Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sunday Morning

Praise the Lord, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples.
For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.
Praise the Lord.

--Psalm 117

Friday, June 25, 2010

Summer To Do List

I'm a believer in lists. And plans. (This should not come as a surprise to you.) Since my summer break is just around the corner(!), I've decided to make a list of all the projects I need to do. You know, the projects that I just don't usually have (or make) time for. [Side note--Technically, my summer break started two weeks ago. The last day for students was June 9, and the last teacher workday was June 15. I started working at a summer camp being held at my school on June 16, so it doesn't quite feel like summer break yet. It ends at 1:30 every day and we don't work on Fridays, so it has been much more relaxed than the regular year, but still. Tuesday is the last day of the camp, and I'm looking forward to having the rest of the summer to do as I please.]

Without further ado, here is my list of summer projects in all of its glory.

--Organize the garage. (Translation: Give Bradley an ultimatum about all of the junk that has piled up in there. Sweetie, if you're reading this, you know how much I love you. But I will sell your stuff. :) )

--Organize the basement. (Translation: Unpack all the boxes that are still down there from when we moved. It's only been 1.5 years now. It's perfectly reasonable to still have boxes to unpack....right??)

--Clean out the closet, dresser, and chest of drawers in our bedroom. (Really, there are a couple of drawers I haven't even opened in a couple of months. What a waste of space! Why do I hang on to this stuff???)

--Hang all of the pictures/mirrors that are still waiting to be hung. (It's still so hard for me to put holes in the walls! I never had this problem until we built the new house. I just cringe when I think about it! So I buy lots of things and they stay in one of the spare rooms until I muster up enough courage to hang them.)

--Several small arts & crafts things I've been wanting to do for awhile. (I have a can of chalkboard paint that is just calling my name. Imagine the possibilities! That's what I told Bradley when I bought it. For some reason, though, he wasn't nearly as excited about it as I was about the possibilities. It's all in the perspective, I suppose.)

--Sit down with all the scrapbook stuff that I've been buying for years and actually put a scrapbook together. (Honestly, I'm really not motivated to do this at all. I'm putting it on the list knowing that it will more than likely never happen.)

So that's my list. It may not look like a lot, but once you add in all the regular day-to-day stuff that has to be done (cleaning, laundry, etc.), beach trips, shopping, catching up with friends, and lazy days, I'm really on quite a tight schedule. [Ha!]

Of course, since I've spent my day off today working on the blog, reading, and making a to do list rather than actually doing anything, I'd say I'm off to a (slightly less than) fantastic start. Maybe I should change my "Summer To Do List" to my "Let's Hope This Stuff Gets Done by New Years Eve List". Hmmm....:)

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Hail Mary Box

I recently read a book about a family on a sailing trip. They had a box on the boat called the Hail Mary box, and inside of it was everything they would need in case of a disaster. The box was named, of course, after the long pass made in desperation near the end of a football game.

Reproductive endocrinologists have a Hail Mary box, too, even though they don't call it that.

It seems like every way we turn, there's another problem, another obstacle. We've tried pills, pills and injections, pills and injections and IUIs. We already knew the surgery wasn't the answer we had hoped it would be, and, going into his office for my post-op appointment on Wednesday, I was prepared to be told that IVF was the next step, the only step.

From the beginning, I liked Dr. W because he always has a plan (and we all know how I feel about plans). When I walked into his office, he had my records up on the computer screen, tons of test results spread across his desk, and a notepad where he had scribbled bits of information, marked things out, and, ultimately, came up with a plan. He thinks IVF may be where we end up, but he also knows I'm not ready for that yet. Not only does IVF take a lot of financial preparation, it takes a lot of emotional and mental preparation as well. So, with that in mind, he's making adjustments to the medications. He's switching the prednisone for sprinonolactone, a blood pressure medicine that has been proven to also adjust hormone levels in women with PCOS. I will only take the medicine for two weeks each month to ensure that I'm not taking it while pregnant. He doesn't often prescribe it, he said, but we're running out of options and this just may work for me. He's also increasing the strength of the Bravelle injections. For the first month, he says he'll do a "conservative" increase. If I'm not pregnant after the first month of treatment, he'll do a more aggressive increase. At this point in the conversation, he paused, put his hands together on his desk and looked at me squarely. Increasing the Bravelle this way will give us a very high chance of multiples, and Dr. W doesn't want multiples. His idea is that by increasing the Bravelle, I'll produce a greater number of follicles and, out of multiple follicles, there will be one good egg. The risk, of course, is that all those follicles will turn out to be good eggs. Multiples would complicate things, especially given the higher chance of miscarriage because of PCOS. We discussed all the possibilities, and agreed that it was worth the risk.

So, that's the plan. We will begin another round of treatment in July. Dr. W will try this treatment for three months. At that point, if I'm still not pregnant, we will cut our losses and move on. What we'll move on to, I'm not sure. IVF? Adoption? An acceptance of child-free living?

As Dr. W walked me out of the office, he told me that he hoped this would work. "But, Adrian," he said, "Start saving your money."

The Hail Mary box is nearly empty.

To love is to risk not being loved in return. To hope is to risk pain.
To try is to risk failure.
But risk must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Back to Square One

We thought the surgery would be our magic answer. It wasn't.

Aside from a cyst on my fallopian tube and scar tissue that was connecting my uterus and colon (which I was apparently born with???), Dr. W didn't find anything. Nothing. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Even the blockage that showed up on the HSG wasn't there.

In some ways, this is good news: There's nothing majorly wrong. I still have both fallopian tubes. Nothing was damaged beyond repair. My liver and kidneys are in fantastic shape. (Apparently, Dr. W decided to poke around a bit and check on some internal organs. Why not, right?)

In one very major way, though, this is bad news: We're back to square one.

With the help of fertility drugs, I produce eggs that are big enough. With the help of Ovidrel, I ovulate. There are no blockages in my fallopian tubes. So why can't I get pregnant?

When Dr. W met with Bradley immediately following the surgery, he seemed to be at a loss. He explained that while the surgery may have helped, it probably didn't. He thinks that maybe I just don't produce 'quality' eggs. Egg quality could ((possibly)) be improved by cutting all simple carbohydrates and sugars out of my diet. While I am going to do that, Dr. W said that it wasn't a sure fix. He thinks that IVF is now our best option. I had hoped it wouldn't come to that.

There are so many things to think about and consider. My post-op appointment with Dr. W is on June 16. We'll know more then.

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.
--Martin Luther King, Jr.