Monday, February 28, 2011

Finally, My Miracle

After the devastating failure of the New Jersey IVF, we knew we still had the option to go back for our remaining four embryos. While this wasn't a terribly expensive procedure (think several thousand versus tens of thousands) we just didn't have enough money to go back. Fortunately I have a loving and supportive family and both my parents offered us money to get us back to New Jersey sooner rather than later. They were a bit eager for grandchildren.

With the gifts from my parents and some scrounging in savings and (unfortunately) our credit card, we were able to go back to New Jersey for a Frozen Embryo Transfer. In this procedure I would be given extra hormones to help make my uterus a hospitable place for an embryo to grow. The embryos would be thawed and monitored and two would be put in my uterus. It would be a quick trip down and back, so we booked a much nicer hotel this time.

Unfortunately my old Nemesis progesterone in oil was back in the mix. These are the MASSIVE injections in the butt that make you hobble around in pain. It was a long and uncomfortable trip to New Jersey. When we went in for the transfer I was very disappointed to learn that our embryos were a bit tinier than I had expected. The nine and ten cells I received the prior trip were replaced by 7 and 8 cell embryos. Better perhaps than the Boston IVF embryos, but not what I had hoped for. I was discouraged, but there was nothing I could do. The embryos were transferred and we drove home the next day.

It was another anxious two week wait for our test results. This time we told no one when the test was and we decided to test at home before we went in for the blood test. It was a Saturday morning so we didn't have to worry about giving anyone bad news. So I peed on the stick.

And we both agreed, there was only one line. Then a few seconds passed....was that a shadow? Another line? We busted out the expensive digital test I had kicking around. A few minutes later there it was: Pregnant

3 1/2 years of trying and we were finally going to have a baby! It was an amazing feeling. The positive result was confirmed by the blood test, and things looked great. We had a scare at our first ultrasound when all they could find was an empty gestational sac (they do very early ultrasounds on IVF patients because of an increased risk of tubal pregnancies, and because they transfer more than one embryo) but at our second appointment our little baby was there, with a beautifully strong heartbeat.

I remained on the HORRIBLE progesterone in oil for the entire first trimester and was finally tapered off it and the other hormones by my 5th month. That's a lot of stabs in the butt. I am happy to say I had a very smooth and uneventful pregnancy until my baby shower, six weeks before my due date, when my water broke. Oooops.

Benjamin was born 1/31/10 weighing 5 lbs 1 oz. He spent two weeks in the NICU growing and then came home, happy and healthy, and has been making me a very proud mommy ever since.

The moral of the story: Good Things Do Happen.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Strange Place for an Ultrasound Machine

When I reached the point in the stimulation phase that I had a sufficient number of healthy follicles, I was told it was time to head to New Jersey for one final ultrasound and the retrieval. My appointment was to be at noon on Saturday. A convenient time for someone traveling from Maine. We left very early in the morning and managed to arrive on time. The only IVF clinic I had been to prior to this was Boston IVF, a vision of stainless steel, elegant woods and beautiful colors. The New Jersey clinic was dirty and outdated. The ultrasound was located in a room that doubled as a filing room. I was shocked, discouraged, overwhelmed and hormonal. I made it through the appointment and the retrieval was set for Monday. We left the clinic and I cried. It was NOTHING like I had expected. I was tempted to turn around and head for home. But we talked it out and agreed to stay, we had made it this far, a filing/ultrasound room wasn't about to scare us off!

We spent the next day in Atlantic City and were at the clinic Monday morning bright and early. At this point I had nearly 30 follicles and very high estrogen levels. I was told that they may not do the transfer later in the week due to the risk of over stimulation. I was crushed and hoped they would change their minds. The only other thing I can remember from that morning was the anesthesiologist in the room with me. He introduced himself, and, as I was laying next to him with my feet in stirrups, he asked me if I had been imagining him in the room when conceiving my child. I laughed, he definitely was never a part of the plan.

Things went well and they retrieved 24 eggs. 12 for me and 12 for my recipient. They fertilized 10 and I found out the next day that 8 continued to grow. It was going to be almost a week before the transfer and since my husband had to return to work, my mom came down to keep me company and take me back to the clinic. We spent a week in a pretty trashy HoJos in a pretty trashy part of New Jersey, but by the end of the week I was told to come back for 2 perfectly healthy embryos!

I was elated! I was receiving one 9 and one 10 cell embryo, both of excellent quality. 4 others were going to be frozen for later use, if I wanted them. The transfer went well and I was sent home a few days later with some more hormones and orders to take it easy.

After two weeks of impatiently waiting, the day of the test arrived. We opted not to test at home, just wait for the blood test results. In hindsight, a bad decision. The call came and sadly, we were not pregnant. Devastated does not even begin to describe it. I spent a long time in the conference room crying and then lost it again when a coworker asked if we had our happy news yet. I went home early that day and went to bed.

Things were not good for a few months. This failure just hurt. It hurt badly. I disappeared for a while into books. The escape from my world was such a relief. The only little light at the end of the tunnel were the 4 embryos I had frozen in New Jersey. But at the moment, I didn't have the money to get them out.

And then my dad sold his motorcycle....

Friday, February 25, 2011

And So We Begin

Becoming an egg donor is not exactly an easy process. When I spoke to the New Jersey clinic they said they would be sending me an application packet to fill out first. When and if I was selected, I would go through various health screenings before the process would begin. When the packet arrived I was so excited. It outlined the process for me, contained an elaborate contract detailing exactly what rights I did and did not have over my eggs, what would happen if I changed my mind in the middle of the process, and what would happen if things did not go according to plan. Also included with the information was the application. It was the most elaborate document you can imagine! I had to detail my health from birth to current day and I had to track down every birth defect, disease or major illness for most of my immediate family. This is to be expected, good health is important in something like this. What I did not expect were the essays I had to write! I had to detail my childhood and my behavior and the activities I enjoyed doing. I had to describe my high school and college experiences, my grades, the activities I participated in, and what kind of student I was. I had to write about my current outlook on life, what I wanted for my children someday and why I wanted to donate my eggs. It was quite in depth! I was as honest as possible and I felt pretty lucky that my decisions so far in life had all been good ones. I included a photo of myself and sent back the signed, notarized packet. And I waited.

I had been told when they received my information that I would be included in their next egg donor "catalogue" to be published the following month. (Yes, they have catalogues for such things.) Much to my surprise I received a call within two weeks saying that someone had chosen me from the donors before the catalogue had actually been sent out. The recipient was ready to start whenever I was. And since I was more than ready, we began immediately!

First step was testing. I had to have STD tests, genetic tests and other assorted tests. Inconveniently, some of the testing had to be done at one specific national lab facility that we do not have in Maine. So I had to drive to New Hampshire for a 30 second blood draw. Delightful. When my tests came back fine I was put on birth control to suppress ovulation while they brought my cycle and my recipients cycle in sync. Within a few weeks I began the stimulation drugs. At this point I had planned on having all my monitoring (when they check the size and number of egg follicles in each ovary) done at my doctor's office. I had confirmed this three times with them. Of course when I called to make my first appointment for monitoring they informed me that they would not be able to do it. Hysterical, thanks to all the hormones, I freaked out thinking that I would have to end the cycle. Fortunately I was given the name of an office in Portland that would do the monitoring for me. Things were not off to a good start.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Eggs for Baby

It always seemed as though every time we suffered a set back in our journey, someone we knew would end up pregnant, or give birth. The summer we were trying our IUIs was no different. A co-worker and his wife were happy to announce that they were expecting a baby at the end of February. They of course had to fill us in about their "harrowing" experience trying to get pregnant. (Six months of trying only to discover they were pregnant the day before their appointment with a fertility doctor. I didn't have much sympathy.) This of course spurred us on to find an IVF solution sooner rather than later. Boston IVF had no open studies, so we were out of luck there, so I began researching other options. We could fly to India, where IVF was very cheap...but that didn't seem reasonable, or safe. Neither did flying to Russia, France or other countries where IVF is much more affordable.

I looked into low stimulation IVF, where you are given fewer hormones, causing you to produce fewer eggs, which means less monitoring and less pain during retrieval, meaning you wouldn't need anesthesia. This was cheaper, but the success rates were lower per try and it meant no anesthesia, which I couldn't imagine would be a pleasant experience.

I finally found a clinic in New Jersey that offered a shared IVF program. As far as I could tell, it was the only clinic in the country with the program, and I was very leery. I was also very desperate. So I called.

The program was essentially this: I would become an egg donor, and my payment for donating my eggs would be IVF. As the donor, I would pay for my testing and cycle monitoring and the recipient would pay for the medications, retrieval and a transfer for me. I would keep half my eggs and she would get the other half. In a traditional donor egg IVF cycle, the recipient would pay for monitoring, testing, medications, retrival and their own transfer, PLUS compensation to the donor. In the share cycle, the recipient would save money by not paying for monitoring or testing, but instead pay for two transfers, one for me and one for her, but no compensation. It was essentially affordable IVF for everyone involved.

It was not an easy decision to make. Giving away my eggs was a very conflicting idea for me. But, when we added up the cost, including a weeks stay in New Jersey, the savings compared to standard IVF was substantial. And if it didn't work, and we did have extra embryos, a frozen transfer was cheaper than a transfer at any other clinics in the area. After 3 years of trying to get pregnant, this became essentially the only option we had. The question became Do I want to keep all my eggs and possibly never have a child, or give my eggs to someone in need and have my own child? And so we began preparing for New Jersey...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Intermission Between IVFs

So, to continue on my TTC journey...

We weren't exactly surprised the IVF trial didn't work. We knew it was experimental, we knew they couldn't guarantee anything, but that still doesn't mean it didn't hurt to hear the news. Our follow up appointment with the Boston IVF doctor was positive since he said he really believed the problem was just the freezing of the eggs, and not something wrong with our ability to conceive through IVF. He did offer us the opportunity to try another study, but we had mixed feelings about that and decided to stay away from "studies" for a bit. We decided to take a bit of a break and recharge and reassess the situation.

After a few months I met again with my doctor to discuss the possibility of doing an IUI (intrauterine insemination aka the "turkey baster" approach). This would be a much more effective approach if we had higher sperm counts, but it wasn't too expensive, and it at least made us feel like we were trying. Since I had no ovulation problems we did not use any medications for these IUIs. The first went well, low sperm counts, but not horribly low. No success. Number two was a bit more complicated as the doctor performing the procedure had a hard time and ended up using a clamp on my cervix (ouch!). Sperm count was lower this time so we weren't very optimistic. No success. The third attempt was disastrous. When we showed up for the appointment they said "Office visit?" and I said, "No...IUI" and they just said, "Oh, it says office visit. Go have a seat." A bad sign. When we went into the room I was told not to bother with a gown just yet. Another bad sign. And sure enough the doctor came in to tell us that they were only able to find one sperm in the sample. One. She didn't think it was worth spending the money on an IUI with one sperm so was giving us the option to cancel. We canceled.

As devastating a blow as that was to me, I know it was so much harder for my husband. I never blamed him for our problem conceiving, I knew what I had signed up for from the very beginning of our relationship, he, however, blamed himself completely. It was a quiet ride home that day.

We had discussed numerous times the possibility of using donor sperm. For me it didn't matter as much, I just wanted to carry a child. My husband would be there to raise the child, and to me that was so much more important than having his DNA. I don't think it was quite the same for him. While he's not opposed to people using donor sperm, he didn't want that for us. I think he really wanted his sons to be able to share a connection with our child, and I don't think he felt this would be as intimate if our child wasn't somehow related to them. I could be wrong, but at the end of the day he was still holding out against donor sperm. Which meant our only option was IVF. Which meant we had to find a cheaper IVF option. And so I began to google...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Back to the Monotony!

Ahhhh, nothing beats coming home after a long weekend away. We packed up the family first thing Saturday morning and drove up the coast to visit my father and stepmother. It's hard for us to get away in the winter, the boys are in school, the weather needs to cooperate and it just seems a bit harder to arrange. Fortunately the stars aligned for the weekend and away we went!

My father lives on Islesboro, up the coast by Camden, Rockland and Lincolnville. It's pretty there, and we have a great time visiting, but I have to say, how people deal with that ferry boat on a daily basis is completely beyond me. We managed to get there with plenty of time to spare (for once) and just as the boat was pulling into the dock we were informed that the captain may not be taking cars on this trip. Really?!?!?! Because walking on the boat, towing baby, car seat, diaper bag, and teenagers is EXACTLY what I wanted to be doing in freezing temperatures with bone chilling wind. Fortunately for us the captain did decide to allow the cars on, but unloading on the island was a bit rough on the car. Honda Civics aren't made to drive over a six inch gap between ramp and boat. I could go into great detail as to why there was a gap between the boat and the ramp, and why the captain would not want to allow cars on the ferry, but I will summarize by saying that an "over site" in the design of the BRAND NEW ramps did not take into account the lunar high and low tides. That happen every month. Oops.

We did make it to the island in one piece, and we had a great time visiting. I really love giving my father and stepmother the opportunity to visit with Ben and see how much and how quickly he changes. I know my father is just dying for the opportunity to get outside and play with Ben, and hopefully on our next visit the weather will cooperate and he can do just that. In the meantime, I think he enjoyed watching Ben play in the kitchen, cleaning out the cupboards and getting into trouble. After raising two daughters, I think he's going to enjoy his grandson!

As much fun as we had on the island, there is nothing like coming home. Some days it seems like the monotony of daily life will drive you mad, until you get away and realize that sometimes monotony can be much easier than spontaneity.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Part II-Popsicle Baby

So, continuing from where I left off in my story...

We were pretty much at a standstill due to the super high cost of IVF. I had another visit with my doctor who suggested we look around for a clinical study. Most studies just test the usefulness of different types of the same medicines or different amounts of medications. My husband contacted Boston IVF and, miraculously, they had a study we qualified for.

This study was to examine the effectiveness of freezing eggs, thawing and fertilizing them and then returning them to the uterus. The usual IVF process fertilizes the eggs immediately after retrieval and freezes any remaining embryos. I don't know all the science behind this, but basically human eggs are made up of a large portion of water, when the eggs are frozen and thawed, the water expands and contracts, damaging the egg. Embryos are not made up of so much water, and do not suffer this type of damage. The study was to try out a procedure for freezing and thawing the eggs that kept the eggs from becoming damaged. The purpose was two fold. This procedure would help women save their eggs to use later on if they were undergoing chemotherapy or if they had to have their ovaries removed for any reason. These women would not lose the option of having their own "biological" children. However, there is a lot of money to be made marketing this to "thirty-something" year old women who want to put off motherhood a bit longer. I'm still not sure how I feel about this whole thing, but when life hands you free IVF, you make a baby.

Fortunately for us this was a free study. We paid for an initial consultation with the doctors, and paid to have tests done that gave me a clean bill of health. There was one catch, in order to have all the cycle monitoring done for free, I had to drive to Waltham during the stimulation phase for ultrasounds...every two to three January.

We managed to do it though, the drugs, the shots in the belly and thighs, the hormonal highs and lows and many, many trips to Waltham. The most intimidating part was the retrieval. I was brought into a sterile operating room, alone, had my feet put in the stirrups and knocked out completely. There is nothing quite like being put under anesthesia with your knees next to your ears... They retrieved about 18 eggs and froze them all. We left and were told to return in a few months for the second part of the procedure.

When we did begin our transfer cycle a few months later I was introduced to Progesterone in Oil. Perhaps the WORST of the fertility drugs. It is an instramuscular injection in the upper butt with a BIG needle. That sounds bad enough, but the worst part was actually the after effects, the oil would form a little ball in the muscle it was injected into and sit there, in the muscle, irritating it everytime I moved. It was horrible. I spent all day sitting on a heating pad. It was pretty miserable.

Then there was the day of the transfer. We had been told that 6 of the eggs fertilized. We were thrilled, that meant we would transfer two and freeze the remaining embryos. We went down to Waltham the night before, with my stepsons in tow, and showed up ready and excited first thing in the morning. The excitement was short lived. We only had two embryos, the other 4 had stopped developing. And the two we would be getting were both underdeveloped and of poor quality. This news was delivered nonchalantly by a nurse and we were herded back into the sterile operating room. Near tears at this unexpected and devasting news, they embryos were transfered within minutes and we were shooed back out the door to head home. It was devastating news. I cried for the 2 hour drive home from Waltham.

Needless to say, this IVF round did not work. We had no frozen embryos to fall back on, and we ended our relationship with Boston IVF. Free IVF did not work for us....and we didn't know what would be next.

Stay tuned for Part, this really is a long story...

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Birds and The Bees-and The Petri Dishes....

Through the wonders of facebook, it has come to my attention that an astounding number of women I know are struggling, or did struggle, to become pregnant. I would not find this surprising if I was older, but since I am still in my mid-twenties (ok late-mid-twenties) (ok, ok, late twenties), this is really surprising to me. I had a hard time getting pregnant. A really hard time. And one of the things I found most helpful, and often times most inspiring, was reading or hearing about other people's journeys. My journey was long, and will likely take me a while to tell, if I even decide to tell it all, but in hopes that someone might find it helpful, I thought I would start writing it down, piece by piece. I am also hoping that writing will help me find a little peace, and maybe a little inspiration. I guess we'll see...

Part I--The Waiting Game

I've always known I wanted to be a mom. No one ever anticipates having problems getting pregnant, and when you're only 22, it barely crosses your mind. It was on my mind though, thanks to my darling husband's vasectomy. He had agreed to have it reversed after our wedding, and he was good to his word. The doctor filled our head with all sorts of positive statistics and told us soon enough we would be sending him a thank you note with a picture of our beautiful new baby. Lesson One: Doctor's are full of crap. A few months after the surgery we were told things looked good, sperm had returned and it would be a waiting game while the number of sperm and the quality of sperm improved. So we waited. And waited. And waited.

During this time I educated myself on the art of getting pregnant. Basal Body Temperature charts-I was a pro. Ovulation Predictors-a champ. Getting pregnant-not happening. My doctor was not concerned about my health at all, but suggested we go see the new fertility doctor in Portland after a year of trying had not given us results.

Going to see the fertility doctor is not cheap, and it is not covered by insurance. (Which is a whole other rant for another day!) Needless to say we spent a chunk of savings on our visit (that we waited over 2 months for) and ended up meeting with the doctor for a 10 minute discussion about IVF and why we needed to move to Massachusetts. (See Lesson One) We were not pleased. She felt that we would likely need IVF to become pregnant, and since we couldn't afford IVF, our best option was to move to Massachusetts where fertility benefits are a part of health insurance. She did order a semen analysis for us, and we discovered just what we were working with. While the reversal surgery was successful to a point, we did not have a high enough sperm count or good motility numbers to try anything other than IVF. Conceiving on our own was not going to happen, as made clear by the nurse who gave me the test results.

IVF, for anyone not familiar, is the process of stimulating the ovaries to produce multiple eggs, removing the eggs from the ovaries, fertilizing the eggs in a petri dish, and returning them to the uterus after several days of growing in said petri dish. It is a hormone-filled, emotional roller coaster that costs anywhere from $12,000-$30,000+ depending on the number and type of cycles you sign up for. This, we were told, was our only option. And since we were just making ends meet financially, a completely impossible option for us. Or so we thought....

This ends Part I...Part II will talk about our first round of IVF and all the joy that went with that! (sense some sarcasm here....)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Live, Damn It!!

I'm a plant killer. I admit it. I'm not proud of it, but there it is. The only plants I can keep alive are the plants that you can't actually kill, aka the pothos. I've had my pothos since I moved to Portland many years ago. I froze it twice that year and it still managed to come back to life. I frequently forget to water it, the cats have used it as a bed and as a snack, and while I'm fairly certain it needs to be re-potted, it continues to live and make my bookcase look a little more homey. Unfortunately the other plants I have don't have the same determination to live. The geraniums on the windowsill are always drooping, and I'm fairly certain if my mother didn't come take care of them on her visits, they would be dead by now.
I know, I know, all they really need is a little water. That shouldn't be too hard a concept to grasp, and yet it seems I either forget to water them enough or I over water them. I really just can't win. But now I have a real challenge. Don's great aunt passed away this winter and we inherited one of her prized African Violets. The pressure is on now to keep this little beauty alive and well in honor of Auntie. For anyone not familiar with the African Violet, it has to be one of the pickiest plants living. You can't get water on the leaves, or they will turn brown and die. How do these things even exist in nature??? Since I brought it home all the blossoms died and have fallen off, all the outer leaves are turning brown, and I can see cat nibbles on one of the living leaves. Not a good sign. And yet, tucked way down, still curled up tightly, I can see a little bud growing for a new flower. So maybe there is hope! Thanks Auntie, I'm really trying!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Me Time

Today was a busy, yet uneventful day. In order to go to my hair appointment without a nosey, wiggly one year old, I had to drive him to Portland to leave him with my husband. While that sounds like a relatively simple task, it involved an entire morning of coordination to go off smoothly. Ben had to take a morning nap long enough for me to shower, then he had to be awake just long enough before we left to want to sleep in the car, but not too long that he would end up hungry. Lunch had to be packed, dogs taken care of, and bookwork packed up to drop at the office. Miraculously, the stars aligned and we got out of the house nearly on time.

We ran our errands smoothly, had a nice lunch and made it to the office for Ben's drop off with time to spare. Then it was me time. A nice new haircut, volume on the radio cranked up, singing like a diva all the way home. My day may have been uneventful, and rather uninspiring to blog about, but man doesn't it feel nice to have some me time!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Daffodils Melt When Frozen

It's Valentine's Day! My husband and I don't usually go crazy for Valentine's day, we get each other a card, we buy chocolates for each other, and I usually get a bouquet of flowers. And because I usually get flowers, I always give my husband a hard time about whether or not they will be living this year.

My favorite flowers are daffodils and they are usually available in stores around Valentine's day. Several years ago my wonderful husband stopped on his way home from work the night before Valentine's day and bought me a bouquet of daffodils to go with the Peanut M&Ms and card he also picked up. Hoping to surprise me in the morning, he left the daffodils in the car overnight. In Maine, in February, this was not a wise decision. The next morning the poor little daffodils were frozen solid and as they thawed they pretty near melted away. All I could do was laugh. I tried to salvage a few, but they were really quite a dismal looking bunch of flowers.

I know, I know, it's the thought that counts, and I gave him credit for remembering my favorite flower, and trying to surprise me, but every year, and for every flower giving occasion, I remind him to take the flowers out of the car!

(And for the record, this Valentine's Day I woke up to some beautiful LIVING pink roses waiting in the kitchen for me! Thank you Don, I love you!)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

An Early Valentine

Today is the day before Valentine's day. Last year on this day we were finally able to bring Mr. Ben home from the hospital. After spending a week commuting to Portland everyday to visit him, and then a week living in the hospital with him, last February 13th was a magical day.

Today is not going to be a magical day. I'm exhausted from a late shift last night and I have a cold. My plans today include laundry and mopping. Magical is not what comes to mind when I think about mopping. Despite that, I am taking the time to appreciate just how amazing it is that one year ago my little baby barely met the weight requirement for his car seat and looked absolutely miniature in it, and yesterday I could barely get the straps to fasten around him and his winter jacket. He's still a little peanut, but boy has he come a long way!

Despite the fact that today won't be a magical day, I'm still reminded about how much my life has changed and how much I adore my little guy. Even if he manages to get yogurt in his ears, smash me in the face with a remote and keep me up half the night for no apparent reason at all. He is by far the best thing I've ever accomplished, and I'm so glad to have him home with me everyday.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Walking Around Corners

My son is walking around corners. How did that happen? One minute I'm coaxing him to take three little steps from the couch to me, and now I'm in the kitchen and I look over to see my little guy toddling down the hallway minding his own business. I'm sure next week he will be asking me for the car keys...

He's not the only one growing up. Last night I was asked to proofread my oldest stepson's college essay. Where did the time go there? We've got graduation coming up in the spring and all the planning that will involve. Wasn't it just a few months ago that he was asking for a skateboard ramp in the backyard? Now it's college application fees.

A few weeks ago I reconnected with a teacher from high school on facebook. I very clearly remember walking her kindergarten aged daughter to the cafeteria one morning for a muffin. It appears that daughter is now in college. Isn't there a rule that says people on the fringe of your life can't go and age like that? It's bad enough when the people in your life do it in front of your eyes!

So with all this growing up, just when did I grow up? I think I must have missed it. I know I haven't changed at maybe I've changed a little....

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Why I'm Not Blogging About Video Games

In a recurring discussion between my husband and I on how to make some extra cash, the subject of blogging came up. I'd been thinking about starting to write again, and I had hoped blogging might be a good way to get my creative juices flowing. Maybe I could make money in the process, maybe not, but at least I would be writing. But what to write about? There's the ever popular getting pregnant blog, something that I learned a lot about, but am no longer actively involved in. Perhaps a mommy blog, but I had kind of wanted to escape from being mommy in my blog. Books perhaps? I mentioned it to my husband. "Books??? Who wants to read a blog about books? Write about video games, people like video games."

(Sigh) I hate video games. I hate them with a passion. I hate to play them, I hate to watch them, I hate to be around people that are playing them. Why in the world would I want to blog about video games?!?!

So I finally decided not to blog about anything in particular. I'll take my inspiration from Seinfeld, the show about nothing. Nothing is something I think I know a lot about!

Not a Writer

I've never considered myself a writer. Always a reader. My crowning achievement in the third grade was reading a Nancy Drew a day. In the sixth grade, it was that I read all 1032 pages of Gone With the Wind. In seventh grade I had an entire class devoted to reading. I read nearly 100 books that year, including The Grapes of Wrath, Go Ask Alice, The Bell Jar and To Kill a Mockingbird. Impressive, no? When I started college I had every intent of majoring in business. Until I took an English class and those books began calling to me. How could I NOT major in English? I NEEDED to know more about Shakespeare and James Joyce, the Harlem Renaissance and Post-Modernism. I NEEDED to read. Fortunately for me a part of the requirement for my English major was to take a writing class. I surprised myself by being not quite as bad at it as I had thought. Creative writing, sure I can do that. But I'm not a writer.

Then I read a book the other day. It was a perfectly acceptable book, I guess. A decent, though predictable, storyline, believable characters, interesting setting, etc., etc. It was a New York Times Bestseller, so it wasn't that bad, really. And yet, the entire time I read it I was furious. I would throw the book across the bed in frustration, whine and moan in annoyance. Because I could have very easily written that book. That book, with "New York Times Bestseller" written across the top. And all I could say to myself was, "Well, why haven't you done it?" So here I sit writing. It's a start I suppose, to see if I have the dedication and determination to write something, anything, even a blog. But I'm not a writer.