Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Thank goodnes no Hallmark commercials

Have you noticed that they are not running all those sappy Hallmark commercials...Well I have to admit I am soooo grateful to whom ever in the marketing department at Hallmark decided that they should cut back on the commercial budget this year. I seem to be crying at everything, for those who know me well you can attest that I do not cry at very many things and emotions for me are something that I keep very close, but since taking all of this fertility medication I have been a sobbing fool :)

I cry at everything...commercials, cartoons, t.v. shows, movies, families enjoying the winter day, my family eating under the Christmas tree at the Walnut room (which we have been doing every year)...I mean this is ridiculous! So needless to say I have been really happy that the Hallmark commercials have been few and far between this year.

In addition to sobbing at anything and everything, I have felt a bit nauseous and achy again side effects from the drugs. I asked if this was normal and they told me its like PMSing but for longer and stronger. Oh and the hot flashes that I have been getting...I have a new found respect for women in menopause which I am thinking great I have to feel this way again in like 20 years or so (maybe less).

Please pray we are hoping for good news and the ability to start at least trying the process. So far all trials have come up negative and we have not even been given the chance to try any of the pregnancy procedures. I am still hoping for a New Years miracle and to be blessed with perfect angel(s).

I pray for this life (or lives) which I know the Lord will bless Andrew and I with, I pray for their future, I pray for their health, I pray for their development within me one day and when they come into this world. I pray for their protection from the harshness of what our world is becoming. I pray they will be like children and have dreams, wonderment, imaginations for as long as I can protect those beautiful characteristics. I pray for their mental health and well-being. I pray for Andrew and I to be wise and active parents. To appreciate each one of the little angels that God blesses us with for their uniqueness and gifts. To guide them, encourage them, support them, and love them unconditionally. To celebrate with them, know when to scold and punish, understand when to push them forward, and hold back. I am not even pregnant yet, but I know my Lord is faithful and their little lives are destine for great things no matter where they go. I love you my little angels...

Friday, December 18, 2009

Is it wrong to want to punch a pregnant woman in the face?

Okay not literally but maybe philosophically....Okay let me explain and this is more for those who may be going through a similar situation as my husband and I, those who may find themselves in this situation one day, and those who may know someone going through infertility.

I feel I need to say that I am absolutely thrilled for my friends and family who become pregnant and are expecting children. I am even really excited about those I don't know and see on the street...But I wanted to talk about an internal quite vivid struggle that I have had with myself in trying to control my emotions as another pregnant announcement is paraded past me.

So I was at a friends home for dinner and they introduced us to this new couple. As she was eating she began to say how she is so lucky now that she doesn't have to watch what she eats because she is expecting her second child. Of course we all, including myself, doted on her and celebrated in that announced moment. As she continued though I felt myself want to reach across the table and punch her in the face...who thinks that especially about a pregnant woman... Well this young girl proceeded to talk about how she wasn't even trying and oops it just happened. That's when like in a T.V. show when they show one of the characters internal thoughts and what they would really like to be doing I could see myself in all its trashy glory crawling across the table and punching this girl. Of course the whole time I am thinking of this I have a smile on my face and can hear myself telling her how exciting it must be and when are you due...You know saying all the right things...

So I asked my friend who also went through infertility about my feelings (oh and this girl was not the first pregnant woman that these emotions were directed towards). She thankfully assured me that this was normal and that it just hurts. Even though being upset with a pregnant woman is incredible taboo it still does not negate your deep hurts and empty pains that you are feeling in those moments...Phew I am not loosing my mind...Well maybe just a little bit :)

The reason I say this is to let others know that as we struggle with things in life sometimes our thoughts, emotions are not always rational and that is okay. Be sure to surround yourself with people who support you, love you, and will walk side by side with you. I may not understand why Andrew and I are going through this right now, nor will I always understand why my very rational self has become quite irrational but I know I am learning to be faithful that my life has a father who is greater then all things in this world and he is looking over my everything!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Where does Faith and Science meet or not meet

So I have this question - Andrew and I have not yet been faced with the prospect of invitro, but it is something that we may need to face if the IUI procedure is not possible for us. Since we haven't even tried yet, I don't want to totally jump the gun - but I am thinker and a future planner so it has crossed my mind about invitro - and I guess the question comes in as to when does belief, faith, and science not go together anymore.

Here is my thoughts - I believe that life begins at conception (or the meeting of the egg and the sperm) if that is true then when the doctor puts those together then they are vaible lives right? Okay so what happens if they remove from me several eggs because of course not all become viable options. Okay so lets say that when they do their doctor thing that 6 eggs and sperms meet and are healthy and viable. They only will implant three into a woman (maybe four) but no more then that. So what happens to those other 3-4 lives? I have been told you can freeze them, donate them to science, or donate them to another couple...

Okay freezing them is an option because maybe Andrew and I will only have one child out of the ones that are implanted and we will want to try for another (if we get more then one on the second try then so be it) but what if we get twins on the first try and we do not wish to be implanted with any more children?

Donate it to science - I don't think I could stomache this idea that a perfectly created life by Andrew and I has been placed in the hands of science - that would be me deciding that this life will not ever be - I just don't think that is what I believe nor do I believe that is my right.

Donate it to a couple or woman who can't have children or this is not an option for them - Okay this one Andrew and I both agree. There is no way we could knowingly have a perfect genetic child out there being raised by someone else who is 100% Andrew and mine...

So what are your thoughts - Again, Andrew and I have not been faced with this decision yet, but we did need to start thinking about it as we do have infertility issues and it may be a decision we have to make. We will need to pray a lot more about it and get counsel, but if anyone finds this blog. I am curious what you think...

Kick me while I am down - Please pray

So I know I am overloading this blog site today - but I figured I would try to catch at lease myself up since no one knows its here :)

Anyway Andrew and I have been struggling with the pain of infertility, but I have been also struggling with the prospect that I may loose my job. I have been with my company for almost 4 years and I have worked very hard for them. I have developed brand new programs, increased revenue, reduced waste, and streamlined processes...but I guess when a company is down its down and its not personal. That being said Andrew and I desperately need my salary and with our medical issues right now we desperately need the health insurance provided by my company. Please pray that they decided to keep me on for a bit longer. I am praying for at least 2 years because I feel the Lord is going to do (and is already doing) awesome things with Andrew and the foundation which will allow us to have our special little angels (that is what I am calling our children to be right now) and give me time to find a new position or work direclty with Andrew utilizing the skills that I have professionally.

Please pray - I need my job right now

Why - I know we would make great parents

I guess since no one knows I even have this space I will attempt to begin my own diary of thoughts and feelings. If someone does stumble on to this space then you may or may not know that my husband and I have been trying for quite awhile to start a family.

We have been going through a few different rounds of infertility treatment...I guess I should start from the beginning so I have a good record for myself and I guess for anyone else who begins to walk along side me through this blog.

At the beginning of this year my husband and I decided we were going to begin (oh I should caution if any men are reading this I will get a bit graphic) trying to have children. Before we married we discussed how many we wanted, he wants one because he was an only child, I want two because I think you need to learn to share. Plus I was given two hands which I think should have two little hands holding on to it...One day I may share my story as to why only two lets just say it happened at a theme park...

Anyway I couldn't seem to get a natural period. I had taken birth control for about two years right around the time Andrew and I got engaged. Additionally I had taken it some years earlier to regulate my period when I was younger, but before starting it again I was off of it for a good five years or so. All that to say I was really not on birth control for that long - and let me put a service announcement here as well I have never been told by any medical professional that being on birth control has in any way affected my ability to get pregnant. I only bring it up for my records.

So Andrew and I began to search out OBGYNs in our area. We are lucky to live in a great city with awesome medical options and I am blessed to have a company that gives its employees great insurance. So we chose an OBGYN with Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. We met with the Doctor went through all of my history did a lot of pocking, proding, and blood work and waited for the results. The doctor called and said well I have good news and bad news. I said give me the good news first, she said you are a very healthy person and so confused I said what is the bad news she said well because you are healthy we can't figure out what would be standing in the way of you and your husband getting pregnant. She then said don't worry I have a plan and here it is:

You will begin on 7 days of pills of a drug called Provera - this drug was used (and I stress the was) for woman during menopause it is a progesterone drug. They stopped using it because of the side effects and simply it was found to not be good. For someone like me who is fairly young (oh I started this process at 28/29) they will use the drug for no more then 6 rounds to help induce or jump start your body to start having a period. She then said on the 3rd day of your menstral cyle you will begin a drug called Clomid which you will take from days 3 to day 7. From that I then began taking ovulation kit predictors on day 10 through day 18. On day 19 I went in for blood work. The goal of course was to see a positive result (or that I was ovulating) somewhere between days 10 and 18. Unfortunatley for me I did not see any positive results and on day 19 my blood work confirmed that I did not ovulate. I then waited another 20 days and did not receive a natural period and we started the entire process over again. However, this time we increased the Clomid from 50mg. to 100 mg. (oh Clomid is a ovulation drug which is supposed to help induce ovulation or egg production - there is a lot of success for women on Clomid) - Unfortunatley again this round did not work. At this time my OBGYN said she needed to refer to me to Infertility Specialists.

She gave me two doctors she recommends. She said the doctor connected with Northwestern is the best and one of the best in the field. However, she warned that it took between 6-8 months to even have an opportunity to see him. So I thought you know what lets go for the best and see what happens. Oh in the mean time my OBGYN said we would just keep trying what we are doing until I get in.

God is awesome. I called the Infertility doctor's office on a Wednesday and about an hour later they called me back to let me know they had a cancelation. I had an appointment with one of the best infertility doctors Friday morning. Again, I went through a lot of pocking, proding, and blood work. They did an internal vaginal ultrasound also. That is where they discovered (and my blood worked confirmed) that I have a condition called PCOS. In fact, although I do not show many of the outward sysmptoms like obesity, funny thick hair in weird places and acne the doctor said it was one of the more severe cases. It is a "string of pearls" or a line of lots of tiny cists that sit on the ovaries and almost choke them which does not allow them to create eggs.

Knowing the diagnosis was good. We started another round of provera and upped the does of Clomid to 150mg. Additionally I had to go in for a HSE x-ray (okay I am going to have to check if that is the correct accronym). The x-ray is to determine if there is any blockage in the follopian tubes. Pretty much they go in and like an internal vaginal screen and then stick this cathered like thing up and shoot in some dye to see if it runs through correctly. Andrew and I were really nervous for this procedure because if there was something wrong with the tubes then there is not a whole lot you can do and we were going to have to make some major decisions. Again, thanfully my tubes were clear and everything in that area was fine. Meaning once I got pregnant they don't believe anything would happen based on the PCOS.

Again Andrew and I received bad news after numerous trips to the doctor for internal ultrasounds which continually showed no progress. It is really hard to go in get proded then wait hoping that they are going to tell you everything looks good and guess what we can move forward with you being able to become parents :) Over and over again we were told sorry things just don't look good. Then the worst was when I thought I saw the ultrasound as the technician was performing it and I thought I saw something (okay I have no training but you get a bit desperate) I came out and told Andrew (who by the way has been awesome and has tried to be at every appointment possible) that I think we are going to get good news this time. And we didn't.

Moving on to the next step. Now they needed to also test Andrew, but in the mean time they told me I need to start giving myself shots of a drug called Flosstim (I may have spelled that wrong). I was to give myself three shots and then a week after the first shot we were to come in and go through another ultrasound. Andrew did get tested and we did get his results. His numbers were okay and he had slow and deformed swimmers, which meant we would have to do an IUI or Invitro (natural was just not in the cards :))

We went in the week after beginning the shots and we got for the first time some positive news. There was actual growth in my ovaries which would lead to the development of eggs and then hopefully to doing the IUI procedure. Andrew and I were really excited and headed back for Thanksgiving!!! I did more shots over the Thanksgiving time and we went back into the doctors office on Friday after Thanksgiving thinking we were going to get awesome news and schedule the IUI!!!!

Unfortunately, again the ultrasound came back bad. It showed that all the progress that had been made actually shrunk and we could not do the procedure. I was heart broken. I really truly thought for sure this was going to be our Christmas miracle. I cried. It hurt. But I knew we had to keep going it wasn't over yet.

Andrew and I did some retail therapy (always a good thing) on Michigan Ave and talked about how it hurt and how we are going to keep going.

I received a call from the doctor who said that we were going to need to catch the next cycle. So we waited again. And again I did not get a natural period. So I have taken another round of provera and am waiting for my period. It is my understanding that once I get my period I will begin the shots again and we shall see....

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

One day...

So one day I believe I will be utilizing this blog space to share thoughts, pictures, feelings, lessons...I guess right now I still either don't have the time, am not making the time, or just am trying to get the hang of this whole blog world...Beyond that I was a female who never journaled so to really truly think about my thoughts and feelings and then take the time and vulnerability to write them down for anyone to read is quite difficult for me. Additionally, I am one who believes words are powerful and you must be careful and thoughtful before either until the day comes when I feel inspired I will continue to add non-specific posts to this space in order to keep it around :)