Thursday, August 9, 2012

Wonder of wonders

Once I was officially done with college, I found that I was often asked by friends, family, and random acquaintances, "So...when are you two going to start having kids?" It was inevitable that the asker would then eye my stomach, wondering if that burrito I ate for lunch was really a baby bump that I was only waiting for the right moment to reveal.

I was never quite sure how to answer that question. In all reality, anyone's guess was as good as mine. 

Medically speaking, when you have attempted to become pregnant without success for 10-12 months, you are officially labeled "infertile". While this label comes as a shock to some women, I've known since I was 15 and diagnosed with mild PCOS that having kids would be tricky, if it was possible at all.

I've come to understand after a few years in student married wards that among women of a certain age in this culture infertility is feared more than cancer. It's a taboo subject that is hidden by the inflicted and whispered about in the back of kitchens at family functions and hinted at in comments in Relief Society. No one knows how to talk about it or what to say when you finally tell them that no, you’re not just focused on your education/career, you just can’t get pregnant.

After months of artfully avoiding the subject, (The first dozen times I just wanted to scream that, "Not everyone has the blessing of bunny-rabbit fertility!") I soon discovered that the best and most satisfying way to deal with the implied baby questions and hints was to flat out tell them- “I’m infertile, but we’re working on it” and then be open and unembarrassed when answering the questions that would hesitantly come.  In doing this I discovered a hidden world of women with similar experiences and challenges that became my greatest support group during the months of testing and medication.

We started with Clomid as our fertility drug of choice (after extensive research done by the budding pharmacist) and after taking a month to figure out the right dosage we settled in for the long haul: pills at the beginning of the month, blood test in the middle of the month, pregnancy test at the end of the month, repeat.  [It must be noted here that Zach was a trooper through the roller-coaster ride that was my raging hormones.  Thanks babe!]

A month after we got the dosage right I could finally ovulate on demand.  Hallelujah.  But two weeks and two negative pregnancy tests later the blood still wasn’t coming.  As a final formality before requesting another round of period-inducing progesterone I took one last test:

And wonder of wonder, miracle of miracles, a little pink plus sign showed up.

Zach and I are excited and grateful to announce that we are expecting a baby (SINGULAR- for all your Clomid twin predictors) at the end of February! 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Car love

I must preface this post by saying that I slept in a car-shaped bed until I was 12.  I played more with my brother's remote control trucks more than my dolls.  I cried for days when we sold the only car I had ever known when I was four.  I cried when my brother sold him Jeep for his mission. I love cars, and I can get pretty attached.

After five and a half years of faithful service, Zach and I are retiring our beloved Ford Focus.  Now, I’ve seen the IKEA commercial and I know that to think that an inanimate object has feelings is crazy, but I do find it fitting to acknowledge and commemorate the service this vehicle has given us.

My parents gave me the keys to the car and a payment book for Christmas my senior year so that I could drive MYSELF to 5:30 am swim practice.  My Dad told me that having a car with a manual transmission would attract the men.  He was right- even Zach was impressed when we met.

My friend Lizzie named the car Gucci right on the spot.  Why, I do not know.  But it stuck.

My freshman year I was the only one in several apartments that had a car, which made me super popular.  We drove Gucci all over Provo and on hiking excursions around Utah.

When Zach and I got married a few years later, Gucci was the honeymoon getaway car that was attacked by Justin and Steve.

That summer, we stuffed Gucci to his full capacity, put our bikes on the back and drove all the way to Washington DC for summer internships and then restuffed and drove all the way back.  The next summer Gucci took us back and forth a few times from our internships in Boulder, and then completed his coast-to-coast dream when we went to California later on.

Aside from the Raggedy-Ann doll my mom made me when I was little, I have never felt so attached to anything.  But it’s time to move on.  To a Lexus.
Special thanks to our car council: Hans, car mechanic genius, and Dad, wily dealership ambassador.
We didn’t set out to buy a Lexus- it just happened.  We've found that we've inadvertently joined the group of LEXUS OWNERS.  Do we belong?  Probably not, despite the fact that it's an old Lexus.  But just you try and take my heated leather seats away from me now.

Monday, August 6, 2012

The hard way

A few weeks ago we had planned to hike Timp with our ward buddies, but due to rainstorms at the top we had to cancel the trip.  I, in my naiveté, thought that would be the end of it.  We moved to Salt Lake and hiking Timp left my priority list.

I MAJORLY underestimated Zach’s zeal for hiking.  Despite zero enthusiasm or help with packing and planning from me, that boy was going to make. It. Happen. 

We got a horrible start.  Thanks to the Olympics we stayed up too late the night before and I was reluctant to get going in the morning.  So, instead of leaving at the planned 6 AM, we were out the door at 8 AM.  It all went downhill from there.

8:05 AM: Buy water at Maceys
8:10 AM: Realize we need cash for the park fee- use ATM and break the $20 by buying Starbursts
8:45 AM: Arrive at the trailhead, get lathered up, pack our gear and realize Zach left the water at Macey’s
9:00 AM: Drive down to the Sundance store to buy more water, realize it’s still closed
9:20 AM: Drive down to the nearest gas station WAY back in Provo
9:25 AM: Buy water and realize Zach left his credit card in the ATM machine at Macey’s
9:30 AM: Drive back to Macey’s and search frantically for the credit card; learn it gets sucked back into the machine after a minute
9:40 AM: Drive back up to Sundance
10:15 AM: Start hiking

Throughout this whole time we were both pretty frustrated and, in Zach’s case, “puppy-punching mad”.  He managed to pep up once we got started, but I was not a happy hiker.  I silently seethed at Zach for making me come after ALL THAT.  I was tired from our early start, hot, hungry, and not prone to conversation.  Meanwhile Zach, oblivious and blissful, went on and on about the beautiful scenery, the smell, the open air, blah blah blah.  He reminded me that “We are Judkins, and Judkins do hard things.”   Yeah.  And we do them the hard way- thanks sweetie.

Lucky for both of us, I decided to forgive Zach and enjoy the hike at mile one when we hit the first level of waterfalls.  Beautiful.
And by "beautiful" I am referring to Zach's biceps
Me, not trying to hide how utterly exhausted I felt, even on the "easy part"
My main man, lookin' fine.
  It was 6 miles and 5 hours later by the time we hit Emerald Lake, and tempting though it was to pursue that teeny tiny shed (“It’s so close”, he says, “only an hour”, he says) on top of the faraway mountain top I made an executive, matriarchal decision to turn around and head back down.

Happy to be on the way back down
Dear Dad, you would not have liked this hike.  Wee bit close to cliff edges.
 Three days later I am still painfully sore, but we are still married and I’m sure I’ll soon be grateful for the whole “character building” experience.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The long expected move

Despite having lived 50 miles South of Salt Lake for the majority of my life, I realized when we moved here that I know shockingly little about the exact geography of things.  I knew that Little America was just off some freeway exit and that if you took the right trax from there you could get to Temple Square and the Gateway Mall.  Then when Zach started going to school at the U I learned that if I kept driving down Foothill long enough I could get to his pharmacy building.

Now that we’ve been here for almost a month I’m only slightly better. But  I now know with firm conviction the location of
1)      My office building
2)      Our apartment
3)      Great Harvest
4)      Primary Children’s Hospital
5)      The nearest Smith’s
6)      Our chapel

I’m still a little vague on
1)      The gym
2)      The nearest gas station
3)      The bank

I’ve also figured out that part of the time 5th and 6th  South are one-way roads.  Trust me, extreme progress has been made.  Thank goodness this city is on a strict grid system.

Our apartment is about a block East of Trolley Square, and there’s no getting around the fact that it is old, musty, leaky, slightly ghetto, and apparently in some sort of disputed turf war location.  I don’t know who sharpied our carport wall, but I don't have anything against the Southsiderz, yo.

All that aside, we love the people in our complex and the location is such that we can both walk to school/work (Zach is diggin' the lack of the hour and a half commute from Provo).  And someday when the piles of boxes are unpacked and moved, the massive gross brown (free) couch has been replaced and we’ve figured out where that old diaper smell comes from I might post pictures of the inside.  And yes, the diaper smell affects the way it looks.