Monday, December 31, 2007

Adoption

12/31/07

The last day of 2007 has arrived. My goal of becoming a mother has been acheived at the last moment...well, sort of. We adopted a new 7 wk old Pomeranian Puppy over the weekend. He is adorable!! I'm so content at the moment and I just can't explain it. His name is Punkin' Pouncer and is so sweet and gentle. My baby. :)


Monday, December 10, 2007

How Many Licks Does it Take?

12/10/07

It's going to be another sorrowful Christmas for us. We've reached our two-year mark now in the Trying to Conceive department. My chart looked great this past cycle...perfect even. What happened? I was very sick though during the week of ovulation. Maybe that had something to do with it...and now Chris is getting sick. I really hate this...hate actually isn't a strong enough word for how I feel about infertility.

I reached a new pathetic low this past weekend, after finding that I was indeed not pregnant. We met up with Chris's parents to go Christmas shopping. They needed to venture into Toys R Us for the grandkids. I went in while Chris parked the car. Right in the door they had these very cute Dora and Diego ornaments...I always get our niece and nephews an ornament for Christmas. Then I ran across the cutest ornament ever with a little mouse sitting on a pacifier. The inscription on the paci read, "2007 Parents to be." This enormous lump took over my throat and it suddenly became very difficult to breathe. I turned the corner to escape but alas it seemed to be a trap! That corner lead me directly into the infant clothing section with some of the cutest Winnie the Pooh Christmas outfits. The lump grew larger. I turned another corner to evade the clothes and then I was smacked in the face with tons of gear for new parents...cribs, high chairs, diaper bags, etc. The walls began closing in on me as I spun in circles seeking a hole to hide in. No matter, as everywhere I turned there were happy families holding new babies and had toddlers jumping up and down in utter anticipation of Santa's upcoming appearance. Chris found me at that moment and immmediately asked what was wrong when I asked for the keys to the car. He could see the tears welling and really didn't have to ask the matter...he knew. The point was mute and he handed over the keys, paid for the ornaments, and met me in the car. I hadn't even made it out of the store before losing it.

We sat in the car for an hour crying and talking and crying some more! It kills me to see him cry and vis versa. We both feel the same way about our unfortunate position and are both more concerned about the other than for ourselves. I'm just so completely lost about what to do. We just don't have the money for IVF. Chris offered to sell his truck for the $10K it's worth...then I cried again. I don't want him having to sell his truck. We shouldn't have to sell anything. I seem to recall pregnancy being a normal thing...something that just happened when you wanted it...and sometimes even when you didn't want it too. It's Christmas time and we're supposed to be happy. We are happy but we are ever so sad at the same instant...how confusing is that! My mind continues to bring up the fact that I'm supposed to be five months along right now. I keep waiting for our second chance. Will it come?

We're stuck between a rock and a hard place. I've been on Femara and Progesterone together now for 3 cycles. I don't know if my Dr. will continue to prescribe this combo. It does work...I just need more time. However, she might press me to come in for another consult but I already know how that conversation works. She'll suggest IVF and I'll ask her to donate her $12K to do it. Conversation over. And she expects me to pay a $60 co-pay for that...or maybe even more now because I haven't seen her since our new insurance took effect and infertility is still not covered but now neither is testing as it's considered a "pre-existing" condition. Gotta love those insurance companies.

Life can be very cruel. I've failed to mention that my best friend of ten years is now 17 weeks pregnant. I love her and wish her the best but it's made me feel even lower than I did before. Her pregnancy has untentionally snubbed in my face the certainty of our predicament. She's never wanted kids as long as I've known her. She wasn't trying. She wasn't ready and fully admits that she's still not ready. So, then why did the universe get those lines crossed? How many licks does it take...the world may never know.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Long Time No Type

11/30/07

It's been nearly two months since my last post. And no, I'm not pregnant...yet! I've just been really busy. With Thanksgiving and Christmas preparations life has been hectic. We did our annual Thanksgiving week in Pigeon Forge, TN last week. It was wonderful until I fell ill! I haven't been sick in nearly two years and when does it decide to strike?? On my vacation! Grrrr! I was diagnosed a few days ago with Acute Bronchitis and Astmha. I'm being treated for both. Apparently I was misdiagnosed as a teenager with only sports related astmha. And this whole time I thought my shortness of breath from time to time was just from being out of shape! HA!


Now, on top of fertiliy drugs, I'm on two inhalers, super strenth cough medicine, and augmentin. I ovulated last week, the day after Turkey Day! I was so sick but put on the happy face for all the baby dancing ahead. Got 'er Done! I have no clue though how my body could have possibly produced any good eggs for this cycle?? I was just so miserable, but Chris was so attentive and loving. He took care of me the whole trip! I feel so bad that I ruined both our vacations. Luckily, we're going back to the mountains again for a few days the week before Christmas though so hopefully I can make up for it then.


This cycle I was on my third round of Femara (similar to Clomid) and my fifth round of Progesterone. We've added a new item into the mix for the past two months...Instead Cups. Their use is intended for AF but others have discovered that they come in handy for baby making by "cupping" the swimmers up close to the cervix to prevent "leakage." They are quite cheap at Wal-Mart, disposable, and easy to use. Many of my 'vet ttc sisters' have been incredibly fortunate enough to become pregnant using them after only a few short months trying it and this is preceeding up to years of trying to concieve beforehand. There has to be something said for that! Here's hoping they work for us too!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Four + Four =

10/2/07

Today marks eight years for Chris and I. Eight years ago today, two love-struck teenagers embarked on a relationship that would forever change them both. Little did they know the struggles they would encounter in the years to come nor did they realize there would be years to come. For these two lived in the moment and the world revolved around them. Those were the days! Don't get me wrong though, I wouldn't trade now for then anyday!


So, since this little milestone falls on a weekday this year I'm surprising Chris this weekend with a trip to Atlanta. I've booked a very nice hotel and have gotten tickets to Medieval Times at Discover Mills! I'm so excited! I love these getaways when it's just the two of us. It's like a part of us reverts back to the days of teenage selfishness. It's a great feeling. We forget bills and worries and families. We can concentrate on us and us alone. God knows every couple facing infertility has to do that for themselves or risk their marriage suffering from their reproductive short-comings. I know better. That is one thing that I'm so thankful for. Our marriage *or sex life* hasn't suffered. Though, we've had to work at it and continually keep in check our emotions and stress levels to ensure we aren't taking the brunt of our frustrations out on eachother.

These getaways bring the spontanaity back into our lives and we do it for the other. Chris has planned two weekend trips this year, trips that he surprised me with. One to Gatlinburg, TN and the other to Helen, GA. Both great and exciting and romantic! We love coming up with surprises for eachother. Chris knows I have something planned for this weekend but he doesn't know what it is. He's so anxious...it's really cute! A few weekends ago, I surprised him with a night out in Athens to see the Broadway version of Beauty and the Beast, which was awesome!

On fertile ground, I'm currently 2 days past ovulation. My basal body temps are looking good and we're hoping for the best. Again, it's been so nice this month to not be pressured with Dr's and needles and excessive meds. I am on meds but not as many. For the first time in a while, I'm looking forward to the outcome of this cycle. We both are. We both have a lot of hope. Though, in the back of my mind I know what that hope leads to if in the end Aunt Flo shows up. Heartache, tears, and tampons! I'll keep the hope anyhow.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

I Need Sleep!

9/27/07

I'm officially in the two week wait for this cycle. The longest part of each cycle is the last two weeks. It seems to last an eternity. The Femara worked and so now I know I can ovulate with it as well. Though, the side effects were worse with it compared to Clomid. On top of Hot Flashes and Fatigue and weight gain, it made me not be able to sleep! Aaaarrrgghhh!! That's torture! On one hand it makes you sleepy but no matter how sleepy you are, your body and mind won't shut down for you to sleep. So, I did what anyone else would have done...pulled out the Tylenol PM!! That did the trick!

A part of me wishes that I'd had my regular ultra sounds this month just to see the size of the follicles produced by aid of the Femara. I don't suppose it really matters as long as I actually ovulated. It was nice not being a pin cushion for a change and to no have to worry about timing IUIs and hCG shots. Plus, it saved us much cash. Nice additive if ya ask me!

I started my miracle hormone today...Prometrium (Progesterone). This is the medicine that I sincerely believe helped me to get the positive HPT in August. Hoping it'll happen again. Still hoping. However, instead of just praying to get pregnant, now I add in to stay pregnant.

I've added a few music videos to the bottom of the page. Check them out if ya like. "I would die for that" and "Anyway." Great songs and "I would die for that" really cuts deep inside. Gets out there what I feel.

Friday, September 14, 2007

New Drugs!

9/14/07

As you've probably already guessed, I'm again not pregnant this month. I didn't have much hope anyway as I already knew my E2 levels were very low. My latest cycle began on 9/11, of all dates...go figure!


We decided to try on our own, for the most part, a while. The Dr. agreed to keep me on meds, but a new one. She doesn't want me on Clomid anymore for a while as she seems to think it's depleting my lining and E2 levels. Yesterday, I began a medication called Femara. Very similar to Clomid but without the harsh side effects. I'm not sure how my body will react to it, though as I will not be monitored with ultra sounds while on it.


I will use Ovulation Predictor Kits and then timed intercourse...much better than IUIs and all the needles!!! I just hope it is successful! I will also be on Prometrium (Progesterone) after ovulation to sustain a pregnancy if one happens to occur! Wish us luck on this new road. It seems a little too easy for it actually to work. I have to keep reminding myself that it's normally supposed to be even easier than this. Hopefully, this is all it takes.


If nothing else it will be a nice little break. It satisfies my need of not giving up and gives my body a mild rest at the same time. No more needles, no more IUIs, no more ultra sounds, no more Dr's, nurses, or medical students with their prying eyes! Maybe I can gain an ounce of my dignity back! Whoo hoo!!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Remembering 9/11

9/11/07



Noting another tragedy that occurred six years ago today. As if you didn't know! September sucks! Please keep in your thoughts the whole year through those that suffered loss of loved ones in that tragic and idiotic attack. Taliban assholes!

I pray for the families of those who lost loved ones. I pray those said loved ones rest in peace. God please protect this country from further harm and attacks.

I pray for our soldiers overseas and here at home and of course for those who have died fighting for our freedoms and protection. God, please be with our soldiers, leaders and families of those who are fighting to keep America a "free" and blessed nation. See them through these times they themselves cannot see getting through. Please bring peace overseas and bring our brave men and women home to their patiently waiting families.

Please, God, bring down all those who wish to do harm to the innocent. God Bless America!

Celebration of Life

9/10/07



Today marks seven years since that tragic night that I nearly lost my, then, future husband and life as I'd known it. I was 17 and he had just turned 18 a few months before. It was to be the best year of our life: We were Seniors in high school and were to be married shortly after graduation whether our parents liked it or not. We were all about us and so innocently in love. The world revolved around our relationship and we didn't know any better.
I remember that day as if it were today! Unfortunately, that is. I would give anything to forget it. Alas, I now realize that this event would make me who I am today...flaws and all. It set into motion events that have been life altering for us both. What a beautiful Sunday morning it was!

We met up at church that morning. He drove his own truck. He was so thrilled to finally be driving, a long two years after most of his friends had been. We managed the audio/visual equipment at our church. We sat that morning, side by side in a small 4x4 room, listening on and off, to the actual sermon. He took my hand and wrote in black ink: "I love you forever and always."

I had to babysit that day and he had to go to a park with his family. He promised to call me that night before 10pm. I looked back at him through my sideview mirror as I pulled out of the parking lot. Little did I know, it would be the last time I'd see him in that light, who he was at that moment. My weight-lifting, 210 lbs, ROTC Marine hair cut, tall, dark, and handsome Prince...oh, if I'd only made him come with me that day...
9:30pm - I still had not gotten my phone call from him and suddenly had a very aweful, gut-wrenching feeling. I called his house. His younger brother, Steven, answered and told me that Chris was on his way home and that he'd have him call me. The feeling wouldn't subside and my mother thought I was crazy to call all over town trying to find him...no, he didn't have a cell phone.

10:15pm - The phone rang. The caller ID read his home # and there was a breif sigh of relief. I answered, "Well, it's about time!" The voice on the other end: "Just pray, Nicole, just pray!" It was Steven. He told me Chris and Nick (another brother) had been in a bad wreck. Surely he was making some sort of sick joke and Chris was standing next to him! He wasn't joking. He told me that Nick was ok but that Chris was being airlifted somewhere. I lost it. No amount of words can describe what happened to me at that moment. Innocence was lost. The phone went crashing to the floor. I didn't know which way to turn, which direction to go in. I needed to get to him...that's all I knew and all I cared about. My mom drove me to the hospital...a drive that seemed to last about five hours! We were the first ones there. A Chaplain was immediately thrown at us. It's all a blur. One big fuzzy dream. That's what I wanted to believe.

2am - Dr finally came out to give us "news." Not good and happy news...though it rarely is. Chris had sustained massive head, back, shoulder, and rib injuries as his body was thrust from his jacked up Ford Ranger XL, out the Driver's side window. The truck flipped through the air and landed on top of Chris, pinning his shoulder to the ground. The brain damage was extensive and required emergency surgery. Nick had been wearing his seatbelt and had one cut on his elbow and close to his ear, not even requiring stitches...thank God! Chris's family had become my family and with this relationship I had not only gained a fiance` but four brothers. We just thought we were close at that point. We were there for eachother. Lifting one up when one would fall.

3am - It was finally my turn to see Chris before his surgery. I'll never forget those ICU waiting room doors. I walked inot his room, my whole body trembling in fear. I looked up at what was a body full of life and future just a few hours before. He laid there...seemingly lifeless. Machines, tubes, bandages, blood, bruises, beeping, dripping...endless agony. I hated seeing him like that. They couldn't guarantee that he'd even pull through this operation. We weren't even supposed to talk to or touch him. Being a teenager, there was no way I was having that! I walked over to him and picked up his bruised hand. I looked down at mine in his and remembered that morning, his eyes, his love. I saw the slightly smudged black ink on my hand with the words he'd written. Tears began falling with no end.

Fast forward to 10/31 - I cannot keep typing the details right now as I can barley see the computer screen through the tears. Chris came home on Halloween. Not all there, but alive. He didn't remember me and barely remembered his family. Names were a mute point. My Prince was now a mere 160lbs at 6 feet tall. Scars from head to toe. Part of his skull underneath layers of skin in his abdomen. His eyes were very different. I didn't care. He was walking on his own and talking on his own and eating on his own...things the Dr's never thought he'd do again. Prayer is truly a miraculous thing. God does work miracles.

9/10/2007 - It's been a very long and rough road for us. Has been since that day seven years ago. Chris has overcome so much! More than anyone ever gives him credit for. So have I. He has no recolection of any of those events. Never will. That's God's gift to him, that and having his life back. I, on the otherhand, have been put through the mental ringer for years. I still have nightmares no one knows about and I still freak out if I don't hear from him on time. Everyone was affected in their own right. Our road has been made up of pot holes and rocks and yet here we are...barely scathed on the other side. The road isn't at an end and hopefully won't be for a long, long, long lifetime together. It's made me love him even more than before and I never thought that would be possible. Nearly eight years into our relationship and we sincerely have the happiest marriage I know of. My 270lbs of Prince has that look in his eyes again. That same look I saw that Sunday morning seven years ago. I can only hope and pray that by this time next year he'll have another look in his eyes...the look of a very proud father.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

May I Scream Now?

8/30/07

Our third consult was today. Though it wasn't very uplifting. I never knew just how scared I would be of three little letters...IVF. She went over our "options." Basically there are two options she would like us to do.

Option #1: She seems to think that they need total control of my cycles to make things happen as they normally should. This being done by giving myself injectibles of a medication called Lupron everyday of for the first two weeks of my cycle and when all the hormone levels line up where they need to be, they will force my body to ovulate and then do IUI. She informed me that the pregnancy rate for this is 15-25%, which sounds good. However, those numbers aren't "take home baby" numbers. Those are strictly how many people got pregnant in doing 3-4 cycles of this process. Some, inevitably, ended in miscarriage. This procedure will cost us around $2,500 a pop. Another downside is that if I produce more than three eggs in a cycle, she will not do the IUI for fear of multiples, which means that $2,500 is wasted for nothing. So, if we had to do the four cycles she wants us to do then that would add up to over $10,000!

Option #2: Dreaded In Vetro Fertilization, otherwise known as IVF. Just hearing it come from her mouth made me want to belt out an ear-shattering scream! Never, in a million years did I see our situation coming to this. For those of you not informed of this drawn out procedure, now's the time to learn. I would again have to inject myself with the Lupron medication as well as Follicle Stimulating Hormone and Lutenizing Hormone until all hormone levels indicated my eggs are mature. Then I would go in for a procedure where they insert a rather LARGE needle to draw out all the eggs produced. Luckily, I would be asleep for this. Chris gets off easy (pun intended). After doing his duty, my eggs and his sperm are placed in a petri dish to be fertilized. Three to five days later, 1-2 embryos are inserted into my unterus. Then they either implant to grow or die and I miscarry. Any extra fertilized eggs are frozen for later use. Isn't that nice...frozen baby pops!?!? The upside to this procedure is that the statistical pregnancy/take home baby rate is 50-60% for those under 35 years old. The downside, you ask? Just ONE of these procedures is around $13,000! Not exactly pocket change, eh?

We, unfortunately, cannot do either of those two options. It would be a different ballgame if the insurance we are paying out the ass for would lend a hand, but oh no!! So, I brought up a 3rd Option...really, the only option:

Option #3: Chris and I try on our own with the aid of medications, Clomid or Femara to make me ovulate and Progesterone for after Ovulation. We'll just do things the old fashioned way...I have to admit, that way is much preferable anyhow. She said she would be okay with that but she really doesn't want me on Clomid too much longer because she thinks it's starting to reduce my uterine lining month to month. There's not much evidence of that, but whatever.

Chris and I will have to discuss these options but by process of elimination, I can see that #3 is going to be the best for now. I think it would be awesome to be able to get pregnant as similar as a normal couple...not to mention, much more pleasurable!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Timing is Everything!

8/27/07

My Dr. never called me back to discuss what effect the lack of Estradiol (E2) would have on an early pregnancy. Therefore, we decided that it would be best not to trigger ovulation. I did internet research on my own seeing as how I cannot depend on my medical team to get back to me. *rolls eyes*

I found that E2 is responsible for giving the "go ahead" to other hormones. It cues FSH and LH. FSH or follicle stimulating hormone is what makes follicles/eggs grow and mature. LH or Luetenizing Hormone is what forces ovulation. So, with my E2 levels being dramatically low one would think that my follicles wouldn't be growing/maturing and that I would just not ovulate this cycle. Something just didn't add up to me. I clearly saw that my follicles were in fact growing. Now, maturing is another issue all together. I can't see that. But growing they were. E2 is also responsible for the production of CM or Cervical Mucus which allows sperm to travel with ease. This I also have.

Hoping for the best and preparing for the worst, with this information under my belt, I continued to test with my Ovulation Predictor Kits (OPKs). To my surprise upon testing just last night I got my very fist positive that has occurred naturally, without the hCG Trigger Shot. I again called my Dr's office this morning to inform them and to ask of my chance of miscarriage if becoming pregnant and if it would be wise to proceed with the IUI. I spoke to the nurse, of whom I really wish was my Dr because at least she calls me back! She asked me to take another test this morning. I did. It was negative. She said "Well, it seems you caught the end of your LH Surge" (as I had already assumed). She continued, "I'll put another call into your Dr. to have her call you but I don't think we'll move forward with the IUI because we do those the day after a natural LH Surge. We can't do it on such short notice. Aren't you late into your cycle anyway?" I told her that I was only on Cycle Day 18 (the first IUI was on CD18). She told me that she hoped my Dr would return my call this time. Fat chance of that, I thought. I do really need her to call me back though because we are going to try this the "old way" for a change but I still need Progesterone for my Luetal Phase Defect. I'll need to start it in a few days and don't have any refills.

With all of this, I have to ask myself if they've always been wrong? I mean, they've always done my tests on CD11-12 and then told me to trigger myself that same night. What if they've always told me to take the shot too early and all my eggs thus far weren't ready to ovulate. That and the fact that they've just accepted that I have a Lueteal Phase Defect...or at least accepted it to appease me. They can't argue with facts though. All of this would inevitably lead to several early miscarriages. I'm almost certain I've been pregnant before and simply lost all babies due to faulty timing.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Am I Even Female?

8/21/07


It's been a very busy past few days! Today is Tuesday. I went to the Dr. for my consult last Thursday. I brought in all my charts to show her proof of why I think my main issue is lack of Progesterone after ovulation. Let's go over some vocabulary first. Progesterone sustains a pregnancy through it's first tri-mester. A Lueteal Phase is the time period between ovulation and the day a woman starts her next mensus. The average woman has a lueteal phase of about 14 days. This is the length of time a fertilized egg needs to make the journey to the womb and implant securely into the lining, or endometrium, of the uterus. My lueteal phase is normally nine days. So, I have a lueteal phase defect or LPD. This last cycle, I was put on Progesterone to lenghten my lueteal phase. It worked and our fertilized egg implanted 11 days into the lueteal phase. For some unknown reason, however, the baby died.

Back to the charts and the consult. Even with all the proof in front of her, she wouldn't see my point or validate it. She said, "Well, how did you know it (the baby) implanted on day 11?" I had implantation spotting as many women do. She said, "Many women spot all throughout their cycles." Maybe, but I don't and it's not normal for me. I know my own freakin' body. In any event, she said she would give me the progesterone as it won't affect anything in a negative way but that she doesn't really see the point. Idiot.

A friend of mine mentioned to me that I am a Dr's worst nightmare. Though he was jokingly serious, that shouldn't matter. I'm not a wallflower. I can't just sit idley by and let Dr's decide what they want to do to my body just because they have a degree. I wouldn't understand a person not wanting to be educated about what is happening to them. Grant you, I don't go into these appointments and tell her what she is going to do. I do, however, ask plenty of questions, demand answers, and suggest alternative routes to take. At this point, I really don't feel that my opinions are taken seriously, which may eventually lead me to another clinic and Dr.

In any event, afer going over all the options:

1. Exploratory Surgery
2. 4th Clomid/IUI
3. Femara instead of Clomid
4. Injectibles/IUI
5. Clomid/2 Injectibles/IUI

We decided to go with #5. This is called a Hybrid Cycle. It's more expensive than what we've been doing because shots cost more than just pills. So, this is what I did after the miscarriage: Took 50mg of Clomid on Cycle Days 3-7. Took my first shot of FSH on Cycle Day 7 and the second shot on Day 9. I went in for my ultra sound and blood work on day 11 (Yesterday). I have two good follicles, one on the right measuring 22mm and one on the left measruing 19mm. My uterine lining was ok at 6.7mm. I left the Dr. and headed into work thinking I'd probably take the hCG shot that night and that the IUI would be on Wednesday. I got a call yesterday afternoon and it was the nurse telling me there was some bad news. My Estradiol Level (Estrogen) was only at 85. It wasn't corresponding with the size of the eggs on the ultra sound. It should have been in the 200-300 range. They ordered me to come back in today to do the exact same thing. Right egg was the same size (22mm), left egg grew to 20.5mm, and my uterine lining thickened more to 7mm.

Here is the picture of my left ovary and egg follicle. The biggest black circle is the follicle that is 20.5mm. The egg is inside.


I just got the call from the nurse about my blood work. Again with the bad news! Is there ever any good news? She said that my blood from today had an estradiol level of 50 and they re-ran yesterday's blood and it came back at 32! I'm not producing Estrogen. So, there's no estrogen and no progesterone. Am I even female? Geesh! She said they wouldn't do the IUI becuase there is no point in wasting the money when they don't think it will work anyhow. She said that since I already have a trigger shot, that I could use it to go ahead and ovulate and just have "timed intercourse." I asked her if by chance it worked and I became pregnant, what my chance of miscarriage would be if they already know these eggs aren't quite "right"? She of course said she doesn't know but doesn't think it would effect that. I don't know what to do. Chris and I have to talk about this tonight and we'll decide then.

In the meantime, I've written a Memorial Poem for our early loss:

Our Angel

Early morning breath and hair,
Racing to the test.
Good news I was hoping to share,
Praying for the best.

Trembling hands awaiting the time.
Pacing the floor, not wanting to look
As the clock chimes.
So much courage it took.

My emotions much too raw,
Glancing toward the table.
Finally, two pink lines I saw.
I could now have the label,

We’ve wanted for so long.
Hitting my knees I cried,
“I’m so glad I was wrong!”
It really isn’t a lie.

Blood they wanted to take.
Forcing my veins to bite the bait,
To make sure it wasn’t a mistake.
I would just have to wait.

A new day dawns,
Feelings of despair.
My husband smiles and yawns,
He doesn’t know what’s in the air.

My anxious mind racing,
Wanting the phone to ring.
Again with the pacing,
Really hoping I’d be able to sing.

The Doctor’s voice ever so clear,
“Hun, I have some bad news.”
It was my worst fear.
The baby I would soon lose.

Unable to speak,
Dropping the phone to the floor.
Knees feeling weak,
I felt it in my core.

Tears flowed like rain,
As I tried to tell him
Our efforts had been in vein.
He drove to me on that whim.

Sobbing at my desk,
Red face and eyes closed tight.
He held me to his chest
And told me it would all be alright.

His heart had to be breaking,
But he held strong for me.
As I was aching,
He could surely see

In my womb our miracle died.
It was two days
Before our baby would fly
Into Heaven’s bright rays.

Returning to Sender
I can understand.
For if this Lender
Was holding my hand,

My life in His eyes,
My soul in His heart,
I couldn’t be shy.
I surely wouldn’t want to part.

I now think I’ve long enough mourned.
With this new title,
I can’t be that scorned.
Devil, toss your dagger, reins and bridle!

For now, I’m a mother of an angel
That will never fall
And likes to dangle
High above us all.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Third Time...

8/8/07

Was a charm. I finally got the long-awaited + yesterday morning!!! I was so thrilled! I was crying with joy and shaking because I was so enthused. I couldn't believe it. I kept looking at the result window all day just to make sure the + was still there! I called my nurse to let her know; she ordered a blood pregnancy test.



I woke up this morning to an aweful, gut-wrenching feeling. Something was wrong. I had one more HPT left and I took it. Negative. It seemed my worst fear was coming true. I tired calming myself thiking that maybe it was wrong.

I still needed to hear the blood test results from my Dr. I headed into work, trying to be optimistic. I called at 9am...results not in. 12 noon...called again and they put me on the phone with the Dr. herself. I knew this couldn't be good. Sure enough, first words out of her mouth were, "I'm afraid I have some bad news, hun." She began to explain, "There's actually some good news from this though." "What?" I insisted. "Well, you were pregnant, which means you can achieve conception. However, you have had a chemical pregancny, which means an early miscarriage." "W...w..why?" I manged to stutter. "There's really no explanation. It could be any number of things. Set up another consult when you are ready and we'll discuss your otpions." Choked up and tears already flowing, I managed to say, "O...o...k, bye." I lost it. I'm still losing it.

Just yesterday there was a live and growing baby in my womb. Today, that same baby is dead. I'm very angry and frustrated. I don't understand why people should have to go through this!?!? It hurts more than I could ever put into words. 18 months to finally achieve a pregnancy and all for nothing, for death. I feel the greatest sense of loss at the moment. Emptiness.

Chris didn't know about the pregnancy at all. I was going to tell him today. Tell him finally that he would be a Daddy in a few short months. Instead, I called him from work. I couldn't even speak I was crying so hard. He said, "I'll be right there." Ten minutes later he walked into my office and I was still sobbing. "What? What is it, I'm here." He desparately asked. I told him everything, everything that had happened. He's just as crushed as I am but I believe he's holding it all in for my sake. He's trying so hard to be strong for me. I don't know how he does it. He's the most amazing man I've ever met.

We both took the remainder of today off and did manage to inform our parents of what happened. I'm still aching all over. I haven't miscarried yet, which means the baby is still inside me. That hurts even more. I wish it would just come out. For the first time in a long time, I just wish my period would come. It's killing me to know our dead baby is just there.

I don't know what we are going to do at this point. My Dr. insisted that we come in for another consult. We'll see her this coming Monday, 8/16.

Please pray for our angel in Heaven and for our sanity.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Last Hope

7/25/07

Today was our last shot at becoming parents with medical assistance for a long while. We simply cannot keep affording this...financially and emotionally, month after month. We are truly tired. I really do feel like a human pin cushion. Other than this, today was mildly hopeful...though the same has been said for past procedures.

I went in for my ultra sound two days ago. I had two follicles...one on the left (21mm) and one on the right (19mm), finally. This is the first time in 4 months I've had an egg developing on the right side. My uterine linging was also nicely thinckened at 8.5mm. I was very impressed on how fast these cycles are going.

To recap, for our first IUI, I had two eggs in the left ovary around 20mm each. Chris's count was at 56 million sperm and I don't remember the motility. The procedure happened on cycle day 19. For our second IUI, I had one follicle on the left 19mm and he had 28 million sperm with 60% motility (not much hope there if you ask me). It took place on cycle day 16. This go 'round, Chris had a count of 45 million with 90% motility and the IUI was on cycle day 13. With that said, this cycle doesn't look too bad, expecially since I have an egg on each side. Again, I'm trying not to get my hopes up...as if that ever works.

At the end of the IUI, the Dr. (mind you, three different Dr's have performed each IUI) said, "We'll see you in 14 days for your blood test." I said, "No matter, I'll know in 9 days because that's how long my lueteal phase is." She couldn't believe it was that short and told me they like to see a lueteal phase of 10-16 days. Grant you I had mentioned this little known fact quite a few other times and it was disregarded by everyone else saying that it was quite "normal." HA! Nothing about this process is normal! In any event, she gave me Progesterone to lengthen that time between my ovulation and next cycle. Finally! Someone who actually listens to what the patient has to say! So, I'm on Progesterone and hoping with every fiber I am that it is what does the trick. We shall see.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Friday the Thirteenth

7/13/07

Today was most definitely bad luck for us. I am, yet again, not pregnant. Surprise, surprise. I'm feeling very defeated. I don't know what I would do without Chris though. He, among a group of online friends, is the only one who understands what this does to me. He is the only one who knows what to say and what to do. For that reason, I've come to the conclusion that I will not be talking to anyone else about this matter. People ask and are curious about this whole process and, up until now, I've been very open with most. I'm cutting that off. Everytime a discussion is brought up, those lovely "well-meaning" people always manage to say things that make me feel worse. I'm not sure how they manage to do this, but it's utterly amazing. Just when I think that I can't feel any further guilt-ridden, someone proves me wrong. I know they don't mean to do it, but nevertheless it still hurts. Their ignorance is my pain. I just can't deal with it anymore. The remarks continuously play back in my mind, litterally haunting me:

Well-Meaning People & My Fantasy Responses:

"At least you haven't been trying for 5-10 years!" I shouldn't have to!
"You're just over-thinking it, stop and it'll happen." Why don't I just stop breathing too?
"You're just stressing about it too much." You're the cause of my stress!
"It'll happen when you least expect it." I do least expect it!
"Why not adopt?" Why not fund the $25,000 for me?
"You're next!" You're an idiot!
"...and we all know Nicole loves kids!" No! Really? I hadn't realized!
"Wouldn't you love to have one of those!" No, I want my own!
"Maybe you should just take a break." Maybe I should break your neck?
"You'll understand when you have kids." You'll understand when you have a brain!

I could go on and on for ages. I could make a book about what NOT to say to someone who is trying to concieve! I sincerely, out of the hope for humanity, believe that people say these things becuase they are very uneducated about reproduction and really do not know what to say to those of us in a situation of infertility. *rolls eyes*

I've been quite confused today regarding what step to take next. Our Dr. likes to try at least three rounds of IUI with Clomid. I can't help but feel at this point like we are wasting money on a procedure that is obviously not working for us. I wanted to have a consult with our Dr. to discuss our options, so I called the nurse to let her know I've started another cycle. I informed her of my dilemma and she checked our Dr.'s schedule for the next time she would be available for a consult. The next date is August 8th! That would mean that we would be throwing this cycle away and really instictly already know what she is going to tell us anyway. She will say that she recommends 3 rounds of IUI/Clomid but that she would bump us up to injectables/IUI if we wanted. That may possibly work "better," but we don't know and it's much more expensive than what we are doing now. We are spending about $1,000 a month on medical bills currently. With injectibles, that will more than double. Not to mention, that I think I'm getting poked enough as it is without adding more needles to the madness. I called Chris at work to go over these so called options and we've agreed to do one more round of Clomid/IUI. That's all the Dr. will do anyhow before telling us to move on to injectibles. I'm not sure if we are doing this out of what little hope we have left or because we are already financially strapped and are scared to leap into more bills?!? All I know is that we've somehow mustered up the strength to move forward at least one more time. Not sure how we'll feel this time next month.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Cutting the Proverbial Cord

7/2/07

We've just had our second IUI. To be honest, I don't feel very hopeful about this cycle. I only had one egg compared to two last cycle and Chris only had 28 million little swimmers compared to 56 million last time. I've lost a lot of hope. I realize today exactly how exhausted I am...emotionally and physically.

I took the "trigger" shot on 6/30, and had an adverse reaction this time. I have a huge welt on my abdomen at the injection site. It's quite painful but the Dr.'s say it is normal. It freaked me out as I did not have this complication last time. I'm bruised on my arm from nurses drawing blood. I even have a permanent bruise on my hand from the months of blood work. I'm so stressed about everything right now...it all seems to be coming to a head.

Medical bills are starting come in and each month we're going through an extra $1,000 aside from regular bills due to treatment not being covered by medical insurance. Not to mention the gas we go through traveling back and forth from Augusta. That four-hour trek happens four to five times a month.

I've slept the majority of today and even as I type, my eyes are burning to shut. I'm just worn out. I have hormones racing through me via presciptions and injections. I'm emotional, which is not like me at all. I just feel like I could fall asleep and not wake up for about a week.

Between these and other stresses, such as my grandmother being on her deathbed and my responsibilities at work and to our extended families, I'm just ready give it up. My brain tells me one thing and my heart says another. Chris wants me to take a break if this time around isn't successful. I was so full of hope last month, but with everything going on now it's faded considerably.

I'll have an answer in about two weeks, but I'm not as anxious this time as I have been in the past tries. Normally, the waiting period is killer but I'm taking it stride now. Mainly, I think that's because I'll go nuts if I add that thought onto my plate right now. I'm just ready to be off this roller coaster. To quit TTC or not to quit TTC, that is the question? I'm very lost and low on hope right now...and it's not a pleasant place to be. There aren't too many people who truly understand what we're going through right now. One and a half years of this so far and to do it for another year and half??? Is that even possible? Definitely not financially! I don't think I can handle it physically or emotionally! I also don't think I will be able to continue to take off work for Dr.'s appointments as I'm sensing slight annoyances of my bosses. Maybe it's time to let this dream die. *cries self to sleep*

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Round Two!

6/28/07

I'm on cycle day 12. I went in for my follicle monitoring ultra sound this morning. I have many follies in my right ovary, but they are all too immature to have any hope of making it to ovulation. I have one "nice" follie in my left ovary, currently measuring 16mm. They ran blood work to check my Estridol and LH levels. My LH level is still very low, which means I won't be ovulating in the next 12-48 hours. My Estridol level is at 76, which is supposedly good and in accordance with my follicle's size.

To recap, last month I had two "nice" follicles in my left ovary both measuring 18mm on cycle day 18. My Estridol level last month was 168 on that same day. I was just informed today that my Estridol level from last month was low seeing as how there were two eggs released. This month, there aren't as many follicles but the one I do have is maturing quicker than last month.

I start using my Ovulation Predictor Kits today. If I don't get a positive test by Saturday morning, I have to call the Dr. and set up our 2nd IUI for Monday, July 2, 2007. I will have to give myself another "trigger" shot on 6/30 if I don't get a positive reading by that Saturday morning.

I am cautiously excited about this 2nd IUI. I'm really hoping this is the one...but also trying not to get my hopes up high. This last cycle was very difficult to take. Finding out we weren't pregnant on Father's Day was even worse than the usual negative HPT. Just another blow, with a little more sting each passing month. Satan is trying so hard to bring us down to his level. We're not going there. I know with all I am that we will have a child of our own...a little combination of us both. That keeps me going.

Some days are harder than others. The News makes it difficult to understand why this is happening to us. Everyday, I can turn on the News and see an innocent baby hurt or killed by his/her parents or loved ones. Why? Just this week I read of a Pro Wrestler who killed his wife and his seven year old son before hanging himself! Why? I also read of a 21-yr old man who shook his 2 month old baby to death because she was crying! Why? Why would anyone do these things? Better yet, why do they get the gift of having children if all they will do is harm them? Things like this make our situation evermore trying.

In addition, we still have those handy dandy "well-meaning" people to cope with. The ones who seem to think stress is our problem. "Just stop trying and it'll happen." "Don't think about it and it'll happen." "Just relax and it'll come." I could go on and on. I don't understand why people can't comprehend that this type of worldly advice does not help! I try my best to just put on a foe happy face, grit my teeth, hold my tongue and walk away. I would love to ask where they received their medical degree. Seriously, would they tell a cancer patient to "just relax" and a cure will happen? NO, they don't! Why? Because they know better; they understand that cancer is a serious medical condition that requires medical treatment. There are so many people out there who are very ignorant to the medical condition of Infertility. A glass of wine is not a treatment, nor cure. When these "well-meaning" people harp on infertiles to "just relax," it only makes us want to punch their face in. They are implying that we are simply tight asses who are overly obsessed with getting pregnant. Even if we were, that has nothing to do with the actual condition, nor does stress affect one's ability to achieve conception. I really don't know why they think the way they do. All we really want to hear/know is that they are praying/rooting for us. That they love us and we are in their thoughts. We just want to know that someone is there backing us with support, an ear to listen, and a shoulder to cry on. We don't need advice, that's what we're paying the Doctors for.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

God is Great!

6/18/07

No, I'm still not pregnant. I do, however, have money to replenish our medical savings account! I was greeted at work today with an $1,800 commission check that I really wasn't expecting! Now we will be able to move forward with our trying to conceive plans.

I spoke to our Dr. today and I was correct in the assumption that we would do another Clomid/IUI. She set me up for my first ultra sound of this cycle on 6/28. I start the Clomid tomorrow. I'm hoping for several eggs to mature so that it will increase our chances. July has to be our month! Because I'm really not sure how many more of these negatives we can handle. Each one is immensely devastating!

Dear God, Thank you!

Happy Not-a-Father Day!

6/17/07

I really wanted to wake up today and take a home pregnancy test, have it be positive, and then get to tell my husband "Happy Father's Day!" As we all know by now, my plans never go as expected. Today was a nightmare.

I woke up around 5:30 AM with antcipation of the pregnancy test not allowing me sleep! I took it and of course it was a negative! Thinking and trying to keep myself calm I say, "Well, it's still just too early...I'm only 10 days past ovulation." I went back to bed. We awoke at 8:30 AM to a bright and sunny Father's Day. Then I went to the bathroom, lo and behold, Aunt Flow showed up. I was miserable. I broke down into tears and Chris immediately knew what that meant. He, again, did his best to comfort me and I knew he was dying inside as we now had to go stuff all these emotions behind our backs and suffer through a Father's Day Lunch with his family. A lunch where we knew there would be babies and Dads galore! Somehow, we managed to pull through and made a quick exit proceeding the gift-giving.

Next on the agenda, was to see my family for the day. We were to have a simple and small cookout which we both could emotionally handle due to the fact there would be no children present. We arrived at their house around 2 PM where we discovered that my Mom had just called 911 as my live-in Grandmother had suffered a stroke. We followed suit to the hospital where we got to sit and wait, and wait, and wait, and then we waited somemore. Finally, they said, "There is nothing we can do." They admitted her and said they would make sure she stayed "comfortable." We made it back to my parents' house around 8:30 PM and still tried to enjoy the remainder of the evening by having our family cookout.

I'm so emotionally drained from today that I'm finding it utterly impossible to keep my eyes open. I am very upset and don't even have it in me to bring out any tears. I have to call the Dr. on Monday and see what our next course of action is to be. I'm sure she'll have us do another round of Clomid/IUI. I'm not really sure how we'll afford it though. I found out earlier this week what I had to pay out for our quarterly 2007 estimated taxes on 6/15. My jaw dropped when our accountant said, "$2,000.00!!" That cleaned out our savings account...which was the funding for all our medical expenses. Just one round of IUI is $600! I'm feeling rather hopeless at the moment as there is no financing option for any of this. It's either you pay on the spot or it doesn't happen!

Dear God, I know You may not hear this one very often (or maybe You do), but we need money to get pregnant! Happy Father's Day! Love, Two Very Disappointed Believers.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

The Waiting Game

6/6/07

It's been two weeks since the last post and a lot has happened! 6/1 was Chris's birthday and we had a blast with the family at City Slickers, our favorite restaurant! Chris adores his new job and he is learning new things everyday.

Today is cycle day 20 for me on the trying to conceive forefront. I've been charting and temping everyday as to not miss ovulation. Two days ago, I became worried that I had already ovulated and would miss having our IUI this month. I called our RE and she had me come in for an ultrasound. The good news was that I had not yet "Oed" and had TWO mature egg follicles measuring 18 mm. Eggs usually ovulate between 18 to 26 mm and they grow, on average, 2 mm a day. The bad news was that it was getting too late into the cycle for us just to "wait" for my body to trigger ovulation. It might have or might not have. So, they sent me home with a "trigger" shot filled with HCg hormone. I injected myself that night at 8:45 PM.

Cycle day 19, yesterday, I took an ovulation predictor kit and it was positive!! I called the Dr. and she set us up for an IUI at 8:45 AM today! We left the house this morning at 5:15 AM because we live 2 hours away from the Dr.'s office. Chris had to be there at 7:45 AM for his little "donation" to this project. His little guys went through a "washing" process, which is where they remove bacteria, seamen, and any deformed sperm. They only needed 10 million to do the IUI. The Dr. came in to let us know his count was excellent and they were very motile! He had 56 million little swimmers after the washing!! Dr. Murphy performed the IUI and it was painless, well for a little while anyhow. Everything went as planned and we were out by 10 AM. As today has progressed, I'm very crampy and sore in my lower abdomen. This is normal but not fun. I will be resting for the remainder of the day and praying that I'm pregnant! Now, we play the two week waiting game!

P.S. Happy Birthday, Dad!! :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Dear Anonymous...

5/23/07



Anonymous said...

"why don't you think about nature for a second? if there was a god, you wouldn't be having trouble conceiving, would you? there's a reason it's not happening and there are lots of kids that need homes. and your nursery is creepy. you're like one of those women who plan their weddings before they've even met their future husband."
May 23, 2007 10:57 AM

Everyone is entitled to their opinion and freedom of speech. I'm not going to be arguing against that. All I ask is that you do not attack my faith, my God. Just because I have issues with conceiving, doesn't mean that my God doesn't exist. I blame none of this on Him. I ask for His support and guidance. He never promised us life would be perfect. He actually promised that life would be full of tests and struggles and that these things would prove faith in Him. He has never given me more than I can handle, which was also promised. I've been pushed right to the breaking point, but never over it.

You're right, there is a reason it hasn't happened...yet. I don't know the reason, I'm not God. And yes, there are several children that all need homes, but if you had had any mind enough to do some research before being critical, you would have discovered that my husband and I do not yet meet the adoption criteria. We are not of age and have not yet been officially married long enough. Not to mention that adoptions cost upward of $20,000 + (of which you cannot finance through an agency as if you were purchasing a car). Adoption may very well be in the cards for us and if that is how God wants to bring a child into our life, He will lead us in that direction, Himself. He has not yet done so. We pray and talk to Him on a daily basis and He does give us direction and choices to make...none of those are in the way of adoption yet. However, that is personal and is between He and us.

My being "creepy" is your opinion as well. Some people do actually plan for children. Not everyone sees it as a spur of the moment thing and it's not always a "surprise" for everyone. It's nothing like "planning a wedding for a future husband." Husbands and weddings are far less complicated than having children. All little girls dream of their wedding day, but I did not have it planned out and my husband had a great deal of input. Having children takes maturity, and with maturity you realize that they have needs and one of those needs is to have a loving home. That is something our child will not be lacking. I began that nursery in the unknowing state that we didn't have fertiltiy issues. I didn't realize that fact until months later and then I took a break from the nursery for a while. The painting on the walls is a very time consuming project as it was done by me and I work full time. When you are pregnant, you can't be on ladders and surrounded by paint fumes. I had to finish that nursery because that is the nursery I want my child to have. I put in over 200 hours creating it and with each stroke of my brush, I felt in my bones I was doing the right thing. I already am in love with our child. So in love, that I wanted him or her to have the coolest room around...colors, happiness, love. It takes a lot to prepare for a child...more than most expect, especially financially. I didn't want to worry or struggle once the baby was here. I want to be able to enjoy my child. Everything in that room is paid for...even clothes! We don't have to worry about anything once we're expecting and I'm very thankful that we've already had the opportunity to do that. Maybe that is God's reasoning for our situation. Maybe He wants to wait to bless us with a child when our circumstances are perfect. I still don't know that, but it's a thought. I do know one thing...my God has already promised me a child and He never breaks His promises!

I'm sorry you feel the way you do. You made that comment sound hateful and bitter...not just myself but to a whole group of women who are in the same boat as me. None of us asked for this and we have moments of frustration where we need to vent. That is one of the reasons for this space. We are all only human. There are many people who've read your comment and have been hurt and they've all approaced me about it. I've told them that I feel so bad for you. I so wish bitterness didn't engulf your process of thinking. I can't speak for everyone, but I do forgive you and I hope that you somehow find your own hope in your own life.

I am also happy to announce (to everyone) that Chris has been hired to a new company...one week to the day of his being laid off. He loves this job more than his previous one, as this company has a much better management staff. God is great!!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Got a Surprise Visit...Aunt Flow Showed Up!

5/18/07

The bad news: I'm not pregnant for the month of May. The worse news: Chris lost his "new" job on 5/14...stupid assholes! So much for great/cheaper health insurance and financial breathing room. Geeeesh! The good news: I just started a new cycle by myself...no progesterone!! YAY! Even better news: We're going to have an IUI in June! Maybe this is it, maybe it'll all happen for us. After all this time, tests, waiting...maybe this cycle will be the one!

We met with our RE on 5/16 for another consult. I didn't think I'd even have a chance of starting a new cycle until 5/25. I'm glad we met with her a little early. She went ahead and wrote me a script for Clomid. I have to take it from Cycle Day 3 through 7. From there, I'll have to go in for another ultrasound to check the size and count of my follicles (future eggs). If all looks good, she'll give me the date Chris will have to inject me with the ovulation trigger. A few days after that, we go in for the long awaited IUI! I'm so excited right now and so full of hope for JUNE! I don't want this hope to end. Oh, please pray for us...pray that this is the cycle, this is our turn!! I so want this to be it!!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

M-Day: Fight or Flight?

5/12/07

It's fast approaching...the day that all infertile women fear: Mother's Day. Tomorrow, all across the Country, people will be celebrating what is supposed to be a woman's God-given right...the right to be a mother. Will I be celebrating? According to social standing, I really can't celebrate for myself. I do however have a mother, a mother in law, grandmothers, cousins, and all our sisters in law are mothers. The word is all around me! I can't escape and it's a little frustrating. Actually, mucho grande frustrating! I will have a little solice though...tomorrow I have to work. I haven't been so excited to work on a weekend in a long time!

I shouldn't tease myself though...even at work, I won't be able to escape. Everytime I turn around there is another nicely rounded baby belly, baby shower invites posted on doors, or new arrival emails just staring me in the face. Then I have the "well-meaning" people saying the inevitable: "You have plenty of time," "Just be patient, honey," and one of my top favorites, "You're next!" Ooooohhhhh!!! If they only knew how much those little well meaning phrases stung, they would run for the hills knowing how much I'm on the brink of just cold-cocking someone right in the face! Sound a little bitter? Ya think!?!? Geeeessshhhh! Get a clue people! But alas, I keep my cool, give a little noncommittal smile, raised eyebrows (really in disbelief), and nod my head just to appease them so that they will walk away feeling that their pitty phrases really helped. Then, with my uterus feeling even more empty than before, I walk in the opposite direction with tears following. That in turn, pushes me to my latest addiction, the APA forum online where people actually understand what the hell I mean by all this! I really don't know where I'd be without the ladies on there. God has blessed me just enough to give me that comfort of knowing we're not alone in this struggle. For that, I'm eternally grateful.

Chris and I discussed that this month would be the last month of attempting to conceive "naturally" before hopefully moving on to IUI in June. So, in the hopes that I would actually ovulate on my own, I decided to start charting/temping this month. Looking at my chart, it appears that I did in fact "O" on 5/8. Which now puts me in what we APA gals call the 2WW or 2 week wait. Which means, that we now just have to wait the 2 weeks between ovulation and the time I should begin mensus. If it comes, of course our plan has failed, yet again (big shocker? I think not.). If it doesn't come, then that means one of two things: Either I'm pregnant or my cycle is being difficult again and I really never "Oed" anyway. Of course, we are hoping for the first of those two options, but I'm not really counting on it.

I want to dedicate this post to all the women out there struggling to conceive. I want to wish all of us a Happy Mother's Day. We deserve it. And you know I'm going to tell you why! Here's to us because we are fighting a daily battle trying to ensure our children have a future. We are planning for them and protecting their lives even though they don't know it yet. We are going through all the stress that mothers go through...but we go above and beyond what the typical mom has to deal with. The mother figure loses sleep at night hoping her baby makes it home safely; we lose sleep at night hoping our baby makes it safely home to our womb. We already have to worry about all the "mom" stuff...balanced diet, vitamins, Dr.'s appointments, being over-protective, ect. We go through the Hell of being "lab rats" each and everyday. We voluntarily allow Dr.s and nurses to poke and prod, to violate and humiliate so that we may have the optimum environment for our soon to be growing child. We talk, cry, scream, and constantly worry with our husbands as we are forced to over-prepare for becoming parents. We spoil our children with gifts that are just awaiting their arrival into our home. We deal with a much more complicated grading system than even public schools can come up with: Not just F's, but FSH's, BFN's, LH's, IUI's, IVF's, FET's, RE's, PA's, US's, and the list goes on and on and on...the best grade our kids can get is the oh so precious BFP! So, for all of us struggling to concieve, have a wonderful Mother's Day because each and everyone of us are already Mom's whether society believes it or not. I say we all stand together in unison and fight for our annual right to be pampered on the "hallowed uterus-worshiping day!" Cheers!!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Confusion

5/1/07

I finally had my HSG today. The procedure was rather intense, with much pain! On the positive side, I have a "beautiful" uterus and clear tubes. Furthermore, I finally got to see and and speak with my actual RE again! That was a miracle in itself. However, I still have no answers...at least none that are plausable to me. She seems to think that I don't have PCOS. She thinks that me having 11 follicles in my right ovary is perfectly normal for my age. Therefore, she's not testing me any further for it...at least not until I decide I'm going to bitch. For now, we'll play her game and I do pray that she is right and I'm wrong. If that's the case, I'll get "results" much quicker if I don't have PCOS.

I asked the ultimate question though: "Well, Doc...if everything is 'fine,' why can't I get pregnant?" She then replied back with the answer I feared, "You have what the majority of 'infertile' women have...'unexplained infertility'." There you have it! All these months of waiting, testing, trying, crying...what is my big answer?!?! "Unexplained Infertility!" You have to be kidding...all of this and you can't really give me an answer? Well, that's what I was thinking anyway. Am I glad that it's not anything huge, like no sperm or completely blocked tubes? Yes I am. Although, at least those people know their outcome and their treatment. We, on the other hand, are no further along now than we were this time last year! On paper, we should be able to be pregnant but we're not. This in itself points to a serious problem but it just can't be explained! The frustration doesn't seem to end! At least when I thought PCOS was the ailment, I had a plan in mind and things would start happening with treatment! Now, we basically have to start shooting in the dark.

My RE is leaving town for two weeks but when she gets back we have to have another consult to discuss what our options are and what the next step is. From what I understand of this last visit, I think she wants to proceed with Clomid and IUI. The catch there? I have to start another period before they can move on with that. This leads me to believe I might be waiting a while because my cylces aren't exactly cooperating here lately. They'll probably have to put me back on progesterone again. Uhhhgggg!

Moral of the day: "Wanna hear God laugh? Tell him your plans!"

Friday, April 27, 2007

Musings of a Lab Rat

4/27/07

Today is cycle day 3...yes, that means that after over two months of waiting my cycle is anew!! Today means that I went back to my Dr. for the first time in those two months worth of waste. Today was not a good day. It was, but wasn't.

When I first arrived, the blood work had to be done but my veins weren't in a cooperative mood (as usual) and I had to be pricked several times to get a rather large vile. Next came the ultra sound. It wasn't the US I expected! I sat there thinking they were going to come in and rub lube on my belly and have a looksee. Oh, NO! As my legs went up into the stirrups, in walks a "stand-in" Dr., a nurse, and a medical student! My actual RE couldn't be there today. Not to mention, I'm all alone because of Chris's new job. As I'm on display, the Dr. begins to inform me how this US works. In any event and without all the vivid and painful details, my own diagnosis was correct...I have PCOS (Polycyctic Ovarian Syndrome). In laymen, it means that my hormones are so out of whack that I'm producing too much testostorone and insulin. There are many cysts all over my right ovary which in turn causes me not to ovulate...hince, no pregnancy.

After the tests and no other explanations, I proceeded into the lobby and waited for my nurse. She looked at me blankly and said, "You are free to go." Dumbfounded, I responded, "Shouldn't I be scheduled for and HSG next week and be written a script for Clomid?" She said, "Well, it hasn't been authorized by your Dr." "Well, that is what I was told was to happen at our consult two months ago." I argued. "I'll call your Dr. and get back to you." She insisted.

So, I left without a plan...yet again to just wait. I got to the car and lost it. I cried nearly the whole way home and then somemore when I got to work. Actually, I'm still crying. I'm so emotionally drained from the whole thing, the whole process of infertility. I feel betrayed as my own RE wasn't there to run me through the procedure, to inform me. I felt alone.

After five hours without a response, I called the nurse back myself to ask if she'd been able to reach my RE. Of course, the answer was no. I again asked if I could schedule the HSG for next week and her response was, "Unfortunately, the Dr. will be out of town all of next week so you'll have to wait until your next cycle." I went off on her! I said, "Look! That's what I was told the last visit I had over TWO MONTHS AGO!! and you are asking me to wait again!?!?!? If I need to find a Dr. who understands my frustration, you need to tell me right now!" Of course I got the, "I'm sorry, I'll try to reach her again." I hung up and began planning to find another Dr.

Fifteen minutes later, the phone rang...it was my nurse. "You have a 2:15 HSG on Tuesday and your RE will be there." So, today I learned that losing my cool does pay off from time to time. I talked with Chris's Aunt in FL who has the same condition (and is now pregnant after one miscarriage). She informed me that they will have to put me on a medication called Metformin for a three month period of time. It will, in a sense, equalize my hormones and allow for weight loss and can decrease the increase in chance for miscarriage that PCOS sufferers must cope with . The bad news: No fertility treatments for the first three months...oh goody, more waiting!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Confirmation

4/16/07

This is my 5th day on Provera...half way there!! I'm being optimistic that I'll start my new cycle just a day or so after my last pill! Here's hoping anyway. My husband has recently started a new job which is great...in just a few short months we'll have full benefits without having to pay an absurd amount of money. He now has to work most weekends though. So this past Sunday, I went to Church by myself, much like Hannah did in the story of Samuel. Low and behold, the Pastor began talking about truly hearing the word of God, from God Himself. He was saying that every person hears God in a different way than others hear Him. Out of all the stories he could have referenced, he brought up the story of Samuel and how he would run to Eli, thinking it was he who was calling, when Samuel was really hearing the voice of God. Samuel eventually learned God's voice and to sit still and let God speak. Maybe that's my problem...I'm not sitting still long enough to hear what God is trying to tell me? Or maybe that was God's way of confirming the sign He sent me last week? Probably both.

I'm still frustrated but less so. I've found a great online support group and that really helps...talking to people who know exactly what you are going through. Some of them have already been where I'm at in the Medical Process so I'm learing a lot about what is to come and what it's going to feel like. The women on there are amazing and so strong! There are also success stories and those help keep the rest of us going. I can't wait to be one of those success stories!!

I don't think I've ever mentioned what our first born's name will be. If it's a BOY, his name will be Cayden Joseph (A companion of which God will increase), Cade for short. If it's a GIRL, her name will be Nasyah Helynn (Miracle of God from the Sun's Ray), Nyah for short.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Purgatory...The Eternal Wait

4/12/07

Two months ago today, we met with our Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE). It was our first consult with a RE and it went rather well. She gave us the run down on what was to come. First, she would need some blood samples from me...mainly to check for Ruebella anitbodies. Then Chris was to have his "testing" done...although, I think he got the better end of the deal! LOL! I was to wait until the 3rd day of my next menstrual cycle and come back to see her for more tests and to be put me back on Clomid. The week following my cycle, I was to come back again for a sonohysterogram (SHG), a hysterosalpinogram (HSG), and an Ultrasound (US). If all tests came back "normal" she would proceed with Intrauterine Insemination (IUI). We left that consult excited that we had a plan and that we'd set the ball in motion!

Well, here I am two months later and still have not even had that "next" menstrual cycle! Six Home Pregnancy (HPT) and two Blood Tests later, all big fat negatives (BFN) of course, she writes me a prescription for Provera (basically a chemical D&C). I have to take these pills for 10 days and I should start a very heavy and excruciating period within 14 days of the last pill. On the bright side, we did find out that Chris is "normal." The down side to that: I'm the problem in this equation.

I'm so frustrated with just having to wait all the time! I'm more so sick and tired of everyone else saying, "Just wait, your time will come!" Shut the Hell up! You have NO freakin' clue what it's like being infertile! No clue as to how and when and even if my time will come! I know people mean well, but all they end up doing is making us feel worse and more so outcasts than before. I still feel like we've been left behind and for what, why??? Still no answer and I don't think there will be one. Everyday, I learn of someone within my family circle or friend circle is pregnant or has just given birth. I can't help but think: "Why are we not good enough for that?"

I am a very faithful Christian and Christ is in my heart always. Every time, I ask him for a "sign" of this situational outcome, he gives me a "half-sign" almost immediately! We were sitting in Church just a few months ago and we had a guest speaker. I was praying for a sign that day and out of no where, the Evangelist asks that anyone dealing with reproductive situations stand. I was the only one to stand...out of a congregation of 500! He prayed healing and said that God would heal this circumstance. I left rejuvenated and completely charged again with Hope. Nothing happened though...nothing that I've noticed anyway. Just last night, I was praying for a "sign" to guide me in the direction I needed to go (with the bottle of Provera in front of me). I didn't know if I should take the pills or wait it out. I then walked into our "future nursery" and picked up the Bible, sat down and started spontaneously flipping the pages. I closed my eyes while the pages flipped and then pointed on a page. When I opened my eyes, (with all the non-relevant stories I could have ended up on) my finger was on the story of Samuel. I read the words out loud, "...a woman named, Hannah, who had no children. She had always wanted a child and had prayed for years...Hannah went to the Temple and prayed to God making the Vow, "Lord, if you give me a son I promise to give him back to You and he shall do Your Work."" Now, I say He gives me "half-signs" because once I have them, I still feel lost. I still didn't know whether or not to take the meds. So, this afternoon I took the first pill. No turning back now.

Coming to The Realization

2/7/07

Today is officially one year since Chris and I began our unsuccessful strategies of becoming pregnant. This isn’t exactly how it was meant to go. According to our “goal plan,” I was supposed to of given birth in December. So much for that!

We finished our “future nursery” two weeks ago. The moment was ultimately bittersweet. The room is perfect, to our standards anyway! Everything is Winnie the Pooh, being the fanatic I am. It’s my favorite room in the whole house! We have nearly everything an infant could possibly want or need. We have a beautifully done “Pooh” mural, sleigh-style crib, oak changing table, Winnie the Pooh toy box and matching Armoire, Mahogany Glider, and of course a Pooh Bear Television, courtesy of “Nonni” (Chris’s Mom). The small 12x12 room is packed full of everything that screams new baby…except that it seems so empty because, sadly, there isn’t a baby to go in it.





I still feel as if we’re on an emotional rollercoaster, one I’d rather never ride again! It takes a larger toll than most would expect. It’s even wearing on Chris who usually hides behind the manly exterior. Then comes the beginning of every month when I get really quiet and my head inadvertently slumps so that I don’t have to look in his eyes. It’s come to where he just knows what that means and he does his best to make me feel better, but when I bring myself to lock in on his eyes he’s just as, if not more, hurt and disappointed than I am. You’d think coming to work would take my mind off of the whole situation…especially as busy as I stay. It doesn’t though. At the office, I feel like all the women around my age had a “let’s all get pregnant at the same time” party and I wasn’t invited. It’s weird that you intentionally go or do things to stop thinking about it, but trying that seems to make the subject flare out even more. Every time I try to watch TV there are nothing but new moms and pregnant women all over the freaking screen. A few weeks ago, I thought, “Well, I’ll just listen to the radio.” Low and behold, a 14-year old girl calls into the station to request a song and she goes into this sob story about how she got pregnant but her parents are going to help her raise the baby. I lost it! I found myself ranting and raving at the radio, just cussing that girl like a sailor! I couldn’t help but think and ask, “Why the hell does she get to have a baby?!?!” Is that infant going have the kind of life he or she deserves? Probably not, and here we sit, still on the sidelines, wondering if the coach will ever let us play in the game. We can’t figure it out. We know with all we are that we’d be an asset to the team if only allowed to have a chance on the field.


Over the past year, we’ve done our share of hoping and praying and there have been more than enough tears to go around. We’ve done all that we were supposed to do as far as really trying to get pregnant. The timing has been right, we’ve been on vitamins, no alcohol, fertility boosters such as Clomid, Ovulex, and Amberoz, not to mention bugging the hell out of my OB/GYN. Yesterday was a milestone for us…not the good and happy kind though. We came to the realization that we’d have to take the next step. We concluded that we have done all we can to become pregnant as naturally as possible. I finally made an appointment with a Reproductive Endocrinologist (an OB/GYN specializing in infertility). We’ll have our first appointment February 12th all the way out in Evans, GA. That’s an hour and forty-five minutes from our home and this Dr./Professor only sees patients on Mondays. I’m assuming we’ll be spending the majority of our coming Mondays in Evans, GA. It’s a long trek but we’re hoping it’ll be worth it in the end. Yes, we still believe in hoping.

This decision may seem easy to some, but it’s not as easy as you may think…at least not for the woman. I’m very realistic about what this appointment may lead to and what it involves. Frankly, I’m scared to death. It doesn’t really scare me to know that in the coming months I will be poked and prodded at as if I’m a lab rat (although I do hate needles). The answer(s) we may receive at the end of all this terrify the hell out of us. Will the battery of tests we’re about to undergo be worth the pain, the wait, and the outcome? We can’t be sure, but it’s a road we’re willing to take simply for the end we’re hoping for to come true. There’s a question one of my Literature teachers once asked our class in high school, “Why don’t people take the road less traveled?” I didn’t really understand that question at the time and now it’s crystal clear. People take the well cut path because it’s familiar, comfortable, and safe. Why would anyone take a road when they have no idea where it will lead them to? They take it because they’ve already been down the easy path and it leads them back to square one. They made it safely back but it’s only a circle and they have nothing to show for it. People choose the road less traveled because they have hope that when they near the end, all the bumps, pot holes, and scary creatures they have come across will build their character in such a way that they will have something to show for their trials and tribulations. We’re taking the road of uncertainty and with Hope on our side, we pray that the things we’ll encounter will not destroy us but give us the kind of strength and character we can pass on to our children…yes, that’s plural.

Please continue to keep us in your prayers as we begin this new chapter in our journey to parenthood.

In the Beginning

11/28/06


I'm feeling sad and even envious. Neither of which I feel very often. I'm not looking for pity, so please don't pity me. I'm only looking for a vent to air my frustration. I've been keeping so much emotion in and it's starting to take a toll. I love my friends and family so much and I intensely keep up to date on everyone's lives and the lives of their families. By doing this, I can't help but feel left behind somehow.



Chris and I are staring into the face of infertility and it sucks. We aren't completely sure of the problems yet, but we are certain there are problems and well, that's enough. We've been dreaming of a family for nearly seven years and always thought that it would be a piece of cake. After all, that is what people do...isn't it? Grow up, get married, have kids, and live mostly happily ever after. I wish it was that simple. Every step for us has been painstakingly hard...not just having kids, but the whole road has been made up of pot holes. It seems that since his wreck, we've been stuck behind a long line of people just patiently waiting to have our turn in Normalville...and when we get to the ticket window, it's closed. The hardest part is that we have to watch everyone else walk away with their tickets while we stand on the sidelines cheering for them and rejoicing in their happiness. After so long a wait, how can someone not get impatient...wanting to scream at the top of their lungs, "THIS ISN'T FAIR!! WHEN IS IT OUR TURN!?!?!" Will it come? Has it passed us by? And the worst of all is, "Why us?" There's not an answer and that sucks too. Then comes the guilt...feeling guilty for hurting, for being envious, for not being able to make our dreams come true.



No one knows what to say and when they try, it just stings worse...rubbing salt in the wounds so to speak. We've heard it all..."Just keep trying," "Give it time," "It'll happen when you least expect it," and my personal favorite, "It'll happen when you're ready." When we're ready??? HAHAHA! Hello! I think we're ready! I have no one to talk to who I feel can relate. Everyone I know can just pop out kids left and right, barely blinking. We feel alone in this. I don't know anyone else in their 20's who can relate to this...and if I do, they aren't talking about it.



To top it off, we then get to become lab rats at the Dr's office while they poke and prod and give false hope. "Here, take these and be pregnant within three months." Whatever. But you take them anyway...along with an array of vitamins and other supplements that don't seem to be doing anything but making me moody.



Alas, we continue to torture ourselves with the unanswerable questions like..."Why us?" You take things for granted when it comes easy to you...most women just assume it a birthright to bear children and it's just something Mother Nature will take care of "when we're ready." Horse Shit! If that's the case then Mother Nature is dealing a dirty deck and Father Time has developed Alzheimer's. And God, where does He come in? Well, I've seen Him perform Miracles in front of my eyes and that's why I haven't lost Faith that He's still there and still hearing us. Faith is the string by which we are hanging, be it only a thread. For that matter, we'll "keep trying."