Friday, February 23, 2007

A Message of Love

Feel free to read my message. If it means something to you then I'm glad that you get some hope from it. The lovely woman who has this gift has a blog here:

Out of darkness and despair can come new joy, profound hope, and an enlightened state.

But only if the human turns to a greater love for God.It is interesting, however, that up til now, the humans have been putting the chicken before the egg. (humor) You see, the human leaders claim that adversity turns people back to God, that this is the intent of adversity, in fact.

Such is not the case. Human, you are free to turn from God. It is an honored choice. You are honored and revered, even if you turn from God.

God is not less loving than you are. God does not seek your love by tormenting you! God does not seek your love by torturing you! Let it never be so!

Are the dark times a test? Yes. But not of your love. Not of God's love for you. You are answering the single most important question in the universe every single time that you face pain of any kind in your life.

What question? "Will life seek God if God seems absent, or will life embrace the darkness?"

Over and over again, time after time, you have answered the question. Every single time, you have sought God. You have withstood everything that has been sent to you, and you have loved God.

And you have been sorely tested. You have been wounded in unimagineable ways. You have walked paths where darkness lurked all around you.

Not once, not a single time, have you failed the test. We watch you in awe. We cannot even imagine what you have experienced, because you are the Human. Human experience is unique in all the reality of existance. It is remarkable, unfathomable to us.

We walk among you, and we serve you. We support you. We are always, eternally, near you. There are hosts of angels who stand around the Earth at all times. We outnumber you by so many that you do not have a number in your vocabulary for it.

This is what kind of service the humans command. This is the level of your power, the importance and grandness of your choice. There is amazement and wonder here. You are "the talk of the town," and have been for many centuries of your time.

And you, human. Dear one. Beloved. Honored and revered worker. Every single time, you have held onto hope. You have embraced the gifts of God. You have turned from the darkness, shunning it. You have honored and loved God.

Did you think this was unnoticed?? How could that be possible? It is the single most important question in all of existance!

And you have answered it correctly. Every. Single. Time.

You are dearly loved, and more.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Starting over again

Well, 50mg of clomid was a bust. Now I get 100mg to see if that will work. I'm also going to take it a day earlier than my doctor said to. The difference between 2-6 and 3-7 should be minimal. There's also some evidence to suggest that the earlier in your cycle you take the clomid the more follicles you will produce, hence further increasing the risk of multiples. This concept is odd and rather difficult for me to wrap my head around.

On the one hand, all I want is a baby. If taking clomid a little earlier presents a higher chance for an egg to be produced and fertilized and implant then that's a good thing. But the flip side of this is that I have no idea how many follicles I'll end up producing. I could get triplets or quadruplets or some number bigger than that. That's a rather unnerving thought. Not that I'd complain. I mean I don't plan on having all my children in one shot but if that's the way it goes, then so be it. I'm kinda working with fate on this. Fate hasn't really wanted to cooperate yet.

So here we are at cd2 of cycle #14, over a year after we started this journey. We're no closer to being parents then when we started, unfortunately. This never seems to get easier either. My favorite grocery store has this wonderful display when you walk in of Winnie the Pooh books. It's one of those things where you buy a new book each week. My first thought was that they were cute. My second was that I still don't have any kids to buy them for. I walk through Borders and look at the kids books and all the cute titles and I'm reminded that I have nobody to read them too. I've wondered walking through Walmart if I'll ever need any of the cute little baby outfits that they have. I see an article about baby seats and sigh knowing that right now it doesn't matter.

I've been trying very hard to not let this take over my life. Yet at the same time, I'm constantly reminded that I'm 30 and that most women who are 30 are mothers or on their way to being moms. Somehow that dream isn't being allowed to me. That makes me both sad and angry. I've tried very hard to be a good person. I have a stable life and could take care of a child. I have plenty of love to share. We have enough money to take care of a child. But fate seems to want to deny me. I wonder if it took me to long to find a father and if I should have just gotten pregnant with somebody along the way. But I was being smart, everybody told me. You have to wait until everything is perfect and you have a home and a husband and everything is all set in your life. So great, I followed the party line. I get nothing. It doesn't seem fair.

As awful as this sounds there are days when I'm incredibly angry reading the ttc boards I'm on because there are women who are upset they can't have a second, third or fourth child. While I'm totally sure that they feel their families are incomplete and that must hurt I think that this hurt is different. They have the one thing I can't seem to get and may never know. That makes me feel totally broken. The one thing my body is designed for it won't do and I'm not even sure it can. There are no answers, there's no comfort there. It's very lonely to be the woman who will never have grandchildren. I wonder sometimes what life would be like at 60 if I never have children. All I feel is lonely.

One of the worst things is that as you get older people start to wonder why you don't have kids. What do you tell them? That you couldn't? That you don't want any? I've met people who don't want kids. I don't like most of them. They're selfish people, typically - not to say that all people who don't want kids are selfish, just the ones I've met.

I don't know where I'm going with this... I just needed to vent some, I guess. That and I'm starting to run out of options. It's difficult to start to see the end of a tunnel and know that the journey may not end where you want. I don't know what steps to take next. I don't know where to get the money to take that step, whatever it might be.

Friday, February 2, 2007

So why DO you vax?

I've found MDC to be a fairly interesting place and full of lots of information. It is somewhere that has an abundance of AP information. Now, I'm a huge supporter of Dr. Sears and his ideas on AP. I love the ideas and his writing style (something hugely important to me is a person's writing style - I will avoid certain author's because of it, but I digress). Unfortunately, like anywhere on the www you get people who are fanatic about things. That goes for every area. It's a "my way is the ONLY way and if you don't do this you're a horrible, awful parent and person!" mentality. One of the boards the really bothers me is the vaccination board, which is ardently anti-vax. As in no child should be vaccinated for anything, ever because vaccinations are toxic, horrible things that kill people and anyway they don't work so why bother exposing your child to toxic chemicals.

As a scientist, I am somewhat aghast at this POV. Not because I think all vaxes are safe and they should be given willy-nilly. In fact, I think that there are far to many given very early on for things that an infant is probably not likely to contract. That aside, there are a lot of debates on that vax board and one of the most commonly asked topics is why do you vax. Another web group I'm a part of has a lovely woman posting on it who wrote a wonderful succinct reply to this question. With her permission, I am reposting it here.

To preface this a little, it is a common attack point with anti-vaxers that people who are pro-vax (i.e. anybody who would be insane enough to ever vax their child for ANYTHING!) can never provide "a single link" to back up their reasons. Now being a scientist and knowing scientific method backwards and forwards, let me just also point out that basing a decision (especially one that important) on ONE of anything (be it a study, a doctor's opinion, your best friend Sam or whatever) is not the way science works. The more, the better is a scientist's belief and that's true for vax studies as well. But the discussion goes on from there...

I've been thinking about the anti-vaxers' insistence that they depend on science, peer-reviewed studies, etc, and that pro-vaxers "can't provide even one link"of reasons to vax. I think there's a pretty vast misunderstanding of how scientific research happens and is reported. No, there's no ONE study that will convince EVERYONE that vaxing is in our best interests. There are, of course, hundreds -thousands! - of studies on vaccines. Personally, I've been reading about Prevnar recently. There are studies on how well it works, how it should be scheduled, what the effects of it are on children,what the effects of vaxing children are on adults,what the effects of it are on individual communities,what kinds of adverse reactions there are, and so on. Looking at a range of studies, you can get an excellent sense of what the impact of this vaccine is on both an individual and a public health level, andyou can make your choice as to whether you feel it's a positive impact (obviously, that's where I lean, andthat's where most of the medical establishment leans). There isn't ONE study on Prevnar. There's a constellation. For older vaccines, there are galaxies. I'm really not sure, when we're told "Show me just one link!" what we're being asked to prove.

Of course, it helps to be able to comprehend whatyou're reading. For people like Mama In The Boonies, what's going on is simple incomprehension. In the recent thread, she saw something in the package insert for Hib that declared that there were zero serious adverse reactions to the vaccine in one particular age cohort, and somehow was confused enough by the sentence structure to think it was arguing that the number of serious adverse reactions in the overall study group was near 80%. Simple - perhaps willful -misreading.

But there is more complex misreading going on. When researchers write up their findings, they explain their methods, including potential weaknesses of thosemethods and ways in which the data may be flawed. No one writes a study in which they claim 100% confidence in their results. How does that play out when we'retalking about vaccines? Well, say there's a study in which someone is evaluating adverse reactions to the MMR. Perhaps they find 15 people who have grown a third eye in the middle of their foreheads, and they have evidence that this is the result of the MMR. Youare then going to see a section in the study that goes something like this: "Perhaps there are more than 15 people who grew a third eye after the MMR. Here are some ways we may have overlooked third-eye sufferers, or ways in which third-eye sufferers are underreported. On the other hand, perhaps there are fewer than 15 people who grew a third eye after theMMR. Here are some ways this condition could be over-reported or misinterpreted." So, you see whereI'm going with this. Anti-vaxers are going to then EXPLOIT THE INTEGRITY OF THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD by taking the part of the study where the scientist admits that third-eye-sprouting could be underreported, and claiming that as the main conclusion of the article.

Similarly, there is language on package inserts which all medications which have not undergone certain kinds of testing must include. You'll often see anti-vaxers quote something about how this or that vax has not been tested for "carcinogenic, fertility, or mutagenic properties." That doesn't mean they make everyone infertile, gives them cancer, and turns them into blue elephants. It means certain kinds of tests, such as tests on pregnant women, haven't been done. If you look at the prescribing information on many widely accepted drugs, you'll see similar language. So, government regulations which protect us by not allowing drug-makers to make unsubstantiated claims, actually feed paranoia (not that I'm saying those regulations are a bad thing!).

Another reason anti-vaxers feel comfortable claiming the science is on their side is that in the sheer number of studies out there, there are going to be some which support a more skeptical view of vaccines.It's not that those studies do not exist. It's that those studies need to be balanced in the context of the field as a whole. For example, there may well be a study which finds a link between MMR and Third-Eye-Disease. There may also be ten more studies which find no connection. So, what's an anti-vaxer to do? Say, "Hmmm, I'm very concerned about third eyes. Clearly, someone has found evidence for a vax-third-eye link. At the same time, there's evidence against it. I'm not sure. I'm going to look at ALL the studies and see which are most well-designed and conclusive." Or is the anti-vaxer going to say "Well, duh. Vaxes cause third eyes. Ihave a study right here that proves it." The more unfamiliar with science you are, the more likely you are to think that a single study is conclusive -because, you know, it's a STUDY! Wow! (And I speak from personal experience, as a non-science-person who is just beginning to be able to make sense of some of this stuff.)

Finally, we can't ignore that there ARE validcriticisms to be made of vaccine policy, and there ARE legitimate fields of inquiry when it comes to possible problems with vaccines. The problem is, integrity requires that those of who approach the subject without fanaticism will give the other side its due -such as I've done in the preceding sentence! It's very, very rare that anti-vaxers will do the same.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Catching Up

I haven't posted in awhile and since it's now February, I figured an update was in order. I finally ovulated on cd23, which is far later than expected. Currently I'm 6dpo and waiting patiently. See I've only got one test... well technically there are 2 in the box, but whatever. I don't want to waste any tests. I'm going to wait - probably I'll test on the 10th, which is a Saturday. It's right before Valentine's day.

I'm also amused that it's snowing today. Several months ago I had a psychic give me a brief reading and my only real question was when will I get my baby? Trust me, this becomes a very important question after trying for 6 months. Anyway, she said that she felt it would be snowing (she had said November) and I remember laughing. Snow? In North Carolina? Yeah, right. Except there's about an inch outside right now, so clearly she wasn't nuts. Now, clearly it's not November but it is snowing. Today may be the day my little baby decided to make herself at home in my uterus. That would be so wonderful. And I told her so a couple of times today.

Waiting is not the best part of this whole thing, but I'll take what I can get. At least I ovulated, right? I need some lunch. Snow days are such fun.