An Open Heart Through Infertility

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After returning home from a long Christmas vacation up north, Z and I started this year off with fireworks (literally) and feeling like new people. We made it through NYE this year without any puffy eyes and it was beautiful! 

After meeting with a doctor for a second opinion in December, as well as reviewing our status with our current doctor here in Miami, we changed our treatment protocol going forward. This January we moved off of attempting IVF, what would have been the fourth time, for a few reasons. Back to IUI - sigh. Though, IUI is also pretty slim in our favor, it is our best shot right now with what we are working with.

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This week we learned our January IUI treatment was unsuccessful and we were really bummed, but not surprised. We will get back into another round of treatment come March, but in the mean time, we are headed to Jersey to be with my Mom on her birthday and celebrate the Eagles in the Super Bowl. It's my birthday month, too and we are venturing on a weekend cruise to the Bahamas - my first cruise! It'll be March before I know it! So, happily I have a lot of greatness to occupy me and enjoy over the next 20 some days. If there is one thing I do not take for granted, it's life itself. I take every day, one step and breath at a time and I am so grateful for every breath and step that I take.

In the midst of taking a short break and pause in treatment, I continue to be consumed by my daily thoughts and feelings revolving around our journey. It has been incredibly difficult to decide to move away from IVF & ICSI. It's hard to know that what originally seemed to be the best and maybe end all solution for us, is not a solution much at all. Not today, anyhow. We know in our heart that parting from this for now, and possibly forever, is what we need to do. I can't change my ovaries or egg count. It is devastating to know our best option for a biological child at the moment is IUI. As a couple experts have advised, it appears I was just born this way. Though, unfortunate and beyond frustrating, it's our normal to accept, like any disease a person battles to live with and deal with. Moving away from IVF has immensely affected the outcome of my life, and truthfully is the most lonely I have felt thus far in our struggles. As our reality continues to narrow our path, I have sought comfort in faith knowing that what is meant to be, will work itself out to us eventually. That being said, it doesn't make any of this any easier along the way. We have been presented with options of donor eggs, and donor embryos and adoption - all things we have devoted so much time scrutinizing, but for now, we are continuing on the skinny little path we have in front of us, until we feel it's time to branch off and explore an unchartered territory. I promise myself that my heart is open to whatever God's plan may be. 

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For anyone that is reading this and going through infertility struggles, I wanted to share something that someone shared with me. It grants me some solitude and peace each night before I go to bed. I focus my daily infertility prayers on one thing. It provides me with focus and connection to something that feels healing. Below is a list of 31 days of prayer that has aided me throughout these tough times. Thank you for following along in our journey. It helps me to feel less alone and I hope it does the same for you. You are not alone, we are not alone, even when it feels that way. xo RCN

  1. CLARITY
  2. COMFORT
  3. COMMUNITY
  4. CONFIDENCE
  5. CONTENTMENT
  6. COURAGE
  7. DISCERNMENT
  8. ENDURANCE
  9. FAITH
  10. FREEDOM FROM FEAR
  11. FREEDOM FROM JEALOUSY & ENVY
  12. FOR FUTURE CHILDREN
  13. FOR GOD'S GLORY
  14. GRACE
  15. GRATEFULNESS
  16. HOPE
  17. INTEGRITY
  18. JOY
  19. MERCY
  20. TO OBEY
  21. FOR OTHERS
  22. PATIENCE
  23. PEACE
  24. STRENGTH
  25. FOR SUFFICIENT FINANCES
  26. TRUE BELIEF IN GOD'S PROMISES
  27. TRUST
  28. WISDOM
  29. WISE DECISIONS
  30. OUR MARRIAGE
  31. OUR SPECIFIC SITUATION
 

Super Bowl Snacks: Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

The last time I was this excited for the Super Bowl was back in 2004; the only other time in my lifespan that my hometown team was a contender in the game. This year, I am crossing my fingers for a big W. Here is my current favorite app for game day. Go Birds! xo RCN

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

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INGREDIENTS (yields about 2 dozen):

1 lb Ground Chicken (a little more than one pound is fine, too)

1 Egg 

1/2 Cup Panko breadcrumbs

1 Carrot (grated & chopped) + sliced carrots for side/garnish

1 Stalk of celery (chopped fine) +sliced celery for side/garnish

3 Cloves garlic (minced)

1/2 tsp Paprika

2 Green onions + some for garnish (chopped)

1/4 tsp Kosher salt

1/4 tsp Cracked pepper

1/3 Cup Franks Buffalo Wing Sauce (for coating)

1 Tbsp Butter (for coating)

Ranch &/or Blue cheese dressing on the side

INSTRUCTIONS: Preheat oven to 400 F and set aside a greased baking tray (OR grease tinfoil and place on sheet to make clean up easy). Set aside. Chop and mince all veggies and garlic. Set aside some of the green onion for garnish. Cut additional carrot and celery sticks for side dish.

Combine ground meat, egg, all dry ingredients and chopped vegetables in a mixing bowl (everything except buffalo sauce, ranch/blue cheese and butter). Mix until evenly combined.

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Roll into small meatballs about 1" circumference. Place on tray and bake for about 20 minutes. Flip meatballs about 10 minutes into baking to help cook evenly (it's ok if they aren't perfect balls!!). While meatballs bake, combine butter and hot sauce and melt together in microwave.

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Remove meatballs from oven, toss around in buffalo/butter sauce and serve w/ ranch or blue cheese dressing. Serve beside carrots & celery and top with green onions. For the finishing touch use these cute football party picks

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