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.