yeasty beastie and the three year itch.

(tmi ahead…you’ve been warned (dad.))

It’s been awhile since I’ve talked about my vagina and all of her related accessories, attachments, and ailments. You see, I have had trouble down yonder since I was 18: abnormal paps, several colposcopies, two LEEPs, countless vaginal ultrasounds, a hysterosalpingogram, a D&C, a laparoscopy, endometriosis, and PCOS in addition to serving as an escape hatch for two babies.

Really my entire reproductive system should just be given menopause off. Like, “Okay ladies! You’ve done enough, go ahead and sit menopause out.”

The one thing I had never had to deal with, despite all the various things that have been shoved up there in the name of medical sciences, was a yeast infection. When you make it into your thirties without one you begin to think you’re immune to them, clearly it’s because you eat so much yogurt and believe in personal hygiene.

Then you go on a cruise to Mexico with your husband for a week without your kids and you end up with your very first yeast infection on the first day.

Only you don’t know what’s going on down there.

All you know is it feels as though your bits have been lit on fire — if that fire were made out of sandpaper, gravel, and bitter revenge.

Madrid on firephoto credit Montecruz Photo

I have NEVER been so consumed with the thought of my vagina.


Cody volunteered to take a look, since he’s more familiar with that part of me and the look on his face said “THERE IS A SQUID COMING OUT OF YOUR VAGINA AND IT HAS THE HEAD OF AN ANTEATER.”


I went to the ship’s doctor and mumbled out “I probably have yeast infection and I need it fixed, preferably yesterday.”

The nurse slipped a three day regimen of suppositories in a barf bag, charged me $20 and sent me on my way.

Here’s what I learned about a yeast infection — it doesn’t matter how flawless your makeup is, how good of a hair day you’re having, how great your skin is, or that your dress fits you like a glove — your vagina has basically gone rotten and it overshadows EVERYTHING.

Firephoto credit Matthias Ripp

Our week long escape to sunshine and warmth without our kids was a total bust in the intimate relations department. Cody was very noble from the start “I didn’t come on this vacation to spend countless hours naked with you, I just wanted to hang out with you.”

I however had spent the last several months looking forward to countless naked hours with just him. No LEGOs on the floor, no cats watching, no knocks at crucial personal moments. THERE WAS SUPPOSED TO BE SO MUCH SEX. (Let’s talk about this another time, but when you finally let yourself truly love and be loved by your husband? EVERYTHING gets better.)

By Thursday I was grumpy from frustration, not only were there no naked hours, I wanted to scratch off my own crotch, bury it in sand, then rub it on asphalt.

We still had a marvelous time. I read eight books, we thawed our bones in the sunshine, and made some new friends.

By the time we got home things had calmed down dramatically down there and I scheduled a follow up appointment with my doctor just to make sure there really weren’t anteater-headed squid, and to have my annual lady exam that I had been avoiding for 4 years. (Some people fear the dentist, I fear pap smears.) She declared me free and clear of squid, anteaters, yeast, and other issues THEN she informed me protocol had recently changed and now I only need to get a pap every three years. NO PAP UNTIL 2018 PARTY PEOPLE!!

But the yeast came back, the very next week. Oh, the yeast came back WELL I THOUGHT IT WAS GONE.

This is basically the yeast that never ends, yes it goes on and on my friend.

I called my doctor and she informed me that sometimes those three-day treatments can just be a bandage over a bigger problem and she prescribed me a pill to hopefully eradicate the funk in my junk once and for all. So not only did I get my first yeast infection at 32 while on vacation, I GOT THE MOTHER OF ALL UNBEATABLE YEAST INFECTIONS.

I’ve had a lot of miserable stuff go on down there, and this has been the second worst (just short of that time Addie popped out of the birth canal so fast she tore me open in two different directions.)

I’ve taken my pill, and I already feel as though I could conquer the world in loose fitting pants made from natural fibers, and breathable 100% cotton underpants.

More than one crunchy friend told me to “Slap some yogurt on that thing ASAP.”  Literally, yogurt. On my bits. I swear if it happens again I’ll try it. But I’m going with modern pharmaceuticals this time and keeping my yogurt for granola, thanks.

We also need to rebrand yeast infection and pap smear immediately. Both of them are SO TERRIBLY NAMED.  Let’s not be so literal, science. Around these parts we have the ‘Seventh Circle of Squid Fire’ the ‘Lady Bit Pip’.

Feel free to incorporate them into your own vernacular.

The Spin #2
photo credit Vaidotas Mišeikis

Give me your yeastie beastie stories. I can’t believe some people deal with these on a regular basis and for their entire lives. NOPE. ALL OF YOUR VAGINAS GET TO CALL IN SICK FOR MENOPAUSE.

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on infertility, four years later

When we were trying to get Vivi here, my entire though process revolved around getting and being pregnant. Every decision I made in or around my house included the fact that one day a baby would be in it and so I had to plan accordingly. I’d think about what kind of baby gates I would need and where, I thought about where I would store toys and how we would arrange car seats and strollers. I’d think about holidays with a baby and how long we could travel with her as a lap child and I’d think about how many times we could go to Disneyworld before she was 3. I fantasized about how I would spend my days with this baby, how I would document my pregnancy and what I would do differently in regards to labor and delivery.

I knew she was out there waiting for us. I felt it, I just didn’t understand why it was taking so long to get her here. (I get it now.)

I also knew I wanted another girl. Yes, healthy babies above all else, la la la, but I wanted another girl.

So what does life feel like now? It feels complete. I don’t think about getting pregnant, my mind doesn’t revolve around pregnancy math and fertility appointments. I don’t feel a nudge that someone else is out there (something I felt STRONGLY even when Addie was only days old) and there is no second guessing our decision to be done even under the spell of a tiny newborn. We’ve cleaned out the closets and rid ourselves of baby stuff.

It feels really good.

We’re meant to be four. Four is good. Four feels right. Four is right for us.

I look forward to the things we can do together, as well as the things I will soon be able to do once Vivi is in school. I have all these projects and jobs I’ve wanted to pursue for years but didn’t or couldn’t because I was either too caught up in wanting to be pregnant, being pregnant or keeping a baby alive. I would never say the time I spent trying to get pregnant was wasted, the things I learned about myself, about Cody, and about other women are invaluable. They were lessons on empathy and compassion that can only be learned the hard way, and unfortunately I did hurt people in my single-minded and obsessed desire to have a second baby. I while I regret hurting others, I appreciate the subsequent lessons on redemption and forgiveness.

If you’re not sure you’re done? You probably aren’t.

If you know there’s someone (or someone else) out there waiting to join your family, don’t give up. Even when you’re convinced you will be swallowed whole by disappointment, jealousy, and pain—don’t give up. Six years felt like an eternity, but now that she’s here, those six years were nothing when compared to what I get to experience every day with these two little girls. It only took six years and nine really hard months to make the most spectacular thing I’ll ever witness, these two together.

November 2014

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does infertility hurt less later?

Yes and no.

But mostly yes, for me at least.

After almost five years of an ugly struggle with infertility, I came to peace with it in late 2009. Nothing could have gotten me there sooner, it was something that had to resolve itself in its own time. I wrote this the day before I found out I was pregnant. It remains one of my most favorite things I’ve ever written as I could only write it after going through what I had experienced..

Within Vivi’s first three months, best friend became pregnant with her fourth by surprise and my only sister became pregnant after a month without any struggles.

The news of both thumped me in the heart pretty hard, but they weren’t the sucker punches they would have been a year earlier.

I am excited to have to new little boys in my life, one in January and one in April.

I can hear pregnancy news and respond to it with the genuine joy it deserves.

I don’t see swollen bellies everywhere I go.

I can still read the words of someone who is stuck in the murky thick of infertility and know the uniquely exquisite pain that envelops their heart.

I can think about getting pregnant again and focus on the end result, not the gut wrenching journey it takes to get there.

This baby has been the best thing to ever happen to me, I just had to go through everything else first to be able to appreciate her.

Cody, Addie and I were good, but with Vivi we’re great. I’m finally to a point in my life where there is so much wonderful the misery has a hard time ever making it to the surface.

I wish every life story could have a chapter in it like the one I’m living right now, or at least give hope to your current story that you will end up happy. I don’t know how, on what timeline, or how long it will last, but it will happen and when it does I wish even more that you are able to recognize and enjoy it.

To those of you who are still fighting for your babies? Keep fighting.

wrists and toes

They are so worth it.

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sublime reality.

Five years is a long time to wait for a baby.

A really long time.

When you compare five years to 40 weeks…pregnancy flies by.

When you’re trying to have a baby for any amount of time, let alone years, you already live your life in weeks.

Week one: Period.

Week two: Ovulation and copulation.

Week three: Waaaaaiiiitttiiinnngggg.

Week four: Stick peeing.

Back to week one with more Ben and Jerry’s than the month before.


There is a room set up with a crib, a rocking chair and a changing table.

sleepywrap bear.

There are tiny freshly washed clothes in a new dresser.

Bought two years ago. I touched it for the first time today.

There are hundreds of diapers and wipes tucked away in a closet.

burp cloths.

There are tiny little baby treasures from all over the country just waiting.

little alouette bird rattle

There is a curly haired imp who is already blaming her little sister for things.

big sissy.

There is a man who is going to be a father to two daughters.

And a girl who still can’t believe this is really happening to her.

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the one about the infertility title lost, but not forgotten.

I can never ever forget where I came from that got me to this point.

Jealously that almost ruined my best friendship.

Anger and bitterness that drove people away.

Friendships lost because the hole in my heart was too big to manage.

Nearly alienating my only sister because of one comment.

Almost losing my marriage and my own life to a medical treatment because I was so desperate for a baby.

If I didn’t have my archives to go back and read I may be able to think about the past five years differently. I know a lot of you had hope for me, you knew this would happen for me when I didn’t. There were even a few of you who sent me “I told you so’s.

There are also those of you who have come forward to admit that you stopped reading my words because you felt guilty for having what I longed for so badly.

There have also been some who have pegged all of your hopes on me. “IF YOU CAN DO IT SO CAN I!” or “WHY YOU AND NOT ME?”

And then there are those of you who have lost much longed for babies. I can’t even pretend to know the pain associated with such a loss, I only know the fear, and the fear on its own is crippling.

When a painful five year journey ends in an instant, and suddenly your entire life is about to change in less than 36 weeks? Five years doesn’t seem like such a long time.

I know I was guilty of turning my back on my friends who became pregnant when I couldn’t. I am so deeply remorseful for this. I was so busy licking my own wounds that I lashed out at those who didn’t deserve it. I can’t thank God enough for giving me the last year to realize my mistakes, rectify some of them and come to peace with what may or may not be in store for me.

I feel like a hypocrite writing the following words when I know that I was guilty of doing the same thing. As soon as I announced my pregnancy I could feel a two handed shove, the kind that whips your head back, shoving me out of the classification of infertile and into unfamiliar territory.

I’m not sure I can ever take my rightful place among the other side. It took way too much to get here to ever take this pregnancy for granted. I mingle with the other side. Make jokes about cravings and poop. But I can’t ever truly turn away from that other group, the one I was a part of for so long, the one I spoke up for and the one that supported me when I couldn’t support myself anymore. I feel as though when I look back at them, their backs are all turned to me. “Traitor” they mumble.

But…but! You guys! I get it! I know how you feel!”

They turn for a moment, look at my swollen belly, roll their eyes and turn away.

Maybe I know their mannerisms so well because I did the same thing for so long.

It’s lonely out here in the middle. There’s very few people out here with me. Or maybe there’s more of you, we just haven’t talked about it yet.

I don’t want to be the story someone tells to an infertile friend, “Well there’s this blog I read, she tried for years…surgery…hormone treatments…she had finally given up and then WHAMMY! it happened!

I know how it feels to be on the receiving end of that conversation. I know how to mechanically smile and nod in response, not letting on to how frustrated and hurt I am inside.

I am so deliriously happy that I sometimes forget that there are women around me at the grocery store or online that are giving me the same dirty look I’ve given so many women in the past. If I were to catch one of them and hear their story and try to relate I wouldn’t be taken as a credible source, simply because the stars aligned and I was fertile for one magic moment.

I don’t know why this has been so hard for me to write about. Maybe it’s because I can still feel the shove to my back while the sting is still on my hands from shoving others.

I don’t have an answer.

But I know I’ll never forget. Especially since I’ll never quite belong here or there.

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doughboy pokes, depression and my belly.

I have felt pretty fantastic for the last few months, emotionally at least, physically? Not so much. And when I say I’ve felt emotionally fantastic I mean in regards to depression because to be honest there was a three week time between positive pregnancy test and chilling the chill out that I wasn’t so fun to be around. And when I say I wasn’t fun to be around I mean that Cody hated being around me because he was the one I would emotionally unload on.

And there was that one teensy tiny (enormous) panic episode when I landed in Canada after almost dying/barfing/crying in the plane getting there, followed by me being held by customs, followed by an unexpected bus ride…other than that! Golden!

Cody told me the other night that my belly button gets sad when I’m pregnant.

sad bellybutton.

I have such an innie that it never became an outie or even a flattie when I was pregnant with Addie. And unbeknownst to me, it apparently looked sad.

Currently it appears as though I am smuggling a Homer sized donut under my shirt from the front and from the side it appears as though I am in a perpetual state of doughboy poke.

pilsbury has nothing on me.

I can only assume it is revenge on Pilsbury’s part.

you push, he giggles.

But back to my emotions, my feeeeelings.

Yesterday as I plunked my weary body in front of my SAD lamp (as is my morning ritual during Indiana winters) I started to think about how depression and pregnancy share so many symptoms. Loss of appetite, exhaustion with the inability to sleep or the ability to sleep way too much, not to mention aches, pains, random crying sprees and lethargy. I began to panic that maybe my depression was seeping back in and pregnancy had been hiding it and suddenly BLAM I’d be hit like roadkill by a Mack truck out of nowhere by it.

But I know depression well enough. Or at least the way *I* do depression. I still want to talk to people. I still want to be around people. I can still laugh. I can see all the things going right in my world. I can get excited about this Mozzi in my belly (Which if you could move around soon so I could feel you? I’d appreciate it.) And I am really excited about spending Christmas in my house with my family for the second year. (We moved in a year ago next week…)

So nope, depression isn’t getting the better of me (at least not yet.)

But I know it’s getting a lot of you out there.

Holidays, weather changing, stress…

I keep a very special place in my heart for all you. I believe anyone who had dealt with depression does. Just because I’m feeling awesome doesn’t mean that everyone else is too. Some of you are struggling, some privately, some openly. And just as you’ve been there for me when I’m in ugly places, there’s hundreds of people out there who want to be there for you while you’re in your ugly places, me included. Even if all I can do is tell you that it will get better.

Or draw a picture of Santa on my ever expanding belly.

ho ho ho, who do you know?

Then there’s also the ladies who are left without their babies. I mean, I’ve gone through phases where it seemed as though everyone and their un-spayed cats were pregnant except for me. Well I am pregnant and it still seems as though everyone is pregnant.

But I know that’s not true.

And I’m sorry it can’t be true for everyone who wants a baby.

Messy, this real life stuff is.

Hope everyone is hanging in there and that you and the people around you are taking good care of you.


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the second time around.

Living with the barfing is much easier the second time around.

The anxiety of ‘ZOMG I’M GOING TO BE SOMEBODY’S MOTHER‘ is easier the second time around.

Figuring out what baby crap is actually necessary and what is just crap is also easier the second time around.

However no one told me that just existing the second time around would be so. much. more. uncomfortable.

Maybe everyone thought since my babies will be almost seven years apart it wasn’t worth mentioning? But y’all. Ow. My hips. My back. My stomach. THOSE ROUND LIGAMENT THINGS…I have officially downgraded them from ligaments to useless. I have a feeling Addie’s Silly Bandz could do a better job at holding my growing uterus up.

Addie and I have taken to playing Just Dance 2 on the Wii daily. Oh man, when I am not pregnant? I am going to OWN that game. But while I am pregnant? Peeing my underpants is a very real possibility. That and me waddling like an old person a few hours later.

I was just warned on facebook that it gets even worse the third time around. Which is why there won’t be a third time. Between the pain thing, the fact that I stink at getting pregnant in a timely manner and what happened in the frozen food section eight weeks ago I’m just not sure my spirit could handle this again. Oh, and my face. Remember when I wrote about petichiae? The capillaries that burst in my face when I barf? Well, here’s an update.

petichiae update. 16 weeks.

Oh it makes me so sad.

See how lovely my neck is? Oh.

It’s really hard to look at.

But I know I’m still under there.

And I know Mozzi is only days away from letting me know he or she is in there with little bubbles and pokes. I’m very excited about that.

I’m also very, very excited to hold a tiny baby. My tiny baby. I never felt this same excitement with Addie. This will probably sound strange, but I haven’t been able to or wanted to hold other babies for a long time. And I’m not sure I’ll be able to hold any tiny babies until it is mine.

Maybe it’s a self preservation thing.

I mean, every month feels like an eternity when you’re trying to get pregnant. I made it through over fifty eternities in the past six years and those fifty eternities will be resolved in less than 24 weeks.

It’s a lot to handle the second time around.

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i am…

Addie will almost be six and a half.

Cody and I will have been married a decade.

It has been almost a year since I became at peace with it never happening again.


I’ve become that story I hated so muchWell I know this girl who tried for five years, she finally gave up and it happened.

I know the physical ache that this has caused some of you to feel. Oh, how I know. And I hate that I caused it.

I’m no longer allowed to sit with the infertiles, even though I was a spokesperson and card carrying member for years. However I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to take my place on the other side either…I’m listening too closely for the shoe to drop.

Turns out that getting pregnant after so long comes with a whole new deluge of emotions. Ones I didn’t see coming. Ones even fewer people understand, let alone talk about.

Ones I’m in therapy for.

I’m done choking on all these emotions silently. Because I know if I’m choking? There’s hundreds more of you out there choking as well. I don’t want anyone to feel alone, I hate feeling alone. And if I have to be the first one to say it? Then so be it.

I am finally pregnant after almost five years of secondary infertility, and I’m scared.

I also know somewhere deep down inside there’s a reason people keep having babies and there’s a reason people get so excited at the announcement of a new pregnancy.

I’m going to have to go off that knowledge, and off your excitement until I’m there too.

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