Friday, March 29, 2013

The Passion

Last night I meditated on Jesus' prayer on the Mount of Olives. Jesus cries and pleads with God the Father: " Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done.’ Then an angel from heaven appeared to him and gave him strength." (Luke 22: 39-44). I feel Christ's pain, his anguish tears at my heart, because you know what you have to do, and your weak will does not want to do it, but it is not our will but His, and as difficult as it is to let go of that control, deep down inside you know that God is there to give us strength, and He will not forsake us.

One morning after a difficult evening, battling the demeantors (depression), I woke up with a song in my head. I didn't really recognize the song, I may have heard it once or twice on K-LOVE, but not one I sing along to at the top of my lungs on the way to work or anything. The lyrics are what touched me, the one verse that was stuck in my head was: "Not for a moment, will you forsake me." I couldn't pin point the song until later in the week when I heard it again, that was when I realized, God had sent me an angel to comfort me in my sleep and sing this Meredith Andrew's song "Not for a Moment."

I now sing it to myself when I am feeling blue and feel like I can't get through the next hour, much less the day.

Christ came to this world to be human, to suffer as humans suffer, to hurt, and hunger, and thirst, and tire, and bleed, as we do. He came to show us how GREAT God's love truly is, that He loved us so much, that he gave his life, the life of his only son, to wash away our sins, so that we may live! And He lives with us, inside us, around us, above us.

So I am reminding myself today, that when I suffer, when I beckon the Lord to do his will, and secretly hope it is the same as mine, Jesus has too. And when I have felt alone and let down by those around me because they have tired, so did He, when the disciples fell asleep at the hour he needed them. Jesus knows my pain, he suffers it with me. I am NOT alone. And not only that, but the Lord answers prayers. It may not be what I expect, but there will be an end, an answer to my prayers. And that is all I can ever hope for.

Thank you God, for your amazing love.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Being genuinely happy and distraught at the same time

A big part of infertility is dealing with the ugly emotions that come out when good things happen to others around you. Its aweful. I find myself dreading meeting up with, or receiving a call from a friend, especially if they are married or in a committed relationship because I know that there is a chance they are calling me with their "great news!" I am genuinely happy for those close friends who do get pregnant and I do pray everyday that a loved one does not have to go through what I am going through.

Recently very close friends, some we both consider family, called us with their great news. They, of course, knew of our struggles, and were very kind to give us enough heads up before they "go public" with the news. It was via Skype because we currently reside about 4 hours away from each other, and when they started rambling and humming and ha-ing, my stomach did a somersault, and squeezed my husband's hand so hard, I knew what was next... still now, weeks later I still get clammy just thinking about that conversation.

(NOTE: Please check out Resolve's Infertility Etiquette about how to tell an infertile friend you are pregnant if you are in this situation, your friend will be grateful)

There are many reasons for how I felt. It reminded me of the time, a few years back, when we were two newly wed couples dreaming up our futures together. I still remember where we were for this conversation, visiting Mt. Vernon, the four of us. It was a beautiful spring day, my husband, joking around, said that it would be better if both ladies got pregnant at the same time so that they could get it over with at once, and suffer together. My girlfriend and I are both very cautious (read paranoid and hypochondriacs), and have panic attacks at the first feelings of nausea, so they knew how "fun" we'd be when the time came.... We started trying before they did, because they had things to sort out, and we knew we had to start sooner rather than later.... I still thought, I'd get pregnant first, then she'd get the bug and we'd still get to experience it together. I don't know when they started to be honest, but I know it wasn't much time before they were expecting.

After they broke the news and I gathered up the courage and strength to congratulate, smile and tell them how genuinely happy I was for them, asking her how she felt, and then hope the conversation would end... every minute it continued I could feel the sob gathering in my throat, I needed for them to end the call, and it wasn't happening. I didn't want her to see me cry or walk away from the conversation because she'd know why. I didn't want her to feel sorry for me, I wanted her to experience the complete joy without worrying about me. But I didn't make it, I had to get up and leave. I closed the doors to the bathroom in our one bedroom apartment, and just lost it. I sobbed, and tried so hard not to, but it wouldn't stop.  I kept thinking:  "why me?!" why do I have to suffer all of this pain, abuse on my body, my soul? Why does God think I am strong enough to endure all this? What if I can't? How much longer Lord?!

My agony was not because of my friend's pregnancy, it was because of my hardship. I hated myself, and still kinda do, for not being able to just say "good for them! It'll happen for me too some day!" Truth is, the uncertainty is there, and it gnaws at me every month after the BFN.One of my doctors once said "Its not a matter of IF, but WHEN." And I believed her then.... 4 cycles ago. I have not lost hope, every month there is a renewed sense of hope that thought of "maybe this is my month," maybe I get it right this time, whatever that means.

So... in the end I decided to make up a humorous and helpful "Oh Sh*t Kit" pregnancy survival gift for her when I see her during Easter. I need her to know how happy I really am, and that I prayed so hard for them to never have to deal with this, because I love them. Because in the end, we are going through this for, and finding strength in, that reason... LOVE.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

So far...

My infertility journey so far: I was diagnosed with PCOS when I was 16 years old (12 years ago). I didn't really know what it meant for me then. I just took the birth control pills, as I was told, to regulate my cycles. My older sister had irregular cycles too so it seemed pretty normal to me. A a check-up the following year, I decided to ask questions about "my condition." The dr. told me that for now, I am ok, but when I was thinking of starting a family, that I would probably need some extra help. I am grateful for the heads up, I shared it with my, now husband, then fiancé, and he was aware of it as well. We decided to take our time. I was finishing my bachelors the long way, full-time work and being a student, so we waited till I was done with school. We got married young and I figured as long as we started to try by the time I was 28 we'd be ok.

I stopped my birth control pills (BC) May 2011, and started working with my OB. I gained 15 pounds in two months and I was really not happy about that. She ran some blood tests and said that my hormone levels were not terribly out of range and that I should try on my own for a bit. Two months after I hadn't gotten my period, I wasn't pregnant and I started to get worried. She ran more tests, I came back negative for endometriosis or cervical abnormalities. She then gave me a round of progesterone to kick start my period, next thing I knew I had a month-long period, and my OB didn't know how to stop it. That was when she referred me to the Fertility Center. My first appt there was December 2011, and they did the full work-up, blood tests, genetic testing, HSG, all coming back reasonably normal. My hormone levels were a bit off but nothing too alarming. My reproductive endocrinologist (RE) first had to put me back on BC for a month to thin out my uterine lining, the following month he started me on Clomid 50 mg and Metformin. I was excited about the Metformin at first cause I had read that it could help me lose weight and make conceiving easier. They monitored me through bloodwork and ultrasounds, and it wasn't working, no ovulation, no weight loss. then I got the job in another state and had to move, pretty much right away.

I was kind of relieved to take a break from all of that for a couple months, to give myself time to get situated in my new state, new job, and then find a new doctor and start all over. Not to mention the fact that the Metformin was giving me such horrible GI side effects! My new doctor at the fertility center was kind, I told her that all I cared about was a chance to be a mother, I had no deadline, no rush, I just wanted to ovulate and let nature take its course. She was super onboard and it was great! After 2 months getting me back on track she got me to ovulate with Clomid 100 mg, and without the Metformin. So then we started the timed intercourse regimen, we were taking our vitamins everyday, trying to stay calm and hopeful. First month, nothing... "ok" I thought "this is still within statistical probability" (yes this is how I think, sometimes its hell in my head). Second month, third month, nothing... what!? I was ovulating, timed intercourse, I thought everything else was normal so what is going on? I got concerned, my husband was getting a bit impatient and tired of being told when to "perform," so we asked to see the RE. She was a bit condescending this time, she said we should give it 6 months, and if nothing then we'd talk, but that if we were impatient we could try IUI "early" and gave us a sheet with info on how to go about it. I left pretty upset and unhappy with her. Fourth month w/ just Clomid and nothing... I said, one more month and then we can see. I also wanted to wait till our new year of FSA funds came in. We were really worried about how much it was going to cost. My insurance wasn't paying for the IUI, though they were paying the dr. visit, meds and ultrasounds. Fifth month... nothing. So January 2013 we tried our first IUI with no result, last month we had our 2nd IUI, and big fat heartbreaking nothing.

I decided I wanted a second or I guess, 3rd opinion at this point. I have an appt on April 3rd with a new Fertility Center. 

The hardest part about all of this is that I am hopeless romantic... I believed that I would have a happily ever after, I would get married, enjoy our youth for a while then expand our family, just like that, it would magical and when I got that positive test result, our adult life adventure would begin.
When we decided to try IUI, I had a hard time of letting the last bit of that dream go... it was not going to be natural and magical, it was going to be artifical and calculated. It was really difficult for me to make that transition. And now, with 8 months of ovulating and failed results starring me in the face, I feel like I've been a fool in thinking it would be like I always dreamed, and that I need to face reality, and reality may very well be, that if I really want to be a mother, I need to consider... IVF.

For the longest, I had put my foot down at IVF, I thought: "its forcing the hand of God" and if its not meant to be, then so be it. But I said that with hope that it wouldn't come to that. Now that its here, and I may need to consider it, I am not so staunch, high and mighty.

Right now, I am just taking this month off of IUI, and just doing Clomid. It hasn't been an easy month, my appetite is off, and today during the Palm Sunday service while the kids were walking around the sanctuary waving their palms, I lost it. I started to cry and so I prayed so hard that no one would notice because why on earth would anyone be crying on such a joyous celebratory Sunday??  I tried to make it look like allergies and during the Children's sermon I ducted out and wiped my face. By the time I got back in, all the kids had left and I could focus on worship again. It doesn't happen often, but when it does, it just creeps up on you so suddenly!

Waiting for something amazing... I guess.

First of all, hello and welcome :) This is my very first blog entry, ever. Well if we don't count the silly college IT class assignments. I have been hesitant to write a blog about my infertility journey, because I was worried about what others would think of me, and because I am a somewhat private person. I don't tend to overshare. But in my searching for blogs that may provide me comfort, I never really found anything that I was willing to read through. So I decided, instead of expecting something to be out there for me, that maybe I could try it out and maybe fill a void, because, just maybe, I am not alone.

A little about me that may be relevant in future posts... faith is a HUGE part of my life. I was raised Roman Catholic, though my family themselves were not church goers, just devote in prayer and living. I married a wonderful man that was somewhat raised Jewish but that doesn't really do the organized religion thing. I am very grateful for how supportive he is of my faith. After we got married, I went through a bit of faith crisis/journey and decided I was more in tune with the Presbyterian beliefs and converted two years later. When I was 18 moved very far away from my best friends, and then very recently moved to another state for job reasons. Now we are living on our own, away from family and most friends. Don't get me wrong, we love it here, the job opportunities for me are great, and we both love the area we are in... it just gets lonely sometimes.

Also, I am a bit of a nerd. My husband would scowl at me right now and say... "a bit??" but he is too so its ok :) We are both nerdy young scientists, boardgame geeks, and Disney/Pixar fanatics.... hence my blog title. When I was thinking up a name for my blog, I tried to think of a way to summarize what my journey has been like so far, and it came down to waiting, waiting for results, waiting to start a new cycle, the dreaded 2 week wait (2ww). Then I heard it, in the back of my mind... the quote from "The Incredibles"..: What are you waiting for? I don't believe in demanding things of God, giving Him expectations, deadlines, in other words, telling God how to do His job. I believe there is a bigger picture, a greater plan, and only He, in his infinite wisdom really knows the outcome of all this and it is the best outcome for me, eventually. And on my "saner" days which are few and far between, I can believe that, and that is enough for me. All I can hope for is for "something amazing" to happen one day. But, on the days when the universe seems to conspire against me, I rant and rave, fume and pout like any other person, faithful or not.

So this blog is a place for me on either of those days of sanity, anger and any in between. I don't know if anyone will read this, but if you do, and you are on a similar journey of hoping for something amazing.... I wish you the best of luck and may God bless you with peace at the end of it all.

P.S. I also highly recommend checking out the RESOLVE website for information, support, and great resources.