The Big IF

August 25, 2011

I truly apologize for disappearing from the blog for so long.  I hate excuses, but I have one.  I have a few, actually.  I could blame our 10-month home renovation, work/job-security issues and taking on a new opportunity, typical busy married life, being late to the game in getting our photos back from our photographer and, of course, plain old laziness.  All are the truth, but the biggest, most honest reason is that some things got sucky and revisiting our happy wedding day just didn’t seem too enticing.  While I think our start of married life has been pretty awesome overall, not everything has been sunshine and roses.

Thankfully, the part that sucked was not my relationship with my husband.  Despite the curveballs thrown our way, we’ve been rock solid and I think we’ve learned so much and grown closer.

Unfortunately, the sucky part has everything to do with infertility.  The big IF.  And it has a way of invading and bringing down just about every aspect of your life.

Putting this post together has been tough, but I do believe that infertility needs every voice it can get.  While I’m well aware that Weddingbee isn’t supposed to be about babies, I do think all aspects of marriage are fair game.  And since (for most couples, anyway) children are part of the marriage equation at some point, I’m going to continue with this post.  (Sorry in advance for any TMI content.)

Like many couples, we want to have children.  Personally, I’ve always wanted to start a family sooner rather than later.  My husband wasn’t quite on the same track, but on board with having children in the near future.  We think we’d be good parents.  We know it won’t be easy.  We’ve talked about how we would raise our children and agree on what we would and wouldn’t do.  We are homeowners and both have steady jobs.  We feel financially stable.  We talked about how we thought our lives would change and we are OK with it.

So, we decided to just see what happens for a while.  We did the “not trying to avoid” thing, and then got a little serious with daily temperature checks and charting.  I wasn’t discouraged right away.  Sometimes, things take a while, right?  But, my chart never did what it was supposed to do.  There weren’t consistent rises and falls in my temps and it didn’t look anything like normal, textbook charts.  It was just kind of flat lined one cycle or completely all over the place the next.  And then, I didn’t have a menstrual cycle—for well over 150 days.

Irregular cycles aren’t really anything new to me.  I’ve always been one of those 4-6 times a year girls who was told it’s hereditary (my grandmother was the same) or that it was because I played sports or that my body just hasn’t regulated itself yet.  Attempts to obtain consistently through birth control made me feel a little crazy, so I didn’t stick with that route.   I just learned to live with it during my teen and college years.  But I had never gone over 100 days and the pressure of trying to conceive sent me into a little bit of a panic.  I went to my gynecologist to talk about it.  He diagnosed me with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), told me it wouldn’t really be an issue when it came to getting pregnant, wrote me a prescription for Provera (to induce a period) and Clomid (to ovulate), then sent me on my way.

The Clomid didn’t work at all.  After two cycles of the medication, I decided to move on to a specialist.

I feel very fortunate to have found a very thorough, caring and helpful reproductive endocrinologist.  Everyone in his office has been great.  After an initial consult, he ordered a battery of tests and bloodwork for me and a couple for my husband to pinpoint the problem.  He also encouraged me to speak with their in-office counselor, and she was helpful, too.  Based on my bloodwork, he said he wasn’t sold on the PCOS  and it wasn’t a thyroid issue.  My hormone levels were OK and I wasn’t insulin resistant.  All of the other screenings, some of which were very painful and awkward, came back clean as well.   While most people would probably be thrilled to hear that everything was OK, I was devastated.  I was hoping they would find something wrong so it could be fixed.

He suggested we try the Clomid again, but this time with regular ultrasounds to monitor its effectiveness and enlist the help of additional drugs to trigger ovulation if necessary.  Clomid is a powerful drug with all kinds of fun side effects.  (Hot flashes at 30—awesome.)  Most doctors recommend you only try 3-6 cycles on it before moving on to other options, so our window of opportunity with this drug is closed.  No luck, Chuck.  We are now doing a more aggressive approach, which involves injectable medications.  For someone who comes close to passing out at the thought of giving blood, this has been a nightmare.

The deeper we get into this process (over two years now), the more difficult it becomes.  But, I’m not giving up hope.  We’re not giving up hope.  I don’t know how far down the treatment path we’ll go.  Until we’ve exhausted the options in our comfort zone, I’ll hold out hope.  We’ve briefly discussed alternatives, mainly adoption, but I’m not really ready to go down that path yet, either.  There is a lot to consider and take on as adoptive parents.  There is also a significant financial burden.  (Although, fertility treatments are costly, too.)  I think the hardest part is the grieving process that comes with the possibility of never having a child that is of your own blood.  And it’s a struggle to know that the path we take will most likely cost us thousands of dollars when it’s all said and done (baby or not), while others can conceive naturally, for free, and with little effort.  And my bitter, judgmental side comes out when I hear someone announce a pregnancy when they do not appear, to me, to be in a good place, either age-wise, in their relationship, financially or other-wise.  It’s pretty easy for infertillity to turn you into a miserable, bitter person.

And when you are at a certain age and so many of your friends are married, it seems that someone is announcing a pregnancy just about everyday.  Right now, I think more of my friends and family are expecting than not, and when it’s not happening for you after, it’s really, really hard to accept.

I’m not really sure if this post has a point, but it does feel good to get it all out there.  My one wish for this is that it motivates you to educate yourself on fertility issues.  Chances are that someone you know is or will be struggling with infertility.  It’s said to affect one in six couples and it’s often times something that is suffered in silence, because it is very personal and can make for uncomfortable conversations.  It’s pretty easy to say hurtful things to someone who is infertile while not intending to be hurtful at all.  A great post on infertility etiquette can be found here on the website for the National Infertility Association.

But, life goes on.  When I first started blogging for Weddingbee, I made a commitment to share our wedding.  The good news is that I have been working diligently on completing my recaps.  I am happy to report that I’m just about finished with all of them and they will start showing up on here very soon.  So, if you are interested in seeing what happened with the rest of our wedding day, stay tuned!  Better late than never, right?

Deviled Egg’s Royal Wedding Predictions

April 27, 2011

I’m coming out of hiding because I can’t pass up the opportunity to talk about the Royal Wedding.  After watching the fictional (and rather cheesy) portrayal on Lifetime of how Prince William and Kate Middleton became romantically involved, I will shamefully admit that my interest has grown even more.  Of course, I’d love to offer my predictions for how things will unfold this Friday.

First up, what seems to be the best kept secret in the universe—the dress!  It’s been rumored that the dress was designed by the bride-to-be herself and will be created by Sophie Cranston of Libelula.  I’ve also read/heard rumors that Kate has had multiple dresses made in case details leak.  Although, I’m assuming multiple dress designs will almost certainly make Kate a two or three dress bride.  How could you choose just one when so many gorgeous dresses were made for you?  Considering the events planned for Friday’s celebration, I’m guessing there will be one dress for the ceremony, a second for the reception and a third (Yes, a THIRD!) for the final, private party of the evening.  A wedding this grand is so rare, I’m going to have to go with the prediction of three dresses!

Dress #1—With the ceremony set in Westminster Abbey, I can’t see anything but a dress that will be able to stand up to the grandeur of the venue.   I predict that it will be a more traditional “princess” style gown with a sweetheart neckline, a full skirt, lots of lace and a very long train of about 15 feet.  I’m going to guess that it will be ivory in color and have lots of crystal details.  Since it’s in the Abbey, it has to have sleeves to cover those shoulders.  Maybe she’ll wear a lace bolero.  The veil will probably be very long and have lace edging.  A tiara is a must, but it will be subtle.  For shoes, I’m guessing there will be nothing too outrageous.  She’ll probably go for simplicity and comfort.  With the eyes of the world watching her every step, I can’t see her braving thin straps and stiletto-style heels.

More Wedding Predictions

Jon Richard hair accessory, Gown, Dress, Lace Satin Strapless Neckline with Sleeves in Chapel Lace Train, Shoes

Dress #2 – Since the Queen is hosting their reception at Buckingham Palace, I’m predicting the dress will still be very grand and elegant in design.  I would love to see something strapless with a fitted bodice and a full skirt.  It would be a happy marriage of classic and trendy.

Royal Wedding Dress, Custom Wedding Dresses, Kleinfeld Bridal

Dress #3 – Prince Charles is said to be hosting a private dinner party for the couple and their closest friends and family.  Since this will most likely be the only event of the day with younger blood, I’m going to predict that the couple will use this as an opportunity to make this event their own.  The bride will change into dress number three, which will be a more modern, form-fitting design.  She’ll maybe make a statement in a hat or veil with lots of poof.  The entire look will probably have something about it that is over the top—something iconic, like a large flower on the shoulder or some interesting structure, so Kate can further her status as a trendsetter.

Royal Wedding Predictions

Gown, Fairytale Bridal Tiara | Wedding Tiaras | Bird Cage Veils, Bridetude – Wedding Dresses – Bellissima Couture Karen

As for the other predictions, here’s what I’ll guess:

How long will the ceremony last? Just over one hour

How many tiers will the cake be?  Seven

What colors the bridal party will be wearing? I’ll go with a celadon green because it’s springy (and because I’m biased!)

What will their first dance song be? No clue what, but I’m guessing Elton John will be singing it.  Maybe he’ll re-write one of his songs to reflect the couple, just as he did in honor of Princess Diana with “Candle in the Wind.”

What will the prominent theme of the wedding be? English Garden

What the main color scheme will be/what the prominent flower type will be?  I’ll stick with shades of green with pink accents and prominent flowers will be pink roses.

Well, that was fun!  I’m sure all of this will be so far off base with what we’ll see on Friday.  I’ll be on a flex day at work, so I’m planning on getting up early to enjoy some scones and tea while I watch the details unfold.  I may even make a fruitcake!  Random fact about Mrs. Deviled Egg:  My ancestors are Wales and because one of my female relatives worked at the Palace, I have the recipe for the Queen’s fruitcake.  Apparently she worked in the kitchen and memorized the recipe bit by bit so she could use it at home.  It’s been passed down through the generations.  And it’s not like the fruitcake everyone hates at Christmas—it’s not bad at all.  I heard that Will and Kate will be having a fruitcake at their reception.  Maybe I have the same recipe that will be used for the royal wedding?

It happened on a Sunday: Scene Stealers

June 22, 2010

I know I’m biased, but I think I had the cutest little wedding party members in the history of children being in wedding parties.  My heart melts at the sight of kids in formal wear.

Seriously, how cute is this?

Understandable for a three year old, Gavin was a little scared to walk down the aisle by himself , so we let him escort his mom, my sister Jess.  I really wish I wouldn’t have been hiding in the back waiting for my turn.  Until I looked at the pictures, I had no clue that he worked the room as he walked.  Either he was practicing for future presidential campaigning, prepping for a career of catering to the Paparazzi at Hollywood movie premieres, or just taking time to acknowledge all of his adoring fans, Gavin pretty much stole the show.

And this next photo is one of my favorites from the day:

“How you doin’?”

Then, it was Trevor and Aidyn’s turn.  We trusted Trevor, age six at the time, to carry our wedding bands.  He was old enough to handle the responsibility and I think having the real bands made him feel more important.   Aidyn couldn’t wait to start tossing petals.

She did such a good job of smiling while doing her job.  It was adorable.

Trevor took his role so seriously!  It was too cute!  He kept his eyes on the rings because he knew how important they were to the ceremony.

Once our cute little flower girl and ring bearer made it to the front, it was time for me to make my entrance.  A walk so important deserves a special introduction, so Gavin was given the mic.  Yes, we gave a three-year-old a microphone at the start of our wedding ceremony.

“Please rise.”

“Thank you!”

“Here comes the Bride!”

Too.  Freaking. Cute.  I love how he took the mic away from my sister and enthusiastically said that last line.  He is such a scene stealer and I love him!  I’m not sure what you’d call his role, (a Page, maybe?)  but having him say those words in his cute little way was much more fun than having him carry a banner, which was the original plan.

So, with any and all tension broken by the cuteness of children, my dad walked me down the aisle to meet my future husband.

And, Mr. Deviled Egg watched and waited as we approached.

I kept my focus on him the entire time.  I remember telling my dad, through my smile, to slow down.   I wanted to enjoy the moment and take it all in.

This was it!  In front of all the people who mean the most to us, we were about to become husband and wife!  After over three years of dating and a 17-month engagement, the moment was upon us.  I couldn’t remove the smile from my face for anything.  I was grinning like a fool, but didn’t care one bit.  Happiness of this level is difficult to hide.  :-)

All photos are the work of Ticia Mangino Photography.

From the beginning:

Our (Almost) Accidentally Vintage-inspired Wedding

Cakes, Cookies and More

Pampering and Prep

Time for the Dress

All the Pretty Things

And it begins

It happened on a Sunday: And it begins

June 18, 2010

All dressed up and ready, it was time for the ceremony to start.  We lined up outside and waited for the signal to enter.  First up, the guys, along with our Pastor, emerged from a super secret room.  I really have no idea where they were hiding while all the guests were filtering in.  I was just happy that they were all there on time.  ;-)

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Making it after faking it

May 25, 2010

Yesterday was a momentous occasion for the Deviled Eggs—-we celebrated our first wedding anniversary!  We’ve been through a lot in the last year.  But no matter what life gave us, we took each challenge as an opportunity to grow together in love and as a couple.  We celebrated the day by enjoying a fancy dinner in the ‘Burgh and then went home to enjoy the top tier of our wedding cake.

But for those of you who remember my DIY wedding cake, the top tier wasn’t real.  It was just a decorated cake dummy.  In order for us to do the traditional wedding cake sampling on our anniversary, I had to make a replica of our cake as a substitute for the fake one.

Here’s how it turned out:

Courtesy of my iPhone—sorry for the poor lighting.

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It Happened on a Sunday: All the Pretty Things

April 27, 2010

Before I take you through our first glance, I wanted to share with you all of the pretty little things and some great ring shots by our photographer, Ticia.

First up, my engagement and wedding rings resting snuggly in Mr. DE’s wedding band:

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It happened on a Sunday: Time for the Dress

April 26, 2010

After we all had our hair and make-up done, we headed back to The Cathedral so we could put on our dresses.  For photography purposes, I would put mine on last.  It stayed in this spot, hanging on the ledge of  a large mirror, waiting to fulfill it’s purpose while the rest of the bridal party dressed.

I never officially revealed my dress for Weddingbee, so this is it—my Mori Lee “Only You” collection, diamond white wedding gown.  It was purchased at a Running of the Brides sale at Filene’s Basement in Washington, DC, in August of 2008.

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It happend on a Sunday: Pampering and Prep

April 23, 2010

The reception set up went off without a hitch and it was time for all of us ladies to be treated to a little pampering at a local salon, CJ Cochran.  It was very convienient  that the salon was only a few blocks away from the venue.  Up for some up-do’s (and other do’s) where my mom, FMIL, five bridesmaids, the cutest flower girl in the world and myself.

Having a Sunday wedding meant that we had the entire salon to ourselves.  Lucky us, huh?  The salon provided fresh fruit, breakfast pastries and beverages and all were delicious!  As planned, my photographer set to arrive in time to snap some shots of me getting my  hair and make-up done.  Turns out she got there a little early and was able to get some great photos of my adorable neice, Aidyn, as she sat in the hot seat.  Since there are so many pictures of this, I thought it would be best to put them together in an Animoto video for easy viewing.  I love each one of these photos and figured this would be a fun way to share them with the hive.

Some of her facial expressions are priceless!  Check it out:

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It happened on a Sunday: Cake, cookies and more

March 11, 2010

Here it was, the morning of our wedding day, and there were a few things that needed to be done before we could get down to the business of becoming bridal.  First on the agenda was getting the reception room ready to go.

With our wedding taking place on a Sunday, we were aware that there would be a chance that an event could take place in our venue the night before.  When we learned a Saturday wedding had been booked, that just meant we, bridesmaids, my mother, Mr. DE’s mother and myself, would have to get up a little earlier on the wedding day to deliver all of the reception decorations and take care of some set up.  While I would have loved to have everything taken care of the day before, we rolled with the punches and arrived early, prepared to take care of business before heading off to the salon to relax and get pretty.

The main tasks that morning were preparing the centerpieces, arranging the seating cards/favors, putting on the chair covers and setting up the cake.

The cake! The centerpiece of any wedding reception and the DIY masterpiece that was in the works for months.

In case you forgot, I was the crazy bee who, with the help of her sister, decided to make her own wedding cake.  How did it turn out? See for yourself:

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It happened on a Sunday: Our (almost) accidentally vintage-inspired wedding

February 2, 2010

Back when I first started mapping out the details of our wedding day, I knew our (ok, my) style was leaning towards a more traditional and elegant wedding.  Our venue was determined partially for looks, but mostly for convenience and costs and I picked the car to serve as the inspiration for the colors.  But, a signed contract with a venue, a set of complementary hues and a decision on transportation never really gave me the warm fuzzies when it came to picturing how things would turn out.   I knew everything would be fine, but I just wasn’t really able to fully comprehend how all of my plans would translate into reality.

And, maybe not until the actual wedding day, I realized that the affordable, elegant wedding I had been planning for months ended up, almost accidentally, being a classic , vintage-inspired affair.  A vintage-feel for our day wasn’t in the plans, but it was a very welcomed result.

Silly me for not realizing I would get “Vintage” when I included some very vintage elements:

One (DIY) birdcage veil and fascinator.

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