The past few days have been so joyous and wonderful. And while I know we aren't at the ultimate finish line, I am relishing in every bit of joy I can along the way. We endured so much darkness the past couple of years that I believe it's helped me to appreciate the good days so much more.
Christmas Eve and Christmas were everything I had hoped and prayed they would be. It was a lot of work though, no question there. My feet felt like they were going to fall off after being on them cooking and baking for nearly three days straight. But it was all worth it. We are in a new world without my mom in the picture. My dad moved from Utah to now just up the street from us. My mother in law (also a widow) lives three miles away. I still have two brothers in Utah, but they each have families of their own so we are the new Texas home-base for Holidays. We wanted to create new family traditions and began many of them this year. We decided we would have surf and turf be the new Christmas eve dinner tradition. We served steamed crab legs and Picanha, which is a Brazilian rotisserie steak dish that my husband makes. While my husband was cooking, Jen (my sister in law) and I played dance games on the Kinect like a couple of kids and had a blast, not to mention a good cardio workout. Probably a good thing considering how much food was involved during the last few days!
Christmas morning I made an awesome gluten free breakfast casserole and everyone raved about it. I made homemade apple cranberry cider in the crockpot and it filled our home with delightful holiday smells. Our entire kitchen table was full of treats, appetizers, cheeses, etc. And our Christmas dinner was a feast that my mom would have been proud of! Ham, turkey, mormon potatoes (a major crowd-pleaser), pies, jello, and the list goes on and on. We were able to share the day with our family and a couple of close friends and their two small children. A cold front blew into town and we even lit a fire in the fireplace topping off the Christmas ambiance. I sincerely had so much joy in my heart all day long and I couldn't have asked for a better day given where we are in life. I pray that next year we have a little one to share it with and we finally have real hope that this might actually come true.
As for progress on our cycle, things are going fantastically on that front too. After so many terrible doctors appointments last year, every single win in this whole process now is something to get excited about. I had my saline ultrasound and mock transfer yesterday which I was braced for in a lot of ways. I was worried it would hurt like crazy because the one in July was probably the most painful procedure I've ever had done in my life. Basically, the doctor sticks a catheter through the cervix, fills the uterus with a saline solution, and then uses an ultrasound wand to check for abnoralities. The one from July was so painful I couldn't even walk for about 10 minutes. In addition to worrying about the pain, I also was worried they'd find polyps like they did last time and that would mean I'd need hysteroscopy surgery to remove them. Surgery would mean, well, surgery, and who wants that? Finding polyps would also mean a few thousand dollars out of pocket because in 2013 we are switched to an HSA plan, ugh. Lastly, it would also mean delaying our FET cycle which stinks in its own right.
Jen went to the appointment with me since I wanted my husband to save his time off of work for the big appointments, like the actual transfer itself. I'm happy to say that the procedure took all of three or four minutes, and didn't hurt one bit! The doctor said everything looked "perfect." Yes, he used the word perfect and I'm hanging onto that! The word "perfect" was never uttered anywhere, anyhow, at any doctors appointment last year or this summer, so hooray for my perfect uterus! He again said he had a very good feeling about everything. My previous RE was so sweet and caring, but she was very formal. This new doctor is incredibly caring as well, but is so much more casual than the previous RE and he and puts me at ease at every appointment with his jokes and friendliness. I left that appointment with so much joy and optimism that I just am still sitting here the following morning relishing in it! It feels so good to have hope again! Hopelessness weighs on your soul like a big cement block.
After the appointment, Jen and I went to the Whole Foods in downtown Austin. This is the original Whole Foods of all Whole Foods, and let me tell you - it's enormous! I've been there quite a few times, but Jen is from NYC and has never seen it. We wanted to check out gluten free food options because I knew they had a lot. We picked up some delicious GF brownies and pastas and had some lunch at their deli.
Afterwords, we visited my mother in law then got a pedicure. We had planned for me, my husband, Jen, and my dad to go to my favorite restaurant for dinner, but I was a little worried about what options I'd have now living gluten free. I called ahead and they said they were very accommodating for those with gluten restrictions. And when we got there, the executive chef was able to prepare my favorite gorgonzola and truffle oil mac & cheese with their in-house gluten free pasta and it tasted exactly the same as the gluten-full version that I had loved so much. I was thrilled! And to make things even better, the chef brought out FOUR complimentary desserts that he had made gluten free just for us to enjoy at our table. To.Die.For.
So I know it sounds corny, but the last few days have been fantastic, and I am not going to take any of these moments for granted. These wonderful days mean so much more because of the dark days that have preceded them. It's nice to be in the light once again.