In honor of Valentine’s Day I’d like to say a few words about the man that I share my life with.

He is patient,  though I rarely am.   He is hard working and does not complain, though most days I feel as though that’s all I do.  He is interesting and intelligent,  and has the kind of sense of humor that anyone can appreciate.  His heart is large and full of kindness.   He puts G9d first.  He’s easy going and allows me to take charge almost always,  because he knows that being in control is important to me.   He’s also there to pick up my slack when I inevitably fail at trying to do too much.

My husband is my best friend.   I was just shy of 29 when we met,  and it didn’t take me long to know that he was “the one”.  We’ve had a bumpy road,  but it’s just made me appreciate the journey all the more.   Never before have I felt so content and comfortable in my own skin.  Being his wife has brought me more happiness than I could have imagined.  

I love you,  Joe.  Here’s to many more Valentine’s Days that include Netflix and naps.


Back to School

Going back to college at the age of 33 isn’t recommended by anybody, professional or otherwise.  Something happens to your brain after you turn 30 and retaining information isn’t as easy to do as it was when you were twenty and your mind was still fresh from high school and easily mold-able.

Recently I started to look for a part time job that I might enjoy but I kept running into a road block.  Most jobs that aren’t minimum wage in pay grade require some form of degree or experience in that field.  Thus far I have spent my life in those base-level jobs.  At 33 years old it’s expected that you can do more than slice deli meat or operate a cash register.  And while I’m a fairly quick study at most things I do, I don’t look very good on paper.  Every job I’ve had since I was 16 and started working have been jobs that most people do while they’re waiting to do something else.

So I decided that now was the time to actually work on a degree and mean it.  I’m not encumbered by a full time job as I was so many years ago when I attempted college the first time.  Math has always been my Achilles heel academically.  It’s not that I’m bad at it so much as I have trouble retaining information that I deem unuseful or unnecessary.   Algebra has always fallen into that category for me.

As it turns out I’m not half bad at mouth.  As usual whenever I’m put into a classroom setting (be it for various work classes or college or anything in between) I have found that I’m a lot smarter than I think I am.  Your brain, like anything else, loses some functionality if you don’t use it.  Now that I’m using it more, I find that it works better.  For the most part, anyway.

I’ve spent my entire adult life until now waiting on my life to start, or for the rapture to happen, or something.  I’m not really sure why.  I’ve just procrastinated doing what most people do early into adulthood for one reason or another.  Realizing that you’re only employable for minimum wage or slightly above at 33 years old is a real eye opener.

I’ve always felt that I was meant to do something incredible, so maybe I’ve just been waiting on that something incredible to present itself to me.  Apparently that’s not how life works.

Overall I still don’t know what I want to do with my life.  Well, except have lunch with Adele and Jenny Lawson and Allie Brosh in Ireland in a castle overlooking the Shannon River while Oprah reads some Harry Potter to us and JK Rowling busily writes my life story from the other room.  I’m not sure if knowing what you want to do helps you find your path any faster, or if I really am taking the long way around.  Either way, I’m going to enjoy the journey and stop delaying what I can go ahead and get done and out of the way.

Seriously, though, if anyone could hook me up with any or all of those women I’d be forever indebted to you.

Shannon and the Sugar Craving

Dieting is overrated.  Every time I try to eat better, I end up hungry and cranky and all around miserable.  Sure, once the detox from junk food is over life gets a little better, but it can sometimes take weeks for that to happen.

A few months ago I gave up soda.  It wasn’t nearly as hard to do this time around as it has been in years past.  I’d have a little bit of coffee in the morning to get my caffeine fix in and avoid a headache, but I didn’t find myself craving Cokes when I would sit down to eat.  But I gained five pounds.

What the hell, body?  Do you even know how to body?

In the last week or so I’ve started drinking soda again. Basically, this whole infertility and PCOS thing has made me incredibly cranky, and instead of drinking the bottle of wine each evening that I would like to, I’m cracking open a Coke and sipping on it while eating a bit of potato chips with ranch dip.

My husband is starting a diet tomorrow, and I hope to get the soda back out of the house once we run out of what we have (I hate wasting things).

There’s days I wish that I could be naturally skinny and beautiful, and not grow hair where it doesn’t belong but grow hair on my scalp instead of having terrible patches and having to wear a wig.  But then I realize that the physical challenges I’ve faced have forced me to develop a personality and rely on my brain a little more than I might have had I been born more physically appeasing to society.  I understand that nobody is perfect, and I certainly never would claim to be.  However, I do like my brain and suppose it’s better than a flat stomach and a smooth, hair free face.

So maybe I’ll give up soda for good, maybe I won’t.  Maybe I’ll strictly follow a diet one day, maybe I won’t.  I’ll never be an absolutely perfect person, but all I can do is be the most perfect Shannon that I can be.

I’d also settle for insurmountable wealth, but one step at a time.

Infertility FTW

When I found out that I was pregnant at nineteen years old, the idea of infertility becoming an issue later in life never occurred to me.  Not really, anyway.  I never considered adoption, though, as I wasn’t sure that I’d ever get married, and I knew that one child out of wedlock was more than my mother was ready to handle as a grandmother.

I certainly never wanted children after the age of 30.

So here is it.  2015.  I’m 32 years old, married, with a daughter who will be thirteen this summer.  I’m also smack dab in the middle of a battle with infertility.

In September, my doctor diagnosed me with PCOS.  He gave me some birth control pills and sent me on my merry way, telling me that after 3 months I needed to stop taking them and my body would begin to ovulate on its own.  As it happens, that was false.

Over the next few months, I read more and more about PCOS and realized that it’s kind of a big deal.  It can lead to things like diabetes, thyroid issues, not to mention infertility and everything else associated with a hormone imbalance.  Oh, and depression and anxiety.

After a brief discussion, my husband and I decided to enlist the help of a fertility specialist.  After about three billion tests (including one that involved a camera in a very private place and some anesthesia), we had a more clear picture of what we’re dealing with.

Last week we were given our results, which were not what we’d hoped for.  While my uterus, tubes, and ovaries all look lovely, I’m not ovulating at all.  I have more eggs than most 32 year old women, which sounds like a good thing but it turns out that it’s not a good thing at all.  Not when you want a baby.

So now our only real option, as far as the specialist is concerned, is to proceed with IVF.  As nice as that sounds, I don’t happen to have $20,000 laying around for something that has a 30% chance of failing.  So my regular gynecologist has prescribed me some Chlomid, which is suppose to help women with PCOS ovulate.  We’re going to give it until the end of summer and see if it works.

Sometimes, life feels like an uphill battle but eventually the hill has to peak and descend.  I’m just ready for some easier climbs.

Shannon and the Hostile Uterus

I have a hostile uterus, which I assume means that my cervix is like that space ship in Gallagha and my husband’s sperm are the little aliens tormenting it and the job of the space ship is to destroy the taunting sperm before they invade my uterus.  I think that’s the medical explanation that they use in Uteruseses 101 at John Hopkins.

Or maybe I don’t actually have a hostile uterus and my husband never pays attention to what I say.  One of the two.

The truth is that I have  something called Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) which is a fancy way of saying that my periods are unpredictable and my chances of getting pregnant are pretty slim.  When I was informed of this by the doctor, I was pretty surprised considering that I have a perfectly healthy 12 year old that I had when I was 19 years old.  It’s like the old saying goes:  “Meet a man on Yahoo who claims to be sterile when you’re 18 and an idiot, get pregnant immediately.  Get married in your 30s for the first time and have the means to support a child, never get pregnant again.”

I love my daughter.  That kid is pretty much amazing.  I’ve always wanted multiple children, though.  So at the age of 31, after having finally met a man worth my time and getting married, I was ready to have another baby.  We tried for months, but nothing happened.  So I went to the doctor and explained what was happening, and after asking a few questions he determined that I had PCOS.  I’m sure he explained what it was, but all that I heard was “You’re never going to have a baby”.

He put me on some hormonal birth control for a few months to hopefully regulate my cycle, so that’s where I’m at now.  We’re hoping it works and that I can get good and knocked up soon, or else some more drastic measures will be needed.

I do not like my body telling me what I can and cannot do.  So I refuse to listen to some “diagnosis”.  The doctor seems hopeful that he can get me pregnant somehow (I’m sure my husband will be asked to assist in some ways), and I am hoping that this is only a temporary set back.  I’m 32 years old now, and I have almost a teenager.  I hear a clock ticking louder and louder every day in my head and I need it to shut up and stop stressing me out, but it won’t.  I need to let go and let God deal with this, but why is it so hard to do that?

In the meantime I get to enjoy mornings with no sickness, looking at my feet, not having to pee every three and a half minutes, and full nights of sleep.  Sometimes life doesn’t happen how we plan it, but  if it did how boring would that be?