Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas 2007

Christmas with two little ones in the house was as we expected -- chaos! Beth and Elliott had a marvelous time opening presents and enjoying each other's toys. Poor Beth had a cough and runny nose (and still does). Elliott, too, has a cough but that hasn't dampened his enthusiasm.

Beth has three new teeth in the last two weeks. She has a few phrases including:
" 'scuze me' (when she burbs)
"pick that up" (when something is out of order)
"MINE" (for the presents Elliott steals)
"nooo" (with a cute lilt at the end)
"baby" (among her favorite toys)
"boooooookkkk!" (which she utters much to often)

Yes, I never thought I would tire of book reading. Beth has an insatiable appetite for reading. I'm not sure if she loves sitting on your lap or loves reading but in any event, she is insistent and persistent. Thank you to all our friends and family who contributed books to these two. We need all the variety we can get!

Both are amazing, healthy children. Beth continues to grow slowly. Our greatest gift of all time is her survival and excellent health.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Asherman's Syndrome Article

This is a link to a news article in The Times (UK) about Asherman's Syndrome (AS). This is the first major news story to break about AS which is the condition I developed after delivering Elliott in 2001. It took over a year to get my doctor to take me seriously when I said something was wrong and another 6 months to get a definitive diagnosis. If you have time to read this article, you'll understand more about the process of diagnosis.

The short story is that insurance companies typically don't cover the cost to correct a condition like AS, assuming it can be reversed. And, finding a qualified doctor is very difficult, too. Fortunately there are 2 qualified doctors in California and one of the best was located in Los Gatos. Mike and I made 5 trips there for surgery and I made countless drives to follow-up appointments. After running out of patience and dipping seriously into our savings, I elected to have a final surgery by an excellent doctor at the Northern California Fertility Center - Dr. Gilliland. He did a great job in the final steps and ultimately we did conceive despite one completely blocked fallopian tube. You know the rest of the story...

The full story of getting pregnant is too long to write here. Perhaps I will resurrect that book...


Today I finally completed a process that I started nearly 3 years ago; I passed a 3+ hour exam to earn a special certification in my profession, public relations. It’s funny how significant this process has become. There are actually very few professionals in my field who have this certification and I think that it isn’t because it was difficult to pass the test, but rather that the process was a exceptionally complicated to complete.

I started this process roughly three years ago right in the midst of our fertility problems. Women who have gone through this will understand where I coming from… Every day you vacillate between giving up and forging ahead with your pregnancy quest. Sometimes I wanted only to focus on the visceral urge to conceive and thus do everything possible to have a baby (including eliminating all stressors in my life). Other moments I wanted desperately to move on, choosing to focus on the wonderful child we already had and my nice little consulting business.

One day in Spring 2005 after we had battled with insurance companies and doctors and I had gone through 6 surgeries and numerous invasive procedures, I decided I had to move forward. I submitted my application to the national organization, Public Relations Society of America, for my Accreditation in Public Relations (APR). The process required acceptance with a written application, a panel review and finally a 3+ hour exam. I had to pass each phase before being moved on. The application was a piece of cake and I was accepted into the program. Great, right? Well it couldn’t have come at a worse time. My friends and family will remember how horribly sick I was in the early months of this pregnancy and looking back, now we know why.

I had to cancel my first panel review in part because I was too sick to make the drive to San Francisco to find an active enough group to sit for my review. Additionally, before the review I had to complete what eventually become an 18-page review of my qualifications. As sick as I was, I could barely get Elliott up, dressed and fed each day. Then I ended up the hospital and everything important in our life fell apart.

Some months after Beth did come home and I felt life returning to a normal state, I returned to my APR process. The PRSA granted me two extensions and I finally had my panel review in October 2007 and the exam on Monday, December 10. Now, it is done. In a few weeks, I’ll have my official letter from the PRSA and I can add a few more letters after my name.

What does it all mean? With everything that has happened in the time period it took to earn my APR, not nearly as much as I thought it would. Perhaps in a few months or years I’ll appreciate that I got through the process. The certification boosts my credentials and certainly the studying process increased my global understanding of the profession. Maybe the same stick-to-it-ivness that got me through this is what helped me get pregnant after so many doctors told me I never would. And certainly this same fortitude helped me make it through our 7+ week ordeal in the hospital. That is what means more to me. Beth is alive and here. I wonder if I can B.E.T.H. after my name on my business card?