Tuesday, December 30, 2008
I clicked on the phrase and google showed that mine is the 2nd top hit for this phrase!
1. Short monologues for women
2. Inner Monologue of an Average (Infertile) Woman
3. Monologues: S
4. The Five Most Powerful Pre-Murder Monologues In Film...
5. Villainous Company: Best Movie Monologues
Sooo... I start clomid this Thursday and have my u/s egg check next Thursday. So we'll be praying for another miracle and if not we'll start IVF in March.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
God showed me something. I've realized that since we had begun trying to conceive I've thought that every failed cycle has taken me farther and farther away from our dream of having a child of our own. But that is if I am putting my hope in biology and physiology i.e. my own human body and what it's capable of doing. In reality every cycle that goes by is actually taking us closer to the completion of God's plan for us. How exciting to think this way! Not that the road will be any easier but we are getting closer to something amazing and not the other way around. That lie that I had been believing was completely emotionally devastating to my mental state which is a huge red warning light that it is not from God. Just this simple change in thinking has been an incredible boost to my level of hope. That is because I'm trusting more in God than in myself. In our humanness we put so much on OUR PART in our relationship with God and what we THINK we have to be doing to get what we want, hear from God, find Him in our trial etc. We spend so much of our time thinking that WE have to REACH out to God and find Him but the reality is that He came DOWN to us and He is waiting for us to realize that He has been right beside us the entire time.
I have marveled at this unexplainable peace I've had since coming to this realization; the kind of peace that only comes from God. At church He solidified to me that He is the giver of this peace.
Our sermon was on Philippians 4:6-9
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you."
Our pastor spoke of this peace as a solider over our hearts, protecting us from the lies that threaten to invade and take away our peace and trust in God. And if we focus our thoughts on truth instead of lies we will continue to feel the peace of God. So this is what I've been doing this month and I know that whatever the outcome, God is with us.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
You have not been afraid to share you hopes and fears, your ups and downs, your struggles and your successes. Thank you for being real in your Christian faith. If we all just sat around and wrote about happy stuff and never acknowledged those moments of doubt and weakness or be open and honest then it would all be for nothing. And worse, it would leave many of us feeling alone and thinking that there is something wrong within us. But that is not the case and I just wanted to let you all know that to encourage you all to continue sharing your hearts!
I also wanted to give a few shout outs:
Bouncing Baby Buckeye: You were my first bloggy friend! Thank you for welcoming me into this strange new world. I wish you all the best with your new pregnancy!
Let's Make a Baby, How Hard Could It Be?: Thank you for encouraging me in my darkest times in this journey. You did not turn away and see me as another whiny infertile but someone being open with my struggles and encouraged me to keep pushing in my faith.
God's Faithfulness Through Infertility: All I have to say is, wow. Your steadfastness through infertility is awesome. It has challenged me many times, thank you.
Missed Conceptions: While I just found your blog not to long ago I could not stop reading. Your openness and your literary zeal for seeking out truth in God's word spoke to my heart and has helped so much. Congratulations on your Christmas miracle!
Saturday, December 20, 2008
During my week I've been "reading" The Shack via my iPod. I've really enjoyed it and while there are few things in the theology presented that I'm not totally in agreement about, it has brought about a lot of Aha! moments for me.
One thing that I had not realized I'd been doing was wanting God to justify why this trial of infertility was placed in our lives. By wanting that I was unknowingly making the statement that I believed God was the cause of our infertility. But if you study the word "barren," Missed Conceptions did an awesome job of it, there are very few times where God is the one who closed up the womb. Nine times out of ten God did not cause barrenness nor do I believe He has chosen to cause my barrenness. Barrenness is the cause of sin. When Adam and Eve choose to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil they began a chain reaction. Our human bodies were never meant to die, to suffer things like cancer or infertility.
So therefore, since God has not come to justify His actions but to redeem and just has He has come to redeem our souls, He will also redeem us from our trials. God will redeem me from my infertility in one way or another because He works all things for the good of those who love Him. While God has the power to eliminate sin, pain and suffering the result would mean that we would not exist. It would mean that we would have never been created at all since sin began with Adam and Eve. Because God LOVES us too much to have never created us, this is not an option for Him. Instead He created us in His image and allows us free will to choose to love Him in return. God has chosen not to eliminate sin and suffering but instead to redeem it through His son Jesus. Jesus was born as a man to be the ultimate sacrifice for all the sins of the world, past, present and future; and to allow us to come into a relationship with Him and His Father. Without Christ's sacrifice and act of redemption we would all be lost and you and I would have no hope. But we HAVE hope!!!
God sees what sin has done to our frail human bodies and for many of us that is infertility. God is greater than sin and evil and He will overcome it. He will bring redemption. It may be that he will create life where there was no life, He may bless physicians with the knowledge to help those who are infertile, He may place on a woman's heart to be a surrogate birth mother for another couple, or He may touch family with the blessing of adoption. Either way He will redeem us; He will redeem me.
This Christmas season we celebrate the birth of Christ, our redeemer. Blessed be His name, Jesus.
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."
"He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?"
Friday, December 12, 2008
Oh and I have to share my new favorite Christmas candy. They are Candy Cane Tootsie Pops! All the greatness of candy cane peppermint wrapped around a chocolate tootsie center. Could there BE anything better. I found them at Target *love that place* so if you need a good excuse to go to Target (I'm always looking for one) these are well worth it.
So I POAS (OPK) this a.m. to see where my body was at and got a (+) right away. Yesterday I had used a Clearblue easy OPK which came up negative but I had a feeling I might be starting to O (bbs hurt etc.) This a.m. I used a CVS generic. Sometimes I think those digitals aren't as accurate. I kind of prefer to deal with reading the lines. I'm hoping that didn't mean we were too late but my symptoms are stronger this afternoon. So we've timed things as well as we could and have prayed over this month. And we'll continue to pray for a miracle this Christmas!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
I'm much more in the Christmas spirit too. My hubby wouldn't let me be Scrooge this year and not put up a tree. So he dragged me with him last weekend to Home Depot to pick out a tree. Five hours later we had fully decorated the tree, house and put the lights up outside. (Uh, actually my hubby put the outdoor lights up in the freezing sleet/snow...but I made him hot cocoa!)
So to confirm my new attitude here is a list of ten things I'm thankful for this year as 2008 is coming to a close:
1. My Heavenly Father and Jesus - who takes me as I am, the good and the bad. Let's me be myself and heals my brokenness. Who has a perfect plan for us on this infertility journey if I'm willing to be patient and trust him.
2. My incredible hubby - who also loves me for who I am. Who has stood by my side, held my hand through each procedure, and kept me laughing during the many hard times. If infertility has done one thing good, it has made us stronger as a couple.
3. My irreplaceable family - my mom who constantly prays for our infertility. My dad who, although struggles with the fact that he cannot fix our infertility problems for his little girl, prays for us everyday.
4. My awesome dog - yes my dog! Because he is that awesome. He gives unconditional doggy love.
5. My confidants - those friends that I've shared this struggle with and who continually pray for us and know that sometimes hugs are better than any words.
6. My new bloggy friends - who've read my ups and downs for the last few months and have been an encouragement to me.
7. My RE - who has worked with us to provide personalized treatments, has not wasted our time with excessive procedures, and has been conservative with fertility drugs.
8. My Ob/Gyn - who found and cleared endometriosis relieving me from years of painful cycles.
9. My job - that pays for parts of infertility treatments such as doctor visits and drugs and a boss that works with my treatment schedules.
10. My husband's job - having both great paying jobs (mine and his) has allowed us to try several IUI's and will allow us to do at least two IVF cycles. And if our plan is for adoption we'll have the financial ability to go down that road as well.
I'm going to post this on my gadget board to help remind me to be positive. I'm also going to start a new motto for 2009: "Expect Miracles."
I know that my last few posts have been less than positive. All I can say is that after 2 1/2 years infertility gets to you and I had a few weeks of sadness. For the most part I've had a pretty positive attitude. I started blogging because I was beginning to be invaded by sadness but I think that the process itself of writing out what I've been feeling has been therapeutic. So thanks for sticking with me, hopefully you have.
I spent the last three days in a clinic with sick kids so I shouldn't be surprised that last night I started to not feel good. I went to bed at 8 pm but woke only to find that I was feeling worse. My throat kills, muscle aches, congestion etc. I had to take the company car back into work because another coworker is taking it out today so I had to go in. I had originally arranged for my supervisor to drop me off at home but I don't want to pass along what I've got since it's in the early stages. So I gave my mom a call at 8 am and wouldn't you know she was passing through downtown at that very moment. So a hitched a ride with her and now I'm on the couch, laptop in tow and puppy passed out on my lap.
I hope this won't throw off my ovulation. The most I'm going to do this month is POAS to make sure we time ovulation but otherwise I'm taking off December. Speaking of which I think it's time to check...
....Ahhh, that's better. Results: No "O." Nope, not today. That might actually be a good thing though, maybe it will let me recover from whatever I've contracted.
Back to the scene of the cold crime:
My trip took me to a WIC clinic where I got to see tons of babies. Somehow I managed to make it through without seeing a prominently pregnant women. All the ones I saw were too early or too chubby (sorry!) to tell they were even expecting. That was some spiritual protection. There were several great families that I got to meet. And it was absolutely precious to watch a dad hold his sleeping daughter so lovingly. One family stood out to me though. This poor women, just 29 years old, was taking care of her younger sister's three kids from age 3 months to 4 years in addition to her own 4 year old daughter. The mother was placed in a drug rehab program so her sister was given temporary custody. The 3 month old showed signs of interuterine drug exposure i.e. not wanting to be held, inconsolable, shaking. The saddest part was that, according to her sister, the mom only ever asked about the oldest child. She would not acknowledge her newborn or second youngest child. In fact the sister has had guardianship of the middle child for the past year because he was being neglected. The middle child was so confused he was calling his Aunt "Mom" and cried every time he saw his real mom because he didn't know who she was. It was so heartbreaking.
I have to admit for a moment I struggled. Who wouldn't seeing the faces of those children. But I forced myself to focus on our path. I turned my thoughts to what our future was; success with IVF or adoption (or maybe both). I tried to think about if we adopted a little baby it might save them from a sad story such as the family I saw. Or maybe we were meant to go through IVF to have twins. I'm so impatient to know what our plan is and maybe that's my problem that I need to work on. Patience.
Friday, December 5, 2008
I was mad because I felt like my hubby and I had done nothing to deserve this trial and that he had forsaken us. Somehow he had decided to deal bitterly with us while allow those who don't even acknowledge his existence be blessed with children. We have been faithful to him but what about our promise? "To the faithless He will remain faithful for He cannot forsake His own" Even in our darkest times He is supposed to stick by us? So why do I feel so alone? Why do I feel like He has been so silent? And so I cried out. "I'm right here! Have you forgotten about me? While you've spent your time blessing less faithful people with babies; I'm still here, barren." What a selfish, faithless moment.
But then, I'm not the first. King David, said to be 'a man after God's own heart,' spoke similar words of frustration and exasperation. I was reminded of this when listening to a sermon I happened to miss two weeks ago while being out of town. Now if I had listened to this two weeks ago it would have been a great message but the timing of hearing this while in my current state was a blessing. Our pastor spoke on how to worship when you were not feeling 'worshipful.' He was trying to write a sermon about how to worship in the spirit but was challenged by his associate pastor who, when reviewing his sermon asked, "What do you do when you don't feel that way?" This bothered him for several days and finally he began to feel convicted. Maybe there was more to worship than just singing and raising of hands and while He wants us to do those things what He desires more is our heart.
Mark 7:6 He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: "These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 7 They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men."
He desires that emotion response by us, that we feel emotion for him and show it. So how do we revive a broken heart? My pastor's response was, "For one thing, we don’t deny it. We don’t deny or ignore our emotions." Because our God IS an EMOTIONAL God.
"The God of the Bible is not the silent, stoic type. He’s not like these statues of Buddha, sitting there, legs crossed, eyes closed, unmoved, unaffected by all that is going on around him. That’s not the Father God. That’s not the Great I Am, Creator,Maker,Savior,Redeemer. My God feels. He grieves and laughs, knows joy and sorrow, anger and disappointment, compassion and wrath, jealousy and passion. He has emotions and He’s given them to you!"
The question is do we trust our emotions? Because some emotions are tied to sin. But emotions are neither right nor wrong, they just are.
"You were created in the image of God, which means you were created as an emotional being. Sure, that image has been distorted and twisted because of sin, but it’s still part of you. So know yourself. Know what you are feeling, or what you’re not feeling. Know what’s blocking any sense of remorse or regret, joy or compassion, as well as what’s causing such sadness and anger, discontentment or elation. If you’re going to ensure that there’s not a disconnect between the words from your lips and the emotions in your heart, ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me." you have to know what you are feeling and you have to say what that is. God wants all of your heart. Not just the happy joyful part or the submissive, surrendered part. He wants the struggling, angry, lustful part as well. He wants all of you. When you give Him all your heart, that honors him. That’s true worship."
The example he gave is when a person shares with you their struggles, when they open up and reveal the dark places, the hidden secrets. It evokes a level of trust. It says, "I trust you with the knowledge of the depths of my heart; good or bad. I trust that no matter what I tell you, you will love me regardless. You will be faithful, tender and understanding." On the flip side what does it say if a person isn't open with you or puts on a facade.
"Worship, honoring God, genuinely declaring that He is good, might be most powerfully expressed when you aren’t feeling it and yet still come to Him."
And this is what we see in the Psalms. You can read 47 verses where David is depressed, in the depth of despair, feeling forgotten by God and then suddenly in verse 48 he's praising, thanking, rejoicing and celebrating. What happened? What changed?
One of our pastors calls it "God in the white spaces"
"In that little gap between verse 47 and verse 48—between 2am and 4am— between last Tuesday and today—God comes and He takes my heart and begins to renew it and restore it, heal it and fill it. It all happens—it can only happen if I give all my heart. That’s the worship He wants. That’s the worship we need."
And so that is where I find myself, in the white spaces. I came and poured out all the ugliness of my soul; my brokenness from this long road of infertility. And so now I wait for the healing and it has begun to come. Instead of rending my garments, I am rending my heart. God has shown me my heart, the pain that has been hiding deep inside and I'm returning it to Him to heal it, forgive it and cleanse it. This is what is supposed to happen in the white spaces, God revives and enables you to feel His joy, His peace, His comfort, and His love. It's a process but I'm getting there. I may never be the steadfast positive Christian who never falters in their faith, but I will be the one that keeps coming back to Him.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Yoga for Fertility
NEW! - Yoga practices, including deep relaxation, active and restorative poses, breathing practices and meditation, can reduce stress and physical and emotional tensions. This helps balance hormone levels, increase muscle tone and circulation to internal organs and open subtle energetic channels. No previous yoga experience required.
Offered in partnership with Yoga on High.
To register call (614) 291-4444
Marcia Miller, registered yoga teacher
When: Saturday, Feb. 21; 1 to 4 p.m.
Where: Elizabeth Blackwell Center
My boss is really into yoga for strength and toning reasons and got me interested. I haven't being doing it for well over a year now because I've just been too busy. I'm thinking it may help with all the stress I'm under both with work and with our IF. I'm not a 'meditation' type person, it's too new-agy for me. I did yoga for flexibility, balance, and stress as a purely physical activity. I was challenged by a pastor from my college ministry who did yoga but took bible versus to mediate on during the 'new-agy' parts. Once I started practicing yoga and doing the bible meditation it really was great. I was less stressed and felt healthier, so why did I stop? Oh yeah, too busy, any-whoo. So I'm excited to finally have a free weekend to take this class.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
So when I talked to the nurse about scheduling our fifth and final IUI, ROADBLOCK! Apparently the only day I can do the u/s is the 10th but I'm out of town for work that day. I have no way around it. They can't schedule it for any other day because I make massive eggs by cycle day 11 and letting me go one more day may mean I'd ovulate on my own. Then we'd miss out on the benefit of timing an hcg mediated cycle. So we're out this month as far as fertility treatments go. It's up to nature (and miracles).
For some reason this has really made me feel down. Its just one more thing where my job is making our treatments practically impossible. Not to mention the "so called" plan has taken another turn. I wanted to have this all behind me by the new year. I'm starting to loose steam i.e. the energy to keep going on this journey. Its even affecting the Christmas season. Normally I LOVE Christmas, in my opinion its the best holiday ever. But I have no desire to put up any decorations, get a tree or put up lights. How sad is that? This is the first year that I can remember when I didn't have my entire house decorated before the end of November. Hopefully I'll turn around here soon, until then I'm going to head off to bed early. (Maybe I can just hibernate for the next few months.)
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
What I don't understand is that I consistently have cramping between 6-9 dpo. Most people would call that "implantation" and I was told that it was probably due to my endometriosis. Regardless I would like to have a blood clotting test done. There are suspicions that my mom might have a blood clotting disorder based upon her medical history. But because they didn't really do this sort of testing back in the late 70's early 80's when she had my brother and I, we don't know. We do know she miscarried a baby (between my brother and I) when she was in her second trimester. Her doctor said that if she wanted a third child then he would order the test but my parents decided two was enough.
Typically they only order this test if you miscarry more than two times. But I was curious if anyone ended up having a blood clotting disorder that also had never successfully conceived until it was discovered and treated. Maybe I'm going down the wrong alley but my other thought was that I don't want to drop $$$ on IVF only to have it fail, then get tested and discover it could have been prevented. If anyone reading this has any input I'd appreciate it.
On the flip side, I titled this post "Call Me Mara" because of a verse that popped into my head this morning while reading the very prominent "not pregnant" on the test. If you have ever read the book of Ruth you will know that Ruth's mother-in-law's name is Naomi, which means "my delight." When Naomi suffers great loss she changes her name to Mara, which means "bitterness." This was because she felt God had dealt bitterly with her by bringing her such sadness. This is how I felt this morning. But then I read a post by Think(+)Positive which helped to put my sadness into perspective. If you need some hope and have a chance to read it I'd recommend popping over to her blog.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
As we hit our two year mark this May I happened upon that box and pulled it out from it's hiding place. It was then that I noticed the expiration date: November 2008. It was now etched in my mind and while I had shoved it back in to the cupboard it had become a tell-tale heart beating and beating as the months dwindled down. Each time I would open the cupboard it would immediately pop out at me whereas before I had hardly paid attention to it. It got to the point that I didn't want to open the door because I knew my eyes would be drawn to it. All I could hear in my head each time I thought of it was the same word, "November, November," over and over again. It was the countdown, the deadline, a significant milestone in our journey, however bleak that may seem. To have bought a pregnancy test and have it expire without ever having even one reason to use it is heart wrenching. So now here I am, November. The box is on the bathroom counter. And as this month comes to a close, I sit here realizing that it will be another failed month. We are seven days away from the end of my cycle, I'm already cramping. It's the sign that my cycle will be coming and not implantation. I know because I have this aching in my abdomen of emptiness, that feeling of a barren womb. The box is on the bathroom counter, still unopened, never fulfilling it purpose. Expired. And tonight, tonight, my heart is breaking once more.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
IUI #1 - SA unknown
IUI #2 - 17 mil
IUI #3 - 13 mil
IUI #4 - 26.3 mil
When I was reading the report I kept looking for the lower numbers we were used to so while I saw the 26.3 mil I didn't think that could be right, oh me of little faith. I had to ask the RE if I was reading it right. So we were pretty darn happy this go around. As Hoping for our own Peanut said if we can "tell them to go right" we actually may have a chance this time.
Our 13 mil numbers were on a day when there was a blizzard. We drop off our sample verses doing the on-site deposit (personal preference). So there I was, trying to make my way to the RE's office without going off the road due to all the ice. Then the lab guy was late getting into work too so we had to wait longer to give them the sample than we would have liked. I can't be too upset at lab guy though, it was really bad out and as important as this is to me I'm sure he valued his life even more. But we had some bad SA numbers possibly resulting in our failed IUI.
The only part of all this that has been difficult is the following
I have a sensitive cervix which means that almost everything they do KILLS. When I had my HSG (Hysterosalpingogram) it was one of the most painful experiences of my life even though I was completely loaded up on pain killers. I'm the 2% of the population that has this issue. I can barely stand the IUIs and even bleed afterwards. This time being no different.
Today I thought I'd warn the RE (not my regular but the weekend on call RE) ahead of time. As I assumed the position I started to warn her about my 'sensitive lady parts' but I didn't even have time to finish my sentence before she had started already. It was more like, "I should warn you that I have a sensi...ouuuuch!" To which she replied, "What was that?" So when I finally caught my breath to repeat myself her response was, "Oh yes I can see that, you know most women don't even feel a thing." Uh, yeah, I'm aware of that, thanks. I wish I would have had more time to warn her, maybe she would have been a bit more gentile. I actually think the male doc's do a better job, go figure.
So now I'm resting, blogging and praying that with two really good sized eggs and a fab SA, God would bless us this month. And if not...
Friday, November 14, 2008
This time was a bit more...painful. When I went to draw in hcg into the needle, I noticed that it curved when I pushed it through rubber cap of the vial. It was a 1 1/2" needle so it was big but not that big. But when the hub tried to do the injection the needle kept bending and he couldn't get it to break the skin. I tried to be supportive and act like it didn't hurt otherwise he would have freaked out on me. If I didn't have a pillow to hid my face in, the gig would have been up. He made two more attempts and then cried out, "What did they give you rubber needles?!?" At that point I started laughing which then made it even more impossible for him to try and do the injection. Once the giggles past I told him to just shove it in me. It took five attempts before he could finally give me the injection. Needless (no pun intended) to say I was very sore. Instead of a regular band aid we used one of those large square ones to cover up my wounds. I didn't want to tell him that I could barely sit in my desk chair at work today. I'm afraid he'd never be able to give me another injection again. And if we have to do IVF we've got a LOT of injections. Maybe I'll request the 1" needles next time...
Just out of curiosity, did anyone else have a funny infertility treatment situation? Let me know! We have to laugh at something during all this stress or we'd loose our minds.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
eggs on the right - Total 2 (21 and 24)
eggs on the left - Total 0
Lining - 9
I'm about ready to take my left ovary out back and shoot it. Three times on clomid and all three it's playing hard to get. This does not make our outlook for IVF very good if I only have one ovary to work with = less crop for harvesting.
I was able to discuss the 'what if this doesn't work' plan with my RE. Because we are doing a clomid/IUI with this cycle ending in early December that only leaves us with about 7 weeks to work with before my travel schedule with work picks up in Feb. He didn't feel that was adequate and we'd run into trouble with our time line. So instead, IF this doesn't work this month, we'll do 1-2 more rounds of clomid/IUI until February. I'll drive around the state for work Feb-May and some time in April he thought we can start the prepping process for IVF, that way my body will be ready to go once my travel stops.
In some ways I'm disappointed. Disappointed that nothing looked any different from the u/s this time around than it did before my surgery, that we'll have to wait longer than I'd like to try IVF, which in turn pushes back the mental adoption time line I had started to create.
Crap! I did it again! I just realized I started another plan, another solo me-minus-God plan. Just now I realized that I'm disappointed because the new plan I'd been formulating didn't work out. This is really a sickness I have here. I mean I know I'm type A but jeez, I snuck this in even under my own nose. I guess it's good that I caught myself. I guess I got what I needed, another month where nothing looks any different so I'm back to depending on God to work it out for the best. Humbling, isn't.
Although one good thing did happen. My two eggs are big enough for us to do the hcg shot tonight and then the IUI is scheduled bright and early Saturday morning. That means I don't have to take off work on Monday or Tuesday as I had originally feared. Whew!
Our record thus far is 0-30 months. I sure could use some prayer this weekend for a successful cycle.
I have no logical reason as to why I'm so happy about my rendezvous with the dildo cam other than I just can't wait to see what's going on in there. It's my first u/s post laproscopy and I want to know if lefty is ready to join in the baby making game. I have a sneaking suspicion that it may be but past record has shown that my ovaries are not ambidextrous. Guess that's why God gave us two.
Please pray that I'm as busy as a chicken during Easter inside!!! I will post with results tomorrow evening.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
I'm not holding onto false hope with this round of clomid (day 5 - last day of pills!) but if it's our plan for this to be the month I would be more than happy with that outcome. Like I've said before, I feel like God may be leading us to adoption but even my husband does not feel that we would never have a child of our own. It's just that if we were not on this journey, would we even consider adoption? Probably not. And if this is part of that greater plan, then so be it. I committed to following God's plan back when I was only 7 years old and gave my heart to Jesus while spending the summer with my grandparents. I've tried to go my own way before just to find out that I was utterly lost without Him. I know from experience that there is no life apart from Him. And while I have moments where I want to pull away and shout that I don't like this path and want to find my own way to motherhood, I instead find myself back on my knees in front of His throne. Because when it comes down to it, I have no where else to go and there is no other path worth taking.
I worried that my day would end in sobbing tears after warding off side comments and jests about who they would be hosting the next baby shower for in the office. I being the next 'eligible candidate' because I'm the only married women of child-bearing age who has yet to produce spawn out of the 50 people in my department. I already know all eyes are expectantly on me and this was a prime moment for all present to ask their questions without being deemed nosey as we were all at a baby shower i.e. baby interrogations deemed appropriate for discussion.
I must have been protected by my higher power because, I kid you not, I did not have one question posed to me regarding my current baby-making status. And, I did not cry AT ALL yesterday. When I had just one small moment of weakness and my mind began to wander down the road of, "When will I have [insert whiny infertile comment]," I caught myself and gave a mental cry of, "Faith!," which effectively squelched the stinkn' thinkn' that would have inevitably followed.
What was even more encouraging came later that day. The hub and I went over to my parents house for dinner. My parents were cooking up a Clam Bake which is an excessive over-indulged annual event where we take a massive pot and toss in clams, chicken, potatoes, corn, and seasoning. Then we feast and transport home leftovers to make clam chowder etc. My brother, Aunt and Uncle joined in the fun. My mom pulled me aside during the evening to see how I was doing on the clomid and just in general. Life had been so busy for the two of us we hadn't talked all week until yesterday. I shared with her my updates and filled her in on what God had revealed to me from last weekend. As I talked about the verse in Isaiah and how it was connected to last Sunday's service I started quoting the verse to her. My mom's jaw dropped and she started saying it word for word with me. God had given that verse to her years ago when she was going through a difficult time. It was just a cool bonding connection to share with one another. It also confirmed that, in this world where Satan desires to make us feel alienated and alone to push us into despair, God breaks through and builds connections, to shed hope and light and let us know that we do not carry our burdens alone.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
If you've never been on clomid before let me tell you something. You will understand what it is like to be in menopause and will be able to sympathize with every women you know who is currently going through the 'change.'
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Why would I say that? Because when I had to explain to her that on Monday (Nov 17) or Tuesday (Nov 18) I would have to flex my time out in the am for our IUI she didn't question it. Now we have a major two day meeting on that Monday/Tuesday but my body does not check with my work schedule when planning out it's next cycle. It's not like I can control that part. And my manager's mentality towards it all is, "Who am I to deny your schedule for something like this when this could be the month. That is not my role to decide that and I won't live with that on my conscious." - How awesome is she!
The issue came when she had to talk to our supervisor about my 'possible' schedule change. Keep in mind the actual outcome won't be known until my egg check day on Thursday (Nov 13) but due to company policy I had to turn in my flex schedule already. Our supervisor is aware of of my infertility issues and treatment schedule but does not want to approve my flex because of the meeting. But she cannot disapprove it yet because the day is not set yet. My manager told me she is arguing with her that people have missed this meeting before for less important things. Not only that but I'm not missing the whole meeting but only four hours which I intend to make up that work time later in the week.
My manager stressed to me that I should not worry about this and I agreed with her. No one will get in my way and I will do whatever I have to do for my family. Either way I have 'Personal Hours' that I can use if I have to. This is a benefit of being an union employee. The definition of personal hours allows me to use them for whatever I want, whenever I want and without question or ability to disapprove them by my superiors.
So go ahead and disapprove my flex time, I tried to give you a 40 hr work week but you wouldn't work with me. There are bigger things in life than meetings.
Side note: My supervisor also tried to tell me about her "struggles with infertility" but this woman had four boys and her complaint was that she wanted to try to have a girl when she was 39 years old and couldn't. THAT IS NOT INFERTILITY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So clearly she does not understand what it is to be trying for JUST ONE BABY for almost 2 1/2 years. The whole time she was talking I felt like I was in a Peanuts cartoon, "Wont wont wont wa, wa wont wa wa wont" I can't hear you, la la la la, ridiculous fertile person complaining about not being able to have a baby when you were advanced in years and after already birthing 4 children, la la la la....
Monday, November 3, 2008
Sunday, November 2, 2008
The reason is because I swear each message has been specifically relating to our struggles with infertility. Every service I walk in with my heavy heart, I hear a message that hits directly where I'm at (even down to the words I have been praying), I cry, and then I leave with strength to keep going in this journey. For example, I had been praying about really laying down this trial and giving it up to God. And what should happen that week but a message about laying down our burdens on God's alter. We got to physically write down our burdens, take them up to the stage and place them into a mini alter. The elders later burned them in a bonfire to symbolize how the Jewish priests would sacrifice burdens and sins up to God. It was another tear filled service for me as I wrote down our struggle with infertility and my husband and I took it up to the alter. And I have to say it's really helped me.
So this Sunday was no different. Today was about the purpose of God and how He uses all things to bring about His plan for His glory in each one of us. During the service our worship band sang a special song to drive in the message in between our Pastor's talk. The chorus went like this:
He knows my name
He knows my every thought
He sees each tear that falls
And hears me when I call
Now prior this week I had posted about the following verse that He had given me:
Isaiah 30:19-22 "O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you.
I had to fight to not cry during that song. Not to mention the whole rest of the service. I felt like the second part of the verse was being answered for me, "Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, "This is the way; walk in it."
God is using our infertility for a greater purpose. I've known that deep in my heart but this Sunday really reassured me it was true. I need to focus on this as we continue on this journey. I don't know what the greater purpose is but if God has a plan then I need to trust in it. So how do I deal with those moments of doubt that come much more frequently than I'd like? I'm reminded of the verse in Matthew 17:20 "...if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, `Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you." I'm going to cling to this verse. Every time I heard that small voice saying, "I'll never know what it feels like to be pregnant," "Why can't we be blessed with a baby?," or "When will it be our turn?" I need to remind myself of this verse and counter those thoughts. My faith in God's plan and purpose for our lives will one day move the mountain of infertility.
I'm waiting, some what impatiently, for our church to post the audio and manuscript of the service on line as I'd love to update this post with more details on the service.
Video of the worship song:
Now I 'pride' myself on the fact that my dear AF is always on time; predictable to the nth degree. But not this month, this month she's four days early. Fabulous! I really do not get to see enough of her. So thus ends our six months of trying post laproscopy. What a flipping waste of time. I'd have been better off ignoring our RE's advice and push for continuing treatment. But as they say hindsight is 20/20. Let's take a look at 'hindsight' shall we:
Synopsis of a failed 6 month trial "au natural":
Month 1, May: Ended up out on a business trip during o-week, the hub was going to drive down to where I was staying but several tornado's ripped through our state preventing him from driving down unless he wanted a free ride "Dorothy style." Not worth risking his life.
Month 2, June: My uncle was diagnosed with an incurable brain tumor. Kind of a mood killer. Ended up in a house filled with my family members so everyone could visit with my uncle in the hospital post surgery. No where to 'do the deed.'
Month 3, July: The hub was supposed to be out of town on a business trip but I ended up 0-ing early. Finally a chance, but it failed to work.
Month 4, August: Another failed cycle. I actually didn't even ovulate. That NEVER happens to me, except this month.
Month 5, September: Went on a weekend getaway to help us 'relax,' but that didn't pan out either.
Month 6, October: Went to Marco Island, did nothing but sleep in and lie on a beach. Should have been the most relaxing 0-week of my life and AF has the audacity to show up early.
So Monday I will be calling our RE office to schedule our third clomid/hcg/IUI treatment. I'll only agree to one, after that I want to do IVF. I'm done waiting around. Clearly my cycles are starting to change from ridiculously regular to annovulatory and shorter luteal phases. My eggs are getting older and I'm not going to sit around any longer and wait for them to keep spoiling on us.
On a side note, I'm actually not as sad as I thought I would be. I'm more angry than anything. Angry at my stupid body which failed to get the memo that it's supposed to play nice and grow babies. Dumb uterus.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
So I wandered up into our loft and pulled out my old bible. I have several; one I keep for more in depth studies, one that outlines prophecy, one in the common vernacular, etc. But I pulled out the bible my parents got for me when I was a teenager. It was like opening up an old friend with all the markings, notations and underlinings done from past trials. I sat there praying for some direction or hope. As I was wiping away my tears I opened it up and the following verse caught my attention:
"O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you. Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, "This is the way; walk in it." Then you will defile your idols overlaid with silver and your images covered with gold; you will throw them away like a menstrual cloth and say to them, "Away with you!" Isaiah 30 19-22
You have my attention now, I'm listening...
"A sampling of what voters heard in the ad, and what he didn't tell them:
THE SPIN: "That's why my health care plan includes improving information technology, requires coverage for preventive care and pre-existing conditions and lowers health care costs for the typical family by $2,500 a year."
THE FACTS: His plan does not lower premiums by $2,500, or any set amount. Obama hopes that by spending $50 billion over five years on electronic medical records and by improving access to proven disease management programs, among other steps, consumers will end up saving money. He uses an optimistic analysis to suggest cost reductions in national health care spending could amount to the equivalent of $2,500 for a family of four. Many economists are skeptical those savings can be achieved, but even if they are, it's not a certainty that every dollar would be passed on to consumers in the form of lower premiums.
THE SPIN: "I also believe every American has a right to affordable health care."
THE FACTS: That belief should not be confused with a guarantee of health coverage for all. He makes no such promise. Obama hinted as much in the ad when he said about the problem of the uninsured: "I want to start doing something about it." He would mandate coverage for children but not adults. His program is aimed at making insurance more affordable by offering the choice of government-subsidized coverage similar to that in a plan for federal employees and other steps, including requiring larger employers to share costs of insuring workers.
THE SPIN: "I've offered spending cuts above and beyond their cost."
THE FACTS: Independent analysts say both Obama and Republican John McCain would deepen the deficit. The nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimates Obama's policy proposals would add a net $428 billion to the deficit over four years — and that analysis accepts the savings he claims from spending cuts. The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, whose other findings have been quoted approvingly by the Obama campaign, says: "Both John McCain and Barack Obama have proposed tax plans that would substantially increase the national debt over the next 10 years." The analysis goes on to say: "Neither candidate's plan would significantly increase economic growth unless offset by spending cuts or tax increases that the campaigns have not specified."
THE SPIN: "Here's what I'll do. Cut taxes for every working family making less than $200,000 a year. Give businesses a tax credit for every new employee that they hire right here in the U.S. over the next two years and eliminate tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas. Help homeowners who are making a good faith effort to pay their mortgages, by freezing foreclosures for 90 days. And just like after 9-11, we'll provide low-cost loans to help small businesses pay their workers and keep their doors open. "
THE FACTS: His proposals — the tax cuts, the low-cost loans, the $15 billion a year he promises for alternative energy, and more — cost money, and the country could be facing a record $1 trillion deficit next year. Indeed, Obama recently acknowledged — although not in his commercial — that: "The next president will have to scale back his agenda and some of his proposals."
**Disclaimer: I am an Independant voter i.e., I associate with no political party and only vote for who I deem is the best candidate. I am still somewhat undecided and this post in no way is associated with how I intend to vote.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
The one thing I was dreading was the flight home. I'm not the best flier but I'm better than the hub who has to drug up to even GET on the plane. I've just had some bad flying luck and it's shaken my confidence a bit i.e., hit by lightening, jet stream roll on take off and near air miss to just name a few. So please note that I hate to fly in rain. I'd rather have snow than rain. Saturday morning we awoke to a heavy fog but it appeared to be clearing up. Unfortunately the rain started about 45 minutes before take off. As we were boarding and preparing for take off I started to get some very bad feelings. First, the flight crew were just way, way to happy and positive (what were they trying to compensate for?) Second, they dimmed the lights for take off which is done to keep passengers calm and on all my bad flights the crew did this. Third, we had the token bad flight/bad passenger issues e.g., the cell phone lady that had to be asked twice to turn it off while taxing down the runway, the inconsolable crying child, the elderly man who got out of his seat while we were still climbing through the clouds because he could not hold his pee pee, etc. I started to have this out-of-body experience where my subconscious was screaming at me that we should not be on this flight. And while I kept telling my hub that I was OK when he would ask, inside I was full of dread. Take off was rough as our pilot worked to get us up above the clouds and out of the storm. I hid my face in the hub's shoulder and kept telling myself that God was not finished with us yet and that we would live to adopt and/or have our own children which helped to calm me down.
While I was unsettled for most of the cruising altitude part, nothing bad really happened so I started to think that maybe it was all in my head. It wasn't. The pilot came on the overhead speakers prior to beginning our decent to tell us that it would be a "bumpy landing." "Bumpy", that's what he said, "bumpy." Now I've had "bumpy" plane rides but this was beyond "bumpy." What he should have said was that there was a storm going on down below and while it would be a difficult landing they would make sure they would land the plane safe and sound. I would have appreciated that a lot more and it may have given me more confidence during our half hour of life threatening turbulence.*
Our pilots attempted to keep the plane above the clouds as long as possible. As the plane finally began to descend into the clouds we began to feel the bumps and shaking that we had been told about. But it began to grow more intense the longer we were in it. The plane was fighting the wind and weather for all it was worth. It swayed side to side and would threaten to veer off course to the right or left. The wing flaps were running on overtime as the pilots fought to land the plane. I buried my face in my husband's shoulder again and began to pray with all my might. We could feel the speed of the plane increase, then decrease, then drop suddenly and careen off to the side. Passengers screamed and babies began wailing. Suddenly we broke through the clouds and could see the ground below. Rain poured down upon our plane and there was hope that the runway was near. My husband began telling me that it was almost over and tried to wrap both his arms around me but the turbulence was throwing us around so much it was necessary for him to use his free arm to brace himself. I heard the landing gears drop and began to feel encouraged that this would all come to an end soon. Without warning the tail lurched to the left, screams erupted from throughout the plane and we felt the pilot compensate to the right in order to straighten us out. Suddenly the plane accelerated and it felt like we were gaining in altitude all the while continuing to suffer massive turbulence. Amidst the whirring of the engines and wing flaps, I began telling my husband that I loved him, kissing him; basically saying my last goodbye's. We found ourselves back up in the low lying clouds. The captain came on the overhead, apologized for the aborted landing and that we would have to make a second attempt. So the last 15 minutes of turbulence were repeated as we circled around to the emergency runway. I asked my husband if we could drive from Baltimore and not take our connecting flight if we ever made it to the ground, which he agreed. Then I began a solid 15 minutes of out loud prayer for the pilots to land the plane and for peace with what could be our death. We finally broke through the clouds for the second time and made our way down closer and closer to the runway. This time we hit it with a huge bump that threw us all up into the air and then braking that thrust us back hard against our seats. The captain came on the overhead and said, "Whoooooaaaaaaa, Nelly! Ladies and Gentleman we have landed." This time clapping and celebratory shouting erupted from everyone. The poor gentleman beside me asked if I was alright. "I am now that we've landed" I replied. But that was enough for me. I was white as a ghost, shaken to the core, my legs were jello, and I could barely walk.
Our connecting flight was to take off within 20 minutes and you could not have gotten me on that plane if you had paid me. Why on earth would I have made it to the ground only to fly right back up into that mess. I had walked away with my life so why risk it again. My husband is awesome because we cancelled our connecting flight and rented a one-way car to make the 6 hour drive back home. I drove since it was my idea and it was wonderful to feel in control after such an event. On that trip we drove through the awful storm we had just flow through. It was so bad you could not see the car in front of us and we almost had to pull over to the side of the road to wait it out. There were multiple car accidents and we actually witnessed one between a Fire Bird and a truck with a multi-car trailer.
We pulled into town around 9 pm last night, dropped off the hub to get one of our cars and I took the rental back to the airport. I was also going to pick up our luggage so we hoped that it made the connecting flight since there was only 20 minutes to spare when we had landed in Baltimore. I saw our luggage in the Southwest baggage claim room but the door was locked and no one was around. I wandered around looking for a SW rep but ended up just asking another airline baggage claim attendant for help. She suggested the paging desk. The "Paging Desk" ended up being an unattended Information Desk that I past by five time's and finally noticed that a small acrylic sign holder mentioned paging. It said that if I wanted to page someone to go to my airline baggage claim office. Great. That was no help at all. So I wandered up stairs to find the ticketing desk which I couldn't find and every desk was empty save a cleaning lady sweeping in the American Airline's booth. At this point all the emotion of my horrible day hit me and I just shouted "I can't find anyone from Southwest!" A near by security guard looked at me and then walked away, the nerve! While a pilot who had been wandering around stopped and asked if he could help me. He was a young Australian pilot who had been grounded for the last six hours and no hope of flying out anytime soon. I just exploded on the guy with a teary eyed rambled synopsis of our flight, rental car, baggage issues, and ended it all with a "and I just want to get my bags and go home." That poor guy, no wonder the security guard avoided me. But this was a stand up guy. He just said, "let's see what I can do for you." So now I have a Pilot on my side. Oh yeah. He took me to the SW ticking office which we found was also unattended, did some asking around and when we went down to the baggage area I had two people there to help me. So thanks pilot guy, you rock!
And I got the scoop. Apparently the storm we had managed to land in had ended up grounding planes all across the east coast. It had grounded his plane and no one was going in or out of any airport. I told him he should be thankful and recounted, in a much calmer tone, our trials with landing. He agreed that it was a bad day for flying but encouraged me that SW only employs ex-military pilots and if anyone could land a plane in that kind of weather it was them, we were in good hands.**
I have never been so happy to be home and see familiar places. As the hub and I drove back from the airport alive and with our luggage I began telling everything I saw that I love it out loud. For example, "I love you Wonder bread factory with all the yummy smells you tempt me with on my drive to work, I love you Greek Orthodox Church and the Greek festival you hold annually to fill my belly with delicious foods, I love you Smith Brother's Hardware Warehouse that isn't actually a hardware warehouse but just a really cool building with offices, you get the picture. And while most people dread going back to work after a wonderful vacation I am totally thrilled just to be alive so that I am able to go back to work. I'm seriously going to hug all of my coworkers on Monday.
*I want to note that I have all the respect in the world for our pilots and Southwest airlines. If not for them I would probably be dead. In fact I actually have more respect for the pilots who fly for Southwest because they are ex-military pilots i.e. very, very well trained. God bless you for saving our lives and if I ever get on a plane again it will always be with your company.
**I could not have agreed with him more.
On a side note: As I sit here DPO 9 I have to say that no matter what happens this month I am just happy to be alive to have the chance to try again next month. Funny how facing death will do that to a person. Although I don't really recommend it. Very scary.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
1. quality cervical mucus
2. quality endometrial lining
But I have to say, that Tussin is nasty. I have always had an aversion to cherry lifesavers because they remind me of cough medicine. Now I find myself chugging it down like it's going out of style. Oh the things we do for fertility. I figure if a miracle happens this month and we get pregnant I'd rather complain about nasty cherry flavored cough syrup than feeling like a human pin cushion from IVF shots. And this may be TMI but I think the stuff is working already. Oh please God, let it be this month!
He told the story of his daughter who suddenly began experiencing seizures. When he was praying over the situation he thought of the Gospel story in Matthew 14 where Jesus walked on water. He likened himself to Peter who said, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water." And He said, "Come!" And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus." What faith Peter had to step out on the water and believe that he could walk on it as Jesus had done. Yet even though he was walking on water, when he saw the storm around him, Peter was afraid and began to sink.
It's amazing to me when you have a faith that would lead you out to walk on water that you would suddenly doubt the power of God when a little storm comes up. But yet we do all the time. I have been doing that. Infertility is my storm. Here I was, walking in faith everyday and seeing God show himself to me. But when the storm of infertility hit I was shaken and have found myself to be sinking.
The best part about the story of Peter is this, "But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, "You of little faith, why did you doubt?" For someone to help you immediately they have to be right there next to you. Jesus didn't lunge and he didn't rush over to help; he immediately stretched out his hand. I need that mental image. That picture of Jesus right by my side ready to pull me up from sinking from my own fear and doubt, if I would just cry out. I have the faith to step out on the water, I just need the faith to not fear the storm and know that He is right there next to me.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
[Background on work: I work for the WIC program and I am an administration consultant i.e. all the local WIC projects call me when they have questions that are out of their league etc. I also do many other things but it would take too long and bore the heck out of anyone who bothers to even read this]
So one of my local projects gives me a call and we do the work chat and I answer her questions. Then when that is out of the way we typically chat for a bit on a more personal level i.e. how is your day going, any fun plans this weekend etc. You get the picture.
Not today. Today instead of asking "How's it going up there?" I get; "So, any exciting news you want to share?"
"What do you mean?" I asked, "Things are pretty normal here, just working on some projects, you know."
"No," she says, "Anything exciting about you personally that you want to share."
Now I'm starting to realize what she is getting at and I can't believe this is happening. She is actually suggesting that I may be pregnant and has me cornered. Of course, I've been doing evasive maneuvers in this area for almost three years now so I have a few tricks of my own.
"We'll today is my birthday and I'm going out to dinner tonight" I say as nonchalantly as possible.
"Oh, well, happy birthday but isn't there anything else?"
HOLY CRAP! Could she BE anymore obnoxious? "I'm getting my new bike that I asked my husband for as my birthday present? I'm not sure what else you mean?"
"Oh," she says sounding disappointed, "I thought you might be telling me you were expecting."
I can't believe she did that! I don't think I'm overreacting, she was completely out of line. I quickly diverted the topic off of me and prattled on that I wasn't expecting but my coworker was and that she'd see how cute she looked in November when we all will be getting together. It seemed to work pretty well and we ended up on the subject of vacations.
Ironically, she is going to be in Florida the same week that I will be but fortunately two hours away from us. When she heard this she actually said, "See I knew that you had something to tell me. I'm telepathic you know, seriously. I just thought that it might be something else."
YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME, SERIOUSLY? So a telepathic nosey person gives me a call on my 30th birthday to pester me about being pregnant. Why today? Today I'm trying to forget that I'm 30 and infertile. Maybe evil forces are trying to bring me down or tempt me from trusting in God.
I know what you may be thinking; it's a sign, right? I'm done with signs. I've fallen for them a few times already. For example, a coworker stops at my cube and tells me that she had a dream the other night that I was pregnant but not telling anyone at work. Now at the time I was two days from ovulating so I totally took this as a sign and got my hopes up. If you've read my history you will know that I didn't end up pregnant but instead ended up with another broken heart. So I'm not taking this as a sign.
Ugh, I just realized that today I'm two days from ovulating just like the last time. Maybe that's my sign. When people tell me they think I'm prego and its two days from Oing the month is a bust, HA!
Alright, I think I've defeated the evil temptation of feeling blah on my birthday. I'm off to my birthday dinner. No Martini's for me this year but I can still have fun.
Monday, October 13, 2008
So basically I'm saying that maybe we should be doing the Christiany thing that makes me go *yuch* and really pray about it. You see my warning light is going off right now. It's that realization that the only thing that would be discouraging me from talking to God would be the one person who wouldn't want me to do it, "could it be, SATAN?" (read with a SNL Church lady voice.) Most likely yes.
So thank you infertile christian blogger for convicting me. I'm sorry I said your blog made me feel *yuch* but it wasn't you, it was me. You actually helped me out just by blogging and being true to who you are in Christ. Go you.
Then we went out and stopped at several bike shops. I'm looking to get a new bike for my birthday. We went to several stores and checked out Marin and Specialized brand bikes. Then we met my brother to check out Jamis and Bianchi as he just purchased a Bianchi for himself. Finally we ended up at Bike Source where I settled on a Specialized Vita. I'll probably pick it up on Tuesday. I'd really like to get into doing some long distance riding as a great way to keep in shape. Plus I think its a great sport that you can keep up with as one gets older, not that I'm old. I'm just saying.
After that we decided to head to a local nursery to check out a tree sale they were having. I've wanted to get a pink flowering kousa dogwood for a while now. They had an awesome sale and we picked up a great tree for under a hundred dollars. I really hope this one takes off. We've been cheap and tried to get a teeny tiny tree that could not handle the frosts here even though they are supposed to be native to our state. Oh well. Let's say a little prayer for this one. It's taller than me so I'm hoping that means it can handle the weather a bit better.
The only downside is that we had to plant the tree at dusk so we were literally killing mosquitoes left and right. We are so bitten up that right now we are covered in Benadryl spray trying not to scratch the bites. And some of them got into our house so we are still killing them. It's torture. Well we will have lots of updates in the next two weeks as we will be going to Marco Island for vacation. Yeah!
Sunday, October 12, 2008
For example, when I was in high school I took a course called “Career Mentorship” where I spent 10 -15 hours a week shadowing someone in the career I had an interest in. It was a great experience where I could figure out if a field was for me before heading off to college. I quickly discovered that advertising was a bit more cut-throat and eventually choose dietetics. That helped me to avoid changing my major and maximize my college time because the plan was four years undergrad plus 1-2 years grad and out of school by 2003. And I was right on track.
Now my family plan was to be married by 24 and having our first child by 26. While I met my husband at age 21 we didn’t end up getting married until I was 25. But we weren’t too far off schedule (my schedule). So when we started to try having a family I was 27 (not age 26 as I had hoped but, again, close). What I could not plan for was infertility. God had a plan of His own.
This is the biggest thing He has been revealing to me during this time. His plan overrules my plan. I have been trying to embrace this mentality for the last year. Let me tell you, it’s not easy. But what I see is this: God has a plan for our family. It’s not “my cousin’s-sister’s-friend from grade school got pregnant by…” or “I have a friend who tried x and she got pregnant.” It’s our plan. I am not your cousin’s-sister’s-friend from grade school and I have probably already tried x already and it didn’t work.
God’s plan for your life is not His plan for our lives. For example, we have friends who got pregnant on their first try. Am I jealous? No. She also suffers from multiple sclerosis and has a certain window of time to even try to get pregnant. That was the plan for their lives. Or take my husband’s family history, his parent’s tried for three years and then adopted a son and a daughter. Then when she was 39 years old she suddenly discovered she was expecting my husband. If they hadn’t had fertility troubles my husband may never have been born.
Now that does not mean I know what our plan is yet. If He revealed everything to me I probably would never learn to trust, depend and put my faith in Him. And this is really hard for a planner like me to have to go through. Now I have to set aside my plans. This past month I have looked back on everything we have done for fertility: religiously temping so that even on weekends I set my alarm for my regular work time to ensure consistency, spent wayyyy to much time examining cervical mucas and positions (I know – TMI), having to stomach quarts of robitussin, sneaking ovulation kits into the ladies restroom at work, manipulating my business trips around my ovulation schedule, eating a wheat-dairy-meat-free diet to reduce inflammation from endometriosis, taken ridiculous amounts of herbal supplements, tried accupunture and accupressure and displayed my who-ha to more medical ‘strangers’ than I’d thought imaginable as we explored the word of fertility treatments such as clomid and IUI’s. So what does this all tell me? NOTHING I HAVE DONE HAS HELPED US GET PREGNANT! Because this is all beyond my control and just because I have submitted my version of ‘the plan’ to God does not mean that He has accepted it. In fact, it’s plausible that He took one look at it and said, “Mine’s better.”
There is a reason that we are going through this struggle and the best way to look at it is to say that we are being “blessed with the challenge of infertility.” Crazy, I know. How can you be blessed by infertility? It’s definitely not the blessing of infertility itself – that is a trial. But it’s the journey through this trial that brings forth the blessings.
For one, my husband and I have never been closer. I love him more having gone through this trial than ever before. He is a spiritual rock and really he is the one that has helped me to center my emotions and see that God is not punishing us and that He is in control.
Second, I feel that God is leading us to adoption. My husband’s family already has embraced adoption and it makes such a beautiful environment to bring another adopted child in to it. Not only would we be blessed by the gift a mother would give us, her child, but we would also be a blessing to the child.
Thirdly, God has protected me from miscarriage. Yes I never have experienced pregnancy but I also have never felt the devastation of losing a pregnancy. I think He knows I could not handle that and I am very thankful.
Fourth, God has protected me from bitterness. I’m not sure if I mentioned it but I work for the Women, Infant and Children (WIC) program. We give out vouchers for limited food to help supplement low income pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women, infants and children up to age five. I literally spend my day focused on pregnant women. In addition, most of our participants are young, unwed mothers. I have met women who work for our program and are infertile, become incredibly bitter when working with these young moms. It is truly the saddest thing. But I have instead been moved to only feel compassion for these moms. How can you not put aside bitterness when you are faced with a 14 year old girl who had a 4 pound baby due to inter uterine growth retardation and her mom had just abandoned her into the care of her 18 year old brother so she could live with her boyfriend because she didn’t want to deal with her ‘baby momma’ daughter. All I wanted to do is hug this young girl. Do you actually think she wanted to be in that position? But for some reason her choices led her down this path and the plan was for this little 4 pound peanut to enter in the world. God ordained life for this child for some reason that is beyond my understanding but is part of His greater plan.
So here we are, onto Plan B or better yet, Plan G. “G” for God. Not my plan but His plan. I may not like being on this plan on every day of the month and you may find me on here releasing my frustration but for what it’s worth I’m going to follow His plan. And I’m going to keep trying to embrace the fact that we are blessed with the challenge of infertility.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
I typically love the fall and love my birthday but this year I could just crawl into a hole and let the whole thing pass by without me. It totally stinks that I’m not only turning 30 but also struggling with infertility. I had always thought that I’d have at least two children by now but clearly this was not supposed to be. I think I’ve finally reached the point where I just need to start grieving the loss of our dream. I know that I haven’t done IVF yet but because it’s the ‘last ditch effort’ it brings up these feelings. I’ve read a few blogs from women who have been successful with IVF but I really don’t want to get my hopes up. Just because it worked for them does not mean that will for us. I’ve never even had a chemical pregnancy so I don’t even know if my baby-maker even works. Plus we really can only afford to do one treatment without dipping into our savings that we have been setting aside for adoption. Ugh! Maybe I just need a good night’s sleep and this will all seem better in the morning. That or chocolate.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
An excerpt, "The biblical matriarch Sarah is perhaps history's most famous infertile woman. As a member of a tribe that valued family above almost anything else, she must have tried every ancient remedy...When Abraham brought Sarah a message from God, saying they would have a son even though she was past childbearing age, the old woman laughed...One in eight couples has trouble conceiving; it stands to reason that, for some percentage of these couples, intense religious belief informs the way they approach this problem...one thing appears to be true: a religious or spiritual mind-set may help infertile women. In a study of nearly 200 women published in 2005, psychologist Alice Domar and her colleagues found a high correlation between women who said they were religious and those with low rates of anxiety and depression during fertility treatment. Here, then, is the million-dollar question: does being religious actually help infertile women get pregnant? Domar says it's possible. If religious women have less depression and anxiety, and lower rates of depression and anxiety correlate to higher pregnancy rates, "it stands to reason that religious and spiritual women should have higher pregnancy rates." No wonder Sarah laughed."
I actually have a hard time with this article. I feel like it promotes the "just relax" mentality of the fertile world with a religious twist. Has no one ever thought of the fact that maybe whether you conceive and give birth to a child is outside of our hands completely? Yes we have doctors that can help set up all the elements and conditions that help conception occur but whether a life is created is beyond our control. It has nothing to do with our emotions but everything to do with what God has ordained. And just because I understand this does not mean I do not cry every time another month goes by and morn the lost opportunity of not conceiving a child. Sarai laughed because God told her that she would have a child well beyond her fertile years yet God ordained the life of Isaac and it was God who had the last laugh.
All my Christian life I have heard the story of Abram and Sarai as they struggled with the burden of infertility. I remember the story where God came down to earth and ate with Abram. He told Abram that Sarai would conceive. Now Sarai was quite old so conception was no longer a possibility for her based upon the simple fact of human physiology. Sarai also happened to overhear this conversation and laughed to herself. According to the story God overheard Sarai’s laughter and called her out. I had always been taught that Sarai was ‘in the wrong’ for laughing ‘at God’ since God is the author of all life and can create life where there is no life .i.e., the Immaculate Conception.
Now I believe that last part is true, God is the author of life. He is the one who decides if new life begins and when life ends. But I don’t believe that Sarai was wrong for laughing because I no longer believe she laughed solely because she doubted the Sovereignty of God.
If God himself had come down and ate with my husband and told him that we would conceive a child of our own, it would have stirred hope in my heart. Hope. What I have been trying to wrestle with for years now. How do I balance hope with reality. How many times can I allow myself to have hope, only to then allow myself the pain of reoccurring disappointment each month?
I think Sarai, having wrestled with the same issue every month, (hope versus disappointment) would have laughed as a self defense mechanism. I came to realize this just last month. My husband called me out when I made a very ‘unhopeful’ comment about us being successful that month. The truth was I had hope that my nausea which started five days before my period was scheduled to arrive could have meant something. But because I feared the fact that I had any hope at all, I made an unhopeful comment to help put my hope in check. Basically I was giving myself a dose of realism to protect myself from being disappointed. I even laughed when I made my comment. That was when it hit me. Sarai probably laughed as a defense mechanism. She probably thought to herself, “This is the Sovereign Lord standing at my tent saying that I would bear a child. If anyone can do it He can but I’ve hoped so much for so long and now I am an old woman. I can no longer have this kind of hope anymore even when the promise comes from the mouth of God. I can no longer go through the pain of disappointment again. I must guard my heart.” And so she laughed.
So many times I’ve thought that I heard from God; thought that I heard Him giving me a promise only to be disappointed. The only promise I know for sure came about four months before we started trying to expand our family. Our bible study had been going through the book of Genesis. I was doing my reading a few days before to prepare for the study. This week’s study was over the story of Abram and Sarai. As I began reading I was pressed upon my heart by the Holy Spirit. I knew deep in my soul that I was being told that we would struggle with having a child. God told me this for a reason, He knew that I needed to be prepared but regardless it has been a difficult pill to swallow. I remember I told my husband what God had revealed to me but he actually did not believe what I had to say. We hadn’t started trying so therefore we had no evidence that this was in fact true. I would like to think that 2 ½ years of trying unsuccessfully to have a child has proven otherwise. So when other people try to say hopeful things or I feel the stirring of hope in my heart, don’t be surprised if I say something unhopeful in return or even if I laugh.
(Notice that in this blog I kept the names of Abram and Sarai rather than the names they were given when God blessed them and made his covenant with them. Part of that blessing involved the message that Sarai would bear a son. Because I believe that my husband and I have not heard a similar blessing, I have chosen to leave their names as Abram and Sarai. Maybe someday that will change)