Monthly Archives: December 2012

Make 2013 Your Year Of…

2013

With the start of every year I like to WriTe oUt My gOaLs.  Some years the list can get quite intensive including goals in my relationships, personal life, and finances.  And while that is all well and good, sometimes I just need to pick one and focus on that.  Maybe you can relate.  If so, consider naming 2013 your year of…

It can be AnYtHiNg yOu WiSh.  Maybe it will be your year to learn a new skill, develop a character trait or build/mend a relationship.  Maybe it will be your year of slowing down and smelling the roses or finally getting fit.

Whatever your goals are for 2013, we at Suede Sofa wish you a PrOsPeRouS and BleSsEd year!!  May 2013 be your best year yet!

:) Robynn

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Day 24 – Advent Calendar

MeRrY ChRiStMaS!!

Think about the real reason we celebrate Christmas and do something related.  Stop in at the Church, watch the Nativity movie, read the Nativity story from your bible, etc.

nativity

{You may choose to simplify the process big-time.  It doesn’t need to be time-consuming, stressful, or cost you anything.  Do what works for you and enjoy the season with the ones you love!!}

Alternative Activity:  Read (and or sing!) through the lyrics of “The First Noel” :

The first Noel the angel did say
Was to certain poor shepards in fields as they lay:
In fields where they lay a keeping their sheep
On a cold winter’s night that was so deep.
Noel Noel Noel Noel
Born is the King of Israel.

They looked up and saw a star
Shining in the east beyond them far:
And to the earth it gave great light
And so it continued both day and night.
Noel Noel Noel Noel
Born is the King of Israel.

And by the light of that same star
Three wise men came from the country far;
To seek for a King was their intent,
And to follow the star wherever it went.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
Born is the King of Israel.

This star drew nigh to the north-west;
O’er Bethlehem it took it’s rest,
And there it did both stop and stay,
Right over the place where Jesus lay.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
Born is the King of Israel.

Then entered in those wise men three,
Fell reverently upon their knee,
And offered there in his presence
Their gold and myrrh and frankincense.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
Born is the kind of Israel.

Then let us all with one accord
Sing praises to our heavenly Lord,
That hath made heaven and earth of nought,
And with his blood mankind has bought.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
Born is the King of Israel.

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Day 23 – Advent Calendar

Do something nice for someone you have had a conflict with in the past.

Alternative Activity:  Wrap a present for Jesus (or write it down).  Perhaps it is asking Him for help to get rid of your bad attiude, a sin you have committed or something in your life that has been disappointing you.  No matter what, commit to letting Him keep it.  Once you ask for His help or forgiveness, LET GO and move forward.  Remember—this is why He was brought into this world in the first place!  To help us!

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Day 22 – Advent Calendar

Get Christmas Pampered!  Take a bubble bath to Christmas music, paint your nails a bright red, green or silver, and sit back and relax!

{You may choose to simplify the process big-time.  It doesn’t need to be time-consuming, stressful, or cost you anything.  Do what works for you and enjoy the season with the ones you love!!}

Alternative Activity:  Take a moment to enjoy a Crackling Fire!  If you don’t have a fireplace, here is one below (you can watch it for up to 3 hours long)!  Be sure to turn up the volume!

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Infertility During the Holidays

These days our house is filled with toys, laughter, and absolute chaos as we prepare for Christmas.  I’m running out of places to hide presents and our elf on the shelf, tripping over Abby’s little people reindeer thanks to her insisting that they “take off” in the middle of the living room, and loving the million different ways my kids pronounce Feliz Navidad (Denise Nady Na is my favorite) each time they hear the song on the radio!  However, a few days ago as I was hanging ornaments on our Christmas tree I was reminded of a Christmas not so long ago when I was longing to be a mother and that dream seemed beyond my reach.

ornament

Growing up I was a goal setter.  I knew right away that I wanted to be a teacher.  Not just a teacher, but a first grade teacher.  With hard work and a little luck I was hired for my first job the June before I graduated college to teach first grade the following year.  My next goal was to be a mom.  My husband Rob and I had been married for a little over 2 years and figured it was a good time to start trying to start a family.  When month after month turned into over a year and  the little white stick was still showing not a sign of pink I knew something was wrong.  We tried using ovulation predictors and monitors on our own and nothing seemed to help.

Testing came back labeling us as “unexplained infertility”  and 3 intrauterine inseminations (IUI) later I was still not pregnant.  By now I couldn’t hide the fact that we were doing infertility treatments to try to have a baby.  I wear my emotions on my sleeve and it was clear that we were having a problem.  I was also being so closely monitored for egg production that I had to miss school a lot for the insemination schedule that I was on.  Now that I look back, I am thankful for all of the support that I received from everyone who knew what Rob and I were going through.  I saved every card, St. Gerard medal, and well wish that was given to us during our journey and would often joke that I felt like George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life from the end scene when he is on the bridge and everyone is praying for him…except everyone was saying…Dear God please give Robyn and Rob a baby!  I had a co-worker who told me over and over that the baby that was meant for me wasn’t ready yet.  I knew she was trying to be helpful, but when you want nothing more than to be a mother RiGhT NoW you don’t want to hear anything like that!  In hindsight…she was right.

After the 3 failed IUI’s we decided to go straight to in vitro fertilization (IVF).  This just had to work.  How could it not?  They take healthy eggs and healthy sperm, put them together, implant them into the perfect location in your uterus and all they have to do is implant.  We did the injections, the 6:00 am blood-work and uterus scans every morning, egg retrieval, and then the big day…the embryo transfer.  I can’t even begin to tell you how exciting it is to lay on the table with a photograph of the embryos that the doctor is transferring in hopes that one will implant.  In the days that followed my transfer I carried around that photograph like I had just been to Portrait Innovations with a newborn!  After the transfer comes the wait.  For a week we waiting hoping those little embryos had nuzzled in to stay, but we were saddened when my blood-work came back to show that I wasn’t pregnant.

Moving on we had to wait one cycle before we could begin another round of IVF.  By this time I felt like a professional at the infertility group.  I sat in the same chair each morning for my monitoring, had become friends with all of the nurses, and knew which parking spots were the best to get out of the hospital lot the fastest to get me to work on time.  My doctor changed my medications a little to get more eggs to fertilize this time and I had 26 eggs retrieved and 13 that went on to fertilize and become embryos.  Getting the call that I had produced 13 healthy embryos had us on cloud 9…we were sure this round would get us the baby we so longed for.   The next morning by a horrible twist of fate, we received a phone call from my Dr. notifying me that due to a “Catastrophic error on the part of the lab” all of my embryos had been lost because there was something wrong with the gel that holds the embryos.  There are honestly no words to describe the pain we felt that day.  Even today when I think of 13 potential lives lost it kills me.  We didn’t even know what to do with the news, we just knew that we wanted a baby and we needed them to get one.

We went ahead with a 3rd round of IVF and by now we were going on 2 and a half years of infertility.  I was emotionally drained and depressed.  I went for my egg retrieval and transfer and I honestly didn’t have much hope this time.  I had been through so much heartbreak that the naivety of the “This is definitely going to work” was LoNg GoNe.  I went for my blood-work the morning of my pregnancy test, but I was already spotting so I figured that it hadn’t worked.  I went back home after my blood-work and put my pajamas back on and laid in bed waiting for the phone call from my nurse.  Rob and I answered the phone together and were shocked to hear, “Robyn, you’re pregnant!”  We both cried along with our nurse who had been through all 3 cycles with us.  My pregnancy wasn’t easy but I delivered a healthy baby boy and finally understood what my friend meant… All of those missed opportunities to conceive didn’t happen because Nicholas was the baby that was MeAnT FoR Me!  If I had gotten pregnant any of those other times I would have had a baby that I would have loved, but I wouldn’t have Nicholas, and knowing that makes all the years, all the heartbreak, and all the lessons learned worth it.  Nicholas is 5 years old now and I still call him my little miracle.  When I meet couples going through infertility I try to remind them of this and to NeVeR GiVe Up HoPe.

Untitled-3

Our Miracle

Finally A Mommy!

Finally A Mommy

Those of you who follow Suede Sofa know that besides Nicholas I have a daughter named Abby who is two years younger.  As shocked as I was the day I found out I was pregnant with Nicholas, multiply that by 100 the day I figured out that by some either miracle or complete fluke we conceived Abby on our own!

My family ~ 2012

My family ~ 2012

If you or someone you know is struggling to conceive this Christmas season please share my story with them.  I know how hard it is to put on a brave face when you want nothing more than to be a part of what it seems like everyone else around you has.  Remember the words of my friend…Maybe the baby that is meant for you just isn’t ready yet!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year…

~Robyn (Jersey Girl)

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Day 21 – Advent Calendar

Do something for someone that the can’t do for themselves.  (Examples: pay their electric bill, introduce two of your single friends to one another, take an elderly person out shopping, pray for someone who has drifted from the faith, etc.)

helping

{You may choose to simplify the process big-time.  It doesn’t need to be time-consuming, stressful, or cost you anything.  Do what works for you and enjoy the season with the ones you love!!}

Alternative Activity:  As you are in the car, sing the 12 days of Christmas, BUT take turns coming up with your own verse!  (This was a family tradition in our house growing up…as we would drive to Christmas Eve mass we would sing this as a family and each person came up with their own verse! ~Lara)

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Snowflakes for the Newtown, CT Students Return to School ~ How You Can Help!

Everyone has been deeply affected by the tragedy that took place a week ago in Newtown, CT.  All of us at Suede Sofa were teachers prior to turning in our plan books for diapers and mommy blogging.  I was a 1st grade teacher, Lara was a music teacher, and Robynn was a science teacher and school counselor.  Now being stay-at-home moms we felt compelled to do something for the children of Newtown, CT who attended Sandy Hook Elementary School the day of that senseless act that stole the lives of 20 children whose ages are similar to that of our own.

snow

The following letter explains a simple snowflake project that you can do with your children or grandchildren to send to the Newtown PTA to help decorate the new school that the children will be going to after the Christmas break.  Although my children are too young to understand what took place, I was happy to make a special snowflake with each of them to send off in hopes of putting a smile on the face of another child.

snowflake~Robyn (Jersey Girl)

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