February 26, 2013

When Darren and I had our miscarriage in December, I remembered a little bracelet I had seen online that says "Eventually."  We bought it.

Eventually is such a strong word.  Way better than NEVER and more powerful than MAYBE.  Eventually is the attitude of "when" over "if." 

Unfortunately, although I love God with all my heart, I am not one of those people who "just know" I'll be pregnant someday.  I was the same with marriage.  I hoped I'd get hitched but I never had that "peace" that it would happen.  I wish I had that kind of faith but I'm such a realist sometimes.  My husband on the other hands is claiming God told him, but he has that I just know feeling that I will carry a child. 

Eventually helps my attitude.  It boosts my faith.  It helps that scary hope that I try to hide alive.  Gosh, I hate hope sometimes.  I was talking to a friend who just bought her first house, it's like their dream house.  Right when she thought it was a done-deal she almost lost the loan.  She was heartbroken and didn't want to start-again.  Her husband said he didn't want to start again because the next time it would be tainted (tainted tainted tainted echos through my head).  He went on to say that now they know the pain of losing their dream, they will be scared the next time something good comes along (side note, God worked it out and they got that home).  But the conversation lingered in my heart for a bit.

I feel like infertility alone "taints" the joy to some degree.  I've always dreamed of being able to SURPRISE my mom/dad/family/friends in some cute exciting way.  A. won't happen because now they know we are doing IVF/treatments B.  Because of the miscarriage, I'm not going all out to announce a pregnancy.  I envy those that get to.  They are like my friend who got the first house she went after.  They are like my sister and sister in law-they see a pregnancy test and they automatically are pumped/excited; of course they are cautious till the "safe zone" but they are not "tainted." 

However, with all that said, I guess the bigger question is WHO CARES?  Ya, sure, I'm a little blue that I can't announce pregnancy with this virgin-like excitement.  I'm sad it's not how I planned.  I'm sad I'll be freaked out of my mind for a long time if it happens.  But at the end of the day, if I'm holding that child?  Everything else seems so minute.

Eventually.  I know adoption doesn't cure infertility, it cures the need to parent. If that's God's plan it will happen eventually.   I still have 3 IVF attempts, it that's God's plan, it will happen.  Eventually.

Today as I continue to trust God, lay down my fears, seek peace and even brave allowing a limited amount of hope, I'm going to look at my bracelet, take the deepest breath I can, and read Eventually. 

The Backward 2 Week Wait

February 22, 2013

March 8th is slowly creeping up.  It is insane the amount of emotions it brings.  Crazy swings from hope and excitement to it could be TWINS, to doubt, fear, and questioning "what if none survive the thaw," "what if they don't implant," "what if I miscarry again?"  When you add these swings to hormonal swings (lupron/estradial to be exact) you get, well, me.  Luckily, I can control most of the feelings and it's only my husband or close friends who see me in "freak out" mode.  With the annoucementof each new pregnancy, I feel happy for them, but it makes me want it more and it stings as a reminder that there are no guarantees with this stuff.  I did read that 90% of "infertile" couples will go on to have a baby at some point.  But if I look at the glass 10% full....

Anyways, today I saw my countdown.  I realized I'm in a pre-2 week wait!  So many fellow bloggers have been so encouraging!! One online friend named Jen (you can see her blog here)had to go through a miscarriage and 2 IVFs herself and is currently expecting her little miracle soon.  She encouraged me to remain positive and to almost think of myself as currently one-week pregnant.  In a very positive/optimistic world, I guess that makes sense!  I will find out in less than 4 weeks if I'm four weeks pregnant.  Now that is seeing the glass 90% full!  I know in my heart if I honestly have a 50% chance, I might as well choose to dwell on the positive chance than the negative since they are equal.  It's jus so scary to allow hope in when it has hit me so hard before.  Thank you to all who follow the blog, pray, comment, etc.  God has brought you all to me and I pray for you all by name.  :)  Let the Backward Two Week Wait Begin!!

Dr. Lee's My Man

February 17, 2013

On Friday Darren and I made the cross over the bridge to get my "supression" check.  AKA to make sure the Lupron injections put my little ovaries to sleep.  Some new fun vocab I've adquirred from fellow bloggers is the "vampires" (nurses that draw my blood all the time) and the "babymakers" (our dear RE friends).

The Vampire was a little over the top.  She wanted to put a heat pack on my veins and asked if they have trouble with finding the veins (in my 1240957325 blood draws over the last two years I've never had issues).  It took her like 5 minutes to put the needle in.  I was like "Just do this already."  I hate the "waiting for the poke" feel.  Whatever.  She was nice, but it was a little over the top.

OHSU has 4 different REs and it just depends who is on call/duty for that day that does whatever procedure that needs to be done.  On our last IVF try, during the protocol all 4 doctor's did different things.  On Friday, I had Dr. Lee  Babymaker Lee (he was our favorite from the beginning).  I know 100% he will be the one who does my egg transfer.  He is really nice and took time in the busy schedule to "try" to connect with me by mentioning that he read I'm a Spanish teacher and his high school son wants to study abroad.  I chatted with him about it a bit and then said, "You are going to do my transfer March 8th!" (I probably sounded like an overly happy child.)  He said "Great!"  I left feeling hopeful.  I pray everyday that God will protect our frozen embryos and I pray for Dr. Lee.  That God will bless his hands and that March 8th is a really good day for him.

I got the call that everything is on track, I'm "supressed" so now I'm on the down hill count.  I made this cute little countdown that sits in our kitchen (on left, today we are down to 19 DAYS!!!).  I'm onto the oral pills (estradial) and before I know it, the PIO shots.  I have some many mixed emotions of hope, fear, terror, delight.  Deep breaths Holly, deep breaths. 

Women to Blame?

February 12, 2013

One thing that really really bugs me about infertility is that it is ALWAYS considered that the woman has issues, that she is the problem.  First off, in couples, where the “two have become one” there is no he or she, it’s “we” have a problem.

A woman at my husband’s work has gone through all kinds of treatments and shots and IVFs.  Darren just assumed that she must have a serious issue.  However, it could very well be her husband.  40% of infertility is male factor, 40% is female and that lucky 20%? Yea, that’s where Darren and I fall.

My sister in law called me because she announced her pregnancy to my husband’s extended side of the family.  Their grandma is a bit blunt.  Rachelle called to announce her big news which was followed up with “What’s with Holly and Darren?”  She just said we were experiencing issues.  And then, I guess the grandma just started going off about “I should have been honest with Darren before I got married.  I should have been tested.  How that was mean of me.  SERIOUSLY?  A month away from IVF and I’m dealing with a random attack?  My sister in law defended me and told her that Darren has “sperm” issues too.  Now that get’s sensitive.  Men usually aren’t assumed the culprits.  In fact, I was “normal” all last year because I finally found a dose of femera that made me ovulate monthly…we still didn’t get pregnant.  Sperm morphology cannot be fixed and his is only 6% normal.  Up till now I just assumed people assumed it was me.  Which is fine I guess but to freak out that I “tricked” Darren by hiding my "possible infertility" issues?  He knew I had PCOS I told him from day 1 that the doctors had told me “conceiving might be a little trickier for you but doable.”  I didn’t realize that meant 10 years later everyone and their mother would have seen my you-know-what and that I’d be conceiving in a laboratory.

Apparently the grandma wants to tell us some herbs to try (been there, done that).  Here’s how I feel about that (See grumpy cat pic on right):

Like I said, I’m tired of society jumping to it always being “the girl.” I’ve been guilty of this too.  An old friend prayed for years to get pregnant and eventually God called her to adoption.  I recently had coffee to hear her story.  She was totally healthy, her husband had some major issues that a surgery didn’t fix.  I am fine with “we are infertile.”  It’s not fair to point fingers but with this little incident I found myself wanting to say “Dude, it’s not just me.” 

I guess I sound crabby.  Maybe it’s the lupron injections?  Maybe it’s the stress of how close this day is coming and how incredibly happy or incredibly sad I will feel.  I just have to keep whispering “Jesus I trust you” but so so so so so so hard. 

The Forever Pregnant Sister

February 10, 2013

I have blogged about the "evilness" of facebook before.  It's so Murphy's law that on the day I find out I'm having a miscarriage, or after dealing with a negative pregnancy test, to log on in and see all kinds of cute pregnancy announcements.  Don't get me wrong.  I get that 90% of the living world is pregnant.  I'm 29.  I'm right in that "zone" of when friends, acquaintance, and everyone and their mother are getting pregnant.  And since I'm sensitive to it, I see it more, hear it more, and it stings. 

My poor husband has gone as far as to almost not tell me about close friends and pregnancies for a long time until he thinks its a "good day."  I always say, Darren, I get most people can get pregnant, then I have to swallow really hard and accept it.  However, just last month I was telling him the one's that would actually be hard for me is my sister (who just had a kid in November) and my sister in law (she dealt with IF for years and had a kid 2 years ago). 

My sister gave me the warning that they want to pop em out (that was always my "plan" too) and that they hope to be pregnant again this year.  And last night I got the call that my sister in law is pregnant.

I've also talked a lot about the mixed emotion crazy combustion that comes with all this, but allow me to explain:

1.  Shock, for some reason, I thought I was in a "win-win." Each family just has one grandchild so I thought either way I have the chance to bring in the first "boy" (on husbands side) or first girl on ours.  2.  Happiness.  They really wanted at least 2 kids so their daughter can have a sibling/playmate.  3. Jealousy.  They got pregnant naturally.  4.  Anger.  Why do I have to deal with all of this right before my own IVF.  More pressure.  Why God?  5.  Guilt.  Why am I angry and why am I jealous?   That's mean. And honestly, it's not my nature at all so I feel even worse.  Like a bad person. 6. Fear.  Oh God, what if it's never me? What if I never can announce.  What if I'm never in the delivery room.  7.  Dread.  I just made it through watching one sister's belly grow and having to see the joy it brings my parents.  I survived it all while failing month after month.  Round 2 is just about to start.  Conversations will be around maternity clothes and diapers while all i can do is talk about my stupid cat and watch on a normal basis a little baby develop, hear about the kicks, and the nursery, and the name ideas, etc.  Here comes round 3 of everyone saying in a highly obnoxious voice "congrats on becoming an aunt." 8.  Sadness.  I want this more than life.  9.  Physical numbness.  This surprised me.  But I went to lay in the bed and I actually felt tingly and numb.  I kind of felt apathetic, like I didn't care about anything. 

The SIL did the best thing possible by telling me gently on the phone.  She feels bad for leaving the "infertility" team because she knows I'm still stuck in that hell.  She is praying for us and rooting for us.  She did it all right in handling the situation.  The sad thing is, I could actually be "normal" and "thrilled" if I wasn't dealing with this IF monster.  Infertility has robbed me of being a nice person to give pregnancy announcements to and that's sad too.

What do you get when you add up and mix all these things?  I don't know, but I know my heart feels terrible, my eyes are puffy, and I don't feel good.  I know I will survive.  This won't kill me.  But holy @#$#%#%#@ it's hard. 

Hot Chocolate and the Notary

February 9, 2013

Less than 1 month away from embryo transfer!  It still seems like it's so far into the unimaginable future, but in reality, 4 weeks is just 2, 2-week waits.  Perfect!! Ok, fine, that doesn't help.  A 2 week wait feels like 35 years, so I'm about 70 years from transfer day.  And then another 35 years waiting to see if the transfer worked.  Is it safe to say I think IVF junk is aging me? Sigh.

It was nice to see this last night (last birth control pill on protocol)

I have read so many mixed review on coffee and IVF.  I'm pretty sure a cup a day is okay (I usually get a tall Starbucks latte or make a small cup of home brewed) but I'm terrified to do ANYTHING to mess up this baby.  I've read several studies but just to know I did all I humanly possibly could, I stopped my love affair with Starbucks 3 days ago.  It hasn't been fun.  I'm not addicted, but I like the warm perk me up beverage early on my drive to work.  Instead I've been drinking heated chocolate milk.  Not quite the same kick but all for the love of the embryos.

The other "big event" this week was a legal document we had to get notarized.  It was basically giving OHSU permission from both parents (aka us, sounds weird "parents") to unthaw our little frozen embryos.  We had to acknowledge that they may not survive defrost (horrifying to think of), that they may not result in pregnancy (50% chance), and that I may have multiplies (bring it on!).  I felt kind of awkward at the credit union with the notary lady.  I mean, lets be honest, it's probably not everyday she notarizes the right to unfreeze babies.  Lol. 

Lastly, I'm a little torn in acupuncture land.  I've been getting treated weekly and it seems to help curb the nastiness of Lupron.  He told me to schedule an extra appointment with him on transfer day.  However, at OHSU they asked if I was going to have an acupuncturist come to the site to do it to me before and after the transfer at the hospital.  They then gave me a list of "traveling" acupuncturists...my dilemma is the same thing as the coffee.  I want to mentally do anything I can to up these chances.  But, the traveling acupuncturists are not paid by my insurance and it would be $250 opposed to me driving back to Washington to my regular guy at $15.  Anyone have any thoughts on this or do acupuncture during IVF treatment??  HELP!

Oh, also, someone had posted this heart-melting video (click link to see) of the most peaceful newborn ever.  I showed my sister and she thought it was funny/silly but I think infertiles might view it a big different.  It tugs a bit.  So so beautiful.

Mrs. Loopy on Lupron

February 3, 2013

I have done TWO injections so far and honestly, I haven't felt a thing of side effects (knock on wood).  Minus the emotional aspect, Lupron wasn't too hard on me last time, I just got a non-stop headache for a few days.  Picture on the left is DAY ONE! 

I did warn the co-workers that I might be a little lupey loopy at work.  One even wrote it in her planner...

On day 1 of the injections, it felt surreal.  I said to Darren, "I can't believe we are doing this again."  Then the words echoed:  We are doing this again.  We are doing this againOMG WE ARE DOING THIS AGAIN!!! I actually felt excited!  Me injecting myself means that the date is getting closer.  I have a 50% shot (I guess I shouldn't use that word because of all the use of injections) chance which is SO much higher than IUIs and us on our own.  We are doing this again!!!  Please, God, show us your glory.  Answer our prayers.  Protect our frozen embryos.  And please comfort and encourage all women who read this blog who are struggling with IF.

My Bucket List:

My Bucket List: