Tuesday, August 26, 2014

If You Never Do, You’ll Never Know

The last two entries that I have written, I’ve become increasingly aware that I’m not sure if I’m duplicating blog entry titles.  I could go back and look at each title, but I’m a little too lazy for that right now.  Therefore, if I duplicate one, the original one should just be flattered that they received such a well-liked (by me) name.

I forgot to blog that our drugs arrived last week.  They sat on a FedEx truck for several more hours than I would have liked them to, but alas, they made it to us.  Todd unpacked the box while I was having an Infertile Myrtles meeting with Kacy, AKA laying out by the pool and talking about whatever was on our minds.  J  I got home to find he had neatly laid out my unrefrigerated meds on the counter and neatly put my refrigerated meds in the refrigerator.  Good husband!  After looking at the price list, I realized that Follistim cost almost $5,000.  WHAT?!  I had received 5400 IU of Follistim.  For anyone that understands Follistim amounts, that is a LOT.  To put it into perspective, on cycles 1 and 2, I took 1350 IU at each cycle.  I confirmed with the nurse that this was the proper amount.  Apparently, I will be taking 225 IU twice daily (450 IU daily)!  It makes my ovaries hurt just to think about it.
All of our shots & accessories posing for a picture.
The massive box that it took to bring us our goods.
Today was my baseline ultrasound and Progesterone and Estradiol blood work.  I had expected today’s appointment to go well, and it did.  Having diminished ovarian reserve, it doesn’t take much to suppress my ovaries.  As with the first two cycles, this still held true.  My Progesterone was 0.35, and my Estradiol was <20.  The nurse assured me that these were good numbers, or they would have cancelled the cycle.  Duh, Laura, so stop calling us.

Since all went well today, I will start shots on Saturday.  Now, try really hard not to be jealous about this.  I know that each of you wish you could stab yourself three times a day, but I’m the lucky winner this time around.  TFC only gives you your instructions up until the next ultrasound and blood work appointment.  Therefore, I know that I will be taking the following three shots:
·         Follistim 225 units in the AM
·         Menopur 75 IU in the AM
·         Follistim 225 units in the PM

I have to have these approximately 12 hours apart but more importantly, they need to be at the same time each day.  In the past, Todd and I chose to do 9:45 AM and PM.  I give these shots to myself, so I can do them at work.  However, in the past, it has only been a Follistim shot in the morning, which is super easy to do at work.  You have a pin (similar to that of insulin) that you dial in the dose and give yourself the shot.  Easy peezy.  The most difficult part is that you have to keep it refrigerated and find somewhere that is actually private (not a conference room where a co-worker can walk in on you with your pants down if he chooses to ignore the “do not disturb” sign you placed at eye level). 

Menopur, on the other hand, is not easy.  You have to remove liquid from one vial, inject it into another vial with powder, and remove the liquid/powder mixture.  It’s more confusing than Follistim.  Plus, if my memory serves me correct, it has a considerably painful burning sensation during injection.  (Can I get a “more like excruciatingly painful,” Kacy?)  All of that is to say that I would rather do Menopur at home, so I think I’ll be doing that one at 7 AM.  Since 7 PM is not a time that we are likely home, I will probably be setting the PM shot closer to 9 PM.  Once you set your times, you need to stick to them as closely as possible.  Who knew there were so many little details that had to be considered in an IVF cycle?!

A new addition to this cycle for me is dexamethasone.  It is an oral medication that prepares the ovaries for stimulation.  I think it’s interesting that you take that pill to prepare your ovaries on the same day you actually start to stimulate your ovaries.

My next appointment will be next Wednesday, September 3.  They will perform a follicular ultrasound to see how my little follies (follicles) are growing.  They will also run another Estradiol test.  (Based on my last cycles, I will have additional ultrasounds on Friday and Sunday following that first appointment.  This is tentative, though.  Honestly, I’m hoping one of them falls on Saturday instead because I don’t want to have to miss church.  Come on, God.  Throw me a bone here.)

I haven’t had an anxiety attack in 8 days.  Seriously, y’all, that’s a cause for celebration!  Todd and I high-fived each last night when we realized it.  J  I truly feel that my acupuncture is helping.  Plus, I had a Reiki session yesterday, which is similar to a deep meditation while the practitioner lays her hands on you.  It was really relaxing.  In fact, it was so relaxing that I kept dosing off.  Then, I would wake myself up and get back in the right mind to catch my thoughts wandering…and oddly enough to things I have never seen or thought of, like talking squirrels.  Strange.  I told her about this after the session, and she said she didn’t care because she was talking to my subconscious.  Thank goodness because my conscious wasn’t having any of that relaxation without boredom mixed in!

Considering I have had a lot of anxiety leading up to this, I have wondered if we should just move onto adoption instead of continuing with IVF.  The answer is “not yet.”  Taco Bell confirmed that my thoughts were on track today – ‘If you never do, you’ll never know.’  What a brilliant, fast food chain I chose today.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Vacations and Doctors and Babies…Oh, My!

Last week, Todd and I went on a trip to St. John, United States Virgin Islands.  It was one of the most beautiful vacations we have ever taken.  We went to Kauai last year, and they are equally my two favorite places on earth…along with Jamaica.  Maybe I’m just easy to please?!  Anyway, we really needed the vacation to unwind, and that’s just what we did.  I won’t take the time to go into all of the details here about the trip.  However, I will talk about our first three nights.  On a recommendation from a friend, we stayed at Concordia Eco-Resort.  For three days, we had no air conditioning, television, phone service, or WIFI.  Now, with that being said, there was actually AC in the little shop where we stopped regularly to buy a snack or water and allow our sweat beads to turn to salt stains, but there was zero in our cabin.  There was also WIFI in the area around this shop, but we didn’t spend enough time there to use it (except for the only 2 posts of pictures I made to Facebook on the entire trip.)  Basically, we woke-up early with the sun.  We spent our days hiking or snorkeling.  We spent our evenings playing Yahtzee in our room in front of a box fan with the windows open.  It was splendid.  I really could have appreciated a little AC.  However, we have not been this disconnected in what seems like years (which in all reality has only been since our cruise in March 2013).  We loved every minute…again, except for the lack of AC.  There were hermit crabs along the 20 minute hiking trail to the beach.  There were donkeys on the secluded beach that never had any more people than 30 at one time.  There was a hummingbird that visited a tree outside our French doors every single morning.  There were the most beautiful views and interesting snorkeling of my life.  It was pure, sweaty bliss.  I would go back in a heartbeat…but next time, we are staying in a cabin that receives better trade winds.  J  Overall, it was a great week.  Here are the picture collages I made for Instagram/Facebook.
Our first day at Concordia...Todd playing with the crabs & hiking to Ram Head
Snorkeling in Salt Pond Bay
Hiking to Drunk Bay
Yahtzee!
Dinner during sunset at ZoZo's at Caneel Bay
Boat cruise to the British Virgin Islands...the baths at Virgin Gorda, snorkeling at Treasure Island, & playtime on Willy T's floating pirate ship & bar
Snorkeling at Maho Bay before we headed to Trunk Bay
Our last day, we shared a Coke.
As for IVF, it’s starting, and I have felt every bit of the emotional rollercoaster.  I have been having anxiety attacks once or twice a week for a few months, now.  They are bad, too, and they seem to be getting worse.  I’m pretty sure Todd doesn’t know what to do with my anymore.  He’s the only person that has had to experience them, and I’m pretty sure he’s scared of me.  K  I haven’t had this much stress and anxiety in nearly 15 years, so it’s been worrying me, too.  Today, I went to my first acupuncture appointment.  I was already having a pretty chill morning, so I don’t think I felt any more relaxed when I left than when I got there.  However, I did feel like he understood my issue and gave me good recommendations for what we need to do to fix my problems.  I felt confident in his treatment today and will be seeing him again on Wednesday.  Monday, I have an appointment for hypnosis or Reiki.  I’m not sure which treatment I will get, but I’m excited to try it, too.  I’m going to possibly incorporate both of these into this entire next cycle.  I should be as chill as a ski lift operator in Colorado, except without the munchies.  J

Tuesday, we have my baseline ultrasound and blood draws.  They will be checking to see that my lining looks thin and my ovaries are “quiet,” meaning that they have been resting well and are ready for the big stimulation.  The blood draws will tell them what the starting number for estradiol is, which means something along the lines of how many mature follicles you have.  (Honestly, you’d have to Google it to find out.  In the past, I used to put all of that information on my blog, but this cycle, I’m a little lazier.  We’ll blame it on the excessive relaxation therapy I am starting.  J)  On that day, I’ll get final information about how my cycle will start to look with the stim shots and follow-up ultrasounds.  Basically, I’ll know a lot more that day.

On an even more awesome note, my cousin and dear friend from college gave birth to two healthy little girls this week.  They were almost exactly two days apart.  I’m in love.  Tomorrow morning, Todd and I are driving to Kansas City to meet our niece, Eleanor.  Of course, I still plan to call her Baby Laura…or Leanora, which is just a really funny inside joke in my family right now thanks to our sweet Mimi.  Le sigh.  I hope Bradette still has some of her baby dust to sprinkle on me when I get there.  Maybe sweet Eleanor will be the lucky charm I have needed for all these years!
Eleanor Faye Groves, daughter of my cousin, Bradette, & her husband, Rob
Eleanor, again...my lucky charm
Sadie Stewmon, daughter of my college friend, Tiffany, & her husband, Stew
Happy Friday, y’all!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

I Don’t Want To Be Special

*****WARNING:  I’m in a pretty low spot right now, so this isn’t going to be very happy-go-lucky...or funny...or clever...or probably enjoyable at all for you to read.  This is more for me needing to vent.  Now that I'm finished writing it, I do feel a little better.

Yesterday, I went to see Dr. McKinney for a saline infusion sonogram (SIS) and trial transfer (TT).  The TT is just a procedure to make sure she knows how far the catheter can be inserted into my uterus during the actual transfer.  It’s uncomfortable, but it’s bearable.  The SIS is a test to see if my uterus has any polyps, major endometriosis scar tissue, or other abnormalities that could keep the embryos from successfully implanting.  It is similar to an HSG test I had run early last year with Dr. Bundren.  The major differences are that the HSG looks at the fallopian tubes and uterus, and the SIS just looks at the uterus.  Plus, the HSG uses an x-ray, and the SIS uses an ultrasound machine.  The major similarity is that they are both extremely painful.  This is easily the second worst pain I can remember feeling in my life.  (The first was the pain from the gas left in my abdominal cavity after my laparoscopy in August of 2012.  It literally felt as if my ribs were slowly cracking.)  I, officially, hate the SIS.  If I have to do one again, I don’t know what I will do.  Somehow, I had forgotten how bad the HSG was, but it all came flooding back to me when she began the procedure.  The real kicker?  There was a vent above my head and hanging out inside was my worst nightmare…a spider.  I had to keep watching him to make sure he wasn’t going to escape into the room.  It was just awful.  I could not be happier that all of that is past me.

That was a physical pain yesterday.  Today was an emotional pain.  I have been having recurring episodes of fear that we are not going down the right path with using Dr. McKinney.  Last week, I had a terrible bout of this fear, and after talking to Todd and a couple of friends, I was feeling much more certain that we were on the right path. 

Tonight, I had all of those feelings, again.  I had to go to an IVF class tonight at a boutique hotel here in Tulsa.  Todd has been out of town since early, early Monday morning, but I was lucky enough to get my friend and fellow infertile, Kacy (www.1stcomesloveblog.wordpress.com), to go with me.  (The funny part is that Kacy and I both think the other couples in the room tonight are sitting at home wondering if we were a couple, too.  J  Kacy starts her first IVF cycle with Dr. Bundren tomorrow, so it was nice to have someone sitting beside me that is literally in the same boat as me.)  Anyway, I sat there listening to them tonight and finding myself starting to doubt, again.  It was like a rollercoaster for me.  One minute, I was thinking how this was a great decision to use Dr. McKinney/Tulsa Fertility Center.  The next minute, I was wondering if this was a huge mistake.  However, I didn’t allow myself to break down…until I got home.
Once in the confines of my bedroom, I began to cry.  Having Todd away has probably made all of this worse.  I am consumed with fear and doubt and sadness.  I have been praying to God over and over to give me a sign that we are headed in the right direction.  Todd made a joke that the spider in the room during my procedure yesterday was a sign.  Yesterday, TFC informed us that one of Todd’s procedures would not be included in our package deal, adding $3,185 to our budget.  Today, the pharmacy called to tell me that each round of IVF meds is going to cost $2,800 over what we budgeted; that’s a potential of $5,600 more than what we planned.  Are these signs from God?  How am I supposed to know?

Tonight, the IVF financial coordinator found out who I was and said, “Oh, you’re the special case.”  I don’t want to be special anymore.  I don’t want to need a special contract to be able to do IVF.  I don’t want to need $2,800 more in meds for this cycle.  I don’t want to have to ask off work for a dozen appointments.  I don’t want to have to do IVF to get pregnant.  I don’t want to be like 1 in 8 couples that struggle with infertility.  I don’t want to take 18 pills a day to make sure my folic acid and calcium levels are high enough.  I don’t want to have to tone-down my workouts during another cycle.  I don’t want to need a therapist to talk to about these issues.  I don’t want to have to spend excessive amounts of money on relaxation therapy to help me stay stress-free.  I don’t want to have to plan my life around IVF.

I just want a baby.  On days like today, it feels like that’s too much to ask.

Monday, July 21, 2014

And then my heart skips a beat.

Nearly 7 hours I spent chasing you around this weekend. 

Nearly 7 hours I spent in my Heaven this weekend. 

You’re no more than 3 ½ feet tall, but you pack the energy of a Dalmatian puppy.  At first, there are only a couple of you.  Before I know it, there are more than 30 of you, and I no longer have thoughts of my own inside my head.

And then my heart skips a beat.

One minute, you’re running at me full-speed to see if you can knock me on my back from sitting position.  Your twin follows so closely that all I can do is roll backwards and try to protect all of our heads from hitting the slightly carpeted, cement floor.  How many times did we play that game?  Each time ending in a sea of giggles and more cries for, “Again!”

And then my heart skips a beat.

The next minute, I have two of your other friends on my lap in hysterics.  “Why are they crying?” one of you asks.  “Because they miss their mommies,” which just makes the screams even louder.

And then my heart skips a beat.

Some of you hold my hand, cuddle in my lap, or lay your head in my lap and let me scratch your back while we watch our lesson.
And then my heart skips a beat.

Some of you can’t sit still long enough to learn the 10-word Bible verse for the week.  However, when the worship music starts, you’re the first to grab my hands and let me twirl you in circles.

And then my heart skips a beat.

As I hold one of you and try to soften the pain of your most recent fall, another of you walks up and places your hand on his knee as if to say, “It’s okay.  Sometimes, I fall, too.”

And then my heart skips a beat.

I look over and see one of you cuddled up with my teenage girl in our jungle gym “doing nothing” as I later found out was your plan for the hour.
 And then my heart skips a beat.

“Do you want to go color?” I ask one of you.  “Are you going to come with me?” is your reply.

And then my heart skips a beat.

As we color, a different friend turns to me and says, “How’s this, Mommy?”

And then my heart skips a beat.

Your parents come quickly and take you home with them.  Some of you remember to give me hugs, but I can still feel the gentle touch of each of you on my arm or in my hand.

And then my heart skips a beat.
We pick-up the room, shut off the lights, and head towards our home.  Me with empty arms.  Without one of you for myself.

And then my heart skips a beat.

Then, I remind myself that we will do this all over again in one more week.

And then my heart skips a beat.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

It’s Time

I would like to preface this blog entry by saying that my kids are awesome, loving kids.  They are human, too.  In our family, we all are.  Most noticeably, they are currently teenagers.  That does not make them bad people, and I hope that I do not portray that in this entry.  I think they are great kids, but sometimes, our communication is lacking.  Maybe I need to learn to be more swag.  (Is that the word they use these days? J)

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I pull up into the garage, load myself down with the bags and purses that I require to get through my day, and head into our mudroom.  As I step into the kitchen, I sing out the kindest “hello” that I can muster after another long day at the office.  The kids respond with a mixture of chipper and muttered hellos.  Then, they return to what they were doing before I came home, leaving me to wonder if they even missed me at all that day.

When the kids are at their mom’s house, I’ll try to text with them.  It’s hit or miss if I get a response.  When I do get a response , it’s almost always like pulling teeth to communicate:
Me:  Hi, how was your day?
Teen:  Good.
Me:  Do anything fun?
Teen:  Not really.
Me:  Have anything fun planned for tonight?
Teen:  Not really.
Me:  Did you talk to that boy you like?
Teen:  No.
Me:  Would you like me to leave you alone?
Teen:  That would be nice.

Okay, I made-up the last two lines, but you get the gist.

Phone calls or texting me first?  Never happens unless they need something. 

Pictures of us on Instagram together?  I’m averaging two a year but only with one kid.

This is how communication with my teenagers has looked for approximately the last 4 years when the first one received a cell phone.

This is how communication with God has looked for over 33 years.

Driving home yesterday, I realized that I am just like these teenagers.  Overall, I am a good person just as they are good kids.  Deep down, I want God to shower me with blessings; I’m pretty sure these kids are very content when special gifts are given to them.  However, one of the things that breaks my heart day after day is the exact same thing that I’m doing to God.

I’m ignoring him.

How often do I really sit in conversation with God?  How often do I stop talking and try to hear what He wants to tell me?  How often do I call him first and without needing anything?  How often do I post something on social media about my relationship with Him?  The answer is…even less than my kids do with me.
The difference?  They are teenagers.  This is what teenagers do.  I am an adult that calls myself a Christian.  I just expect God to be there for me whenever I need him.  However, if it’s not convenient for me, I don’t go out of my way to make sure I am in communication.  When I enter His house, I definitely sing out His name and give Him attention.  I even sit there every. single. Sunday. and think about how I’m going to make changes this week and really start that Bible study Mom bought me back in January.  Then, I walk out the doors of church and change nothing.

My priorities are all wrong.

I’m scared, though.  I’m scared that if I change, what will that mean?  Will He ask me to do things that are uncomfortable for me?  Could He possibly give me a new direction to my life that doesn’t fit the path I had planned?  Will I ask Him for something but not have strong enough faith for Him to answer my call?  Will I have any friends that start to avoid me because I’m becoming “too religious?”  I’m scared of all of these things.

Most of all, I’m scared I won’t be good enough.  I’m scared that I will tell people how I want to be a God-fearing woman.  I want to have 100% faith that God will give me the one thing that I’ve always dreamt of.  However, if I tell everyone that what I’m going to do is to fear Him and have that blind faith, what happens if I stumble?  What if I say something wrong?  I will be judged.  I know how this works.  I’ve seen people point and scoff at Christians that are human.

It’s time, though.  It’s time for me to say a prayer, take a deep breath, and take that next step.  After all, what I have been doing isn’t working for me…or for Him. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Sharing Another Blog – Remembering the 1 Samuel 1 Woman this Mother’s Day

I realize that I've been sharing a lot of Elisha's posts lately.  She just puts things into words in a way that I cannot seem to do.

This is so beautifully written that I feel like I shouldn’t add any of my own comments.  Although these words make me ache inside, it’s a good reminder to me that I’m not alone.  We all need that reminder from time to time.  Usually more often than not. 


Remembering the 1 Samuel 1 Woman this Mother’s Day


Do you remember the excitement you had when telling your husband, best friend, sister, or parents that you were expecting? Do you remember how pregnancy changed your body–it was just a little at first, but then as your baby grew, so did your belly and you rejoiced with each belly rub, or picture taken to show the progression? Do you remember the emotions you felt when your miracle kicked for the first time? Or had the hiccups?

What about when your baby would move inside of you at the sound of your voice? How about the overwhelming sense of joy you felt when you gazed into their eyes for the first time and counted their fingers and toes?

Now try to strip yourself away and imagine never having those memories or experiencing those climatic moments. Take a moment to close your eyes and place your hand over your womb while imagining the pain of hearing a doctor tell you that the chances of conceiving are less than 3 percent, you do not mature eggs for ovulation, your husband has zero sperm, or your pregnancy is no longer viable and you will miscarry.

Imagine yourself in your second or third trimester going in for a routine doctor’s appointment expecting to hear the nurse tell you that there is a healthy baby developing perfectly, but the only thing you hear is the silence followed by a muffled voice telling you there is no longer a heartbeat. Imagine instead of picking out your child’s first outfit, you choose a casket. Try to imagine the pain associated with never knowing what it will feel like to have your child’s arms wrapped around your neck and you’ll never get to hear the sound of their voice or look into their eyes. Better yet, your beloved infant will never get to look into your eyes and see the love you have for them.

No one wants to imagine these moments or feel this type of pain for even a second, but for some women, it is their reality. It is their reality that often paralyzes them with worry as they fear of never being able to experience motherhood. It is their reality that keeps them set apart and always on the outside looking in while attending social gatherings. It is their reality that makes being able to get out of bed and attend a church service on the second Sunday in May an unbearable and tearful struggle.

The second the alarm goes off and their eyes open they begin to feel a queasiness in their stomach, a heaviness in their chest, and a lump in their throat as they try to pull themselves out of bed and put on their Sunday best.

The fears, worries, and painful emotions are magnified and intensified as many women who are struggling with infertility attend a Mother’s Day church service. For those who have suffered a miscarriage, still birth or experienced an unsuccessful adoption, watching the baby dedication is like pouring salt into their wound and as each mother stands to be recognized and receive their gifts, shame covers those who are forced to be left sitting, unqualified for such honor. Even for those who are strong in their faith, this day is not easy and I know many who will intentionally avoid getting out of bed and going all together. But it shouldn’t be this way. These women should feel invited and be able to run to the church on this day for prayer, peace, comfort, and hope instead of crawling underneath the covers and feeling left behind.

Therefore as your church celebrates Mother’s Day this year, I encourage you to please take the time to also remember and give special attention to those who are still waiting for their miracle, or who have experienced a loss through a failed adoption, miscarriage, or still birth. For instance, if during your Mother’s Day service you normally ask mother’s to stand while others remain seated, secretly lowering their heads, I encourage you to instead expand to appreciate the contributions of all women because it extends to teachers, pastors, neighbors, aunts, sisters, Godparents, foster parents, or anyone who has loved with a mother’s heart. If you are a church leader, I encourage you to openly pray for them, encourage them, and ultimately remind them of the hope they have in Jesus.
This Mother’s Day, I encourage the church to celebrate the Proverbs 31 woman and give her the love and attention she deserves, but in the process, please don’t forget the 1 Samuel 1 woman who is quietly sitting in the back, wiping away her tears.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Cousins...Siblings Your Aunt Birthed

I have 2 cousins that are just 1 and 2 years older than me.  We have a lot of memories...a lot!  They start as kids and haven't quite ended.  Sometimes, I think about how lucky I am to have these cousins that I grew up with.  We are originally from a small town, and I wonder if any of our friends ever wish they had cousins so close to their age.  Is that random?!

They both live in Kansas City now, which is not really cool on their part.  Todd and I are visiting them this weekend.

This is Matthew.
He's always been very protective of me, so I used to return that favor by dating his friends.  Don't worry.  I didn't marry one.  ��. He also opened his home and let me live with him for 7 weeks when I first moved back to Tulsa.  Snow storms can damper some people's spirits.  Us?  We made snow angels in his front yard.  We are cool adults.

This is Bradette.
(This picture is from our wedding and 4 years old.  She won't let me take pictures of her during the end of her pregnancy, so this is what I have.)

Kidding.  This is from last weekend at church:
She's my best friend.  Bradette is different than most of my friends.  There are few days that pass that I don't talk to her.  She, Todd, and my mom know me better than anyone...maybe even myself.  She's the only person that can read my mood through an email or text and nail it every stinkin' time...even if sometimes I tell her she's wrong because I don't want to admit I'm upset.

Bradette is also 35 weeks pregnant (hence the lack of updated pics) with a baby girl that I generously named Baby Laura for her.  I realize she will never be able to repay the favor, and that's okay.  I don't do good deeds for rewards.  Mom and I threw her a shower last month that I will blog about once I get a few more pictures from framily.

Anyway, one day last week, I was sending her email #75 for the day, and I told her I was struggling with sadness more than normal.  July 4th, I had to pause during my primping routine to cry in Todd's arms.  I seriously love July 4th, and seeing all of my friend's Facebook posts of their babies in red and blue struck a little nerve inside my tear ducts.  The night before the email, I had cried myself to sleep on Todd's chest because of my continual empty womb.  Anyway, so I told Bradette that I was sad.  And in her best "I know how to handle Laura" email voice, she replied with the most perfect words she could have said to me:

You know, what I imagine is that it's like starting to put numbers or ratios to scenarios now rather than hope for the best.  And how to deal with that I'm sure is very difficult.  Best case/worst case scenario type things and how to deal with best/worst when it happens.  Because one of them is going to happen.  However, in your heart of hearts, I know you're thinking positive somewhere in there or at least hoping for positive thoughts to resurface.  It just may be a period of time of doubt or what-ifs.  Which I'm sure is normal.  And soon enough, you will be back to thinking positive.  Because there's no good in worrying about the negative, but how can you not?  That's what worry is.  I read your blog today.  So let me be positive for you when you can't.  Or Todd.  And you will come back and join us when you can.  Because I think positive thoughts for you every single day.  Even Rob does.  Something happened on Saturday and we were driving in the car and he said you know, I really want this to happen for Laura and Todd and I'm being very hopeful that it does.  My point is, you have lots of people being hopeful for you and if you need to worry or be realistic, we're holding your place.

And then I found myself weeping at my desk with a newfound sense of peace.

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Our five on July 4th...