2017 Was Hot Garbage*

dumpster fire


2017 was *mostly* hot garbage.  I don’t want to lump it all together and pour gasoline on the dumpster fire that it was, but I have 0 sad feelings about letting it go.  BYE-FE-LICIA; as happy to wish farewell to 2017 as I was to do the same to that saying. When I think about 2017 I think about strife and struggle and sadness, but I forced myself to dig through the darkness and notice the moments, both good and bad.

My dad lost part of his leg after a long battle wth Type II Diabetes, but we were showered with extreme generosity from friends and family after that which was beyond touching.  We went through an intense house hunt, and lost a BUNCH of houses (damn sellers market!), but finally got the perfect place for us which we’ve made into a home over the last few months.  Kenny left the job that has been a home for him for the past several years, but took on a new adventure which has provided him lots of new opportunities to grow.  We saw lots of friends find love, get married, have babies and have experienced joy through their joy.  I took my mom on a bomb vacation for her birthday.  My parents sold their townhouse and moved into a nice, accessible place super close to us.  Work and students provided lots of challenges, but I also won a pretty cool award in the spring.  I built some new friendships and rekindled others.  I published a blog putting all my biznass out onto the internet for all to read.  And, I felt the worst pain I could imagine feeling…multiple times.  But, I also survived.

Later on in life, when I look at 2017, I don’t think it will be my favorite year. Actually, I know it won’t be my favorite.  Pretty much it was trash. The highs were quite high, but the lows were the lowest.  And my memories of the lows, I know, will remain fresher than any of the highs.

In general, I do like to reflect at the end of a year, and I like the concept of a fresh start of sorts.  I am proud that I survived this year. That sounds mad dramatic.  I am a Leo, so.


But, I don’t know if I can honestly say the cliche “I came out stronger” and really believe that.  To be honest, I feel like I was pretty strong already, which is why I survived this mess of a year to begin with.  I come from a pretty long line of tough AF broads, we go through shit, we handle it, and we move on; from the little things to the real stuff.   While I had a lot of the real stuff, I am thankful I had, as my parents my say, the “intestinal fortitude” to somehow manage.  That plus lots of support from friends and family and, plenty of really fun distractions.

I’ve never been a resolution person. I feel like it’s all talk, not a lot of action.  And I hate no action.   I liked this post I saw my friend share on IG:


With that quote in mind, here I go.  Intentions, backed with action.  I do prefer to look forward than backward, because backward is kind of a sad shitshow of tears and doctors, so let’s talk 2018.  Here are some things I want to think about or focus on in 2018:

  1. The number, like it, it sounds good. (Full of logic, right?) The Hebrew word for life has a numerical value of 18, I remember my grad school roommate telling me 18 was an important number in the Jewish faith and that her and her siblings all have 18 letters in their full names.  I thought that was cool.   So I am hanging on to it, 18, life, living mine and hopefully (somehow) creating another life.
  2. Recommitting to taking care of myself.  This year has really effed up my feelings about my body.  Like REALLY.  I’ve always had a love hate relationship with the way my body looked, regardless of how fit or not I was.  But I never really had any issues with how it WORKED.  Like, when I did eat healthy or worked out, things worked, and I felt and looked better.  Internally, it did all the things it was supposed to do, luckily.  Cool.  But this year was different.  It did none of the things it was supposed to do, or that it wanted to. It actually did the opposite.  And then when I was going through periods of time where I wasn’t allowed to work out for weeks and wasn’t allowed to eat anything with folic acid (look that up, it’s a long list of everything good for you), it was like cool I will store all your fat cells like a hibernating bear.  LOL.  So, this year, it’s just about getting back to normal.  Back to healthy habits and healthy routines which I was able to maintain for years before this nonsense.  I’m not doing a diet, kind of don’t believe in those.  But healthier choices and reasonable portions are on the agenda, and back to my fitness routine, which I actually always liked.  Just looking forward to feeling like myself again.  Unfortunately, this plan coincides with everyone else on the planet joining the “tight train” at the same time, but I’ve never been motivated by group think.  I’m either in it, or not.  I usually wake up on a Wednesday and just decide “I’m going to be less chubby now”, and just do it.  So, anyway, me and Kenny are committed to taking better care of ourselves overall: sleep consistently, eat better, move more, the whole 9.
  3. I signed up for a support group for pregnancy loss which I am actually really excited about. (*side note, can you be excited about a support group for pregnancy loss??). First one is in January, and I look forward to whatever that may bring.  Collective cry circles, or whatever.
  4. Do. More. Shit.  I spent so much of last year hiding out, avoiding people, pictures, events, etc., I am excited to say yes and do more.  Partially we were hunkered down saving money to buy the house, which worked, WOO!  Then, we bought the house and were hunkered down not having any more money.  Still, technically in that part, but what. Then, it was just too hard to pretend to be happy when I was just sad.  Don’t want to be the one bringing down the mood all the time.  I was always the mostly positive, “Sally Brightside”, so I didn’t want to go from that to being Daria. 2018 will be the year of doing things.
  5. Grieving.  This sounds somewhat counter to the rest of my list, but it needs to happen.  Grief is a process, it takes time, and it is not linear.  I found this article right after talking with a friend: Grief. The idea that you could get exactly what you want and still have something to grieve feels strange, but it is real.  Check out this article, it was on point!
  6. Soul search. We are at a crossroads as far as this baby journey goes.  We are spending the first 1/4 of the year just feeling out what we want to do next.  Are we ready to utilize donor “products”, if so, which ones? Do we want to keep trying on our own, if so, for how long?  Do we want to try and sell body parts and go towards a private adoption.  We are spending some time just living life so hopefully the answer(s) will sort of come to us.

There’s a lot to do, a lot to think about, a lot to consider.  I am currently anti-hope.  That sounds terrible, right?  But, it’s the damn truth.  Hope hasn’t gotten me anywhere yet.  It’s not so much that I don’t have any, it’s just that focusing on that hasn’t been fruitful.  Instead, I am trying to focus on the things I can actually control. My body. My mind. My spirit.  I will take care of those things in 2018 and then we’ll just see what the hell happens from there.

And, if all else fails, if I get sad when thinking about 2017, I’ll just remember I met the mother-effing BACKSTREET BOYS.


Fertility is a MTHFR.

I hope you’ve all recovered from the This is Us blog post.  That was a doozie.  So EMOSH.

This one will be pretty quick.  In between our failed IVF cycle in early September and the DNC I had to have in October, we decided to get some testing done.  We planned on doing the sperm fragmentation test for Kenny and then get some blood work for me.  My doctor said there was a huge blood panel they used to automatically do for fertility patients, but because it was so much it could sometimes cause clotting and did not often lead to results that could be treated, so they stopped doing it for every patient.  But considering we were looking for answers I could opt into it, so I did.  I wanted to do that before the fragmentation test because that was so expensive and not covered, etc.

You never want something to be wrong with you, but as they were taking vile after vile of blood I was sort of hoping something would come back abnormal that they could tell me how to treat and then move on.  So, I got a call a few days later from the nurse who said they hadn’t gotten all panels back, but I did test abnormal for MTHFR.

Is that not the best name for a mutation ever?

I had never heard of it, but it is a gene mutation that approximately 1 in 2 people have.  So, it is pretty common.  But within the 1/2 that have it, there are types of mutations that can cause other issues that affect pregnancy and fertility.  So, I had to go back to the doctor to test for these other things.

The biggest issue you automatically have is that is that your body cannot naturally process folate, so that folic acid in your prenatal vitamin you’ve been taking for 2 years is totally useless.  GREAT.  So, they put me on a prescription folate which can be processed with this mutation to add to my regimen.  Yay more drugs to pay for.

Then they sent me back in to test for Homocysteine levels.  The 1/2 of us I mentioned above who have this mutation are at a risk for elevated homocysteine levels.  While the MTHFR mutation is not necessarily related to fertility or being able to conceive, it can affect the health of the pregnancy and baby since the folic acid critical to development is compromised.  But, in my case, I never got far enough along to where the folic acid would have been an issue.  But, elevated homocysteine levels are related to recurrent pregnancy loss, infertility, down syndrome, and others.  While I was waiting to get this back, I read up on it, because it was legit the first time I ever heard of either of these things.  (That fact alone was kind of annoying.  After a year plus of fertility care, why would you never mention this?  Why wouldn’t you test me just for MTHFR even if you didn’t do the full panel, since all my other stuff was normal? Ugh).

If you want to read a little more about this try this site. It gave me a pretty decent overview.

But, I got a call and homocysteine was perfectly normal.  WTF.  I didn’t want to have an issue, but it also could finally be a reason, a guiding light in the path of what to do now.  But, nope, normal.  There isn’t much you can do if it is not.  You can add or remove certain things from your diet, which would be good anyway.

But, in the end.  We did it, glad we did, but found nothing conclusive. Same shit, different day. “You should be fine, but you’re not soooooooooo”

But, after I had the DNC, a few weeks later they scheduled a follow up appointment for me.  It was with a different doctor, because my left our practice the day of my DNC. RUDE.  So, I knew I would have a placeholder Dr for now.  *Luckily* it was the same one who was on call to send me to the ER for concerns over my ectopic, and the same one who got to call me BOTH times when my IVF cycles failed to create any viable embryos. So, you could say we were familiar.

Kenny couldn’t come to the appointment because of work, so I went solo.  And I held it together until the medical assistant from my old doctor came in to check on me.  And then…cue the water works.  But overall I was able to manage human being level status mostly.

She wanted to do another check on the good ole YUTE aka uterus to make sure I had gone back to normal after the DNC.  She also confirmed the biopsy on the DNC tissue came back positive and had what they called “early placenta cells”.  Sort of a punch in the gut to be honest.  Like, I know this, but when they say it, it sounds more real.

Besides making sure my uterus was back to normal, her biggest recommendation was for us to take a break.  We had kind of already decided that anyway, but it was good she agreed with us.  Technically we were on a freaking break when all of this happened this time anyway.  But this will be more of what we call an active prevention break. You know, an APB.  She was also pretty anti the fragmentation test we were (maybe still are?) planning on doing.  She basically wasn’t sold on whether it really tells us anything useful, there’s not a lot of research on whether it truly determines chance of success or not. But we are still debating if it makes sense.

She also said something that stuck with me, that wasn’t anything mind blowing, but she was the first person who was so blunt about it.  As much as I liked my old doctor, and wasn’t thrilled about being thrown in limbo, I was also hopeful a new doctor would look at our files and notice something that was missed and maybe we would…TA DA…have a diagnosis and perhaps a solution.  That’s not what I got, but I got this *as close to a quote as I can get*

“Look, you don’t choose your partner based on their hypothetical eggs or sperm they produce.  If either of you were with someone else, you might be able to have a baby easily, perhaps.  You don’t have as many eggs as we would like, or hope, to see for someone your age, but if Kenny’s sperm was totally normal, we would only need one. Most fertility issues are complex, they are not often just one thing or one person.”

No one had ever come out and said that I had a low egg count for my age, even though I knew that.  It was always skirting around the issue like it’s “a little lower than we’d like, but…not out of the ordinary”.  But it all just made a lot of sense.  If I had a lot more eggs then we’d have more chances to fertilize with a bunch more of Kenny’s li’l guys and make an embryo that was healthy. But, if the sperm was 100% healthy, then we would only need 1 egg to begin with.  So, it is likely a combination of both of our minor issues combining together becoming a major issue.  It for some reason made me somewhat calm.

So, for now, we chill.  Once our minds are as healed as my YUTE is, then we will revisit and devise a plan.  But, currently, Netflix and (actually) chill.

This. Is. Us. **SPOILERS**

Oh, hello.  Your favorite delinquent blogger here!  I would blame my lack of blogging on traveling to work conferences almost the entirety of November.  But, it honestly had more to do with me having absolutely no energy whatsoever (maybe because I’m chubby? Maybe because I’m bored of telling sad stories? Who even knows anymore lol).  Nevertheless, here I am. Back again. Colleen’s back. Tell a friend.




I thought about not watching the end of this season.  I actually saw a bunch of articles about people not watching it because it was definitely triggering for any of us who have dealt with infertility or pregnancy loss. If you don’t watch the show at all, you’re missing out, but have also probably saved a lot of money in tissues.  It is a cry fest every week for me, but I’m a sap anyway.  Though the last couple of episodes have been extra given the content.

Truth is, I saw this coming from the early episode where Kate was being weird working out a bunch and being shady around Toby.  As soon as she walked into the pharmacy I was like…I know what this is.  There was a tiny piece of me thinking is she getting diet pills or something, but 97% of me said she’s knocked up.  And then they end the episode with her at the GYN doing an ultrasound and confirming she is 6 weeks.  Of course this isn’t really accurate, because they don’t usually do an ultrasound that early, but still.  But since it was a “geriatric pregnancy” (WHAT A TERM!) and her weight, it is possible.

The timing was atrocious because I had just passed 6 weeks but also knew the pregnancy wasn’t viable.  So, obviously, the episode ended with me in a fight with Kenny. Because, that makes sense. Duh.  Legit though, I told him how the episode ended and he was like oh…should I wear these jeans tomorrow?  And I looked at him with the crazy eyeballs.


Nothing inside of you said “Self, maybe you should have a different reaction to this statement.  Or realize this might suck for her?”

But, I related so much to her feelings when she told Toby and told him he wasn’t allowed to be excited because stats said this would not last and he needed to calm down.  But then his excitement was infectious and she started to get excited as well, even with that little voice in the back of her head saying hooooooooold up.  She finally told her family and things were progressing as they should.  So, each time you get a good report (I don’t really know how that feels tho haha) you get more and more hopeful.

As a fan of the show, I was hoping that they would go the less expected route, and actually have her pregnancy go normally.  Since there is so much heartbreak and drama in the show, you almost knew something bad would happen, the question was just when it would.  But I thought maybe they’d hit us with the okeydoke and everything would go swimmingly with other drama somewhere else.

They did one episode per triplet.  First was Kevin, and his was a mess.  Damn.  I am worried for him for real though.  He kept getting phone calls from Kate he was ignoring, so I knew.  Then Toby called, and if you weren’t sure before, now you were.  But then at the end they jus told you. So, in my head I am thinking, ok, am I watching next week?  maybe I will play it by ear.  See where my emotional state is at the moment and decide.

But, after reading a few posts about people not watching I decided I wanted to see it.  I wanted to see if I could relate.  I wanted to see if they portrayed it accurately.  Not that every circumstance is the same, but still.  I wanted to see it. I sob through every episode anyway so what’s the difference?


So I cozied up on the couch with a blanket and a lot of tissues and Kenny left because he hates this show. I took notes on my phone because I wanted to remember the moments that stood out and my initial reactions.  And, here they are, for your reading pleasure:

  • How could I be this sad?
    • This part was actually in the preview.  And I connected so much to it.  Because all of my losses were so early in the process it feels like I shouldn’t be that sad yet.  Things didn’t even show up on screens yet.  But, yet…
  • I knew him already
    • If this is something you wanted before, or even figured out after you found out you wanted, you connect with the clump of cells from the jump. You start picturing things, even if your brain tells you to wait it out, your heart pictures holidays and outfits and all kinds of stuff.  So, even when it is early it is still soul crushing.
  • What if this was my fault?
    • The feeling of fault hit me the most.  Especially because she felt so much guilt about her body and her weight and whether that was the problem.  Even if logically you know that the healthiest, fittest, most organic eating women lose pregnancies all the time, and it isn’t because of that…inside you still think you could have prevented this or you cause this.
  • I feel like I took this from Toby
    • Ugh, this one got you right in the feels.  His reaction when she told him was so priceless and precious.  Like this was his lifelong dream.  It was adorable.  And to be the temporary home of the lifelong dream and then lose it, ugh.  The pain.
  • Vitamins. List of Questions. HCG.
    • In the beginning of the episode they show shots of the kitchen table with prenatal vitamins, a green shake, a list of questions for the doctor she was going to ask but never got to.  Everything just brought back all I have been through the last two years.  Especially the “making sure HCG levels are doubling every two days.” If I never had to hear the letters HCG used ever again I would be thrilled.
  • “You can go back to living your life”
    • The scene where they are in the hospital and the doctor or nurse is giving her the rundown.  This happens a lot, this doesn’t mean it can’t happen again, now that we know you can get pregnant you can try again, you can go back to living your life.  Oh really?  Can I?  Sure, you try it.  Just go live life…ok lady.
  • Ignoring calls and texts
    • This part is legit.  I didn’t do a lot of ignoring calls or texts, but more avoiding reaching out myself.  I didn’t want to be social really, but I also felt like I didn’t have anything fun or positive to talk about either.  I also didn’t want to say the words to anyone I cared about.
  • I’m going to work!
    • When she storms out of the apartment the next day going to work because “she has to” I was like YES.  This is me. I am sure this is a lot of us.  You don’t know what else to do.  You probably should stay home and sleep and cry and whatever else, but it is almost easier to just resume daily life and pretend. But then…
  • Watching the child dancing
    • Every freaking thing you try and do to distract yourself from your sadness baby shit pops up.  She’s singing at a restaurant at lunch and this adorable little girl starts dancing to her song.  She is doing just fine but then you see her face see the mom taking pictures of her and loving watching this moment and you think…I thought I was going to have this moment.  Maybe I won’t ever have it.  it happens to me all the time.  I came home from finding out my 2nd IVF cycle failed and saw 5 baby commercials in a row.  FIVE. Every time you’re at work and people are telling goofy stories about their kids, things they think don’t matter, and you think wonder if I will ever have these stores.  It’s EVERYWHERE.
  • Mom.
    • When her mom shows up and she just collapses.  I basically did that exact same thing.  There’s something about mom.  But then even that hurts because you think you want to be that person for someone else.
  • Seeing someone you love in pain
    • Toby’s monologue when Kate was being a d*ck to him.  So on point.  I also respond to extreme pain with extreme dickery. Defense mechanism 101.  But his speech to her about wanting to be there for her and knowing it was her body and trying to be the strong one, but this happened to him too.  DAMN son.  And when he goes to try and intercept the baby bath at Fedex, spending hours there trying to prevent something from hurting her worse. “The worst part of seeing someone you love in pain is not being able to do anything about it.  Just try not to make it worse.”  I didn’t ask Kenny, but I think he would say that was pretty accurate.
  • Eating feelings
    • When she storms out of her performance and walks directly to a buffet.  Girl displayed some strength walking away from the big plate of feelings she was about to eat.  But the search for anything to provide her comfort was so relatable.
  • Shower curtain
    • The actual way her miscarriage happened was very dramatic.  And I know sometimes they actually do happen like that.  But none of mine did, all terrible slow burns.  But the idea that walking around your house you see things that just remind you of that and Toby wanted to throw the thing away immediately. I cannot blame them.

Overall I thought they did a pretty good job fitting into a one your episode how this really feels, for so many of the people involved. At the end of watching the video I wrote a little blurb that combined my feelings with what I thought Kate was feeling.

It’s never just bleeding or losing a clump of cells.  It’s losing all your hopes and dreams.  Everything you’ve already envisioned despite trying to force yourself not to.  Its the idea of telling your parents the exciting news, it’s how you see your child playing with their cousins, it’s hairdos you’ve pictured, nursery color schemes, even fears of how you’ll pay for child care.  All of those things flash in such a short time after finding out you are pregnant and then in a blink again they’re gone.  Or in m case drawn out over weeks of questions and wondering.

Even though I sobbed uncontrollably I am grateful the experience was put out for the public to see.

I’ll be back.  Sooner than later.  ❤