Alisa. 37. New Hampshire. Married for almost three years to this wonderful, funny, smart guy. Previously married. Went through in-vitro fertilization to have my five year old magical son Keegan. Stepmother to the charming Isabelle (6). Gushingly in love with our baby boy Harper(1). Policy Wonk and dreaded bureaucrat. Lover of fine cuisine, honeybees, truly romantic moments and the underdog.
Curried Beef Short Ribs

Note: I found this was more realistically four servings.

Finishing this dish with lime zest and juice brightens its rich flavors.

Yield 6 servings (serving size: about 3 ounces ribs, 2/3 cup rice, and about 2 1/2 tablespoons sauce)

2 teaspoons canola oil
2 pounds ...continue reading

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Lifetime Membership

I grew up an Army brat. It was just simply a part of who I was. A few years ago, I discovered there is a whole community of brats out there. I also discovered that there are books about us. Books that tell my truth and explain facets of my personality, it was eery. But I felt like a member of an exclusive club. A club where only fellow members can truly understand. Infertility is like that. A special club that you can only join by happenstance
I have been thinking a lot today about infertility. It is probably because I am approaching the time for my cycle to end and we will move on with bloodwork and further tests before IVF meds. When we first started having trouble last year I told Tom that in my heart I knew something was wrong. That conviction helped me push my doctor to do testing before they wanted to. I was right, there is something wrong that keeps us from conceiving naturally.
Today I said to Tom that I just know I will be pregnant this year. A part of me is worried about superstitious jinxing. But the louder part of me (the positive side) really believes. I believe in the doctors and the IVF/ICSI process. I believe that we have a really good shot. I believe that somewhere inside me is the strength to get through the shots, the tests and the procedures. I believe in the place deep inside that only became known to me in the past few years. The part that can almost hear my child's voice say my name, and all the imagined days ahead when I teach my child how to navigate the world.
It's not the pregnancy or the idea of a baby. It's the idea of creating a child from myself & Tom. The idea of a family made more by the sum of it's parts.

The following is a story I read on one of my Trying To Conceive (TTC) bulletin boards. It's a great metaphor for what it is like inside infertility.

Different Trips to the Same Place

Deciding to have a baby is like planning a trip to Australia. You've heard it's a wonderful place, you've read many guidebooks and feel certain you're ready to go. Everyone you know had traveled there by plane. They say it can be a turbulent flight with occasional rough landings, but you can look forward to being pampered on the trip.
So you go to the airport and ask the ticket agent for ticket to Australia. All around you, excited people are boarding planes for Australia. It seems there is no seat for you; you'll have to wait for the next flight. Impatient, but anticipating a wonderful trip, you wait, and wait and wait.
Flights to Australia come and go. People say silly things like, "relax, you'll get on a flight soon." Other people actually get on a plane and then cancel their trip to which you cry, "It's not fair."
After a long time the ticket agent tells you, "I'm sorry, we're not going to be able to get you on a plane to Australia. Perhaps you should think about going by boat.
"By boat!" you say. Going by boat will take a very long time and it costs a great deal of money. I really had my heart set on going by plane. So you go home and think about not going to Australia at all. You wonder if Australia will be as beautiful if you approach it by sea rather than air.
But you have dreamed of this wonderful place and finally you decide to travel by boat. It is a long trip, many months over many rough seas. No one pampers you. You wonder if you will ever see Australia. Meanwhile, your friends have flown back and forth to Australia two or three more times, marveling about each trip.
Then one glorious day the boat docks in Australia. It is more exquisite than you ever imagined, and the beauty is magnified by your long days at sea. You have made many wonderful friends during you voyage, and you find yourself comparing stories with others who also travelled by sea rather than air.
People continue to fly to Australia as often as they like, but you are able to travel only once, perhaps twice. Some say things like, "Oh, be glad you didn't fly. My flight was horrible; traveling by sea is so easy." You will always wonder what it would have been like to fly to Australia. Still, you know God Blessed you with a special appreciation of Australia, and the beauty of Australia is not the way you get there, but in the place itself.

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