Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sunday Morning

But we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
--Romans 5:3-5

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Few (Random) Things

1. It is WAY. TOO. HOT. I love summer, but a heat index of 105? No thanks.

2. While at a salon the other day, I heard a girl tell the nail tech about her neighbor who is twenty and pregnant. She said the neighbor didn't want the baby at all. When the nail tech asked if she was going to give it up for adoption, the girl responded that the neighbor would rather
"get rid of it" than "carry it for nine months and then just let somebody else have it". Sigh. That made me so sad. The girl said she was still trying to talk to the neighbor about adoption. I hope the neighbor will have a change of heart.

3. The two week wait is upon us. I hate the 2WW. I just keep reminding myself that this is all under control. God is handling it, and there's no reason for me to worry.

4. Lucy is going through a chewing phase again. I swear, she's the most destructive dog ever. I thought we were past this, but apparently not.

5. Ethel hates it when we mess with her hair. As soon as I pick up the brush, she's off and running. And trimming her eyebrows is a nightmare. It's like a wrestling match, and Ethel usually wins.

6. I've become obsessed with using coupons and matching coupons with store sales. It takes a lot of time, but, boy, is it rewarding! It's not even the saving money that's so rewarding. (Even though that's a great thing!) It's knowing that I got a deal.

7. I bought a new planner this week, and it makes me oh so happy. (It's the little things, people. The little things. Like planners and coupons and deals.)

8. Our anniversary is Thursday, and I have no idea what to get Bradley. I'm a procrastinator in the worst way.

9. As much as I love having all this free time to do whatever I choose, I'm ((almost)) ready to get back in the classroom. I absolutely love my job and can't imagine doing anything else. I love this time of year--thinking about new activities, buying things for the room, coming up with new ideas or ways of doing things, and the back to school sales. Those back to school sales just thrill my heart!

10. A friend posted on Facebook that she was going to Wild Wok for lunch. It's [practically] all I've thought about this afternoon. Sad, but true. The lo mein, the sesame chicken, the egg rolls..........

I'm off to beg Bradley to take me to Wild Wok for dinner. ;)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I have good eggs!

Dr. W was grinning from ear to ear during the ultrasound this morning. "You have good eggs!" he said. Today is cycle day 13. There are two 20s on the left and a 21 on the right--just what we were praying for!! I'm still waiting on the lab results, but everything looks good so far!

**Update: My favorite nurse called this afternoon, and she's excited, too! The lab results were good! I'll take the Ovidrel injection tonight, stop taking the spirinolactone, and begin taking progesterone supplements on Saturday. The nurse said that Dr. W is "thinking positive" and wants me to take the supplements every day rather than every other day (which is what he normally wants me to do).

Please continue to pray that this cycle will result in a healthy pregnancy. [And, while you're at it, go ahead and cross your fingers, toes, and eyes. You know, just for good measure.]

Optimism is the one quality associated with success and happiness more than any other.
--Brian Tracy

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Day 10 Appointment

Yesterday's appointment was a success all the way around.

First and foremost, the lab tech believed me when I told her that they normally have to use a butterfly needle. They normally don't believe me. They normally try with the regular needle, fail, realize that I actually do know what I'm talking about, and then go on to the butterfly needle. But this lady was smart. She listened to me, got the stuff ready, and then, when I held out my arm, she said (in a really disappointed voice), "Oh. I remember you from last week." Even my veins make impressions. Haha!

My second favorite doctor (behind Dr. W, of course!) was on weekend duty. He always takes the time to explain what he's seeing on the ultrasound and makes sure that I see it, too. The right side has 4 follicles: 13, 8, and two 5s. The left side has 3 follicles: two 15s and a 13. He said that those were good numbers for cycle day 10. He also reminded us that just because we're seeing that many follicles does not mean that I will have that many eggs. Of course, we already knew that, but I think he wanted to make sure we didn't panic! After my blood work came back, Dr. W reviewed everything and decided that I would continue with the Bravelle (150iu) for three more nights. He decided not to decrease the dose after all. He wants to see me on Tuesday morning--bright and early at 7:45!--for more labs and another ultrasound.

Please keep us in your prayers! If you don't mind, I'd love for you to pray for these specific things:
1. Please pray that at least one follicle matures to 20 or above. (Dr. W likes for them to be between 18 and 22.) More than one would be okay too, because it would give us a better chance of conception.
2. Please pray that the timing of Tuesday's appointment is perfect.
3. Most of all, please pray that, if it is God's will, this cycle will be a success!

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances,
for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

--1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)

Sunday Morning: A Few Thoughts

I've recently been working my way through The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. Many people participated in Bible studies centered around this book several years ago, but I'm a bit behind the times. ;) One chapter really hit home with me and I thought it would be appropriate to share it on the blog.

The chapter focused on developing a friendship with God. It provided these thoughts:
--God wasn't bothered by the frankness often shown by 'friends of God' in the Bible--he encouraged it. (Think Abraham.)
--God listened patiently to Job and David's complaints and bitterness and even praised Job for being honest with Him.
--"Can God handle that kind of frank, intense honesty from you? Absolutely! Genuine friendship is built on disclosure. What may appear as audacity God views as authenticity."

Now, let's pause for a minute and just ponder all that. I read it several times, especially that last quote from the chapter. In the past three years, and especially during the last year and a half, I have complained to God a lot. I've fussed about the unfairness of this whole situation. I've questioned where He was, if I had been abandoned. And bitterness? I was filled with it to the point where some days I thought my heart would absolutely burst. And so, yes, I would often tell God all of these things in prayer. Then I would feel so ashamed, so positively rotten, that I would immediately ask forgiveness for my rant. After all, who was I to complain to God? Yes, we were struggling with infertility and miscarriage and sometimes that just seemed like too much to bear, but I could see the blessings he had given us as well--our marriage, family, home, jobs, health, and so much more. After that my prayers would be surface-skimming prayers--being thankful, etc., but never going into what was really in my heart. (I know that we don't have any secrets from God, so, in turn, I know that He already knew what was in my heart. I just couldn't bring myself to say those things aloud. Does that make sense?) This week I realized that I was being more honest with God when I was telling him how I genuinely felt, not praying a prayer that I thought was more respectful. What a concept! How did I miss this?? God wants us to be open and honest, even when we're complaining, because that's how a true friendship with God is formed. Warren provides this valuable insight (in reference to Jacob wrestling with God): "God isn't offended when we 'wrestle' with him, because wrestling requires personal contact and brings us close to Him!"

In light of everything we've been (and to continue to go) through, these thoughts also appealed to me:
--"God uses everything for good."
--"...God always acts in your best interest, even when it is painful and you don't understand it."

Over the last 1.5 years, my emotions have been all over the place. Only in the past several months have I started working through some of the junk I've been holding onto. Don't get me wrong--there are still bad days, days when I can't help but cry and days when bitterness and jealousy creep back in. But the good days are now--finally--truthfully--outnumbering the bad, and that in itself is a huge blessing. When I realized that it was a good thing to be completely honest with God and that He wouldn't view it as being disrespectful or ungrateful, I was finally able to really talk to Him. The peace I have felt since then has been absolutely astounding. The peace that I feel now, as well as realizing that God is using this experience for good and is acting in my best interest, has made this month's treatment so different. I'm not filled with the worry and panic that I normally am during treatments. Will I be sad and disappointed if I am not pregnant at the end of this cycle? Absolutely. But God is sustaining me, and my faith in His plan is making each day a little easier.

Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you.
--James 4:8a (NLT)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Appointment Update

The standard lab/ultrasound combo--which the receptionist always refers to as the lucky daily double--went well today. (I feel like I begin every appointment post by saying that it went well. I guess I just don't know another way to begin this type of post. I'll work on that.) I went back today to make sure that, a) there's not an obscene number of follicles, and b) to determine the course of treatment that needs to take place between now and the Ovidrel injection. There are four "okay" follicles right now--two 11s and two 13s--along with several "less than 10" follicles which more than likely won't amount to anything. (Four is not an obscene number, by the way.) Dr. W decided to continue with the 150iu of Bravelle for two more nights rather than decreasing to 75iu. I'm scheduled to go back to REACH on Saturday for another monitoring appointment. (In case you didn't realize, that's the second Saturday morning appointment in two weeks. Fertility clinics are not for the faint of heart. Or for people who like to sleep in on Saturday mornings.) Saturday's appointment will determine if I need more Bravelle (and, if so, how much) and when the Ovidrel injection will be.

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
--Psalm 27:14

Monday, July 12, 2010

Beginning Again

The appointment at REACH on Saturday went well--the labs were fine and the ultrasound showed no cysts. I started taking Femara (letrozole) on Saturday and will continue to take it until Wednesday. I began taking the Spirinolactone last Thursday and will keep taking it until Dr. W says to take the Ovidrel injection. The Bravelle injections (150 iu) begin tonight and will continue until Wednesday night. And, of course, I've been taking the Metformin all along. It's a lot to remember! Everything is time-sensitive. I'm so anxious about forgetting to take something at the right time--I finally broke down this morning and set different reminders on my phone for different medicines. On Thursday I will go back to REACH for labs and an ultrasound to check on the progress thus far. That will be the earliest in my cycle that I have ever gone back for monitoring, but Dr. W wants to keep a close check since he's doubling the Bravelle. More than likely, I'll have to go back for at least one more monitoring appointment before the Ovidrel injection. All these medicines can cause OHSS, so they keep a close eye on things. Fine by me, except for that pesky $60 copay. But it's better to be safe than sorry. (I keep telling myself that maybe this is the last month that I'll have to pay them for all those monitoring appointments. That makes me feel a little better.)

Please keep us in your prayers!

Hope arouses, as nothing else can arouse, a passion for the possible.
--William Sloan Coffin

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sunday Morning

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his, we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

--Psalm 100

Thursday, July 8, 2010


It's been a day. Not a horrible day, or even a bad day, but just one of those days where I sigh. A lot.
  • I took Lucy to the vet this morning because she was due for a checkup and some booster shots. (Taking Lucy to the vet is no small feat. She's a dramatic little dog that pretends she can't walk or even stand up as soon as we get there. This includes going completely limp when you try to pick her up.) I mentioned that Lucy's ears seemed to be bothering her and that she had started chewing on her paws. Diagnosis? Allergies. And her ears are infected because of all of the scratching due to the allergies. So now I have three different kinds of medicine plus ear wash to give to a dog that is very smart and isn't a big fan of taking medicine or having her ears washed regardless of the way it's presented. And I spent a ridiculous amount of money at the vet's office.
  • I called REACH to schedule my appointment (Saturday at 8:15, by the way) and was going over the plan with the nurse. I mentioned that Dr. W said he was going to conservatively increase the Bravelle, and she replied, "Yes. It says here he's going to double the strength." Wait, what? Since when is doubling conservative?? I trust him, I really do, and I really will do whatever it takes to have a baby, but that totally caught me off guard. Like the nurse said, though: "Maybe this is the ticket."
  • I also called REACH to talk to the billing department. At my pre-op appointment, I paid my deductible to them for the surgery. The anesthesiologist's office sent a bill this week stating that my insurance company says I owe them the deductible. REACH is refunding my money so that I can turn right around and pay the anesthesiologist's office. Because that makes sense.
  • Then I called the anesthesiologist's office to explain the whole situation to them and to assure them that they would, in fact, get payment. Unfortunately, the person I talked to was pretty much incapable of understanding anything I said. I would explain the situation, and then practically hear crickets on the other end of the line, and then try to explain it again in a different way. After repeating this process multiple times, he ended the conversation by saying that he would put a note on my chart.
Sigh. Just sigh.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Table Adventure

A few weeks ago, Chelsea (my brother's girlfriend, who is absolutely wonderful!) and I went shopping. Before we went home, we decided to go to TJ Maxx just to see what they had that day. Now, when it comes to places like TJ Maxx, Marshall's, and the sort, I'm not much for looking through racks and racks of clothing in search of something, but I absolutely love the home decor and handbags! We didn't have much luck with the handbags, but we both found things in the home decor section that we just couldn't live without!

Like this little guy. A blue and white owl stuffed with potpourri?! From the minute I saw him, I knew he was destined to be mine. I admit, I did have to explain myself a bit when I brought him home. The conversation went a bit like this:
Me: Look at this little guy! Isn't he just the cutest?
Bradley: An owl?
Me: He's just perfect!
Bradley: What are you going to do with an owl?
Me: He's stuffed with potpourri! He smells good! Oh, look honey, you can undo this little latch on his behind and stuff him with different kinds of potpourri! Isn't that just precious?!
Bradley: (sighs and goes back to what he was doing.)

I also found a console table that I loved. I had been looking for a console table for a long time, but just couldn't find anything that really suited me. The table I found was a (not so pretty) green, but it had a really pretty shape to it and six fairly deep drawers. I didn't buy it that day, but thought about it constantly. Last Friday night, I insisted that we go check to see if the table was still there. It was! A miracle! [Sometimes I wonder if I'm using up all my miracles on really small stuff. Just a thought.] I explained to Bradley where it would go in our house and that I intended to paint it. He wasn't sold on the table or my painting plan [For some reason, he thinks that when I come up with these great ideas it automatically means that he's going to be the one who actually carries out the plan. I have no idea why he thinks that.] and wanted me to think about it one more night. So I did think about it. Bright and early Saturday morning, we returned to get my table.

We walked in the store, walked straight to where the table was....and stopped. There was an older couple admiring my table! The table I had spent weeks thinking about! The man was testing all the drawers, while the woman was talking about how much she liked it and how perfect it was. I hissed at Bradley that I wasn't going to get my table and that it was all. his. fault. for not letting me buy it the night before. [I may have been a teeny, tiny over-dramatic when I did that, but at the time it didn't feel that way at all. My dreams for that table were crashing down all around me. It had to be blamed on someone.] But, just when I thought all hope was lost, the couple walked away! I hurriedly whispered a quick apology to Bradley and rushed to find the nearest salesperson. After weeks of thinking and one very scary moment, the table was mine! I even got 10% off because of a tiny scratch (which didn't matter anyway because I plan to paint it). The clouds parted, birds began to sing....or something like that. And now, the table is sitting in my living room, waiting on Bradley to paint it. ;)

Ignore the color. [And the glare from the door and windows. Sorry about that.] Look at the potential! I'm envisioning a muted aqua color, distressed just a bit, with a creamy white underneath. I can't wait until it's finished!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

July 4

Nine years ago today, Bradley and I went on our very first date.

((Nine years. My gosh, that's nearly a decade! A decade! How did we get to be this old?! Are we really this old?? Where has the time gone? Unbelievable! Good grief!!))

I apologize for the brief breakdown above. Time is simply passing by way too fast. We will be moving on now.

Let me recap that first date for you:

We were supposed to go watch fireworks in our hometown. It stormed. Not to be deterred, we went to a nearby town that had scheduled their fireworks show for later in the evening. We arrived there just as the fireworks were ending. He took me home and walked me to the door. As we said goodbye, I went to kiss his cheek but he turned his head and I ended up kissing his neck instead. Embarrassed beyond words, I went in the house and he left.

He didn't call for a week.

When he (finally) called, we made plans for a second date, which went much more smoothly than the first. After that, we were pretty much inseparable.

Over the last nine years we've changed as individuals as well as a couple. We've grown up. We've experienced good times and bad, but we've handled everything together. I love the relationship we've built, and I am so blessed to have Bradley in my life.

A life lived in love will never be dull.
--Leo Buscaglia

Sunday Morning

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
--Isaiah 40:28-31