Had a big scare this weekend. I started bleeding. It totally freaked me out, but I had a strange calm about it. It was like the beginning of my period, but no worse, and no clots. I called the doctor and she said to stay off my feet for the rest of the weekend, which I did. That is harder than I thought! Went to the office yesterday and today, and everything is looking really good. It was amazing to see my baby move and watch it's heartbeat. It became so real for me. I felt nothing but gratitude and huge love for this baby already. It was such a relief to see that baby up on that screen and see that it was doing well. She was like, "Hi mom! I'm OK, so don't freak out. See, I am moving and everything!" Amazing what they can already do at such an early age! It was really wonderful. Makes me want to get an US every week to see how the baby is progressing. I have a bad cold now I have to deal with. Not fun. And I don't want to take anything to help with the symptoms. I am already taking a daily medication, and I don't want to expose the baby to anything else. We will see how bad things get. I have been using a nasal saline rinse, which helps temporarily anyway. Hopefully it won't last long.
I love Christmas. I was thinking today how everyone's spirits are up and love really is in the air around this time. Everyone is wishing others a Merry Christmas, where otherwise maybe nothing would be said. The heart is just filled with love for your family and friends whom you share a life with. AND, the movies!! I love movies! There is always good ones on the TV, Christmas ones and non-Christmas ones. One of the best is A Christmas Story. It is hilarious. I think I know all the lines to the movie, and it still is funny to me. I watched White Christmas today too--such a good one. I always like the dancing in that movie. It was a great day today just lounging around with JJ, loving life. I am trying to not think about the fact that I have to work tomorrow on Christmas Day. Yuck. But the next day my family will celebrate Christmas, and I am really looking forward to that. Today I am 8 weeks pregnant. I still can't believe it (even though the nausea reminds me daily!) Every year at Christmas I have wondered if I will have a baby by next Christmas, and now I know I will. It is so wonderful. I am so grateful to God for this miracle, a Christmas miracle!
I can't believe it, but my jeans aren't fitting anymore! ALREADY?!! It makes me feel like a fatso. I find myself "sucking in" because my belly is bigger, but then I realize that maybe I shouldn't do that. I am trying to embrace it and take it as a good sign, but it just feels like I am gaining weight. And I am which is good. I lost weight there for a little bit, but have gained that back in spite of the nausea. It comes in waves and with no rhyme or reason. Some days are good, some are not. I have tried everything under the sun to help with it, and it helps...a little. It is such a weird thing, I feel really ill but grateful I am feeling it all at the same time. Yesterday I started crying because I felt so miserable, which led into more crying thinking how wonderful it was to feel miserable because that means things are going well. Such a weird place to be in! I am looking forward to my next US at my OB's office at the end of the month. I hope we get to see more this time, and not just a blob with a flicker inside it. JJ will be able to come, which I am glad about.
Merry Christmas too all of you!!! Hope your holidays are filled with joy, laughter, and hope--hope that next year will bring 2 lines for you too!
I'm in a difficult place right now. I am so excited for this baby and all the possibilities that it can be, but I find myself hesitant to write because I know some of you are longing for what I am experiencing now. I know that all to well, I longed for 3 years for this blessing. It is still hard to believe. So shouting it from the hilltops in this venue has been a difficult thing for me because I know. I know some of you won't read this blog anymore because it hurts to see someone else getting pregnant instead of you...again. I know you struggle with trying to stay positive and not get bitter and wonder, "why not me?"
I want you to know I won't hold it against you if you stop reading or visiting. I understand--I have done it myself. Know that I will still be praying for you that you too can experience the joy of seeing those two lines. Oh how I long for that for all of my fellow infertles!
I know I will still be visiting you and encouraging you because I know you need it. We all do no matter what we are going through. I will always be a part of this community that has been such a huge part of my life. I don't know what I would have done had it not been for this family. You mean so much to me. I must keep writing about where I am at at this very moment--trying to survive until second trimester. It hasn't been too fun yet! But the joy I have is amazing and I must let it out! I can't contain it, and I am sure it will spill out.
Stay strong and keep praying! God is in the business of miracles! I am living proof!
I went to Dr. RE today for the last time. They found the heartbeat right away and I fell in love in that very moment. It made it all very real for me (beside all the other things that clue me in--more on that later!) A huge weight has been lifted. Seeing the heartbeat reduced the chances of miscarriage greatly, so I am really excited about that. They officially released me to my OB today. It was bitter sweet saying goodbye to everyone in the office. I have come to know them so well, they are almost family. I thanked each of them for all they have done for us, and for believing it could happen. Dr. RE was wonderful too. She said it is hard because you grow attached but this is what you hope for, so it is hard to say goodbye. But it was also nice to think about not having to go back there, hopefully never again.
----- I feel like this little one is taking over my body in almost every aspect. Let's do this head to toe: #1 Pregnancy brain. I am still not sure if I was like this before and didn't notice or this has already kicked in. Example: The washing machine was filling up with water (already about half full) and I closed the lid and tried to start it up, only to realize then that it already is filling. Why my ears couldn't pick that one up is beyond me. #2 Acne. Always had a problem, but now it is worse. Thought that would get better. How about NO. #3 Food smells, and I usually don't like it. Makes my stomach churn. #4 I crave citrus. But now I am getting heartburn--already. So the two don't work well together. #5 My boobs are already huge, and now I already have grown a cup size. This is all I have left that I can see in bra sizes. I have a small band with relative to cup size, and I already have grown to the biggest cup size available for my width. This concerns me for the next 34 weeks, and how in the world am I going to find a nursing bra?!! (And don't even think about touching them! OUCH!) #6 Nausea. It sucks. It is worse when I need to eat. But I don't want to eat when I am nauseated. See the irony? #7 I particularly love sleep right now. But I can't sleep well. The other night--up at 3:15am--wide awake! 3:15 pm: taking a much-coveted nap. Maybe this is preparing me for the same when baby comes. #8 I feel like I have a grapefruit in my lower abdomen. This is not comfortable when I want to bend over. I know this will only get worse. #9 Pain. Still having it. Not as bad, more like cramps now, but still annoying. These get worse if I don't "take it easy". This is very hard for me to do. #10 Muscle cramps. I had a pregnant friend ask me if the cramps have started. I said no, then the next day I started getting them. Mostly in the calf, but I got one in my shoulder the other day. Not fun and I hope they stop.
If that isn't enough to clue me in something is going on in there, I don't know what would be! As uncomfortable as all that may make me, it is all good signs that the Lord has blessed me with a baby! And I couldn't be more happy! Keep growing little one!
I have become very aware of my uterus in the last couple of days. It feels like a hard apple that isn't flexible anymore. I can feel it when I bend over. It wasn't like that before. It is exciting for me because I am already starting to feel pregnant. I have been having tons of symptoms, but not anything I can feel that is growing in there, but now I feel it. Sometimes I think I am crazy since I am only 5 weeks along, and how could I really feel something already? But I know my body pretty well.
I am still having some sharp pain, but it is getting better. I just have to take it easy, which is hard for me. It is hard at work too when I have to ask other people to do things for me like move patients. I have to take breaks in between chores in the house too. But it is all for a good cause!
I feel so grateful for this little thing growing inside me. I just can't believe it is finally happening. I feel really good about it too. I have such a good feeling about this pregnancy, and I know that is from God.
I have been having some pain lately, like cramps and sharp pain in my lower abdomen, so I let them know today when I had my second HCG level. So the Dr. RE decided to do a US to make sure it wasn't an ectopic pregnancy. And here's what they found! That tiny dark dot is our baby! Right in the uterus like it should be. I was ecstatic to see that! I was surprised they could find something since it is so early. I can't wait to see the heartbeat now! It really feels real now, to see what is going on in there. I certainly feel like there is something going on, but to see it is wonderful. Thank you God.
I can't believe it but I am pregnant! Finally! We have waited for this for 3 years and it is finally happening! Beta today was 251!!! (Of course I cheated and took a HPT on Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday, all of which showed 2 lines! I have never seen that before--2 lines! When I saw that I was shaking, crying and dancing around then I would come back and look at it in disbelief.
We announced it to our family at Thanksgiving dinner and everyone was shocked and excited. It has been wonderful telling people what they have been praying for for years has finally come. Prayer works!!! Praise God. I am praying for all of you in the TTC world that it happens for you too!! Keep believing!
This 2 week wait is a little crazy, or maybe it's making me crazy. I am trying not to get my hopes up, but some things have emerged, but it may be explained so I'm not sure. Am I pregnant or getting ready to get my period? My hunch is yes I am preggo, but I have never been before, so I don't know for sure.
So Thursday was one week post IUI right around when the embryo would be attaching to the uterine wall. Around Friday my breasts began to get tender. So I thought well, it could be anything--don't read into it! Then I started getting more tired than usual and that hasn't stopped. Those could be I am getting my period.
But this morning I know for sure that I got a yeast infection. I was wondering for about 2 days, but now I know for sure. That is a little unusual. And it may be a sign of pregnancy. Or it may be from these stupid endometrin vaginal suppositories I have to use twice a day (that's my theory anyway.) I hate those things, and I can't wait until I don't have to take them anymore. They are smelly and I have to wear a liner everyday (and that's all the details I will share about that!) But you think I would have had all those symptoms a little earlier than this if all this was attributed to the endometrin. Do you see how my thoughts go round and round?!!
I really hope that I am. And you can believe that I will be testing at home for sure before my HCG Friday!
I can't believe I am even writing that we had an IUI. It has been so surreal. And so exciting. It has been wonderful to be excited about something for more than a day and not have it crashing down two seconds later.
This morning I woke up with such a peace. I thought I might be nervous and wondering if it was going to work, but I just had peace. I know it was from God. Everything went so smoothly. And it was over before I knew it. It was so nice to have JJ there in the office with me. It is so often that he is not. It was nice that we were still doing this together. We were even able to have some breakfast together which was nice. A calm relaxing peaceful morning. It was wonderful.
Now I have to come up with things to do during the dreaded 2ww. I test the day after Thanksgiving. Come on BFP!
I have a friend at work who keeps asking if I am "folliculating". It makes me laugh every time she says that. And now I can tell her I am folliculating!
Follie check today revealed I have a 16!!! I cried right there on the table when she said that. She was doing her usual stuff, click click, click click. Then all of the sudden she said, "Oh! Heather you have a 16! Finally!" I said, "Oh praise God! I can't believe it! Thank God!" I am so glad I have something to show for all of this. I really have been in some pain lately, and I was taking that as a good sign. And it was!! I grew like it is supposed to happen, not slow like I have been.
The plan is another dose of Menopur tonight, then trigger tomorrow night and IUI on Thursday! I can't believe this is finally happening! I could be pregnant in a week! I can't wait! Maybe I can ask for some maternity clothes for Christmas! If I get pregnant my due date will be August 31. Not excited to be way pregnant in the summer, but I'll take it - better than nothing! I wanted a summer birthday for my kids anyway.
We had an amazing service on Sunday. God really ministered to me, and I knew that He was doing a work in me, and He was going to make it happen. I had such a confidence going to the office today. I know this is happening because He is in control and He has done the work. I am so grateful to have the Lord in my life. I don't know what I would do without Him! Hallelujah!
Today was a busy day in the office. The waiting room was pretty full. It was amazing to me that you could feel the tension in the room, the terror of anticipation. What would this appointment bring? We all knew we had issues. I started to size people up, comparing myself to them in some freakishly weird way, thinking "she looks normal and she has a problem. Maybe I am normal too, I just can't ovulate." I found myself wondering what each couple's problem was--low sperm count, annovulation, premature ovarian failure, PCOS, recurrent miscarriage? What heartache in one small room, I thought. Then I thought, what potential for success! Potential for joy and laughter. These people will have a child, just like me. If they want it, no matter how it will happen, it will happen. It was quite exciting.
I needed that excitement going into this ultrasound. I was super nervous they would find 15 follies on each ovary or something, and that would be the end of this cycle and IVF is next. I stripped down and donned my paper skirt thinking (as I always do) how weird it is to have a wand shoved up my hoo-ha every other day--does it really take all this?! Today it hurt too. I don't know why, but it was painful. It's never comfortable, but today it outright hurt. Then she started measuring, which on me takes awhile with all that are available to measure. The verdict is: leading follicles have grown to 12. Growth good, slow growth disappointing. I still have a lot of others, but the leads are getting bigger. But my estrogen dropped from last week, but my LH is climbing, which means I may ovulate on my own prematurely, so they have to monitor closely. So I increase the Menopur tonight, and check again in a few days. Why did the estrogen drop I wonder?
I was so glad that she didn't cancel the cycle. We both want this to work! I think I would take it better if I grew good follies and didn't get pregnant than if I had to move on to IVF. I just want some of my own joy already!
Well, not so sure it is going to work without me creating several eggs. There are at least 4 on each ovary that are growing and the leading ones are only 10. This makes me a good candidate for IVF. I will continue the same dose until Friday's check and I would imagine if they all are still growing like that, it will be cancelled and plans made for IVF.
I saw my doctor again today, and she stopped in and talked to me when I was getting my blood drawn. She asked me how I was doing through all this, which was really nice. She was the first out of that whole office to ask. It was refreshing, especially after last appointment when the RN was showing me pictures of her newborn grandson! UHGG!
She said she was looking at how I stimulated the other cycles and said if I continue to do the same this cycle, we will have to move on to IVF. She said she really doesn't want to, but we also don't want a litter! Agreed wholeheartedly. I am really praying these leading follicles decide to take off on their own, and we won't have to go down that road. Everyone pray!!!
I have such hope (again!) for this cycle. We have hit the ovaries hard with a whopper dose of Menopur right from the start, and we are hoping they respond much better this time. Everyone in the office seems to think it is going to work. I am REALLY hoping they are right.
I started having some cramping last night, which made me excited. This is apparently a good sign things are happening in there. I have had even more today, and they are almost painful when they come - also makes me happy! I go in for an ultrasound and labs tomorrow. They wanted me to come in today, but I had to work. I am done worrying about what I am going to do with work and their requirements for me to come in. I am just trusting that it is in God's hands, and I am not worrying about it anymore. It was just a lot to worry about.
I had difficulty telling her I will not be in on Monday, but Tuesday at first, but once I said it, it felt right. She didn't know what to say at first, but then she just said she'll have to tell the MD. (Fine, that's not going to change the fact that I can't come in.) I am sure she has many women who bend over backwards to make the appointments they see fit (which to me is when it is convenient for them). Women wanting to follow things to the tee, of course, is understandable. But I can't keep stressing over whether they want me to come in on my working days, and they need to know that. I put my trust in God, who is in control of this thing anyway.
7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
On Sunday I was worshipping in church and I was thinking about this whole IF thing (as I usually do in church) and a peace that I can't explain came over me. These thoughts of "it's going to be OK" and "it will work out, no problem" kept rolling through my head. I had no more of the recurring thoughts I usually have like, "when is this going to happen" and "how much will I have to suffer until it happens-is it going to hurt any more than it does right now?" It was all just "it's going to happen, and you will survive, no problem, no worries." What a burden lifted-no worries. I have such a confidence now. A confidence in every aspect of it. I know this was from God, I have no doubts about it.
I am amazed at how easily it came, and even more amazed at how it has stuck with me. Now I know what JJ feels. I have always been confused at how peaceful he could be about this. How could he not feel as I feel? I tried to not let that get me upset at him, because it was his faith in God and what He was going to do, and how could I get mad at that?
I was shopping today, and I didn't have the usual thought I have like when I see a pregnant woman or walk by the baby clothes. All I could think was, "that's going to be me some day" "I will be shopping in this section soon." When usually I am turning my head and looking away, afraid of what it might trigger in me. I was shocked that's all I could think when I saw those images, "It will happen!"
At the end of the service, my pastor's wife came up to me with our guest speaker and asked if they could pray for me. She had a daughter in law that she prayed for for 10 years to have a baby, and she conceived and had 2 children. She laid her hands on my abdomen and prayed for children, not just one child, but children. She reminded me of the the verse in Psalm 113:9 "He settles the barren woman in her home as the happy mother of children." (emphasis mine) God said children, not child. What an encouragement! God I pray it sustains until your Word is fulfilled!
My meds came today and I am nervous. I am nervous this won't work. More importantly, if it doesn't, am I still going to be sane? Will I be OK? Will I still be able to function as a normal human being (whatever that is)? I'm nervous all this testing and follie checks I will need will interrupt my life and my work. I'm getting annoyed with it, really annoyed.
BUT, I am grateful. For my husband, the love of my life. He is my biggest supporter, and I know he will be with me again this cycle. For my home. We have a great home. It may not be the biggest or the flashy-ist, but it's ours and it's comfortable and it will fit our baby nicely I think. I'm grateful for my health. Yes, I have IF issues, but compared to what I see on a daily basis at work, my health is great-I credit God for that.
I am eternally grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ. He has saved me from the punishment for sin, he is an even bigger supporter than my husband, he loves me unconditionally, he cares about my situation. I KNOW he will give us children. I believe it will all my heart. God works best in impossible situations. This situation is no exception. How big is my God? He parted the sea, he made dead men rise, he heals cancer, he comforts those who mourn, he gives grace when we don't deserve it, he leads and directs us, he heals the barren woman. Do it God-show off! Show your glory so I can brag about you to everyone I know.
Follow up today, and not much growth. I have been doing injections for 15 days now-a long time to be stimming. So Dr. RE cancelled the cycle. Now I wait for my period which usually doesn't come on it's own these days. That means more waiting. I should be given a medal in waiting! Dr. RE said she is going to start me on a big dose of Menopur to start out next cycle and possibly decrease me if needed.
The nurse mentioned I would be a good candidate of IVF with all the follicles that were being stimulated and growing. That just threw me into a bad day. I mourned the cycle the rest of the day. I really felt a loss in the fact that it wasn't working like it should, and IVF may be what we have to go to. I pleaded with God to save the cycle or at least save the IUI concept. I didn't want to give up, I didn't want to quit yet because that means failure...again. Cancelled...again. It makes you think things like, is there something else I could have done, or maybe I shouldn't have done. The guilt sets in and eats away at you. I have to be careful to not let it. It can ruin who you are, what God is calling you to do. You just have to say, this is what is handed to me, and it's not because of you, it's not your fault. It just is.
This worship song came on when I was going to the clinic the other day. The lyrics were "It's all about you, Jesus. And all this is for you. For your glory and your fame." I applied that to what I have been doing, what I was so sick of doing by that point. I was reminded that God will get the glory through what I am doing. That is all I have ever wanted through all this. That is my motivation now. For His glory and fame.
It dawned on me that I have a lot of needles in my life right now: needles for blood draws, needles for the meds I am taking, and now acupuncture needles. That's a lot of needles! Then the thought that comes to me so often appeared again-has it really come to this? Are all of these needles really necessary just to get pregnant? I guess in my case, the answer is yes, and that doesn't make a girl feel too good about herself.
My doctor changed my medication to Menopur. I had another check today and there was "not much growth" after my first shot. I didn't even ask what the sizes were, because I didn't think it was going to be much being that I only took the new med the night before. That probably isn't much time to grow. Give them a chance-they are slow!
I am glad that I went to acupuncture today. I went to a place that specializes in holistic treatments for fertility. It felt good and I felt like I was doing something else about growing those things other than the stupid injections (I am so done with it!) Soon after it was over, I was getting some good cramping, which RE's office told me was a good sign. So I am glad about that, even though it isn't that fun. But I felt glad that maybe it was working. It was great to have someone know exactly what you were talking about when you were explaining treatments, etc. I have been to other acupuncturists who were too sure about what I was talking about, and it made me nervous they may needle me in a place that wouldn't be good for someone trying to get pregnant. This place knew what they were doing, that is for sure, and that made me feel good. If any of you are considering it and live in the Chicago area, they are called Pulling Down the Moon www.pullingdownthemoon.com .
I go back to RE in a couple days, hopefully to find some big follies! I would really love for them to tell me I can trigger that night-I would be so excited!
Feeling down today. I am not getting the growth that I wanted, and it is freaking me out. My lead follicles are only 11, when they were 10 on Monday and today is Thursday (CD 12). The many others I have have grown to 10. I don't have results of my estrogen level yet, or instructions on what to do next, waiting for that phone call. I am guessing my estrogen is still low, looking at the ultrasound. They keep mentioning about how I have so many follicles. I already know I have a lot, hence the polycystic ovary syndrome! I don't need them to keep telling me that, it makes me feel like I am a freak or something. I need encouragement from them-is that so hard to ask?
So today when I was home, I put my iPod on and put some music in my ears. I find it therapeutic to walk, dance or sing to some of my favorite songs. Some songs you can't help but move to. It changes your mood a bit maybe even for just a little while. I think I should do that more often. It blows off some steam so it doesn't wear on you physically, which is a big problem for me. Plus I don't want to make anyone else feel miserable.
I was asking God what to do today because I feel like I have to do something (or maybe not do something) to make these stupid things grow. But is trusting Him mean I don't do anything about it? That's been a big question I have had for years now. In infertility, what does trusting God with your situation mean? Does it mean you wait and not do anything and hope for the best (just like those precious infertile women in the Bible)? Or does it mean you do everything in your power to make it happen, including ART? Did God invent ART?
The control freak in me wants to do something, it helps with the waiting too I think. But am I angering God in doing that? Is it showing a lack of faith, which is something He is not too fond of? Maybe if I fast, I will feel like I am doing something and it's spiritual-but is that the wrong attitude to fast in? All of that mind twisting self talk is driving me a little bonkers. Sometimes I don't even want to pray because I can't get a straight answer on what to do, and that's what I want to know most of all-which is so frustrating!
I made an appointment to do infertility acupuncture tomorrow. I decided to do something and see if it helps. It makes the human side of me feel better. Plus I have had acupuncture before, and believe it can make a difference. It magically brought on periods for me before, maybe it can help bring a baby too. I will pray when I am getting needled. Maybe that will make the spiritual side of me feel better. ha ha!
Went in for a check today. There are 4 follicles at 10, but my estrogen didn't change hardly at all. So the follicles have gotten bigger from 8. So another increase in the Bravelle. That makes 3 vials now. It takes me (what seems like) a long time just to draw it up! I am so done with the injections now. I asked the nurse if it is a bad sign that I am not responding to these doses. She said no, my ovaries just need the equivalent of a caffeine boost, they need extra help. That made me feel better, I was worrying about my chances not being good if I need to keep increasing it.
It doesn't help the bad attitude I had this afternoon when I had to deal with the nurse sending the refill into the wrong pharmacy. Then I had to deal with insurance--AGAIN. I am so sick of things going wrong with all this, especially insurance. I gave them an earful today. They said it was coded wrong. Again, can everyone please just do their job properly so I can stay sane? Don't mess with a woman on hormones! I will find you and hurt you!
To all of you in the blogosphere, my husband JJ says hi!
Went in at the crack of dawn for ultrasound and bloodwork. My uterine lining is thicker (I could tell on the US, I don't think I have seen it that thick before, but what do I know?) and I have about 7 follies that are responding. But my estrogen level didn't budge, so I am doubling my dose of Bravelle. Yikes! I am so freaked about feeling like crap on this. Or turning into the wicked witch. But so far I have just had some minor GI issues. I won't go into any more detail than that! I did have it out with the toaster the other day. It burnt my bagel and I just had to yell at it. "If I wanted it black, I would have put it on the black setting you stupid thing! Arrrg!"
So somehow I have to get more meds by Monday evening. The pharmacy called and said it will be there by Tuesday. "NO, I said I need it by Monday evening." Then she said, "Well it's the weekend, and we don't ship on the weekend." "So then courier it on Monday like you have done before." Ahh, MAKE IT HAPPEN lady, I need it by Monday evening. Don't ruin this for me! "Let me put you on hold while I speak with my supervisor." Then she came back and now magically they can send it over the weekend! Wall-ah! Isn't that marvelous how that works? Come on people just make this a little more easy for me, PLEASE?!!!
I am so glad that I am not working on Monday when I have to go in again. So far I haven't had to worry about that. That is a big part of the stress of all this! (Among dealing with stupid people!)
I keep going back and forth over whether to do timed intercourse or IUI. In many ways, I want this to be as natural as possible. We said we would do the least interventions first. Plus we haven't actually seen if it works when I actually ovulate. But then I think of my tipped uterus and how the whole team keeps referring to my "IUI cycle" and I have to remind them that it's timed intercourse. "OK, yeah" is the response I get as they study their computer screens and not me. It would increase my chances they have told me. And what if I didn't get pregnant? Would I be saying maybe it would have happened if I did IUI? I know I would be saying that. I also hate to put JJ through that also. It just stinks. He would have to miss work, and do what he needs to do-yuck. But I know he would do it for our family.
Today I had my baseline ultrasound and labs, and everything looks like it's a go. The nurse asked if I had the consents with me and I totally forgot about it. The problem is we both have to be there for them to witness us signing them, so coordinating that was becoming difficult. Then eventually I forgot about them. Then she said I can't start until we get those signed. I had a little freak out in the office. Another setback??!!
Then I realized JJ was working close to the office today. He hasn't worked in that area for awhile, so the chances of that happening were slim. So I called him, and he happened to be driving very close to the office. He was able to stop by and sign with me within about 10 minutes of calling him! If that isn't God, I don't know what is!
The other thing that we praised God for was that I finally had no balance at the office. I have been waiting for what seems like a lifetime for insurance to pay them, and it was becoming embarrassing every time I was there saying that they should be paying any time now. Other than dealing with infertility, dealing with this insurance thing has been the most stressful thing I have had to deal with.
So I injected myself this evening for the first time. Luckily it was a small needle, so the poke was not bad at all. It did sting when it went in, and I can tell something happened there now, but it doesn't really hurt. It was weird mixing and drawing up my own medication. I am used to doing it for other patients, not me. I had to just not think about what I was doing so I could just do it really quick. I couldn't give myself time to think about it or I think I would freak out. I decided to do the injections in the room where our baby's room will be when he or she comes. I don't want it all out in the open as a constant reminder, and I want to know that room is good for something right now. I can tell the baby later what I did in that room so they could be a part of our family.
I am really hoping this will work for us. I am so ready for it to happen. Next month marks 3 years of trying for a baby for us. Not a good anniversary, but hopefully we can get some good news next month, instead of thinking about what October means for us. I still trust in you Lord; I know you can do it!
Has it really come to this? Do I really need to inject myself with drugs to get pregnant? I think I am still in shock. I am still surprised that it takes all of this to get a baby. I had a feeling it might take a little more effort than most, but this is ridiculous. I wonder what these powerful meds will do to my body. As a nurse, I see side effects from meds all the time. I even give more meds to help with the side effects of them. How will this effect me? Clomid was hard this time around. I really felt not good. I am hoping I feel much better on these than that last round of Clomid. I am not expecting I will feel like myself, but no more headaches please. Those were not fun. Oh God make this work-it's in your hands, I trust in you.
Back from our mini break. It was nice to just focus on JJ and his family, and not have to think about anything IF related. It was great. We did have our phone consultation with Dr. RE on Friday morning. It went well. She asked how I felt on the Clomid and I told her how I felt like crap. (I am still wondering why she asked this.) Then she said, take a pregnancy test, if negative, start Provera to get your period and then we will do injectables. She said she is sure I will ovulate, but is concerned about me overstimming. It was great to hear her confidence that it will work. She kept talking about how we don't want triplets, and I reassured her that we don't want that either. Twins, OK. Triplets, no. It's not fair to the babies, and the chances of me having to do bedrest and all that is greater, and I can't afford that in many ways. It also means time in NICU which I definitely don't want.
So I start the Provera tomorrow after the test, which I would be shocked if it were BFP. Then I call and get more instructions. To the future!
I drove all the way in stop and go traffic to hear, "Why are you here, Dr. RE cancelled your cycle." WHAT?! I was in shock. I couldn't even speak. I was excited to see what kind of growth I had and bam! Got punched in the gut. NO ONE CALLED ME!!!!! I felt like screaming and crying at the same time. The nurse just sat there reading off what the doctor put in the computer--I don't care what that screen says, NO ONE CALLED ME. I said, "That sucks I drove all the way down here for nothing." And that comment finally garnered an apology. Then the thoughts of all I went through to stay with this office came, then I just got really angry. I miss MY doctor and nurse. The nurse got transferred to another office and my doctor is on maternity leave, of all things.
I guess the growth they saw was not fast enough (why does that matter, I don't know) and my estrogen dropped, which signals the ovaries pooping out. "So you are cancelled." (Please stop saying that word.) All the headaches, cramps, and sharp pain were for nothing. I am so nervous about what the injectables are going to make me feel like.
So she said Dr. RE wants a consult with me this week because you are cancelled. (There it is again.) Sorry, going on vacation. I have an appointment next week. As she was writing "CANCELLED" across my paperwork, whiting out US and labs, she said, "Dr. RE said she wants it this week because she just cancelled you." There's that punch in the gut feeling again. It sank in now. I wanted to break down and cry right then and there. Then I said well, she is going to have to call me because I am going to Minnesota. Then she said, "Oh, it's going to be cold!" Thanks for that. Thanks for adding insult to injury. Don't you dare ruin my vacation too! YOU SUCK as a nurse! Where is your compassion?
I left the office and went into the bathroom and balled my eyes out. I have never done that before, but I closed the door and let it all out. I had to. I felt like I was going to explode if I didn't. All the disappointment, anger, and frustration ended up on the yards of toilet paper I used to gather my tears and snot.
I am looking forward to the phone consultation on Friday. She certainly is going to hear what happened. Hoping that we can communicate well and figure out the next step. I am done fooling around, let's get to it. It's time.
I really wasn't looking forward to yet another US and possibly more disappointment. Could it really still be working? Apparently yes, even this late in my cycle I can have follies grow! I have 2 at 12, the largest I have ever seen them. When she was doing the US, I wasn't even looking, then she started doing a lot of measurements, and I perked up thinking, "She must see something!" Then she turned the screen and there they were, and they looked huge! I think I am acting just like a PCOS-er, ovulating (hopefully) late. So I have to go back in on Monday, but I have to work, and I can't push my luck over there. I already talked to my boss and came in later on Friday which put everyone in a pickle. It is hard when you are a nurse, and they expect you to be there on time and take a patient assignment. Plus, when I got there later, the whole day I was behind. So I am off Tuesday and I will go then. I have decided not to worry about it, but just trust God that if it is going to work this time, those follies will still be there Tuesday and be nice and big and everything will work out. And if it isn't supposed to be this round, then that is what will be best for us. (Oh but do I hope it does work out this round!) Ya-hoo!
I went in for US and bloodwork today to put the nail in the coffin on this cycle. I have one follie at 10, that's it. The nurse said the doc will probably cancel this cycle. Then she called me later and said the doc wants me to take 50 mg Clomid for another few days and come in and check again on Tuesday. I was already kissing this cycle goodbye, but renewed hope! I had such big hopes for this cycle, and to see that nothing was happening was very discouraging. But I am so glad that there is still something we can do this cycle!
I think I have to stop listening to the nurse, and wait to see what the final say is from the bloodwork and the doctor until I start giving up hope based on what she says.
The follies have not grown. My lining grew a little. Big whoop, I think this cycle is a no-go. The nurse called and gave me the news, and told me to stop taking the estrogen. My ovaries are huge, and have more follicles, but they are small ones and numerous, and she explained that might be why I am having pain. And that means no exercising. I hope I don't gain any more weight! I will do a final check on Thursday just to make sure things still aren't growing, then on to injectables next cycle.
I really am disappointed. I had really high hopes for this to work this time. I don't know why, Clomid hasn't done it for me in the past. It is just a lot to go through between the meds, hormones, hormone side effects (I have been crying at everything), and trying to coordinate work with follie checks. And now more waiting to do it all again! UHGG! Why does God test us in the areas we are the most terrible at? I am an inpatient person, so this waiting stuff gets on my nerves! Oh Lord, teach me to be more patient (but can you teach me the easy way?)
I woke up early and couldn't go back to sleep. I kept thinking what if they don't see anything? What if they see a lot of follies? Basically I am freaked about it not working this first time around. I am freaked that this is going to drag on and on and I am going to have no hair left from pulling it out!
So we went in and did the ultrasound and they saw 2 follicles, at size 8 and 9. LITTLE guys. Darn! I was really hoping for a little more than that, especially taking 150 mg of Clomid. But I kept telling myself, "Hey, it's only day 11. They will grow (hopefully)." Then I got my bloodwork and waited for the phone call. They called me at 3:55 pm and I couldn't answer the phone until 3:59 pm. The message went a little something like this,"Hi, this is nurse so and so, and Dr. RE wants you to start taking estridiol tablets tonight and over the weekend because your lining is thin. I need the number to your pharmacy. Please call me before 4pm, that is when we close, and we aren't open on weekends." WHAT?!!! It's Friday! I happen to be driving down the road going away from the office. I call the office, of course it goes to voicemail. I am thinking OMG, this cycle is going to be gone-ruined! I try to call again and the message says "Sorry we are closed." OMG! I whipped the car around and thought maybe I could catch them before they leave the office. As I am speeding through a work zone, I am thinking, " This is exactly the stuff that I wanted to avoid. I wanted to stay sane through this!" As I pulled into the complex I saw half the staff pulling out. OMG! I ran to the office and it was lights off and locked. What am I going to do? Then I thought, I don't care, I am paging the doctor, I am calling the answering service. Surely she is still in the office, it just closed 10 minutes ago! So I called, and of course they put me on hold for what seemed like ages and they were able to patch me through to the office after much begging.
I will certainly be talking to them in person about calling someone 5 minutes before they close and telling them they need to get a hold of you because you need to take a medication. They knew my lining was thin this morning and you are calling me now? On top of that, my original Dr. RE is on maternity leave of all things until October and my nurse I have been working with is changing to another office. Great-all new people to work with now. That stinks! Oh please follies grow so I don't have to go through this junk for long!
I am excited for the future. I had my US yesterday along with bloodwork. The nurse said my US looks good (glad the surgery took!) and she expects my labs will be OK to start. I started Clomid today. She feels pretty sure I will have to do the Ovidrel injection too. Then progesterone (I am hoping it isn't PIO but the suppositories.) Of course I am working when my next appointment needs to be, so I am praying I find someone to switch days with me.
My sister so generously has offered to let me use her baby equipment. That is really going to help out-that stuff can be expensive. I have already brought some of it home as a step of faith. I know we will have children, it's just the when and how that is in question. I would hate for that stuff to just sit there for a long time. I know I don't want to look at it for that long, that's for sure. I still struggle with looking at the baby stuff in the stores, even though I have faith it will happen. I find myself wanting to look, but when it happens to be there, I turn my head. I think I am afraid of the emotions I may feel. I am tired of those, and they are hard to face-it can be exhausting. It's easier just to avoid it. I often wonder if, when I know for sure a baby is coming, whether I will still have those feelings, or will it go away immediately. I have a feeling it might take some time. Can't wait for it though, really can't wait!
Praise God, insurance is paying for everything! (As they should!) I can continue to see Dr. RE. The wait is over. What a relief! Monday I have an ultrasound (I think by the time this is all over I will have had hundreds of those!) and blood tests. Then I start Clomid and possibly Ovidrel. I am hoping and praying that it takes the first time. No overstim, no understim, no multiples! I wouldn't mind twins so much, but triplets would be really hard. It's not fair the the babies-they definitely would be premature and the stress of that would be hard. Plus I know it would be hard at work, and I really want to work right up to delivery so I can spend the most time with them after. It would really stink to waste my maternity time on bedrest before they come.
I found out if it works this round, I will be due around Mother's Day! It would be so wonderful to deliver on Mother's Day. My husband was born on Mother's Day too. (He may have to share a birthday!) What a wonderful gift to get on that day-our heart's desire! I also would love the fact that I wouldn't be major pregnant in the Chicago summer heat-I would miss it completely. Love that thought!
I just can't wait for it all. I can't wait to tell the good news of what God has done in our lives!
Since this big debacle with insurance not paying, it has been an emotional roller coaster. The waiting has been the worst part of it I think. But I recently have been getting some paperwork from them saying they have paid the doctor. Now I just need them to pay the hospital for my surgery, and we are golden! ( That is the biggest expense.)
Either way, with the insurance change, I will be able to stay with my doctor. It would have broken my heart to switch. Just the paperwork alone to start with a new doctor would have been ridiculous. The new insurance begins August 1, which means I could be taking the meds and start monitoring in a few weeks!!! I am totally excited about that. The meds have just been sitting in the fridge torturing me because I was working out this whole thing.
This was a major bump in the road to motherhood, and I have often wondered if God heard me-if He was in tune with what I was going through. I stopped today to think about it, and I realized He has given me signs that He has been there with me (that He is there for me.) Things like a sermon I listened to, encouragement and hugs from family and friends, reminders of His promise to us for children (however that may happen.) When His people were in the desert, He gave them daily provision in the form of manna and quail, and that was a daily miracle! But they were still in the desert, He allowed them to experience the desert. Do I ever feel like I am in a desert! I hope I am learning in it though, that my character is being exercised, and that it is growing. I hope that I don't become that "bitter infertle" I so often read and listen to. Do I understand the rants? YOU BETCHA (read some of my older posts)! But I can't let this change me for the worse.
I want to be the person going through infertility who wants to invest in the children in her life currently, who can be excited for a friend who is pregnant or who just had a baby. Sometimes it's hard, I would be lying if I said it wasn't. But the last thing I want to happen is let these years pass me by and regret what kind of person I was. And I know God will still be with me no matter what.
I am trying to figure out how do deal with stress. I keep reading about how IF is considered one of the most stressful things to go through, but I don't want to believe it, or I don't want it to "get" me. If it "gets" me, then I am not strong, and if I'm not strong, it may beat me. That's how I feel-beat up. But I can't figure out how to deal with it. I don't feel particularly overwhelmed all the time, but my body is certainly giving me other signs. The biggest one being that my sleep is just almost worthless lately. I actually physically jerk all night long. I fear that I will have to add another medication to the list (besides the stupid Ambien I already take). I have been trying to avoid that because hopefully I will be pregnant soon, and the less meds, the better (none would be great). I wonder though, if this "sleeping disorder" I have been diagnosed with is part of the anxiety disorder I have been trying to deal with. I know a lot of PCOS-ers deal with that.
I think I may be in some denial about the anxiety I feel, thinking that if I do x,y,z, then it will be better. Or maybe if I switch up the order I do things, or maybe I have to do them all that day at a certain time of the day. Then I wonder is worrying about that going to make me insane?!! Or cause me to have more anxiety? OH MY GOSH!
I have been wondering if the increased problems lately have been from this whole insurance debacle. But lately I have been receiving things hinting towards a good outcome, so you think that I would be less stressed about it. But it has caused us to wait even longer to start with the meds and monitoring. Can waiting make you stressed? I think unfulfilled dreams can. I think knowing you are destined for something and feeling like it's late in coming can. I need an intervention! I need a miracle.
I recently found out that my insurance is changing. I temporarily freaked out, because I thought the worst-now I definitely have to change doctors. I have to catch myself and remind myself to think of the possible positives first! So I thought, until you find out information, there is no sense in thinking anything. But it was on my mind all weekend.
I just sent an appeal letter to my current insurance company regarding payment for my currently RE. I tried to go at it from an emotional as well as a right down to business point-the point that they messed up. I can only hope that it works. It is currently my only hope in the matter.
Today I called to see if my current RE will be "in network" in my new insurance, and they assured me that she is. Great! Now if only I can believe them. This is the problem I ran into last time. I do find it reassuring that so far they say she is, now I have to get my new card and check it against the internet site to see what it says. But the crazy thing is, they can say that, and turn around and say later that she isn't and then you are in a battle. I think that's what they want, is a battle and they hope you get battle weary. Believe me, if it wasn't so much money, I think I would get battle weary. I often think it might be easier to give up sometimes.
Now I have these medications staring at me everyday, waiting to help. I really can't wait to take them and see what happens. It is a hefty dose of Clomid (tried other doses before), then the trigger Ovidrel if needed. I needed to put them away today-shoved the Ovidrel to the back of the fridge and the Clomid in a closet. It seems like a tease right now, especially knowing I have to wait even longer now. Gosh, I think that is the hardest part, the waiting and the not knowing. Not knowing if this is going to work, and if it doesn't, what is the next step? Can I deal with needing to go the next step? Do I want to?
I set up a day for my injectable to be delivered, and I got really excited for this to finally be underway. So far I haven't been active in the RE thing, just some Clomid and hoping for the best. I wasn't monitored or anything. So I feel like this is going to be the real thing, like we are really getting full into it now. I have been approaching this with some apprehension, I didn't want to get my hopes up and be utterly disappointed. The worst would be to not see any follies at all, although I don't want to be overstimmed also. But I really am hopeful.
I just need the insurance to agree to pay. That has been so hard to wait and see if they are going to agree to pay for the testing/surgery already done and the future things to be done. I thought I did what I needed to do to have this covered, but apparently I didn't do it correctly. Someone from the billing office in the clinic called me and told me he talked with insurance and explained how they are contracted with them and it should be covered and how they are going to resubmit it. This is some progress in the right direction. I realize the blessing I have in being covered 100% for infertility. So many don't have any coverage at all, and have to pay out of pocket. I couldn't imagine it. We couldn't do all this without coverage, that's for sure. We have to be active in supporting legislation for coverage in all states.
I know it is going to happen, just how and when is the question. The BIG question. I just have to stay positive and hope for the best!
I am finally feeling better, back to my old self again. I am currently trying to find the motivation to get back into the gym. I am excited I feel like I can do that again. It took way too long to recover from surgery. Now I am waiting to finish the pack of BCP's and then try the Clomid and Ovidrel. I have to say, I love being on BCP's. My skin is better, I feel better--it's amazing how when you get your hormones straight, you feel good! I can only hope this continues when I am pregnant. When I am pregnant--that sounds weird. I am saying "when" in faith!
I really hope that it happens in the first round. This year has been so hard. I am not sure I could take it if it didn't work fairly quickly. I feel like I could have a nervous breakdown. I had a mini breakdown the other day. This insurance thing is really taking me for a ride. I spoke with a billing rep at my doc's office and he said he spoke with the insurance co. stating that they are contracted with them, and they should resubmit the claims. He said it should take about 2 weeks to be resubmitted. In the meantime, I wait and pray and hope that they accept them and pay for them. Otherwise we are in the hole about $4,000. Something we were not prepared for. Ahh insurance, you love 'em and you hate 'em!
I can't believe it, but I am still trying to recover from this stinkin' surgery. I saw Dr. RE on Thursday, and she was surprised too. As long as things aren't getting worse, then everything is OK she said. But since my uterus doesn't seem to like what happened, I have to wait longer until we start treatment.
Longer. Wait. WHAT?!! I feel like all I have been doing is wait. I am so done with waiting. And to top it off, I may have to switch doctors. I am so upset about this, I just want to vomit. I contacted my insurance asking them why they aren't paying, and they said she isn't "in the network", which is a necessity if they are to pay. I checked, and she was in network, on one of them. They need to be in "both", meaning on my hospital's network also. How I am supposed to know this is the mystery. I know they just don't want to pay. The kicker is, I called them a couple weeks ago about this issue, and they said that she was. And the weird thing is, her colleague in the same large practice in a city a lot farther is in both networks. Go figure. So now I may have to pay a huge amount we weren't prepared to pay, and that included this recent surgery. I am freaking out just a little.
I think I am more upset about being in the middle of treatment and possibly having to switch and wait even longer. Lately it seems as if everything is working against us with this trying to get pregnant thing. It makes me want to throw in the towel sometimes. Maybe that would be easier. It just gets difficult to stay positive all the time. It really takes some effort. Oh God give me the strength to get through this!!
I couldn't sleep last night. I was having some back pain and that sparked the typical sleep issues I have. As exhausted as I was, I decided to try and read. I have been making my way through the Old Testament recently and I came across the story of the waters of Marah being healed in Exodus. When the Israelites came to the waters at Marah, they couldn't drink it because it was bitter. But the Lord made the water sweet and drinkable. As I was reading the story, what struck me was that before this miracle, it says that "For three days they traveled in the desert without finding water." (Ex. 15:22) If you aren't drinking anything for three days, you are very thirsty. Actually you need water soon, or you won't live much longer. God was the one leading them through the desert, and yet no water for them. Why?
I believe God had them in this situation so they could come to a place of desperation. They were dry, they needed Him to come to their rescue. I have felt dry myself so many times in this journey. I am the one who feels desperate for a miracle, wanting God to show up and do His thing--what I know He can do. The waters of infertility are bitter, just like those waters at Marah. But God made them sweet. He healed the waters. He declared, "I am the Lord, who heals you." (vs. 26) I believe He brings us to a place where we need Him to heal us. He wants us to recognize that we are dry without His intervention, without His healing. Once God touched those waters, they were sweet. May He make our stories so sweet with His healing touch.
I have to admit, it was nerve-wracking. I was surprised about the nervousness that I felt. I felt it the day before, but the actual day I felt fine. I had a peace that I could not explain. I knew yesterday that it would be OK.
We had to wake up at 4:30 am to get the hospital on time. When we got there, they had me change into a gown and try to stay warm with that and a small blanket. Then the question came: "Could you be pregnant, do we need to take a test?" Uh, no. "Are you sure?" Yes. (I wanted to say, "Pretty sure lady, that's why I am here. And on top of me not being able to get pregnant, Dr. RE put me on BCP's to thin my uterine lining so, no, not pregnant and don't ask me again and please pass it on to everyone else, cuz I know they are going to ask me too.") I knew it would just be one more thing on the bill that I would have to fight with insurance for. (SOOO sick of doing that!)
Then the IV, right in the hand. OUCH. They like putting what I like to call "hoses" in you before surgery. They let that IV bag run dry by the time they moved me to "holding", so my bladder was ready to burst, which is what Dr. RE wanted. Then the RN with the happy juice med that makes you not care about anything came in and gave me "the stuff" into the hose. Why do they do that before the Dr comes in? By the time she came in, I didn't care what they were going to do, and I forgot all my questions for her. I didn't remember them until I got home!
Then came the OR. They wheeled me in, put oxygen in me, and I don't remember anything after that. Nice. That's what I wanted. I don't want to remember any of it.
Dr. RE told JJ it was just one fibroid. She gave him some pictures. It looks relatively small. I am glad to get that little sucker out of there and she was able to do it all vaginally.
I woke up in my room in pain, a pain I haven't experienced before. It was sharp and in my lower abdomen and vagina, and I wanted it gone. I also felt like I had to use the bathroom, but I knew it was too soon to get up. I felt though, that if I went, it would relieve some of the pain. I had to wait for that though. The nurse gave me some pain medicine, and that helped a little so I could go back to sleep. Then I woke up and thought my bladder was going to explode. So the nurse helped me up, and I felt much better after that. Some more sleeping, and more meds happened until I was awake enough to drink (finally--and it relieved my terrible breath JJ said I had) and eat and then go home.
It was good to be home. I slept for a few more hours. I had pain the rest of the day, but it was tolerable with just some ibuprofen. It got annoying towards the end of the day, but today I hardly have any. I think I can get back to work tomorrow--back to real life again.
I have a follow up visit next week where I am sure that we will discuss the next step. I am hoping I won't have to wait several months or something. I am hoping we start right in on it. I am done waiting!! Baby here we come!! (Oh Lord make it happen on the first try!)
Oh how I love ICLW week! I just want to thank those of you who stopped by and gave me a cyber hug with all your wonderful comments. It is so refreshing to know there are people out there who understand and care. As you know, it can be difficult sharing with people in the "fertile world". They just don't understand, and I don't expect them to (although a little sympathy and compassion doesn't hurt anybody.)
I have had a great time visiting your own blogs and sharing in your journey also. The joys and pains, the rants and raves--I love it all. How blessed are we that we can share with each other? I am so glad I am a part of this group--a group that knows what pain is, that knows grief, heartache, loss. We also know joy, encouragement, learning lessons (hopefully!), empathy for others, and love. I think we are great at loving each other, which is going to make us great parents some day!
So I say keep up the good work people! And a huge cyber hug right back at ya!
JJ and I were talking the other day about how our marriage is actually surviving this IF thing. He was saying how it is hard for him to understand how some marriages have difficulty or don't last through it. I told him I can totally see it. Especially if your hormones are out of wack when you are taking meds, or whenever you have sex, all you can think of is, "Is this the time we are going to conceive?" or "Why isn't this working for us?" That can put a strain on a marriage.
But ultimately, I think it is about your attitude. I believe you ultimately choose your attitude about things. Yes, things can be difficult. The frustration and questions of why will forever haunt you. But after the cry and anger, you have to ask in the end if you are going to to choose to learn from this and take it as something that is making you stronger. I am constantly reminding myself that this is going to make me a better person if I let it, and ultimately a better mother. Isn't that what we are striving for, motherhood (and being good at it)? If we are choosing motherhood, don't we want to be the best that we can be? And if we let this get us, I don't think we will survive motherhood well. It is definitely a challenge, just like marriage. I would like to think that this is an opportunity that a lot of other mothers (or people for that matter) have not had. My wait, as hard as it is, is preparing me for what's ahead, and many have not had that opportunity. I often wonder if I will have a more fulfilling parenting experience than the others will ultimately have.
I heard something today in church that really sums up the hard things we go through. The guest pastor said, "A faith sandwich doesn't taste very good, but it is really filling." I was thinking, if all you focus on is the taste, it won't be filling, because you won't eat it. But what if you choose to eat it and you get filled? In the end, you will be satisfied. God will not let you be empty. He has us going through this for a reason, but we have to choose to learn, have a good attitude, and become better people.
Went in to Dr. RE's to get more blood testing to see if I have ovulated. Uh, der! I could have told you I didn't without the expensive blood work. That's been the difficulty with getting pregnant, you kinda need to O, and I don't. So it's provera for me to get a period, then birth control pills to thin my lining, then surgery.
I am already SO done with all the blood work. I think between all the testing I recently had to rule out epilepsy and every other disease and the current infertility issues, I have given my weight in blood. The lady taking my blood today asked me if I drank water before I came in to "puff my veins out". I told her yes, just to make her more comfortable. But my kidneys work good, so doing that won't work, sorry lady. She asked if I have had blood taken a lot, and then she looked at my vein that everyone likes to poke and she said, "Oh yes you have! You ladies always need to give a lot of blood." Hey, let's not comment on anything, OK? I realize I have scars to remind me of all the testing I have gone through. Just get the blood quickly and relatively painlessly and don't talk. You can ask me about the weather, and that's about it.
They should make it a requirement that those who don't know what is going on with you shouldn't say anything. I am beginning to think those stupid things at work about "scripting" are really needed for some people. How can you teach good manners to someone? You can't. But you can ask them to memorize what to say. I always thought that was ridiculous, but recently I am realizing some people need it.
Unfortunately not everyone in healthcare has been through something major with their health. I personally think that every one of us should be a patient before we treat other people. Going through all of this has taught me empathy for my patients. I have learned how to speak in their language. Because if you are scared, you need simple terms, definitely not medical talk. You need someone to hear you and not talk at you. You just need someone loving. I strive for that every time I am at someone's bedside. For that learning experience I am so grateful. I know I am a better nurse for it.
Mother's Day. It has been a difficult day for me for years now. I am usually at church that day, and the whole stinkin' service revolves around mothers, children, etc. It is really hard to sit through. There are wishes of "Happy Mother's Day" everywhere, gifts given to all the women, and kids specials. The worst is getting the gift. I don't take it. It is a reminder of the day. And everyone is asking me why I didn't take it and I don't want to be a downer and tell them why. I am sure they might think I am a little over the edge.
Luckily, I have to work tomorrow, and for that I am grateful. It will keep my mind off it. If I didn't have to work, I am sure that I would be staying home. I don't think I can take it anymore. I can't take baby showers anymore either, which I really hate. I had a friend at work recently who had a shower, and I had to explain to her why I wasn't going to come. It hurt to miss it, I wanted to support her. But it hurts even more to see all that baby stuff. Just can't handle it. I have to work up a hard shell to go shopping for them too. I find doing it online to be a lot better. I can click on what I want and send it to them. That way I don't have to spend 20 minutes in the baby section trying to find what they have registered for-pure torture.
I can't wait to celebrate Mother's Day again, when I am a mother. Until then, it is going to be the hardest day of the year.
This past week I was at work and the dreaded question was asked (as it frequently does), "Do you have children?" Which is of course is a no, then they usually say something like "why not, you should", etc. I have the privilege of interacting with a lot of people being a nurse and I am frequently asked the question and it is a heart-wrenching conversation that follows.
This day was a bit different. I was asked the question and I simply said no. Sometimes that stops further questioning, mostly not. People need details I guess. After the no response my patient's wife said, "Well don't wait to try, you should do it now." I was flabbergasted! What does she know? Well turns out she knows from experience. Her and her husband married later in life and she went through everything you can think of in the IF world. We shared stories and heartaches and the many "why?" questions we have for God when we get to heaven. Why do those teenagers who have no support system get pregnant and we don't? Why does the mother who is hooked on drugs gets pregnant? Why do people who don't want children have children, and those of us who desperately want them can't? I think those are some pretty good ones.
We were able to share in our pain and joy. They were able to adopt a beautiful 4 year old girl whose parents basically didn't want her anymore. She has been a pure joy in their lives for the past 2 years now. How wonderful she can live in a home where her parents desperately wanted her. Her adoption answered some of their "why" questions. Why didn't her parents want her? Because God hand-picked her out for them. That's where their infertility road lead them-to her and the making of their family.
They were so encouraging and loving to me. It is so nice to talk with people who totally get what you are going through. There is such support and love in that. Something she said really struck me. She said that you will have your story too. You will have your children someday too. No matter what, it will happen, and we will pray for you.
Thank you Mr and Mrs L for that. It was a wonderful encouragement in a place where it is hard to be "infertile". You lifted my spirits and gave me great hope! And thank you for giving infertility a voice. I often think we are too silent on that, even with each other but we should continue the conversation in a positive and encouraging way. I am praying for you too-the Mr and Mrs L's on the planet and the brothers and sisters with empty broken hearts. You will have your story, I just know it. God is in the business of blessing people, and He is really good at it! We just have to trust it is in His way, which is the best way for us by far.
What would I do without friends? Friends who can gird you up with support, even if they can't totally understand what is going on in your life, they still lift and support you like a good girdle should. Sometimes you just need to vent, whether it be about work, personal stuff-anything. And when you are done, they give their support. It's wonderful!
I have been nervous about this surgery. Although considered a minor one, my nursing mind thinks of the worst. Dr. RE wants to do it in a hospital because of my anatomy (my uterus is anterior and basically sticking straight up, so things can get a little difficult when that's the case.) I wonder if she is going to make me wear a girdle after? Sometimes I wish those were still the norm-I would look a lot better I think. I digress...
Anyway, telling friends about my "minor surgery" (and that's about all I have told them at this point) helps relieve some of the stress involved. I know they will be thinking and praying about it, and that helps ease my mind. I am so glad to have them in my life on a regular basis, and know they will be there through anything with their support. They even lie to me and tell me I am skinny. Kinda like a good girdle.
I like carbs in general. If I could eat cookies and pasta all day long, I would. Could meaning it would not make me gain weight and it would be nutritionally good for me. That's going to be my heaven-floating on a cloud with a bowl of white pasta with cheese and cookies and ice cream for dessert.
But alas, I have PCOS. Again, I would like to blame the fact that I am in need of some weight loss on the PCOS, and it may be partly to blame. I do fluctuate about 5 lbs with no reason whatsoever. But a large part of it may be because I love sugar.
So do I have a large stash of it in my house? NO. If I did, I know I would be a lot heavier than I am now. I really do struggle with it at the grocery store. In fact, it is rare I visit the "crackers and cookies" isle. (I find it amusing and helpful they are in the same isle). It is definitely a struggle to make good choices on a daily basis. Being a nurse, I have some idea of what is good for me nutritionally, and I try to keep it rounded. Trying to get all my veggies and fruit can be difficult. But I have found that smoothies are easy and you can shove a couple pieces of fruit in one glass. I have a hard time believing there are many people that get the "recommended" amount of fruits and veggies in in one day. If you look at that list (aka the food guide pyramid) that's a lot of them! How do you have time? I think that's about all you should eat during the day, just to fit them all in. But my focus is to build a healthy body for my future children, whether I bear them or not. And that is what I have to keep in mind to keep me motivated, and that's pretty good motivation.
My HSG was today. But my docs don't really call it that, they call it a saline ultrasound. They use saline and an ultrasound instead of dye. She told me that it doesn't make sense to put radioactive dye up in ya and give you a bunch of x-rays when you are trying to get pregnant. Makes sense to me too.
So I get on the table and assume the position. HUGE, cold speculum in, then the cleaning of the cervix which felt like a pap. Unfortunately my cervix was not cooperating. She had a hard time getting through. So she had to use the speculum to try to move my uterus down since mine is anterior and almost straight up. That was not fun. I know she was trying to do it gently, but that was the worst cramps I have ever had. I have to say though, I was expecting worse. It felt like bad cramps and the bad ones went away pretty quick after it was done. She told me I may have to drink a bunch of water and fill my bladder to help things along. As soon as she said that, I started praying, "Oh Lord, make it go in! I don't want to wait. I just want to get it over with!" And then she said, "Oh! There it is!" OK, Great! Take that huge speculum out!!! I am done with that! Then the US wand with the goop and the condom on (made me laugh again) went in. I don't think I will ever get used to that!
So then she started squirting cold saline and it started pouring out-weird feeling! Fallopian tubes are clear! Praise God! BUT-to my surprise I have a uterine fibroid. Dang it-that means surgery and putting off the treatments. If I leave it in, the embryo has less surface area to adhere to. She said I may have had it all along, or all the Clomid caused it. (I knew I couldn't take that stuff unscathed!) So I need to wait, take some more tests to see if I ovulated this month (uh, probably not) then start Provera to get a period, do BCP's (birth control pills) to thin my uterine lining and have surgery June 3. Then after that, if all goes well, we will start Clomid with injectables.
I am disappointed we have to wait even longer to start treatments, but it is also nice to have a plan. I haven't had a plan in a long time-wait-probably never. It was nice to have JJ (husband) there with me. He thought he couldn't come for a second, but last night he told me he was able to make it. That would have been weird to hear I needed surgery and be alone. He is great, and so good to me. I am grateful to have him.
I recently read a book called "A Few Good Eggs" by Maureen Regan and Julie Vargo-check them out at http://www.afewgoodeggs.com/index.htm . They said something really great that stuck with me. To paraphrase, they said that you will beat infertility. I really liked that. No matter what, you will have children, whether it be from treatments or adoption, it will happen. I found that so encouraging! I recommend the book, I really liked it, and it is humorous too. That helps! We all need to laugh once in a while.
Can I just sleep well already? I am so sick of being exhausted and not being able to fall asleep completely or waking up in the middle of the night. Ambien helped recently, but may not be working as well anymore. So of course I called my sleep doc about this, thinking he may suggest a longer-acting Ambien. After all, I am TTC and Ambien is one of my few choices, and that is what we discussed at our rushed appointment. So I talked with his secretary (NOT a nurse) and she said that he thinks that I should try a new med. I asked if it is OK with pregnancy and she said, "Oh no, you shouldn't be on any of these if you are trying to get pregnant!" WHAT?!! You don't know what you are talking about!! Why can't I talk with the doctor? And why didn't he look in my chart that hopefully said something about how I was TTC? So then she said, "So do you want to try this new med?" Again, WHAT?!! You just told me I shouldn't be taking it! NO! Goodbye.
So now I think I have to go to another doc, all of whom I work with--that's weird, but worth it I think. It's just a hassle. I thought I already went through this. I am so sick of doctors who don't act like you are their priority. Isn't that why they went into medicine? I like to think so.
On another note, I have my HSG on Thursay, and I am getting nervous. I have read too many women's thoughts on how painful it was. I am really hoping that everything goes quickly and it isn't too painful.
It was beautiful outside today-finally. I was able to get on my bike and get some good cardio exercise. I wish I had more motivation to do it more often. I feel great when I am done, but getting in the gear and getting my butt in gear prove to be difficult at times.
I have recently gotten back into yoga again. I have found it to be healing. I consider it my medication now. It has helped me deal with my new diagnosis. I really feel much better than I have in years. Recently I was diagnosed with abnormal panic attacks, which for years they thought were seizures. Through lots of testing they found I have had the wrong diagnosis. It is great to not worry about ever having a seizure again. But since being off all those seizure meds, I find myself having to deal with what is left behind-anxiety. It creeps up on me when I least expect it and most of the time doesn't last long. But it is certainly bothersome. It actually makes me feel angry because I don't have control over my own body. And that can be scary, especially if you like to be in control.
But who really is in control? I would like to think that God is in control of my life. I ask Him to be in control all the time. But truthfully, that can be a scary thing. Does that mean that He is going to ask me to wait longer for children? We know He has promised them to us, but when? And how? Will it involve a difficult process through the doctor? Or will He "open my womb" miraculously as He did multiple times in the Bible without human intervention? Or will it be both? I can't help but point out how many women in the Bible went through what I am going through. But for them I am sure it was even harder. Their identities as women culturally were wrapped up in having children. I am struck by how God touched them and how their children became some of the greatest heroes of our religion. Like Samuel, Samson, Isaac, etc. If you read how a lot of God's people came to be, you might be shocked at how many of their mothers had trouble conceiving, and God called them into something amazing. I hope and pray that for our children-that God calls them into something amazing for the Kingdom, and He has given me the opportunity to be their mother. I can't wait.
Today I had many more blood tests and my vaginal ultrasound. I remember the first time I was to have an ultrasound-what a shocker! I had no idea it was vaginal, I thought it was through the abdomen. So when they asked me if I wanted to put it in, it took all I had in me not to crack up! Of course today's US I don't think showed anything different-still the classic string of pearls around the ovary. Those are cysts, hence polycystic ovary syndrome. Basically those are eggs starting to develop that can't be released because of a hormonal balance.
I also had a glucose tolerance test. I had to be fasting, get a blood test then drink this really sugary drink and re-test 2 hours later. So it was a long wait in a waiting room. The husband goes tomorrow morning for his testing. Then I have another US with bubbled saline to check if my uterus and fallopian tubes are open on next Thursday. We will see what this all brings.
The staff is great and friendly. It is so nice because you already are on edge about all this and they make you feel better about it all. Being a patient, you realize how important that is. I have learned that people want you to communicate with them-tell them what you are going to do, and help them feel comfortable. Going through things "from the other side" as a patient has helped me become a better nurse. And for that I am grateful. I hope I never lose that.
I have told myself that I would start this, but I never did. Until my sister started her own blog and it was inspiring. That is what I want to do is inspire, encourage, and educate. I think I am a natural educator, being a nurse. It is the best aspect of my job, and the part I enjoy the most. I have been encouraged to share my story, so here goes.
My infertility journey? We started trying 2 1/2 years ago. It sounds weird, but I somehow knew I would have difficulty. When I was younger, I had a midwife tell me I "might have polycystic ovarian syndrome." I don't know how you can "possibly" have it. Either you do or you don't! She put me on birth control pills to regulate my periods, and I was on them for years until we decided it was time to try for a baby. Now that I know what I know now, I can't believe that she didn't do more testing etc. I think that because I wasn't trying to get pregnant at the time, she didn't follow up. Big mistake in my opinion. PCOS puts you at risk for things like heart disease and diabetes. Something important to know!
Amidst other health problems I was having, I tried Clomid several times when I felt like that was under control. I never had the side effects I have heard others have had, and I don't know if that is a good thing or not. Obviously that didn't work. Since I stopped the BCP's, I don't get periods unless I take meds to bring it on. I find that a blessing, because I don't know how I could handle having that disappointment every month. I think about my infertility enough already. Now I am feeling the best I have in years, and we are seeing a reproductive endocrinologist again. The crazy testing has begun! I have already had some blood work and tomorrow is my ultrasound and glucose tolerance blood test in addition to more.
So what have I learned through all this? I totally believe God has me going through this journey for a reason. (In fact many reasons.) I know that God hears me and cares about what I am going through. And I know some day I will minister to women across the globe who are having the same issues, and encourage them to talk about it and pray for their healing. I have learned that 10% of couples will go through what we are going through. What does that mean? There are a lot more people out there than you think are going through IF, whether you may know it or not. So be careful when you speak. Please don't ask everyone you know whether they have children, and if they say no, please don't ask them "Why not?" in a tone that suggests you have something wrong with you if you don't have kids. (just a side note)
I have learned to be more compassionate and listen to people. I think that is all people want-a listening ear. I hope to be that for you too. Please tell me your story and let's share together.
Critical Care Nurse. Married to a wonderful man (JJ). Diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome in 2007. Tried for a baby for nearly 3 years. Got pregnant with IUI in November '09. Our beautiful baby boy was born on July 28. Follower of Christ. I created this blog to talk about my struggles with infertility and life and to hopefully get some encouragement and to share encouragement with others. Please leave your comments!