Cramps In My Uterus, Cramps In My Heart

July 23, 2012

We all knew this cycle would be a long shot, but sometimes that gives me more hope than ever because often God loves working in the impossible situations.  I guess this just wasn't His timing.

I have quickly determined that out of the cycle days, the last 4 days of the 2WW are the worst.  The craziest.  The most emotional for me.  I was supposed to pregnancy test tomorrow if I hadn't gotten my period.  I always start it the day before I'm supposed to test.

On Friday I started feeling cramps and began to mourn it.  I know plenty of women that claim they had menstrual cramps but that their period never came, but once cramps set in for me (I always get them 3-4 days before arrival) I deep down can sense it's over for this cycle.  I usually feel really sad, and then on top of that deal with all the PMS junk that comes with the medicated cycle.

The crazy thing too is since I took the HSG shot, it made me feel kind of pregnant for a bit.  I was nauseous and tired.  I know the sperm count was low for the IUI but we had sex 36 hours before and isn't it supposed to live in you for at least 48 hours? 

Anyways, the cramps kick in and I let go, but I still hold on to that 2% chance that it's not over until I see blood.  I have a small glimmer of hope that maybe, like my sister, I will have cramps and the period never shows up?  So, every bathroom break becomes an emotional ride of  "is it coming?" 

As I move forward into my new cycle day 1, I'm getting more scared.  I have to have a procedure called a Hysterosalpingogram done where they fill my ovaries with dye to make sure they are not blocked.  I was told to take anti-biotic and pain pills before (this is NOT comforting).  I've been dreading this for months because the doctor told me to do three IUI's first (I think I just figured I'd get pregnant first).  At least we will know if my tubes are open. 

I got a note from the doctor saying "I would try 1 or 2 more IUI's then look into other options."  Even though we have decided IVF is probably best for sanity sake this fall, to hear it from a doctor seems more official.  More scary.  More real. 

Although I have cramps physically and emotionally, the only thing we can do is move forward. 

Dear God, I'm Sorry.

July 11, 2012

It seems like whenever I allow myself to have a crying-raging-snot running-shake the fist-pity party, I get completely, and overwhelmingly humbled.  Don't get me wrong.  Whether our lives are perfectly smooth or unfairly rough, everyone has the "right" to feel their emotions.  BUT, perspective is important.

Here is a quick summary of what I mean:
1.  I went 3.5 months with no response to clomid (aka over 100 days where getting pregnant wasn't even possible).  I was mad.  I allowed myself to think of God as mean.  He could fix this is a single word yet I'm suffering and suffering and suffering.  Not an ounce of prayer being answered...

But, through that, we decided to get my husband's testosterone level checked.  About 10 blood tests early, they were highly concerned he had growth on his pituitary gland.  The MRI confirmed it. 

I was terrified.  I want a baby more than anything, but I choose having Darren first if that's all I can pick.  I adore him and losing him would kill me. 
I was humbled.  Here I am shaking my fist and yelling "you're mean" to the Creator of the world, while this whole time, He may have just been directing us to discover Darren's growth (if we would've gotten pregnant right away, we never would have tested.)  I felt so bad.  God could be using infertility to save his life, and I had been throwing a fit.

2.  I started ovulating on femera, but we can never get the timing right.  Either I put too much pressure on Darren and he panics, I'm out of town, we think the IUI was too late, etc.  WOE IS ME.

My friend that recently found out she has basically gone through menopause and told she had a 5% chance of conceiving on her own (she's 26) had the most humbling response.  She said "Looks like God is going to use me to do a miracle through."  Wow. I've never once looked at it like this.

3.  Lastly, I felt pure rage last Sunday because after the injection, IUI, monitoring, and then just getting 1.5 million sperm, I jumped back into my "God is mean" attitude.  I cried and cried and cried.  I even complained about "how God could let me walk into pick up my hgc shot and run into a couple who had their 3 day old baby."  I went on about how cruel it was that He let that moment that I went to get the shot be the same moment I ran into this couple. 

Today, 2 people in our community died.  A 15 year old boy and a 26 year old youth pastor.  Drowned.  I was mad about the coincidence of running into new parents?  What about the coincidence of having a terrible accident?  If that 15 year old boy had simply decided to stay home.  Or if that youth pastor hadn't wanted to take a picture of that waterfall.  I feel like I have no right to complain about timing. 
I went to the youth pastor's facebook wall.  He had had a beautiful girlfriend.  This is what she had posted:

cannot even begin to describe the echoing scream inside my soul...a big piece of my heart died with you, Brett... this storm of thoughts and emotions is overwhelming to me. SO many people cherished and loved you; the things everybody has said ring so true to the core... thank you for forever changing my heart, my soul, my mind, and my life... your impact on everyone around you and God's kingdom is evident.

Even though I don't know these people, my heartaches for them.  For her.  There is a scream inside her soul.  I want a child so bad.  It hurts.  But I HAVE to keep perspective and not lose sight of the beautiful life I do have.  I can cry, I can be disappointed, I can be mad, I can long and hurt, and I will, but I can't question God.  Dear God, I'm sorry. Thank you for the beautiful life You have given me.  I don't understand Your ways, but I trust You. 

"We Need to Have a Chat."

July 9, 2012

As I was writing my last blog, I got a phone call from the fertility nurse at Kaiser saying I had two "beautiful follicles" that would be ready to go on Sunday (which is only cd 13).  I almost couldn't believe it since I've never had a "smiley face" surge till day 16.  She insisted that I schedule for a Sunday IUI. 

Still doubting, I asked if I should take the HCG trigger shot to guarantee.  "Why not" was basically her reply.  She said I would need to take it by 8:30pm (36 hours prior to Sunday IUI).  I couldn't believe it still but thought what the heck. 

Although I was still a little emotionally "tender" from the poking and prodding earlier that afternoon, I hoped in my car to drive to the pharmacy the doctor said to go there.  I asked Heidi (my sister) to join.  The whole way there I rambled on and on about cycle days and follicles and LH surges.  My pregnant sister had a glossy look in her eyes (let's be honest, infertility jargon is a foreign language to those outside the "hell").  Despite her not really getting what I was ranting about, she was kind and encouraging.

When we walked into the pharmacy, Heidi squeals with delight.  A couple from our old church were waiting in line with their  THREE DAY OLD BABY.  Heidi was pumped because her kid is due in just a few months.  I sat there, waiting for them to call my number and to give me the $200 shot I would have to inject in my stomach to have a baby.  Or to try to have a baby.  While I was waiting, I couldn't not hear their conversation. 

The proud father talked about how there are not words to describe the first time you "hold your newborn in your arms" and how actually seeing the combination of him and his wife is "amazing" and "out of this world."  He had every right to be as happy as he was, but the IRONY of it all was eating me alive.  It was hard not to be slightly hurt/mad at God to allow me in that SECOND to run into them.

They didn't have my shot so we had to drive 45 minutes back to Portland to pick it up (the place I had been a few hours earlier for the ultrasound).

I was scared to give myself the shot, but Darren was even more scared.  He almost seemed upset or terrified at the thought of penetrating me with a needle.  It was easy and pretty painless.  In case low sperm count is still an issue the doctor told us to have sex that night (36 hours prior  just in case I ovulated sooner) and then come in Sunday.

Here is me, right after the injection, holding the dang needle.  Baby, you are going to be SO LOVED.

So, Sunday morning we wake up for the IUI.  I feel really really peaceful.  Really joyful.  Hopeful. We filmed ourselves talking about how we were rooting for twins and on our way to make a baby.   Everything was going smoothly until the doctor called us back....

She said "we need to have a chat."  Basically, his sperm count was only 1.5 million.  This is INSANELY low.  Last time it was freaking 98 million.  I have read in my hours of obsessing and study that 10 million is the best "minimum" but anything under 5 million isn't cost effective.  1.5?

She gave us a minute to talk alone.  We decided something is better than nothing and we were already half way into the process so to go for it.  The IUI was fast.

As I laid there on the table for the 20 minutes after, I couldn't stop the tears.  For the first time I felt like we had finally timed things right (not to mention paid around $600 with all the monitoring, etc) and all we got was 1.5 million with her saying "chances are really low."

For the first time in a long time, I felt rage.  Pure anger.  Mad at God for allowing this.  Mad at Him for not replenishing Darren's sperm.  Mad that ME (poor me) had to lay there and basically watch another month go to waste. 

I was so mad that I actually wanted to rip the pregnant lady paper mobile floating above my head in the office.  Since I rarely feel anger, it makes me so uncomfortable and sad.  Then it came, uncontrollable crying.

On the way home, I reminded myself that even with a perfect count its still on 20% chance.  I reminded myself that God is the giver of life and He can create a child from 1.5 million sperm if He wants.  Sperm live in you for up to 2-3 days so maybe Friday night would cover the bases? 

By the time I cried it out, I was okay.  Scared? Yes.  Worried that I will have to do this whole thing again? Yes.  Upset with the results?  Yes.  Tired of being poked, straddled, and charged lots of money?  Forsure. But we want a baby.

Up the %$&*^%% and Around the Corner

July 6, 2012

Well, my husband and I made it back from Spain.  I'm a Spanish teacher and we took a group of 7 students.  It was amazing but it's good to be home.

I actually took a pregnancy test this time.  I usually don't allow myself till I'm "late" (which has been never) but there wasn't any spotting at all this cycle (usually is) so I got pumped and took a pregnancy test at 4:00 am before getting on the plane to Europe.  It was negative, but I still hoped.

Got my period on the airplane and dealt with that disappointment over the Atlantic Ocean.  Since I was with students, I was stronger than usual and didn't have a meltdown even though I just saw the 2 IUI's fail along with $400.  Periods almost feel like "dead children" to me these days.  However, trying to be optimistic, I knew the 9 days in Spain would help speed through those CD 1-10. 
So now, here I am, cycle day 11.  Because of the bad timing of my IUI's, they have finally insisted that I get monitored vaginally via ultrasound.  Let me give you an "image"

Basically, they put a probe up the you-know-what "cold turkey" because lubrication can kill sperm.  This is actually worse than and IUI for me because it's longer and they move the wand like crazy to "measure" the follicles.  I feel like I'm doing crazy sex moves (uncomfortable sex moves that is) hence the title of this post.  I was alone during it.  The top right image is basically what egg follicles look like.  Isn't it crazy that I could potentially be seeing my future child pre-conceived? 

Anyways, I cried on the way home.  Cried for the unfairness of it all (so many people get the "oops, funny!  We are pregnant and weren't trying" issue) as I have to lay there, legs straddled again, with a probe literally poking my ovaries.  I cried because I may never see an actual baby during an ultrasound.  I constantly remind myself that obviously life isn't far, I have a good/blessed life, but I can't help but have those few moments where I work on accepting and processing what infertility is.  It will be worth it in the end, but the end seems so far off.

So, now I wait for the doctor to tell me when to go back for another scan.  Hopefully I won't need too many before the next IUI, but at least it will be timed closer!  Fingers triple crossed!

My Bucket List:

My Bucket List: