Lilypie - Third Birthday

Thursday, December 30, 2010

You or Him?

I just need to say how I hate that question. Here's how the conversation usually goes.....
How long have you been married now? --- 7 years
Really? 7 years and you don't have any kids? ---nope
Why? You don't want kids? ----well, we can't actually have kids
You or him? ---at this point I attempt to change the subject

I can handle the first two questions, the third is getting borderline and the forth I just consider crossing the line. How is it any else's business whether DH or me is the cause of the problem, WE are infertile, WE can't have kids. In case they missed that part in health class it takes a WE to make a baby. I'm just so annoyed that people feel its any of their business whether my uterus is broken or my husbands sperm count sucks. Maybe next time I get asked that, I should say "well the problem is my husband's sperm count sucks, how's yours? Is your uterus functioning properly? Have you been checked out by a dildo cam lately or jacked off in a little cup?" Seriously people, if you would be uncomfortable answering those questions why is it okay to ask me those questions.

The only exception would be a fellow infertile who has had a date with the dildo cam or spilled the goods in a cup recently. If a fellow infertile wants to swap war stories and talk about the battle wounds then by all means feel free to ask "you or him".......if not then mind your own business!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

email updates

Testing 1 2 3.....testing? I am at work attempting to blog from my smartphone using the email it to blogger method. I guess if your reading this it worked. See I have lots of free time at work now but the computer is for official use only. If not for my smartphone I'd be completely bored.

Last night DH said how hopeful he is that we will get pg naturally this cycle. I'm not sure why b/c I'm not thinking of that as even a possibility, I'm sure we will need treatments. We have never got pg on our own in 4 years. I don't really think that having drunken sex three times in 12 hours while I'm fertile is really the solution to our problem. Although DH's numbers are usually around 14mil/ml this time of year, I just don't think its enough to make it happen naturally.

AF is due sometime this weekend and I'm very anxious for her arrival so I can plan the next cycle. I need to plan ahead what days I need off and I have no idea when that will be since I don't know when CD 1 will be. Today I am either 7 or 9 dpo. I would guess 9 but usually I start getting crampy, cranky and sleepy around 5dpo and so far I'm totally good. I've been tired but I also have a bad cold making it hard to sleep. I've not been crampy at all yet though, which is really weird and I'm worried I didn't ovulate when I'm hoping I did. I'm just so anxious to get the next cycle started and figure out which days I need off.

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Sent from my Verizon Wireless mobile phone

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas!

This week I starting working my full time job as boss of my very own post office. I was really nervous about the responsibililty and accountability of it but so far its easier than I thought it would be. I feel confident that I can handle this and I'm actually enjoying it. Its nice being within walking distance of home and coming home for lunch. I just hope this "desk job" doesn't make me any fatter. Tis the season for committing to a work out plan that fails before it even starts so in the spirit of that, DH and I are planning on working out together more. I definetly have been slacking off lately.

Last weekend we went to our friends' wedding and had an awesome time! And we tried the drunken sex TTC plan - 3 times! Even if it doesn't work out, it was by far the best TTC method we've tried so far! DH and I are pretty lame and rarely get drunk. I can't believe people do that for fun all the time, I felt like crap all day Sunday. We had fun though, there was a great group of guys there to hang with. Strangely enough there were very few ladies there. I have more fun with the guys anyway. But it does make me think about how my life lacks girl time. Besides DH, my best friend is a guy and when DH and I go out we always hang out with the guys, when I work at the bigger office I work with all men. Maybe that's why my life is so drama free.

I'm excited to start our IUI cycle. I can't believe what a difference the RE's attitude has made on my own attitude. It looks like I should be able to get all the days off I need for appointments and hopefully I won't need any future treatments.

The Lord has blessed us so much this year! I can't be thankful enough for all He has done in our lives and in our hearts. Even if treatments don't go my way, it won't undo the work He has done to make me a better person. I'm in a completely different world than I was last time we did treatments, a much better place.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy & Fertile New Year!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My RE

I haven't seen him in two years. I think the time apart has been good for us. He totally did not act like his usual self today and I can't figure out what has gotten into him. All I can say is that God was helping me out today and it makes me feel a little better about going forward with things. Its nearly impossible to be 100% sure of God's plan and not everything is a sign but I feel like we're doing the right thing. My RE was completely agreeable and did not give me a negative attitude about doing IUIs at all. He seemed very supportive and didn't even try to sell me on IVF, although I did start out by telling him we would be willing to do it again. The more DH is thinking about it the more he is in favor of us doing another IVF. Although I have to say that last night's episode of Guiliana and Bill is giving me second thoughts about going through it all again. But I think we will sometime next summer, maybe in June. I was so dreading going back to the RE's office but being there actually made me feel excited and hopeful. DH said that after waiting for me in the waiting room and seeing all the other patients, he's ready to be back in the treatment game too. He said he saw one couple walk in the building with two pink carseats and one blue and thought, they must be IVF patients of our RE. He said there was a mother and son sitting next to him and the son came out and explained to the mother how the wife had an ultrasound but there was no baby there, blighted ovum. DH said he saw both outcomes sitting in the waiting room today and while it made him fearful that things it will turn out bad for us, it also made him hopeful that we will be successful.

Surprisingly the RE is not making me do a bunch more tests. He suggested an HSG since I've never had one but didn't think it was necessary because he doesn't think I have any issues. I don't really think I do either but I want to be sure. He wanted to do the clomid challenge test again but he said we can do that on an IUI cycle. So next cycle I'll have bloodwork and ultrasound on day 3, bloodwork and HSG on day 10, ultrasound, bloodwork and probably trigger on day 12 and IUI on day 14. I hope I can get all those days off work. I'm getting installed in my office next Tuesday and then I will be full time. The problem is since its a small office there is no one else to cover for me for a couple hours. I have to get someone from another office to come from 20-30 miles away to cover for me and that's not easy to do. I hate to explain what I need of for but I may need to explain it in order to get that many days off. We shall see but I'm very excited to be doing something again!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

You Can Have Me



I've been thinking, my blog has been lacking joy and praise lately. Strangely when I feel the most over powering joy is when I'm driving to or from work and a song like this comes on the radio. It puts everything into perspective and makes me feel so close to my Father. Doesn't a song like this just make you feel good? The idea of "Father of love you can have me" just makes me feel so peaceful knowing there is no one better to be in control of me and my life. I just don't know how to put it into words but I'm sure many of you probably understand.

I've been a little stressed lately about deciding what to do with fertility treatments and work. I'm kind of funny about work because I've never wanted to work outside the home. I did it because we needed the money. When we didn't need the money I did it because we didn't have kids yet and I needed something to keep me busy. When I presented with the new opportunity with the post office last summer, I didn't think twice about it. DH and I had discussed long ago that if that opportunity presented itself I would have to take it. So I did, without hesitation. If I had hesitated I would have probably turned it down like I did so many other jobs. I simply trusted that God gave me the opportunity and that He would make the most of it for me. It turns out it has been a really really good thing for me. Now He has presented me with a new job opportunity that DH and I always said I would have to take. So again without thinking I accepted it. Although I still have a lot of reservations about it. I'm trusting God to make good things come of it, like I know He will. Its becoming easier to blindly go where He leads me in so many areas of my life. Yet when it comes to fertility treatments I'm still utterly confused. He has provided us the funds and opportunity to do treatments. But I have reservations and I doubt that just because He provided the funds it does not mean its a green light. Sometimes I'm not even sure I could handle the responsiblity of children.

Friday, December 10, 2010

What's New

One week from today is our friends' wedding and perfect timing as it will be CD 13. Here's to hoping a night of partying, alcohol and unprotected sex has the same consquences for us as it does normal people! Oh, how unrealistic it sounds to hope for such a thing!

This week I got a new job opportunity to be full time at the post office. Not sure if it means a raise but the added hours will mean bigger paychecks. I have mixed feelings about since I've never been a full time 40 hours a week kind of person. My dreams have always been to be a stay at home mommy, I'm in my career by accident. Well, not by accident, by God's leading.

My appointment with the RE is Tuesday. We'll see what he has to say. DH has finally agreed to consider another IVF in the next year but only after 2 more IUIs. I'm hoping that will be enough to convince the RE to let us do IUI. With my new job opportunity we will hopefully be able to save for IVF so we don't have to get a loan this time.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sorry ICLW ladies

But I suck. Again I failed to meet the posting quota. And then I feel guilty for everyone who posts comments for me and I don't leave them in return. So ladies, I'm sorry, I know you understand but I still feel bad.

Thanksgiving with my family went great. I loved on my niece the whole time and didn't feel angry, jealous or bitter at all. Go figure, I guess we all have good days and bad days.

Since we aren't doing an IUI in December I'm trying to get back on my diet. I won't be able to work out as much since I'm working more but I can still eat right and try to work out at least 3 times a week.

Friday, November 26, 2010

I'm not better

All this time I thought that I was healing emotionally. I was spending all this time with my niece and nephew and not feeling bitter, angry, jealous or overly negative about my situation. I really felt like I had accepted it and moved on. I wasn't even dreading the holidays. Until yesterday.....

We went out of town to see DH's family. His brother had a baby this summer but we hardly ever see them. When we did see them this summer I was completely okay and enjoyed meeting my new little niece. Yesterday on the way home I just started crying. DH's two cousins had their little baby girls there also and all the old feelings came back to me. I don't know if its my stress and frustration over possibly actively TTC again or what but I was so bitter and jealous all day. I cried for two hours all the way home. DH said he knew I was upset because I didn't hold or play with any of the babies all day. The pain I thought was healed hit me so hard and raw like it just happened, like the past two years of peace and joy were all just a dream. Two years ago about this time we were preparing for IVF. The IVF that led to losing our baby and with it the hopes of us ever having children. Somehow I found hope again the past two years and now with the holidays and possibly going back to the RE, I feel as though I am in the same hopeless broken place I was two years ago.

As broken as I was yesterday and despite all the tears my heart still whispered "don't lose faith, you will be a mother someday". I just know that is the truth, even when the future looks completely dark.

P.S. Mary, if your reading this I really missed you yesterday. The inlaws are so much more bearable with you there!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Grrr to you RE!

Ugh! This RE makes me so mad! I finally called today and they said since they haven't seen me since May of 2009 they consider me a new patient and I have to wait a month to get an appointment. I insisted there was nothing new to talk about so a new patient office visit isn't necessary but they wouldn't listen. They probably just want to make me come in so they can essentially start over, make me redo all my tests and make DH have another SA. You know, weasel more money out of me. And then they will say they don't recommend IUI and we should really do IVF. I don't want to go have an office visit with Dr. Idiot. He will only say the same things he always says to me. There will be nothing new. So it looks like we won't be doing an IUI until January now. I guess I shouldn't have procrastinated so long in calling them. I so hate this RE and wish we had different options. Unfortunately he is the only one within a 4 hour drive. This makes me so mad, I really truly hate dealing with this clinic.

So I guess we have a new plan for December. We've never tried this method for fertility but it seems to work for everyone else. Since I will be ovulating around the time of our best couple friends' wedding, the new plan is to get totally smashed at the wedding, then go home and have sloppy drunken sex. Come on, it works for everyone else, right!?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday Confessions

I have a few confessions to make as an infertile. Although infertility doesn't control my life the way it used to, it still sneaks in when I'm not expecting it and I haven't totally broken free.

1. I say I gave up scrapbooking because I don't have time. The truth is I don't take pictures much or scrapbook anymore because my last book got full after our Mexico vacation. When we got home from that trip we decided we were going to start trying to have a baby and I planned on starting a new scrapbook with that next big step in our lives. That was over 4 years ago. Now I just can't bring myself to start a new scrapbook of our same old boring mundane lives, it just doesn't seem worthy of a new book. So I don't scrapbook anymore because of infertility.

2. I almost broke down and POAS last month. I haven't done that for two years and realize our chances are nil. But I had killer PMS and caught a touch of the flu at exactly the right time to make me think.....just maybe. Now I'm terribly ashamed to admit how foolishly close I came to doing it.

3. I've caught myself daydreaming a lot lately about having a baby (twins to be exact), planning the nursery, thinking about names, how I will break the news at work and to the family, holding and loving them, watching DH melt when he sees his babies. I think its just my hopefulness for our IUI but this is the first time that my fantasies seem like they could become real. I HATE that I'm setting myself up for such disappointment.

4. I'm not dreading the holidays this year. I love being around my nieces and nephew. In some ways I pretend they're mine, but not in a creepy psycho kidnapper kind of way. It mostly just fulfills my mothering instinct to care for them, even changing a diaper is secretly satisfying.

5. I'm ovulating this week and DH and I have had sex quite spontaneously and in random places. Infertility is a sex life killer and we are finally starting to enjoy it like newlyweds. I'm afraid doing an IUI will suck us back into the world of infertilty treatments and pressured sex again. I'm determined not to let it take hold of me again, I don't want to go back there.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

ICLW

I'm trying ICLW again, hoping with the holiday I'll have more time to read and post comments. Last time I had a hard time meeting the quota. But I so love finding new blogs and getting comments on mine! Anyone who is new here can check out this post, which was my intro and our IF story for last ICLW that I participated in.

Diet Update: I have not been counting calories since I hit my plateau two weeks ago. The good news.....I haven't gained anything. The bad news.....I haven't lost any more. My goal to lose a lot of weight by our IUI was a big failure. However I did still lose 7 lbs and I'm still working out for 30 minutes 5 days a week. So for now I'm happy to be down 7 lbs and anticipating our hopefully upcoming treatment cycle.

Fertility Update: I still haven't called our RE to beg for an IUI. I'm sort of dreading it. I know they will be reluctant and if so I plan to start with a sob story about how we can't afford IVF and we haven't done any treatments in 2 years so we just want to try something, even if chances of it working are not good. If they are still reluctant my plan B is to tell them I'm paying them to do what they do and there are no life threatening or health reasons not to do it so they better just give me what I want. If I choose to throw my money away on a hopeless cause then what should they care as long as they still get my money. My hopefulness of this working varies from day to day. According to the math we should have about 10mil good swimmers post wash. However they are saying we have 0% morph, even though other labs say morph is normal. But morph is still being debated on its importance. And since the urology labs consider it normal, I think its not as bad as the RE makes it seem. I wish I had one of those REs that doesn't think morph matters. So if we get around 10mil I'll be hopeful, if its 5 or less I'll be convinced it was failure before I even leave the office. On my positive days, I tell myself that God is the ultimate creator of life and my crappy RE is only a tool. It doesn't matter what the RE says or what our numbers are, if God says this is our time then we will get our miracle. If He says we have to keep waiting then even if we had a totally normal sperm count, we still would not be pregnant. My RE and his attitude does not determine the success of our treatment. Only God can make it successful.

Maybe next week I will find the courage to call the RE again and we'll see what they say. If I talk them into it our IUI cycle will begin in two weeks!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Hope's not giving up

Earlier this week I talked to DH about doing an IUI. He didn't give a definite answer because he never really does, he just states the pros and cons of each choice and says whatever I think is best is what we should do. I hate that! Eventually he said we should make the RE do what we want. After all, we're paying him for services, why would he deny us? The only reason I can think of is because of his ART statistics. If he does a bunch of IUIs that don't work, that doesn't look good on statistics. There is no way to put a footnote that we didn't stand a chance but insisted he do it. DH also agreed that in some ways its good we're going back to the RE because we know the routine and we know what to expect. I was having a little anxiety over where and how the new doc would do the IUI and mostly about where DH would give his sample. Public bathrooms don't work well for him and we live too far away to do it at home yet too close to get a hotel room. So at least at the RE they have the special rooms where DH is comfortable doing his business. At this point I was still having my ups and downs about whether to do it or not. Mostly my downs when some sort of action is required like making a phone call to the doc or going to an appointment because I'm just afraid of traveling this road again. It consumes you, it disappointments you, it hurts, and once your on it there is a fear of never leaving it. But on my up days I'm so excited because I really feel like the time is right for this to work for us. Oh how disappointed I will be if it doesn't!

Then last night we were watching something on tv where a spouse died and somehow the conversation came up about moving on and he said he would have to remarry because he has this overwhelming desire to have a family. We've had this conversation before but usually he says he'd have to remarry because he needs sex and couldn't get that outside of marriage! Although I know he deeply desires a family, I was still a little surprised to hear him say that. So that's when I decided I have to keep trying. Even if I'm ready to throw in the towel, DH is obviously not. In my heart I know we will have a family, I just don't know when or how. I can't give up, hope doesn't give up.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Bummer

I called the nurse back this morning and she said that they can't do IUIs because they aren't able to wash the sperm at their clinic. They can only do Intracervical insemination. Well wouldn't that have been an important detail to point out at any time in one of the many prior conversations we've had about doing an IUI?!? The doctor even kept referring to doing IUIs because I would have noticed if he had been saying ICI instead. So now its back to the RE to force an IUI on them or to throw in the towel. I haven't talked to DH yet. If times were good we would definitely pursue it. In fact if we were in good economic times we would probably get another IVF loan. But the economic future is very uncertain and we are naturally conservative people. There are some very smart people out there predicting some really tough times ahead and relatively soon too, not just in some far off future. Many people I know live in a bubble where they think such hard times can't happen in America but I believe hard times can and will come to America. Many people are already feeling it. I'm just very reluctant to spend money on anything but necessity these days. On the other hand I feel like we should do it at least once while we can afford it. Of course it probably won't work and we'd end up just throwing that hard earned money away with a doctor I totally can not stand to work with. But what if it did work? DH says its not a good time to be supporting a family but we have 100% faith that God would provide for us and we would survive. Kids don't NEED tons of toys and fancy things. All they need is a food, shelter and love. I'm pretty certain we can provide that even if times get tougher. That is IF we were lucky enough to be blessed with a child. I'm not sure that's ever going to happen. And I'm not sure I have the strength to start over and put my whole heart into this journey again.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Discouraged & Bitter

Today I called my new doctor's office to talk about doing an IUI cycle in December. When I had seen Dr. M in June he said that of course IVF is our best option but that if we wanted to do an IUI in December when DH's counts were up it wouldn't hurt to try and he'd be willing to do it. We'd have to see what the post wash counts were before he could say what our chances of success would be. The nurse today said that my chart didn't say anything about an IUI in December and that it said he "did not recommend 6 IUI cycles before moving on to further treatment". Well duh, no one is talking about doing 6 IUIs here. I wonder if that is their standard procedure since he is just an ob/gyn. Maybe they sometimes try that many IUIs before referring people to the RE. Of course I'm doing things backward so that does not apply here. Regardless of whatever my chart says I got a very bad vibe from the nurse like my chart really said "Will NEVER Get Pregnant - Hopeless Cause!" So I'm not sure if the nurse just didn't understand our situation or if this new doctor that I was really excited about was only lying to make me feel better. Maybe there is no chance for us. I had a really hard time picking up the phone to call today. I really feel like this is what we should be doing but its so hard to get back into it. I've been looking forward to it for so long and now I feel like I'm forcing myself to go through with it. Its a painful road to travel and its scary to go back down it. Life is so much better without appointments, huge bills, drugs and worrying about whether or not be hopeful. I can't help but think we are only wasting our money and why would I put us through this again. If nothing has working in four years there is no reason why it would work now. And why does it have to be so fricken hard all the time? Why can't we just have sex and get pregnant? Its so easy to get caught up in the anger of how unjust things are. I always said we were not giving up just taking a break for a while. Today I'm seriously feeling like its time to throw in the towel for good. Really truly give up on having a family. How sad to think about giving up but I feel so disappointed that no one seems to have a positive attitude for us. Makes it hard for me to have a positive attitude too. If I feel this way already, how awful will I feel when we do an IUI and it fails? I'm not sure I have enough hope to go through another "if you insist we'll try it" IUI. I don't have the strength to push for something no one seems to think is worth doing. Maybe we should just do IVF again. But these are uncertain economic times to be spending $10k we don't have and I'm not sure I have the heart to put into that either. I don't know why this is so heavy on my heart today, I have not felt this negative about our infertility it a long time. Perhaps its the PMS talking. The way I figure the math we should have somewhere between 8-12 mil post wash, for sure 5 mil and according to the one lab most of them are normal morph, while the other lab says 0% of them are normal. So lets just meet in the middle and says some of them are normal and everyone says 5-10 mil motile post wash is good odds for an IUI. Why doesn't anyone else see it that way? I really think since we did IVF everyone automatically takes our other options off the table and says we should just do IVF again. Like its just no big deal to do it again since we did it once. Yeah people IVF is no big deal, especially when your 100% out of pocket.



The nurse said she would have to talk to the doctor to find out his opinion and get back to me. I waited all afternoon and of course she called five minutes after I finally left the house. I'll call back in the morning and we'll see if the news is any more positive.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Did Eve Have PMS?

Today as I'm lamenting the woes of PMS, I wondered why would God do this to women? Especially infertile women, I mean after all we go through He could at least take PMS away from an infertile. Ironically birth control helps rid PMS symptoms but is that an option for an infertile? To answer my own question I began thinking that Eve probably never had PMS until she ate that stupid fruit. Can you imagine how awful she must have felt after all these terrible consequences her and Adam suffered? How do you get over the guilt of ruining a perfect world and opening it up to sin and all the terrible things that go with it? Including PMS! I believe one thing we need to remember about the whole story is that God still loved Adam and Eve in spite of their misbehavior and He totally and completely forgave them. But do you wonder how Adam managed to forgive Eve? It could have only been by the grace of God because if DH and I were living in a perfect world and I made him eat a piece of fruit that shattered the perfection and brought pain and suffering for generations until the very end of time.....I have a seriously hard time believing DH could forgive me for that. I'm sure if he did it would definitely require some big time help from God.

But I digress.....back to pondering the woes of PMS. Why is it that sometimes PMS is really terrible and sometimes I hardly notice it at all. This month it is terrible and I still have 5 days to go. For the most part I usually get about 5-6 days post ovulation where I'm tired but still feel pretty good. About a week before AF shows I start feeling lousy. But its not always the same symptoms. Its just enough to drive an infertile crazy thinking, "well I didn't feel this way at this time last month - maybe I'm pregnant" or "I feel way better than I did at this time last month-maybe I'm pregnant"......"my bbs hurt maybe I'm pregnant"......"I have cramps on day 7 maybe I'm pregnant"....."I have to pee all the time maybe I'm pregnant"......."I fell asleep at 7:30pm.....maybe I'm pregnant"......"I'm spotting on day 10, I had a weird dream, I had insomnia, I felt like throwing up, I have a headache, I'm starving---maybe I'm pregnant".......BUT I'M NEVER PREGNANT!!!! How cruel is that? And I've always been told that PMS symptoms only start a few days before AF but that just isn't true for me, I have a whole week of serious cramps, crankiness, bloating, starving and general feeling crappiness. So maybe there is something wrong with me but all the doctors say I'm normal. I don't feel normal, I feel like a crazy person. What I don't understand is why can't it be the same all the time so I wouldn't always be guessing. Even though I know to ignore the symptoms cause its always just PMS, I can't stop that small little whisper that says "miracles happen". Please God, have mercy on all the infertiles and take away their PMS.

By the way, its nearly impossible to diet when battling serious PMS so I'm off to make some peanut butter cookies and shamelessly eat them until DH comes home and takes them away.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Giuliana & Bill

If your not up to date with this show or watch it at all, Giuliana (from E! News)and Bill (Apprentice winner) are bringing attention to infertility. They have failed IUIs and now an IVF that ended in miscarriage. Their story is very similar to ours. They thought everything was fine until their first ultrasound where they found out they lost the baby. I was 100% feeling their pain the past two episodes. I can't imagine how difficult it must be for them to put these episodes on the air for everyone to see. In last night's episode Giuliana was having lunch with a friend who got pregnant about the same time as she did and they were discussing the loss. I can't imagine the strength that must have took. I likely would have cut that friend out of my life for a while. I think its awesome that they are bringing infertility and ARTs out of the shadows. I feel bad but I honestly like it when Giuliana cries about the loss, I think people need to see how painful it really is to lose a baby in that situation. There is only one thing about infertility that they aren't bringing to the spotlight. That's the financial hardship it puts most of us in. Obviously if they chose to they could do ARTs until they get a baby but for most of us the money factor puts an end to our dreams.

Speaking of that.....one week from today I'm going to call my new doctor and ask if there are any tests he wants to do before our IUI cycle. On one hand I'd like to have him redo some of the bloodwork to make sure everything is okay on my end, its been 4 years since I've had any tests. But on the other hand I'd really like to not pay for all the testing to be redone. If he thinks everything is okay, then I'm fine with that except for my progesterone. I'd really like to have it tested on a natural cycle. The only time my old RE ever checked it was when I was on clomid. Since sometimes my LP is short and last month I spotted for 2 1/2 days before AF, I'd feel better knowing its okay. AF is due towards the end of next week and then its hopefully only one more cycle til our IUI.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Frightening Halloween Story

I don't usually share things about our farm on this blog, I save those stories for our farm blog. But today things are weighing so heavily on my heart that I need to vent it here, where I hold nothing back and completely put myself out there. Sorry if anyone is bored by goat talk. Here are a few things you need to know. There are lots of different kinds of goats, some for milk and some for meat. We have both. The dairy goats are typically dehorned as babies while meat goats keep their horns. I'm not exactly sure why. Some people dehorn the babies themselves (we have the vet do it). We recently got a 9 month old male dairy goat (named Sunny). The farmer had tried to dehorn him and did a poor job so on one side he had a small nub and on the other about a 1-2 inch horn. This is where the my Halloween Horror Story begins.......

We have a set of triplets about 3 weeks old. So far the mother has had enough milk for them but as they get older and demand more we sometimes need to supplement them with a bottle to make sure they get enough to eat. Yesterday late afternoon DH said he thought one was not getting enough and starting to to starve. It was late and I was tired so I decided I would feed it in the morning. It got to be about 9:30 and I started to feel such a prodding to go out and take care of this baby goat that I got all bundled up and went out in the cold with my little jar of warm goat milk. I got to the barn and was rummaging through the cabinet looking for the bottle. I heard Sunny grunting and flirting with the meat goats he is supposed to be breeding since our meat goat male died a few weeks ago. I just glanced over in the direction of their pen. I saw one goat whose head was all red. I thought that's peculiar but they do rub on the red tin outside the barn sometimes. Then I noticed red on the white bodies of some of the other goats and I realized it was blood. Now thank goodness I'm a farm girl and not squemish about blood cause it was about to get worse. Then I saw Sunny.......he was not just red with blood but was literally sopping wet with it. I began to feel panic set in, not because of so much blood but because I knew something really bad must be wrong to have that much blood everywhere. Sunny was standing around acting like he was totally fine so I felt somewhat calmer. Then he started butting heads with the one whose head was red and I put the puzzle together. He had broke off his little 2 inch horn by fighting with this other goat. I immediately pulled him into his own pen and called DH (who was out late harvesting). DH was not all that concerned even though I stressed there was A LOT of blood. When he finally came to check out the situation he was suprised to find that I was not being overly dramatic or exaggerating the immense about of blood everywhere. It appeared the bleeding had slowed to a trickle but we applied bloodstop powder anyway. This morning he was still acting normal and strong, although it did look like there was a little bit of fresh blood. The vet said as long as its not bleeding heavily and he acts normal we can just observe and give him antibiotics. There is no way this little goat will let us touch his wound or clean him up. But he looks just horrible with his blood caked head and neck. I don't even want to go out to the barn and see him. Its so disturbing. I don't know a lot about horns but I know there is live tissue inside them and they grow out of the skull. Not like antlers which fall off deer and such animals as part of natures process. We assume this horn was weak because of the poor dehorning job the other farmer did. I just can't get the images of this bloodied little goat out of my head. Talk about a Halloween bloody horror show. I hate Halloween and I hate horror movies. I will be so glad when this wretched "holiday" is over.

In addition to that horrible event last night, this morning we went to find the mother of the triplets dead. DH says it was probably something she ate that made her sick since she had no signs of being sick yesterday. Now we have three little orphaned goats that are all being bottle fed. Some days I hate being a farmer's wife. Farming is not a job its a life. You don't just leave your work after 8 hours. Especially for me because I fall in love and get attached to all our animals. I hate to see them suffer, orphaned and caked with blood. I barely slept last night and am feeling lousy with a head ache today. Sometimes I think I should just forget it all and sell stamps the rest of my life. It requires very little thinking and very little personal responsiblity. Its easy and at the end of the day I go home and forget about it.

I now realize that the reason I went out to the barn at 10:00 last night was not because the baby goat needed fed but because God was prompting me to go check on things. The fact is that Sunny would have probably fought with this other goat all night and been dead by morning. So first I thanked God for prompting me to go out the barn and save Sunny from himself. But then I thought, why would God bother prompting me to go out there and stop it when He could have saved us both the trouble and just made it never happen in the first place. And why follow that horrible event with a dead mama goat this morning? Are we being tested? After all DH has been reading his bible a lot and really growing his relationship with God, I'm sure Satan is not happy about that. God did let Satan test Peter and "sift him like wheat", does He still do that to us today? Or are we doing something wrong that He's trying to get our attention? I am feeling really battered and beaten today. Seems that our farm is cursed with troubles the past month. But I know this is only a season and God has not abandoned us. I don't know why all this is happening but He is with us even when life is difficult. At the end of the day it is still just an animal and I can be thankful that my family and friends are still healthy and safe. Despite all the hardships we've had with our animals this year the Lord has blessed our farm with good profits and our personal lives with many special blessings as well. I much prefer Thanksgiving over Halloween.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Week 5 Weight Loss Update

Its week 5 of my 10 week diet and exercise challenge. I lost 7 pounds the first three weeks. Week 4 plateau and still sitting on there at the end of week 5. Its so so hard not to quit when the scale stops moving. 7 pounds was a lot for the first three weeks so I'm not surprised to have already hit a plateau. In order to break it I'm trying to lift weights more and run more intervals this week. I also read that it sometimes works to stop dieting for a week to let your body adjust and reset its metabolism. That's a tempting idea, fall off the wagon on purpose for a week? Alright that's my kind of diet! Unfortunately I don't dare try that technique because I know the wagon will keep rolling on without me and I'll never get back on! So I'm trying to focus on the fact that I feel better, my clothes fit better and I'll just keep eating right and exercising. One day last week DH and I went out and I ate a cheeseburger and curly fries. Mmmm, it was so tasty but I knew I would suffer for it. I did fit it into my calorie goal by doing more exercise that day but I was miserable. My digestive system was upset for the f0llowing day and a half. I sometimes think I have IBS because I feel totally fine when I eat healthy but when I eat a lot of fats and sugars (or when I'm nervous), I'm always running to the bathroom. Just another reason for me to eat right. So I don't know why I convince myself that I'm deprived of something by eating healthy food, obviously my body much prefers it. Even though the scale seems to be stuck, I'm really trying hard to keep going for another 5 weeks.

In fertility news.....we are not sure if we will get to do our December IUI. Right now the timing of it would fall on Christmas day and I'm not sure this new doctor would be okay with that. If it falls even a few days before Christmas I will be too busy working so everyone else gets their holiday time. However, IF I can convince my body to ovulate early the next two cycles I can move our December timing up about 4 days and it would work out perfect. Do you think I can mentally convince my ovaries to ovulate two days early? Its not asking that much, sometimes they ovulate on day 12 all by themselves. If only they will do so the next two cycles. One other thing I'm a little concerned about is this wedding we are going to be going to a week before our IUI in December. These are close friends so we've been planning with them for two years to drink heavily and party all night. My first concern is the combo of alcohol and clomid. Is that a bad combination? My second concern is DH's sperm. I know drinking can affect that but is one night really going to hurt? If necessary we will most likely be scaling down our drinking to just a few. We don't have to be drunk to have a good time. Our friends might be disappointed in us but after waiting two years for another treatment cycle, I'd hate to mess it up because of one night where we had a few too many drinks. That would be a huge waste of our money. We have also thought about skipping December and doing IUI cycles in January and February instead. We know DH has high counts from the end of Dec. through the end of Jan. but we've never tested in February or March and we know by April his counts suck again. Of course I'm hoping it will only take one IUI but if it doesn't we might be doing a second the end of February and his counts could totally crash by then. We will have to wait and see how the timing works out as it gets closer.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Hope - Remedy Drive

Hope

Last night I had a wonderful dream. In my dream I was peeing on sticks and they were coming up positive. But the best part was how I felt, how happy and full of praise for God I was. I woke up feeling so peaceful and hopeful for starting treatment cycles again. When we got our only positive pregnancy test ever after IVF, I wasn't as joyful as I always thought I'd be. Even before the low betas starting coming back. Its like I expected it to happen because I thought we deserved to get pregnant after IVF. But this time I really think it would be different. We have changed so much in the two years since our miscarriage. I think that this time I could truly praise the Lord with a thankful heart and rejoice in the miracle. I don't know why I didn't feel that way two years ago. I guess its hard to praise God for something you feel entitled to and like its about time He gives it to you. Here's a song by Remedy Drive that I love. Its called Hope.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Lessons From The Dog

This is Missy. She is my baby. I once heard Ken Davis on the radio talking about the difference between cats and dogs and how we should be more like dogs. This is how he says they think:

Cat: "Wow, you feed me, house me, love me, give me treats, spoil me.......I must be a god."
Dog: "Wow, you feed me, house me, love me, give me treats, spoil me......YOU must be a god."

Get the connection? We should all be more like dogs and recognize that what we have comes from our God because He is God, not because we are. Another difference is that cats do what they want, come to you if they want to and make up their own minds about things. Dogs are so loyal and obedient (at least the good ones are). How many people do you know that are like cats and only come to God on their terms, not His? I know several. In fact this weekend I was talking to someone from our church who goes to bible study and church every Sunday. He has for as long as I can remember. In fact he used to be my Sunday school teacher. He was saying terribly mean things about other people in our church and then started giving me work advice about how I really need to look out for myself and do I what I need to to get ahead. And I realized then that he might be one of those people that go to church all the time but doesn't really get it. It bothered me a lot that he was saying mean things about others even though I don't like these other people either. Then I wondered what have I become? When did it start upsetting me when someone I don't like says mean things about other people I don't like? And when did it start bothering me when someone says I need to look out for myself? That used to be me, I used to talk behind people's backs and put myself first. Suddenly I realized that's not me anymore. I don't care about looking out for myself because career advancement and money means nothing to me. God has guided me to exactly this spot in my career and I'm happy here. When its time for me to move on or ahead I'm 100% sure God will handle the details and make it happen. As for bad mouthing people, I think that started with my SIL. We have a friend who just hates her and calls sometimes only asking what the latest gossip is so he can say mean things about her. I used to fall right into that trap. Now I find it annoying and always tell him nothing is new with her because I don't want to give him any fuel for his mean remarks. I still don't agree with my SIL or like her all the time but I hate to hear people say mean things about her. No one deserves to be slandered, even if I don't like them. We are all just a bunch of sorry pitiful sinners doing the best we can to walk this rocky path in life. Some have Jesus as their guide, some only follow Him on Sundays and some are so lost they don't even realize He's right in front of them or calling them to a better path.

I have often thought about the dog and how my relationship with God should be more like that with Missy. I praise her and love her all the time, even when she doesn't do what I want her to. I will just sit down next to her and say "your such a good girl, your the best pup in the whole world, I love you so much." It just comes so natural. I don't praise God that way but maybe I should. Also I've thought about how happy she always is to see me and DH. When I come home from anywhere, even if I was only gone 5 minutes, she will jump around with her tail wagging and barking for joy that I'm home. If we only greeted other people that way, especially our spouses, what a difference it would make. Missy is always so happy to just to be with me, even if we are sitting outside reading a book, relaxing on the couch, going for a walk or ride in the car, it doesn't matter what as long as she's with me or DH she's happy to go where ever we take her. Perhaps I should focus more on rejoicing that I'm with God and just be happy to go where ever He takes me, trusting that He will protect me and provide what I need when I need it.

If you have a dog, spend a few minutes thinking about him/her and see if you find any ways that God could be trying teach you a little life lesson.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Grief

Today I went to a funeral, not someone I was that close to so I didn't really find it personally emotional. Although it always pains me to see family cry. We were sitting around afterward with the close family and I was listening to a conversation at our table. I wasn't participating since I don't know these people that well but they were talking about grief and how each day the tears get fewer and further between. Funny thing.....when a former co-worker asked me about getting over her miscarriage I said the exact same thing. In fact everything they said about grieving was exactly what I have thought/said in the past dealing with infertility. So why is it that when we have a miscarriage we quietly suffer through our grief when we feel the same as those at a funeral? The only people that know about our miscarriage is close family and friends but we NEVER talk about it. DH and I rarely talk about it anymore. For some reason everyone just pretends it didn't happen. But it did happen and I will forever grieve the loss in my heart. Even if the tears are fewer and further between. Years ago when we first started down this road, when I would see people online who have been trying for two years, I thought "wow that's a long time, I can't imagine the pain or how I would ever survive infertility that long". Now at four years, I look at those on HP who have been primarily infertile for 7-10 years and I think wow that's a long time. But I think it actually gets easier as time goes by. I think that those who have been dealing with it for 7 years are actually in less pain than those who are only at the two year mark. Obviously I can't speak for everyone but my pain has lessened with time. God has shown us so much to be thankful for and He has torn down our false idols (money, pregnancy, parenthood). However, I can't forget that this Saturday my baby would have been turning 1 year old. I haven't mentioned it to DH because I don't want to remind him if he's forgotten. Better to let him forget. But I remember, I will always remember October 23 and the little life that should have been born that day.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Another Post About My Niece

I just can't help it, she is the little girl I may never have and I just love her to pieces. I almost always hold her in church on Sundays and she always sleeps like a little angel. But when I hold her in church in makes people talk. It makes people say things "That baby looks so good in your arms maybe you should have one." Yep, maybe I should but its not my choice. Recently an older guy I've known my whole life and now work with (in fact I credit him for getting me my new job) made that comment to me at work one Monday after I held my niece in church the morning before. I already knew his daughter had gone through IVF for their first baby because our pastor told us when we met with him prior to our IVF. So I just told him that we can't have babies. It was a somewhat awkward conversation and it made me sorta angry that I had to have it. Not that I mind talking about it to people anymore, if my answer makes them uncomfortable then they should mind their own business. But sometimes I just get angry that I have to explain myself, that I have to explain why DH and I aren't parents when everyone sees we should be. Its been bothering me more and more as I start to think of myself less as an infertile and more as a whole and complete person the way I am. When infertility doesn't define who I am, it kinda makes me angry that I have to explain myself that way. He also said that his daughter did IVF for the first one and then the second one came along naturally. Am I the only one that hears that story all the time? I'm so sick of it! Sure it sounds like it should give me hope, it does seem that once God opens a womb once there are more to follow but seriously it doesn't make me feel better because mine is still locked up tight. That and "So and so wasn't suppose to have kids but they did". Things like that just don't make me feel better anymore. I feel like DH and I have been through it all and tried everything and if after four years, if we were going to get a miracle it would have happened by now. But on the other hand I feel sure in my heart that God is going to give us our own baby someday and I just need to keep being patient.

Last night I got to babysit again while my SIL took my nephew to a children's fair. This time she was happy and she's three months now so she's starting to respond to people with faces, smiles and noises. So precious! When my SIL came home she was complaining how my nephew still had a couple hours before bed and she couldn't wait. Of course he's two now so he's a handful. But I was thinking about how as an infertile we sometimes tend to glorify parenthood. Not that it isn't a wonderful experience but I think we focus so hard on achieving what we can't have that we tend to only think about what we're missing out on, like the smiles and laughter, the hugs and kisses, you know the good stuff. What about the diaper explosions, spit up, crabby kids, sleepless nights, and endless worrying about their safety and future? So while I still deeply long to be a mother, I think its important to look at it realistically and not glorify it as all good times when its not. Though I do still believe that infertiles appreciate the bad times more than those who don't spend years and thousands of dollars to achieve parenthood.

I've mentioned before our friends who are getting married in December. Well these friends don't make a healthy couple but it seems they are getting married because they are nearing age 30 and worried they won't find anyone else. I wonder if marriage is sometimes glorified the same way as parenthood. While marriage is rewarding, its certainly not all good times. DH and I have had some downright awful times together. Its not always easy and its not always fun. But when your not married and everyone around you is, I wonder if the same feelings kind of come to the surface. The grass is always greener on the other side, right? I just think that I'm so blessed to have God in charge of my life because if I made all my own choices and got whatever I wanted exactly when I wanted it, I'd surely have messed up my life pretty bad by now.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Some Days I'm Stupid

I just don't know why sometimes I do things that I know I shouldn't. Today is one of those days. I just can't wait to go to bed and wake up tomorrow so that I can start over. I've had a bad cold this week so while I've stuck to my calorie range and gotten the minimum 30 minutes a day of exercise this week, I've felt lousy. I decided today was a free day, a day where I wouldn't count calories or exercise. A day to rest and feel better. Well I feel worse and here's why....I made a lot of dumb choices today. Puppy chow and a glass a milk for breakfast? Dumb choice #1. Mindlessly surfing the net for 2 hours after work this morning - dumb choice #2. Eating a huge plate of nachos left over from taco night a few days ago - #3. Afternoon nap followed by 1.5 hours of TV- that's #4. At this point its about 3pm and I was feeling like garbage and like I wasted the day away so I went out to the farm to take care of my chickens and then took the dog for a short walk. I harvested my 8 pumpkins and pulled up the dead vines. Finally I accomplished something. I came back inside, ate a piece of left over cake from my parents anniversary this week and went back to mindlessly surfing the web. I visited the nest/bump. I haven't been there in almost a year, ever since all my infertile friends moved on to endless IVF treatments and eventually all got pregnant. This is huge mistake #5. Sure it was nice to see they all had toddlers by now but it was just a painful reminder that they moved on and I didn't. And worse yet, my baby is suppose to be 1 year old this month. Hello pity party! I knew it would make me sad to visit all my old buddies on the nest but I did it anyway. I knew eating garbage food and being lazy today would make me feel terrible but I did it anyway. WHY?! Why must I do things I know will not make me feel good and will not make me happy. I totally need to make better decisions. *sigh* I feel bloated and PMSy but AF is still a whole week away. Oh well, tomorrow I will wake up and make it a better day.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

A New Look

This morning in bible study our Pastor was discussing how you don't get to see rainbows unless you endure the storm. That really stuck with me and I thought it would fit in well with my new blog design and title. Doesn't a rainbow just make you feel a little lighter and brighter inside? It does me. At first I suggested Finding Joy in The Storm as the title but I just haven't been feeling it. I think the word finding didn't sit right with me. So I looked up other words I could use in its place. Ironically "conceiving" was listed as a synonym for "finding". I settled on "discovering" because like faith I believe its something we all have. Its not lost, we don't need to find it or search for it, in fact many times its staring us right in the face. We just need to look with a different perspective and we'll discover what's been there all along. I found a psalm about the storm and hesitated about the end where he brings to our desired haven. Do I leave that part out since I'm not yet at my desired haven of motherhood? Or do I add it anyway as a promise that someday I will be there? I'm going with the promise.

Speaking of looking with a new perspective, this morning in church I was holding my sleeping niece again, which I often do in church and of course she was adorable and precious as always. And I thought "Thank you Lord for sharing this little one with me, even if I can't have my own, at least I can open my heart for this one." I have to confess that for years having a baby seemed like an side effect in a way. I have been so obsessed with getting pregnant and being pregnant that actually having a baby doesn't seem like part of the plan. Recently its been different I think its because of my niece and my hope for future treatment cycles. The longing and passion feels deeper now. Its not just wanting something because I can't have it or getting pregnant just to prove I can do it. Its about love. That's it, just pure simple unconditional love that I can hold in my arms and kiss goodnight. I don't need attention, I don't need everyone to fuss and tell me how adorable or well behaved my baby is. I don't need anyone to say congrats or be proud of me or my baby. In fact if I had a baby my hubby would be lucky if I'd even share the baby with him -partially joking there :) When I used to think about my life with a baby it seemed so far off and like a fantasy that would never happen. These days it feels real. It feels like it did when we were just about to start TTC and like we would be getting good news next month and would soon be making nursery plans - minus the naivety of what it means to TTC and be parents. Where is this coming from you ask? Beats me. Probably a little bit from our upcoming treatment cycle with a new doctor. But part of me just feels like our miracle is coming soon. Its not even just good old hope, its faith -being sure of things not seen. Its scary to say that I'm so sure God is going to give us a miracle soon. I may be proved a fool when I'm sitting here next spring after more failed treatments crying my eyes out. But I can't deny what I feel now and that's the beauty of blogging for strangers. You can judge me a fool in a few months when I'm wrong and I'll never have to know or feel bad about it.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Week One Summary

Week one of my diet is complete and I managed to stay on track. I know I know a whole week big deal.....but it really is a big deal. Here's a summary of how it went.

Exercise: I logged 22.5 miles, mostly walking but with a little jogging mixed in. I know this seems like a lot but it mostly came from a 2 mile walk with the dog each morning and 30 minutes at the gym after work. In addition to that I put in 90 minutes on the elliptical trainer and 45 minutes strength training. I try to work out 5 days a week and take it easy with maybe only a short walk on the weekends.

Diet: I stayed in my calorie range of 1500-1850 every day this week except Friday night when I went 100 calories over my limit due to a spluge on 2 slices of stuffed crust pizza. Very much needed and I'd say well deserved. I met my calorie differential of 7000 and the scale showed a negative two pounds this week. It did require an extra walk on Saturday because of another splurge on puppy chow. I stayed within my calorie range but 1 cup of puppy chow has about 400 calories so I sacrificed more of the healthy stuff. Not a good idea but once and while can't hurt. I'm always amazed at how eating less actually gives me more energy. I'm sure its because I don't want to waste calories on junk that leaves me hungry so even though I eat less, I'm getting much better quality. I've also managed to get the minimum water intake of 8 cups per day. They say you should get have your weight in ounces so for me that would be about 12 cups. I'm working up to that. Drinking a lot of water takes some getting used to.

For the next week I'm setting two new goals. One is to take my multivitamin every day. I hate swallowing pills and often completely forget about it. My second goal is to spend more time reading my bible. I confess I'm terrible at that. This year in our bible study we are covering the last half of the old testament starting with Kings. We skip around and paraphrase a lot so I'm making my goal each week to keep up by reading what we skip. I'm already two weeks and about 20 chapters behind so I've got some work to do this week.

I'm hoping to stick with my weight loss plan because it is not a never ending plan. I like to think of it as short term. Lose 20 pounds in ten weeks, then maintain for 4-8 weeks while we do one or two IUI cycles. Then in February, (if I'm not pg), start with a new weight loss goal of that last 10 lbs. So this is not a long term indefinite plan, I'm 1/10th of the way there and only have 9 weeks to go. That doesn't sound so impossible, right? I can totally do this. By the way I read this great blog post about the myth of motivation. Check it out here.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Hooray for minus 1 lb

Its only been a few days but I've lost 1 lb already. I'm using sparkpeople to track calories and exercise and there is a report on there for your daily calorie differential. It takes into account how many calories you burn just being (BMR), plus calories burned in exercise and calories eaten. The whole idea behind weight loss is that calories burned has to be greater than calories taken in. So lets do some math......since one pound of fat is 3,500 calories and I want to lose 2lb per week, my goal is to create a 1,000 calorie differential each day. When dieting the rule is to never eat less than 1,200 calories or your body will think its starving. My range set by spark people is 1,500-1,800. My BMR is about 2,300. So if I don't get any exercise but only eat 1,300 calories I still have a 1,000 differential. But that's hard to do, its easier to eat more calories and go for a walk to even it out. So far its only been 4 days but I've met my goal of a 1,000 differential, usually eating 1,600 calories and burning an additional 400-500 through exercise. Today I weighed myself to see if the scale would prove my math accurate. Yep, I lost one pound. Its a good start. However, realistically I don't think I can keep up the 1,000 differential everyday without feeling deprived, hungry and end up pigging out. So I'm giving myself a little slack one day a week if I need to.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Diet Day One

I'm always on a "diet" but never that committed to it. Occasionally I will be committed for a couple weeks then we'll have several family or friend get togethers that center on food and I'll fall off the wagon. Last fall I lost 17 lbs, since then I gain 7 back. The good news is I'm still down ten pounds, the bad news is I could be down 17. My goal for now is to lose 20 lbs by December 1st. Its a steep goal but can totally be done following the 2lbs per week rule, I have 10 weeks. Here are my 3 main motivating factors- 1. We will start an IUI cycle in December and 20 less pounds could help 2. There is possibly a vacation somewhere fun happening in December and 3. We have a good friend's wedding to go to in December. Now motivation is always what gets me but this is a good time of year because with harvest being DH's busy season he rarely eats at home and we rarely go out. Meaning I'm pretty much on my own for meals and I don't have to cook much, making dieting much easier. I'm a huge fan of SparkPeople so I'll be going back to that for record keeping. If anyone has any other resources or helpful support or motivation ideas please share. Lets hope I can stick with it this time!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Letter From A Friend

Today we got a letter in the mail from friends of ours who are getting married in December. First of all just getting a letter via snail mail was exciting - we ususally don't get anything in our mail box except bills! They had an engaged couple retreat as part of their premarital counseling and I think writing this letter is something they were asked to do. Here is part of what they wrote:

"B & I want to thank you for being such good role models as a couple to us. During our weekend at Engaged Encounter we realized how good of a couple the two of you make. We are glad we have a chance to witness through the two of you, just how a strong a couple can grow together."

DH and I really try to quietly live our lives as an example to others, we try to be the best people we can be and lead by example. Its reassuring to know that someone is noticing and at least we are making a difference in someone's life. Our Pastor always says the best way to share our faith is to quietly live it. Even if this letter was required as part of their course, I'm honored they chose us.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Welcome ICLWers!

Thanks for checking out my blog ICLWers! This is my first month participating so I'm very excited! I think its a great way to encourage comments and feedback. You can read more about our TTC history in past posts. I'm not good at labeling them so I'll make that my goal for the next ICLW. Here's a brief history for those of you too lazy to read through earlier posts :)

DH and I live in a small town in rural MN. I work for the postal service and DH works on my family's farm. Although we live in town we have our little hobby farm at my parent's. We have chickens, goats, sheep, and sometimes baby cows. I don't love gardening but I love having our own home grown food, which I preserve and can as much as possible. Its a new hobby but I'm liking it so far, I can't wait to open up all those preserved goodies this winter. I also love baking, but not so much cooking. Could be something to do with my sweet tooth. I try to get to the gym and work out a lot, I used to be in good shape, before all those fertility drug & stress pounds. Now its taking some work and some dedication to get back where I used to be.

My DH and I have been TTC for almost 4 years. We suspected we would have trouble right away because of a surgery my DH when he was an infant. They said it wouldn't effect his fertility but after 7 months he finally convinced his doctor to order a semen analysis. My doctor was still insisting we keep trying. The first test was devastating, only 140,000 sperm in the whole sample. The second test wasn't so bad but the nurse and I had a communication problem and she said it was about the same as the previous SA. I later found out when I got copies of everything that it was in fact 14mil/ml, not anywhere near the same as the first. I was very frustrated because we would have done IUIs right away if I knew it was 14 mil. DH has had a ton of SAs and we eventually determined that no matter what he does or doesn't do he seems to follow a specific pattern over the course of the year. Near normal in late December-January and then around 5mil/ml most of the year until mid-summer when it falls back to the 100,000 range until December. We've done 3 IUIs, all negative but they were done at a bad time of the year and we had only 1 mil post wash. This winter is the first time we will be doing an IUI during his good months. He tried about everything anyone ever suggested. Right now he's taking a vitamin regimen mostly for his health but we're hoping its good for his sperm too. It consists of MegaMen Multivitamin, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Omega 3, Astafactor (antioxident) and Jing Qi (herbal combo from our acupunturist).

In January of 2009 we did IVF w/ICSI. We were pregnant and thrilled about it until our 6 week ultrasound. Anxious to see the heartbeat we instead saw an empty sac- blighted ovum. We were crushed. Since then we haven't done anymore treatments, partly our choice and partly because of our RE. He's the only one in the area and I've never liked him. Even when DH's numbers are near normal he says he won't do any more IUIs. He will only do IVF or donor sperm with us. So I broke up with him:) I was looking for a new OB/GYN just for my annual and checked out internet profiles of everyone in the area. I finally decided on one, only to find out that he does IUIs! After I previously called every clinic in the area and everyone said there is only one fertility doctor in the whole city. I really liked this new doctor and I'm excited to work with him this winter.

In the real world, -outside my infertility realm- I have seen my sister in law come into our family and have two babies with no trouble at all. We all know how hard that can be. I was so bitter and angry the first time around that I avoided them as much as possible and now regret not bonding with my nephew-self preservation you know. This time around I'm totally in love with my niece and very bonded with her. Its hard sometimes but sometimes its awesome and makes me so happy. Our faith is really important to us, I don't know how we would survive IF without it. You'll see a lot about that here.

Come back soon ICLWers! Thanks for visiting!

Monday, September 20, 2010

A Tough Weekend

We had a family dinner this weekend and it was tough. I don't understand why sometimes its so hard and other times it makes me so happy. This time I'm blaming the fact that AF is due in a few days making me emotional. I was holding my niece and she went to sleep on my shoulder and stayed there for over an hour. I looked down at her peaceful little face and felt such love for her that my heart started breaking again. Breaking for my own little one. I can't imagine the love I would feel for my own. How overwhelming it must be to be a mother. We went home and I went on all night to DH about how badly I want a baby and maybe we should try harder. Like maybe if we had the money I would even do IVF again. I so wish the economy was good and stable right now. If I knew the future looked promising I would go in debt again over another IVF. But for now I guess I'll just look forward to an IUI in 3 months. At least it improves our odds a little.

On the other hand about a week ago I was babysitting my niece and she's had a bad case of colic. I've heard it goes away after three months but for now its not a lot of fun to babysit her, it was actually a lot of work. I came home that night and told DH how glad I am that we don't have kids because the truth is I'm just too selfish at this point. I can't imagine giving up all my free time and sleep for a child. But I know it would be different if I actually had one. Because once she settled down and I kissed her little forehead, everything felt so right and perfect all the way down to the deepest part of my heart. I can deny it and try to talk myself out of it all I want but deep down God gave me a mother's heart. I just can't figure out why He would do that and then not make me a mother. Seems like a waste of good talent doesn't it? Knowing that God doesn't waste anything I suppose my only choice is to keep listening to His voice and going where He leads me.

This weekend DH and I watched P.S. I Love You. I hated it, it was sad and depressing. Sure it was a sweet story but it felt all too much like something I might experience someday. I can't stand the thought of losing DH and being a widow at such a young age. I know it happens everyday and could very well happen to me but I'd rather not think about it. But it did really make me appreciate the time I do have with DH and thankful that I might not have children but I do have a wonderful husband.

I added a poll on the side for new blog titles. Please vote! I'll explain them briefly. Breaking Free refers to a book I read by Beth Moore that really changed the way I think about things and was critical for me dealing with our infertility. Breaking Free from the hold that infertility had on me was a huge step but breaking free can be about more than infertility. I read once that God gives us all the faith we need on the day we are baptized so we don't ever grow our faith we only grow in our understanding of it. The same is true of peace, we all have it inside next to our faith, we just need to learn to activate it, instead of waiting for it to magically happen, hence the title Activating Peace. Surrender is Stronger is a line from the FFH song I posted earlier this week. Kind of the same idea as breaking free but I like how it implies strength from surrender which most people think means giving up. Which is also what a lot of people think we've done by not continuing treatments or adoption at this time. This blog was meant to shine....taken from an earlier post about Lifelight and letting my life light shine. A heart mended refers to how Jesus is the great physician and heals hearts not with band aids but by making it new again. Finding joy in the storm refers to not always being happy in our trials but always being joyful in Christ our Savior. Please vote on whichever title you feel best describes my blog. I know I don't have a lot of readers but I love to hear what you think!

Friday, September 17, 2010

A Double Shot of Songs That Speak

I'm sure I must be breaking some kind of blogger rule by posting twice on the same day but this is another song recommended by a friend and fellow blogger. She was right, I do like this song -but I'm pretty easy to make happy when it comes to music :)

At the risk of getting political let me share what this song says to me. At my house we're big fans of Glenn Beck and if you don't know he recently had a rally in Washington D.C. called Restoring Honor. He has really changed direction for his Fox News show the past year and its becoming less political and more about America finding God again and having a revival or Great Awakening. It seems to be happening too, all across the country people are uniting on Christian principles. There's no need to say America has problems, things don't look good for future generations at this point. At the rally Glenn Beck issued a 40 Day/40 Night Challenge. Check it out here. He's basically asking American's to pledge to practice faith, hope and charity AND get on their actual knees and pray at least once a day. Not praying in your car, not as your head hits the pillow but actually bow down on your knees and pray before your heavenly Father. Yes, Glenn Beck is a topic of great controversay but how can you argue with what he's asking? How can anything but good come of that? So as part of this I'm trying to be more honest and a better person in my own life. What's really getting to me lately is back stabbing at work. I've noticed a lot more lately about how everyone talks behind everyone else's back and it irritates. Besides that I know I'm not an exception and they probably say awful things about me too. So one thing I'm working on is to not say anything about anyone to anyone - unless I wouldn't mind saying it that person myself. And to discourage others from saying harsh words also. Its a start.

So that's what this song means to me, it means that we as individuals need to surrender all of our sins and all of our vices and be more honorable individuals. Our country is in sorry shape right now, many American's are hurting and desperate for help, but the government is not going to save them. Only Jesus can save them (us). Many people just want thier free handout, they don't want to pay the asking price. Its starts with one, you have to fix yourself before America will thrive again. So "come undone, surrender is stronger". Commit to Christ and pledge to make a serious effort everyday to restore your relationship with God and be an honorable person. Be the change you want to see in others - didn't somone famous say that?

Another Song That Speaks

I saw this on another blog and I wanted to share it too. I know I've been posting a lot of songs lately but I don't have much else exciting to blog about. Songs say different things to different people but to me this one speaks to the pain of losing our baby and our dreams. It reminds me of the part from "Facing The Giants" where she is in the parking lot after more bad news from the doctor and says "I will still love you Lord" as she's crying. How many times have a bawled my eyes out in the parking lot of the clinic? I often wonder if anyone walks by and knows exactly why I'm crying. How many other women go to the parking lot and cry after a visit to the RE? Although I've never witnessed anyone else doing it I'm sure it happens a lot. What a great song to remind us that no matter what God still loves us and we should still love Him. But its not just about infertility, the world is full of pain and hardship and we must always remember to put Him first - no matter what. He never leaves us and could change our circumstances in an instant but if He doesn't, it shouldn't change our relationship with Him. No matter how bad things seem.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

New Blog Title

I've been thinking for a while that "While I'm Waiting" isn't quite the right title for my blog anymore. Today I found another IF blogger with that same title and decided its time to make a change. I'm open to suggestions, anyone reading this have any ideas for a title that would more accurately describe this blog? Please share!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

This Life Was Meant To Shine

This past weekend we went to Lifelight Music Festival. Everytime I've been there before or to any kind of Christian music concert I have a "God Moment". A moment where I feel His presence and feel Him put His healing hand on my heart. This time I didn't have that moment and I'm feeling a little disappointed by it. No song or statement particularly spoke to my heart. I've been thinking about this and trying to figure out why. I really think that I just don't have the pain I used to. I've spent millions of tear on infertility and I just didn't have any this time. All I can think about lately is how much worse my life could be. I would take infertility over a hundred other worse things. I have my DH, my dog, my parents, my health, my church, my job, my Savior. The other day I actually said outloud, "well we've never been through anything really difficult or painful.....oh wait..." I haven't exactly forgotten the pain of losing our babies or the pain of losing our dreams for the future but in some ways I have forgotten. I can still remember how bad it hurt like it was yesterday but its filed away in the back of my brain, my heart is healed and I no longer have that constant ache reminding me. Some days I just feel guilty for not feeling sorry for myself anymore and some days I feel like I'm missing part of me, the part that used to sad all the time. I feel like I'm suppose to forever be sad about my babies that went to heaven and all my babies that will never be. But I'm quite sure its Satan himself whispering those destructive thoughts in my head.

Now to contradict all my blogging about letting IF go......December/January doesn't seem that far away and I'm sort of getting excited to try another IUI with the new doctor. But I'm almost equally afraid it will work as I am afraid that it won't work. However the great part about the whole situation is that I don't have to choose whether I want it to work or not because I have no say in it. I just have to do what is required physically and financially and let God decide how it works out. He knows best. If it still isn't our time that's okay, we're going to put forth the money and effort regardless of outcome. I do have to say that the time does feel like it could be right for this to work. In the past I've asked myself "why would this work now? what good has come from this trial? is it really time to move past infertility?" and each time I just felt like I wasn't finished with infertility yet. Even when our IVF worked I actually said to DH before we did it that I thought it would work but we'd probably have a miscarriage because that would provide the most opportunity for growth. This time my heart has changed. I'm a totally different and I think better person than I used to be. I really feel like I'm ready to be done with infertility, not that I've learned all I can learn from it but its just not forcing me to grow in my faith anymore. Sure there are still moments of unexpected tears but for the most part infertility is just not challenging me anymore. Who am I to say when my lesson is over though. God could have many more lessons to teach me though infertility for all I know. I do feel things are going to change somehow because I've become too comfortable with my infertility. Either we will get our miracle, which would greatly change our life and challenge our faith in new ways...or we will endure another loss somehow made more painful that the first. I almost feel like just putting these thoughts into words is somehow challenging God to bring me a new more difficult trial. I hope that's not how it is but the truth is I'm bored. I need a new challenge, new excitement. I love my life the way it is but its time for something new.

One thing I did take away from Lifelight was something MercyMe said about their song "This Life." The lead singer said that some of the most boring, grumpy people he knows are Christians who think they are just surviving until they can get to heaven. He said we are meant to enjoy this life and live it to its fullest. God has blessed this world with many things to be joyful about and "we were meant to shine, not just survive." So I'm going to make a more thoughtful effort to make sure my life shines - because it was meant to. God didn't put me here just to put in my time and take a bunch of tests before I get to heaven.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Unexpected Tears

I haven't posted in a while because it just seems I have nothing to say. Life has been rather blah lately. I'm not depressed or cranky but just kinda going through the motions. I feel as though my joy tank is running on empty these days. Then I got to thinking... well I haven't exactly filled up for a while. You see two weeks ago we skipped church cause DH was out of town. Last week we went but there was a substitute pastor who had a good message but it just didn't speak to my heart and we sat towards the back of the church and I never feel as connected to God as when we are right up front. I haven't been reading or praying much either. Its no wonder I'm feeling the way I am. Next week our pastor is back from vacation and our Sunday bible study group will be starting again soon. And I might be crazy but I love advent and lent midweek services. I feel so much better when I get a double dose of church each week. I'm so blessed to be in a church where I can have a meaningful worship service. So many churches these days leave people still feeling empty and that's a shame because then they think God is not the answer to their trouble or that He can't fill that emptiness inside them. But He is the only One who can and its to bad the church can't reach out and show people that. It really is important to find a church that helps you connect with God on a personal level, its really meaningless without that.

I really wish that I had started this blog earlier on in our infertility journey. It has been so good for me to write things out and I wish I had done this during the most painful parts of our struggle. Now days I still feel the pain occasionally but for the most part infertility is not what defines us anymore. I heard once that we should pay attention to "unexpected tears". That means that when something upsets you and you start crying out of the blue, we should think it over and search through the tears to find what is still causing pain. Last night I was laying in bed trying to sleep and I just started crying, out of nowhere. Earlier a friend, who can be a real jerk sometimes, was making fun of my niece because she has an eye that is weak or lazy and often makes her look cross-eyed, especially in pictures. He was just joking around but it really upset me and I felt very defensive. As you all know I'm quite bonded with her. Last week I was holding her and she spit up all over me, it was nasty, but it didn't bother me a bit, even though she screamed the whole time I was there and holding her. I still loved her just as much as when she's sleeping. I wonder how can I love a little one so much and get so defensive over her, when she isn't even mine? And that makes me cry. I'm not sure why exactly and I don't know where those unexpected tears came from, perhaps just me mourning the loss of my future family.

Another blogger, Sas, shared this song on her blog. I've never heard it before and think its a great song so I wanted to share it too. You can listen to it here, or on her blog. So meaningful, no matter what your going through, infertility or otherwise.

Monday, August 16, 2010

My Chickens

We have 30 chickens that we get our own farm fresh eggs from. This spring we purchased 7 Americana chicks and I've been watching them grow and anxiously waiting for that first egg all summer. For those who aren't familiar with chickens, Americanas are the breed known for laying blue or green eggs in various shades ranging from khaki green to robin egg blue. Well today is the day, finally not just one special colored egg but two! I'm very excited! I'm always amazed at how awesome our God is at tucking away some very special surprises in unexpected places. To most people a chicken laying a blue egg might be no big deal but I appreciate my Creator for each little uniquely added touch.


Of course I had to take a picture next to one of our other chicken's eggs for comparison.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Garden Harvest

This year I decided to start canning some of the the things from my garden. Peaches are actually one of the few things I can't grow myself. But even though I didn't grow them myself, canned fresh peaches are way better than store bought canned peaches. Its a new experiment since I've never canned before but I actually really like it. There is something rewarding about growing and storing your own food. Today my wonderful DH was kind enough to help me can peaches and make some fresh salsa. We didn't can the salsa this time but plan to next time. Its so yummy! We definitely eat healthy during the summer months. I have also already made strawberry jam, mint jelly, apple jelly and canned green beans. I planned on pickles this year but mine didn't grow well so I have to find some at a farmers market and haven't been able to so far. I love to watch my pantry fill up with the fruits of my own labor!







Saturday, August 14, 2010

Songs That Speak

"These Things Take Time" -Santus Real

I am a huge fan of Christian radio. I think what we surround ourselves with has a huge impact on who we are and how we live. I've always been into music as a way of soul searching and reflecting. Sometimes music speaks with words I couldn't form on my own and it brings about emotions I don't otherwise feel. Several years ago I was taking the dog for a walk and for some reason all the radio stations on my headset weren't coming in.....except for one. So I listened to it, it was better than nothing right? Well I got hooked and haven't listened to anything since. If you don't have a Christian radio station near you, I seriously suggest you go here and listen online.

Since songs speak to me in a special way I want to start sharing some with you. For the first edition of my Songs That Speak series, I had a hard time choosing just one. Finally, I settled on one called "These Things Take Time" by Santus Real. Click above to listen, I hope it speaks to you as well.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Coolest Vegetable Ever!

This year I planted something new in my garden, spaghetti squash. It is about the coolest vegetable I've ever tried. When cooked the inside comes out stringy like spaghetti and I have to say it tastes about the same too. As a pasta lover I'm excited about this much healthier alternative. The only downside is that I get hungrier much faster than with actual pasta but its still a great diet food. Since I've been working at my new job its been much easier to go to the gym but I still haven't lost any weight. This week I started counting calories again so hopefully I'll be able to make some progress soon.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Surrendering Control

Surrendering control of your life takes a lot of trust and a lot of faith. But the rewards are countless. The very first thing I truly surrendered was our finances. I remember when we first got married how stressed we would get about money. After a couple years we finally let it go and stopped worrying about it. No, money did not magically start falling from heaven and I still haven't found a money tree but the Lord has provided for us. There are times where I would start to worry but just reminded myself that God loves us and will take care of us. I really can't remember any times that we were really hard up for money in the past several years, not that we haven't been but it doesn't stand out in my memory because I never let it worry me or stress me out.

The second thing I really had to surrender took longer. It took four years of infertility before I surrendered it. But it was surrendering more than my fertility, I had to surrender my hopes, my dreams, and my future. It is not in my power to control it so why bother. Its not easy to explain to others how to give up control. I wish I had all the answers and could draw a simple map for others about how to find the peace and joy in the Lord that I've found. Last Sunday our Pastor said you don't have to be happy, you just have to be joyful. A few years ago that wouldn't have meant anything but now it spoke right to my heart. After 26 years the difference between happiness and joy is crystal clear. Thank you Lord for teaching me so much through my infertility. What a blessing!

So now I'm feeling stressed about my job and I keep reminding myself that it is not in my control and I wouldn't want it to be. I'm more than happy to sit back and let God work it all out for the best, I always make the wrong choices anyway. As I said the other day, he has brought me to this place for a reason, he won't abandon me now. In fact He has taken care of me for 26 years and it keeps getting better, He won't fail me now. It will all work out just fine. Praise the Lord for his guiding and all knowing hand!

Here's something else I've been thinking seriously about lately. Sin. DH's brother says he'll find a church and get baptized when he settles down and gets married. I know why, its because he doesn't want to give up his life of sin and he doesn't want to be held accountable for his actions. He thinks being a Christian means you have to be good. But here's the part he doesn't understand. Having Jesus in your life doesn't mean you don't sin and it doesn't mean that you have to want to life a Godly life - at first. Eventually as you grow in your faith and come to love Christ and fully understand what He does for you, you start to desire living a Godly life and serving him because you just love him so darn much you want to please your Heavenly Father - much like little boys want to please their earthly fathers. But that is certainly not expected for someone who is just coming to Jesus and new to their faith. We all have sins we don't want to give up, I even have sins that I don't want to ask forgiveness for because I don't want to stop, even though I know its wrong. I know I should pray for help in giving up these sins but I'm afraid if I pray for that I might actually get help and might actually give them up! That's how sin is sometimes, sometimes it makes you feel good and you like it, even though you know its wrong. I think DH's brother thinks if he becomes a Christian he'll have to be a "saint" like DH. And someday he might be but only when he comes to that same depth of faith that DH is at. Right now the Lord is going to work on his heart whether he wants it or not because my family is praying like crazy for DH's family to find Christ and we all know that Jesus loves to answer prayer, He just works slowly sometimes. And why not? He has all the time in the world to save another soul, what's the rush for Him? We're the ones running out of time.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Change is Scary

Things are changing at work. I don't remember what I've said about here but this summer I started working more regular hours at a bigger post office. And I have been loving it! Now the boss is temporarily leaving and my job is not secure. Because of the government being as complicated as it is I'm not officially hired regular there and with someone new coming in I may or may not get to stay. There is talk of someone I know will let me stay filling the job and that may open up for me to be full time between my home office and this bigger office. Or they could get someone else that doesn't want me to stay and I'll go back to just getting a few hours a week at my home office. But I really like things just the way they are and really want to stay part time at this bigger office. My new boss said he put in a really good report for me to the district boss. Who knows what will happen and I'm feeling a little distressed. I know God will work it all out for good and this could turn out to be a really good opportunity for me. I just don't know. All I know is that I really like things just the way they are and I don't want them to change. Life is good, life is stable, life is just the way I want it. So much for my smooth sailing, here comes some bumps ahead!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Life On The Other Side

I always thought that getting to the other side of infertility meant I would have a baby. Now I feel like I'm on the other side even though my arms are still empty. Its a weird place to be. I can't really relate to those who have babies but yet I no longer relate to those going through treatments and struggling with their infertility. Although I understand the pain I just don't connect with it anymore. I feel my world has become smaller because now I'm in a small group of complete as two, yet at the same time I feel so much more freedom. Freedom to openly love my niece and nephew without jealousy, freedom to say with sincerity we are no longer seeking children to fulfill us, freedom to plan my time and schedule as I choose and not depending on my cycle and the freedom to enjoy life without feeling like something is missing. Infertility does not define who I am anymore. I honestly feel like infertility is behind me. A year ago I would have despaired over accepting a childless life, now I'm embracing it.

I understand if I lose followers because I may be hard to relate to now days. I have to confess that I stop reading blogs when someone achieves pregnancy. Even those I've been following for a long time. While I'm happy for them, its just too hard to keep reading. I'm just not strong enough yet to read about someone else's pregnancy without letting jealousy over take me. My progress with my SIL is huge for me right now. We just went on a 4 day vacation with my family. I held my niece for hours every day we were gone and I'm so in love. She may not be mine but I've bonded with her in a way I never did the daycare kids. When we got home I actually missed having her around. Times like those I realize my desire to be a mommy is not gone and I've not given up. I've just accepted that I have time to wait. Time to wait for God to fulfill his plan for me. Time to enjoy what He's given me today and trusting that He will give me what I need when the time is right. Patiently waiting is not as hard as it used to be. I'm so happy with my new job right now that I feel like I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be and I was led here very specifically by God's guiding hand. I've wanted this job for 5 years, I never really pursued it but God has provided. His hand has been so clear the whole time, slow though it may have seemed. I may not know why but I'm very content to enjoy what I have and waiting for whatever He has in store. I know it will be worth the wait. I'm coming to understand just how slow God's timing is by our standards but just right by His. I still think He will give us a baby someday. I'm not always sure that's what I want anymore which is all the more reason to put it in His hands. So "While I'm Waiting" I will worship, I will praise, I will sing, I will dance, I will rejoice, I may cry, I might get jealous sometimes, my heart might break, we may have trials and my cup may runeth over but the important part is that while I'm waiting I will rejoice in the blessings AND sorrows I have today and tomorrow I will wake up and do the same; the next day I will do the same thing until one day I wake up with the Lord himself and on that day I will finally have what we are all waiting for.