Mid-Cycle Blahs

May 29, 2012

I'm finding myself in this mid-cycle blah.  Tonight is the last night I take Femera, and it's been giving me lots of hot flashes this round.

I really should exercise (I'm usually super into it) but I can't bring myself to do it, and then I feel bad about it.
My mind keeps recounting the calendar, seeing if there is anyway around me not ovulating when I'm in Denver, husband-free.  Each time, nothing has changed (I think I'm secretly hoping it will happen sooner) I have determined if I get the surge Wednesday, I will schedule an IUI in the morning and miss my flight (in hopes of catching a later) or, if I get the surge Friday, trying to fly home immediately after the wedding (midnight Friday) to get into before noon Saturday (that's when the hospital takes the last appointment).  If I get the surge Thursday, I'm out of luck with the IUI and will have to "bank" on HOPEFULLY us having sex the day before I leave.

At church on Sunday, the pastor asked us to think about what our "Log Jam" is.  That is, what is in our hearts that clogs us from fully shining out God.  We had to write it on a heart.  I couldn't bring myself to write INFERTILITY, so I wrote healing.  He wanted us to get a picture with it that they would email home to help us remember to pray and/or fight against whatever we wrote.  I decided to take a picture at home.

In my picture, I included everything I'm doing to fight this heart wrenching battle.  I'm taking 9 pills a day, charting, eating pumpkin seeds, rubbing castor oil, using pre-seed, and opks. 

Crazy enough, I had a conversation with my little sister yesterday. She had just gotten back from Oregon (her missionary in-laws were in town) and they visited a church. Heidi said it was a smaller church but there were like 5 pregnant women, all the same size. At lunch, Heidi asked the pastor what was up? Apparently, 36 weeks ago a guest pastor from out of the country felt the need to pray for all the women struggling with infertility in the church. Within 1 week, all 5 became pregnant and are now 36 weeks along.

Jesus, please, heal my body, heal my heart and help me continue to move forward even though today I feel sad, scared, and tired.

5% Chance

May 24, 2012

Sometimes I get a wave of "conviction" for the amount of emotion, fear, crying, time I put into ttc.  I forget how blessed I am to have Darren (a miracle in itself) when many of my friends are still waiting to find their husbands.  I forget the years I feared never getting married and the amount of tears and prayers I put into that (the emotions are all to similar to the hope deferred of wanting to have a child).

One of my dearest friends from church has been super supportive throughout my ups and downs.  She recently started trying to conceive and last night at Bible study shared how her OBGYN called her saying there were "complications" with her blood work and that her and her husband needed to come in.  Today she found out she is having ovarian failure and has a 5-10% of ever conceiving.  She is 26.

Her response?

She said, "Well, looks like God is wanting to do a miracle through me."

Wow.  I haven't been told I only have a 5-10% yet I have never once said "God is wanting to do a miracle through me."  I have cried and been angry and begged God, but never peacefully expected it.  How honoring her response must be to the Creator.

Darren wanted me to read his devotion on dreams and Joseph and one thing that stood out to me was:

God is too good to be unkind.
God is too wise to be confused.
When I cannot trace His hand.
I can always trust His heart.

Hello Cycle Day 1

May 22, 2012

It seems like each month it gets a little harder to let go of what could have been and gear up to wait for the next "maybe."

I knew last cycle was crazy, but I also know that Jesus loves to work in impossible, hopeless situations...so the fact that it was so hopeless actually gave me hope!

My period started yesterday and it was a cruel mixture of shock and "I knew it was coming."  These type of polar opposite emotions don't mix well.  If you have ever loved and hated someone at once you know what I mean.  It's the combination of two things clashing into one painful and unnatural emotion.

I contacted my doctor because I realize I will out of town, without Darren, for one of my best friend's weddings when I will most likely ovulate this cycle (considering femera works again and I ovulate around CD 16).  For some reason, this shot me into a pure meltdown...

I can handle that we didn't have sex this month in the "window" but another one?  Can I somehow manipulate the cycle to ovulate later?  Do I pay to have the ticket changed?  Do we fly him out with me?  What if I don't even get the positive there?  Maybe I'll get it before.  I really want to go in for an IUI this month considering our circumstances.  I got an email back from the doctor saying she is out of the office till June 2nd! 

Before I knew it, I found myself uncontroallby crying to the point you get hiccups.  Praying King Davids prayer almost shouting "How much longer?"  Crying for the loss of what could have been and crying because of the unknown future.  Crying because my arms ache to hold that child.

Luckily my mother in law popped in and I could bable on about cycle days and smiley faces and high hopes and loss and progesterone levels and blood tests and castor oil.  She reminded me that God has already decided the "when."  We also discussed that its not just about us, but about the best time for our child to come into the world.  I just wish that coincided with when our hearts started wanting it.

And poor Darren.  He gets me at the end of this long toiling day.  After the meltdown, after the acceptance of starting my period, and I feel dead.  I have puffy eyes, a cramping stomach, and an injured heart. Not only am I not used to starting a period, it makes everything "bigger" and more intense so I cry more.  I start to feel insecure as a wife as I can't be my normally bubly self because my brain won't stop racing.

However, all of this, is now the past.  I can praise the Lord that we hopefully cracked the ovulation code and that in just 2 weeks, I will hopefully have the oppurtunity again!  My mind starts to shift from sadness to hope...again. 

Diaries of a Crazy Girl

May 16, 2012

Despite the set backs this cycle, it's hard not to go slightly insane each round.  Rethinking any possibility, any chance of hope, any sign, any symptom.  Here is an honest and at times hard to admit (because it shows the infertile crazy side) peek into my thoughts.
CD-cycle day

CD 1:  I prayed, and I actually felt like God told me this is going to be "the one."  I don't fully trust it though because my brain/heart want it sooo bad it's hard to not mix the two.

CD 3:  Starting Femera 7.5 mg. I doubt this will work.  I wonder if I'll be doing IVF this summer.

CD 8:  SHOOT!  We are at beach and I left my pills at the cabin 9 miles away.  I HAVE to take these the exact same time (we turned out).  At dinner I joked "watch, this time I will be pregnant all because we turned around."

CD 12:  I got the natural fertile sign, EWCM.  We did it.

CD 16:  I got 2 happy faces!! I feel as a happy as a BFP (for 20 minutes or so).  My window has opened.  We fail to have successful sex and I'm devastated and angry.

CD 17:  Temp rises .07 degrees.  I'm pretty sure the "egg is dead" according to some forums.  This is the day we "do it" "syringe style"

CD 18:  I research and find sperm can live up to five days in fertile mucus!  We had sex 4 days before ovulation. A twinge of hope.

CD 19: Random, but we had to order a new fridge for $800 (replacing our current one).  I checked with a Best Buy going out of business and a huge, super nice, family fridge that usually goes for $2100 was on sale for same price...could this be God setting us up for a family?

CD 20:  I have incredibly sore nipples.  Symptom?

CD 21: Mothers day: a family friend (and prayer pastor) comes up to Darren and I at church and says, "Holly, today is your day, I feel it." And prays over us.

CD 22:  Darren gets a text from an awesome Christian co-worker who just had a kidney transplant.  He tells us in the hospital, he felt strongly God was going to give us a child soon but to be patient with God' timing.

CD 22:  Spotting, sooo slightly.  This is at least a week before period is due.  Implantation bleeding???

CD 23:  In my yearly Bible I come across Psalm 113:9 - He settles the barren woman as a happy mother of children.

CD 24:  Moment of truth #1 progesterone blood level.  It has to be at least a 10 to prove ovulation, in the past, my has been 18. 

CD 25: I get the email from the doctor and its at FIFTY!!!!!  Though its routine she says "if you didn't conceive this cycle..." me grasping onto the "IF" as if it were my handing on to a dangling man's finger over a cliff.

CD 26 and on:  Me reading everything I can find about high progesterone.  Hopes, fears, worries, excitement.

I'm a week out from testing.  I realize Darren has low sperm count.  I realize that the chances of us conceiving this cycle are under 13%.  But instead of wasted energy on doubt, I'm hopeful for a miracle.  On the other hand I'm mentally prepared to see my period come, the other part is more excited than normal.  Sigh.  One of my first official TWO WEEK WAITS is on.  Either way, my heart will choose to sing, Lord, blessed be your name.

If You Say "At Least You Can Have Fun Trying" I Will Hurt You

May 7, 2012

The only downside to hope is it lifts you up...if you fall, it hurts worse than if you had "expected" it.

Unfortunately, Darren could since the anxiety and urgency despite my white lie (with permission) that I wasn't ovulating.  Once he realized, it was over before it began.  It gets in his head and he freezes.

My first reaction was anger and bitterness toward my precious, kind, loving husband.  My mind raced with the morning after morning of staring at negative ovulation kits, bbt tracking, the nathropath junk I do daily, the side effect of the pills, the fact that this window of ovulation hasn't opened for months.  And he couldn't do the 1 thing I asked.  I was also mad at myself for not hiding it better, for not playing it "cool" and clearly playing a role in his stress.
After a failed attempt, I started crying and he said, "Don't worry, we can try when you are actually ovulating."  "I AM" I admitted with a cracking voice. 

To all those unaware people that say "At least you can have fun trying" please stop.  You have no idea how bad your words hurt.  In the last 24 our "fun trying" has been

1.  Attempt at night, stress, pain, no success
2.  A midnight attempt, no success
3.  I got the temp rise this morning (meaning I have already ovulated and its probably too late) but out of desperation, Darren leaves work early, and we try for the third time.  Nothing.  Me in tears, Darren feeling helpless.
4.  Last resort, drive to Walgreen's, get a syringe, and try to shoot the semen up me.  By this point, I'm sobbing, the syringe hurts, and hardly comes in. I lay there, with my legs up in the air, headache, tears pouring down my cheeks as Darren tries to comfort me.

Fun trying?
I had to have a few hours of "life isn't fair" "woe is me" "why me" as I mourned the lost of the chance of making a baby.  Every successful cycle I allow myself to dream about getting the double line BFP.  How I'll announce it to my family.  I mourned that too.
But then a gentle whisper in my heart reminded me that God has already written the books of our lives and marriage and before I even ovulated, he knew that we wouldn't have successful sex this round.  Which, is His sweet and gentle way of saying "not yet."  I find comfort in knowing that if this was supposed to be the cycle, it would have worked.  It's hard not to panic.  Obviously if we can't have sex, we can't get pregnant.  At least God is responding by allowing me to ovulate.  Showing me He hasn't forgotten us. 

God's Gentle Voice

May 12, 2012

For months I have been praying, begging to hear anything from God.  To see movement.  To hear His voice through scripture, through a friend, through ANYTHING.  I have said soo many times, if God would AT LEAST promise me that I would have a kid by the time I'm 35, I would be okay.  I could release all the fear and patiently count down the days.

Last night, I came across this poem.  And I feel like it was from Him to me, right now.

Desparately, helplessly, longingly, I cried:
Quietly, patiently, lovingly God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate,
And the Master so gently said, "Child, you must wait."

"Wait? You say, wait!" my indignant reply.
"Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By faith, I have asked, and am claiming your Word.

My future and all to which I can relate
hangs in the balance, and YOU tell me to WAIT?
I'm needing a 'yes', go-ahead and sign,
or even a 'no' to which I can resign.

And Lord, You promised that if we believe
we need but to ask, and we shall recieve.
And Lord, I've been asking, and this is my cry:
I'm weary of asking! I need a reply!

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate
As my Master repied once again, "You must wait."
So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taught
and grumbling to God, "So, I'm waiting... for what?"

He seemed, then, to kneel, and His eyes wept with mine,
And he tenderly said, "I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens, and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead, and cause mountains to run.

All you seek, I could give, and pleased you would be.
You would have what you want--But, you wouldn't know Me.

You'd not know the depth of My love for each saint;
You'd not know the power that I give to the faint;
You'd not learn to see through the clouds of despair;
You'd not learn to trust just by knowing I'm there;

You'd not know the joy of resting in Me
When darkness and silence were all you could see
You'd never experience that fullness of love
As the peace of My Spirit decends like a dove;
You'd know that I give and I save... (for a start),
But you'd not know the depth of the beat of My heart.

The glow of My comfort late into the night,
The faith that I give when you walk without sight,
The depth that's beyond getting just what you asked
Of the infinte God, who makes what you have LAST.

You'd never know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that "My grace is sufficient for Thee."
Yes, your dreams for your loved one overnight would come true,
But, Oh, the Loss! If I lost what I'm doing in you!

So, be silent, My Child, and in time you will see
That the greatest of gifts is to get to know Me.
And though oft' My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer is still, "WAIT."

[ Author Unknown ]

Hope is the Thing with Feathers...

May 6, 2012

I have found myself on cycles emotionally, despite the lack of real cycles.  With the ending of each failed cycle, I go through fear, depression, sadness, heartbreak.  Another month wasted of pills with obnoxious side effects, medical bills, and the stress of "mating."  Each time, knowing that I have to wait at least another 10 days to restart a cycle and try again.  I feel hopeless and rock bottom.

But a funny thing happens once I start Provera (period inducing pill), my "tank of hope" slowly begins to refill.  I feel like I'm doing all I can and that a new cycle with begnin again.  It's in these 10 days where I feel the most peace and rest.  I don't have to chart.  I don't have to use the OPK.  I don't have to "have sex or else."  It's a pool in the dessert.

I recently started the highest dosage of femera 7.5mg.  The last cycle ended with the same hopelessness, lonliness, fear, heartache, wasted time feeling.  But taking the 7.5 mg femera gave me a little hope.  Honestly, I tell myself, "it's probably not going to work" as almost a protection mechanism.  I'm too afraid to really expect it because of the terrible let down if it doesn't happen.  And if it does happen (ovulation) it's a great joyful surprise.

This cycle I decided to go all out.  I using the nathropathic advice (Castor oil and seeding).  I'm taking chinese herbs. 

On clomid the earliest I ever ovulated was on day cycle day 23, so today is only cd 16 so I'm braced to wait.

But this morning, there he was, the opk smile face I haven't seen in months.  Only women battling infertility can really understand this, but the thrill, surprise, joy of seeing the positive opk is the same feeling I believe most fertile women feel if they get a positive pregnancy  test right away.  I cried.  I praised God.  I have been asking/begging Him to at least let me ovulate.  Considering I haven't even had the chance to get pregnant since January, you can imagine the excitement that came over me this morning.

I did get 2 negative positive opks since January, so I'm not 100% sure this is the true LH surge, but I'm going to believe it and enjoy it. 

My doctor said no IUI until we verify that this cycle was a true ovulation.  So that means as far as conception, its up to Darren, me and Jesus this month.

I haven't told Darren about the positive opk this morning yet because I don't want to stress him out or put pressure on him even though ITS ONLY A 24-48 HOUR WINDOW THAT COMES FOR EVERYONE ELSE EVERY 28 DAYS AND FOR ME ITS BEEN OVER 120.  I'm not stressed or anything.

But its crazy what that little tiny smile face has done for me.  I sang a little louder in church today.  I felt joy driving home from a friend's baby shower.  What is this all from?  The power of what a little tiny slice of hope can do for the hurting soul.

I don't know what the future holds, but I am so grateful that Jesus is at least allowing my body to ovulate this month.  The timing of our future baby is in his hands, but at least I feel like He is moving and hearing our cries.  For the first time in a long time, I feel joy.  I feel hope.

"Hope is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul" -Emily Dickenson

My Bucket List:

My Bucket List: