Day one: Rothenburg

After months of planning and weeks of preparing, we are in Germany. It is 1 am and I’m wide awake while husband is sound asleep. I’m going pay for this insomnia tomorrow but my internal clock is a strong force to reckon with.

Car, plane, and train, and we are in Rothenburg ob der Tauber. We got in yesterday afternoon, took a quick nap (wasn’t going to make it) then headed into the old city. I was here 17 years ago with my mother. My mom and I backpacked around Germany together. My 18 year old self made the reservations so we stayed in youth hostels – it was how I knew to travel. I laugh at that now in my nice single room in a guesthouse. My mom was a trooper because I became too old for hostels toward the end of my 20s and my mom was far from her 20s at that point.

Things in Germany have changed yet stayed the same since my last time in Germany (15 years ago). The trains look the same as I remember them. Same bakeries and rolls. Recycling is still huge here. Things that have changed- solar panels everywhere. At least 1/2 of the buildings in every town we passed in the train had solar panels. There were fields of solar panels. There were wind turbines everywhere. It made my heart happy but also made me think: America get your shit together.

Tomorrow I plan on taking photos. Yesterday was about needs: sleep and food. Though after one evening of wandering around the old city where Christmas has vomited everywhere on (this is a very Christmas town – they have a Christmas museum), Shane is so far impressed about Germany. And perhaps one day, I’ll be able to move back here for awhile. Until that day, we must make more time to come visit. Now to take a shower and then hopefully fall back to sleep for a few hours.

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Overwintering Honey Bees in Alaska

My husband took over most all of bee care this summer. This included overwintering. I offered encouragement (yeah, let’s overwinter them!) and suggestions (you sure that is a good idea?) here and there but the actual physical side of it was all him. In my defense, I have a bad back, and those hives are HEAVY. We have a FB farm page that my husband posted about overwintering the bees which I’ll share here.


Sure, Let’s winter the bees! How hard can it be with only two steps to the process; Step 1: Have bees Step 2: Winter the bees? I mean really what else is there?
Nevermind…I may need to clarify all the steps.
Step 1A: wait until the bee boxes weigh more than a baby giraffe to move.
Step 1B: Carry said boxes down the power line to your pick up while being stung through the suit…30-40 stings should be enough. Make sure several bees get inside your suit and find your ear and neck.
Step 1C: Drive the truck around the property to the unfinished chicken coop, but make sure the clutch goes out first.
Step 1D: Dolly the stinging mess into the coop.


Step 1E: Forget to completely empty the sugar water containers in the hive. Almost empty is just as good, right?

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Step 1F: Spill the sugar water all over the floor. Slip and fall then slip and fall again as you try to get up
Step 1G: Start laughing as you remember the scene from “Old School” with Will Ferrell. Giggle “you’re my boy Blue” as you continued to get stung while covered in heavy sugar syrup.
Step 2: Insulate and winter bees.

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Step 2A: Sit on the couch and watch “Old School” while high on Benedryl.
Simple as that and only two easy steps!!!

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Winter on the Farm

After a week of freezing rain, we finally have snow. Not a lot but a start. Temperatures continue to hover around freezing which is perfect for a romp in the snow.

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The dogs and I are not the only ones that like to romp.

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The duck coop still overflows with chickens. About three weeks ago, our freezer failed. Luckily, it was discovered before we lost all of our moose, fish, and poultry. Our meat is now secure over at my in-laws as we wait for our new freezer to arrive. We finally managed to get it ordered yesterday, and it won’t be in till we get back from Germany in December. That leaves 17 chickens and no freezer. Plus the energy and enthusiasm we had at the start of the summer in regards to meat birds have faded with the summer. These lucky 17 are now layers. Shane is quickly finishing the partially done chicken coop, so they have a home for the winter. The duck coop merely is too small for everyone all winter long. The bees were moved in the un-finished chicken coop over a month ago (I’ll share that story in another post) so Shane has also been chicken proofing the beehive. They should keep each other warm though. And man, these chickens are earning their keep!

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The garden is long gone, I have my little spot of green inside. We have been enjoying all the pickles and dehydrated veggies we put up. Dehydrated kale is amazing! We have been using it in omelets (go figure), stews, and stir-frys. Works great and doesn’t take up any freezer space (which is great because we don’t have a freezer). We have a few pepper plants that I dragged inside still going. I’ve started a small herb garden. We fed the last of the tomato plants that were inside to the birds this weekend.

 

 

Sigh of Relief

I was about to respond to all the comments on the last blog post, but I figured I’d give a quick update here. The evening of the bleeding, I sent my ob/gyn a message on our portal. The fertility clinic has already passed it over to them since I live 4,000 miles away from the fertility clinic. I figured I would just have to wait and see how things looked at our ultrasound appointment on the 30th. The next morning, my clinic called and had me come in. The nurse practitioner that did the ultrasound (he’s done a follicle scan for me before) was excited we were pregnant but concerned about the bleeding. He mentioned that his son had to do IVF and he saw how nerve-racking it can be.

So we went ahead with the ultrasound. Right away, we saw a heartbeat. Shane and I started to cry, it was so real. The nurse said he was so relieved to be able to give us good news because he was worried it wouldn’t be good news. He also said that we can come in anytime we need to get some reassurance and to see the baby. Our next appointment though is the day before Thanksgiving – unless we have another scare, then I’ll be hauling my butt in.

After that, I went home and was able to finally sleep. This is going to be a long few months.

Begining of the End?

We are a full six weeks and five days into this pregnancy, and I started bleeding yesterday. Not spotting but bleeding. It has slowed and stopped with no clots passing; I’m acutely aware that some women naturally bleed during pregnancy, but this is also a sign of a miscarriage. And there is nothing we can do but wait.

Last week I bought some science onesies. Shane and I talked about baby names. I started to dare to dream about the future as parents. It was like the universe needed to remind me of my place in this world, that I’m not allowed to have hopes and dreams like the rest of humanity. Our hill is always a bit steeper than the next guys.

I’ve been awake since 3 am, writing this blog post over and over in my head. Amazed how the possible impending miscarriage is easier to write about then the exciting news that we have finally got a positive pregnancy test. Or that we have been optimistic and happy. Truly happy.

I then had the realization that I had another fuck up. There have been too many fuck ups this week. On Monday, my car wouldn’t start – nothing, wouldn’t even try. Frustrated that I had just had it in the shop, I woke my husband and let him deal with it while I took his car. I called him later to see if he needed a ride or if he fixed my car. He had fixed it. It turns out it was in drive, not park and therefore wouldn’t start. That is a funny fuck up. My work fuck ups have me a bit more stressed. Also on Monday, I got my DNA sequences back when I realized that two of my sample plates were short sequences. I had forgotten to finish out the computer templates I had sent the lab, so those samples were not run. Luckily for me, they were able to run the samples yesterday. I felt so stupid and apologized profusely.

Well, this morning as my brain thought about the bleeding and each twinge sent me to the bathroom to see if the bleeding had picked up again, I thought of the pretty rare samples I sent out on Monday to Canada and how I need to check today to ensure they made it. All international loans (up until this one) are sent in a buffer, so they are temperature stable for the times when they get held up at customs. Doesn’t usually happen because I have all the permits and paperwork in line. I’m good at my job, and I do this often. The FedEx people love me; the customs folks love me. The loan that I sent on Monday was on dry ice since the samples couldn’t be put in a buffer. This alone has made me a bit nervous (thawing = very bad) but should be fine since I had all the paperwork and permits in order. This morning I realized that I forgot to include one of the permits in the customs paperwork envelope with the loan. I’m beyond frustrated with myself. I don’t make these kind of fuck-ups. Right now, I don’t trust myself to do my job which is a pretty low feeling. I cannot do my job, and I cannot hold onto this baby.

I knew that I needed to reserve my blog space for my dark and angry place. Someplace where I could ramble at 4 am and let it out into the world. I feel as I can’t go into work today, I don’t trust myself to do my job. I also feel as if I need to go into work today to deal with customs if the samples get held up. I’m crying over the bleeding. I’m crying that I cannot do my damn job. I’m crying because I can’t fucking sleep. I honestly thought life was getting easier for us. That it was going to be smooth sailing and we’d welcome home our baby in June. I just wanted for us to catch a break this once.

Uncharted Territory

*trigger warning*

I have been working on this post in my head for along time. Long before I ever got the two double lines or the results of my beta test as I saw how others broke the news to IF bloggers. I wondered what would I write, what would I say, would I say anything at all, when would I say something, would I include the “trigger warning” tagline at top (turns out, yes)? Though I thought I’d never have to actually write this post. But now I’m writing the post I thought I’d never have to write. And I have put off writting this post because a lot of people that I care about aren’t at this stage and have some pretty open wounds. I know how it feels and I do agree the blogsphere is full of pregnancy right now. I got upset at a Facebook pregnancy announcement today because I know she didn’t have to “work” for her pregnancy. It is natural and a gut reflex. It is what it is and we are allowed to feel how we feel. Plus do what we need to do to protect oursevles. While I feel overjoyed, I also feel very protective of my friends I’ve made on here. I do not want anyone to hurt because of me, even though I know a few are already. Is it bad to want to lie to your friends to protect them? Isn’t that considered a little white lie?

So with that said, we are pregnant. Four years, three rounds of IVF, so much money I’m embarrassed to say, lots of physical and mental anguish, and an ocean full of tears but we have done it. I honestly never thought I’d be pregnant. Ever. I wish I could say I’m enjoying every minute of it because I’m at a place where I never thought I’d be. But I’m terrified of it all vanishing. I have pretty constant cramps that have me worried then I get worried when they let up. I had two spontaneous orgasms that resulted in horrible cramps, I lost my shit. We will not be having any sex any time soon. I’m constantly checking for blood and calculating my miscarriage rate. As of right now, we are really pregnant with about a 80% chance this will result in a take home baby. Every day that goes by, our odds improve but Google is not my friend right now. The odds are finally in our favor for once though it doesn’t mean it will go our way. Time will tell and I’m one impatient SOB. Trying to take it one day at a time and looking forward to our ultrasound on the 30th.

As for where this blog is going, I have no idea. I started it because I needed a place to vent my sadness and anger at the world. I don’t plan on blogging about my pregnancy or raising a kid (if we get to that step, still quite a few hurdles to get over), it really isn’t my thing. I probably will stick with dark and angry when needed with more on gardening and science. Though gardening is pretty much done for the season since it is currently snowing outside. I did get the small herb garden started this weekend.

We have entered uncharted territory, it is absoloutly terrying but absoutly wonderful.

Waiting. Always waiting.

I’m sitting in my car in the rain with moist chalk in my undies, waiting for the furncance cleaner to show at our rental so I can go home and change my underwear for the 3rd time today before hitting the road. It is that kind of Friday as I chicken peck out this post on my iPhone (hence the horrible spelling and grammar).


Busy few days coming up – heading to the family cabin outside of Anchorage this afternoon. I’d like to say we will be relaxing but nope. I have a fundraising workshop to attend as part of my board duties on a nonprofit on Saturday. Husband plans to hang out at the cabin and do schoolwork. Then home on Sunday to frantically prepare for teaching on Monday morning before my flight on Monday afternoon. 

That brings me to the moist chalk/cement in my undies. We are on for a natural transfer on Tuesday. It has snuck up on me and I’m cautiously optimistic. I’m not sure why more folks don’t opt for a natural transfer instead of the hormone scheduled one. Granted, scheduling is easier logistically though a natural transfer involves no progestrone in oil shots. Instead, I have vaginal inserts of progesterone that keeps on giving all day. It is messy as fuck but less painful. My other transfers were not natural since it wasn’t offered at our previous clinic.

I feel the hope building in me that this will work. If I had no hope, I wouldn’t be doing all of this. So here we are, a few days away from our first transfer of our 3rd IVF cycle and trying to keep my emotions in check. My husband cannot come to Seattle with me [we are broke asss poor (fertility treatments will do that to you] and someone needs to hold down the fort and go to work). I won’t be alone though. One of my best friend lives in Seattle so I’ll have two days to bum around with her. Soak in some much needed friend time and not at work time.

And now I wait for the damn furnace guy in uncomfortably moist panties. 🙄