Infertility · iui · Resolution update · trying to conceive

Resolutions update post 2

First off; a couple emotions/thoughts from the Christmas week related to TTC.

  • Got a bit emotional after Christmas morning with husband’s family. Sister-in-law is so dramatic about her pregnancy (this is the one that was also TTC and ever since getting pregnant has basically forgotten about our journey)…plus I just miss her and I miss having that friendship but I just don’t even want to talk to her right now and I don’t like that I don’t want to talk to her and being around her without talking to her is just hard. And I also couldn’t help but remember that fact that this is now the second Christmas in a row that she’s been blissfully pregnant (granted, they found out two days after Christmas last year that the baby hadn’t developed…but still) and I’m over here waiting.
  • -I really don’t mind sharing our journey with friends or family. I’m happy to tell people where we’re at and what’s going on when people who know we are struggling ask. But I felt the sting today of being judged and given unsolicited advice….I was telling one of my cousins that we are going to be moving forward with a medicated IUI cycle if nothing happens this month and her response was “you really should consider seeing a naturopathic doctor, they usually test for things that a regular doctor won’t and maybe they could get you on some vitamins or supplements that would help.” This is coming from someone who was TTC for a year and a half. I’m sorry. She should know better how annoying it is to be told all the ways in which you clearly aren’t doing enough.

As for resolutions. It’s been a bit tricky this week with the holiday and going away for a couple scattered overnights; I had very little down time…but I did the best I could.

  • Read the Bible every day
  • Read something every day except Wednesday when I was out of town: Anne of Ingleside mostly
  • Creative: struggled a bit. Edited my short story, took more photos, and then I got a mixed media art set for Christmas so yesterday and today I did some watercolor experimentation
  • Thankfuls: every day.
  • Cleaning/home maintenance: fudged this a few days (counted taking a shower one of the days as ‘cleaning myself’), and used ‘clean up clutter’ several times
  • Yoga/walking: eek. One out of seven days.
  • Piano: Two out of seven days.
  • Dates/activities: Do all the Christmas festivities count?
  • Puzzle: worked on one the other night with mom/sister

Now things are back to normal (we don’t do much for New Year’s Eve) so I will get back on track with all this; and back to eating healthy again starting tomorrow. But I did drink my full quart of water every day this week as well.

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Infertility · Resolution update

Resolutions update post 1

This is going to be super short since I’m on call this weekend for hospice and no joke; worst on-call weekend so far. There’s supposed to be an RN and and LVN on call on weekends; the RN to do any visits that are scheduled as “daily RN” and admissions, the LVN to assist with the as needed visits that inadvertently happen. The LVN called off and no replacement was found. So it’s just me…for 67 patients…for 60 hours. I started at 7:15am, got home at 4 pm…and still have the potential to get called out at any time.

Anyway. Enough of that. So much for a short post. *shrug*

All that to say; as far as my resolution project, with the exception of yesterday and today (because I literally have had no down time since yesterday morning), I have been doing very well.

*read the Bible: every day

*other reading: Anne of Green Gables book 5, started book 6; attempted to read “Go Set A Watchman” but gave up (didn’t like it), John Donne

*cleaned something/did house-maintaining activities: every day

*creative enterprises: photography twice, blog post, a poem, a short story, and doodling

*thankfuls: every day.

*dates: photo taking date in LA, looking at Christmas lights

*piano: 3 of 7 days

*yoga: 4 of 7 days

*puzzle: didn’t happen. Hopefully next week.

*blog check in: done

Also: I drank at least 1 quart of water every day, and managed to avoid for the most part too many snack/junk foods (though one of my patient’s families baked me a bag of Christmas goodies so how could I not?). I’m also proud of myself for making a super healthy/fertility boosting trail mix that I’ve snacked on all week instead of junk food; as well as juicing/making smoothies to supplement my diet during the week.

With the exception of yesterday and today: doing very well at this project! *pats self on back*

Now to go try to sleep a little more before I get called out again.

 

how to · Infertility · journal entry · sermon takeaways

When your post has a mind of its own…

I don’t know if this counts as my ‘creative’ activity of the day since I’m just planning to vent a little bit…but I’m technically writing so I’ll probably count it.

I’m actually in pretty good spirits today. The sermon this morning was very encouraging and challenging; especially the bit about “rejoice with those who rejoice, mourn with those who mourn.” More on that another day perhaps…

Or not. Suddenly I don’t think I should use today’s post to vent. I can save that for another time.

We’re going through Romans in church; and we finally reached Romans 12. That’s been a journey in itself; and we’ve been in Romans 12:9-16 for several weeks now. Today was focused on verses 14-16.

Paul calls us here to humility…humility being a state in which we consider others above ourselves. If we are considering others above ourselves, the natural result is that we sympathize with others. We take our eyes off our own situations and fully enter into the joys and the sorrows of others.

Rejoice with those who rejoice: as an early church father pointed out, perhaps Paul put this one first because it is actually harder than it sounds. Especially for a girl on a journey of infertility. I don’t want to rejoice with yet another acquaintance or friend or family member who is pregnant. But if I’m thinking of others above myself, then their joy should be mine as well.

Mourn with those who mourn: easier to understand. Not always easy to do; especially for the fixers who don’t know what to say or do to ease pain. But as I’ve already learned and experienced, in times of grief it is almost always more effective to just sit with, cry with, be with. Pastor read a reflection from someone who’d experienced loss, and the takeaway was the realization that people who come bearing platitudes and messages of hope and redemption are often the ones that we wish would leave. It’s the ones who “sit quietly, listen carefully, and pray simply” that bring the most peace and comfort.

And interestingly enough, that last bit leads into what I initially wanted to write about. I’ll close with this as a reflection instead of creating an unnecessarily long tirade. Perhaps the ‘sit quietly, listen carefully, and pray simply” is why I’m feeling so tired of all the people who want to tell me about every so-and-so they know who “tried for _____ and then got pregnant”, and especially when that includes a “maybe you should try ______.” I’m not in a place right now to hear that. It doesn’t help. I just want the people I share this struggle with to show up, listen to me vent, and then pray simply with me for patience in God’s timing (and for his timing to be soon!).

how to · Infertility · iui · trying to conceive

Resolved

Aunt Flo arrived today in all her unwelcome glory. I knew she was coming between the negative test at 12 dpo and a temp drop when I woke up. So I spent the morning between my hospice visits fighting back tears of disappointment and frustration and anger and longing and aching.

Then, somehow, it abated. Just like every cycle, hope begins to rebirth. I allow the grief to do it’s thing, then in his grace God reminds me that he is still faithful. I couldn’t even explain what did it this time. I didn’t even recognize it when it happened. Just, suddenly, I wasn’t overwhelmed by sadness.

I’ve (almost) decided that this upcoming cycle…our last one before we pursue assisted reproductive methods (IUI)…should be one without the pressure of tracking. I was initially so desperate to catch our fertile window, so hung up on knowing when I ovulated to know when I could test. I didn’t do well before with not tracking. But I think I can do it one more time. I think, for the health of my marriage and my own spiritual growth I need to let it all go and just be. We will do life, be intimate, enjoy each other…and if I haven’t started my period by February 1st, I’ll take a test. If I have, then we’ll proceed with IUI. Simple.

And to keep myself distracted, to productively fill the time, and to recognize what it can look like to enjoy my life in this child-free time…here are my “resolves” for the next 7 weeks. This blog space will be my accountability. I’ll try to check in at least once a week with updates on how well I’m doing. The list is long but some of the things could take as little as 5 minutes so it’s not really all that much. I’m even going to put the list on my refrigerator.

  • read my Bible: every day
  • read at least a chapter from a book: every day. (maybe I’ll resume my ‘alphabetical by author progression through my book collection. I’m somewhere in the D’s)
  • yoga or walk: at least every other day
  • something creative (drawing or other art, coloring, photography, scrapbooking, writing): every day
  • play the piano: at least every other day
  • clean something: every day. (will probably make a schedule for this)
  • intentional date night or memory-making activity with husband: at least once a week
  • do a jigsaw puzzle: at least once a week
  • list 5 things I’m thankful for: every day

Here’s to making this cycle the best one yet.

Infertility · iui · journal entry · trying to conceive

3 months

Pregnancy test at the fertility clinic today was negative. I was so hopeful, and once again bitterly disappointed. I know I’m not out til AF shows…and as someone on one of my apps pointed out, my temps indicate I may have ovulated even later than I thought which means I could only be 6 dpo instead of 12. Guess we’ll see.

Regardless, I came home tearful. Husband actually came home encouraged; I should have been too but I got distracted by the one negative (that wasn’t even what we went for!). The doctor went over all our results, and as we originally thought…there’s nothing glaringly wrong. She wasn’t concerned by my high AMH (as I have very few other indicators that PCOS is a likely diagnosis), and while she wasn’t thrilled by all of husband’s numbers, she didn’t indicate that anything needed to be done about them (yet).

She outlined the plan for starting a timed/medicated IUI cycle…which we can do as early as my first period that starts in the new year. Due to my current cycle status, if AF shows in a day or two they can’t start with the upcoming cycle as that would put the actual IUI procedure right around Christmas.

I’m still a bit hopeful that this cycle was it…also hopeful that in light of all the good numbers and having had the HSG in November that maybe the next cycle will be successful…but if not, I guess we move forward with some assistance. And since IUI boosts our chances quite a bit…husband is feeling sure that we’ll be pregnant within 3 months.

So he let me have my meltdown tonight, and then essentially promised that if we aren’t pregnant within 3 months (after a round of IUI if necessary), we’ll go away for a weekend and have a meltdown together.

Oddly enough, that helped me feel a little better. For my own sanity, it’s not that long to be ‘strong’ if we get a couple more negatives. And it makes me feel less alone to know that he’s seeing a point in time at which he might also be broken by this for his own sake and not just mine. Not that I want him to be broken by this…but there’s a strange comfort and strength in being broken together.

 

appointed time · Infertility · trying to conceive

Waiting

Two weeks ago I was convinced that tomorrow (assuming AF hadn’t arrived) I’d get up in the morning and get the best birthday present ever.

With the delays in ovulation (again) I’m likely only 6-7 dpo, so testing tomorrow is not the best idea. I’m planning to wait until the end of next week. Granted, we follow up with the fertility clinic on Thursday so I imagine they’ll run a standard test anyway if I haven’t already started a new cycle.

But I found something out yesterday that freaked me out a little (honestly, a lot) and I don’t want to even wait to go back to the fertility clinic…or rather, I do want to wait because I don’t want to know what I think I know.

My AMH level is 9.927. This hormone measures egg reserve and can indicate how much longer you may be fertile. Our doctor told us she wanted to see something above 2, anything below 1.5 is concerning. I was initially excited to see such a high number then thought; ‘wait, if 1.5-2 is considered low normal…what would cause it to be as high as 9?”

Turns out, the primary reason is PCOS. It’s actually one of the main ways they diagnose PCOS in the absence of other clear indicators, from the little research I did. When the number is high, usually it’s because there are high numbers of eggs in the ovaries that have started to develop but didn’t finish.

So that was a great discovery. I know I’m not the fertility doctor, and by scouring the internet and self-diagnosing I’m doing the very thing that bugs every health professional…but I’m a little freaked.

I’ve thought it was a possibility before given my irregular cycles, but I’ve always convinced myself I didn’t have it because my cycles are still within a fairly normal range (usually not more that 45-50 days, and that long only happening every 3-4 cycles), I usually confirm ovulation with opks and a temp shift, and I don’t have any of the other obvious symptoms associated with PCOS except for excessive chin hair, but that’s partly due to the fact that I pluck anything that looks slightly dark like it’s going out of style and hair tends to grow back in darker once shaved/plucked.

But it might explain why my OPKs do such weird things…like almost being positive for days in a row, or having several sets of positives interspersed with negatives. And slow/irregular temperature rises. And 16 months of infertility.

So I guess now we wait. My favorite thing ever.

I’m still hopeful that we still get a positive and go on to have a healthy pregnancy. Even if I do have PCOS I know pregnancy isn’t impossible…and as I have to keep reminding myself, even with PCOS God can bless us with this in his perfect timing.

 

advent · appointed time

Reflections on Advent

I’m going to leave this post to the words of others wiser and more eloquent than I. But the first excerpt is from a blog post I read yesterday that really touched my heart and it made me think about the season of Advent in an entirely new way as we navigate this journey of infertility and a season of waiting. So here’s to remembering to wait joyfully, to wait trustfully, and to allow God to act in his appointed time even if it isn’t mine.

——

“Advent is about longing. It’s a time we prepare to celebrate His birth and acknowledge that we are still waiting for His second coming, when broken will be made new and every tear will be wiped from our eyes. It’s such a beautiful season in our faith because it takes intentional time to pause and focus on the waiting. Advent is tender, hopeful, and builds on anticipation. You see, from the end of the Old Testament until the start of the New Testament, there was 400 years of silence. Every year I share that and it never gets old, because I cannot fathom the anticipation, wondering, silence, and waiting the occurred in those FOUR HUNDRED years…

And then, the anguish of waiting was over. When the time was right, the answer came. The advent season gives us time to prepare for that celebration. To focus on the upcoming arrival. To sit in the wait.”

Chelsea; https://trialsbringjoy.com/2018/12/01/the-weary-world-rejoices/

—–

“Advent accepts the tension of the already and the not yet. It welcomes waiting. It is merriment and melancholy together, beauty so sublime that, like the best art, it simultaneously comforts and rocks us to the core.”

Barry Corey; Biola University Advent Project

—–

  1. WAITING REMINDS US THAT WE ARE NOT THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE.
  2. WAITING REMINDS US THAT GOD IS IN CONTROL.
  3. WAITING REMINDS US THAT LIFE IS A GIFT.
  4. WAITING REMINDS US THAT THE PRESENT MATTERS.
  5. WAITING REMINDS US THAT THE FUTURE IS BIGGER THAN WE THINK.

Marc Cortez; https://www.westernseminary.edu/transformedblog/2012/12/17/forced-to-wait-an-advent-reflection/

—–

“Advent is about more than waiting for Christmas. The word “advent” means “coming.” During Advent, we not only remember that Jesus came to earth as a man; we prepare our hearts for his second coming. When we sing, “O come, O come, Emmanuel,” we are not role-playing what the ancient Israelites must have prayed before the coming of the Messiah. No, we are praying that Emmanuel would return and make right all that is wrong with the world

If your heart is heavier than you’d like this Advent season, take hope that the joys of Christmas aren’t ultimately what you wait for…Let the fact that your heart aches point you beyond Christmas to the better celebration still to come. Join with the voices of Christians around the world, who together pray, “O come, O come, Emmanuel.”

Betsy Howard; https://www.crossway.org/articles/how-advent-teaches-us-to-wait-well/

—–

“Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Til He appeared and the soul felt its worth
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn”
John S Dwight; O Holy Night
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