Friday, December 31, 2010
There are several aspects of the looming IVF cycle(s) that completely and totally freak me out. Each one of them was represented in a dream (nightmare) last night. Each time I woke up I found myself sweating, breathing hard and with tears in my eyes. Each time I woke up I would dread going back to sleep only to find myself in another horrible dream.
In an effort to just face my fears and stop holding in all of the anxiety that surrounds this topic I've decided that I should just make a list, send it off onto the Internet.... and LET IT GO! After all, it will all eventually fall into place, right?
Money- Although we have phenomenal insurance coverage, there are still several costs that go with IVF that will not be covered or will be pre-paid by us and then we will be reimbursed. Even though our out of pocket in the end will be trivial in comparison to what most have to shell out for an IVF cycle, it will still be financially straining which brings with it even more anxiety.
Telling our Family- If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that we haven't shared our struggle with our family. We continue pushing it off and saying we will tell them when the next big step happens... well, I do believe we are nearly there. Last night's dream was the exact opposite of what I hope and pray happens when we decide to finally share this part of our life with them. This is possibly the biggest part of my anxiety and deserves its own post- maybe next week. I need some advice on the subject!
Failing- I am absolutely horrified of the feelings I will experience in the event IVF were to fail. It is kind of 'the end of the road' in terms of fertility treatments, and I really have no idea how I would get over it.
Side Effects- This part doesn't scare me too much. I am fairly sure I can deal with anything for a few weeks knowing that it has the potential to mean great things in the end. But still, I think about it often and my stomach turns at the thought of all the injections.
Then, after dreaming about all of these things I finally fell back to sleep to dream about the "after." No, not a 'happily ever after' sort of after- it was after IVF had failed multiple times, after our families had said every single thing that we never wanted to hear, after we were completely and totally tapped out financially. There I sat in a living room that I didn't recognize as a person I didn't recognize. I had endured just about every fertility treatment and nothing had worked. I was broken in every sense of the word.
So tonight, I hope to ring in the new year and leave those horrible thoughts behind in 2010. I hope and pray that we all float out of 2011 with the desires of our hearts snuggled up in a crib... in the nurseries we've all be dreaming about!
Thursday, December 23, 2010
So there you have it 2010 brought us 3 failed IUI attempts, lets hope that 2011 is a little better to us!
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
In other news, I have been feeling super nauseated all afternoon to the point where I am almost ready to just throw up and get it over with. Gross, I know. I am doing everything in my power not to read into this dang symptom which I'm sure is due to something else entirely, but that is sort of seeming like a lost cause at this point. Especially after I ate a little piece of chocolate this afternoon and had zero desire to finish it. I am a serious chocoholic folks.
I am hoping that it all means what I hope it means, but I am really trying to not get my hopes up. I really hope I am not getting sick right before Christmas. Sick because I am growing a babe I would be fine with, sick for absolutely no good reason.... not so much!
Tomorrow morning at 9:15 I will leave some blood at the clinic and a few hours later they will call with the fate of this cycle. Cross your fingers, say a prayer or just think pregnant thoughts that this is IT!!
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
... for Christmas
... for the results of this week's beta
... for spending time with my nephew and newly pregnant sister-in-law
... for the week of vacation the hubs is taking between Christmas and the first of the year
... for moving into yet another year without a baby in our home
... for the possibility of IVF in the coming months
... for the next pregnancy announcement (they seem to be happening nearly weekly)
and as I've been preparing for these things I have thought nearly constantly about what it must have been like for Mary to prepare for a baby boy that wasn't conceived by her own doing. A baby boy who was created within her by the same two hands that I pray will form a child in my own womb someday.
It is easy to focus on all of the hard things about this season when you are in the midst of infertility, but I challenge you to remember the gift that is at the core of Christmas. The birth of a baby boy. A birth that really should remind us that miracles can and do happen. Even in the middle of this struggle, I am reminded by the Christmas story where to place my trust.
Monday, December 20, 2010
Friday night my hubs planned a fun date night. We live just outside of a good size city where cart food vendors are becoming a huge craze. So on Friday night he took me to a pod of carts for dinner that was super close to a very well known walk through Christmas light display. On our way home we decided that we weren't ready to head home yet so we called some friends to see if they wanted to play games. They were just putting their kids to bed, so it worked out perfectly!
On Saturday we spent a little time with some family that was in town. After lunch we decided to hit up the mall and after just a few minutes inside we were ready to get out of there! The Saturday before Christmas is NOT a time to just stroll the mall. We ended up wandering a little which ended up to be perfect because we got to see a flash mob! As we were walking through the center of the mall I said to my husband "it looks like something is about to happen. I SO hope it is a flash mob!" We waited maybe 10 minutes and then it happened. A huge group of shoppers singing The Hallelujah Chorus!!!
Then, to top off the weekend we spent the majority of Sunday in our pj's watching TV and just hanging out. In the evening we headed out for a double date with some friends of ours at a local fondue restaurant. Dinner was great, and we were able to finish up our Christmas shopping at some fun little boutique shops near the restaurant while we waited.
It was a great weekend. Now, if only the next three days were just as busy! My beta is Thursday morning!
Sunday, December 19, 2010
I feel completely and totally normal....
Christmas weekend will be the first time my family will be together after my brother and sister-in-law announced their second pregnancy....
I sure hope I don't have to spend the weekend feeling bitter!
On a positive note, I just have a couple of little things left to buy for stocking stuffers. Otherwise, everything is wrapped and under the tree! I love being able to spend the week before Christmas relaxing instead of rushing!
Friday, December 17, 2010
After all, if I don't jump through each of their pre-auth hoops then they don't pay. What exactly happens when I jump through all of their hoops, and they still mess up the coverage? Correct me if I'm wrong, but is it not true that while the majority of my payment goes toward coverage (medical and pharmacy) every month, there is also a portion that goes toward service? Is it wrong of me to expect them to know what they are doing without having to call every other week to inform them of their mistakes? I guess I know how I'll be spending my Monday morning.... perfect kick off to the holiday week!!
Thursday, December 16, 2010
I am pretty calm and relaxed about this cycle. I've been doing my best to focus on each day as it comes and not worry too much about what the future may bring. Once we know the outcome of this cycle we will know better what we want to do going forward.
I have a question for those of you who know about the difference between a clomid/iui and injectable/iui cycle. My doctor had originally suggested us not moving forward with injectables (and iui) and moving straight to IVF, but her main argument for this was that our money would be better spent (higher success rate) on IVF. Here is the thing- if this cycle doesn't work, we will more than likely do one last iui. Our insurance pays for everything but the copay on office visits and a copay for the medications. I know that on injectables I would have more appointments (more $$ on copays) and I would likely pay slightly more for my meds. However, it would be nothing close to the $3-4k she was talking about. What would you do?
If this cycle is a bust, I will speak with the nurse when she calls with my beta results about the difference in success rates. Ultimately if we are looking at the same success from clomid or injectables, I THINK we would just stick with clomid for the ease of it. However, I am more than willing to stick my self in the stomach everyday and make more trips to the clinic if it means our chances are even a tiny bit better! So, give me your advice- knowledge- tips... I want to hear it all!!!
Although I wouldn't wish any of this on my worst enemy, there have been good things that have come from this unbelievably difficult struggle. My faith has grown in ways that I couldn't have imagined before infertility was a part of me. I've learned lessons in patience, trust, judgement, compassion, empathy and grace. I've found out who I am at the very core, when everything else is stripped away and I am bare and broken. I've learned when to stand on my own two feet and also when to allow my faith to carry me.
In the beginning of our struggle with infertility I was quick to judge the decisions of others in the the arena of reproductive technologies. My naive heart couldn't understand the heartache that would lead to those choices and couldn't see God in those acts. It wasn't until I was in the trenches that I could truly understand. It wasn't until my heart had evolved that I could see just how many blessings I would receive in the midst of what has seemed like the darkest most painful time in my life.
Although infertility does not define who I am, it has most certainly made a lasting impact on my life. As much as I wish my stay in the land of IF were shorter (or possibly nonexistent), I am grateful that in the midst of such hardship, I have been blessed abundantly.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
While we are on the topic of my issues, does anyone want to tell me why my hair is falling out? I'm on levothyroxine for hypothyroidism and on metformin for PCOS, both are under control, but my hair is falling out like mad! I told my husband last night that by the time we are bringing home a baby I will likely be sporting a wig! I know that both of these conditions can cause hair loss, but I wasn't losing my hair before I started medicating!
Infertility, is there anything else you would like me to add to the list of reasons I hate you? The list is getting long today!
Sunday, December 12, 2010
So, as I said in my last post our third IUI is complete, and we will find out just before Christmas if it was successful. Although I am all for finding out as soon as possible, I almost wish my beta were after Christmas. Even if it is positive, we will likely keep the news to ourselves because I would only be 4 weeks on Christmas day. More importantly, if it is negative I feel like it is going to be a hard weekend for me. I've taken the last two failed cycles fairly well, but with IVF now looming in the not so distant future I'm not sure I'll be able to be as emotionally unattached.
As you know, our diagnosis is PCOS, hypothyroidism and now we've added low sperm count to the line up of fertility issues. After talking with our doctor this morning about success rates considering all of these issues, she encouraged us to begin really thinking about IVF with ICSI. Since we have my thyroid under control and I'm ovulating with the help of clomid/metformin the larger issue right now is the low sperm count. She said the best and most cost effective way to treat our case would be with IVF.
After talking a little more she agreed to allow us to do one more clomid/IUI cycle if the current cycle doesn't produce a pregnancy. At that point we will re-group and begin doing any testing that will be needed before doing an IVF cycle. She reminded us that we are young and that we don't need to jump into anything, and if we'd like to take break there is no harm in that.
Our plan at the moment is to do our best to live in the here an now. We are going to see what happens in the next painfully long 11 days, and then figure out where to go from there. We are open to IVF, I'm just not sure how quickly we will move on it.
So, like the title says.... objects (IVF) may be closer than they appear....
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Thursday, December 9, 2010
I had my follie scan this morning and I have a beautiful 24mm follie on my left side just begging to be triggered! The plan is for me to trigger tonight and have the insemination on Saturday morning. The doctor preforming the ultrasound said that everything looked great and that my lining had the triple stripe pattern. Yahoo!
I am trying to enjoy the last few hours before the extreme bloat that comes with the trigger shot. I am already feeling the effects of that big follie, but the trigger does me in every time. Those of you who trigger with ovidrel, do you have that same reaction??
Friday, December 3, 2010
As a wedding gift my aunt and uncle gave us the Willow Tree Nativity set. I've always loved it, and I can't wait to get it out every year around Thanksgiving. The only thing I wish was different is the fact that baby Jesus is attached to Mary. I always joked that I would just buy the pregnant Willow Tree figure and place her in the nativity until Christmas.
The first Christmas after we started trying to get pregnant my husband bought it for me stating that we'd use her as Mary, and always remember that we got her when we were first trying to start our family. He also added that once we got pregnant we could leave her out year round. Great, it was both functional and a nice sentiment. I loved the idea.
Last year when I was putting away the nativity set I didn't put the pseudo Mary back with the rest of the nativity thinking that I would be able to put her out again before Christmas. Surely I would be pregnant by then. Ha. In the last year I ran across "Mary" several times and each time it stung a little more that she was still boxed up and my womb was still empty. So I put her someplace where I wouldn't be constantly running into her. As I'm sure you've guessed... I can't find her!
So this year, baby Jesus is out before Christmas. Its OK, he should be the centerpiece of this season. I've always loved this Christmas decoration, but this year it has become my favorite. Just looking at it I am reminded that the God I worship and serve is capable of some pretty amazing things. What He has in store for us is more than we can hope for or imagine.
It is easy to get caught up in the consumerism that Christmas has become. This year I am simplifying. I am reminding myself daily what this season is really about, and finding time to be thankful for the miracle birth of a baby boy. A baby who was born to a woman who hadn't tried to become pregnant. She hadn't taken her temperature every morning to see if she was ovulating. She hadn't made an appointment with her Reproductive Endocrinologist. She wasn't eating pineapple core or testing for ovulation. Instead she was a virgin. If God is capable of a miracle of this magnitude, just think what he can do in our lives.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
I was just realizing that my days of going to the gym in the morning are almost over for a couple of weeks. My doctor would rather me not do too much cardio in the 2ww, or super close to ovulation for that matter. So, that means I've got a few more days to enjoy my morning frolic on the elliptical while I watch garbage on TV. Wondering how common it is for women to be cautioned about exercise when it comes to fertility meds, ovulation and treatment cycles in general I consulted Dr. Google.
It turns out that it is pretty common for doctors to ask patients to limit the vigor of their exercise as the cycle moves forward. This was exactly what I expected to read and also what I intended to do.
I am sure at this point (if you made it to this point), you are wondering why I didn't write and delete this post along with the others I've written. Hang tight.. there is a punchline to this story.
As I was reading about exercise on one website (dedicated to infertility) I noticed an ad on the side bar. An ad for Plan B. Really? You have an ad for PLAN B on an infertility website? Such a slap in the face. I would have an adverse reaction to any birth control being advertised on an infertility website, but come on, Plan B... that is just too much.
Hopefully I will find something to talk about sometime in the next week... otherwise I'll be back next Thursday after my appointment with the wand!
Sunday, November 28, 2010
It is hard for me to believe that we are already starting our third IUI cycle. I feel like we were just walking into the RE's office for the first time. We were nervous, anxious and all together uneasy about what would come from our consultation. It seems utterly insane that at this point we've both endured some invasive testing, I've given myself two injections, done two inseminations, left several vials of blood at the lab and have spent many mornings driving 40 minutes for a rendezvous with the wand.
So here I am on CD3, the first dose of clomid is already working its magic and I am hopeful that this will be it. In 11 days I have an appointment with the same doctor that preformed our last insemination (because my doctor will be out of the office again) and from there we will either schedule the trigger and insemination or I will be back in the office a few days later for another ultrasound.
So, here we are. We've found ourselves at the beginning of another cycle hoping and praying that this is it.
Here we go again...
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
I still have a lot to be thankful for this week. My insurance covering infertility just happens to top that list. Knowing that we have options and that we will not have to make choices about our future fertility treatments based solely on the financial burden that they bare is a HUGE blessing and not something I take for granted as we continue on this journey.
We're another step closer. It will happen. Someday.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Although I absolutely know that none of this has any impact on my own conception, it is in these moments that I feel like we've been at this FOREVER. Well, that AND the fact that I am going to hear about nothing more than this new baby from my mother for the next nine months....
On a positive note, my beta is in 5 days!
Monday, November 15, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
All was well until the doctor said "Lets get started. Go ahead and lay back and relax your legs." Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiip, there went the sheet! Honestly, my modesty went out the window the first time I was violated by the wand. So, I wasn't too worried about my compromised paper covering. Sure there was now a huge gaping hole in the paper sheet right over my lady bits, but lets be honest the doctors head was between my legs and the nurse was down on the business end of things as well. The only other people in the room were my husband and I, and if either of us was offended by seeing those parts there might be some other issues that need to be addressed in terms of why we aren't getting pregnant! The doctor quickly jumped up, got me a new sheet and re-draped me to ensure complete coverage- I just kind of laughed inside. I know he was just trying to make me comfortable, but come on, you've got a spotlight shinning on my whoo-ha for heaven sake!!!
Oh the joys of infertility!
Today I'm 1dpiui and wouldn't you know it, I am up and blogging at 5am. The good news is, my BBT shot up this morning, so I can be confident that I did in fact ovulate on insemination day. Also, most of the bloated feeling is gone! Both times I have taken the trigger shot I've felt super bloated until after ovulation. It is such an uncomfortable feeling, especially when you have to have the insemination done with a full bladder. I thought I was going to die (or pop) yesterday when I was waiting for the doctor to come do the procedure!
11 days until my beta. I am trying to fill my days so I don't have much time to think about the outcome of this cycle. Thankfully there are Christmas gifts to wrap, family pictures to take, cards to create, seasonal decor to swap out and plenty of sewing and organizing to be completed- I think my days will be plenty busy between now and then!
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
I think I explained that after our last insemination we found out that the hub's count and motility was a little low. For that reason, he completed a sperm function test a couple weeks ago. That test also came back with less than stellar results, but my doctor still was suggesting IUI as a valid option. Today's count was even less than both of the last samples. The doctor I saw today said that there is still every possibility that IUI could produce a pregnancy given today's sample, but also mentioned that IVF with ICSI may be on the horizon. I am ready for anything. Obviously I would love for this IUI to work, but in the event that my RE suggests IVF after reviewing the numbers then we are fully prepared to jump right in. Thankfully our insurance is AMAZING, and would cover the majority of our IVF expenses if that is the road we have to go down. It makes the idea of an IVF cycle much easier to consider. Seems weird to be thinking about IVF just hours after being inseminated.. perhaps I should just sit back for the next twelve days and relax. Whatever will be, will be.
On a random note..... Today when we arrived at the clinic for the insemination, there was a man and two young boys in the waiting room. The older of the two boys was playing on the client computer and the man was holding the younger boy bouncing near the door trying to get him to sleep. The hubs and I sat down, smiled at the boys and began reading our magazines. The waiting room is very small and we were pretty close to this little family. The man looked at me and very sweetly said, "please let me know if we are bumming you guys out." I replied by saying "oh no, you're fine." At first I thought it was super random, but on second thought I think it was incredibly compassionate. Maybe the most compassionate gesture that I have been on the receiving end of. I hope that like him, I always remember how this has felt.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Today as I thought about the fact that I will have someone other than my doctor doing my insemination I really didn't have any nervous feelings about it. I have never had a male doctor examine me below the belt, and I am typically a HUGE worry wart about all medical procedures, but here I am not worried in the least. I LOVE IT!
I am ready for tomorrow! What I am not ready for is the 12 painfully long days that will follow before my beta.
I consider myself to be the crafty/artistic type and have been known to have somewhat of a rating system when it comes to cards and invitations that find their way into our mailbox. Unlike Christmas letters which can either gain you points or quickly put your score in the gutter dependant on content, even the worst cards and invitations get bonus points when a picture is included. For me, the perfect Christmas card has a nice sentiment, is pleasing to look at and includes a picture.
The first year that the hubs and I were married, creating and sending Christmas cards was one of those rights of passage that I had been looking forward to for years leading up to our wedding. We ended up creating photo cards on Shutterfly.com and absolutely loved the way they turned out. We received tons of complements on them, and it was a fun way to share some of our wedding pictures with guests from our wedding that likely would never see our albums.
After such a perfect experience with our first cards, we did the same for our second Christmas. I had found a coupon code for Shutterfly and ended up getting a fantastic deal on premium cards. I loved the cards when they came in the mail, and I excitedly sent them to all of our friends and family.
Last year was hard. Last year Christmas fell at the end of six failed cycles of fertility treatment and my heart was just not in Christmas. I was hurting, my heart was aching and honestly the joy of Christmas was not even something I could recognize. The thought of skipping Christmas had seriously crossed my mind. Something about staying home and just being alone with the heartache seemed so inviting and easy. Certainly easier than being with our families and putting on a very much fake smiling face and pretending that everything was fine, when in reality I kind of felt like my world was crashing down around me. Needless to say, Christmas cards were not created nor were they sent. In fact getting Christmas cards in the mail was also difficult. Several family members and friends had recently had babies, and the photos that had once gained a card extra points were too hard to look at.
This year, although we are back in the midst of fertility treatments, my heart is in a MUCH better place. Joy has returned and although the holidays are still a difficult time when you are battling infertility, my heart and my head are back to loving this season. This year we will be finding our way back to shutterfly to create and purchase our Christmas cards! They make it just too easy to want to do it any other way! I’ve been browsing around this morning and have found some top contenders for this season….
Retro Metro -
Seasonal Chic Noir-
Charming Dotted Ribbon-
Seriously, head over there! The hardest part of the creation process is choosing which pictures to use, and which one of the cards you like the best! Honestly, it is so easy I think even my mother could make one of these. The same mother who called me yesterday afternoon to ask me “how do I search 'words of inspiration' online??" “Ummmm, Google… just like anything else?!” Yeah, even she could do it!
And one more thing for all of your bloggies out there, Shutterfly is doing a promotion just for us! Head to this website and sign up to blog about their products and they’ll give you 50 holiday cards in return. It’s a pretty fantastic trade off if you ask me… blog about a great products and get 50 of them!
Sunday, November 7, 2010
I was sure by now
God You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say "Amen", and it's still raining
As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away
And I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm
I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to you
And you raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can't find You
But as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away
I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth
Friday, November 5, 2010
I went back for another round at the RE's office today... ultrasound #3 this cycle and still those dang follies are SLOW growers! It appears that only one of three is going to buck-up and grow, so we are waiting a little longer to trigger. My lining is better than last cycle, so maybe that will be the saving grace.
The plan is for me to continue to use OPKs through the morning of the trigger, just in case my ovaries decide to play any tricks. I'll give myself the trigger on Monday evening and then insemination will be on Wednesday morning. 12 agonizing days later we will know our fate, just in time to feel REALLY thankful for a positive beta or EXTRA thankful that our insurance covers 6 IUIs.
Remember how I was wishing and hoping that we wouldn't have our IUI over the weekend because "I am SO tired of having people I don't know in my vagina." ? Well, turns out my doctor is on call this weekend. Care to guess what that means? Yeah, she'll be out of the office on Wednesday. Splendid!
Even with all of that, I still have this almost annoying optimism about all of it. I don't mean optimism about this cycle specifically, but about the process in general. We WILL end this journey with a baby in our arms. Someday!
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Come to find out this woman, Corrie ten Boom, was a Dutch Christian Holocaust survivor who helped many Jews escape the Nazis during World War II. She has written an autobiography, (along with several other books) about what her life was like in those years, and I can only imagine how moving her story must be.
As I read about this woman, I found myself thinking about my own "hard" journey. My journey, which honestly after reading about hers, just doesn't seem so hard anymore. This woman went through things that were horrible and still she and her family are quoted as saying some pretty inspiring and faithful words in the midst of a incredibly trying and dire time in their lives.
Before dying in a concentration camp, Corrie's sister Betsie said this...."There is no pit so deep that God's love is not deeper still."
After being released from a concentration camp Corrie said, "God does not have problems. Only plans."
She sounds to me like a pretty amazing woman with a faith that I can only strive to attain. In the meantime, I think I will try to remember her words and remember that there are many struggles much harder than my own. Her words and her story help me put my journey into perspective.
Here are several more of her faithful words....
"Hold everything in your hands lightly, otherwise it hurts when God pries your fingers open."
"If you look at the world, you'll be distressed. If you look within, you'll be depressed. If you look at God you'll be at rest."
(The Hiding Place)
"Worrying is carrying tomorrow's load with today's strength- carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn't empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength."
"Any concern too small to be turned into a prayer is too small to be made into a burden."
"Happiness isn't something that depends on our surroundings...It's something we make inside ourselves."
"Some knowledge is too heavy...you cannot bear it...your Father will carry it until you are able."
(The Hiding Place)
"Don't bother to give God instructions; just report for duty."
"Memories are the key not to the past, but to the future."
"The tree on the mountain takes whatever the weather brings. If it has any choice at all, it is in putting down roots as deeply as possible---Each New Day"
"Child, you have to learn to see things in the right proportions. Learn to see great things great and small things small."
".....joy runs deeper than despair."
"You can never learn that Christ is all you need, until Christ is all you have."
(The Hiding Place)
"How often it is a small, almost unconscious event that makes a turning point."
(The Hiding Place)
"Perhaps only when human effort had done it's best and failed, would God's power alone be free to work."
(The Hiding Place)
"In darkness God's truth shines most clear."
(The Hiding Place)
"Love is larger than the walls which shut it in."
(The Hiding Place)
"Faith is like radar that sees through the fog -- the reality of things at a distance that the human eye cannot see."
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
My husband looked at me with a blank stare and then started laughing. I have a feeling I will be hearing that one quoted for awhile!
So, how did I get here? I think seeing an RE had a lot to do with the mental shift. I feel like we are doing everything we can in a given cycle and through being monitored, we know what exactly is going on inside my body for the first time. Another thing that I've done is make a list of bible verses and quotes about hope and patience. I've written a few them on bright card stock and stategically placed them to remind me that hope is a choice.
I thought I'd share a few of my favorites with you, perhaps they will bless you in the same way they've blessed me during this journey.
"I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for my God my Savior; my God WILL hear me." Micah 7:7
"For NOTHING is impossible with God." Luke 1:37
"For I know the plans I have for you" declares the Lord. Jeremiah 29:11
"A man's heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps." Proverbs 16:9
"Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!" Psalm 27:14
"By His light, I walked through darkness." Job 29:3
"Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him." Psalm 37:7
"Our joy does not have to be based on our circumstances." Joyce Meyer
Monday, November 1, 2010
Today I had 3 pathetic little follicles. My doctor is confident that at least one of them will be nice and plump by Friday, so I guess we will wait a little longer! In the meantime my doctor suggested that I encourage those follies to "grow, grow, grow!!"
Pray for growing follies this week....preferably two instead of three :)
Saturday, October 30, 2010
In an effort to take a closer look at my where my head was at this time last year, I am going to re-post the very first words I wrote as Waiting and Wishing.....
Friday, October 30, 2009
In the two years that we were married before we started trying to start our family we spent hundreds of dollars on birth control. I spent a lot of time thinking about how we would feel if I were to get pregnant. The truth of the matter is, if it had happened we would have been happy, thrilled, overjoyed. That time and money was wasted.
As it turns out, just throwing the pill out the window isn't the golden ticket when it comes to me getting pregnant. Heck, if it were that easy, I wouldn't be sitting here after 15 months of trying, writing out our journey so that I can remember just how far we've come when I finally have the joy of seeing two pink lines on a pregnancy test instead of the dreaded ONE that I have seen far too many times to count. If there is one thing that I have realized in this journey, it is that it never gets easier to see the evidence (in whatever form it may come) that it once again just isn't our month.
The journey is tough. There are tears and heartache, blood draws, treatments, stirrups, baby showers to attend and never ending questions from outsiders about when we will start a family. It doesn't get easier, the tears may come less frequently, but it still hurts.
We decided in the spring of 2008 that we were ready to start growing our family. We decided to wait until after I had my annual appointment with my NP, just to make sure that everything was ok. I had my appointment in May and was told "just throw the pill away when you are ready and call me when you get a positive pregnancy test." Oh how I wish it could have been that easy.
We ended up waiting until July to start trying. I stopped taking the pill and thought we were being realistic when we agreed it would be a nice surprise if I got pregnant before Christmas, but certainly no reason to be concerned if I hadn't.
I had one normal cycle after I came off of birth control. Then I began a very long cycle that finally ended with several negative pregnancy tests, a call to my NP and a prescription for Prometrium. The nurse assured me that it is perfectly normal to have a hard time cycling after being on birth control. She agreed with the doctor's order to jump start my period. She said more than likely, I would be back to normal in no time. Wrong. We tried the Prometrium again in February and again it had the desired outcome of a period, but I was skeptical that it would actually make things normal again.
I'm not sure I would call it "normal" but I did begin a new cycle on my own just in time for my annual exam. Instead of canceling the appointment I kept it to talk with my doctor about what might be wrong and to consider having some tests. I left the office with a new sense of calm about the situation. I was ready. I had left four vials of blood at the office (surely that would tell us something) and had a prescription for a fertility drug in my hand. I was sure that I would be pregnant before the summer was over, maybe even before we hit the one year mark. When I went to the office the following week for my re-scheduled exam my NP told me that they didn't find anything in my blood work that would cause any red flags in terms of trying to conceive. She did the exam and again said that there wasn't anything that she could feel or see that would be causing me not to get pregnant. In an attempt to make sure that the only thing standing in our way was my body having no idea how to ovulate on its own and at a normal time, she ordered a semen analysis.
The analysis came back normal. We were thankful that there was only one problem and we already had the medication to "fix" it. I woke up religiously 5am to take my temperature and chart it to see if and when I ovulated. I went in each cycle on the twenty-fifth day to have more blood drawn to check my levels. It was no picnic. The medication made me sick while I was taking it, put me in a significant amount of pain during ovulation and just overall made me feel weird. But, I continued to tell myself that it was all worth it. If I had to feel this way for the next year in order to hold our baby in my arms it would all be worth it.
Medicated cycle 1: Not pregnant
Medicated cycle 2: Not pregnant
Medicated cycle 3: Not pregnant, and officially "infertile." Great, that is one label I was hoping to avoid.
Medicated cycle 4: Still, not pregnant
And that bring us to today. I am at the bitter end of medicated cycle number 5. My temperature has dropped. I was an emotional wreck last night. It is only a matter of time until medicated cycle 6 begins. Did I mention that typically they only prescribe 6 cycles of this drug in a row? Great.
Next stop, invasive tests and a referral to a specialist.
I know I told anyone who would listen that all I wanted for Christmas was a garbage disposal, but I've changed my mind. Please move growing fetus to the top of my list.
When I read this post I just wanted to hug the girl that was writing it at this time last year. I hear a woman who is scared, angry and without much hope. Thankfully, I am in a different place this October. In spite of now knowing some of the causes of our infertility and being in the midst of more invasive treatments I find myself in a MUCH better place than I was at this time last year. I have HOPE, and although some days I find myself sad and angry about our infertility, those days are few and far between. What a difference a year makes.
PS, One thing remains the same... growing fetus will still be at the top of my Christmas list this year!
Friday, October 29, 2010
I have a follie scan on Monday, so I will check with her at that appointment about what these results mean in terms of success rates for us. I was worried at first, and after a quick check in with Dr. Google I was left feeling even more anxious, but I've since decided that if the news was as bad as I was making it in my mind, our doctor would not have suggested keeping with our current plan.
I am so thankful that my husband is much more emotionally reasonable than me. He is a constant reminder that worrying will not help ANYTHING. So instead, I am becoming more educated on motility issues and preparing myself to ask questions, but instead of worrying, I am trusting. We are still very hopeful that IUI could be the answer for us, but without jumping to an conclusions, I am also trying to prepare myself that IVF may become part of our treatment plan in the near future.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Now, let me start by saying that the story itself wasn't funny. I know EXACTLY how this poor woman felt in the moment, but it drudged up some of my own joyous encounters with prometrium while I was reading.
In case you aren't aware, prometrium is a progesterone product. It is often used during the LP to support a possible pregnancy, or as a means to stimulate a period in someone who is not naturally cycling on their own. I used it twice to stimulate a period in the first 6 months that we were trying to get pregnant.
The first time I used prometrium I was EXHAUSTED! I would take in about 30 minutes before bed and when my head hit the pillow I was out. I also had to take it pretty early in the evening if I had any hope of waking at a reasonable hour the next morning. Seriously. I would sleep about 12 hours on this medication and still wake up feeling groggy! I hoped and prayed that I wouldn't have to take it again, but no such luck.
The second round of prometrium happened to fall right around Valentine's day... romantic right? I remember this because my husband and I had gone out for a romantic dinner and then came straight home because I had to take my medication and get to bed. Shortly after I retired to the bedroom he joined me. And much to my dismay, he wanted to talk. I could feel the conversation getting more and more loopy on my end and it was taking me longer and longer to respond to him. Soon enough, he too had caught on and began trying to teach me lessons while I was all drugged up.
At this point I think it is important to explain that my husband is a pretty laid back guy, but there are a few things that really get him going. One of these things, is the improper use of the word 'at'. For example, "where did you get that at?" Obviously in that sentence, at isn't necessary. Being an elementary school teacher, I notice these things as being incorrect, but I hear them constantly so they don't really bother me.
Apparently I had been using 'at' incorrectly in my speech, so my husband took it upon him self to not only teach me this lesson, but also record it on his cell phone at the same time. Perfect. Soon after he felt that the 'at' lesson was ingrained in my head for all eternity he began working on a list of words he knows I often mis-spell. Thanks,babe. Honestly the audio from our little learning session is absolutely hysterical, and I have to say, I am now utterly annoyed when I realize I've used at incorrectly.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's okay to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's okay to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye, but don't worry, God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone everything.
29 What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
42. The best is yet to come...
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.
Friday, October 22, 2010
I had my baseline ultrasound this morning to see if I am a "cyst grower" on clomid. Turns out I'm not. There is one tiny follicle growing on each side around 5mm. She said everything looked great and I'll go back from another ultrasound on CD12. The best news of all is that I don't have to have to do the CD2 ultrasound next time... if there is a next time!
I made an appointment this morning for a sperm function test for the hubs. Hopefully everything will come back normal!
IUI #2 will most likely be two weeks from today.
I had my blood drawn today and it HURT!
I'm having a pedicure today and I cannot wait. I need a glorious hour of relaxation!
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your path.
Sometimes I wish that I could have a quick glimpse at the plan God has for my life. I trust fully that his plan has had infertility in it from the moment my story was written, but I would like to see the outcome. For example if I were to know that two (or even TEN) cycles from now I would become pregnant, I would be able to joyfully bound into my RE's office week after week for all of those "undress from the waist down" appointments with a smile on my face, knowing that it was just a matter of time. As logical as this seems in my head, I am reminded that knowing the story by peeking at the journey is not FAITH.
If I knew His plan ahead of time, there would be no room for TRUST. We are called to put our faith in an unseen God. In His time He will reveal the plans he has for each of us. It is our job to meet him there, acknowledge Him and trust Him. We are not asked understand his plan for us, or even the depth of what he is doing in our lives- we are simply called to put our trust in a God that knows the desires of hearts and have faith that His plan is greater than our own.
Monday, October 18, 2010
I mindlessly drove 45 minutes to have my blood drawn. Made a quick stop for my husband on my way back and then came home. Once I arrived, I quickly found my place on the couch and told myself to just relax until I knew for sure. I watched garbage on tv and messed around online, giving zero thought to the things I should've been doing.
The phone rang, and luckily the nurse just gave it to me straight- "Unfortunately your beta came back negative." She explained my next cycle and that was it. I hung up the phone and didn't let one single tear roll down my face. Why? Because this is not the end for us. I have hope and I trust that somehow, someway there will be tiny feet in this house. Someday.
Don't get me wrong I wish this would have been it, but it wasn't and I'm moving on. I had my husband pick up a pizza on the way home and I fully intend to spend the remainder of the evening doing just exactly what I'm doing right now... absolutely NOTHING!
When my husband got home and asked me if I was ok, and told him that I was. Slightly surprised he stepped back, looked at me and said 'are you really ok, or are you just saying that?' I have to admit, I really am fine. I'm not really sad about this cycle not working out. I feel like we gave it everything we had, and it just wasn't enough. Maybe, hopefully next time. If I am upset about anything, it is the fact that I have to endure the drugs again... oh, how I hate fertility drugs! Oh, and the CD2 ultrasound... I could have really gone without doing that again!!!
I've had a bunch of pregnancy symptoms, but the things about most pregnancy symptoms (as you know) is.... they are mostly the same as period symptoms. I am not one to usually have any "symptoms" prior to AF arriving, so I was optimistic for awhile, but then I remembered that I did trigger this month with Ovi.drel, and that may have something to do with this change.
My BBT had been holding strong and high until this morning when it dropped by .3 - I'm pretty sure my beta will be negative today. I was pretty bummed when I looked at the thermometer this morning and realized my fate, but then I reminded myself that this was only the first try. If today ends as I am anticipating, we will pick ourselves back up and start the process over.
Don't get me wrong, it isn't over just yet. However, I am trying to be honest with myself about the facts- and they just aren't stacking up in our favor!
I'll be back to update late this afternoon with the beta results....
** I just heard from the nurse... My suspicions were right, we will be starting another cycle later this week. I'm bummed, but at the same time I have to keep reminding myself that this was just ONE attempt. I'm ready to jump back in and start over. The protocol will be the same for this next cycle, the only addition will be a repeat SA for the hubs. Unless there are any cysts, I will be back on the joyous (haha) clomid by the end of the week!
Monday, October 11, 2010
Friday, October 8, 2010
You may also remember that over the summer another friend of mine confided in me about her infertility. I, much like the first, told her our story and found great peace in having someone to talk to about this journey. We spent many hours over the past four months talking about our feelings and about all things infertility.
Yesterday she told me that she is 6 weeks pregnant.
I am absolutely shocked and deep down I am really happy for her. I am at a place where I can truly comprehend that someone else being pregnant really has nothing to do with me. I am (thankfully) in a really good place right now. I am hopeful again and really happy with our fertility treatments so far. I know that there is a plan for me, and I feel like I am on the right track.
In an effort to keep it real though, her pregnancy does make infertility feel a little more lonely again. That's OK though, I'm not planning to stick around in the world of IF much longer myself :)
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Friday, October 1, 2010
I know I'm feeling this way because it is me that is in the doctor's office every week to either have blood drawn or take my clothes off from the waist down, but still, I need to give him a little more credit than I have been. I'm anxious about this cycle. Its our first iui, and while I am so excited and hopeful, I am also painfully anxious.
I guess at this point I can only try harder. I'm just feeling really bad for treating him the way that I have been when he is SO supportive of everything I'm going through. Sometimes its hard to remember that he needs my support, too.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Seriously, it was no more painful than a regular trip to the gyno. Sure there was some cramping when the dye went in, but really it was not even close to the pain I read about. Perhaps it was because I had a Dr. that specializes in this specific procedure or maybe it was the 800mg of advil I took an hour before the test, whatever it was, I'm happy its over.
I think it is pretty amazing anytime I get to have a look at my insides. I got to see my uterus fill with dye and then spill out the end of both tubes... YAHOO!! She said that she didn't see any issues and that I may be more fertile this cycle.
Tomorrow I go for my mid cycle scan to check on my follies. I've been feeling some action in that general area today, but I am not sure if it is my ovaries or if it is the after effects of the dye. I guess I will find out tomorrow when I get another peek at the inside of my body.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
After about a 9 months of trying to get pregnant I started the wonder drug. I did six cycles in a row and none of them worked. Well, they "worked" but I didn't get pregnant. What did I get? Hot flashes, headaches, clomid fog and the uneasy feeling in the pit of your stomach that just won't go away. However, about a year later when my RE suggested that we start our treatment with her by using clomid in conjunction with IUI I wasn't too worried. Clomid was a distant memory. Don't get me wrong I remembered that I DID NOT enjoy taking it, but I also had forgotten just how MUCH I hated it. Fast forward to yesterday when the first dose went down the hatch. I was fine for several hours, but when I went to bed I remembered my least favorite of all the side effects.... the hot flashes! Yuck. I am not a fan of sweating unless I'm working out. That being said, waking up with a damp shirt only an hour after falling asleep was a little concerning. At first I thought I was getting sick... then I remembered... Clomid.
BUT, as much as I don't like it, if it works I will sing its praises FOREVER!
I don't mind time mending the open wounds of infertility, but I hope it doesn't fix them. I would like to come out the other side of this with a scar. I want to remember this time in my life and all of the things I've learned from it. The struggle will only make it sweeter.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
as a happy mother of children.
Praise the LORD."
Saturday, September 18, 2010
I just started following my own blog because of some reading list errors that were brought to my attention. When I logged on this afternoon it appears that my entire blog has republished! Sorry if the same thing happened on your reading list- let me know if my blog is still not updating for you if you are a follower... hopefully I can get this all figured out SOON!!!
Enjoy the weekend!
Friday, September 17, 2010
ME: My appointment was good and bad.
HIM: hmmm. Do you want to explain now, or tell me in person?
ME: The good was that the Dr said that I don't need to do the biopsy. The bad is that I nearly punched a pregnant intern.
HIM: Ha, those are BOTH good!
ME: She was interning with my Dr. and nearly uttered the words turkey and baster while I was chatting with my doctor about our plans for IUI... Wow, so professional. I shot my Dr. a look and she quickly explained what it was to the idiot fertile.
HIM: NEARLY punched = good ACTUALLY punched = not good
ME: Gosh fertile people are so dumb. Plus, who brings an obviously pregnant intern into an infertile woman's appointment? There is nothing like talking about our lack of baby while another woman sits and rubs her belly. Seriously. Shoot me.
HIM: Wow. I would think that infertile women would be happy to have a prego around. (ummm did he really just say that??)
ME: Absolutely NOT!
HIM: Who is to say that she isn't a successful result of the process we are currently going through? (Always the voice of reason)
ME: She isn't... she made that clear.
HIM: Maybe you should take a little extra dose of the bitterness when you wake up in the morning!
ME: No infertile woman would even consider saying anything about a turkey baster.
HIM: I have heard YOU say it... so.... (Crap, got me there!)
ME: Um, am I a doctor? Not to mention when I've said it I was I kidding, not thinking it was an actual medical procedure! There I was talking about iui and she said "is that the turk......" I shot my Dr a look and pregnant intern tried again with "what is iui?" followed by.... "you can do that at home right?" I hope she has A LOT more school before she is actually seeing patients in that setting. But no, I am not bitter :)
HIM: uh-huh :)
I was cracking up through this entire conversation... it is so funny how differently men and women perceive the same situation.
My chart is almost unrecognizable this cycle. It appears that I *might* have actually ovulated, but I also started taking thyroid medication this cycle... perhaps that is what warmed me up? I trust my body approximately 5 % of the time, so who knows.
I have never been more ready for my period to arrive. I am ready to start the testing cycle so we can move on to the treatment cycle!
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Remember this post? Well today she is spending the day at my house. She should be arriving very soon with her 8 week old baby in tow. It will be nice to catch up, but I am praying that I don't have to listen to 6 or 7 hours of mommy stories. Thankfully another childless friend will be joining us in a few hours.... feel free to pray that I make it through the day without telling her I don't care about how long she slept last night, the consistency of her baby's poop or how "hard" motherhood is.
I can do this.
Someday it will be me in those shoes. I hope I remember how it feels.
Monday, September 13, 2010
Quietly, patiently, lovingly God replied.