Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Amelia's Journey

Super heroes are fast and strong, broad and brawn. They lift cars over their heads and save damsels in distress. They are adored by many and loved by all. While that is great and all, I am here to tell you about my real life little super hero. She is super but small, tiny but mighty and started life at only 3lbs 8oz and 15 inches tall. Her name is Amelia and one day (when she can talk) she will call me Mommy.


Every super hero's story has a rough beginning, some obstacle they have to overcome in order to reach their extraordinary destiny and that is no different for my little super girl. After 3 years of infertility, she was finally conceived with the help of doctors. Then at just 29w4d, I sneezed and my water broke. We tried our best to postpone but 3 days later on October 23rd Amelia made her way into the world kicking and screaming. Doctors warned me she probably wouldn't cry or be able to breathe on her own but she had different plans. Against all odds, she didn't need any breathing assistance.

We spent 60 days in the NICU and had our share of ups and downs. We are so grateful for the nurses working at YRMC. They became our family and loved little Amelia almost as much as we do. Without their shoulders to cry on, I don't know how I would have made it through the really hard days.

Honestly, I never thought it would happen to me. I read all of the books. I took care of myself. I went to the doctor probably more than I should have. It is something that just couldn't have been prevented or foreseen even by the best doctor. This cause is so important because these tiny little humans are our future.

"Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny." -C.S.Lewis 

Right now, babies need all the help they can get. Premature birth affects about 380,000 babies here in the United States. I’m walking in March for Babies to get the message out about this terrible problem and you can help. Please make a secure donation to help me reach my goal. Together we can help the March of Dimes fight prematurity so more babies can get the strongest start possible.

Please CLICK to support Amelia's Preemie Teamie












Note to Readers:
Sorry I have been missing so long, Everything with Amelia happened and I am just trying to enjoy every single minute with her. I love her so much I feel like my heart could explode at any given moment. I have an idea for the next blog and hopefully I will be posting on a regular basis again. When I get back into the groove of things I will start up my author spotlight again. So hang tight!

Be someone's sunshine when their skies are grey! Lots of Love! xoxo-Cheryl

Friday, June 10, 2016

Our War Against Infertility- It Waged, We Won...Finally!

When Tanner and I found our way back to each other, we thought our family was complete. We had 3 healthy happy children. Tanner had an excellent job working at Honeywell and I was on the fast track to become a Social Worker. I was accepted into an accelerated program to get my Bachelor's degree sooner with duel credit courses.  I worked at Jos.A.Bank, not really a job I enjoyed but it helped pay the bills until i could do what I loved. Our lives were happy, content.

Everything changed in an instant. It's crazy how a single event can change your life course. In March of 2013 I had been feeling weird and decided to get a pregnancy test while doing my Easter shopping. Two blaring pink lines stared back at me. I ran out of the bathroom and told Tanner. We both stared down at the white plastic stick, surprised but excited. A few weeks later we attended a charity dinner with the whole family. Although no one knew our news yet, Tanner's Nana said I was glowing and that she could tell we were different, happier because the way Tanner looked at me that night.

But our happiness was cut short and the nightmare began. Soon I was crippled by terrible pain. I called Tanner at work and we rushed to the doctor. I had 3 large cysts on my ovary which was causing it to twist they called it an ovarian torsion. I stayed in bed and dreamed of the baby that would eventually make all of the suffering worth while. A baby that I soon found out I would never meet. The sadness and loss that i felt is something that i can't describe adequately. It's like your body feels heavier than you can bare. I cried in bed for hours a day in a pitch black room.  The kids would ask me what was wrong but I couldn't burden them with my grief. A few weeks later, my grandma got sick which cut my grief short and then when she passed it started an all new grieving process.

After the clouds cleared as much as they could, I realized that the hole in my heart was still there. I went to the dr and was lectured that conceiving takes time. I waited the 6 months they recommended and every month was a disappointment. I got 2nd and 3rd opinions, every one said to be patient. I had 3 children that had come to be each unexpectedly. Relax they said, when you stop stressing that's when you will get pregnant.

I am very in tune with my body and knew something was very wrong with me. My cycles were all over the place, ranging between 23-53 days long. I went to a different clinic, had an ultrasound and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) was immediately mentioned. He said i didn't fit the typical patient with PCOS which is why he was hesitant to diagnose me, but other tests confirmed it. I didn't ovulate which made it impossible to get pregnant.

I was prescribed the fertility drug Clomid but if you know me well, you know I hate big Pharma. Instead I searched Pinterest and did weird diets. I tried "Seeding" which is eating flax seeds during the first part of my cycle and sunflower seeds during the second. I put Cayenne pepper on everything because it helps with progesterone. I spent hundreds of dollars on essential oils and massages. I started an exercise routine and ate completely organic.

Finally i saw the 2 pink lines I had been waiting for, albeit faint but they were there. Then Tanner had his seizure on our anniversary. When i drove him to the dr and sat in the waiting room, i went to the bathroom and blood. I felt like the universe was kicking me while i was down. I went to the doctor to confirm and it was such an early loss it was considered a chemical pregnancy. That visit i demanded Clomid and began as soon as i could.

I was immediately overcome with side effects. I was dizzy, faint and extremely tired but it would be worth it, right? Everyone questioned my timing because all of this was in the midst of Tanner's epilepsy diagnosis. I had never felt closer to my husband. Both of us were weakened, and leaned on each other just to exist. We both dug deep to find raw strength to just keep our household running. Although not the ideal time, if we conceived it would have been in pure love, but it wasn't our time yet.

The months following I went for ultrasounds day 12, 14 and sometimes 16 of my cycle. We tried Clomid 3 cycles, each time a higher dose. I found out I am a rare case that is clomid-resistant. It had no effect on me. The doctor suggested we try another drug called Femara. It wasn't approved for fertility, usually used as a breast cancer drug but had shown great results. Some doctors even believed it was a safer more effective drug than Clomid. We agreed to give it a try. We went in for our ultrasound and we had a follicle...finally a chance. I was sure it would happen now!

Except it didn't. Finally my dr. suggest we try IUI (Intrauterine Insemination) along with drug therapy.  Tanner was hesitant to use such heavy intervention but he could see how heavily this weighed on me. Don't get me wrong, i love my 3 beautiful children more than life itself but I felt like something (someone) was missing. Also Tanner and I were different. We had a new marriage, a new life this time around...

We agreed and I went forward with the IUI procedure. It would work this time, it had to. But that month my period was early. We tried 6 more times...i was at the doctor almost everyday and each cycle cost hundreds of dollars but still no baby.

We took a long break because it was taking a physical and emotional toll on us both. I could breathe easier without counting the days until my next period or (to be frank) having sex on demand because I was ovulating. I had my first margarita in almost 3 years. I could drink my Pepsi without feeling guilty and could sit in my recliner all day and write without having to worry about going on a jog or bike ride. I threw myself into my work and busied myself with writing my book and blog. I enjoyed time with my children and husband. Life was good although the ache was still there, i just learned to bury it.

When I was hit with the reality my baby was going to Kindergarten my heartache resurfaced. Tanner and i went back to my doctor and told him this was the LAST try. He had to pull out the big guns and try everything he possibly could. He suggested an extra ultrasound, IUI and an HCG trigger shot. This would give us the best chance. Alright! Last time...even though half way through i tried to convince Tanner just one more time after.

This was the first month we had 2 possibly 3 sizable follicles. The next day i went for my shot. I pulled my pants down and bent over the table while i simultaneously lost some of my dignity. The nurse jammed the needle into my muscle and my bum hurt so much i couldn't sit straight for 3 days. The only side effect I had, which i thought was unusually cruel was that it caused false positive pregnancy tests. I read blogs and forums where women tested out of the drug. They used pregnancy tests and watched the line fade as the drug left their system. I was obsessed!!! Finally i was at the point I could test safely but the line was so faint. I went to the doctor for a blood test even though i knew the answer because i had started spotting that same morning. It was over, my last chance was gone.

A few days later i got a call from the doctor that my results were in and I was pregnant...my HCG was 123 then 2 days later 338. I was cautiously excited. Emma and I went to the party supply supply store and ordered tons of pink and blue balloons to surprise Tanner. We went out of town that weekend and the spotting started again. I wasn't sure if I could endure the pain again, the loss, so i distanced myself.

Then the morning sickness started and it plagued my existence. The four walls of my bedroom became too familiar except for the occasional change of scenery which was a dr office or hospital room. For the last 6 weeks I've sat in my recliner watched the whole series of Saved by the Bell, all 5 Good Witch movies and 3 seasons of Teen wolf. Morning sickness is a sign of a healthy pregnancy but i still felt so distant from the little life growing inside me. I was afraid to get my heart broken yet again.

But today that all changed when i saw my baby, my blessing, the missing part of our family that I've been waiting 3 years for. I looked at the ultrasound as he/she leapt inside me and watched in awe as it's tiny little heart flickered away. I looked over at my husband, who is normally stoic. His whole face lit up with love and admiration for the little person we created together. The distance I felt before suddenly disappeared. We finally did it! Every poke, prod, tear, every dollar, all of the days i spent in bed sick from side effects, every single bad thing I have endured over these last 3 years, was all worth it. I am 10 weeks 5 days today and the doctor said everything looks great!


Infertility sucks no matter how many kids you have or don't have. It made me feel like less of a woman because I couldn't do the most natural thing a woman can do. Fertility treatments are expensive and insurance doesn't cover it. I am pretty sure Tanner and I could have bought a decent car with as much as we spent. I was physically and emotionally exhausted by the non-stop roller coaster.  It caused many fights because my hormones were all over the place. A simple "Good Morning Sweetheart" could have set me off. But there are happy endings and now my whole family couldn't be happier as we prepare to welcome our little miracle.
First Ultrasound 4w6d
Emma hugged the picture and said she loved her little "Dot"
10w5d Kids are excited we aren't having a dinosaur

Thursday, May 5, 2016

BAD Poetry Corner


Pardon My Poetry

I Always Seem to Trip by @Thomaskhuntpoet

It's been happening year after year
It never seems to quit
People trying to walk a straight line
always seem to trip

It gets slick and it gets slippery
Especially when it's wet
I'm not betting on myself
I'd never win that bet

Here I go, I fell down again
I swear to God, it never ends
I can't seem to walk in a straight line
I trip and fall every time

I have on my best shoes
I think they look pretty good
I'm thinking I have nothing to lose
I'm forever knocking on wood

I can't seem to get this down
I'm the laughing stock of this town
I'm going for another pass 
Promise me this time you won't laugh 

Someday I'll meet you on the other side
If you get their first send back a ride
You'll know where to find me
I'll be back here at start
Send me anything 
Send a horse and cart

I'm going to cross that line 
on that day in time
I'll be wearing my smile
like a crocodile

It will be on my mind 
Until I come to that line
that finds me on the river shore
That line means so much more

I'll keep plugging away 
Enjoying every day
I need to find a place to sit
I need to get a grip

It's been happening year after year
I never seem to quit
I keep trying to walk a straight line 
I always seem to trip


Mothman by @InfrasonicGreg


Mothman sits alone
In his apartment, watching
Quietly as the raindrops
Caress the smooth glass of the window

He traces their path

He sighs and remembers
A time when the window 
Looked out onto a fresh world.

Now the rain just makes
His wings too heavy to fly
And the light dazzle
His sensitive eyes.

He finishes his cocoa and 
Turns inwards.

Time to sleep.

Peregrine Falcon by @InfrasonicGreg

I'm a peregrine falcon
I hunt at 100 miles per hour
But when I miss and hit a tree
Things turn a little sour. 





Contemplation By @CherylAMnty23

I always thought I wanted to be a nurse
It would ensure lots of money in my purse
The smell of the hospital was often too much
You would never believe what I had to touch
I soon realized medicine wasn’t really my thing
Nurse Montgomery didn’t quite have that ring
I started to reevaluate what I wanted to do with my life
I was actually quite happy just being a mother and a wife
 
I searched deep inside, to see if I could find a clue
Then all of a sudden, it hit me right out of the blue
I did not want to waste my life working for “the man”
I had to gain the courage to tell my family the new plan
I dreamt of spending all day at my desk writing
Of ghosts, witches and vampires biting
Writing let me escape the world for a little while
Gave me a chance to walk in another’s shoes for a mile

Author or Nurse that was the big decision
I love to write but I can also bandage with precision
After much deliberation, I told my husband I wanted to be writer
If I followed my heart our wallets would surely be lighter
He told me the sky was the limit and to follow my dream
Then he sat down and read all my stories, ream by ream.
I am an artist- we live off of love, who needs money?
All I need to be happy are my kids and my honey.




EXPLAIN THIS SHIT BY: @Solscript

Was I alone?
Who was I with?
Who was 'myself' with?
Was 'myself' alone?

Cause today I caught myself saying,
"Yes, I've found myself today."
Does that mean I was lost yesterday?
Should I ask myself what was I doing?

Why was 'I' not with 'myself'?
Who am I? 
Is 'myself' happy finding 'I'?
Am I not 'I' without 'myself'?

Was I alone?
Who was I with? 
Who was 'myself" with?
Was 'myself' alone?
Ring
I was a beauty back in my day
sparkled like their love, shiny and new.
A perfect circle like their never-ending vows.
I adorned her finger like a badge of honor,
a symbol her heart was taken and true.
She used to brag of my beauty
I was shown off to her friends.
All would squeal in unison.
Oh, to have such glee in my life again.
  
She was a good wife,
eventually a mother.
Loved her kids more than the world,
She loved her husband too.
Always doting on her family,
putting herself last,
prided herself on being the best.
Dinner was ready and the table was set.
She met him at the door
their eyes met, but her heart did not flutter
the butterflies were gone.
She was more dead than alive.
How did this happen?
What went wrong?


When she would look in the mirror,
the woman she once was,
was now gone.
His wife and their mother,
but that was all.
Finally made time for herself and
had only the best intentions,
but her heart wanted something else.
Met an old friend,
by friend, I mean flame.
One glimpse of him,
the butterflies were found,
her heart sent aflutter.
She laughed for the first time in forever and
suddenly her identity came rushing back.
Sprung back to life when she remembered
how fun it was before we had met.

View of her life suddenly became cloudy,
my front row seat,
now a spot on the counter.
Taken off so indiscretions remained unseen,
but that moment in time changed everything.
When she left her lover,
I went back on her finger like it was nothing; 
continued her fa├žade of a perfect family.
After that night,
when she met her husband at the door
I could feel her hands shake.
He would try to kiss her,
but she just turned her cheek.
           
Soon I was a stranger,
we used to be best friends. 
Only a matter of time before
 my increasing absence was a trend.
He finally confronted her one sad, cold night.
She couldn’t mutter anything but lies.
I knew the truth and it always prevails.
He knew in his heart too,
that she had been unfaithful.
They fought and they yelled,
he slammed the door.
Their wedding picture fell to the floor,
then shattered,
Tears welled up in his eyes
and she seemed like it didn’t even matter.
           
She disconnected from her once happy family.
Her guilt began to eat her alive
when she realized reality.
She would often retreat to her room
to be alone with her sins.
Transgressions of the heart are not easily forgiven.
We sat there alone in the dark,
battered and bruised,
much like their hearts.
My white gold was tarnished
their happily ever after.
My metal was misshaped
there was no more forever.
My diamond was dull
their spark was now dim. 
I’ve seen all the love, the laughter, and tears,
through their trials, their triumphs and 3 little kids.
How could she have given up after ten long years?

She was a mess.
didn’t know what to do.
Her husband told her it wasn’t over,
what was broken could easily be glued.
Her lover waited patiently
while she figured out her life.
He felt guilty for loving another man’s wife.
After some thought and a bottle of wine,
she thought, “Hell they can both be mine!” 
She couldn’t give up her lover
sneaking around was too much fun,
but couldn’t throw away the decade of work she had done.

I wish I could have told her to stop.
Thieves are always caught.
She stole the affections of both of these men
and then daggered their hearts.
When it all finally came to a head,
her husband was hurt and
lover felt used.
But, she also stole my life from me too. 
From that moment in that dingy hotel room
when she first broke her vows,
I was doomed to live a useless existence.
Now I’m banished to that fuzzy blue box
in the back of the dark dresser drawer.
I will never adorn another finger
because her cheating heart ruined my reputation
FOREVER.
             
TSUNAMI by @iNailwal

One fine Sunday morning,
The news came shocking,
Nature had played a furious game,
Perishing thousands of names.

The killer Tsunami struck the coast so hard,
Making the blue sea a graveyard.
It left millions homeless and devastated,
When the earth agitated.

The ones who survived were in sad plight,
Though they escaped nature’s flight,
With the dreadful memories of the horrendous sight.

The people who got nearly drowned,
Had nightmares which continued to haunt,
Their property, their money all got washed,
Their dreams shattered and squashed.

The world in the state of shock,
Reacted to the deadly havoc.
In an unbelievable and unimaginable way,
The waves that swept everything away.

Filled with grief and tears,
This tragedy one can’t forget for years.
No one ever thought of this ugly face of sea,
A killer it never ought to be.

There’s sunshine after the rain,
Our sincere efforts have not gone in vain,
Tsunami victims, your pain we do feel,
Will do anything to make your wounds heal.

For the cause of humanity I pray,
Few consoling words to say,
He shall give you the determination,
To stand and believe in this gruesome situation.

Disasters like this tests the human race,
And prepare us for the worst to face.
  

A SOLDIER’S STORY by: @iNailwal

I see the sparkling eyes,
I visualize the clear blue skies,
I watch the tricolor flying high,
I hear the blissful cry.

I know those satisfied faces,
On which there are no sad traces.
“We won our land, our own Kargil”,
Says a soldier standing on tiger hill.

When his friend was shot,
The pain in his heart he got,
Had turned into mistful tears,
But still, death he did not fear.

He did his best to send the foes back,
Though tough and rough was his track,
He shot them and stopped them,
He captured and locked them.

Though the conditions there were adverse,
For him his country stood first,
Not caring for his hand which was so numb,
He forced his fingers to click the trigger of his gun.

So much stood in his way,
He did not even slept six hours a day.
Although he quivered with cold,
He went on, so brave and bold.

He missed his friends, wife, and son,
Missed the glee, the parties, and the fun,
He wrote letters to them, spoke through the phone,
He missed the ecstasy of being at home.

But what so every obstacle came,
He had one and only one aim,
His target was the enemy,
To retain the pride of his country.

What if he was shot?
Or by the enemy he was caught,
With such mixed feelings he had to fight,
When everyone slept in the night.

He remembered his comrade’s face,
Who laid his life he was great,
Stained with blood, it was his fate,
The bullet that shot him was the enemy’s hate.

The face had clutched the back,
But he agreed on, carrying his sack,
The deadly night and his plight,
But for his friend he did fight.

He knew his country needed every soldier’s best,
It was his bravery’s and courage’s test,
It needed his each and every fragment,
Every man from every regiment.

And when the sun shine broke,
It was a new light of hope.
All he could see were his countrymen,
Neither the foe nor their dens.

He felt like the happiest man on land.
Though he knew he might again face the devilish clan,
He would again be face to face with death,
And live to fight for the day next.

For him his country is his love and glory,
Here ends the brave soldier’s story,
But he did what my best pal couldn’t have done,
He fought for and saved my nation.



He missed his friends, wife, and son,
Missed the glee, the parties, and the fun,
He wrote letters to them, spoke through the phone,
He missed the ecstasy of being at home.

But what so every obstacle came,
He had one and only one aim,
His target was the enemy,
To retain the pride of his country.

What if he was shot?
Or by the enemy he was caught,
With such mixed feelings he had to fight,
When everyone slept in the night.

He remembered his comrade’s face,
Who laid his life he was great,
Stained with blood, it was his fate,
The bullet that shot him was the enemy’s hate.

The face had clutched the back,
But he agreed on, carrying his sack,
The deadly night and his plight,
But for his friend he did fight.

He knew his country needed every soldier’s best,
It was his bravery’s and courage’s test,
It needed his each and every fragment,
Every man from every regiment.

And when the sun shine broke,
It was a new light of hope.
All he could see were his countrymen,
Neither the foe nor their dens.

He felt like the happiest man on land.
Though he knew he might again face the devilish clan,
He would again be face to face with death,
And live to fight for the day next.

For him his country is his love and glory,
Here ends the brave soldier’s story,
But he did what my best pal couldn’t have done,
He fought for and saved my nation.

GIVEAWAY!!! GIVEAWAY!!! GIVEAWAY!!!
I have teamed up with the beautifully talented writer  @christydeveaux to promote her book Wicka. Please take a moment to enter her sweepstakes. Up for grabs is a brand new Kindle e-reader uploaded with her YA novel Wicka.









During this Promotion Wicka is also available for .99 for a limited time on Amazon. Offer Ends 5/15 So hurry before time runs out.

Happy Thursday Friends! Thank you so much to @Thomaskhuntpoet, @InfrasonicGreg, @Solscript, and @iNailwal for sharing their not so bad poems. I hope to get back into the swing of things and get a book review up next week. Thanks so much for your patience. This month has been a whirlwind of emotions- sad endings and new beginnings. Trying to take it a day at a time. Love you all and hope you have an amazing week! Until next time! xoxo-Cheryl