Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Day 3

Our appointment today went well. The doctor on duty for early morning ultrasounds was not one of my favorites, but since I only had to see him for 4 minutes (and that's probably a very generous estimation of time) it was fine. I think he is really very knowledgeable, but he lacks personality and personality tends to go a long way with me. He said I was young and had lots of eggs and, this time, no cysts. (That's just what you want to hear at 7 in the morning at a fertility clinic.) The lab was running way behind, there was only one person drawing blood, and I was sure she was going to be rough because she was in such a hurry. I cringed as I sat down in the chair, and tried to smile a lot and make conversation so she could see what a nice person I was and would try her best not to hurt me. Let me just say this--It was the best blood drawing experience I've ever had. And--thank you, infertility--I've had lots. I didn't even feel it. I mean, not. one. bit. Unbelievable. I told her I would be back next week and hoped she would be there, too. She chuckled like I was kidding. I wasn't.

The lab results came back fine. I will start the letrozole and prednisone tonight. I have an appointment on March 4 for another ultrasound to look for mature follicles and more blood work to test hormone levels. We have decided to go ahead with the IUI, and it will be scheduled based on the results of those tests. Dr. Wing believes it would give us a better chance of pregnancy, and we agree.

Two years ago, this was such a private struggle for us. I didn't want anyone to know what we were facing, as if saying it out loud would somehow make it even more real. In the past year we've made our private struggle very public, and I am, in all actuality, very glad. Making others aware of our struggle to have a baby has, in a way, given us the courage and strength to keep going. Knowing that we have family and friends to support us and pray for us is such a blessing and we are so very thankful. Several people have asked if we will tell right away when (when not if!) we get pregnant again, given what happened to our first miracle. My answer has always been yes. I feel that the sooner people know, the sooner they will begin praying for our miracle's growth, development, and health.

As always, I'm asking you to pray for us. Put us on every prayer list you encounter. Call out our names to God, and ask Him to bless us with a precious miracle. If you wouldn't mind, please let us know if you choose to do this. A phone call, a comment on the blog or on facebook, in person...any way you'd like. I can't explain why I need to know, but....I just need this.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

--Philippians 4:6

Monday, February 22, 2010

Here We Go...Again

Tomorrow is our appointment at REACH. Bright and early, at 7am.

This is our month. We will get pregnant this month.

I am being insanely positive this month. I am finished with being realistic. I am finished with guarding my heart so that the pain of a negative test doesn't just kill me. I am throwing my whole self into this month and if it hurts in the end, so be it. I have found that many things you are certain will kill you actually don't. Like infertility. And a miscarriage. And failed cycle after failed cycle.

So I'm being outwardly positive. I'm going to stop cringing when I say, 'This is our month.' I'm not going to think about the possibility that I may have to admit failure in a month, because you know what? Failure is not an option. Not this time. No, sir. (Being really positive and saying failure is not an option is very scary, by the way. Very scary, indeed.)

In addition to being outwardly positive, I'm also focusing on being stress-free. I'm letting the little things go. I purchased a meditation program that is specifically for fertility. Last night was my first session, and I sent good thoughts and positive energy to my hypothalamus. (I kid you not.) Three years ago, I would have laughed at myself. But now I'll try anything. Maybe there's something to this whole mind+body thing. We'll see.

And, of course, I'm praying. I'm praying that God gives us a miracle this month. Please keep us in your prayers as we take another step in our journey toward parenthood.

The surest way not to fail is to determine to succeed.

-Richard Brinsley Sheridan

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Wonderful Examples

Grandparents are some of the world's greatest treasures. They're always up for doing fun things or spoiling grandchildren or telling stories. I am incredibly blessed--I'm in my twenties and all of my grandparents are still alive and doing pretty well.

I visited with my maternal grandparents tonight. They're in their eighties and are really wonderful people. Tonight's visit was absolutely hilarious. I learned a lot tonight. I learned that Golden Corral really has great mashed potatoes, but terrible banana pudding--not enough cookies in it, you see. They also have very good Jello. (Jello? Really?) I learned that Pop's feet were frozen in the war, and that's what's causing all the trouble. I learned that he really, really needs a hearing aid. While discussing directions to a doctor's office they'll be visiting tomorrow, I learned that Mamaw doubts Pop's driving/directional skills. I learned that Mamaw apparently sends a half dozen roses to the family every time someone in the community passes away. (I actually learned that from my mom. Mamaw would never tell anyone anything like that.) I was reminded of a lot of things, too: It is better to give than to receive. You stick together always, even when it gets to the point that you're watching multiple mirrors and being the navigator while he drives. You have to be patient when your husband of sixty-something years says "huh?" after everything you say. You weather life's storms together, because that's what you promised to do when you took those vows.

I left their house smiling and giggling tonight. What a blessing.

The greatest pleasure of life is love.
--William Temple

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Happy Birthday, Lucy!

Today is the sweet schnauzer's first birthday! A year ago on this day, we had no idea that such a special puppy was being born. We are so incredibly blessed to have her in our home. She came to us when we were so heartbroken. I've cuddled and cried with her countless times, and she's been such a comfort. Lucy has been my therapist. On the darkest days, Lucy was my motivation. She was counting on me. I had to get up, had to play, had to keep going. She slowly restored joy to a home that had become...bleak, for lack of a better word.

Lucy was born on the day that my due date was calculated by. That's something many people don't know. When I learned that, I knew she was perfect for us. I found her on a breeder's website while I was still at home after the D&E. Bradley had returned to work that day, and being alone was a struggle for me. When I came across her sweet, kind eyes, I knew she had to be ours. We made arrangements to meet the puppy that afternoon. We fell in love with her right away.

Now, as Lucy sits beside me and looks at me with those kind eyes, I can't imagine life without her. Bringing her home with us that day was, without a doubt, one of the smartest things we've ever done. She is precious to us, and I hope she knows how much she is loved.

"There is no psychiatrist in the world like
a puppy licking your face."
Ben Williams

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Good News!

REACH called back today, just as promised. Dr. Wing reviewed my chart, and wants to try the letrozole/prednisone/metformin/ovidrel combination one more time. He says we had success with it before, and there's no reason not to give it one more try. Of course, if I want to try a more "aggressive" treatment, he'll write the prescription for that, too. I politely declined. This is what I had hoped and prayed for--at least one more month of the letrozole combination before follistim. Dr. Wing did suggest we do an IUI with this treatment cycle, but that is ultimately our decision. We've got a while to think about it.

Thank you for your prayers and support. Please keep praying!

Be strong and take heart,
all you who hope in the Lord.
Psalm 31:24

Monday, February 8, 2010

A Prayer Request

I called REACH today.

I thought it was funny that, even after several months off, I still have the phone number and my chart number memorized. I have called that number too many times to not know it. So I dialed the number without even having to think about which buttons to press, I left my chart number and a message, and waited. Nurse #2 called quickly. [I like her, but Nurse #1 will always be my favorite. Just a side note.] Dr. Wing will review my chart tonight and they'll call me tomorrow with my fate. Maybe "fate" is a bit dramatic. But that's what it feels like.

Please pray for us during this time. We are going to have to make decisions about treatment soon, and, while I am willing to do anything, Bradley is more hesitant. I feel anxious about these decisions tonight. Pray for clarity and peace in our decision making. Pray that we would choose the right option. Pray that everything will work out. But most of all, please pray that we will experience the miracle of pregnancy soon, and that our baby would be healthy.

"Pray, and let God worry."
-Martin Luther

Saturday, February 6, 2010

A Decision

As you know, we've been on a REACH hiatus since the fall. We were so tired and weary, and it was just becoming too much. I believe taking a break was an incredibly smart move on our part. It gave us time to get through our Peanut's due date and the holidays without having to juggle appointments, medications, and all the other fun stuff that comes along with going to REACH. But after the due date and holidays were over, I began to get anxious. Bradley and I started to talk about going back, and today we made a decision.

We're going back this month.

I'm not sure what our treatment options will be. We had reached the end of the line with the letrozole and ovidrel. Dr. Wing had talked about adding follistim to that mix, but since we took a few months off I wonder if the letrozole and ovidrel alone could possibly be an option. Follistim scares me, but I'm ready to try anything. {I think.} I'm planning to call on Monday and see what our options are and what we need to do to get started again.

At one point in time, the thought of going back made me tired and filled my heart with dread. But not today. Today I feel invigorated, excited, like anything is possible. It's been a long journey since last February. But REACH is where we experienced success, and the thought of going back there feels....right. And promising. And hopeful.

"Happiness is like those palaces in fairy tales whose gates
are guarded by dragons: we must fight in order to conquer it."
-Alexandre Dumas

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A Confession

First of all, the blog background has been changed. Again. It's a sickness. An obsession. A major time waster. I just. can't. leave. it. alone. If you are a person who desires consistency in their life, you probably shouldn't read this blog. Or maybe you can still read it, but just avoid looking at the background. Sorry. I change things constantly and am never satisfied. It's a character trait of mine. For those of you who appreciate change, welcome! You'll feel right at home here. It's like drawing out of a grab bag every time you type in the address. Or scratching a lottery ticket. Or opening the prize in the Cracker Jack box.

Now we'll move on.

Secondly, the name of the blog has changed. {Please see cute header at top. Look fast--I make no promises about how long it will be there.} Not the address though. (Ha! Consistency! See, it does exist here.) I decided to change the name in acknowledgment of Ethel.

Speaking of Ethel (and I'll stop numbering paragraphs now), I have a confession. A big, deep, dark, ugly, makes me feel like a terrible person confession. I thought we made a mistake. When we first decided to get Ethel, I thought it was a great idea. I pictured two sweet schnauzers frolicking in the yard together, snuggling on the couch together. You know, being doggy best friends. But that wasn't what happened. They got along okay, don't get me wrong, but Lucy started acting...mopey. And then I panicked. Oh no! What have we done??? Lucy just has to be happy! I thought this would make her happy! What do we do now?!

I pretty much went a bit crazy over it. Bradley will agree with that. I'm sure he will also tell you that he was thisclose to throwing something at me when I brought it up for the 342nd time. Lucy is such a special dog. I just want her to always be happy and to always feel loved. I realize that sounds ridiculous, but it is so true. I really didn't know what to do about the situation I had created. Here's the second part of the confession: My uncertainty has been the cause of not posting pictures of Ethel, both here and on facebook. Isn't that horrible? I feel absolutely terrible writing that. Bradley said to give it time.

So here's what happened. The second schnauzer puppy stayed. Lucy stopped moping and started playing, just like I hoped she would. Ethel follows Lucy around constantly and mimics everything she does. If Lucy jumps, Ethel jumps. If Lucy walks across the room, Ethel walks across the room. It's really funny to watch. When we first got Ethel her ears flopped, but now they stand straight up. I wonder if she could be mimicking that as well.

So now we have two schnauzers and some hope. One sounds and looks more like a guniea pig than a schnauzer right now, but hopefully that will improve with time. :)

And now, world, meet Ethel. The puppy that would rather sleep on the bottom shelf of an end table than in a dog bed.