on top of that I decided to try using coconut oil for lube. I've not found a lot of info on using it, but pretty much everything seems to agree that it's not harmful. Preseed is so expensive I just can't afford to buy it all the time. Along with that I decided to use baby aspirin again this cycle. When I got my sticky BFP a couple years ago that ended in a missed miscarriage I had been taking aspirin for two previous cycles. Of course, I'm also taking my multivitamin along with b12 complex and a vitamin d supplement. And the best thing I decided to do this month was to stop tracking completely.

It would be amazing if these new things help me get a sticky BFP, but this is only the first month using these new things. I know it could take time. I'm not sure what dpo I am today, but I'm on cd 23. Last night I had some spotting after DTD. I have seen no trace of spotting since. It could have been because of the aspirin, but I don't remember having spotting like that when I took it before. I never spot after DTD. Add in that earlier in the day yesterday I had these very fast, sharp pains behind the right side of my pelvic bone and you get ridiculously high levels of hope. It felt like lighting. Each pain lasted about 1 second and all together the pains lasted about 3-5 minutes. Haven't felt it before that or since. I've also been pretty bloated, gassy, and somewhat constipated. I know these signs can be normal, but since I've tried this other stuff I think I'm a little more hopeful than usual.

AF should be here in 6-8 days.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Down 35 Pounds



I think there's a part of me that is so used to failing that I never truly expected myself to succeed with this when I start this blog. I looked back through my beginning posts and the first time I mentioned my weight I was at 199.5. Sadly, this is not my highest, which was 213-215. I hovered around 200 so long I just knew I'd never get away from it. 

This morning, however, I hit the 170s for the first time in so long. It feels so good to see a 7 as the second number. In all I've lost about 35 pounds. I only have about 55 to go. The greatest part is I no longer look at my remaining weight as impossible. That 55 pounds will go away. It's only a matter of time.

I know I can keep up these changes that I've made, and not just for the time I want to lose weight. I want and plan to make even more changes to be even healthier. I can do this. I can't wait to see what weight I can get to before summer. Would be awesome if I could reach my goal of 130.

Holy crap! I just realized I have 40 pounds to go!

It's really kind of weird being on the other side of the fence. I feel like a switch was flipped inside me somewhere. Suddenly I'm not struggling to keep away from junk food. I honestly don't even want or crave it anymore. Perhaps I've been invaded by the body snatchers and am now a pod person? That sure would explain this dramatic shift.


Tecnically CD 22 & Homemade Italian Dressing



I found the recipe for the Italian dressing pictured above HERE. I cut the salt in half and left the sugar out of the recipe. It turned out pretty good, definitely not as sweet as store bought. The hubby like it, so I guess it's not too awfully terrible. I used an old, glass dressing bottle that I had saved to store it in. Kind of perfect. Now I can make some pasta salad, with zucchini noodles of course, whenever I like.

I actually plan on trying some other condiment recipes. I found a free eBook the other day that has nothing but condiment recipes in it. Since I began my healthy eating quest I've sworn off all condiments. It sucks because I really love condiments. They make meals so yummy.


For dinner I sliced cabbage, seasoned with salt and pepper, and lay it in the bottom of my Nuwave oven. On the rack above that I put in a layer of root vegetables, potatoes, parsnips, and some other white vegetable that I cannot remember the name of. It was all pretty gross except for the potatoes. One of those root vegetable things tastes kind of like black licorice. I hate that stuff and I can't even spell it! Had to use Google.


At least my salad turned out okay. I used my homemade dressing that I made. Nothing really awesome about my meals today, but they were endo friendly, as far as I know. Feeling pretty awesome about that. Tomorrow though I'm going to have to make something new. I have lots of recipes on Pinterest that I want to use now.

TTC News:
To me, I'm cd 21 because I have no been to sleep yet despite it being 2:57 a.m. at this exact moment. Had a really nice visit with my SIL. I really enjoy her coming over. I could possible wear her out with all my chatter though. The hubby actually surprised me while she was here. He's never been on board to really push fertility treatments, but today when me and the SIL began discussing it IVF was brought up. She suggested us go overseas for treatment and when he responded positively to the suggestion I reminded him of the trial thing in NY. Shockingly he responded by informing us that he could just fly me up for my appointments. I hope he meant it, because as soon as I get my BMI low enough I'm applying.

Of course, I'd much rather it happen sooner than I could do that and naturally.

I've been feeling really bloated and a little constipated tonight. I have no idea what dpo I am, and I'm probably way to early, but it still gets me a little hopeful. Okay, okay. A lot hopeful. I've also had random bouts of nausea, but I could just be making that up. Or it could be because I was eating way under my calories that past several days without knowing it. Hopefully I'm not getting sick though.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

CD 20 & Spicy Spinach, Avocado, & Tomato Salad



I was so excited after I weighed myself this morning. I know I shouldn't do it daily, but I do. My weight has been stalled at 183 for about two weeks. After talking to some other girls I decided to track my calories for the day. I haven't been doing that for about two months or longer. I discovered that I was 400 calories under my 1200 calorie goal. I added in 400 calories worth of fruits and veggies and the next morning I was down to 181.5. I should probably add that I did do a 20 minute exercise video as well. I haven't been doing much exercising. I'm not sure if upping my calories or adding in the exercise got my weight moving, but I hope it continues to go down.

Most of my meals today are either the same or similar to things I've already shared, except the one pictured above. I call it a Spicy Spinach, Avocado, & Tomato Salad. I found the original recipe HERE, but I changed it up a bit and used salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper instead of the lemon pepper. My first bowl was made for lunch and I enjoyed it so much I ended up having it for dinner as well.

Speaking of dinner. I fixed the family sloppy joes using deer meat. It looked so good I ended up eating about a tablespoon on one piece of bread. I feel okay eating deer because the animal was wild and not "factory farmed" like most of our store meats. I'd eat it more often if it wasn't red meat, which is inflammatory and bad for endo.

TTC News:
That shoe I've been waiting on to drop finally did. One of the daughters assignments today was to write down five reasons she likes the story about Peter Rabbit. Her #4 reason was because he has siblings. Ouch. I never stop feeling like I'm failing her, but moments like this just amp it up to almost unbearable levels. After reading her list I couldn't help but sit and watch her and think about how great of a sister I think she would be. I wish I could tell her. I wish I could give her the chance.

This is why I can't give up. I don't know if my eating habits will make a difference, but I have to do whatever I can. She deserves the chance to know what it's like to have a brother or sister.

Ugh, this sucks!

Monday, January 20, 2014

CD 18 & Italian Shrimp Stir-Fry



Breakfast was so yummy today. I had my current favorite, veggie scrambled eggs with hot picante sauce, an avocado with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper, and microwaved cinnamon and honey apples. Mmmmm Mm! It was yummy! And totally endo friendly, I think? Aside from the eggs for some. I was really surprised at how well the apples came out. I think I'll have them again tomorrow but add some nuts to the mix.

Microwave "Fried" Apples
1 apple sliced
cinnamon
honey

** Slice apples, or chop, and place in microwave safe bowl. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Cook on high for 1-2 minutes, until natural juices develop. Stir and add honey. Done!


The picture above is my version of Italian pasta salad. Instead of pasta, I used zucchini noodles. I also made my own Italian dressing. You can find the recipes HERE. I followed it exactly, except I left out the sugar and cut the salt in half. Still tasted pretty good to me. It's different than your typical bottled dressing though.

Italian Zucchini Noodle Salad
1 zucchini
handful of grape tomatoes
1/2 yellow onion chopped
1/2 yellow bell pepper(or whatever color you have on hand) chopped
homemade italian dressing (recipe HERE)

** Use spiral slicer to turn zucchini into yummy noodles. Boil onions and yellow peppers until tender. Add all ingredients to a bowl and drizzle with dressing.


I went to the store the other day and just thought I'd show how my counter looks after I return. My family loves fruits so I load up on them, especially if there is a good sale. I was able to get the oranges for .50/lb and the big bowl of clementines (it was full) for $4. I was also able to price match the bananas and get them for .38/lb. I'm sure all of this will be gone by the end of this weekend.


While at the store I was also able to find this pile of green beans marked down to .54/lb. I think I ended up with about 5 lbs all together. I separated them into family sized portions and froze them. The fruits and these green beans may or may not be organic. I'm not sure? I want to start buying organic, but it's so hard to pass up such good prices when money doesn't grow on trees where you live.


And then we come to dinner. Italian Shrimp Stir-fry. I used my homemade Italian dressing on it and I have to say, it turned out rather well. The family enjoyed theirs on a nice bed of linguine noodles, but I had my good ol' trusty zucchini noodles. The potatoes were marinated in rosemary and thyme and boy were they good. I may have ate a bit more than I should have. You can find the recipe I used for the Stir-fry HERE. I used the same Italian dressing that I used for the pasta salad above.



TTC News:
Today is cd 18 and the nips are still sore. I've also had some pressure in the ovary area, but I'm sure that's related to recent ovulation. My boobs are not sore yet though and that always happens around 6-7 dpo. Not that I'm trying to obsess or anything. I'm just trying to get an idea! Really!

Seriously though, I'm actually enjoying this relaxed cycle. I still have yet to worry about my imperfect timing. I'm not even sure what perfect is? I never seemed to have perfect timing. Something was always wrong. I've even found myself stressing over whether it was sooner rather than later at night. If it was O day and I felt a pinching pain that I connected with O, I swear I would think of nothing except my dying egg until we did bd. Psycho, right?

I hope this healthy eating thing works to get me knocked up. I've never in my life worked this hard to change my eating habits. On top of that, I quite smoking for this same reason 2.5 years ago. Cold turkey! Of course, I'm happy that I'm becoming healthier, but I have to say I'll be pretty bummed if it doesn't put a bun in my oven.

As of today I'm down to 183. I did get down to 182, but my weight generally fluctuates up and down by a pound or two. Can't wait to get out of the 180s. Fat increases estrogen, estrogen is miracle grow for endometriosis, therefor my fat needs to go!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

CD 17 & Grilled Shrimp Fajitas



The picture above shows my current favorite obsession. Basically it's just a scrambled omelet without cheese. Before I even finished all of it I was ready for breakfast tomorrow. Sad, I know, but it's so yummy. It's all basically the same as the last one I made, however, this time I added a couple fresh green beans. Not bad, but not awesome. Next time I'll be leaving the green beans out.


So, even though the food pictured above looks a little more like slop, it was absolutely delicious! I did eat one fajita with a flour tortilla, but I ate the rest without a tortilla. This is one of the recipes that I pinned from the Betty Crocker recipe collection. You can find the recipe HERE.

If you like shrimp and you like fajitas I definitely recommend this meal. I need to pick up some gluten free wraps. I'm doing my best to cut out gluten along with everything else. It's just so confusing. It seems like the stuff is everywhere!

TTC News:
CD 17 today and there's not a whole lot going on. I'm pretty sure that I've ovulated, but I'm not sure which day. My skin is feeling hot and I've had pretty sensitive nips today and yesterday, maybe the day before yesterday? I'm not too sure now. According to FF I should get AF around February 1st or 2nd. Not looking forward to her arrival.

Gah...I'm anxious to get back from MD so that I can get things rolling with the doctor again. I really want to have the HSG procedure done to make sure my tubes are not blocked. Hopefully I can avoid another surgery if I can continue to manage my pain through my diet. Waiting sucks but, since my insurance doesn't cover anything fertility related we have to keep the costs low. With our daughter having surgery this year we'll at least meet the deductible for the year.

I have to say, not tracking anything this month has been kind of nice. Of course, I'm still aware of the approximate time I O'd and when we BD'd, but I'm not 100% sure. Since I'm not sure of exact days I can't really focus so much on whether or not our timing was "perfect" or not. I think I'll be doing this again next cycle as well.

Of course, I'd much rather get knocked up than get another cycle!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

CD 16 & Yummy Spicy Stuff



Well, I had hoped to get to the grocery store this morning so that I could try out one of my many recipes I've pinned but things didn't work out that way. We ended up going out of town for most of the day and by the time we headed back it was so cold I just wanted to be home.

I still got to use my Nuwave oven, even if it was only for roasting some mushrooms. They turned out pretty good. I really enjoyed the scrambled eggs and veggies that went with it. I was kind of in the mood for a breakfast burrito, but I don't each cheese, meat or the tortillas. That would have left scrambled eggs, and I wanted something a little more interesting than that. I decided to toss in some bell peppers and onions. I've been calling it a scrambled egg fajita without the tortilla. I added a good bit of hot picante sauce and it really hit the spot.

Scrambled Egg Fajita w/o Tortilla
Sliced bell peppers (whatever color)
Sliced onion
2 Eggs
Hot picante sauce

**This was so easy peasy. I just sliced some bell peppers and onion fajita style, cooked them until they were soft, then added two eggs. Top with hot picante sauce and you're good to go!


Dinner was kind of an experiment as well. I'm running low on fruits and veggies so I kind of tossed what's pictured above together and was pleasantly surprised by the results. I ended up eating two large bowls. I really don't know what to call it? So I guess I'll just call it Garlic & Herb Black Bean & Veggie Slop for now. This meal was super easy and fast as well. It only took a few minutes to throw together after getting home.

Garlic & Herb Black Bean & Veggie Slop
can of black beans
sliced bell peppers
sliced onion
chopped zucchini
chopped green onion
chopped tomato
old bay garlic and herb seasoning
hot picante sauce

**Add all ingredients to a pan and cook until veggies are tender. season with garlic and herb seasoning and hot picante sauce.

I wonder if endometriosis has any connection to fatigue? Maybe I'll go do a little browsing around the web and see what I can find out. I just know that there are some days when keeping my eyes open feels like torture. Today is one of those days.

Friday, January 17, 2014

CD 15 & A Nuwave Dinner



So, I decided to try out my Nuwave oven that I got for Christmas tonight. No, not this past Christmas. The one before that. Yeah, that Christmas. Poor thing has seen no use before tonight. I'm going to be trying to change that though. I'm on a quest to find and execute awesome Nuwave recipes!

For my first meal in the Nuwave I fixed roasted potatoes, steamed broccoli (burned it a little before I realized it needed to be in aluminum foil), and old bay salmon. The potatoes were rockin! The broccoli, however, was pretty gross. It wasn't that badly burned, but I guess it was enough to make it taste pretty bad.

It was pretty nice since it was mostly fixed all at the same time without me having to do much, but I did have to cook the potatoes and broccoli a little before I added the fish. I had originally thought I could just throw everything inside it at the same time and VOILA! Dinner! Only, not exactly. I kind of think that the broccoli may have had a salmon taste, but it could have been where it was burned. I'm not really sure.

I've found several recipes that I'm planning on trying this week. I have never really used Pinterest, but I started pinning the foods I found and want to try. Hopefully this will help me keep up with all of the yummy sounding recipes I find that are endo friendly. You can see all that I pin HERE.

I think I might be most excited to try the Garlic Shrimp Pasta and the Zucchini Pizza Bites. I'll be using the 4 ingredient pizza sauce recipe that I pinned as well. I'd like to keep the sugar to a minimum and this seems like a decent way to do it. I'll also be making my own Italian dressing for the Italian Shrimp Stir-Fry. Of course, there are a couple ingredients I'll either be leaving out completely or substituting for something else a little more endo friendly. For example, I'll be using zucchini noodles in place of pasta noodles for myself.


I'm still struggling to wrap my head around 30 cycles of active TTC, let alone nine and a half years since we stopped birth control. Whoever said time heals all wounds didn't do anything but tell a big fat lie. If anything, my heartache has multiplied. The only thing that has changed is my ability to keep my feelings locked up. And to add a cherry on top, my daughter just turned 10 years old. At this rate she'll be grown and living on her own before # 2 comes along.

It has been a couple of weeks since she has voiced her desire for a sibling or told me she was lonely. I keep waiting for it. I know it's coming. I hate feeling like I'm failing her. Because of me she has/is and probably will continue to grow up alone. Thanks body.

I was having a bad day a while back and when my husband noticed I told him that I didn't think this feeling was going to go away. It's been far too long and I still feel as broken as I always have, if not more so. Funny enough, he said he was thinking the same thing the day before. You see, we're in different places as far as #2 goes. He's still okay with just waiting for it to happen, and if it doesn't, it doesn't. I, on the other hand, am ready to run to a RE and fork out the money to win this battle against endometriosis!

I wish I could go for HSGs, IUIs, IVF! But nooooooo. My state doesn't mandate infertility coverage. Thanks for nothing KY >.<

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Can't Sleep...



No word from me for days and then you can't get rid of me. Everyone is asleep here and I'm still up playing around on a TTC site and Google. I forgot to mention earlier that I'm giving organic coconut oil a try in place of Pre-Seed this month. It's so much cheaper and it seems like a lot of people have had success with it. Maybe I will as well? One can hope.

Right?

I've been trying really hard to switch to a cleaner lifestyle. I've done really well with eating only fruits, veggies, and seafood. That's great, but I really need to try to make the switch to all organic foods. We have a Whole Foods about 20 minutes away that I'm hoping I can start going to at least a couple of times a month. I've never been there but I'm hoping they have better deals on organic than Kroger or Meijer.

I already make my own laundry detergent, household cleaners, and I only use baking soda and vinegar for washing my hair. I also traded in my body wash for Yardley soap since it has no sulfates. And I only eat processed foods on very rare occasions now. Organics are long overdue. 

What The Duck??


Sooooo, I just realized that I'm working on cycle 30 of hardcore active ttc. I've been keeping track of months and years. Two and a half years of active and seven years of not preventing. Is this even real? How can it even be possible? Only six more cycles and I'll be at the three year mark, and about 4 of those cycles will be a forced break.

This sucks...

CD 14 & Zucchini Noodle Spaghetti Dinner


Traveling the same old road, in a whole new way. 


I may not be able to get off this road of infertility, but that doesn't mean I can't change the way I travel down it. I've been trying to maintain an endo friendly diet for several months now with success. I gave Vitex a try, but I ended up not keeping up with it due to the excessive spotting it caused before AF. Now, I've decided to forgo all tracking on my BBT chart.

I can't remember that last cycle I've had where I didn't stress during the entire two week wait about how imperfect my BD attempts were. So, I decided not to track it. I won't be temping this month either. If I don't know exactly what days we've BD, and exactly when I O'd I can't stress over it. Right? Makes sense to me. I've been doing my best to not even look at my chart to see what day I'm on for the past several days. I knew if I did I would just memorize what days we BD and guesstimate my O date. This would only lead to me stressing about the exact same thing I'm trying not to stress about.

It's crazy, I know, but so far it seems to be working. I'm on cd 14 and I've not worried over my BD schedule once.


I found a loaf of garlic bread from the bakery marked down at the store the other day. I wanted to fix it for the family before it went bad. For the hubby and daughter I made regular pasta noodled spaghetti with garlic bread and a baked potato. For myself I made yummy yummy zucchini noodles with veggie pasta sauce and a baked potato. I ended up having to slice up another zucchini for seconds. It was amazing! And it was so simple...


Zucchini Spaghetti
Traditional Spaghetti Sauce
Diced Onion
Diced Bell Peppers
Grape Tomatoes
1-2 Zucchini

**I used my spiral slicer to cut the zucchini into noodle form. I put it on a pan and broiled it until the small pieces began to brown. This gets out a lot of the water so it doesn't make your meal a soppy mess. For the veggie sauce I just cooked grape tomatoes, diced bell peppers, and onion in olive oil. I seasoned it with salt and pepper. Once the veggies were tender I poured on the sauce. I did add crushed red pepper to mine once I had it plated up.


The sister-in-law brought me this awesome drink jug for my birthday. I fill it up with water and try to drink at least half of it a day.I like to juice lemons, and sometimes limes, and add that to it. It's a lot of water, but I've been making it so far.

To be honest, I'm kind of surprised I'm sticking with this healthy eating as well as I am. I told some friends the other day, even if I don't get pregnant as a result of my health changes, at least I'll be healthier. I've not been happy with my body since becoming pregnant over 10 years ago, and now I feel like I can change that, for good.

Of course, I'm hoping my efforts result in #2. Sooner rather than later.