Tuesday, September 28, 2010

THE 100th POST!!

It cracks me up to label this post, the 100th post, because IRONICALLY, today I planned to talk about SuPeRsTiTiOn!!!!

According to www.dictionary.com,
1. a belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge, in or of the ominous significance of a particular thing, circumstance, occurrence, proceeding, or the like.
2. a system or collection of such beliefs.
3. a custom or act based on such a belief.
4. irrational fear of what is unknown or mysterious, esp. in connection with religion.
5. any blindly accepted belief or notion.

I didn't realize that I held so many superstitions until last week when my overly obsessed brain could not concentrate and much else but baby making. Since I had to give myself shots, I was constantly thinking about babies. Here are a few of my thoughts:

"Omigosh, I only have insurance until September 30. This will be our last chance to do fertility treatments, because I won't be able to afford the cost. I have too much riding on this one month, it probably won't happen."

"I am thinking about this too much, nothing is going to happen when I can't relax."

"I have told way too many people about this being our last month and about the 3 follicles, there is no way the universe will let me be pregnant now, I am always disappointing someone."

"I set myself up for failure all the time. I shouldn't have told anyone that I am giving myself shots, now they won't work."

"Oh, I gave myself the last shot on the full moon, surely I will be pregnant, now."

"I will be able to test on the 10th anniversary date of my mom's death. Is that a good omen or bad omen? She died on Friday the 13th, so it has to be a bad omen."

"This is the 100th post, I better save it for the day I test for pregnancy, because then I will be pregnant for sure!"

"I didn't save the 100th post for pregnancy, so now I am not going to be pregnant."

Last week when I was so overwhelmed, I told my hubby that I just didn't even want to try because I wanted so badly to be a mother that I just knew that there was no way I was ever going to get pregnant. He looked me dead in the face and said, "There is something physiologically wrong with you and that is why you are taking medicine to try to correct it. No amount of superstition is going to supersede the physical issues. If God will allow you to get pregnant this month with the use of meds then He will. If not, then it won't. But, your wanting it more than any other person has no bearing on whether or not you conceive. This irrational thinking will only drive you crazy."

Does a woman's brain ever stop? Does she ever get a chance to breathe? Does her husband make sense?


When she lets God fill her with joy. When she prays for peace and for tranquility of her mind. When she sets her heart and mind solely on Him. Meditate on who HE is. The all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving being that He is.

Father, I pray that you bring me peace of mind. Help me to see only through your eyes and not through the lens of superstition. Bring me calm and peace as I wait 11 more days to test for pregnancy. I pray for your will, your peace and your love to infiltrate my mind. I pray also for me readers to experience this as well. In Jesus' name, AMEN!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Month 16, cycle 14, day 12, 1 dpo

I have now nicknamed myself the fertility guru!! Another friend of mine is PREGNANT!!! And I will take the credit, as it was her first month of trying and she asked me for advice. Man I am good! Now I have to figure out to make it happen for myself...hehehe!

I gave myself 3 shots of FSH daily; Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings. And then I woke up Friday morning to go have my ultrasound. My temp had dropped to 96.6, but since I have been waking up at different times all week, I wasn't taking much stock into the temps as they have been up and down. We went to the doctor and saw 7 follicles!!! The ultrasound tech told us that they are considered mature if they are over 18 mm. She saw on the right ovary an 18mm, 17.5mm, and 13mm. And on the left ovary a 20 mm, 11mm, 11mm, and 12mm. So she stated that the nurse would call me that night after the doctors discussed what to do and she would probably ask me about whether or not I would consider selectively reducing if there were multiple babies. She told me to talk it over with Shaun so when the nurse called I would have an answer.

On our way home we discussed this. Let me just say that I don't believe in abortion, I think it is wrong, but I have to tell you that after my situation with Ethan and the fact that I almost died Shaun and I have a different outlook on abortion. We still think that it is not an option for birth control and we don't think that any person should go into a clinic because they don't want children and just end their life. BUT, we do believe that if a pregnancy puts the life of the mother at risk, then it is up to the family to decide what is best for them. And this is something we have discussed at length for 5 years since Ethan's conception. We know how fragile life is and make decisions based on the experience we have had. So, our conversation on the ride home was pretty much predictable:

"SO what do you think?" I asked him.
"Well, of course we would reduce," he said, "Your body can't handle extra stress. You are more important to save then potential children. Yes, we want kids, but only if that means WE BOTH get to raise them. I don't want to raise 3 babies on my own!"
"I know, but I don't want to have an abortion, either. So, should we decide NOT to try this month, since there is a possibility for triplets?"
"NO, this is one of our last chances probably since our insurance is going to run out. The chance for triplets is like 1-3%, so you aren't gonna have to worry about that decision. Just tell them yes if they ask you."
"But, I wouldn't mind triplets," I tell him, "Now, if it were 4 or 5 or if one baby was unhealthy and endangering my life or the other babies lives, then maybe I would consider it."
"But, we probably will only get one, so don't worry."
"Ok, then," I concede. "If they ask if I will selectively reduce, I will positively say that I would be willing to discuss selective reduction. Fair enough?"

So, at 4pm the nurse called and told me to give myself the shot of hCG (Ovidrel) and intercourse that night, Saturday night and Sunday night. She never asked me about selective reduction. Whew!!

So, I think I ovulated Saturday as my temp was 97.6 and then today it is 98.1. My monitor was low until today (Sunday) it is PEAK!! Anyway, all the other signs are a bit off, but I know that I probably ovulated yesterday or today. And in two weeks I will test. Probably Saturday, October 9.

Father, thank you for showing me that people can get pregnant and do so without fertility treatments. Thank you that you allowed medicine to help me to develop follicles and could possibly bless me with a child or two or three. Thanks for keeping the nurse from asking me about a very difficult decision. I pray that you will bless those who are still trying and give them new hope for a child. I pray for favor this month. You know that I am at the end of my rope and that I know that you can provide a miracle right before my eyes! Show yourself faithful to me and to those who are reading. Reveal yourself in my words and use this blog to be a blessing to others. I love you and appreciate all that you do and who you are!! In Jesus' name, AMEN!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

One shot down, 5-8 more to go!!!

I bravely told my husband that it was time for me to administer my shot and asked him if he wanted to watch. I was so proud of my overcoming my fear that I just wanted him to witness it first hand since he watched me wince and cry several other times when a needle was nearby. He gladly agreed and grabbing the injection pen, we entered the computer room.

"Whaddya doin' in here?" he asked.
"Well, since it is my first time, I want to watch the instruction video online just to be sure I am doing it right."
"Did you have to download something?"
"No, it just is on the www.fertilitylifelines.com website."

We watched the video and I followed along. I primed the pen to remove the bubbles and tapped on it like I should and I tipped the pen over to get it close to my skin when I saw a BIG bubble move in the liquid.

"WHAT IS THAT?" I asked hubby.
"Oh, the video says it is normal to have a couple small bubbles, it is fine," he said. However, the visions of a brain aneurysm or a heart attack overwhelmed my brain and I chickened out.
"NO way I am doing this now. That one is not a 'small' one, it is kinda big. What if I get that bubble into my body? I could die. Oh my gosh. I want to do this, but I can't. What do I do? What do I do?"
Shaun tells me to tap on the pen to get them out. I tried, but that big bubble just stayed where it was. I started looking around, my heart beating out of my chest, embarrassed to say the least, scared to say more. I noticed that the box that the injection pen came from had a toll free number on it. I decided to call it. The nurse answered and said that it was extremely unlikely that the bubble would get into my blood stream as I was injecting it subcutaneously and not intravenously. I still was uncertain and unconvinced of its safety. She then said, why not prime it again. So, she talked me through the process of re-priming it, even though that meant I lost 37.5 units of a very expensive medicine, I decided I better do it for peace of mind. And then the bubble was gone. She then asked me to give myself the shot while she was on the line. I said, "ummm...will you talk me through it?"

"Sure. Dial the pen to the right dose, then pull the loader to hear 2 clicks. Then pinch your belly and push the needle through. Squeeze the button and hold there for 5 seconds. Slowly remove the pen and replace the needle cap." I did exactly as she said and did not feel a thing. We hung up and I realized that Shaun had just witnessed this entire interchange.


I tried so hard to be brave and show him how much I had improved. He said he was proud of me and wondered if I was even going to give it to myself at all. He figured that I would chicken out and make him do it. I told him that was even more torturous for me. Still I didn't look at the needle while it pierced my skin. My goal for the end of the treatment this month is to watch the entire process from beginning to end.

Father, Thank you so much to the post menopausal woman who donated her urine so that I would be able to take her follicle stimulating hormone to help me to get pregnant. I pray that she is blessed for her generosity. Thank you for the gift of modern medicine and for the woman who was patient while I allowed my anxiety to get the better of me. You know that I desire so much to be a mom that you put those people in the right place at the right time. Thank you again for this opportunity and I am so excited to hear how well these shots worked. I know that You will allow for me to conceive and that it will happen on your timing. I pray for Jodi who is planning on her hybrid cycle soon and ask that you bless her as well. I pray for all my friends who are longing for a child, that you complete their desires. I pray for those who are grieving that they look to you for strength. In Jesus' name, AMEN!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Month 16, Cycle 14, Day 7

Yikes, I am feeling anxious about giving the shot today! But I will do it!!!!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Month 16, Cycle 14, Day 4

I had an interesting day yesterday. Because of this "hybrid" cycle, I will have to have multiple ultrasounds to determine how much medicine and to monitor the effects. So, yesterday was the first ultrasound of this month's cycle. My hubby and I drove to Ann Arbor 50 minutes there, and was quickly escorted into our room to have the ultrasound. The tech quickly came into the room, did a scan. She told me they were looking for a thin endometrium and quiet ovaries (meaning no follicles), as that is what they should be like at the day 3 ultrasound. When she scanned, she told me I had a thin endo (3mm) and showed me the blood flow. This actually was really cool to see. The wonders of modern technology; to be able to see menstruation from the inside. I encouraged Shaun to look, although he was far from interested. Who could blame him? The tech said. I laughed. Of course, this comment persuaded him to check it out(similarly to someone calling him chicken)!! hehe!

And then she looked at the ovaries. The left one -- the most active one, the one that has been the ovulating one 3/4 Femara cycles -- had a largish follicle on it; 13 mm. The right one had some smaller ones, but nothing to be worried about, she said. Anyway, the tech said that the doctors would be meeting to discuss the findings at their noon meeting. She said that she wasn't sure what they would do, as sometimes they cancel the treatment, and other times they choose to go ahead with it. After the noon meeting, a nurse would be calling me to let me know if I were to start the Femara that night or what the next course of action should be. We left the clinic as quickly as we had got in and realized we had only been in the building for 10 minutes total with a 2 minute scan. So, since we had driven all that way, we decided to go shopping...Marshalls and DSW (Designer Shoe Warehouse)!!! I love those stores!! And then we drove the 50 minutes back home.

Later that day, I got a message from the nurse and was told to go ahead with the medicine as scheduled, and that I would be coming in for a day 10 ultrasound next Friday!! So, here I go...crossing my fingers! XX

Also, I got a firm job offer and a great possibility for another this coming week. I will be making some huge decisions soon!! Hopefully, the pregnancy thing will take and I won't have to make hard decisions on waiting for the insurance plans to come through to decide to resume treatment before or after they kick in.

Father, thank you so much that you have not abandoned me amidst my excessive planning. I pray that you allow me to make wise choices and that soon I will be with child. Thank you for the people who have prayed for me and bless them with people to pray for them as well. I ask that you bring healing to so many people's hearts right now. You know each and every one I speak of...the one who's child is sick, the one who's pregnant with her rainbow baby, the one who's teenager is estranged, the one who's still trying to get pregnant after many years of trial and loss, the one who's looking for a job to support her kids, the one who's sick, the one who's about to leave her marriage, the one who's dealing with recent grief, the other ones who I fail to mention, yet you know all about. I pray for peace, for guidance and for love. You are the one who has come to set the captive free!! Set us all free today, in Jesus' name, AMEN!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Month 16, Cycle 14, Day 1

Good evening, ladies (and gentleman who dare to travel this journey with me)! I bring you news that once again I am not pregnant. No need for a test to prove it. Auntie dearest arrived and has been a pain in the tummy since early this morning.

All is not lost, however. I am decidedly in a good mood. I am glad that I can move on again into a new cycle. This one is planned to be that much more intense and strategically more effective. I am confident that the LORD is in control of all things and that despite what I obviously lacked in knowing, HE has shown himself worthy over and over again. The plan according to Doctor Randolph at U of M is to come in on day 3 to check my ovaries for cysts or anything unusual. Once that is established, then I will take Femara days 3-7. On day 7, I will give myself a shot of Gonal-f (follicle stimulating hormone) and give myself shots each evening until day 10. On day 10 I will have another ultrasound and blood test and the doctor will call me to tell me to take another shot and for how much dosage and how many days. I will probably have another ultrasound on day 12 and every two days until my eggs are ripe, giving myself a shot each day as directed. Once ripe, the doc will instruct me to give myself the Ovidrel (hcg) and I will ovulate within 36-40 hours of that. Then wait until time to get Aunt Flo or positive pregnancy test. Sounds like 20-30% chance of viable pregnancy with this treatment, I think. I will ask for clarity for my personal situation on Friday. Let's say I am more optimistic.

But, I have to say that the further along in treatment I get, the more I convince myself of how unethical or immoral this may be. So, I have ordered 2 books online regarding grieving infertility and the christian perspective on infertility -- Longing for a Child: Devotions of Hope for your Journey Through Infertility by Kathe Wunnenburg AND The Infertility Companion: Hope and Help for Couples Facing Infertility (Christian Medical Association) by Sandra Glahn. I cannot wait to get these in the mail and begin reading about this issue. For some reason, I was just denying that I am infertile. I was believing in faith that this was just a minor delay in getting my child to earth, but I know that just like any other loss, I must go through the grief journey to accept what is happening to me. Denial is the usual first stage and although I talked about myself as battling infertility, I really didn't see me as an infertile being. Partly because I have birthed a child. Surely one cannot be infertile if they have born a human being into this world, I thought? So, another stage is bargaining. I have been in and out of that for several months, begging God to allow me to have just one little live bambino. I have been in and out of the anger stage, why me? What are you thinking allowing imbeciles who abort their babies to get pregnant, and not me, I would think? I am angry each month my cycle begins. And now, depression. These last few days I have felt utterly hopeless in my journey. I am coming up to close to quitting time and I am just so sad to admit defeat. So, I am not yet ready to accept that I am indeed forever infertile, but I have accepted it enough to be willing to learn more about it, and to overcome my extreme fear of needles and stick myself several times in hopes to one day soon to caress the skin of my little one and watch him/her grow into a respectable adult.

Did I mention my extreme fear of needles before this? Oh, I have stories. How about the one where I had asthma and allergies real bad and was referred to a specialist? Well, I knew that they would need to do some testing and I prepared for some scrapes on my skin. I was comfortable with that. But, then the nurse came in with 40 SYRINGES!!! (Mind you, I am 23 years old at the time.) I cried like a BABY! NO way was I letting someone stick 40 needles into my skin one by one on purpose! With my permission?! No way. I protested and asked for the doctor immediately. He continued to plead with me to do it and I simply refused. He shared that my disease was progressing and he would not be able to properly treat me if I did not. I told him I didn't care and I was leaving. I agreed to take the allergy shot once a week that he was able to treat me with and left it at that. It took me 3 months of forming relationship with my nurse before I would allow them to do the 40 needle test AND, I made her do it, even though she normally didn't administer the testing. I refused to allow anyone to give me shots but her until I was pregnant. Then I was told I had gestational diabetes and may need to give myself shots. I completely and utterly refused then. So badly so that I was diagnosed in my 1st trimester and when I asked the nurse if she thought I was going to have to give shots and she said yes, I told her that if she thought it would come to it, that I was willing to terminate the pregnancy because I was that deathly afraid of needles ( I KNOW. I regret saying this for sure!!). Thankfully I didn't have to give myself shots for diabetes. I hated shots so much that I planned on a completely needle free delivery and even asked the doctor to waive the requirement that I have an IV placed unless it was absolutely necessary. I learned lamaze and other techniques to deliver au natural! Even after I learned that I would have a C-section I asked for more demerol so I wouldn't care about getting the spinal in my back to deliver. AND, when I was anemic and so very sick in the hospital after having Ethan, I knew I had to have blood transfusions and tests and did the minimum required and enacted my own policies...if the lab tech was unable to get the vein on the first try, then the test would not be performed. Each tech was given this instruction very carefully before ever attempting...needless to say, some tests were not performed, at the anguish of the tech and doctor. ANYWAY, this is all to say that I have overcome my fear of needles and am so desperate to have a child that I am willing to stick myself over and over again to give myself the best possible chance.

Tonight my prayer is silent. I will pray for many things, but I am asking you to pray as well. Pray for the babies who are born to unstable families. Pray for them to be cradled by the LORD and that they are given so many opportunities to meet him, to be taken care of by others and for their families to be healed. Pray for adoptions all over the world to be what is best for the little ones and for adopted families to be rewarded for their deeds. Pray for pregnancies in the world that are threatened medically, that the mothers are comforted and that people are there to support mom and baby no matter what the outcomes are. Pray for peace. Even if it is just peace for one moment. Peace of mind. Peace in your heart. Peace in my heart. Pray for those who are blessed that they continue to be a blessing to others. Pray for the families who are enduring childhood cancers, or deaths or other debilitating circumstances. Pray for those who are grieving. Pray for those who are just existing. Just remember to pray. Father, I love you. In Jesus' name, AMEN!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Month 16, Cycle 13, Day 28, 13 dpo

I spotted red blood this morning. One time. I took another test, again it is negative. I called the nurse and told her what is happening. She suggested I wait a few more days and see if I get a full flow. If I don't by Thursday, they will draw a beta blood test. I am cramping and think I will be flowing soon, so I plan on starting the hybrid cycle soon. Just want to get it started.

Father, I thank you that you allowed me a day of grieving. Yesterday was filled with disappointment. I am not disappointed with you, but just in the unknown. I know that you know my future. I know that you hold my heart in your hands. I know that you have allowed all things for the good of those who love you. But, I grieve that which I do not have. I want a child so badly LORD. You know that the deep desire of my heart is to be a mother. You know that the loss of my own mother makes this that much more unbearable. Father, in one month from yesterday, my mom will have been in Heaven for 10 years. I miss her terribly. Father, in 4 months from today, my son was born 5 years ago waiting to die. Father, 3 months ago I let another little one enter your kingdom. LORD, loss has become so very much apart of me and I desperately want to keep on living. Please allow me to have and keep a child, so I can pass on the great things my mother taught me. Please allow me to leave a legacy, so when it is my turn to enter Heaven, I will have had a purpose on this planet. Thank you so much for what I do have, a husband who loves me and a deep desire to serve you.

I pray for my followers who have each come to this blog for various reasons. Father, allow them to be blessed by my transparency, allow them to have courage to continue, allow them to achieve the desires of their hearts and allow them to pass on what they have learned about you to others. You alone are the only thing that lasts! This I know!! In Jesus' name, AMEN!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Month 16, Cycle 13, Day 27, 12 dpo

Ok, I tested this morning. Of course, it is negative. I just don't know. I had a little teeny tiny bit of pink tinged spotting late last night. In each of my Femara cycles, I have spotted a couple of days before starting my period...even the miscarriage cycle. If I do not get my period by tomorrow morning, then I am scheduled to call the doc and have a blood test done.

I do have some symptoms of pregnancy; nausea and my boobs feel huge. But, I am not very reliant on these symptoms any more. I am kinda at my wits end.

As far as the next cycle goes, I have prepared to give myself shots. Last Tuesday, I went into the appointment and had to be trained on injections. I learned a lot. And then she said it. "Now you have to demonstrate that you can do it. Here's a syringe filled with saline. Do you want to give it in your belly or thigh?"

"AHHHH! What?" I thought. Somehow I had convinced myself that the training wouldn't include giving myself a shot because I didn't need any medicine at this point in my cycle. Once I realized she wasn't playing around with me, I grabbed the syringe, and lifted my shirt, stabilized an injection site and pointed the needle near my skin. "I don't know if I can do this." I said.

"Sure you can. Just push."

So I took a deep breath, closed my eyes and pushed the needle through my skin. I injected the saline and removed the syringe. DONE. I did IT!!! The nurse told me that I did well and that most people squirm quite a bit longer than I did. I felt good. And secretly prayed that I would never have to do that again. I can't believe I closed my EYES! hehe!

So, here I am, today. Waiting to find out for sure that this is a dud cycle. I have done a lot of research on my lack of insurance, lack of a full time job, potential jobs that may require me to work without being able to take time off to visit the infertility specialist during a hybrid cycle. And this is what I have concluded: I am assured to have the same health benefits through Sept 30. If I am not pregnant this cycle and can get my period by Wednesday or Thursday, then I should be able to do the hybrid cycle without any major expenses or difficulty with taking time off of work to get to the appointments. So, I will attempt to do this next cycle as a hybrid...so long as I for sure am not pregnant.

Thank you Jesus for the uncertainty. It allows me the chance to weigh my options and then wait on you. I appreciate your kindness and ask that you continue to bless me. I pray for all those who are hurting and those I have privately prayed for these last few weeks. Bless them greatly. In Jesus' name, AMEN.

Friday, September 3, 2010

New meditation!!

Here is the latest in my two week wait meditation. Click here! And then this one! Thanks Megan for this visual technique!! hehe!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Month 16, Cycle 13, Day 16, 2 dpo

My temperature jumped from 96.6 Tuesday before my shot, to 97.6 Wednesday and 98.1 today. I am certain that I ovulated late Tuesday evening or early Wednesday morning. So today is 1-2 days past ovulation. So, I will be testing Monday, September 13 for sure and maybe sometime before then. Crossing my fingers!

Just wanted to quickly share this update.

Thank you Jesus for the waiting time. I am in awe of you. :) In your name, AMEN!

P.S., is it okay to send a smiley face to Jesus in prayer??? hehe!