Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye, 2009

Yesterday I was being a bit of a downer. Bradley was talking about 2009, and the fact that it had been a pretty good year....and I asked him where he'd been living. After he gave me an annoyed look, he began listing good things about 2009. It turns out that 2009 had it's good points: We experienced such joy and excitement in March and we saw a miracle on an ultrasound screen at the beginning of April. We got a precious schnauzer at the end of April. We celebrated three years of marriage in July. We celebrated birthdays and holidays with our families. We've been healthy.

2009 was absolutely horrible at times, too. But we all know about that, and I'm not going to dwell on it today. I can't change any of it, no matter how much I want to. I will say that 2009 changed us, especially me, and probably not for the better.

Will I be sad to see 2009 go? Not really. At one point, I really thought 2009 would be one of the best years of our lives. At a meeting a couple of weeks ago, the leader asked us to name our biggest accomplishment in 2009. I couldn't come up with anything. I never accomplished the goal/dream I poured myself into. I spent all my time focusing on that one dream, and I have nothing to show for it other than a terribly broken heart that can't quite seem to mend itself.

This Christmas I didn't say, "By next Christmas, we'll have a baby," like I have for the past three years. And I'm not going to go into 2010 saying, "2010 is our year!" I know better than that. I know that saying things like that only leads to feelings of emptiness the following year when you have to say it again, and I'm not saying things like that anymore. What I'm saying is this: There is always hope.

I'm thankful we survived 2009, as individuals and as a couple. Enough said.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas '09

Oh, Christmas. I decorated, shopped, cleaned, cooked, and wrapped for you. And you were over in the blink of an eye. All I have left is a spare bedroom filled with Christmas chaos, one tree that needs to be taken down, one tree that needs to be planted, ornaments that need to go back in their boxes, and outdoor decorations that need to be stored. And a lot of random pieces of wrapping paper stashed throughout the house that the schnauzer stole and hid on Christmas morning. Lucy continues to celebrate Christmas by tearing said wrapping paper into a thousand little pieces and leaving it for us to find. This morning, Christmas happened in our closet. I really don't know how many pieces she took, but I'm afraid she may be celebrating until July.

I'm always sad when Christmas is over. (Almost as sad as when the summer comes to an end. Almost.) I suppose it's because of the anticipation of it all. It just seems like we spend so much time preparing for Christmas, and then it goes by so quickly. We had a good Christmas, though. We enjoyed spending time with our family, especially those we don't see often. And although it's not about the gifts, I must say that Bradley did an excellent job shopping this year. :)

I am so thankful that we were able to spend another Christmas with our families. All four of my grandparents are still with us, and that is such a blessing! I'm also incredibly thankful that we have Lucy this year. Here's a picture of her modeling her new jacket. Precious!





We hope you had a good Christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

No Miracle Today

Yesterday I was hoping for a Christmas miracle. Today, yet again, I'm painfully aware that there will be no miracle for us. We haven't been to REACH in a couple of months, but the medication was supposed to stay in my system for awhile. Last night I realized I was seven days late. That's never happened before. For just a few hours, I was hopeful. I thought that maybe, just maybe....but no. A test confirmed that this morning. I wouldn't have tested at all, but I know that, if I do get pregnant, I have to be put on medicine right away. Now I'm wondering if there's something else wrong....sigh.

When will it be our turn? When will things finally work out for us? Even though we're taking a break from REACH, it never leaves my mind. I pray for it every day. The one thing I want so very much is the one thing I can't have. I'm so sick of all this. I'm sick of it, but accustomed it it at the same time. Today there were no tears, no curling up in a ball and asking God, Why? I fully expected a negative result even though I felt hopeful. That's just our life.

I'm thankful that Bradley looked at the test and I didn't have to. I left it on the bathroom counter, he looked at it, told me the results, and threw it away. I didn't have to see the words "Not Pregnant" on the little digital screen this time. A strange thing to be thankful for, I know, but I just didn't want to see a negative result again. I'm thankful he knew that without me saying it.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Catching Up

Life has been busy lately. I can't believe it's nearly Christmas. I haven't posted in a while, so here are a few things to catch up on. Random, I know, but I feel like I need to update.


Christmas Pictures: We met with Jami for a photo session a few weeks ago for our Christmas pictures. We've never done Christmas pictures before, or a photo card, but it seemed like a good idea. We got the picture CD today, and, oh my gosh, the pictures are wonderful! Jami did such a great job! I can't wait to choose and order our Christmas cards.


Peanut's Angel Tree: What started out as a pretty barren tree is now nearly full. It's really amazing to think about all the people who have given us angels for our tree. We feel so loved, and we are so blessed to have all of these wonderful people in our lives. Lucy likes the tree, too--she often stops by and grabs a bite of a low branch!


Student Teacher: I recently learned that I will have a student teacher for the spring semester. Although it makes me somewhat nervous, I'm looking forward to it. I think it's a wonderful opportunity.


REACH: To go back or not to go back. That is the question. Well, not really. We know we'll go back (Obviously. How else are we going to have a baby?). The real question is, when? On one hand, it's been kind of nice not having to worry about going for treatments the last couple of months. On the other hand, though, it feels like we're wasting time. Now, I know that we've got time. Age is the one thing we actually have on our side. But I worry that we're running out of insurance time. So many companies are changing their policies and what they cover, specifically infertility. I just wonder how long it will be before my insurance company decides that infertility is no longer worthy of coverage. Then what would we do? Insurance worries aside, I feel that I'm ready (emotionally) to try again. A few months ago I was just tired....tired of treatments, tired of appointments, tired of negative results month after month. I feel (somewhat) rested and relaxed now. I say somewhat because I'll never be completely relaxed. Infertility is far too stressful to be completely relaxed. But, right now, I'm probably as close to relaxed as I can be. I'm still not sure that that means it's time to go back. It just means I'm thinking about it.


Thanks for reading this hodgepodge of a post. :)


Although I haven't been posting lately, I have still been finding one thing to be thankful for every day. Today I am thankful for Jami. Jami and I have worked together for 3 years, but have become friends in the last year or so. She is a wonderful listener....even when I repeat the same problems and feelings day after day. I am blessed to have such a great friend.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Under Construction

Please excuse the mess! I'm making some changes to the blog. It always takes a long time for me to get everything just right....and I'm very indecisive! So if you happen to visit and see a lot of mismatched colors, backgrounds, and headers, you'll know what's going on! :)


Monday, November 30, 2009

November 30

When I woke up this morning and saw the gray, dreary sky, I couldn't help but think how fitting it was. It seems like there's been a cloud hanging over us (or at least hovering nearby) since April. It didn't surprise me much that the weather outside mirrored that today. I was scared that we wouldn't be able to get our angel tree today due to the rain. It wasn't just that "oh, that was what I really wanted to do today" feeling of disappointment, but a more panicky kind of fear. I was terrified that I wouldn't be able to do anything for her today. I'm not sure if that makes sense to anyone else, but, however irrational it might have been, that was my feeling this morning. Bradley and I had already made arrangements to be off from work so we could share this day together. We didn't let the clouds and scattered rain showers hinder our plans. We went to one of our favorite restaurants for lunch, then purchased lights and another angel for the tree that we didn't yet have. It was still raining as we drove to the Christmas tree farm, but it stopped when we arrived. We walked and walked, trying to find the perfect tree. During our hunt for the perfect tree, it started raining again. I will not lie--I stopped right there in the middle of all those trees and prayed that the rain would stop. I have never prayed for such a thing in my life. It rained on my wedding day, and I never once thought about praying for the rain to stop. I just don't really pray about the weather. But today I did. I asked God for the rain to hold off long enough for us to accomplish this task. And it did. We found the perfect tree, tagged it, and a man went to dig it up for us. They loaded the tree and we had our tree safely inside our house before it started raining again. What a blessing that was.

Getting the tree into the house was an experience, to say the least. I've never had a live tree before. Bradley's family had live Christmas trees when he was growing up, but never one with roots, so it was a semi-new experience for both of us. This is what we learned--Roots are heavy. Very, very heavy and much bigger than you would think. We laughed so much as we tried to get this tree into our house. He carried the bottom part of the tree and I tried to help with the top. It was absolutely hilarious. We haven't laughed like that in a long, long time. That was a blessing, too.

We decorated the tree together. Although the angels are kind of sparse, it really is a beautiful tree. We're adding more angels every day, and I hope that by Christmas it is full. I'm glad I thought of getting the roots. Planting it after Christmas will be so special.

At one point in time, I thought that I would never be thankful on this day. I thought that there was too much pain and grief in my heart to find anything to be thankful for. Although there are days when I still feel overwhelmed by our circumstances, I'm really trying to find the good in all of it. And today I have lots of things to be thankful for.

I am thankful that God allowed me to experience our sweet miracle, even if it was for too short of a time. I am thankful that He knew her before she was even formed (Jer. 1:5) and that He welcomed her into Heaven. I am thankful that I will meet her one day.

I am thankful for Bradley. He has truly experienced the "for better or worse" part with me. We experienced great joy and great sorrow within such a short time frame. I have leaned on him and looked to him for support and guidance during the last few months. He has been steadfast and has never faltered. I am so thankful for him and his love. He has reassured me when I've been afraid, and called me perfect when I only felt broken. I am so incredibly thankful that I am spending my life with such a wonderful man.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Ornaments and a Book

It has been a good weekend. We had planned to go to the beach on Friday, but on Thursday I changed my mind. I'm not sure what it was, but it just didn't feel right to be away from home this weekend. So we stayed home and enjoyed ourselves here. We decorated the outside of our house yesterday and today we put up our Christmas tree. I love all the Christmas decorations and lights. They make everything look so pretty and happy.

I've decided to get a live tree with roots to serve as our angel tree. Not only will it be beautiful during the Christmas season, but we'll be able to plant it after Christmas has passed. I understand that the tree could die after it's planted, but it's worth a try. Bradley was hesitant to jump on board for the live-with-roots idea because of that possibility, but I assured him I will be fine even if the tree doesn't make it. It was sweet of him to worry, though. I think we're going to get the tree and decorate it tomorrow. I like the significance of that. I don't have nearly enough angels to decorate a whole tree yet, but I'm sure that, with time, I'll gather them. Until then, it can just be a pretty little tree with a few angels on it. I'm looking forward to having it in our home. :)

I'm thankful today for Marie, Angela, and Kesha. Marie and Angela came to visit today and gave us ornaments for our angel tree. They are beautiful! Kesha recently gave me a book--Don't Cry, Mommy--There Are No Tears in Heaven. It is a precious, precious book that I have read over and over again. It made me feel so good, so loved, so cared for to receive those things. Their thoughtfulness means so much to me. Knowing that they know, that they remember...it's just a wonderful feeling. I am so thankful to have these wonderful people in my life and I love all three of them dearly.

Friday, November 27, 2009

I never knew there were so many Baby's First Christmas keepsakes in the world.

We went shopping today, and those things were absolutely everywhere. Everywhere. Stockings, ornaments, snow globes, picture frames....it goes on and on and on. In fact, a packet of information from Sears concerning baby's first Christmas pictures appeared in our mailbox. Lovely. I tore the envelope into a million pieces without even opening it. There is no baby, there is no baby's first Christmas. Sigh. How are you supposed to deal with this when the world just seems to be constantly shoving reminders in your face of what you've lost? I feel like I take one step forward and then two steps back. I suppose that's just how this whole process is going to be. It hasn't been a bad day by any means. We enjoyed our time together, found some really good deals, and bought Lucy way too much stuff. I just think both of us felt like something was missing today, and we both spent a lot of time thinking about how things should have been. We bought two angels for our angel tree today instead of baby's first Christmas ornaments. It's just not fair. I still wonder why, especially on days like today. Why did this happen, why us, why can't we get pregnant again. I know that we'll never understand any of it. I just try to keep thinking that there's a plan, a purpose. I tell Bradley several times a day that we'll be okay, that everything is going to be just fine. And, each time, as he murmurs "mmhm", I almost believe it.

Even on days like today, there are things to be thankful for. Today I'm thankful for my brother. Eric and I have always been close. It has always been so easy to talk and laugh with him, and tonight was no different. His carefree personality always makes me feel a little lighter, and I'm thankful to have him in my life.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving

We have had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I am so thankful for Bradley. I am so lucky to have such a wonderful husband. As a couple, we have lots to be grateful for--our family and friends, our home, our health...our list goes on and on. And, of course, at the top of our list is the sweet schnauzer. Right now Lucy is sitting in front of the TV and watching Hotel for Dogs. She follows their movements and barks when the dogs in the movie bark. Precious! I am also incredibly thankful that, this Thanksgiving, our house is finished. Last Thanksgiving our contractor was here and we were working so hard to get everything finished.


I hope your Thanksgiving has been full of family, friends, and, of course, delicious food! :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Today I'm thankful for organized kitchen cabinets and drawers. When we moved in almost a year ago, things were unpacked and put away, but not in the best places. (example: I had two drawers with spatulas, spoons, etc....and they were on opposite sides of the kitchen.) I spent a lot of time today emptying drawers, pulling things out of cabinets, and doing some rearranging. It may be silly, but I am thankful for the organized kitchen. It just makes me feel good. Maybe I'll actually do some cooking now. Ha! :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Today I am thankful for the love and support of our family and friends. Your prayers and words of encouragement mean so much!

Monday, November 23, 2009

An Idea

For weeks now I have wondered what to do to celebrate our baby girl's life. It may sound silly, but I need physical things to remind me of her. Not that I would ever forget her. No. Never. But it makes me feel better to look at something and say, "That is for her." The hummingbird feeder is an example of that. Anyway, I've been thinking. Hard. I thought about a necklace, but that just didn't feel quite right. I thought about a garden, but it's cold and we couldn't enjoy it right now. (However, a garden is definitely in the works for spring. With lots of color and whimsical things.) I thought and I thought and I thought. And today, it came to me.

What do we always, always, always do right after Thanksgiving? (Not a moment before though. I'm a stickler for giving Thanksgiving it's space.)

We put up a Christmas tree! (Bet you didn't see that one coming.) Since Bradley and I got married, I have bought a personalized ornament every year. I like them, okay? Call it corny or ridiculous or whatever, but I like them and I will do it as long as they continue to make ornaments available for personalization. I've already purchased this year's ornament, as well as a "Lucy's First Christmas" ornament (it's a doghouse!). And having a First Christmas ornament for a dog might be a bit ridiculous, too, but I don't care about that either. I am crazy about this dog and I'm entitled to be. When I bought those two ornaments, I also saw the Baby's First Christmas ornament and it was a sad, sad moment. We won't be buying one of those this year. I've seen "memorial" ornaments, but that just didn't appeal to me. They were just ugly to me. One little ornament on a tree just won't do for a baby that, though we never met, changed our lives forever.

So here is my fantastic idea.
I will have a separate Christmas tree this year. I will still put up our "regular" tree, but I will have a different one for her. Just for her. Always for her. I will decorate it with angels. Lots of beautiful angels for our sweet angel baby. Given that her birthday would have been less than a month before Christmas, it seems perfect. Perfect.




Today I'm thankful for this idea. This is the first thing I've been excited about in months, and I am so thankful for that. I will begin hunting for angels tomorrow. :)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Still Thankful

What a wonderful day! We enjoyed a lazy morning around here, had Chinese for lunch (my favorite!), and saw New Moon. A simple day, but it was so nice! It seems like there's always something to do around the house (laundry, cleaning, replacing the baseboard corner that Lucy chewed this week....sigh....), errands that have to be completed, or places we have to be. It was nice to spend a day just doing what we wanted to do.

Today I'm thankful for my "date" with my husband. :)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thankful

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. It seems like good things always happen around Thanksgiving for us. When we learned of our baby's due date, it seemed so fitting. But we all know how that turned out. With Thanksgiving being less than a week away now, I have thought about being thankful. I feel like I have always been a thankful person. This year, though, a lot of bitterness has replaced the thankfulness that was once there. I feel very guilty about that. We've struggled with infertility, we've lost a baby, our home is still empty....but there are things to be thankful for. When I step back and look at everything, we're very blessed people. Good things are still happening to us, and we have much to be thankful for. Maybe this isn't the life we planned for ourselves, but it's still pretty wonderful. I suppose you just have to take the good with the bad and do with it what you can. So, to remind myself to do just that, my new resolution (a Thanksgiving resolution, perhaps?) is to find something to be thankful for everyday. I don't mean just saying "I'm thankful for my family" or something generic like that. I mean that I will find one thing to be thankful for each day, name it, and identify why I'm thankful for it. I'll start today.

Today I am thankful for the way Lucy makes us laugh. Like when she walked through the living room today with her head stuck in a round toy. She's a funny little fur baby. :)











Friday, November 20, 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

November

It's November. The month that was hoped for, longed for....and then dreaded.

I had prayed that I would be pregnant again before November. I knew it would still be a sad time, but I thought that if I had something to be hopeful about that it might be just a little easier. I didn't know how hard the miscarriage would be. It was incredibly difficult at the beginning, but I thought I would recover quickly. And for awhile, I think I almost did. After the D&E, I was anxious to try again. I had a positive outlook and was incredibly hopeful. I thought it would work again. But it didn't, and I think that with each failed treatment cycle the hole in my heart widened. The grief I felt for our lost little girl became deeper and more ingrained in me with each passing day. She was our miracle, and we lost her. No more miracles were being sent our way.

Most days I manage to stuff the grief deep inside, but it's always there. It never leaves. It's what takes my breath away when I see a Baby's First Christmas stocking and realize that I could have bought one of those this year--a pink one. It's what keeps me from attending baby showers or walking through the baby section of department stores. It seems to be a part of me now, just like our Peanut was. I know that people expect me to be over it. After all, I never held her or knew her face. But she was mine, and I lost her. How do you ever get over that? I can't imagine a day when I won't think about her and what could have been. What should have been.

I am trying. I am trying to find a way to deal with this. I am trying not to be bitter or angry or resentful. I am trying to be happy for others when they announce their pregnancies. I am trying to tell myself that everything will be okay, that there is a plan, and that one day we will have the family we dream of. But it is hard. Reality is a crushing force that weighs on my shoulders. The reality that our sweet miracle died. The reality that the four cycles of fertility treatments after the miscarriage were failures. The reality that there's no guarantee that the next cycle will be a success. The reality that what happened to our first baby could happen again. The reality that we may never have children. The reality that Bradley's insurance does not cover infertility anymore. The reality that the higher cost of the next treatment will limit how many cycles we can do. When we started thinking about having a baby, we created a budget to make sure we could afford it and provide a good life for our child. Over two years later, I look back at those people and almost laugh. We never thought to figure in what it would cost us to get pregnant. That's one of the saddest parts of our struggle. I envy couples who are able to get pregnant on their own. I wish we were like them. They have no idea what it's like to have to sit down and calculate how many times you can try to have a baby in a year. You give things up, you move money around, you determine what's important and what's not. You spend everything you have and then you realize that there is still no baby. Reality is a tough thing to acknowledge. Accepting it is even worse.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Today is Wednesday--I think--Yes--Wednesday. That would be day 3 of diagnosed pneumonia, day 8 of not feeling well at all. It would, I'm sure, be day 8 of dignosed pneumonia had I actually had the sense to realize that there was something very wrong and go to the doctor before Monday. But I didn't. Nope. I thought it wasn't anything major. The only reason I went on Monday was because of a crackling sound when I exhaled. I admit, that got my attention pretty fast. One doctor's visit and a chest x-ray later, I was told I had pneumonia. Really, who has pneumonia and doesn't know it? So I have been stuck in the house for days now. Days. I am not used to this. The first two years of teaching, I didn't miss a single day. Last year I missed a few days--the day I found out we were pregnant and had to immediately go to REACH to confirm it, a couple of days when I had mid-day appointments at REACH, the day after we lost the baby, a couple of days for the D&E. I'm not going back until Friday (tentatively. Depends on my ability to breathe.). That means I will have missed five days in a row. Unheard of. For me, at least.

Back to the doctor's appointment for a minute. I saw a new doctor on Monday. My family doctor is retiring soon, and I knew I would have to find a new doctor anyway. I took a suggestion from a colleague and went to see her doctor. I absolutely loved him. He took so much time with me even though I was a work-in and he had lots of other patients. I mean, he acted like there was nobody there but me. No rushed "let's find out what's wrong and move on" attitude. Nothing like that at all. I was amazed by that right away. When filling out the typical paperwork, I had to list all those medicines that don't make any sense and record a D&E on the "surgical procedures" part. He was going over the paperwork and when he got to that part he stopped. He spent a long time talking about miscarriage. He told me he had started out as a doctor in the Navy and had dealt with lots of couples who suffered miscarriages. He said he'd watched friends and family struggle with infertility. Then he said that society just doesn't get it--that our society doesn't treat the loss of pregnancies like the deaths that they are. He understood and was so incredibly kind. Dr. Wing had been my only other doctor who seemed to really listen and understand everything we were going through. My regular gynecologist certainly does not. (Comment from her at my last appointment upon learning of the miscarriage: "At least you know you can get pregnant.") I just didn't expect a doctor to care that much. I was very impressed.

Even though I felt worse physically than I think I've ever felt before, I left the office feeling better mentally than I've felt in awhile. I think it was just that someone understood and cared and didn't brush it off. Am I still aware that November 30 is approaching? Yes. Does the thought of that still make me sad? Absolutely. But I don't feel as fragile as what I felt last week. That is a wonderful feeling. Now if I could just get to feeling better physically, I'd be set. :)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Life Goes On

Life goes on.
If there's one thing I'm sure of, it's this. Life does not stop for anyone or anything. No matter how good or bad the moment, it will not last. The morning after we learned we had lost the baby, I woke up and was absolutely shocked that the sun was shining. Life had gone on, and so had the world. And it continues to. Sometimes it just surprises me that time really is passing. Some days I feel like April 22 was a lifetime ago. Other days I feel like it was yesterday.
But time is passing, and a reminder of that arrived in our mailbox this week. A small package from Huggies containing a newborn diaper sample and information. On the front was a big card that said "Congratulations! You're almost there!" I should be almost there. I should be eight months pregnant and preparing for the November 30 due date of our baby girl.
But I'm not. And that still breaks my heart every time I think about it.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Taking a Break

We are not going back to REACH this month. Or next month. We're probably not going the month after that either. Really, I don't know when we're going back.

We just can't do it anymore. It's too much. We're taking a break. I talked to the nurse at REACH on Tuesday, and she agreed that a break might be a good thing. We've only been going to REACH since February, but we've been trying to have a baby for over two years now. We are financially, mentally, and emotionally exhausted. I feel like I am a shell of the person I once was. This experience has changed me so much.

I need to find myself again.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Negative

I really thought this was the month. I was so sure, I just couldn't wait any longer to confirm it. So I took a pregnancy test at 2 o'clock this morning...and it was negative. Another negative test. I am so tired of failing that test. I never want to take another one again. Ever. In the past two years I have taken so many that I should have bought stock in one of the companies. Or maybe I could get paid for writing reviews of the different brands because, believe me, I've tried--and failed--them all. It's been over two years and I've only seen a positive result one time. One time.

I am broken. Damaged. Not whole. And maybe positive results are not for me.

Friday, September 11, 2009

What a Blessing!

We are now a few days into our Two Week Wait. It's always such a hard time. There's a fine line between being optimistic and realistic. I want to stay positive, but at the same time I don't want to be so terribly disappointed again. Waiting is hard.

Equally hard is paying for the Crinone. Crinone is a progesterone medication that I take every other day until we find out if I'm pregnant or not. If I am, I begin taking it every day. If I'm not, I stop taking it until the next month's TWW. My insurance will not cover the Crinone because I have not suffered "recurrent losses". Why one loss is not enough, I don't know. But anyway, they refuse to pay for the Crinone even partially, which leaves us with the entire amount. The cost is around $250 for eighteen days worth of medicine. Now, when I was pregnant, I didn't mind paying the $250 at all. I knew it would help our baby to have a better chance of survival. But we've paid for Crinone for four months now, and there has been nothing there for the Crinone to help survive. That's a little depressing. Bradley and I talked about it the other day and what a position it puts us in--Do we pay for it for another month, even if it's in vain? Or do we take a chance and not get the Crinone? But then what if (miracle of miracles!) there is a baby? How guilty would we feel if something happened to it? Do we ask for another progesterone medication that may be cheaper? Would it be as good as the Crinone though? It's really a hard place to be.

I called my nurse at REACH this afternoon with my dilemma. Basically I told her everything in the above paragraph, and she said, "I know, Adrian, I know." Then she said a few magic words--"We just got in a couple of boxes of samples." Samples! Samples of Crinone are rare! The only samples I've ever received were on the day we found out I was pregnant, and they only gave me enough to get through until my order from the fertility pharmacy came. But the sweet, wonderful, kind lady is going to give me enough samples to get us through the TWW! I was thrilled!

This may seem like nothing to some people. But we have spent so much money on doctor's visits, medicines, injections, tests, and hospital bills (just finished paying for the D&E--what a nightmare) that this is a wonderful blessing for us. To add to the blessing, a hummingbird was at our Peanut's hummingbird feeder right after I got off the phone with the nurse. After we lost our Peanut, I cried and cried about how we would never have anything solid to remember her. No grave, no marker, nothing. I needed something physical, something that said she had existed and wouldn't be forgotten. So we have a hummingbird feeder. We put it up before I had the D&E. I had never been much of a bird watcher before, but I am now. Those hummingbirds have been a source of joy this summer. The first one showed up a couple of days after the D&E, and they've frequented the feeder since then. They are a reminder to me that life goes on and is still beautiful. I thought they had left for the season since none had been around recently and that made me so sad. To my amazement, though, as soon as I hung up the phone one stopped by the feeder and then came closer to the window than they normally do. It hovered there as if it knew I needed to see it. It gave me such a peaceful feeling.

Maybe things are looking up. :)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

*Fingers Crossed*

Today was my appointment at REACH for another ultrasound and more blood work. Both were fine. There are two eggs on the right and one on the left. That's a little scary, but it gives us more of a chance for a pregnancy. At this point we'll take whatever we can get.

We've talked about taking a break if this month is not a success. This has taken over our lives, and it has worn us down. It's also beginning to be a financial burden. But, even though I can see that taking a break is probably the best thing, I know it's going to break my heart to stop going. I just hope we don't have to make that decision at all. I hope this month is a success.

Our fingers are crossed. Please, Lord, let this be the month.

Friday, August 28, 2009

A New Month, A New Look for the Blog

Look! It's a new background and header! I'm still not sure if I like it or not, but it's going to stay this way for awhile. Between me being indecisive and Blogger being difficult last night, this took a long time. It's different and it's okay and it's going to stick around. For a few days at least. :)

I didn't post yesterday about the appointment at REACH (Blogger was being difficult, remember?) so here goes: The appointment was with one of my least favorite doctors (sigh) but he was okay. He was running insanely late (how can you be behind at 7 in the morning???), which made me later than what I thought I would be, but that was okay, too. The ultrasound was fine. The lady who drew my blood was a little overconfident which lead to her being a little rough (in my--at this point--very experienced opinion), but she got it on the first try so I guess it was okay. The blood results came back fine, the nurse called yesterday and said everything was good to go for the Letrozole. I started taking it last night and will continue to do so for the next three days. (Hello, hot flashes and irritability--I've missed you for the last two weeks. I almost forgot how truly wonderful you are.) I go back to REACH on September 5, which is a Saturday. Since it is a Saturday, when the nurse called she said (in this really excited voice), "I put you in at 7:45 rather than 7 since it's a Saturday!" like she had really done something. Oh well. I guess anything is better than 7, but that still means we'll leave home at a ridiculous time for a Saturday morning.

We're hoping for the best. This is the last month before we move on to injections. We need this to work. Prayers are appreciated!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Goodbye, Month 25. Hello, Month 26 and a New School Year.

So last month wasn't a success. That was a pretty depressing way to start the first day of school. We're disappointed, of course. I've thought about what to do all day. Should we try just the Letrozole again next month? Or should we wait a few months, build our savings up a little, and try the (expensive!) injections? Or should we give up, buy me a new car, and actually be able to see where our money is going rather than having nothing to show for it? I didn't call REACH today because I didn't really know what to tell them. That, and the fact that, usually, if I call on the first day I struggle not to cry while I admit failure to the nurse once again. Our decision about what to do is complicated by a $5000 lifetime limit for fertility treatments. (Really, I just love my insurance company.) As of right now, we've used up $1200 of that lifetime limit. It's really scary to think about. What happens if we reach the $5000 limit and still don't have a baby? Then what? I just don't understand how they can put a lifetime limit on something like this.


After Bradley and I talked through everything, we decided to go ahead and try one more month. It's so hard to stop trying. It will be the last month of the Letrozole only, so we might as well try it. It should only tack on another $500 or so to that lovely lifetime limit. After this time, if it doesn't work, we'll take a few months off and then try the injections. All of this is so stressful. We just want a baby. Is that too much to ask?


Today was the first day of the new school year. I was excited to get back into the classroom and meet a new group of students. The new year is always so full of promise and possibilities. I'm hoping for a good year, both personally and professionally. I need a good year.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Focusing on the Positive

I haven't updated recently. (Obviously.) That's partly due to being so busy right now, but mostly due to the fact that I feel like I repeat myself over and over and over. The process is the same every month. But, in case you're wondering, I had an appointment at REACH on August 11 and took the Ovidrel injection then. My blood work came back fine, and the ultrasound showed one "perfect" egg, according to Dr. Wing. We are now halfway through the Two Week Wait.
This month has been different than most. Usually I can't get it off my mind. Usually I spend every quiet moment not just praying but begging God to give us a baby. This month, though, I haven't thought about it constantly. And my begging has turned to gentle prayers, knowing that I am not in control. Sure, I've thought about it. I have to keep it in mind--for half of the month, I have to be conscious of the fact that there could indeed be a baby, and I have to follow Dr. Wing's rules in order to protect what could be there. But it hasn't consumed me this time like it normally does. I made the decision early on this month to focus on what I do have. I have a wonderful husband and family, terrific friends, a job I love, a new house, Lucy. Bradley and I are healthy, and so is the rest of my family, including all four of my grandparents. Sometimes I forget how much of a blessing that is. Rather than always wanting more, I've decided to just be grateful. Life is not always fair, but there is always hope for tomorrow and blessings to be found. You just have to keep your eyes, and heart, open. Do we still want a baby? Of course. More than anything. But I just can't let it consume me anymore. There's too much to be happy about to focus on the one thing we don't have. I'm not saying that I'm giving up. I'm not. But I am going to start enjoying life a little more, and I'm going to focus on the good things and what I have now. Not what I could have had. Not what I may have one day. But what I have right now, in this moment. I'm going to enjoy it, and be grateful.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Maybe the Third Month's the Charm?

This week has been....interesting. I don't really think that's the word for it, but I can't come up with anything else right now.

On Sunday we came back from the beach. We had a wonderful time. It was nice to get away. Lucy wasn't a big fan of the ocean, and she didn't like people running on the beach. If they were walking, that was fine. But running? She wasn't going to have it! Too funny.

On Monday we woke up to a very sick schnauzer and of course I was just in pieces over it. This is not your average we wanted a pet kind of dog. Oh no. This dog is a hundred times more than that. I was terrified she was dying. Terrified. Words can't even describe how I felt. We were at the animal hospital as soon as it opened, and I know the vet thought I, with my tear-filled eyes, was a crazy person. But she isn't a regular dog! So after tests, blood work, and an examination, it was determined that Lucy had a UTI that could be treated with antibiotics. No kidney or liver issues. No terrible diseases. Thank you Lord! She's on a special diet now and can only drink purified water, but will be just fine. She's back to her normal self, tearing around the house and getting into things. Making up for lost time, I suppose.


On Wednesday we celebrated our third wedding anniversary! Bradley is a wonderful husband and I am so blessed. The past year has been stressful--we built a house, found out why we couldn't get pregnant, started fertility treatments, lost our baby--but we've dealt with things together and have grown closer. It's also been a wonderful year too....We moved into our house in December, saw a miracle on an ultrasound screen in March, laughed, and loved. We've come a long way in a year. I never thought it would be possible to love him more than I did on our wedding day, but I do. What a wonderful life.


On Thursday we learned that the treatment was not a success. It was our second round of treatment since the miscarriage. It was a huge disappointment. We spent a lot of time talking about stopping treatment. It's what our lives revolve around right now, and it's so stressful. Not to mention the financial burden of it all. We've spent thousands of dollars on fertility treatments in just a few short months. It's very discouraging to think of all the money that has been, essentially, wasted. But it's also very hard to stop trying. Now I think we both understand how addictive gambling could be--you think that next time is going to be it! Just $20 more (or another month of fertility treatment in our case) and we'll win big! I can totally see it. So we're not stopping. Not yet anyway.

Today I went back to REACH for the standard blood work and ultrasound. It was Dr. Wing's weekend. Yay! We spent awhile talking about options. He still says it's going to work. We'll give it another two months, and if I'm not pregnant we'll start daily injections in additon to the medicines and Ovidrel injection. He explained today that those injections will carry a high risk of multiples (eek!), and we'll have to discuss a lot of things before we start them. The medicine I take every month has a smaller chance of multiples. (Last month, for instance, they told us there was a good chance of twins based on the ultrasound.) Multiples are considered a complication. Dr. Wing wants us to have as many babies as we want, but one at a time. (He says that on a really regular basis, as if we can control how many we have at one time.) PCOS put me in danger of a complicated pregnancy and higher risk of miscarriage anyway, so I understand that more than one would definitely be a reason for concern. However, selective reduction is not an option in our opinion. These are all things we'll have to discuss and work through before starting the injections, but those are worries for another day. That's months down the road, and hopefully we won't even have to discuss it! I'm optimistic today. There's no reason why it shouldn't work this month. No reason at all. Maybe the third month will be the charm!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

There Goes Another Month....

Not pregnant. Again. I am so tired of all of this. I am tired of all the medicines, shots, ultrasounds, and blood work. I am tired of spending hundreds of dollars every month on doctors appointments, medicines, and shots. I am tired of hoping and being disappointed. This is not fair, and I am tired of it.

That's all for today.

Friday, July 24, 2009

So today is Friday and I am one week into the dreaded Two Week Wait. Bleh. I talked to the nurse at REACH on Tuesday, and she is still insanely optimistic. I tend to bounce between being very optimistic and very...well, I wouldn't really call it being pessimistic. Realistic, maybe? Doubtful, perhaps? Not sure. I'd really rather not get my hopes up to just be disappointed yet again, but who am I kidding? No matter how realistic I try to be, how grounded, on the last day of the TWW I will be so antsy I won't be able to stand myself. And, should it turn out badly (like it has 23 of the past 24 months), I'll spend a good while crying and pouting and questioning (like I have 23 out of the past 24 months). But I've still got a week left, so really that's all another post for another day.

Meanwhile, I'm at the beach. What better place to spend Week One of the TWW? I've been here since Sunday with friends, and Bradley is coming today. I'm so excited! We're rarely apart for a week, and I'm really looking forward to seeing him. And Lucy is coming with him! I've missed the furry little mess more than I can describe. But this week has been wonderful. I've enjoyed relaxing and spending time with the best friends a girl could ask for. Add Bradley and Lucy to that mix, and I think it's going to be an absolutely fantastic weekend. :)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Keeping Our Fingers Crossed

I had an ultrasound and lab work today at REACH to determine when I needed to take the Ovidrel injection. Routine ultrasounds are done early in the morning (7:00-8:30), and the physicians have a rotation of who comes in early. It wasn't Dr. Wing's morning, and I'm always anxious about seeing a different doctor. However, we liked the guy we saw today. The ultrasound looked good, and the lab results were fine, too. I took the injection around 7:00 this evening. I'm trying to be cautiously optimistic. Like our nurse said, "It's a new month!" We'll see what happens....

Thursday, July 9, 2009

In case you couldn't tell from my previous post, yesterday was a rough day. Really it was only a few rough hours, not the entire day. I'm permitting myself to have those, by the way. There are going to be rough patches and I am entitled to have them. I considered not posting what I wrote yesterday, but then decided I would. I'm trying to be honest and open.
Today, meanwhile, has been a different kind of day. I had an eye appointment this morning. Apparently it's just been my week for poems and quotes to pop up. At the office they had this little quote by Helen Keller framed: When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.

Standing there, writing my check for the copay, I realized that I have been staring at a closed door. Maybe that's why this last month failed. Maybe God knew that my heart was incapable of loving another baby fully and completely right away. I've often thought that I want to remain guarded if I get pregnant again--not fall in love so quickly. But at the same time, that doesn't feel right to me. I wouldn't want to ever look at our child and think that I kept myself from loving them. Yes, things could go horribly wrong again. But those 10 weeks of loving that baby were some of the sweetest weeks of my life, and I would never, ever want to miss that.
Also at the eye appointment, I had to list all the medicines I'm currently taking. Good grief. It took awhile. Of course the doctor looked puzzled when he read the list. It's a crazy list that doesn't really make much sense. He got down to the Metformin and realized that it was for PCOS, which, I assume, made the rest of the list make sense. Which then prompted a conversation about infertility. Niiiice. I can't escape it even at an eye appointment. He's a nice man, though, who has known both Bradley and me for years. He said he was sorry, and that he hoped we got good news soon. The assistant (I guess that's what you call them) asked if I was pregnant "right now" because if I was, they couldn't dilate my eyes. The thought that I should have lied crossed my mind then. I hate, hate, hate having my eyes dilated. That, and that little puff of air they put in your eyes. Sigh. But, alas, I'm an honest person and told the truth. But (in a moment of sympathy perhaps?) the doctor said that everything looked just perfect and he didn't think he would dilate my eyes this time! Yay! So I left the office able to see clearly and with new contacts ordered.
I then went to pick up a gift for Bradley. We're doing The Love Dare and today's dare was to buy something to let the other person know you're thinking of them. We decided to do the forty day study to put the focus back on our marriage. Not that our marriage is bad, but we've just been through a lot and have a lot of stress in our lives right now. We're only a few days into it, but so far it is really good. I think we're both a little more conscious of our words and actions. But anyway, that's beside the point. While shopping I ran into the cooperating teacher I did my student teaching with and the lady who taught across the hall. It was nice to see them. The lady across the hall had fertility issues while I was doing student teaching. In fact, after I finished student teaching I was her substitute after she had a miscarriage. (I felt sorry for her then, but now completely understand how she felt.) She and her husband adopted a baby in the spring. She had the baby with her, and of course that turned into talking about the fact that Bradley and I have been married for awhile. Then came the dreaded question--When are you going to have a baby? But you know what? I answered that question truthfully today. I didn't skirt around it by saying "Oh, I don't know" and smiling like I usually do. I also didn't cry while I quickly explained our situation. I was quite proud of myself.
Maybe this is a turning point.



Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A Hard Day

An angel wrote in the Book of Life
Our baby's day of birth
And whispered as she closed the book
'Too beautiful for earth.'

I came across this quote today, and oh how I cried! It's been exactly three months since we first saw our baby's heartbeat on the ultrasound. We experienced joy like we have never known that day. But that joy was swiftly followed by such heartache. It's been a long three months. Physically, I've healed. I'm 'normal' again. Emotionally? I don't know. I don't think I'll ever be normal again. I'm not as innocent as I used to be, that's for sure. I like to refer to that as "fertility innocence", and we all have it as children and even as young adults--the idea that you'll grow up, get married, and have as many babies as you want. It's ingrained in us from an early age, especially girls. Baby dolls are stuffed into our arms early on in life. We pretend to diaper, feed, and clothe the baby, never doubting that we'll have a real baby one day. I'm not innocent anymore. Struggle, heartache, despair....those things have taken the place of the innocence.
Life is not easy these days. I realize that no one ever promised it would be, but no one ever told me it would be this hard either. My mind is filled with doubt, and so is my heart. I wish I understood all of this. I often wonder how we'll feel if I ever do get pregnant again. Knowing what we know now, I'm not sure there will be quite as much joy and that makes me terribly sad.
This is our 24th month of trying to have a baby. It's been a long twenty-four months too. Every day for twenty-four months I have begged God for a baby. That's a lot of begging. In March, after being told I'd have to have surgery to be able to get pregnant, I begged for a miracle. And I got my miracle and then I prayed harder than I have ever prayed before that I would get to keep it. But it didn't last. Now I have a box in the closet that contains a sweet baby blanket that has "Peanut" embroidered on it and a few precious ultrasound pictures....and a lot of sympathy cards. I want it back. I want our miracle back. I want it to be November 30 and us to have a baby in our arms. But....it's not coming back. November 30 will come and go this year, and a baby will not be in our home. That sounds like such childish whining, but it's how I feel.

Will we get a second miracle? I don't know. Will we get to keep it? I don't know that either. What I do know is that I'm still begging. I'm asking for peace, too. I don't want to be the jealous, bitter, resentful person I've become. Bradley tells me I can't avoid everyone that is pregnant or has a baby, and I suppose that's true. He also tells me I can't determine my self-worth by my inability to have children on my own. I guess that's true, too, but it's a very hard thing to do. I spend 180 days a year surrounded by children, pouring love and a thirst for knowledge into them. We have a stable marriage. We have a nice home. We believe in Jesus and we go to church. We're qualified to be parents. Really, we are.
I know that there are others who have been in this situation before. I know many women have lost babies and have gone on to have healthy children. I know fertility treatments are advanced and amazing, and that babies are born every day to couples that, fifty years ago, would have never been able to have children. I know that there's hope. I know God has a plan for my life. I know, I know, I know. But my heart still hurts, and I'm just not sure how to make that stop. I've filled my life with good things, but doubt and fear still manage to creep in. I've never thought of not having children. I've never thought about what Christmas, Mother's Day, or Father's Day would be like in our home without children. But those are the things I'm left to think about now. What if I'm never able to get pregnant again? What if I get pregnant, but lose another baby? What if I (gasp!) get pregnant, have a normal pregnancy, and have a healthy baby--and realize that I spent what should have been nine wonderful months worrying daily about what could happen?
But at the same time all of this is going on in my mind, I also have to acknowledge how blessed I am. I'm married to Bradley, a wonderful man who has been so patient, caring, and understanding through all of this. We've been through a lot the past two years. I really do hope he gets the chance to be a daddy someday because he would be fantastic. We built a nice home together, and have made a good life for ourselves so far. We have great friends and family that have been so supportive through everything. We have a sweet little schnauzer. Baby or not, we've been blessed with so much.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Lucy

Every day I think about how glad I am that Lucy is here. She definitely takes my mind off of our struggles. I think I would probably be very lonely this summer if Lucy wasn't here. Being at home by myself gives me a lot of time to think, and that's not always a good thing. Getting Lucy the day after the D&E was probably the best thing we could have done. I know we're spoiling her, and she probably has no idea that she's actually a dog, but she has given us so much. I really think that she kept me from falling into a deep depression. Lucy added some joy and happiness to a time of deep, deep sorrow, and still continues to. She gives us both something to focus on, and she makes the bad days a little more tolerable. She's a lovable little mess that sometimes causes trouble, but she makes up for it by being so cuddly and sweet.

Lucy loves paper towels, Kleenex, napkins.....and toilet paper.

Sometimes she chews on the wrong things, like my cell phone charger.
But she's just precious!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Another Month

In case you're wondering, I'm not pregnant. The treatment was not a success. Every month before I start taking the fertility medicine I have to go to REACH for an ultrasound and lab work to make sure everything is okay. We went this morning at 7:00 for the appointment. It wasn't Dr. Wing's weekend, but Bradley and I both liked the doctor we saw this morning. He did say that the ultrasound showed a cyst on my left ovary. Cysts are sometimes a complication from PCOS as well as fertility medication. I had been having some pain so it wasn't a big surprise, but the doctor said it probably wouldn't cause any problems. I hope not. That's just one more thing we don't need right now. I started the Letrozole again tonight and I go back on July 15 for another ultrasound and lab work to see when to take the Ovidrel.
It makes me tired to think about another month of this. But what else can we do but do it all again?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A Wild Puppy and a Stressed Fish

The past week with Lucy has been an adventure, to say the least. Poor Lucy has days every now and then when she can't stay out of trouble to save her life. We've had a couple of those days this past week. She mangled my cell phone charger, chewed one of Bradley's guitar cords in half, ate the adjustable part of one of his caps, crawled under the bed in one of the spare bedrooms and tore pieces of fabric off the boxsprings, and learned how to pull toilet paper off the holder in the hall bath leaving a floor full of paper confetti. All of these things have happened in less than a week. Now, you may be thinking, 'If she would watch the dog better, those things wouldn't happen.' But that's simply not true! She hasn't been out of my sight very much at all. What we have on our hands is a very sneaky miniature schnauzer who is a very fast worker! I plan to post pictures later.

Now, for the second part of the post. As I said earlier in an earlier post, we purchased a saltwater aquarium a few months ago. Saltwater aquariums are funny, finicky things that take a lot of patience. You can't add fish right away, and you can't add "big" fish for months. It's a slooooow process. We added four damsels a couple of weeks after we started our tank. Twenty-four hours later, we had two damsels left. Sadness. But those two seemed to be doing fine, so a few weeks later we added a Clark clownfish which is one step up from a damsel. All the fish lived and our tank had cycled well, so it was time to add a big fish. Bradley surprised me about a week and half ago by bringing home a Koran angelfish. It's a pretty fish that is deemed to be "hardy" and non-aggressive. A smart purchase that seemed to be doing very well until yesterday. I noticed his color was a little off, a little lighter than what it normally is, but he was swimming and seemed okay. This morning when I got up, he wasn't moving around very much and his color was even lighter than yesterday. He did not look like a happy fish. So I tested all the levels and found a couple to be high. I made some adjustments in the water, and Bradley called the aquarium place to see if there was anything else we could do. The person told him that the fish is probably STRESSED due to the water levels, and there are these little floaty tea packet-type things we could get to help him deal with the stress. Really? A stressed fish. Who knew there was such a thing? None of the other fish are stressed, by the way. They're just fine. Sigh. I guess I'll go get the tea packet things, though, because I'd hate for him to die of stress, which I've been told is a real possibility. Let's hope he makes it until I can put the packets in the aquarium.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Waiting

I hate waiting. Hate it. I don't like to wait to buy things or wait for a table at a restaurant or wait in traffic or wait in line (especially at the pharmacy). It's just not fun. And two weeks of waiting to see if fertility treatments were a success? Absolute torture. Really, science has come far enough that fertility treatments are possible, and yet you still have to wait and see. Ugh. So I'm waiting. Dr. Wing is still extremely confident. I'm still saying that I bet it won't work this time, but I think that's a defense mechanism of mine. (Maybe if I'm not quite so hopeful it won't hurt as badly when I learn that I'm (yet again) not pregnant?) He vetoed my vote, though, and he's going as far as to even have me start on Crinone (a progesterone medication) tonight. I took it last time, but only started taking it after we found out I was pregnant. It's supposed to increase my chances of keeping a baby. The problem is the insurance company won't pay for it until I suffer "recurrent losses". Isn't that sweet of them? So that means we have to pay $250 for--get this--an 18 DAY SUPPLY. That means, friends, that if I am indeed pregnant I will have to refill the prescription at least once (if not more) until Dr. Wing says it's okay to stop taking it. People say kids are expensive....So is trying to have one! The money we've spent so far is unreal. We've cut things here and there and made it work, but it's kind of sickening when I think about the money we've spent and the fact that we have nothing to show for it. But what can we do other than spend the money and try again? I'll never be able to have a baby without the help of medicine. That's just how it is. It's the hand we've been dealt. I'm giving this every possible chance to work--I'm following all of Dr. Wings rules. I'm taking the vitamins and medications (regardless of the cost), drinking lots of fluids, not doing anything even remotely questionable....and praying that I'm not doing it all for nothing.

It seems like I've lived the past two years of my life thinking that I might be pregnant. It's really a bit ridiculous when you think about it. Every month I think, "Oh, I shouldn't do that. I might be pregnant." Ridiculous. In fact, I finally realized how ridiculous it was and that there was no way I was pregnant in March even with fertility treatments (after all, I wasn't supposed to be able to get pregnant without surgery) and decided to move all the desks in my classroom. Then--surprise!--I was pregnant after all. See? That's how my luck goes. Then I spent the longest time thinking, "Crap! What did I do?!?!" but managed to keep the baby. Then I lost the baby, but it had nothing to do with moving the desks. Sigh.

I'm trying not to think about what might have been or what could be, but focus on the present. That's a hard thing to do, but, for the sake of my sanity, I'm trying. Basically, to me, "focus on the present" means "throw myself into as many things as possible to stay as busy as possible in order to have as little time to think as possible". Simple, huh? Sooooo.....I'm teaching a summer camp group at North Brook this week, organizing the house, searching for decorating ideas for the house, shopping for the house, slowly decorating the house, unpacking boxes that are still in the basement, and organizing the kitchen cabinets and our closet. I also have Lucy to keep me busy. Not to mention the fact that we bought a saltwater aquarium for the sole purpose of filling an empty spot in our living room. My theory was that it would be more entertaining and colorful than a bookshelf. True, but it's a lot more work than a bookshelf, too. But we're finally adding fish (saltwater aquariums have to cycle first before fish can be added) and they're pretty, so all is well. Only two have died so far so I consider that a success. Add facebook and farmtown to all of that, and I've filled my days quite nicely.

But then there are the moments when I think about what if the treatment isn't a success. They sneak up on me and fill my mind and heart with doubt and fear. That would mean that another month (and lots of money) was wasted. It makes me tired to think about that and what it will mean--another month of having blood drawn, ultrasounds, medicine, and shots. I've always thought hope was a good thing, but the last two years have taught me that it's kind of dangerous, too. It definitely opens you up to heartache. My heart hurts when I think about all of this. We have experienced a range of emotions over the last few months that go from elation to absolute despair and everywhere in between. I would like to get off this roller coaster now, thankyouverymuch. I wish someone would have asked if I really wanted to get on in the first place. But I suppose that's just life, right? I know that when we finally do have a sweet little baby, we will love him or her so much and our joy will be so much deeper because of what we have gone through to have him or her. The thought of a baby keeps us going.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

REACH appointment

My appointment today at REACH went well. The ultrasound and blood work showed that the Letrozole and Prednisone did what they were supposed to do (create eggs on both sides, not just one, and make the eggs big enough to actually become something). I'm supposed to take the Ovidrel injection between 6:00 and 8:00 tonight. Of course, I'm a bit obsessive-compulsive, so this time frame just leaves me with questions--What's the best time? Right after 6? Right before 8? At 7 on the dot? *sigh* The other problem with the shot is that it goes in my stomach (eeek!) and is self-administered. I can't bear the thought of sticking myself in the stomach, so I have to find someone else who is 1) willing, and 2) semi-qualified. Bradley would be a likely candidate, but sometimes I wonder if he would enjoy that just a little too much. My mom gave me the last one, so I imagine she could be persuaded to do it again. Given her experience working in a doctor's office, I think she's a reasonable choice.

So I'll take the Ovidrel sometime between 6:00 and 8:00 and hope I pick the perfect time. Then we'll wait for two weeks (two loooooong weeks) and see if the whole treatment process was a success or not. Please continue to keep us in your prayers!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Starting Over Again

Today was my "let's start over" appointment at REACH. (I know--an appointment on a Sunday? REACH is open 365 days a year because all of this is so time-sensitive.) After an ultrasound and some blood tests (which I had to be stuck THREE TIMES for), Dr. Wing decided we were good to go. I start taking the medicines again tonight. I'll go back to REACH on June 18 for another ultrasound and blood test so we'll know when I have to take the injection. I am so thankful that everything is back to normal and we're starting over again. This has been, by far, the hardest thing I've ever been through in my life. Although I'll never forget the baby we lost, I'm glad we have hope for the future and I'm glad we can begin to focus on that. I finally feel like I can put the last four months behind me and start moving forward. I can breathe again.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Answers

Today was my post-op appointment at REACH. We finally got some answers about why I lost the baby. Basically, there should have been two babies but the egg didn't split like it was supposed to. So the one baby that began developing had all 92 chromosomes rather than the 46 it should have had. There's a name for this, but I can't remember it. Both the pathologist and Dr. Wing said that it probably won't happen again. Of course, they can't guarantee that, but I'll take what I can get. I was just so thankful that it wasn't our genes that caused the problem and that recurrent miscarriages aren't likely. My worst fear was being told that Bradley and I wouldn't be able to have a healthy baby together. I was absolutely terrified of that.

I feel so much better after hearing the results. For over a month now I've wondered if I did something wrong. Dr. Wing had told me (many, many times) that it was nothing I had done, but that didn't really sink in until today. It was a fluke, he said. A (hopefully) once-in-a-lifetime problem. We are hopeful. Dr. Wing is extremely optimistic about next time. He says he knows the treatment worked, and thinks it will work again.

As relieved as I am about the results, today was kind of sad, too. We found out that the baby was a girl. A sweet little girl that we won't get to meet in November like we had planned. It's just so sad to think about what might have been. But things don't always go the way we plan, and sometimes life just doesn't work out the way we thought it would. I know that God is in control of everything, and that He has a much bigger, better plan than I ever could have. Sometimes, though, it's just really hard to see the big picture.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Little Lucy








If you would have told me two months ago that we would be this crazy over a dog, I would have laughed. A lot.


Lucy is the cutest, sweetest puppy and we are spoiling her rotten! Our life has changed a lot since we got Lucy. We've had to puppy-proof our house, we don't sleep late on the weekends anymore, and we're constantly trying to stay one step ahead of her. The floor of our house is littered with puppy toys now. Since Lucy gets a new toy almost every time we go out, I don't see this problem getting better anytime soon. :) We've had her for almost a month now, and I can't imagine life without her. She has been such a blessing to both of us!

Monday, May 25, 2009

An Introduction of Sorts

Let me begin by saying this: I've always had a plan.

Even when I was little, I had to have a plan, even if it was just for what was going to happen that day. That always annoyed my mother who was (and still is) a free-spirit type. I needed to know what was going on, and I needed to plan things. That was pretty much how I ran my life. I always knew what was coming next. I developed a life plan pretty early on--graduate from high school, go to college, graduate from college, become a teacher, get married, have kids. And you know what? My plan was working fine. Just fine. I graduated, went to Gardner-Webb, graduated, got married in July 2006, and welcomed my first students into my classroom less than a month later. I didn't have a plan as far as how long to wait between getting married and having kids, but knew it would at least be a year. On our first wedding anniversary Bradley and I decided that I would stop taking birth control pills. I even had the timing planned--I would have the baby in May or June of the next year, my maternity leave would run into my summer break, and I would return to work in August.

((Cue major problem in the plan.))

I didn't get pregnant in August. Or September....or October....or November....Every month I would be so hopeful and then so devastated. A year passed, and I knew something was wrong. I went for my regular physical and demanded in-depth blood work even when the doctor said that she was sure nothing was wrong.

Turns out, I was right. The blood work results came back and I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. I started on some medication that would hopefully help. That was in September. By February I still wasn't pregnant. Bradley and I made the decision to go to REACH, a fertility clinic in Charlotte, and met with Dr. Wing. I liked him right away because HE HAD A PLAN. A wonderful plan that would get us a baby! I immediately started taking more medication and injections.

The next two months would prove to be a roller coaster of emotions. I felt more hopeful after my appointment at REACH than I had felt in months. Dr. Wing wanted me to go for a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) to rule out any internal issues. The HSG showed a problem, and at our next visit Dr. Wing explained that without surgery our chances of getting pregnant were very, very slim even with all of the medications. Devastated. We scheduled the surgery for March 31.

But wait! Before the surgery could be confirmed with the hospital, pregnancy had to be completely ruled out. So I was instructed to take a home pregnancy test on March 21 and call REACH with the results. I took the test even though I knew it would be negative--after all, my chances were very slim without surgery. But it was positive! We were so excited! We had our miracle, the miracle we had spent so long praying for! We went to REACH for a blood test and it was confirmed--I was pregnant! The next week was filled with more trips to Charlotte for blood tests. Each time my hCG level went up. Everything was looking good!

Our first ultrasound to see the baby that we had started calling Peanut was on April 8. What a beautiful thing! We were able to see Peanut and the heartbeat. The heartbeat was a sweet little blinking light on the screen. It was so amazing. The baby's measurement and heartbeat were right on target. We tried our best to hear the heartbeat, but we could only hear static. Dr. Wing assured us that he could hear it, and that we would be able to on the next ultrasound. Now, looking back, I wish I would have listened harder.

Our second ultrasound, the last one before I would be referred to a regular OB/GYN, was on April 22. We were excited about seeing Peanut again, and Dr. Wing was laughing and talking with us as he began the ultrasound. He didn't find Peanut right away, like he did the first time, and moved his face closer to the screen. He asked me to hold my breath. And then he found our Peanut. But there was no blinking light this time, and no sound. Just silence. I remember reaching for Bradley's hand, and I remember the nurse, such a sweet lady, moving closer. Dr. Wing repeated over and over again how sorry he was, but that there was no heartbeat. Our Peanut was still there, but had died. It was a missed miscarriage. Dr. Wing explained what was on the screen, then turned the screen away to take the final measurements for the record.

I had a D&E the Tuesday after that. My heart was, and still is, so broken. It's amazing how you can love someone so much before you've even met. We loved Peanut, and had so many hopes and dreams. I was already busy making plans. It was still very early in the pregnancy, but we had waited for so long, and I was ready to buy baby things! I had decided to buy nursery bedding called "Sweet Lambie" from Pottery Barn Kids for either a boy or a girl. We were going to buy the first piece after we left the second ultrasound. But things don't always go the way we planned.

I had wanted an "inside dog" for a long time. Bradley was hesitant about a puppy in the new house. But in the aftermath of our experience, we decided a dog could be a really good thing. We got Lucy, a miniature schnauzer, the day after the D&E. She can't replace the baby we lost, but she has been so good for us. We have smiled and laughed so much because of her, and we love her so much! She is a wonderful distraction.

It's been a little over a month since that last ultrasound. There have been good days and bad days, and a few horrible days, too. I've wanted to start a blog for a long time, but never knew really what to write. When I found out I was pregnant, I thought I would start a blog about that, but never got around to it. But now I'm starting. I'm writing because I've realized I have lots to say, but sometimes saying those things out loud is too hard. Just too much. Writing has always been an outlet for me. A blog is more interactive than a journal, and I like that. I want to share my story because I know that there are others who have been through or will go through the same thing. But, as horrible as losing our Peanut was and how much it has changed me, I'm not going to focus solely on that. I just want a place where I can write about life--happy and sad things, ordinary things, and hopeful things, too.

Because, after all, we do have a schnauzer and some hope. :)