Bella Vida

Married for 6 years. Trying to have a baby almost as long. Living a Beautiful Life.

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Location: Maryland, United States

Married & Trying to have a baby for almost 4 years. Dealing with MF (male factor infertility).

Friday, October 19, 2007

Links Galore!

There are 13 Freebie bracelets left.

My hubby is coming home tonight!! Yay!! He's been complaining about the fast food diet he's been subjected to. I guess I'd better blow the dust off the pots and pans and put the ramen away.

Lisa Williams is back and I need to catch up on her shows. I really like her.

Casablanca was great! I actually liked this one. I must admit I have a problem when movies get suspenseful. I have to know what happens and usually hit fast-forward to the end. I did it with this movie too. Once they met for the 2nd time in the "saloon," I had to find out what was coming. Yeah, I know. I can't help myself. This movie seemed to have all the the most famous lines:
play it again Sam (although this isn't really the line)
you played it for her, you can play it for me
of all the gin joints in all the towns in the world...she walks into mine
SONG: As Time Goes By
we'll always have Paris

here's looking at you kid

It's nice to see where these famous lines come from. Peter Lorre was my favorite character.

As so many of you have suggested, To Kill a Mockingbird is next. Thanks again for the classic movie recommendations! It certainly did help pass the time while hubbs was gone. I must also mention that I saw "Why Did I Get Married?" and I loved it and will probably see it again with D. The woman sitting next to me cried almost the entire movie. For some reason I didn't? However, I was bawling watching "Happy to be Nappy and Other Stories of Me" on HBO yesterday. This one little boy describes being picked on by other kids b/c of a "funny accent" and another says he doesn't like to go outside b/c he's teased...ohhhh--my heart just melted. I couldn't take it. If you have kids--watch it with them. It really is a great little movie and it's not long.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Where in the World are the Bracelets?

There are 34 Freebies left.

I thought it may be cool to see where these little bracelets are being rocked around the world. I created a map using Google maps of places I have mailed bracelets. If you made your own bracelet and your location is not marked on the map--send me an email and I'll add your home: I'm doing basic map markers of States (in the US), Provinces in Canada and Countries.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I hate bugs!!

I hate bugs. I swear, they know this and seek me out. Every year we get some bugger that won't leave us the hell alone. I'm all for not killing living things unnecessarily, but the rule is--if you come in this house and you're a critter you must die. We have slugs coming up the walkway--I pour salt barricades. Yeah, I'm a mean heartless bitch and I don't care. I leave carcasses around so their little creepy crawly friends know what they're in for if they screw with me. Crickets I realllllly hate. With my husband gone--the official bug killer--it's a cricket spree around here! I can't freaking believe it. One actually made it up the stairs! This will not work. Someone has told me about a wonder cricket killer called Bayer. I'm gonna get some ASAP. There was even some creepy bug stuck to my bedroom shade??!! When I have to kill critters it's such a scene. There's screaming and jumping and shoes flying. A scene I tell you. I have no idea how I'm going to sleep tonight thinking there's shit crawling on me. I hate bugs. I'm not even that fond of butterflies. Actually, there is one bug I rather like and seek out--lightning bugs. Scratch that. I just looked them up and other than their glowing butt--up close they're scary too. I hate bugs. All of them.

Thanks! and Pay it Forward

I want to thank everyone that sent me an email thanking me or wrote a post about receiving an infertility awareness bracelet. Your feedback has been so supportive. I really appreciate your kind words and support of the Infertility's Common Thread Awareness effort!
You ALL Rock!!!!!!!!!

As part of the Traveling DVD agreement, I'm using the freebie infertility bracelets as my "Pay It Forward."

From now on I'm going to keep a countdown at the top of how many freebie bracelets are left. My original pledge was to give away 100 free bracelets before they become $5 each with all the profit going toward infertility support and awareness. So get your requests in!

38Remaining Free Bracelets

Please remember to stop by Mel's blog to find out more about the bracelets and how this idea came about.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Traveling DVD: Oprah and Jenna

Friday night I was really excited to reach into my mailbox and pull out The Traveling DVD. Popped it in Saturday morning and sat down with a notepad.

I immediately related to Jenna as her voice began to shake describing her dream of having 3 children some day. I too had that dream once-upon-a-time. Jenna described exactly what infertility does to you--the daily reminders, the feelings of being stuck and the shame. At the end of the segment, Oprah shook her hand and said "the best to you." Not I hope you get your baby or I wish you success in your treatment, but, "the best to you." At the end of the show, some of the women got a chance to say what they've learned in their 30s. The 37-year-old doctor said she was no longer "looking for a man to complete my life." Oprah responded by saying "good, that's the space to be in." I could almost feel the spotlight of her words directed to Jenna and Mike.

The "After the Show" portion was basically the entire room trying to convince Jenna that she needed to let go and let God bring her the miracle that is waiting. Which Oprah did say may or may not be a baby. Perhaps the Presidency of the United States or a million dollars is awaiting her. I don't know.

I really could go on and on about what was said, but this is what it boils down to--Jenna and Mike are not parents because it's not God's plan, and if there is a baby out there hovering around in the universe--it hasn't come yet because they are blocking their blessings by holding on to their dream. So any way you look at it--it's their fault. "The thing that's suppose to happen hasn't happened yet" Oprah said. Jenna is too busy designing her life. All of this was said right after Jenna was told she should not feel shame.

OK. I get it. I get that having faith is how people "make peace with it." Once you believe that "someone is pulling the strings" and has a master plan for you, you're able to make peace. I envy the faithful and struggle with my own. I wish I could look at children suffering and feel like there is a reason for it. I wish I could look at (Warning: graphic) children in Africa that have lost limbs and their parents over diamonds and feel like there's a reason for it. The Leadership Academy that has been built for girls by Oprah is probably going to save lives, but am I to believe that children have been made to suffer so that Oprah could grow up, get rich and open the school to find her purpose in life? I'm not minimizing what's she's done because it's absolutely incredible and may be more than I'll ever do, but I'm wondering what happens to the prayers of those that suffer? What happens to the prayers of those that DO let go and let God that end up suffering more? How can I feel so blessed while others suffer right before me?

People love a success story. I love a success story. We all love to hear about those that never gave up and pushed on in the face of tremendous obstacles to be rewarded in the end. We cheer for those people. We tell their stories to others and they get to be guests on Oprah. But what about the failures? What about those that fought just as hard or harder but still failed? You never hear about them. We don't praise them. What we do is tell them to "let it go" or tell them they just didn't work hard enough or want it enough. Blame again. Oprah told her "Color Purple story" of how she "surrendered" her dream to play the role of Sophia and minutes later found out she got the part. Where are the stories of surrender that didn't yield a miracle? I think these stories are told but usually with a it-didn't-happen-because-it-was-in-the-plan-and-things-are-much-better-now ending. It was said by one woman in the Today show segment. She adopted 2-children from Russia and said "this is why all my treatments failed."

Maybe making peace with it or surrendering means that you become OK with not getting what you wanted so badly. To me, that sounds like giving up re-gifted in pretty wrapping paper. When you feel like you've done all you can and you can't fight anymore--you give up. Most of us have a breaking point. A point we reach when we just can't take it anymore. In the infertility blogging community I'm sure we all know someone who has decided to live child-free because they just couldn't take this hell anymore. There's nothing wrong with that. You get there when and if you get there. Maybe Oprah should have given up on getting the film role when she was told by Steven Spielberg that Alfre Woodard had the part, but she didn't give up. You get there when and if you get there.

In the end it's a good thing there was the show last week and this show. Infertility Awareness is so important and the more it's talked about the more people feel less alone. Oprah is not a saint or a god and she is not perfect. None of us are perfect. She's a person just like the rest of us and she's entitled to her own opinions and views. I'm not going to look to Oprah to identify with my infertility struggle or to validate my feelings. She hasn't the slightest idea what this is like. And for me, that's OK.

If there is a master plan, everything we're doing now must be a part of it. We are all exactly where we should be--doing exactly what we should be doing. I'm at peace with that.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


One less bell to answer...
Why is my husband gone again?? Ughhh. His company flew him home last Friday only to fly him back on Tuesday. Now he tells me he won't be home on Friday as planned. Hopefully by Wednesday of next week. WTF. I know lots of people spend significant time away from their spouses due to work travel, but I'm just not use to this shit.

Lost blogger
I left a message on a blog yesterday early AM of someone who was very nervous about having an HSG because her nurse told her that there would be "severe pain." I cannot for the life of me remember who it was! I wanted to check and see how things went--but I can't remember the blog. It's driving me nuts. Anyone know who this is?--Mystery solved. Thx Kate!

Pumpkin is mad
My cat is having behavioral problems I think. Every night, both pets are crated together b/c if we leave them out they tag-team and tear shit up and keep us up. Since D has been gone, the cat doesn't want to get into the crate. It's a fight every night and once in there he gives this look like he wants to scratch my eyes out. He has also went to the bathroom in his bed in the crate twice?!!! This morning was the second time. I got up and found him in bed with the dog. I'm gonna make an appointment with the vet today to make sure it's not a health issue.

Classic movies
I'm still doing the movie thing. Thanks for your classic suggestions! I didn't like "Streetcar Named Desire." The guy was an asshole and it was tough for me to get past that. It's funny cuz I don't think you see too many lead characters like that anymore. No redeeming qualities at all. But now I know where the famous Stellllllaaaaaa comes from. "Lawrence of Arabia" was veryyyy lonnnng. Almost 4-hours and D watched it with me. It was ok. So far I've probably liked it best out of the recent list. Like "Gone With the Wind," it's a huge film cinematography-wise.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Oprah and Infertility

Did anyone see the show yesterday? The first couple featured have a surrogate in India carrying their biological child. According to the show, surrogacy here in the US costs upwards of $70,000, while in India it ranges from $6-12,000. Huge difference. Looking around online I found different numbers, but the bottom line is it's still a lot less in India. Oprah described the process as "women helping women." The money paid to the surrogate is like "winning the lottery." These women are able to better their lives and their families lives in such tremendous ways. Really inspiring story.

Alexis Stewart (Martha's daughter) was also on talking about her infertility struggle. She's been trying for a year to get pregnant using her own eggs and donor sperm at a cost of $28,000 a month which her mother helps pay for. At 42, she stressed finding out early if you're going to have infertility problems through testing. I strongly agree. It's important to know that getting pregnant at any age isn't always as easy as 1-2-baby. She also mentioned seeing celebs getting pregnant in their 40s isn't necessarily what it seems. So true. What I think people are going to have a problem with is Alexis' attitude. She insisted that the shots are no big deal and even demonstrated a real injection. She said that she handles her monthly IVF cycle as a business deal so that she can remain unemotional about it because if she didn't she'd be sad all the time. She was dry and detached from the process, but said her feelings on getting pregnant had nothing to do with her feelings on being a mother.

I really don't want to judge Alexis for her attitude. One thing infertility has done is made me try to stop judging people--especially those in the infertility community. Just because someone doesn't do what I would do or react how I would--I'm trying not to pass judgment. Trying. I know from experience that it doesn't feel good when someone looks at me and says "wow, if I were in your shoes I would have done IVF by now." As for Oprah, she hasn't experienced IF so I don't expect her to connect with this struggle. She is like anyone else that gives out ass-vise because they simply don't know any better and haven't been in my shoes. Plights often don't become important until we are personally touched by them or until they are so horrific we can't help but get pulled in. I'm just happy someone is talking about infertility in a big way.

One more thing--at the end there was one more couple on the show that only got a few minutes to tell their story--Tracey and Jamie. They had just put a 2nd mortgage on their home in order to do IVF. Tracy mentioned that her husband would be giving her the injections and she talked about how they were in this together. I kinda felt sorry for Alexis at that point. She is alone. I can't imagine not having someone to turn to when the walls are caving in around me.

It's beginning to look a lot...

Like the freakin' holidays are-a-coming. I'm talking about Christmas here specifically. My husband likes to celebrate with a tree and all the trimmings. For a few years since we've been together I did the whole shebang. Tree, lights coming outta my ass, stuff in the windows, stairs wrapped, animals tortured into posing for holiday cards--and lets not forget the homemade gifts. That was then. That was before infertility. Now the holidays are a very sad reminder of what we don't have. The commercials with kids leaving Santa milk and cookies and opening gifts. The toy jingles. The baby's first Christmas items everywhere and on everything. I'm starting to get that familiar Grinch feeling and looking a bit like my annoyed cat pictured above. I want nothing to do with the holidays. Part of me is hoping I can snap outta it. The other part wants to go away and skip it all. Going away isn't an option this year however because my mom is coming up here. For. A. Month. Which reminds me that I need to get started on buying tickets for The Color Purple in NY and figure out if we're staying overnight. The tickets are expensive enough, but I don't want to tire everyone out walking around NYC all day and then expect them to do dinner and a show. I'm rambling. Talk about it more another day.

Reminder Today's Oprah: "Lisa Ling Investigates: Wombs for Rent. How far would you go to have a baby? Meet a woman halfway around the world who's pregnant with an American couple's baby. Then, why Martha Stewart's daughter spends almost $28,000 a month trying to make Martha a grandmother."

Monday, October 08, 2007

The Great Candy Exchange

Another brilliant idea from Mel was the Candy Exchange. Over the weekend I received my candy-gram from Pam at Baby Wanted. Who-hoo!! I want to thank Pam for the lovely candy. It's so neat to get candy from other places. "Smarties" are completely different here in the US. The fruit chews are very similar to Mentos. I can't wait to try it all! I like cotton candy so much that D got me a cotton candy machine a few years back. So yeah, I'm a candy-a-holic. I love sweets and my dentist loves finding new cavities.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Watching movies & spreading the happy--literally

So I'm all over my Netflix list since D is outta town. This past weekend I watched "Deja Vu," "The Way We Were" and "Bridge to Tarabithia." They were all ok. Bridge was sad. Deja makes you think a little. And Way was not what I expected. You know how you hear about movies being "classics" and there are always those quotes you don't get unless you've seen the classic movies like, "I don't know nothing 'bout birthing no babies" and "frankly my dear...I don't give a damn." "The Way We Were" is listed as a classic and described as a tear jerker. I don't get it. He never really loved her or appreciated her. I was glad she got away from his ass. So yeah, that was a disappointment. Now I've got "Lawrence of Arabia" and "A Streetcar Named Desire" coming my way. Anyone wanna look into the future and tell me whether or not I'm gonna like these two? Any classic recommendations?

So many have participated in the happiness challenge that it's made me think a bit. Think about what I can do to paint a lil sunshine into my life. I originally didn't participate in the first challenge cuz I just couldn't think of anything I could do. Really, I couldn't think of anything I could commit to doing. It's just where my mind is at this point. However, on Monday I came up with something. I will think about one thing each day that has made me happy or made me smile. I read something someone wrote, maybe on Mel's blog, that said happiness is little things strung together. I think that's true. I'm not saying this lil effort will turn my life around, but it may just help sprinkle some light into the darkness.

Today I went to Whole Foods and you know how there's always those sample people tempting with savory treats. They got my ass good today! There was a pumpkin loaf with ginger cream cheese. Ooooooo yummmm! I shared half the loaf and the cream cheese with my neighbors. It made me feel good to share something. That's my happy today.

For those of you that have tried to request a bracelet and had your email bounce--please send an email to dmarie @ ureach dot com (without the spaces). I have no idea why this is happening with gmail. If you have sent a request and you didn't get a response back for me, I didn't receive your request.