18.) Giuliana and Bill Rancic.

This celebrity couple is publicly fighting a very personal battle: infertility. 

Many infertile couples do not even discuss their issues with their closest friends, or even family, due to embarrassment, fears of judgement, and consuming feelings of despair.  Infertility is still very much a taboo subject in our society, and unfairly so. 

More than 1 in 12 couples in America alone have difficulty conceiving, and that number increases to 1 in 7 couples who are in their 30s.  30% of this group has male infertility, 30% has female infertility, 30% is unknown, and 10% is a combination of male/female infertility.  We are talking about a LOT of people. 

Giuliana and Bill (an E! news anchor and the winner of Donald Trump's show, The Apprentice), are both celebrities who have been trying to start a family for over a year.  Due to advanced maternal age, they've come to their last option to conceive a biological child: In vitro fertilization.  The process is personal and grueling, with extreme emotional stress (and financial stress for those who are NOT highly paid celebrities!). 

They have bravely and candidly been documenting their journey on their reality show (on the Style Network), and have even publicly suffered a devastating loss of their baby via miscarriage at 9wks.  To watch a video previewing upcoming epidoses of Giuliana and Bill's reality show, click right here.

Celebrity couples who suffer from infertility often opt to keep their struggles (and treatment) private.  It is a person's right to remain silent about their private life, but this choice ultimately perpetuates the "taboo" mentality of infertility within our society.  Revealing their choice to go through IVF, IUI, or other infertility treatment approaches (including donor egg/sperm, embryo adoption, traditional adoption, surrogacy, etc.), celebrities can bring attention to the fact that infertility is happening everywhere, probably to somebody you know.  It can be devastating and heartbreaking, but it can also be overcome. 

I commend Giuliana and Bill Rancic for stepping up to the plate to bring awareness to infertility.  I truly hope that they acheive the family they are so deeply desiring.  I also hope that their candid approach to infertility encourages other people (celebrities or not) to come out of the infertility closet, reach out for support from others, and not feel so isolated in their struggle.

For more information on infertility, please go to http://www.resolve.org/
Giuliana & Bill is on Mondays at 8/7c on the Style Network.


Or not.

Okay Phils... that wasn't the turnout I was hoping for.  Good try though.  See ya in 2011!


Let's Go, Phillies!

The Phightin' Phils take Game 5 from the Giants in San Fran! 
Bring on Game 6! 
Saturday night in the City of Brotherly Love...
Keep the Phaith!


17.) seeing a baby's heartbeat for the first time is amazing.

I saw the heartbeat today! 

So far, baby looks like a little jelly bean in there, just hanging out in his yolk sac.  I'm already looking forward to seeing him again next month, when we can hopefully hear the heartbeat and see some growth as well. 

It's a little nervewracking, being pregnant and having to just wait... and wait... and hope everything goes okay.  I feel like I hardly know anything about the process of being pregnant (just the process of getting pregnant... more than I'd like to know, at that!) so I can't wait to be able to share this news openly with friends and family and hear their advice, stories, etc.  I am still having a hard time letting my guard down and being as enthusiastic as I'd like, but I hear that's normal at this stage. 

My husband is already wanting to tell people even though it's way too early.  We agreed to wait until around Thanksgiving to really tell people, although admittedly, I've already told a few friends (and so has he).  We won't go "public" with the news though for quite a while. 

We're thinking specifically about when and how to tell our parents.  We'd like to do something creative, but since we live 19 hours away and won't be seeing them until the holidays, it might be nearly impossible to wait until we are face-to-face.  If all goes well, I will be 12 weeks at Thanksgiving and 16 weeks at Christmas, which is a little later in the game than we'd like in terms of announcing to the families (friends/public, however, will probably find out right around the holidays).  So that rules out the cute Christmas gift ideas like wrapping a pair of booties, or a grandparents picture frame, and so on, as people like to do. 

Maybe we'll incorporate Halloween, and do something with pumpkins or....?  I don't know, I would really like to think of something clever, we'll see if that happens.  Lately I am so tired that I can only think straight about half the time!


16.) a miraculous rescue!

For 69 days in Chile, 33 miners were trapped a half-mile underground, with no sunlight or fresh air and very limited access to food, water, and medication.  Loved ones camped out at the mine, sending messages of hope and faith down the small chutes and praying desperately for the safety of the miners as a rescue plan was devised.  Miraculously, all 33 miners survived and were brought to the surface in a tiny capsule by a team of six rescuers.  Cheering erupted literally across the world as people watched the rescues on live television.  Everyone loves a good survival story! (Chileans are typically a very religious group, and some have speculated that the survival of the miners is a testament to the power of prayer.)   It's undeniably a miracle that every single person in the mine (which was damaged after an explosion) not only made it safely to the secure area, but also eventually made it out of the mine entirely after 69 days (two and a half months!) undergound.  Three cheers for the miners, their rescuers, and their families!


15.) a Monday at home with the hubby

Mondays are normally my day off, and today my husband called out sick and stayed home too.  We ran around alot this weekend with company in town, and we have a lot going on in general (some good and some bad).  I convinced my husband to take the day off so we could just relax and be together.  We didn't do anything terribly special, but it's nice to just spend a day being lazy together when the opportunity arises.  We made beef stew, we made a dent in our DVR, we treated ourselves to a yummy lunch out, and we took naps (not in that order).  All in all, not a bad Monday.  If only all 7 days could be like this!

a very sad time in my family

I posted a few weeks ago about a special person in my life, my sister-in-law, and her incredible strength as she tackles the most difficult thing she's ever had to face: the imminent end to her marriage and her world as she knows it.  She has become a very dear friend of mine over the last couple years, especially this year, as we've confided in each other and cheered one another on through life's trials and tribulations. 

Separation and divorce are such a devastating thing, with such complexity that extends far beyond the two people directly involved.  I do not know what the future will be for my sister-in-law and I as she starts her life anew.  I am being as supportive as I can be while two people I care about very much make a life-changing decision and one walks away with a completely broken heart.  It's so difficult to be involved as a supporter when, let's face it, I have the interest of both parties at hand. 

I know that in the end, my sister-in-law (my FRIEND), will come out of this alright.  After her life stops spinning around unrecognizably and things start to settle down a bit, I have confidence that she will get back on track and do great things.  In the meanwhile, all I can do is be there for her, and for my brother.


14. Yep, definitely pregnant!

Well I went back to the doctor for a follow-up blood test to see if my HCG has doubled since the last time I had blood drawn (which was September 30th).  They kept me waiting on pins and needles all day and didn't call with my results until almost 5:00pm, which felt like cruel and unusual punishment.  But I did just get my call, and the HCG/beta number more than quadrupled over the weekend, which my doctor said is fantastic.  So, in a word: yay!  So far, so good! 

Now I just need to work on finding a balance between ridiculously excited and scared out of my wits!  I'm hoping to remain cautiously optimistic, but it's really hard not to overanalyze every little twinge of pain or pressure in my pelvis and wonder what's going on in there.  And I admit to saying a silent prayer every time I go to the bathroom for fear of seeing blood.  After enduring such a long and emotionally draining process of trying to conceive, I am naturally a little tentative, but I am also very, very hopeful!  This may truly be our future child!!