The Difference a Week Can Make

It isn’t about control really, I know I don’t have any in this RPL journey…or blame, or frustration, or desperation. It is about strength. I know I am strong because I’m still standing after everything I’ve been through. But I want to feel strong. I want my body to feel strong.

Does this have anything to do with TTC? Yes, I think that is undeniable, but I’m tired. I’m tired of feeling trampled into the ground day after day, loss after loss. I’m tired of feeling vulnerable and most importantly, I’m tried of feeling like the worst version of myself. I want to feel strong and I want to be proud of my body.

So, I am taking care of me..something I promised myself I’d do this time. Here is what I’ve been up to:

Monday-  I started a weight loss challenge at my gym, where I am working with a trainer and I am on a team (there are 4 of us) competing against other teams (3 other teams).

  • I weighed in at my highest weight ever which was so incredibly depressing, but I’m hoping that’s as high as the number will ever be.
  • I started logging on My Fitness Pal (if you want to exchange usernames, email me at acalmpersistence@gmail.com)
  • In my first hour with my team and trainer we did not workout. We weighed in, took measurements, calculated body fat, and discussed our goals and what is keeping us from losing weight. I was honest about RPL with my trainer.
  • After meeting with the trainer I stayed and did ‘Ease into 5K’ app outside and started on W2D2.

It was early, but the scenery was beautiful and it was about 60F, perfect day for a run/jog.

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Later that night, my husband and I went for a walk. (I’m not counting these calories on MFP)

Tuesday:

  • I went for a walk in the morning (Again, I’m not counting these calories on MFP)
  • Then at 4:00 I met a friend at her school to do T25 in her classroom. I burned 366 calories in less than a half an hour.

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Wednesday:

  • Tried a new workout at Sky Zone, which is an indoor trampoline park. It was a ‘Lunch Express’ workout, so it was 30 minutes and the cost was $9. My sister and I were the only two in class, so there was no slacking.  I ended up burning 500 calories in a half an hour.

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  • Later that night, I went to the gym and did the elliptical and burned another 200 calories.

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Thursday:

  • Worked out with my trainer from 6-7am- we started with cardio, then worked on arms, did lunges and squats. We ended running the mile, which I ran in 10 mintes, 19 seconds.
  • Thursday night, my husband and I watched “The Biggest Loser” and did the workouts Twitter provided during the commercials. At one point my husband was doing squats while holding our English Bulldog (who weighs 60lbs). Which meant I was doing squats laughing. Working on abs I guess?
  • Side note:  One of the contestants on The Biggest Loser is suffering from RPL after having her first child. I’m sort of attached to her so I can’t stop watching TBL.

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Friday:

  • I got up early and went to the gym to get it out of the way. I decided I wouldn’t stop until I burned 600 calories. I burned 500 in the gym doing ‘Ease into 5K’ on the treadmill, a skiing machine and abs. Then for the last 100 calories I went outside for a power walk.

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Saturday:

  • I did terrible with my eating at breakfast. My husband and I go out Saturdays with his dad. I thought I was okay. I got eggs, whole wheat toast, coffee (cream and sugar), and home fries. It added up to 615 calories!!!
  • I was in shock, but the damage was already done so I set a goal to burn off breakfast!!
  • I did T25 Cardio and the stretching DVD and burned 462 calories in an hour and then I cleaned for another hour and did lunges or skipped every time I had to go past the living room. :) I ended up burning just about 100 calories in a short time.

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  • I also scrubbed my kitchen floor with a magic eraser and a steam cleaner and burned 830 calories in 3 hours! I was so proud of myself and I have one clean floor!! :)

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Sunday:

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  • It was T’s Birthday so we went out to breakfast (I had oatmeal this time) and we had a party with his side of the family Sunday night. I made mostly healthy choices except the Friendly’s Oreo ice cream cake. I cheated, but it was worth it.
  • Today was my rest day, so I didn’t work out.

 

 Monday’s weigh-in: Starting week 2 of the challenge

According to My Fitness Pal, I lost 1.8, but my trainer’s record said I lost 2.8. Apparently I weighed a pound more than I thought (which is super depressing). So, I’m going with 2.8! T lost 5.4lbs and I’m super proud of him!! 

Random thoughts:  I absolutely LOVE my heartrate monitor! If you don’t have one I would highly recommend getting one. I find I work so much harder because I’m wearing it. I also made this Pinterest inspired way of tracking my progress (it’s a little crooked because T was talking to me, but it still works)

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Trying again..

Those two little words do not mean much separately, ‘trying’ sounds so easy, right? At least you’re making an effort. And ‘again’ just means you repeat something.

But when you put them together it means something different, ‘trying again’ indicates that you’ve failed at something or something didn’t go the way you expected it to go.. because you have to try again. But even then it’s still no big deal. You made a cake and it burned, so you’ll try again. All of the tomato plants died in the garden, again no big deal, you’ll try again next year. You ate something that wasn’t in the diet plan, so you try again at your next meal or tomorrow.

But then, you put those words after a miscarriage and ‘trying again’ takes on a whole new meaning. It brings on so many emotions that I cannot describe through words in this blog post. There are no words for the emotions that surface  Trying again after loss is scary for so many reasons. I know that eventually I’ll be ready to try again. I’m not giving up without a fight.

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Last night my husband and I drove over an hour for some good east coast crabs. Then it took us another hour or two to pick them. These times seem to be when my husband and I have the hardest conversations.

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I was talking about my weight loss and plans for the next few months and then T said it, “When will we try again?” He wasn’t pressuring me, he was genuinely curious as to what I was thinking.

To be honest, I hadn’t put much thought into it.. I’m still so broken. Like I said, I know we will try again because I refuse to give up, but I am still grieving.

You see, with RPL there are a couple different ways to deal with trying again.. (I may or may not identify them all and others may be totally different than me but here’s how I’ve tried to deal with trying again):

  • Try to get pregnant right away to ease the pain
  • Not prevent it, but think, “if it happens, it happens” and I’ll figure out
  • Wait until something has changed- new meds, new protocol, further testing, etc.
  • Take a break to ‘try’ to recover

I tried the “try to get pregnant right away to take away the pain” after my first miscarriage because we thought it was a fluke. You know, lightning doesn’t strike the same place twice? And it failed miserably for us. We had another loss and I was still so heartbroken from the first.

Then I tried the “Not prevent it, still kinda try” and we got pregnant for a third time a few months later.. My OBGYN refused testing/referral to an RE until we had three losses, so our only option was to try.  We were pregnant 3 times within 9 months. Annnnd.. that ended badly too.

Next we tried the, “Wait until something has changed” and sort of “take a break and try to recover”  I was now on meds, seeing an RE, and filled with hope and.. well.. I’m sitting here grieving our fourth loss.

So.. when will we try again this time? 

I HAVE NO CLUE.

I told my husband for the first time in over 2 years.. I do not know.

For once in my life there is no plan.

Once my chromosomal testing comes back and we meet with the RE to discuss further steps maybe I’ll know. But I have no idea how long that will be, if they will find any answers, if I’ll be ready to follow through with the RE’s plan, how I will feel about everything, and if I even agree.

I just have no idea.. no plans.. nothing.

I know I’ll try again. I will not give up. However, my only plan right now, at this moment, is to take care of my husband and I. That’s it and I’m okay with that.

 

 

Weight Loss Forum and Support

One of the biggest things I’ve been focusing on this time around, with my fourth loss is showing myself grace. As I’ve stated before, there is no right way to grieve, no handbook, and especially because no one openly talks about miscarriage, it’s up to me to do my best.  That’s all I can ask for… I just have to do my best and forgive myself when I’ve been too hard on my heart.

The point of this post? I’ve gained weight and need to get healthy again.  Before I started TTC I lost over 40lbs, was at healthy weight and at a size 6-8. However, in the last two years I’ve slowly put back on all of the weight (and more). Emotional eating, not being able to exercise or lift during certain times, hormonal shifts, and depression have lead to all the weight coming back on… I know many of you can relate.

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I have excuses, I do. However none of them are really relevant right now. It’s not like because I have an excuse, the weight will magically go away or  I’ll have my health back. The truth is, I’m not doing everything I can do to help myself at the moment. I understand why I’m not, but it doesn’t change my circumstances. It doesn’t matter, I’m still overweight, but worse than being overweight, I’m not healthy and I feel awful right now.

Although as promised to myself, I have to show myself grace. So although I’ve put on all of this weight I know it’ll be okay. It will. I have the ability to make a change. I know I’m strong enough for the health fight too. It will take time, dealing with my emotions and feelings, and dedication, but I know I can do it. I may not have control over RPL and losing my babies, but I can control my health and gain a little more control over PCOS.

 So, can we support each other??

I can’t do this alone. I just can’t. I need support.  So, I’ve started a weight loss forum. I’m hoping all the ladies that want to make a change will participate. It’s a private group and I’ve never used google forums, but I’m giving it a shot anyway. It seems to be the only way to protect it and avoid spam and trolls.

My thought is that it will be a place to share weigh-ins (you can just share + or – if you feel more comfortable that way), recipes, and most importantly be an encouragement to each other over the next few weeks. I’m starting a weight loss challenge at my gym on Monday, so I’ll at least be running the forum until the end of November, although I’ll do it longer if you are interested and it works.

Want to participate? If you do, click on the link below:

  • If you have a google account or gmail just click on this link Battling IF Pound by Pound and request membership.
  • If you want to participate and don’t have a google account and want to participate, you can click here.
  • If you don’t want to do any of that or it doesn’t work, you can just comment with your email below and I’ll directly add you. You should then get an email to confirm. I have already successfully added a hotmail account and she’s able to post.

Thank you for being patient, I’ve never used one of these before. :) Thank you to those of you that have already signed up. Feel free to share this on your blog as well. The more the better!!

I have transferred the link to the “Weight Loss” page on my blog so you can find it in the future.

Thank you in advanced and I look forward to supporting each other not only in this IF battle, but with our health as well.

How does she do it?

I don’t know how to write this post really, it makes me nervous for a variety of reasons. I have a friend I used to teach with and she actually reads this blog.. well, she admitted she only reads it when she’s worried about me and I’m okay with that. But, I don’t know how to write this because I’m not sure I can even find the right words. How do you adequately explain the impact a single person can have on your life?

Not many people know me… I mean really know me outside of the blogging world (and even inside the blogging world many of you don’t even know what I look like or my real name). But this friend, we will call her Renee, really knows me. In fact, I think she knows everything there is to know about me and yet, she’s still involved in my life, making an impact on my IF journey. We taught together for only a year, but we became instant friends. We have been friends for over 2 years now. She’s been with me through this all of the hard stuff.

Through my 3rd loss, she was my absolute lifeline during the school day. She checked on me nonstop, allowed me to vent about my toxic teaching partner that made my life hell, cried with me, left me cards on my desk randomly, and was just always there. She has always said and done the right thing and has truly been amazing. So many times, when I just didn’t feel strong enough, she was there to help me though it.

You see, though, she’s never had a fertility problem but she still ‘gets it’. She never ever minimizes my pain. She doesn’t know what it’s like to struggle with IF. She’s never had a miscarriage and she’s also so young (mid 20’s).  She’s not married and doesn’t have any children.

Yet, somehow she knows what to say and most importantly she reaches out. 

  • She doesn’t avoid the tough conversations about miscarriage. She will listen to anything and everything.
  • She lets me talk about my babies.. she wants to know.
  • Sometimes she even asks me tough questions that someone struggling with IF wouldn’t even ask. I’m so thankful for that though. She’s just so real.
  • She challenges my faith, as I’m sure I challenge hers too.
  • I can tell her ANYTHING and she just listens without judgement.
  • She sends me random text messages to check on me.
  • She makes time for me even though she’s busy and she’s REALLY busy.
  • She remembers details I’ve already shared.
  • I know without a shadow of a doubt, if I need anything at anytime, she will be there.

She is a true friend. I know how rare she is.

How is it that someone that has never, ever experienced IF can be so compassionate?? Sometimes I think we often share all of the wrong things people say in our lives, but rarely do we come across those that say the right thing. Well, she has and here are a few of her texts she’s sent:

“I read your blog and you are strong enough I just know it.. and everything was beautifully written. I’m so sorry. I’m here for you anytime, day or night.” 

“Hey! I’ve been thinking about you and praying for you. Love you.. hope you’re doing okay.” 

“I don’t know how much you’re feeling up for it or how you’re feeling but I’d still like to do a craft day.” 

“I just wish I knew how to help you better or knew the right thing to say but I just don’t, so the best that I can do is just hang out and listen like we did when you were teaching. So dinner at school sounds perfect.” 

I guess the point is, that she doesn’t know what to say or do, but she still tries. She doesn’t just avoid the conversations because it would make her feel more comfortable. She makes the effort. But here’s the thing, it’s not just with me. She makes the effort with everyone she meets. I admire her empathy. Somehow she just cares about others, but it’s more than that. She cares so deeply.

Tuesday night we scheduled dinner, the first time I had seen her since my loss. I felt immediately at ease with her. She reads my blog and I was able to make references to it. She also got me a miscarriage care package with all of my favorite things: Including lip gloss, slippers, a healing candle, chocolate (lots of chocolate), a picture, a mason jar cup, nail polish (including teal for PCOS) and 3 dog toys for my boys.

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We spent about 4 hours together.. She is one of those friends that we don’t have to talk for weeks or sometimes months, but when we get together we pick right up where we left off. Like I said earlier, I know how rare she is.

I’m so thankful I have this support in my life. That even through the tough stuff, incredible people are there for me. Although I don’t feel like I fully deserve it, she’s there anyway. Renee, thank you. Thank you so, so much for being you.

Seriously?? Only my life.

As many of you know, my husband restores classic cars in his spare time. He also buys cars and fixes them up for a profit. He transfers quite a few cars a year and has never had a problem.

Well, a new tag/transfer place was put in up the street from us, which seemed perfect (or so we thought). Well, about 4 weeks ago, my husband bought a car out of state. Out of state transfers take a bit longer than in-state transfers, so we didn’t think anything of it because both the tag place and the state cashed our checks 2 weeks ago. Well, today my husband decided call just to check, only to find out that the tag place was shut down and no longer in business.

Apparently the owner of the tag company and the two people working for her were involved in fraud. In mid July they were apparently charged, we transferred our car unknowingly in mid August because they were never shut down!! How is this possible??  Why were they still allowed to operate their business??

So, all of this unfolded today, but our check had already been cashed by the state and the tag place, so maybe they were charged and started following the rules if the state got our check?? That would mean they sent it in, right?? Well, upon further investigation, we discovered that the state HAD cashed our check, BUT there was a minor problem with the paper work (an antique tag we needed), so they sent it back about a week ago to the company that is being charged with fraudulent car sales/stealing customer money!!  They knew there was a problem and still sent it back?!?!

Here’s the problem? We don’t have a title or all of the paperwork filed. We can’t get a title and the owner of the tag place is going to jail in a week.. So, we can’t sell a car we don’t ‘technically’ own. We thought we could just go to the guy we bought the car from to file for a lost title, but OUR STATE ALREADY RAN THE PAPERWORK, so if he would apply for a lost title, it would appear to be stolen according to the states! (Although I’m still convinced this might work, since there were charges being filed). We are talking about a $5,000-$7,000 loss here. I have to be honest, when my husband called today to tell me what he had discovered, I just cried. Why does bad stuff keep happening to us?? What the hell did we ever do to deserve this crap??

So, my husband’s plan? He found the owner’s address online and we were going to go to her house to ask her for our paperwork. We thought if we were nice then maybe she’d give it to us?? We didn’t need our money back from her, just the paperwork so someone else could file it. If we got the paperwork it would only be a $15 processing charge and it’d all be taken care of. We wouldn’t have to file any charges.

After my husband got home from work, we left for her house. While on the way to her house we decided to stop by the tag place one last time to see if anyone was there, if there was a note on the door, or to collect information that might help us. There were 3 people there- the owner’s aunt, an angry customer who bought a car from them, and another man investigating his paperwork like us. Well, on the door there was also a number.. “If you have any problems, call Terri at ***-***-****”

We wrote the number down, and talked to the aunt. Apparently, her niece (the owner) has enrolled in rehab because she has a drug problem (so going to her house wouldn’t have worked) and it’s a huge mess. We called the number on the door and spoke to Terri (she was so mad her number was on the door and after we talked to her went to take it down.)

She is a part-time worker for the company that handles some of the paperwork. She is in no way involved in any of this mess, and is so pissed. Well, Terri admitted that SHE was the one that got our paperwork, not the owner (THANK GOD). She also said that she had no way to contact us to for a signature because all the customer information is locked up and she was completely overwhelmed, so she sent it in anyway. She ended up taking care of everything and we should receive a title in a week or so.

We are buying Terri a gift card somewhere because she didn’t have to do any of this for us. She is not responsible for any of this, but yet trying to pick up the pieces for some of the customers she can help. I truly admire that and I’m thankful there are still good people in the world. Praying that we will see a title in a week or so and we can put this stress behind us.

 

Just what we needed..

I often think about this battle and how it’s changed me and although it totally sucks (no, I couldn’t find a more tactful way to say that- it totally sucks) and I wish it were different, I wouldn’t change it. It’s changed me, in some ways I’m not proud of, but I am a better person because of it. It’s changed my marriage for the better, just when I think I can’t love him more, I do. It has pushed people out of my life that don’t deserve to be in it. And it’s brought people into my life that I wouldn’t have expected.

Last night was exactly what I needed and an example of the friendships IF has actually created. We went out to dinner with friends, but not just any friends. A couple that is experiencing their own immense IF struggles and quite frankly has been dealt a shitty hand. They would make absolutely amazing parents, but isn’t that how this goes? Most of the responsible, loving couples struggle with IF? I’m sure you’ve heard about this friend on Twitter, but she has been an amazing support to me. She knows what to say when the rest of the people IRL just don’t get it. There is nothing I can’t say or share and I never feel judged by her.

We went to this neat little Italian place that is fairly new. They make all their own pasta and desserts and it’s still BYOB, so she brought a few bottles of wine and it was perfect.

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Not only did I find so much comfort in actually being able to discuss IF and getting out of the house, but they also gave us the most thoughtful gift. She bought it off of Etsy to support a couple’s adoption fund. How wonderful to know that a gift she gave to me also benefits another family?  The top of the necklace is rounded and very smooth, which she mentioned it could be a nervous stone. Finally a necklace to wear that I don’t associate with a loss.

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She also included soap. It totally made us smile, which I’m sure that was the purpose. But now my husband wants to make a note for the bathroom that says, “Do not use this soap, it’s for decoration only.” The funny thing was, on the car ride home he suggested we put it with my Willow Tree angel collection. :) We finally decided that we would put it in our bathroom which no one uses but us. Isn’t it the cutest thing ever?

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Last night was the perfect example of how sometimes, I’m just blown away by the generosity of others. It was such a personalized gift that truly meant so much.

The best part about dinner besides the great food, wine, and awesome desserts? The company. I could say anything I wanted.  I could talk about my losses, awkward RE appointments, and struggles without hesitation. My husband also had someone to talk to that understood everything. For the first time, talking about our IF struggle didn’t make another couple feel uncomfortable, shut down, and eventually change the subject because they couldn’t relate.

It was a bit strange to just talk about everything all out in the open because no one does it, but it was also comforting to be able to do that. This is something people just don’t talk about, but we actually could. Not to mention they are both hilarious, so we had quite a few laughs. I cannot tell you how many jokes her husband made about their own appointments and we haven’t laughed that hard in a long time. Seeing T laugh so hard too honestly meant the world to me.

Last night was just what we needed..

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Negative Beta

**I know I have quite a few new followers and I thank you for being here. But if you are just jumping in,  here is where I’m at right now- I found out on August 15th that my 4th pregnancy was no longer developing, took Cytotec Aug 19, and have been having weekly blood tests to follow my beta down to zero. **

I don’t quite feel like blogging lately, but I feel like this information just might help someone dealing with loss and it may just help me by getting it all out. This may not make sense, as I’ve been trying to come up with a blog post but just keep deleting it, but I’m not going to delete it tonight. I’m just going to hit ‘publish’. 

It’s ironic to me how something that you hope and pray for can still bring so much defeat and internal anguish. After all the shit I’ve been through since July 15 (first BFP) I just wanted this to be over. I wanted to move on physically and emotionally. I wanted to feel like me again instead of feeling so damn sad.

Despite my situation, I woke up on Monday morning with a new sense of determination.. I would choose to be happy; or at least try. I chose to get out of bed, I chose to go to the gym, and I chose to make healthy eating choices. I felt like I was controlling something in my life.

Tuesday started out doing the same thing. I went to the gym, ate nothing but healthy food, counted calories on MFP, and felt ‘good’. I also decided that I should go for blood work that was supposed to be done the day before… another beta.

Mid-day I got a phone call from the nurse. Why is it that I can always read her voice before she even tells me anything??

“S, Hi! How are you?” She really didn’t have to say another word, but I made small talk anyway, then she said,”So I got your beta in today, and it is negative. I’ll talk to Dr. M today and I’ll call you back.”

That was all it took.

The previous day and half of picking up the pieces came crashing down. I dropped every.single.piece. The news that I hoped and prayed for because I just wanted to heal physically and begin to heal emotionally was given to me. But something came over me.. I can’t quite even put it into words. It was a trigger. This pregnancy had ended just like all the rest. Life seems so fucking unfair.

This time was supposed to be different. I was being treated for PCOS with Metformin, my thyroid was being monitored, I was on progesterone, my prolactin level was within normal range.. I quit my job and didn’t have that stress. We waited 16 months for this BFP.. it was supposed to be different.. It was my first loss with my RE. 

But it wasn’t different.

Wednesday I spent the entire day in bed. I didn’t move. I cried and I was pissed at the world. All three dogs stayed in bed with me and let me cry. Even my hyper puppy knew I wasn’t okay and didn’t put a toy in my face to throw for him. When my husband got home from work, he managed to get me out of the house for dinner and we went for a walk after that.

The walk turned into tears for the both of us. We are just trying to navigate this shitty storm, but we are doing it together. I don’t know what I’d do without him honestly. Three miles later we ended our walk feeling better somehow. I knew that the emotions from the previous day had run its course and I could breathe again.

That’s what I was talking about in the previous post though, you just have to hold on for dear life, and ride out the emotions. It’s okay that the negative beta broke me in a matter of seconds…again, there is no right way to deal with grief.   I still don’t know what it was really.. maybe the fact that it was over was both a relief and a kick in the stomach. It’s not fair. It’s not fair that I have four angels. Sometimes I feel like I’m being punished for something, and that’s a terrible place to be.

But I’m trying my best to deal with the emotions as they come. I wish that everything was just okay, somehow. I wish that with that negative beta I felt magically better, but I just don’t.

That’s the thing about RPL, there are so many triggers and most of the time they sneak up on you and tear you down in seconds. I’m just learning that it will happen and it’s okay, but I just can’t stay down here. I have to find a way to pick up the pieces.. piece by piece.

So today, I got out of bed, got a shower, and went to get my hair cut. I also scheduled a massage that got cancelled because my mom called and needed help. It’ll be rescheduled, but getting my hair cut was good enough today. Tomorrow will be even better too. I’m going to get a manicure and pedicure and my husband and I are going to dinner with friends.

So today I’m celebrating that I was able to get back up after the negative beta. Sometimes that’s all I can ask for.