Mommy's heart for Baby Jacob

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Stats Schmats...I'll go with Hope

Well, I know I said that I would be posting the next 13 weeks' worth of reflections...and I still am.  That post will be in the next day or two.  In the meantime, I felt that I needed to take a moment to feel where I am right now, on this day.

It's almost 'the day'.  The day when we'll know for 100% sure that things didn't work.  I know my period is coming.  I can feel the signs.  I also feel myself slipping into a moody state.  Weepy.  I even 'pre-apologized' to Alex last night.  "If I get a little cranky & depressed over the next day or two, I want you to know that it's nothing against you.  It's just what happens around this time when I see that things failed once again."  The signs?  Well, weepy for sure.  I found myself crying at the end of a book that I read.  Now not, bawling or anything like that but happy tears for sure.  I normally don't get that emotional over a book so I figure something is up.  And then of course today. I  looked up stats about Clomid, fertility, age and all of that fun stuff only to have a stray tear or two run down my cheek as I shared what I found out with Alex.

Why all of this now?  Well, funny how timing works out.  In addition to almost reaching the end of this cycle and starting the next, we go back to the doctor on Wednesday.  If everything stays the same as what she told us in November, she will more than likely be putting me on Clomid.  Clomid apparently helps with ovulation thereby potentially increasing your chances for conception.  I hadn't wanted to jump the gun and research Clomid over the last few months because I knew it would turn me into a nervous wreck.  Instead, I just wanted to go through the last three months without any extra worries about what might happen if things didn't work.

Well, since my doctor appointment is so close I decided to research Clomid today.  I'm not exactly thrilled with what I found. The statistics are all over the place.  For the most part, it looks like Clomid does help some couples conceive but then you throw in things like age and it may or may not help.  There are so many downright depressing statistics out there that you almost are better off not knowing.  I mean think about it.  Aren't there parts of life that are just better not knowing all of the woes that might befall us??  So frustrating.

I was sharing this with Alex, who obviously picked up on my mood.  At this point, let me say how very much I love him.  He offered me support that I choose to cling too.  He reminded me that we have been very successful conceiving at the later ages.  I had Sam three weeks before I turned 35.  I had Benny when I was 37.  And, I got pregnant with Jacob WHEN I was 40.  Alex's point was that we should hold on to OUR history and stats, not necessarily the generic stats for the population.  Our history.  Wow.  That really helps me to shake off some of the misery that I was starting to feel.

That and the fact that we discussed if we would be so lucky again to conceive and have a child, we'd be happy with either a boy or a girl.  I know that both of us would love a little girl.  It was so sweet to hear Alex say that.  I could just picture him totally doting on our little daughter...loving our little girl like a truly wonderful daddy should.  But then we laughed about having another boy.  Another little boy to add to the mix---more blue, more trucks, more rough-housing...ah, what a household we'd have!

Well, friends.  I guess I just had to get this off of my chest.  I just think sometimes I should stay off of the Internet.  Forget the research.  Let my heart and my faith lead.  If what happened to Jacob was supposedly so incredibly rare, then who knows....maybe rare stats are good for me and maybe I'll get pregnant again...despite how dismal the statistics make it seem at this age.  I truly am working on strengthening my faith.  I want to believe so much that God let us get pregnant with Jacob to show us to hold on to hope.  That it will come again.  I just have to have faith.

Wishing for you a day of faith today...


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Reflecting Back...The First 13 Weeks and a lot of Honesty

This past Monday, January 24, 2011 was the 13-week mark.  Thirteen weeks ago I lost Baby Jacob and then had my D&C.  For the past few weeks, I've been thinking about this time frame approaching--how I would feel, what I might write about, what I wanted to think about.  It's here now and I have so much to keep thinking about and keep writing about.  Here's where I thought I'd start.

Thirteen weeks ago, it was October 25, 2010.  Just a few short days prior to that, everything was 'normal'.  And for the first several weeks of my pregnancy, all was just fine.

Let's go back to the beginning.  I remember taking a pregnancy test a few days before what would have been my missed period.  If you read a few posts back, you saw that taking an early test helps me to 'get it over with'.  I'd much rather shorten my wait time so I started cheating several months back actually.  Even if it bursts my bubble a few days early, it helps me to feel sad and then move on.  Of course, I'm speaking to the negative tests that for months and months stared me in the face.

I remember that I pulled out this particular test without much hope.  I don't think I even thought to look at it right away.  When I did and I saw the pink lines, I was in disbelief.  I was in so much disbelief that I doubted the authenticity of the test!  For that reason, I bought 2-3 more different brands and took them over the next two days.  Lines, plus marks and even the digital.  I figured I couldn't doubt the dumb test telling me, "You are pregnant dummy!"  All of the tests came back positive.  I still didn't want to get my hopes up until a doctor confirmed it.

Now that I think about it, that's pretty silly. Most doctors only confirm your pregnancy by looking for the heartbeat when they do an ultrasound but they can't always find it that early.  I think the early ultrasound is more to confirm that things are moving along well, not that you are necessarily pregnant.  I've never had a doctor do a pregnancy test of any kind on me.

Eventually, I believed it.  I was pregnant.  Finally!  I lost track of how long we had been trying. I know it was over a year.   A year and a half maybe?  I can't remember exactly.  As excited as I was, would you believe that there was another very strong feeling that I've kept hidden...until now??  I am so ashamed to admit this, especially since I lost my precious child.  For awhile I wondered if I lost him because of my feelings.  Here goes...I was embarrassed.  I was so afraid to tell people that I was pregnant.  Why, you ask?  Because of my age.  I'm not spring chicken.  I turned 40 in April.  I don't know, for some reason I just felt that people would think I was too old to have a baby.  That people would be shocked and disappointed? 

I know, I know.  These feelings sound really stupid right now.  I am totally embarrassed to admit those feelings.  I am just being honest.  So much of this blog has been about honesty and sorting through my feelings along this journey.  When I reflect back to the 'first 13 weeks', that's what comes to mind.  Instead of just total joy and excitement about being pregnant, I was also feeling embarrassed and I don't know...ashamed?  I was afraid to tell people so held off revealing the news.  I remember thinking of a friend of mine in TX.  When she found out she was expecting her second child, she announced it at 4-5 weeks.  She was so excited and everyone around her was too.  Why couldn't I share my joy in the same way?  Why did I have to keep in so very private?  Only Alex and my mom knew. 

I remember feeling like I had the best secret in the world in those first few weeks...I went to a baby shower for a cousin of some level, it's hard to know if we're 3rd cousins or what!   I so wanted to share my news with my great aunts at the table but kept it quiet.  I joked with my mom that I was overly emotional as my cousin (the new mama-to-be) opened her gifts.  I said that pregnant women should never go to baby showers!  They cry over every onesie and every rattle opened!

And then I attended the funeral of my great aunt on my dad's side.  Ah, so many family were there.  I remember thinking a lot about life...and death.  Here was a sort of beginning, a new branch in our family tree.  Just as we were saying goodbye to a beautiful and sweet woman in our family, we would be soon welcoming a new precious link in our family line.  But still, I told no one there my secret.

Finally, I had an event pop up which I felt was putting pressure on me to reveal my secret.  My sorority was having a reunion in October and I couldn't wait to go.  I knew that my dear sorority sisters would be so happy for me.  I also knew that as active as several of us were on Facebook, I couldn't have it just leak out if someone commented about my pregnancy following the reunion.  Now, without going into too much detail, let me just say that a friend of mine and my husbands (whom my hubby told) let it slip on facebook!  I quickly covered it up but that's why I was so nervous about it getting out. I  felt that my family deserved to hear the news from me and I preferred that my friends here it from my mouth, hence my dilemma as the reunion date approached.

Right after the reunion, I was around 10.5-11 weeks so I felt it was also a good time to announce it because we were supposedly just about out of the woods.  My first trimester was over and so was the greatest chance for miscarriage.  Hah.  Yeah, right.  Sorry, a little sarcasm slipped out there.

Well anyway, my news was out.  Even though the congratulations came, I still was feeling guilty sometimes.  I wondered what people thought.  I hate to say it but one of my big weaknesses is that I frequently judge myself by how I think (or know) others see me.  It's been a struggle throughout my life and I have some theories as to how I think I got this way over time but that's not important right now.  I've worked at overcoming this weakness but unfortunately, it still bites me in the butt sometimes.  This, unfortunately, was one of those times.  Here I was pregnant with our third child, finally.  And instead of being totally joyous and shouting from the rooftops, I was embarrassed for being pregnant at 40.  I wasn't some cute little 20 or 30 year old, I was 40! 

Good grief, I look at that now and just want to kick myself.  How on earth could I have felt that way?  I don't know why I should ever care what anyone thinks.  Actresses have babies all the time at 40 and later.  Women who have difficulty conceiving may not have a child until that age.  Why was I placing this age parameter on having a baby??  Why on earth was I feeling like I did something wrong?  I'm still struggling with this, so please forgive me.  All I can think of is that it has something to do with societal norms.  If you're in line with what is the norm in society, you're good.  If not, you're not.  And for someone who slips into old habits of judging herself by how others might see her, well I guess that pretty much explains why I carried those awful feelings around.

Anyway, those thirteen weeks weren't just full of guilt over my age.  Oh, they were full of so much else!

Yum, yum!  How can I forget the smells?  How everything I smelled nauseated me?  Seriously, everything smelled.  My house smelled.  The dog smelled.  Food smelled.  The grass smelled.  Ugh.  I never threw up but for me those smells were my morning sickness.  I just felt sick almost constantly. I hated how bad everything smelled.

Who cares about smells, let's talk about the times when my joy was just about to burst out of my heart.  I loved seeing my baby on the ultrasound!  Oh, how I loved this! I smiled so big each time I saw him.  I cried.   Of course I was emotional, I was pregnant!  Eh, I'd probably have cried anyway!  I just loved it!  I had a few ultrasounds...the very first was at 6 weeks, I think?  That was the one to confirm the heartbeat.  And then again I had another to make sure all was okay when I had some minor spotting in September...it was one 'spot' so I don't know if that still makes it spotting but my doc always checks to make sure.  I think I had one more prior to the awful one on October 21.  Even on that very day when I knew the technician had found something bad, and then even when the specialist came in to look but didn't talk to me until he was ready, I still loved seeing my baby.  I loved every kick, every twist and every little thing he did.

I remember thinking too, prior to finding out that they were giving my baby only a 20% chance to make it to term, that I wouldn't mind holding his little hands if they had extra fingers.  The technician had mentioned 'extra digits'.  I didn't care.  I simply smiled at the thought of six little fingers gripping mine. I just didn't care about any of that...I only cared about my baby.

And then, it all burst.  All of my joy, my fears, every emotion you can think of erupted that day as we learned the devastating news and had to figure out what we would do, if anything.

I have to stop here to mention gratitude. I have so much to be grateful for but one of the biggest things, I think is that I have to thank God for sparing us...for sparing me the agony and horrific pain that would have come had Jacob lived longer. I think about what every day might have been like in the last 13 weeks or even in the next several weeks had my baby not died.  I think about how I would have wondered daily if he was still with me...or when his movements would stop.  I think about what if we would have made it to delivery day only to have myself cut open and to find him already gone.  Or to only hold him for a few moments or hours and to leave the hospital with that horrible c-section pain but no baby to show for it.  Or if he would have lived a few days, weeks or months.  I think about what his funeral might have been like. 

I think about all of that and am so grateful that God spared me that pain.  Even though I would have gone through it just to see and hold my precious son for however long God wanted me to, I know the pain would have been beyond anything that I've ever endured in the past.  I was terrified what that pain could have done to me, to Alex and to our boys.  But for some reason, God gave me 5 days of heartbreaking uncertainty to be then followed by lots of heartbreaking days and weeks following Jacob's death.  What I give thanks for is that God gave me only 5 days of uncertaintly.  Tears?  Yes.  Heartache?  Yes.  They were there and to be expected.  But I only had 5 days of not knowing if my child would live for a few days or weeks in my tummy or if he would make it to be born only to be taken away from me.  That is something I am so thankful for.  I will always remember those 5 days and be thankful that they were just that...5 days. Heavenly Father, thank you for those 5 days.

Well, I think that's enough reflecting for now.  I just have so much to say, so much to keep thinking about and trying to make sense of and of course, so much to write.  I guess that's good since I started this blog...gotta have something to keep it going!

Thirteen weeks.  I was pregnant for 13 beautiful, and nauseating, weeks.  It's now been 13 sad, yet beautiful, weeks since my loss.  Beautiful, you ask?  Oh yes, amidst the pain there has been a lot of joy and beauty on this journey.  I truly hope that I can spot every speck of beauty that God continues to throw in my path for the next 13 weeks.  Even the tiniest speck of beauty can sink the worst mountain of pain....one moment at a time.  Trust me, they have.  But that's enough for now.  My next blog post will share reflections on the last thirteen weeks.
My friends, I wish for you so many of those beautiful moments!  May every speck of beauty that you find in your journey build until it tears down any pile of pain that you feel.


Monday, January 17, 2011

Needing to feel sad AND wanting to

The other day I did something that I've been wanting to do for awhile now. I felt that I needed to be closer to my lost baby. I needed to feel sad, even if it was just for a few moments in my busy day.  Does this make sense?  I've been so busy since the holidays as I'm sure so many of you have been also.  We returned home a week ago, quickly unpacked and then just went out of town for a few more days.  Then we should be back home for a bit.  Busy, busy, busy.

So, laundry, unpacking, re-packing, cleaning, dishes, pouring through 3 weeks of mail, bills, etc.  It was all on the list.  But what hadn't been on the list for awhile and something that I felt was missing was thinking of my son who left us almost three months ago.  Laundry--check.  Unpack--check.  Re-pack--check.  I even have taken time to fret about getting pregnant again.  How can I not find time for that?  Buy pregnancy tests--check.  Buy ovulation tests--check.  Track everything on the calendar--check.  Cry when the pregnancy tests come back negative--check.  Try to be positive and optimistic again--check.  But where is Jacob in all of this?

Even though he was just a 13 week old little fetus in my belly, he was still my baby and a part of me.  For that reason I spent some time late at night two days ago meandering on the Internet.  I pulled up my favorite song...it's a new song I heard the night of my D&C.  I won't post the link now but I will closer to the 25th--the anniversary of Jacob's passing.  After watching that video and crying for a bit, I skipped around to other YouTube videos that grieving parents had posted.  I cried for these parents too.  They shared their stories of hope, of loss and of love.  They shared their photos.  They shared their grief.

Needless to say it was a night of tears as I remembered my loss.  It almost felt fresh again.  I thought of my pregnancy. I thought of my ultrasounds as I looked at the pictures of other babies including one poor little baby who died an hour after his ultrasound.  I thought of my Baby Jacob. I cried for him.

I find myself in new waters once again.  These have me treading guilt a little more often than I'd like and I'm trying to understand how to deal with these feelings.  Follow me for a moment.  When a couple miscarries they experience a horrific amount of grief.  But the simple act of trying again and hoping for another child helps to settle that grief just a bit.  I've been so focused on this.  Our first three months following my D&C have had me very focused on trying again to conceive.  We were given only three months before returning to the doctor.  And then only three more months until seeing a specialist.  Good grief, it makes my stomach fill with knots to just think about it. 

But then this is where my guilt comes into play.  Is my desire for another child overshadowing the feelings I have for losing Jacob?  I don't know if this is making sense.  Suffice it to say that I think I have felt guilty over focusing so much on 'trying again' and not on Jacob.  Now I don't think I should be sitting in a cloud of sorrow every day, please understand that.  I just...I don't know.  I just missed my son and wanted to grieve for him again.  I think I will periodically.  All of my tasks and to do lists, all of my hopes for getting pregnant again will be there definitely.  But I think I will feel better and heal better long-term when I allow myself to feel sad from time to time.  And not just sad when I see only one stupid pink line on a pregnancy test either. I want to feel sad for my lost child--for my baby who I know is laughing amongst the angels. I want to think about him and to dream about him.  I think it helps.

This is uncharted territory for me and I feel like I'm chopping a path through it as best as I can.  That means that sometimes I'll be happily distracted with the day-to-day busyness of life.  I might be making a snowman with my family and teaching my hubby how best to construct our jolly fellow of snow (he's a first time winter resident!).  I might be playing Lego's with my boys.  I might be pursuing my writing hobby and trying to take it to some sort of freelance career status.  And of course I'll be tracking the days to spot our 'windows'.  Then I"ll be fretting the closer the time frame gets to 'the end'.  I have nicknamed it as 'the end' because in some ways that's how it feels to me but more on that later.  How to afford fertility help should we need it?  Ugh.  Definitely don't want to think about that right now. 

But somewhere through all of that I will work to keep Jacob nestled actively in my thoughts, not just in my heart.  I've got lots of memorial projects planned to help me do this as well.  I can't wait to get started on them. 

For now I give myself permission to be sad and to cry for him when I need to.  Or better yet, when I want to.  Wow.  That almost feels liberating.  To know that I have a right to feel how I need to and when I need to I hope will lessen some of the guilt that I've been feeling.  There is no prescription for how to handle a miscarriage.  How wonderful it is to know this. 

I truly believe that each of us makes our own path through pain, challenges and trials...especially through times of sorrow.  My journey continues with my precious Baby Jacob in my heart.  Oh, how I wish I could see him...just once.  I still pray that God will give me a glimpse of him in my dreams.  Sometimes I think I see a fuzzy picture of him in my mind.  I hope that's a picture God is sending me.  If it is, I hope that it becomes more clear.  And boy, I hope that Jacob can see his mama smiling up at him.

I am thinking about pulling Jacob's ultrasound pictures out.  I haven't looked at them since early November.  Yup, I might just need to do that.  As I drift off to sleep tonight, you can bet I'll pray again to see my son...and if a few tears escape and land on my pillow, that's okay.  I might just go to bed with a smile on my face.

Until next time my friends, I hope you have good days ahead.  But if there are some days full of tears, trust yourself to cry when you need to and for as long as you need to.  Who knows, it might just help in the long run.


Monday, January 10, 2011

My boys' laughter...a momma's joy

I thought I'd follow up my solemn frustrating post from the other day with a happy, "hopeful" post.  I don't like to be frustrated...I'd much rather be happy!

I wanted to post a quick note to say how much my two boys put joy into my heart.  Despite the frustration I feel when I see a negative pregnancy test and despite the stress and worry that pummels me sometimes, Sammy and Benny give me such joy.  I am so thankful for them.

I mentioned having a rough start to the New Year. I had taken a pregnancy test on New Year's Eve.  Even though it was an early test that came back negative, it was the 'big blow' telling me that my chances were pretty much over...for this month. 

Well, thankfully I had Sammy & Benny there to make me laugh and smile when the tears had run their course.  We had our own New Year's Eve Party at my mom's house.  Normally Alex & I and the boys head to my brother's for New Year's.  We spend the night there and have a great time visiting with my brother and sister-in-law.  Since they were out of town this year, we spent the evening with my mom, step-dad and grandma. 

At some point in the evening, the boys decided they wanted to dance and have a party.  They really got in to the music on Dick Clark's Rockin' Eve!  Wearing their New Year's hats (that I paid too much for) they jumped, spun and boogied the night away.  My mom & I joined in the fun while Alex laughed at our antics.  Sammy's comments, "Mommy, I love our New Year's Party!" still echo in my head.  Benny's 'butt shaking' moves still crack me up.  He bends over and puts his hands on the floor.  He then shakes his rear.  Don't ask me how he came up with that move!

I'm so thankful for my boys.  They are my joy every day and whenever I feel myself sinking into sorrow, they are there to give me hugs and have me hug them right back. 

Just today, Sammy and Benny both asked me when God would put another baby into my tummy.   I told them I didn't know and that we needed to continue to pray about it.  Benny reminded me of his order..."for a baby sister" and Sammy added, "I want a baby sister and a baby brother."  Then Benny asked if he could have a baby in his tummy.  Well, leave it to my three-year-old to crack us all up while Sammy explained that only Mommy's could have babies in their tummies.  I finished with, "But Benny has lots and lots of love in his tummy!  And so does Sammy!"

My boys have so much love in them.  I thank God for them every day.  I know Baby Jacob would have been just as loving. 

I hope Jacob saw us dancing on New Year's.   I hope he was dancing in Heaven along with us.  I also hope he knows that I'm trying hard to be hopeful...for all three of my boys. 

And so I'm dancing in my heart today.  I hope your heart is dancing too.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

It's hard to back up your talk

Funny how after I wrote my posts from a week ago, I was feeling optimistic, joyful.  I was full of hope, just like I wrote about in my Christmas stories this year. 

And then.

Crash.  Plummet. 

I took an early pregnancy test on New Year's Eve.  It was negative.  Another test two days later was negative too.  And then all was confirmed when my period started.  I was so hopeful that maybe...just maybe something worked this time.  I called it, "round two", following my D&C.  Well, round two failed.   And I was pretty down about it--right on New Year's too.  Guess that wasn't such a good idea to take a test on that date.

When you think of 'hope', isn't it much easier to think about it when you feel there is a chance?  I think women who are trying to conceive feel a bit more hopeful at certain times in the month.  There's even a time when you try not to watch each day tick closer and closer to the day when you find out...but you do and because you hope that perhaps "it" worked.  And while you're hoping you try to battle the fears and doubts that sneak in.  For me, I've found that it helps to distract myself during this time.  And then as soon as it's okay to take an early test, I grab it and do it.  For me it's better to get an idea early on rather than to drive myself nuts waiting and waiting.  If the test comes back negative, it helps me in some bizarre way to decrease the hope that I was feeling.  To face reality.  Or rather to let it smack me in the face. 

It is such a tug of war.  Hope, no hope.  While it's easier sometimes to not want to be hopeful (as I do when I take an early test), it's not what I want in the long run.  I want to hope.  I need to hope that if it didn't work this time, maybe it will work next time.  But does hoping then make it more painful for me when things don't work? 

So I took the test on New Year's Eve and felt my emotions just plummet to the ground.  The tears started again and they weren't the 'light' tears that I wrote about earlier.  These were big, fat, heavy tears full of sorrow over not conceiving yet and thinking that just two and a half months ago I was indeed carrying a child.  These were gloomy tears that wondered if I would ever get pregnant again.  These were the tears that reminded me how far into my pregnancy I would have been.  How I would have been feeling my little Jacob kick and box at me...and how I would have griped, but loved every minute of it!

This is where I think my struggle will be hardest.  Every month there will come a time when I'll be very optimistic about things.  And then it could all sink around me.  How do I deal with 'hope' during these times?  How do I lift myself up?  It's hard.  All I could do on New Year's was to let myself wallow, feel the pain and to cry... a lot. I had to then wait for my self-pity to lessen so I could try to bounce back.

The other part of hope that I am struggling with is how much hope I should hold on to long term.  My doctor was giving us three months.  We go to see her again on February 2.  We're two months into her time frame.  At my appointment, I think she will put me on some medication and then give us three more months.  That's all.  After that, we'd have to be referred to a specialist.

So out of six attempts before seeing a specialist, we're already down two.  Boy, that's depressing. 

How can someone not panic at this timeline?  Talk about my clock ticking.  It's one thing when you're just laughing about it on your own but it's another when you have medical personnel reminding you that the alarm bell is going off.  So, you're not supposed to panic and be stressed.  Just relax, right?  Sure.  Easier said than done.  You hope that things will work and then you find out they didn't.  And then you see how close you're getting to your final chances.  I don't know much about specialists but I don't think we will be able to afford any of that.  So to me, my chances are slim and becoming slimmer.

As you can tell, I'm engaged in a mental battle right now--where do I put my head?  Hopeful?  Realistic?  Maybe?  Maybe not?  Do I just start adjusting my head to say that I will not be having another baby?  Or do I keep focused on the positive...on hope and say, "I will have another baby, I just don't know when."  As I wrote about when I first described learning of my Jacob's diagnosis, I don't do well with uncertainty.  It's a huge weakness in me.  If I knew for sure that I would indeed get pregnant again but just not know when, then I'd have that to work with.  But I just don't know if it will happen at all.  How do I deal with this?

I still wonder why this all happened.  Why did it take longer to get pregnant with Jacob only to then lose him?  If I wasn't to have a third child, why did I get pregnant at all?  Wouldn't you think that if someone wasn't meant to have any more children, they wouldn't conceive only to lose that child?  Why did my baby make it so long--for 13 weeks--before leaving me?

I feel awful even asking these questions.  I know God has a plan. I just wish he'd let me know what that plan is. 

Well, I obviously have a lot that I need to pray about and to think about.  My head is cluttered with feelings of hope and despair clashing and slamming into one another. 

I guess I'll just keep living my life by the calendar right now and see what happens.  I look forward to learning more at my doctor appointment in a few weeks.  Hopefully that will help to answer more of my questions.  In the meantime I'll also need to keep myself very distracted.  I know I can't dwell on this.  Such a struggle.

Thanks friends for reading my ramblings.  If anyone has gone through something similar and has suggestions for how to get through each month waiting for the test days only to have a single line stare you in the face, please let me know.  I'd appreciate your thoughts.

I hope all of you are off to a great start to your 2011!