Thursday, December 30, 2010

How Quickly I Forgot...

WOW...where did that psycho come from?? All I know is that I'm glad to see her go, and I'm positive my husband feels the same way. I feel like I went into this cycle completely unprepared. All I remember about clomid, from my past journaling, was having awful headaches and hot flashes. For some reason I didn't write about the crazy psycho BIOTCH that arrives in my place while taking clomid. It seriously felt like I had no control at times...I could hear my conscious telling me, "Mayday!!! Mayday!!! Retreat!!! Retreat!!!", but by then it was too late...my evil twin had arrived and Craig was non the wiser...an easy victim...unfortunately. A small part of me wonders...could I have controlled my temper more? Did I "let go" more because I could use the excuse of being on clomid? I really hope that isn't the case...it is just such a weird feeling knowing that I am about to step over the edge...and feeling like I am not able to stop.
Aside from the psycho tendencies...the hot flashes were killer ridiculous!! I actually didn't even remember the hot flashes until my first one happened at work. I was in the middle of teaching class, and it came over me like a heat wave. "Wooo....WOW...ummm...did it just get really hot in here?? Is it just me? WOW...ummm...I'm just going to open up this door (which leads to the outside...IN THE MIDDLE OF WINTER)."
I went to the doctor for my "day #21" check-up (remember, I'm not going through a fertility clinic, so I'm not being monitored as closely). Everything looked "great". There were, on average, about ten follicles in each ovary and the ultrasound showed possible ovulation. The doctor seemed very optimistic...though I have trained myself to take it all at face value.
I'm trying so hard not to get my hopes up, but I find myself utterly failing!!! For the first time, I have fallen back to some old tendencies: researching every possible symptom, reading online forums, reacting differently to pregnancy announcements (My first natural reaction, in my head, is to feel bad about myself and question whether I'll get to announce my own pregnancy again...but, at least for now, I can quickly shake it off and be happy for my friends), etc. As I'm starting to touch on those feelings again, it worries me. I don't want to go there and it makes me nervous to continue with the medication, especially when the doctor wants to double the dosage.
The waiting part of this cycle is making me so stressed out!!! I find that I am looking up which "cycle day" I'm on...every single day. How is it possible that I don't remember from the day before? Who knows!! I want to take a home pregnancy test (HPT) but the stinky thing for me is that when I actually was pregnant, my first HPT was negative, and I took it pretty late in the cycle. So, I feel like there is absolutely no point in taking a test.
Grrr!!!!!! OK, this was all probably way more than I wanted to share with you all, but I have had a lot of people thank me for being honest in the past...so I will do my best to continue the brutal honesty now and in the future.

Friday, November 12, 2010

"THE VISIT"

After calling Seattle Reproductive to inquire about a consultation meeting with their doctor...I found out that the appointment would cost $350 and that doesn't include any lab work. I really wasn't that surprised though...I knew my insurance didn't cover anything, but I guess I had a small amount of hope that maybe...I don't know...I guess I have a short memory because nothing was covered before, why would I think that it would be covered now?
So, I thought, maybe I could save some money...if I'm going to have to get labs taken, why not get them with my regular gynecologist so that my insurance would cover the cost? To my advantage, the office had an opening on my day off recently, so I was able to see one of my favorite mid-wives. After giving her the update of the past five years and sharing with her my new fears of having an irregular cycle and inquiring about PCOS...she was able to calm me down. She began by saying I clearly don't have PCOS and as for my irregular cycle, she seemed to think that, even though my cycle isn't the most consistent of cycles, she still believes that I am somewhat regular and quite possibly ovulating. She didn't recommend having any labs drawn. She said that it really didn't need to be done since I have already had labs drawn in the past and it really wouldn't change her recommendation of putting my on clomid. Clearly, Craig and I were able to get pregnant, so something worked out the way it should have.
I questioned her recommendation of using clomid. My fear was that, since I was told, in the past, that I don't really ovulate, what good would clomid do for me. I always understood clomid to be able to tell your ovaries to create a bunch of follicles...but if you can't ovulate, nothing would happen to the follicles. When I was at the GYFT, they would actually give me a shot that forced me to ovulate the follicles. My mid-wife corrected my misconception of clomid telling me that clomid is actually an ovulation enforcer. The reason I was given a shot at the GYFT was so that they could control as much of my cycle as possible. By controlling ovulation they would know the exact day to perform each of the inseminations...makes sense to me now!!
So, what's the conclusion? After talking to Craig, we agreed to hold off on the the consultation with SRM. It just doesn't make sense since I don't want to do anymore "big" procedures. We decided to move forward with clomid through my regular gynocologist's office. It would be completely covered by insurance under "irregular cycles" since clomid is used to regulate cycles. So, there you have it. Bring on the hormones...this should be interesting. Looking back at my journal, the only thing I wrote was that clomid gave me crazy headaches...hopefully that was the worst of it.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

One Of Many "Talks"...

Since my sort-of "break down"...Craig and I agreed to come up with a day and time where we could sit down and discuss our "options". I know most of my "break down" is due to some heightened emotions, but I still think that it also brought to light some concerns/issues that were being ignored or suppressed.
Once we were able to find some time, it was interesting what came up. Right away, Craig brought up adoption and how he was ready to get the process started. On a side note: A couple of weeks prior to this Craig was on a business trip to Virginia. During his time there, he met with his boss for his review. She shared with him about their adoption process and how they have a close relationship with the birth-mother and how wonderful the entire experience was/is. It really impressed Craig.
Me, on the other hand, came to the conversation with the desire to go back to the fertility clinic. I feel a little torn with this desire. I feel like...after all I have been through...it almost feels like I am not "trusting" that I will get the same miracle again!! That is my fear in sharing this with others around me. What are they going to say? Are they going to tell me to "relax" again? Are they going to tell me to just give it more time? But then...why do I care what they have to say? In these situations anyone can say, "I don't care what they think", but it so matters. It matters because I, unfortunately, put weight on what others say and think. I ponder it...and I let it get to me. So...back to "the conversation".
In wanting to go back to the clinic...what I mean is that I want to try out the new clinic that moved into town: Seattle Reproductive Clinic. I looked into them before, but I didn't want to have to travel to Seattle for each and every procedure...so they were eliminated. Well, now they have a satellite office in Tacoma now. I told Craig that I was just interested in having a consultation meeting with a doctor to see what they thought of our past procedures and diagnoses. I absolutely DO NOT want to have major procedures done, but I am curious about whether or not the doctor would recommend any pill/hormones that could balance me out in hopes of allowing my body to do what it needs to do for a pregnancy.
So, at the end of our conversation, the verdict is as follows:
We will continue to try on our own for three more months. During that time, we will meet and have a consultation with Seattle Reproductive Medicine (SRM) just to see what they recommend. After three months, Craig and I will regroup and figure out what's next.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Flash Back

Well, today I felt like crap for most of the day. Let me back up and explain...at least what I believe to be the cause of my crappy feeling:
Last night was the meeting for our infertility support group. Only three of us were able to show up, which always makes for an interesting discussion night. I feel like, the smaller the group, the deeper the conversation because less people get more time to talk and share.
So, anyways, one of the girls asked me if I was diagnosed, by my previous doctor, with PCOS (poly cystic ovarian syndrome). I had never heard that term used to describe my cause of infertility...but she insisted that, from the symptoms I described to the group (irregular cycles and lack of ovulation), that she was sure that I had PCOS. I wasn't really bothered by the insistence...though I thought, but it got me to think..."Do I have PCOS?" "Is that why I'm not pregnant now?" "Is that keeping me from getting pregnant this second time around...because I was so sure that the second pregnancy would be quick and easy." "Did the doctors misdiagnose me?" The questions just kept running around in my head.
Later on, towards the end of the meeting, the other girl had asked me about our plans for having more children. This provided me the perfect opportunity to share that Craig and I had actually been trying for over a year now for baby #2. (I was always so afraid to bring that up because I didn't want to be "that" person in the infertility group who already had a baby and was greedy for another one...when the other girls in the group were desiring just one). I shared with them that Craig and I decided that once we were given the A.O.K. to start trying again, that we would do exactly that. I brought up how so many statistics say that once your body has a baby, it is able to figure out how it is intended to function and the second time around isn't as difficult...but I am finding that to not really apply to me. I shared how I was so excited because I thought my cycles were finally "regular" at 38 days...until the nurse told me that a 38 day cycle pretty much means no ovulation.
So...put those two things together: being able to be open about being back in the saddle with "trying" for baby #2 for over a year with no luck...and then having someone tell you that they are sure you have PCOS...for the first time since Emily...I began to feel infertile again.
As a result, I felt like CRAP all day today. I felt like at any moment I could just let the flood gates open. I felt like "WOE is me"...and I so hated feeling like that!!!! I have such a wonderful daughter...who by the way, as I was telling Craig how I was feeling...and crying on his shoulder, Emily came over to me and gave me hug and hug after hug because her mommy was crying. I DO NOT want to fall back into depression, and I know that I am just letting lies fill my head: battlefield of the mind!!!!
So, I find myself at a crossroad. Do I continue to try for baby #2 knowing that God has done a miracle with Emily and is more than capable to perform another miracle in me? Or do I seek out medical help (which I don't believe is "giving up" on God!!!) with SRM (who, by the way, has just so happened to open up a new office in Tacoma!!!) Part of me is SO CURIOUS as to what they would recommend!!! I am not looking to do any "procedures" any time soon!!! NO WAY JOSE!!! I am just wondering if they would recommend some hormone pills or something extremely basic!
There you have it!! Here we go again!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Infertility Support Group

Over the summer, an infertility support group has started at my church and I have been given the privilege in helping to lead it. So far we have met four times now, and each meeting has brought with it a new member. I am honored to be a part of this group, to be able to encourage women who are in the middle of such a difficult and extremely lonely and isolating journey. What humbles me the most is that they are willing to accept me into the group...even though I now have Emily.

When I put myself back in "that" place, I would never, in a million years, want to receive encouragement or prayer from someone who wasn't CURRENTLY fighting the same battle...because, in my eyes, they had no clue what I was going through. Yes, I would acknowledge the fact that they had "struggled" with infertility...but how could that person really know what I was going through if they had won their battle and given birth to a child? They no longer feel the same pain or loneliness. They no longer have to wonder if they will ever become a mother.
A part of me feels guilty for wanting to be a part of this amazing group. In no way do I want to bring more bitterness or jealousy into their hearts. Is it selfish for me to be a part of this?

NOW, that I am "on the other side of the fence" I know that my pain is still fresh. I know that I will NEVER forget the hurt, the torture, the hate, the bitterness, the jealousy, the anger that I had felt. My desire, in being a part of this support group, is to be the support. I don't necessarily want to say, "Hey, look at me!!! Look at my happy ending!! If you wait just a little longer, you too can have an Emily." That's not it at all!!! I simply want to be a pillar for these women to lean on. A safe place for them to vent. A sweet word of encouragement when nothing seems to soothe the pain.

Man...tonight was such a tough night as a newer member shared her story. It seemed to mirror my own journey. Both her and her husband had obstacles to overcome. I couldn't believe when she shared that, just last month, she had gone through her first IVF, and had transferred five embryos...JUST LIKE ME...and, unfortunately, just like me, she got the call from the nurse telling her that her results were negative. SON OF A ~~~~~!!!! I just wanted to cry. So much of my past pain began to overwhelm me. I still don't understand how I, how women and spouses, survive such a tragedy...such a loss. None of this journey is fair...I have never understood why so many wonderful and deserving people struggle in becoming parents...and then there are so many people with children that don't deserve them...can't handle them or afford them, or LOVE them!!!! Even now, I am reminded of what my Pastor said in his message from my letter two years ago: "There are no accidental children, just accidental parents."

I am so blessed to be a part of this group, and thankful to be accepted. I pray that the scars of my own journey are not forgotten, but can shared with others in order to bring hope in a place where it might otherwise be lost.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I'm Baaaaaack!!!

Alright, so it seems as though I have fallen off of the face of the earth. I apologize for dropping the blog thing. A lot has been going on recently that has created a renewed desire to get back to my blog writing. So, what do I write about? I originally started this blog because I had struggled with infertility for four years, went through all sorts of infertility treatments (IUI through IVF)...all of which failed. I began this blog as my husband and I took a new direction as we "waited for our family to grow". As we looked into the adoption process...what do you know...I became pregnant.

Now, our baby girl, Emily Jolene, has just turned one year old. No...this is not going to be another blog about an average family...I am going to continue the original theme of this blog...WAITING FOR OUR FAMILY TO GROW.

Hubby and I would love to have more than one baby!!! I have heard so many times that people who have struggled with infertility and eventually became pregnant, that their bodies finally know what to do and they don't struggle in trying to pregnant in the future. Hmm...how true is that? Since it took us four years to get Emily, we both agreed that there would be no reason to use birth control because we had no idea how long it would take to get pregnant again. On top of that...WE WANT MORE!!!! So, needless to say, we are doing what we can :)
Well, the other week, we had a baby dedication at our church. The baby being dedicated was a foster child that the family was able to adopt. As the family shared their story, my eyes began to water...my heart had just reopened to the idea of "foster to adopt". I remember Craig and I talking, at the beginning of my pregnancy, about how our venture into the adoption process will always hold a place in our hearts and how we would stay open to that direction in the future. Well...HELLO FUTURE!! As of now, we have been "trying" for about the last six+ months. Since the recent baby dedication, Craig and I (Well, more me bringing the conversation up to Craig) have been talking about the "foster to adopt" process.
I love the "foster to adopt" route for a number of reasons. First, my mom was rescued by an amazing foster family...and I am always grateful for what that family has done for her. Second, as a teacher, my heart continually breaks each year as I hear about some of my student's home lives. Sometimes I just want to take these kids home and give them a life that they need and deserve. I would just love to be able to provide a new life, a home, and tons of love for a child that wouldn't otherwise get it.
So...this is where my blog comes into play. Join me on this journey as we continue to "wait for our family to grow".

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Beginning Shrimp Classes at the YMCA









Swimming class has been SO MUCH fun!! The first class that we were in, they wanted to do an underwater pass with Emily...where the instructor would take Emily and pass her to us by quickly putting her head first into the water and then lifting her out as she passed her to us. Emily was pretty much in shock. As soon as her head came out of the water, she blinked a bunch of times and then just started to cry. Luckily we brought her binky with us...such the lifesaver. Other than the "head under the water" passes, Emily loves swimming classes. As soon as we walk towards the pool, she starts kicking right away. It took us about five classes to get used to the under water pass and not cry.
This has been so much fun!!! I love all of the fun songs we sing as she learns to kick and paddle in the water. She loves it when she gets to sit on the edge of the pool and we sing songs like "Humpty Dumpty" or "I'm a Little Teapot" before the hop on in the pool. LOVE IT!!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Valentine's Day








Valentine's Day was a lot of fun. It was so beautiful outside, Craig and I decided to put Emily in the Bjorn and go for a walk to Mandalin Cafe. I have always wanted to try it out. The food was good, the weather was perfect, and we just had a great time together.

6 Month Pictures





6 Month Celebration









For Emily's 6 month celebration, family came over for some pizza and yummy cupcakes. NO...Emily did not eat the cupcake in front of her, instead she got to eat her first "sweet potatoes"...and she LOVED them!!

5 Months Old

Green Beans...Her First Vegetables








Mmm...Green Beans. This is one of those lessons where I have to teach Emily to do as I say, not as I do. I hate vegetables and I have always wondered how I would be able enforce my children eating them...when I don't. Well, "I'm the mom!" I love that I get to say that now.
With all joking aside, Emily actually loves all of her vegetables AND fruit. She hasn't shown any signs of being a picky eater yet.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Visit With Santa

Emily's First Christmas

Emily's first Christmas. I was surprised at how much she was into it...granted, I know she had no idea what was going on, but she sure had fun with her packages. Everything from the boxes to the wrapping paper to the gifts inside...went straight into her mouth.

We had a lot of fun with family. Christmas Eve, Craig's family came over to celebrate as Craig cooked one heck of a feast. Once the house was empty, and Emily was in bed...Craig and I staged the Christmas tree to look like Santa had visited the house. Christmas morning, Emily woke up to all of the Christmas presents under the tree (Yea, it was more for Craig and I's sake...but still a lot of fun).
After opening our gifts, we all got dressed and ready to head over to my parent's house. Emily's cousins are always so excited to hang out with her. All of the Grandkids sat around Grandpa as he read the Christmas Story to them. Justin even got to hold Emily during the story...which he was so excited about. Afterwards, the kids opened up more gifts and then we enjoyed one of mom's delicious feasts.

SO MUCH FUN!!

Emily's Dedication




Emily Jolene was dedicated at Life Center on November 29th, 2009. We felt so blessed to have our family come and participate in this event. First of all...let's talk about the outfit...TOO CUTE!!! When I saw this outfit at Children's Place, I couldn't resist...the hat was just too adorable. When Pastor Dean held Emily up to the congregation, you could hear the "ooh's" and "aah's".
When holding Emily, Pastor reminded the congregation about Emily's story...how she shouldn't even be here according to our doctors. It didn't take long before I started to tear up. Dedicating my baby girl was something that I never got a chance to dream of. For four years, I was just consumed with the thoughts of becoming pregnant. As I was standing on the stage, reaching my hand out to my daughter as Pastor prayed over, I was just overwhelmed. I was so thankful for her life and for who she is going to become. I know that God has GREAT plans for her life and I can't wait to watch them unfold as she grows.

Halloween

Emily's first Halloween. We took a trip to the pumpkin patch, but as soon as we got out of the car...she made it very clear that she was not happy. We tried to get some cute pictures, but unfortunately we were only able to get one good one before she needed her binky. Towards the end, she was so unhappy that we left without even picking out a pumpkin. Oops!!
Isn't her Halloween costume the cutest?!? For Emily's first Halloween, she was dressed up a Tinkerbell. ADORABLE!! It even came with a wand/rattle. I love being a mom...and I love having a daughter!!

TUMMY TIME


From day one, Emily showed great neck strength...so she was thrilled to start "tummy time". I used the boppy to help her out...like all babies, she could only take a few minutes of it before she got frustrated and would start to whine until Mommy came to the rescue.

First Month Celebration

This was Emily's "One Month Celebration". Our families came over and we had some delicious pizza as Emily was handed around for everyone to hold and love on. I love this picture with her cousins. Justin held up bunny ears, and Connor (not understanding the bunny ears) held up three fingers, because Justin was holding up two. Boy...I just love those two.

11 Days Old



My beautiful daughter at 11 days old. Thank you Jessica for taking amazing pictures.