Monthly Archives: July 2014

The blessing of a lifetime…

Anyone who knows me knows that my Littles are my life – and while I’m sure there isn’t a parent out there that doesn’t feel the same, I truly don’t remember life without them, nor could I imagine it. Getting them here did not come easy, though. My husband and I routinely joke that we spent our entire young adulthood trying NOT to get pregnant, then when we wanted to, we couldn’t. Anyone who has struggled with infertility knows the frustration of the “routine” – you know, that one in which you use every drugstore test, calendar and the like to pinpoint the exact timing of ovulation, followed by the demand for hubby to “produce” NOW – only to find out those couple of weeks later that for another month, it didn’t work. No baby. While it seems comical at times (imagine notes left on the counter telling him to wake me up upon his return after midnight from a long day of travel), it really is a roller-coaster ride. The ups and downs can be crushing, and can cause stress in any relationship, as you spend too much time trying to figure out what’s wrong, why it’s not working, and who is to blame.

Most fertility centers will not even consider seeing you for treatment until you have been trying for at least a year with no success. So that year passes slowly as patience wears thin. For many, formal medical treatment is not even an option, mainly because of the incredible financial implications. In our case, we were lucky. We were lucky enough to live and work in a State that mandates coverage for fertility treatments in fully-insured medical plans, so we saw very little financial impact of treatment. For others, the costs are simply not feasible, leading to an even greater feeling of helplessness.

For those who do have insurance or the financial means, there is still the chance that treatment may not work – and this can be devastating to couples who want nothing more than to grow their family. I can’t even imagine the grief that must accompany multiple treatment attempts that fail. It must be like experiencing the death of a loved one each and every time. In our case, again, we were lucky. Despite being told that we had a very slim chance of conceiving without IVF ICSI (sperm injection into eggs), we conceived the very first time with an IUI (intrauterine insemination, or what I like to call “the turkey baster method).

10 months later, Colton was born and changed my life forever. When he was about 9 months old, we returned for another attempt with an IUI, and lo-and-behold, our twin girls, Lauren and Taylor, were conceived. We were overjoyed then, and have been every day since. I consider us blessed beyond belief, and have made a promise to myself to help others in our situation to experience that same joy.

Until I have the financial means to launch our own foundation to help others, I plan to support a charity called the Cade Foundation, and encourage anyone who knows the joy of children to do the same. As as a special fundraising opportunity, I am committing all profits from sales on my website from now through the month of August to the Cade Foundation. I welcome you to visit the site and “shop” – or donate directly to the Cade Foundation on their website (below). If you have been blessed with children, enjoy every minute. If you are struggling to conceive, I encourage you to reach out to the Foundation so that they may consider your request for aid with treatment.

God Bless!

https://stephaniegrant.myrandf.com (my website)

http://www.cadefoundation.org/  (The Cade Foundation)

Colton-Steph

Somebody SAVE me! (A tribute to the trauma of personal hygiene)

So you all know I have 3 Littles – a BOY and twin girls. And somewhere along the way, I suppose I will admit to pre-conceived ideas about how each of them would behave. For example, my BOY would be sweet, but rough and tumble, liking to get dirty and would absolutely inherit his Daddy’s love of baseball and other sports, and my girls would be Princess-loving, dainty little girly-girls that wore nothing but pink ruffles. Yes, I am one of those girly girls myself!

I could not have been more wrong! And don’t get me wrong – I absolutely LOVE how each of them is turning out. Each in their own way, they are witty, precocious, independent and dependent, adventurous and clingy, headstrong, creative and so lovable! Amazingly, only one of my girls, Taylor, is that girly girl – and boy is she ever! She changes her clothes at least 6 times a day, all pink and sparkly, and 3 of those changes are usually into a Princess dress. She is physically athletic and fearless, though – probably the most athletic of the three of them, and has already experienced a broken wrist from her shenanigans. Lauren on the other hand, could not care less about what she is wearing, as long as it’s comfortable, and loves to chase her brother around doing whatever it is he’s doing. She is headstrong, very literal in her communications, and always one step ahead of us in her planning! She is fiercly independent and a Daddy’s girl, but is also the clutziest kid I know! We always joke that she can fall down while standing still.

So why am I telling you all this? Well, it’s because of my BOY! Colton is the sweetest, soft-hearted little boy I have ever known, and very much a Momma’s boy (which I love, of course). But my assumption that he would grow into the stereotypical “boy” has been completely disproven. As you also know, he just turned 7 – and I have enjoyed watching him grow into the handsome little guy that he is. But he has never been that rough-and-tumble, dirt-loving, bring in the bugs kind of kid (at some level I am SO grateful for that)! He is gentle and passive, quiet and shy, introverted and focused – and completely wimpy! And I say that in the most loving way – really!

BUT – what got me posting today is the experience of cutting his fingernails and toenails. Talk about a wimpy kid! If I even broach the subject with him, he literally runs and hides, whimpering in his room or wherever he thinks he can get away and avoid the whole ordeal. Meanwhile, my husband and I are thinking they are so long he could climb telephone poles with them! So then comes the wrestling match – the body block while I put a vice-grip hold on his hand (not really, but I do have to hold really tight), and attempting to cut his nails while he pulls, tugs, yanks and otherwise tries to wrestle free – all the while screaming bloody murder, “somebody saaaaaaaaaave meeeeee!” in the loudest wail I may have ever heard.

My girls – not a problem – cut them, paint them, it’s all good. My boy, not so much. The whole experience is traumatic – not only for him, but for me! It takes me hours and two glasses of Cabernet to stop that jittery, shaken feeling that follows such an experience. Next time, I think I’m going to give him the clippers and empower him to take care of it himself. Does anyone else have this experience? I’d love to hear from you!

 

Nails