Friday, April 27, 2007

Musings of a Lab Rat


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 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



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 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


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


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


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."