Name, Name. What's In a Name?

August 29, 2012

Today was my first official day back to work but the students don't come till Wednesday.  Although its hard to get into work mode, it's a blessing to occupy my mind with something OTHER than baby land.

Last night we saw "The Odd Life of Timothy Green."  Bad move on my part.  It's about an infertile couple who "couldn't have tried harder" (quote from her RE) and she had exhausted all medical options. 

They decided to "make a baby" by writing all of the things their child would have had and been like (because of them).  They bury the box in the backyard as a symbol or burring their dreams of birthing a child and magically that child grows, comes out of the garden, and lives with them instantly calling them mom and dad.  Each time he calls her mom her heart seems to melt.

I sobbed teared up at so many parts.  It's so fun to think and dream what Darren and I's child will be like.  It was cute seeing how protective his mom became (I've said several times my child will be in a helmet and bubble wrap).

I couldn't break myself from the blues/depression I've been in the last week with the 7th failed IUI and the impending fear of the most likely IVF and Darren gave me the pep talk or how great my life is in all other categories, how to choose to enjoy what I have and to hope for what I don't.  Easier said than done, but he is right.  Though I feel deep fear and sorrow, happiness is a choice. 

It seems like every show I've been watching with a little adopted girl from China, the girls name is Lily.  A few days ago I asked Darren "if we adopt a girl from China can I name her Lilly Lynn (Lynn is my middle name)?" It seems so cute and fitting.  Anyway, in the movie last night they end up adopting an Asian girl named LILY!! Weird. 

I know I'm not pregnant, but since I'm trying to plan "positively" for the future, I thought it would be fun to throw out some of the names we have thought of:

Brinlee Benson
Broklyn Benson
Briella Benson
Regan Benson
Lilly Lynn Benson

My sister's middle name is JOY and my sister in law's name is Rachelle.  Both cute middle names.

Jude Samuel Benson
Judah Samuel Benson
Jayden Samuel Benson (remember that Jayden means GOD HAS HEARD).  I love this.
Kalen Samuel Benson

Red are my favorite, purple are Dar's
Names that got shot down by Darren: Bentley, Carter, Jet, Willow

Here is a clip from the movie when they are dreaming up what their child would be like...I'm not at a point where I can or need to do it (and hope I never have to) but it's cool. 

One-Way Ticket From Hell?

August 27, 2012

Many women have referred to the infertility trap as "infertility hell."  The longer this goes, the longer I understand that.  It's a horrible place to live.  Lots of fears.  Lots of emotions.  A lot of pain.  I have actually read women on blogs and community message boards calling their BFPs an "escape" or "ticket" out of infertility hell.

I'm about to buy one.  Or at least try.  They run about 16k ;).  I was so annoyed today talking to a variety of insurance companies (we are in open enrollement).  I called to see if HSA would cover IVF.  After being on hold for 2o minutes she got back on the phone and said "You know,invitro costs around $20,000."  Seriously???? An insurance agent who didn't even know what IVF stood for is telling me this as if I had no clue?   NO CRAP Ok lady, I realize how much it cost.  But thanks. 

I take a really low dosage of anxiety medicine but got of of it for the summer in case it could interfere with getting pregnant.  I've been fine until now (arrival of period).  My period is really cruel because it literally stopped and started TWICE before fully arriving, jerking me around with hope and then sadness and then hope.  It must be the lack of the anxiety pill, mixed with the end of summer, mixed with all the questions about money and IVF and such.
Don't get me wrong.  God has showed me time and time again that I have little reason to complain and that things could be way worse.  I need to learn  to fully trust HIS timing.  Clearly it has not been in our best interest to be pregnant now or God would have done it.

However, we don't feel "peace" about the adoption route yet.  I take it as IVF is next.

I cried so hard I almost threw up.  Just because I'm scared to do IVF and more scared not to.  I'm mentally in a place where I want to do it this second.  I want to know the results yesterday.

Today I called OHSU and set up the $405 consultation appt for September 10th.  This is really happening.  In a perfect world, I would be able to get testing done this month and do IVF next month and find out by mid-November.  In reality, I might have to wait a month due to scheduling.  Just getting an appt on the calendar lowers a little anxiety (but somehow increases it too).

In the meantime, I'm working with Kaiser to do one more BIG IUI (I'll do the trigger shot again).  It would be SO FREAKING COOL if this IUI worked, but I have realistic expectations.

We will talk with financial people but it looks like we will buy the package with 1 fresh 1 frozen or 2 fresh 2 frozen.  Having a timeline and a plan will help my TYPE A personality.

I know it's only 50% success (kind of a gamble) and I know that God will do what He chooses no matter what.  But I want out of the hell! :)  Bring on the shots!  Bring on the pain!  Bring on the egg retrieval! BRING ON THE BABY!

Pour Me Something Tall and Strong

August 25, 2012

Ok, fine, pour me a non-fat cafe latte with light whip.  I was desperate enough to not even drink caffeine for 2 weeks in case it "slowed down the embryo through the fallopian tube." I'm not a drinker but the "pour me something tall and strong" song is stuck in my head in these disappointing days of waiting to restart a new cycle.

As I sit here drinking away my sorrow, enjoying the whip cream and comforting taste of coffee, my mind raises with questions about the future:

Why me?  Why did God choose me to go through this journey?  I know He has a reason and I trust that, but I'm not on the other side where I get the 'aha' moment.

What next?  My OBGYN is insisting that I do 1-2 more IUI's but I want to go straight to OHSU and get the dumb IVF rolling.  But what if that $200 IUI, just one more, is the one? 

Do I go all out?  My OBGYN thinks it's pointless to do the monitoring and HCG shot since I ovulate but every time I go in for the procedure the infertility nurses are in shock that I haven't been monitored and taken the trigger shot.  I kind of what to pay the extra and just do it all if I do have to do 1 more IUI.

Am I jumping to IVF too fast?  It's only really been since April this year that I've been consistently ovulating although we have been trying for almost 2 years.  Am I too impatient?  Some people wait over 5 years before IVF.

What if IVF doesn't work?  To jump to this extreme option is scary that we are here.  The end.  Plan Z when it comes to carrying my own biological child.  It's freaky and horrifying.

What are my morals?  I have always been PRO-Life and as a teenager firmly believed its a life the MINUTE the egg hits the sperm.  Well, do I believe that if the egg hits the sperm outside my body?  And if that's the case, am I okay with "freezing" several "souls?" 

Is it strange that OHSU calls these stored frozen embryos "brothers and sisters" for a frozen egg transfer down the road after baby #1 is born?

How many embryos would we want to transfer?  The protocol is 2.  The crazy baby fever lady inside me says 3.  When it boils down to it, after all the hell of IVF, I would rather have 3 than 0, or take the risk and have 1 survive instead of having to do IVF all over again.  (The RE did tell us that couples with triplets have an 85% divorce rate).

When?  Our flex spending kicks in November 1 (waiting for November would save us probably around $700 dollars) but is that money worth waiting 2 more months?  I know 2 months sounds like nothing, but in infertility land, it feels like an eternity.

What does God want me to do?  He feels so silent in all this.  Is He annoyed me with for pushing so hard or does He want us to fight for this and to go through the process to gain empathy for others? If I was unemployed and had failed attempts at job interviews, I would go to a job-fair/specialist and seek help.  Is it any different?

Does God want me to stand still?  There are times He wants us to back completely up (aka no fertility drugs, no medical help) and let Him do a complete miracle?  This terrifies me.  Or does He want to do a miracle through IVF?

I've always beat to my own drum.  I loved this quote I found on pinterest.  Smart wise?  Wait a few months, see where Darren gets a job, see if his insurance overs IVF.  Wait till January were we can use his flex spending too.  Wait a few more months.  Try on our own.  All of that is smart.  But my heart?  My heart says my arms can't bear to wait another month of knowing that I can't hold my baby sooner.  My heart says I'm ready and don't want to waste another second.  My heart says I can take all the pain and scary things that come along with IVF. My heart says IVF soon.

Although not pregnant, it feels good drinking this tall and strong latte. Sippppppp.

What to Expect When Your NOT Expecting

August 24, 2012

Sigh.  It's crazy how I use to envy people with normal periods.  All I wanted was a period to be able to be in the "land of the trying."  I was pumped after months of different medications that the highest level of femera finally worked.   However, after getting my period consistently for over 5 months now, I am getting sick of seeing it come because it means that I'm not pregnant.

So, after having cramps for a few days, I got the first sure signs that I will have it full blown tomorrow or Saturday.  It can drive you crazy.  I try to convince myself each time that it's my uterus stretching, that its the egg implanting.  I can't get my sister's experience out of my head so it gives me a sick hope even though deep down I already know it's coming.

I had a wave of panic.  I've said it before.  I'm at the point where it's not that I can't bear the fact of not being pregnant right now (though I'm getting pretty close to that too), it's the fear that there is no guarantee I will ever be in that hospital room, pushing out my child, my husband by my side.  That scene that we grow up watching on tv and movies.  You know, when the wife yells crazy things like "YOU DID THIS TO ME" and then "I LOVE YOU" and then "I HATE YOU" then "WE DID IT!  HE/SHE is here and HE/SHE is BEAUTIFUL!"  I so so want this.

A couple days ago Darren and I went to go see the movie "What to Expect When You're Expecting."  Despite the fact I hate feel bad around all pregnant women, I loved the movie.  It was so honest.  It followed 5 couples (kind of spolier alert):

1.  A young girl who had a 1 night stand and got pregnant
2.  A celebrity couple who had a unplanned pregnancy
3.  A couple who had been trying for 2 years (my favorite)
4.  A non-traditional couple where the dad was old and a young hot 25 year old wife
5. An infertile couple who had gone through failed IVF

I loved it for the following reasons:
1.  The couple who had been trying 2 years had an "ovulation" alarm/app on her cell phone.  When they decided to take a break she said "We will take a break, then do 3 rounds of IVF, then adopt"  I was glad Darren could hear I'm not the only women who had to plan ahead for mental sake.

2.  The couple with the young wife had the "dream" pregnancy where she felt great the whole time, had twins, looked gorgeous, and when she sneezed 1 baby came out in labor.  Of COURSE we all can think of the fertile myrtles in our life where its soo easy for them.  I had to laugh.

3.  Lastly, the infertile couple was hard.  My sister warned me that the infertile women's character (JLO) is named HOLLY (my name) so that was weird.  The movie didn't take us through their journey of trying it started with their journey to adopt.  It was very powerful and moving.  They took a bus to Ethiopia and got their son.  "I have been waiting for you for so long" Holly says. 
I always "judged" people who said they would never adopt.  And here I am, going crazy, fighting my guts out, to birth my child.  We are so open to adoption, but right now my heart wants so bad to carry a child first.  Each time I get my period, I become afraid.  However, worrying is planning negative for the future.  I'm not giving up.

I Hope. I Trust.

August 14, 2012

Just an update on everything.  The day I got the LH surge, Kaiser was able to squeeze me in.  Sperm count was 9.5 mil (they like 10 as a minimum but she said good enough). 
It was funny because she complemented me on my "cervical mucus" and "wide open cervix" (not the type of complements you get every day) and then told me she hopes she never sees me again.  I get random nurses each time.  I liked her.  My BBT thermometer is going haywire so I'm not 100% I had the temp spike the next morning, but I think I did.  I did remind myself that "que sera' sera'" and the obsessing won't change a darn thing.

IUI #7 (Darren calls it "FINAL IUI"). I have to lay with hips tilted for 20 minutes after.  You can see the pregnant lady paper mobile above that I have to stare at each time (the one I wanted to rip up last month! ;)

This weekend we went to 2 family reunions at the beach (my side and then his side).  I have a wonderful and VERY fertile cousin who is pregnant with her fourth (she randomly found out she was pregnant during a pap smear).  And of course, I got asked the question..."so....when are you guys going to have ki-" "Oh, we have been trying for 2 years" I reply really fast but with a smile (although its really only been a year and half it feels like 86).  I could since a little awkwardness but I don't want to beat around the bush.

My great uncle got up to give a welcoming speech to the 40+ realatives and then started talking about how my sister is the first one to start the 5th generation.  He talked about it a little longer and I'm not going to lie, I had to do some hard blinks.  I'm older, so I feel bad and don't like people feeling bad for me.  In fact, I HATE it.  At my little sister's wedding a cousin said "Do you feel bad your little sister is getting married before you?"  Seriously?  I was fine but now I feel bad you feel bad! Sigh. 

Darren and I decided to attend OHSU IVF Open House.  They are ranked in the top 10 nation although their success rates are under 50% (the doctor told me its because they accept everyone and don't deny unlikely candidates).  They have a great program where we pay 8K for 1 Fresh, 1 Frozen transfer or double for 2 and 2.  I was delighted to hear that the whole process with them from CD 1 to pregnancy test is only 5 weeks.   We are thinking October may be the month to go for it...

As we were driving home yesterday, my stomach hurt really bad and Darren said "maybe you are pregnant" (even though its way too early to have signs).  I said, "I WISH."  He said, "No, say 'I hope' and 'I trust.'  So, as my 2 WW continues on, although doubtful this IUI #7 was any different from the rest, I will hope and I will trust.


August 9, 2012, 5:42 a.m.

It is so crazy that after all this time the emotions a smiley face on a clear blue ovulation test can bring me.  It's hope.  Crazy hope.  Deep hope.  I've said it before but when I get the smiley, I initially feel as excited as some women who get a positive pregnancy test the first try (at least I'm getting SOMETHING positive).

I'm so nervous because Kaiser isn't the "best" of insurance companies and they only have 3 time frames today (people schedule the day before) so I'm no guaranteed to get in today.  Usually they have you go in the next 24 after positive opk, but my temp ALWAYS jumps by then.  I've convinced my doctor to let me try to get in the morning of postive opk...she said I could try but it's not guaranteed. 

On top of this, I think Darren and I may have timed it right with sperm count (it's been 5 days in hopes of building it up).

If Doctor Seuss was alive, I really think he could make money in the infertile world with a book called CATCH THAT EGG!

Crossing my fingers I get in.  Praying that God does a miracle.  Prepared for the worst (coping mechanism of course).

This is a 30 second clip and I LOVE IT!! I am SO showing this to announce a pregnancy if it happens :)

Maybe in the Future...

August 5, 2012

So I'm in that I-hope-I-ovulate-and-time-IUI-right zone.  I start opk testing day 10 and have ovulated as early as day 13, as late as day 25, and sometimes never.  Even though Femera 7.5 hasn't done me wrong yet, I always get a little nervous (and I'm freaking myself out I may have randomly missed 1 pill??).  Today is only day 12 so no need to panic.

In the meantime as I try to force myself into "positive thinking" I'm going to do a little maybe in the future dreaming.  I follow another mom-to-be's blog named Jen and she gave me this idea.  I'm' a Pinterest lover and I pulled these images from my boards to dream the what if....

First off, I love this picture!!  It tells the quick journey and is so precious.  I'm doing it!

I'm obsessed with gray and pink (girl) or gray and jungle green (boy).  I love this simple nursery so much.  I just painted our "guest room" grey with a little hope that it won't be a guest room much longer and that I'll be one step ahead of the game in nursery decoration ;)

Okay, isn't this creative?  Turn an old dresser into an adorable kid room dresser?  I love the baskets on the sides. 

EARS!!!  I think babies in ears are the cutest thing EVER!!  My little sister just registered for a fox ear beanie for my future nephew and it's precious.  My child shall wear the ears!

This picture speaks for itself.  SO DANG TRUE.  I might dedicate a whole wall to have this saying on it!

Future baby, I love you so much already.  I can imagine our lives with you.  I know that there will be challenges and sacrifices, but you are so worth it.  Know that you are so loved and so, so, so deeply desired.  Hope to meet you soon.


August 1, 2012

Today was the big HSG test.  85% of the "horror" was just the fear and the waiting for this day to come.  I felt like I was going to have a panic attack this morning (I've spent waaaay  to much google time on "what to expect" and read waaaaay too many bad stories).

My sister came with me but wasn't allowed in the room due to the radiology.  I was freaked when I walked into the room (it looked kind of like MRI).  For some reason, I thought it would be a normal ultrasound where they rub gel on stomach...didn't realize it was a full blown x-ray.

The technician that brought me back was my age and really nice, but I started crying sitting on the table waiting.

I could not have asked for a nicer man than the one that did the procedure.  He went into detail about what he was going to do (it's basically the same route as an IUI but the catheter has a little balloon they blow up to hold the tube in place). 

I could tell the doctor was a Christian and he was soo kind.  He constantly asked if I was okay, if anything hurt, if he was going too fast, etc.  My favorite part was anytime he had to look "down south" he would actually say "excuse me."  Hilarious considering I feel like that has become public property these days.  He tried to use humor and told me he met his wife in med school and at one point she forced him to sit in the "stir-ups" just to see how it felt (he didn't use them today). 

I had worked it up in my mind but the worst part was just the speculum coming in.  After that, I hardly felt a thing (didn't feel the dye at all).

We all watched the dye spill from my left fallopian tube and had to wait a bit for the right one to spill.  He said they were both open but the left was obviously clearer. 

This image isn't mine but it's similar to what we watched on screen.

He wished me luck and said God bless. 

Though uncomfortable, I'm so glad to have gotten this over with.  We now will proceed our next (last) 2 IUIs with clean and clear tubes (hopefully the dye moved out any blockage) and keep our fingers crossed and faith high.

My Bucket List:

My Bucket List: