Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Pregnancy tests have apparently declared war on me, probably because of the 'spiting of the expired Clearblue Easy' this month. I just got an email from Early-Pregnancy-Tests.com. Oh the irony!

Call Me Mara...

Well I decided to not let the box of Clearblue Easy's leave our house unopened and used it today to test; three days before Aunt Flow is to show (on Thanksgiving of all days). I peed on them, just to spite them; if you can spite inanimate objects. Either way it felt good to get some sort of payback. Of course they were negative; they are always negative.

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.

She said to them, "Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. "I went out full, but the LORD has brought me back empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the LORD has witnessed against me and the Almighty has afflicted me?"
Ruth 1:20-21

Thursday, November 20, 2008


I have been dreading this month more than any other. That is because, tucked far back in our bathroom cupboard, is a pregnancy test. Back when we first started trying to conceive I naively ran out and bought a Clearblue Easy pregnancy test so that when the time came we would be prepared. I remember all the hope and anticipation that accompanied that purchase. With one small step it was supposed to start off our journey into the next phase of our lives. But as the one year mark crept up upon us without so much as a hiccup, we realized that our lives were headed in another direction. We were suddenly on the journey of infertility and that pregnancy test was pushed further and further back into the cupboard and out of sight.

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.

Turn Yourself to me, and have mercy on me, For I am desolate and afflicted. The troubles of my heart have enlarged; Bring me out of my distresses!
Psalm 25:16-17

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Officially Basted

Well we're back from our IUI and things went pretty great. The hub is a 'rock star' today because he had the best SA results of all three IUIs with clomid/hcg (I don't know the numbers from our first one because that was with our Ob/Gyn and they didn't do reports). So our IUI hx numbers are:

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
(TMI warning!!!)

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...

"...I will hope continually, And will praise You yet more and more."
Psalm 71: 14

Friday, November 14, 2008

Rubber Needles and Bandaids

So last night the hub had to give me my hcg injection. He did great the last time so I wasn't too worried. After the first IUI fiasco where I gave my self the injection and literally started spurting blood from my thigh, anything is better. Almost.

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

Egg Update

Well I'm back from my u/s to see how my egg stock is making out. Outcome:

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.

One Track Mind...

All I can think about is the fact that it's EGG CHECK DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

Side Note:

Last night my mom told me she had a dream that she took my old room and turned it into a nursery with all my old baby things because she needed it to watch her new grand-baby while I went to work. While I don't believe in signs I do know that one day this dream will come true whether its via my womb or the gift of adoption.

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.

"You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever."
Psalms 16:11

Survival Status: Unscathed

I was dreading this Saturday because I had to attend a baby shower for one of my coworkers who is due in December. She's just a few months older than I am, only married a little over a year and got pregnant 'by accident' while training for a marathon. While I could go into details about how unfair that is I won't since it's not going to be any help to my clomid-induced mental status.

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

Day 2 of Clomid - 3 More to Go

Did someone turn up the heat in here? My gosh I'm having a 'personal summer' not to mention a roaring migraine. I forgot the side effects from these things. I'm going to go shove my head in the freezer here in a moment. The best thing is I only have three more pills to go.

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

"I've got your back"

I have the best manager ever.

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

Back in the Saddle...or Should I Call Them the "Silver Stirrups"

So today I made the big phone call to the RE office. I'm starting my 50mg of clomid x 5 days on Wednesday and will be going in for my egg check on Thursday Nov 13th. That means we should be doing the IUI sometime between the 16-18 (Sun-Tues).

Sunday, November 2, 2008


After my post regarding AF's unexpected arrival I showered and headed off to church. Now I love our church. Ever since we started going there I've just been so impressed by the teachings. I feel like Jesus is standing up there on the stage half of the time and saying, "Hey listen to this! I wrote this just for you to hear." So consequently I'm moved to almost tears during about 90% of the services over the past year. This is very strange for me as I grew up a Baptist which is traditionally a very conservative denomination. We don't clap to songs (or even after a special music piece!), we don't raise our hands to worship music and the most rousing thing is when the older men in the back make a quick, "Amen." Since college, my husband and I have been attending non-denominational Churches which have a live band playing worship music, people clap, some raise hands, and you even get "hallelujahs" popping up every now and then. As you may suspect this has taken me some time to get used to and I'm much more comfortable now. But still, to be driven to tears almost every service is weirding me out a bit. I just don't "get emotional" in front of strangers.

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:

Fabulous! (with just a hint of sarcasm)

Well I just can't believe this is happening. So we get to sleep in an extra hour because its the annual "change you clocks back" day. I'm taking advantage of getting plenty of rest and lounging around in my pj's until I have to head off to our 11 o'clock church service. I start to realize that while I have persistently been feeling crampy for quite a few days now, this morning is feeling far worse than the last few. I contemplate maybe starting some ibuprofen a bit early this cycle to head off what I anticipate to be massive cramps. When what to my surprise...AF has made an unexpected early visit. Fabulous!

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.