I’ve been busy with moving and settling in to our new home; and I started an Instagram account to document our infertility journey (@baby_hope_chest) so that’s been more my focus than this blog…but here’s a quick update.
We had our third IUI on Tuesday; I only produced one follicle in response to the clomid this time around so I’m not feeling quite as hopeful (given that #2 failed and there’s one less egg) but I guess it’s better to keep my expectations low so I’m not as disappointed if it didn’t work. My doctor said if this round doesn’t work, we can continue with IUIs but she will switch me to injectable meds since I seem to be developing resistance to the clomid.
I’ve been eating a thick slice of pineapple every morning since Tuesday; and I didn’t stop taking the estrogen this time. So maybe. Obviously none of that will help the egg actually get fertilized/develop; but if it does I want the lining thick enough to support it.
I started my hope chest. It’s really been so helpful; my mom was afraid it would be more harmful but it really is keeping my focus more on what I hope to have (and waiting well) than on what I don’t have right now. Plus the idea of having things purchased/made for our baby before he/she even exists is just really neat.
I purchased three items for the three failed cycles since the miscarriage; newborn onesies, matching socks, and a set of swaddles. I also put several of my stuffed animals in there and books I remember from when I was really little. I’m also working on a quilt and have been writing letters to the baby. My mother-in-law gave me the two blankets she made; and my mom is working on a white baby outfit with embroidered olive branches on it.
This baby (whenever/if they come to be…) is so very loved and I think that knowledge is helping me wait a little better too.
I decided today on one of my trips between our apartment and house (we’re moving this weekend!) that I know what I want to do with my hope chest. It’s been sitting in our garage since we moved to this apartment, and now that we have a house I think it needs a better home. It doesn’t work with our bedroom furniture, it’s awkward to have in a walk-in closet, and there won’t be space in the office.
But there’s room in the third bedroom. The room that will hopefully be a nursery someday.
So I’ve decided to put my hope chest there. And instead of being a traditional hope chest (for a young lady preparing for a home and a marriage); it’s going to be a place where I store things for the baby (or babies) that we so desperately hope to have. Children’s books, things I want to pass along to my children; and maybe I can even start making baby things once my craft room is all set up. I also think that I may start purchasing a baby related item every time my monthly visitor shows up as a way to distract from the disappointment and do something productive instead that keeps me hoping that eventually there won’t be a failed cycle.
After deciding this (and running it by my husband); I reached out to both my mom and my mother-in-law to ask that they make various items for the chest. My mom has sewn/embroidered little outfits for each of her grandchildren, and my mother-in-law crocheted several blankets for her granddaughter. I wanted to include them in this process, and while it’s weird to ask for gifts for a baby that doesn’t even exist, I figured they’d both be at least understanding of the request.
My mother-in-law responded almost immediately with a photograph of an already completed baby blanket with a sticky note attached to it reading “2019; My HOPE blanket, Rainbow Baby (Boy), ***** and ****.” She went on to say that she has two blankets made and would love to add them to the chest.
My heart feels so full right now. It was so very comforting to have that visible (and tangible) evidence that I’m not alone in this after all; and to be reminded that others are not just hoping with us but actually planning for our future child(ren).
So here’s to filling a hope chest with tangible reminders to wait and hope and keep praying for a someday baby…here’s to tangible reminders that I’m not in this wait alone…and here’s hoping I don’t have to purchase all that many items before there’s an actual recipient for them.
It is done. Somewhere around 10 million sperm are now inside my uterus; hopefully my ovaries have cooperated with the trigger shot and have released (or will shortly) an egg (or two)…hopefully the aforementioned sperm will find the aforementioned egg(s); and hopefully my uterus has a thick enough lining to receive the aforementioned fertilized egg(s).
So many things out of my control. So much potential for even this ‘boost’ to not be successful. If it’s not, it seems like it’s God indicating that it is simply still not the right time for us. And I have to try to be content with that. We probably won’t pursue any further IUI cycles for a while; so many things about this next year are up in the air (potential job changes, hopefully purchasing a home near wherever he ends up finding work).
I still feel hopeful. Realistic (trying), but hopeful. I know I can’t symptom spot (from all the hormones I’m on) and I can’t test early; so I’m going to probably resort back to the activities I was trying to do regularly to keep sane during the last cycle. Art, crafts, reading, yoga/exercise, cleaning…etc.
As far as the day itself (note: some potentially TMI to follow)
- Got up super early (husband was *not* thrilled about this part); drove to the RE office. Checked in, had to wait about an hour before husband could give his sperm. Poor guy. He hated having to do the deed for the semen analysis a few months ago; I can only imagine it was especially unpleasant today since he was so tired, up earlier than normal, and having to walk across the waiting room in front of a bunch of people (instead of at home like before).
- Then we went back to the car to wait (and sleep); I headed back in after about an hour. Got called to the procedure room about an hour and half after the specimen had been collected; actually had to call husband like six times to make sure he saw that he needed to come back in from the car. He made it in time, thankfully. It may be silly, but he had to be there. If these are the sperm that make our baby; I wanted to at least be physically connected to him while it was happening. (I held his hand the whole time)
- Doctor explained what to expect after, then got started. It was definitely more uncomfortable than the ultrasounds; similar to a PAP smear between the speculum and the swabs. Once the catheter was in place there was some cramping; she asked me to tell her when it eased and that must have been when she injected the sperm because a minute later she was done.
- They told me to lie there for 10 minutes, then we could go. I waited about 15; partly because at that point exhaustion hit and the cramps hadn’t abated.
- Have been crampy all day; mostly on the left side-which makes me think maybe ovulation is happening? I’ve just never felt distinct ovulation pain before and I don’t imagine it lasts for an entire afternoon. I’m trying to think of this as a good thing; if my uterus is cramping it’s probably sending the sperm further up my tubes to where they need to be. Hopefully the discomfort subsides enough for us to do some baby dancing a little later this evening.
So many people are praying for us; it’s been really encouraging to have my family’s support and blessings…I know that whenever we do finally get a baby it is going to be so loved and cherished (and not just by husband and me).
And now we wait.
I ordered a book a few weeks ago that finally arrived the other day and I’ve basically just been inhaling it; it’s got short chapters so it’s hard to not just go on to the next and the next even though I should probably let each one ruminate for a while. The downside of being a fast reader *shrug*.
Anyway, the book is “Empty Womb, Aching Heart,” and it has stories and reflections from multiple women (or couples) who have struggled with infertility. Once I finish my first read I’ll probably go back and take each chapter a bit slower and write down the takeaway/lesson/attitude adjustment technique in each one…future blog post, perhaps?
One of the chapters especially jumped out to me yesterday. The writer was reflecting on how hard it is to be childless in a church community that is centered around the “family,” family ministry/resources/events were all geared towards the typical parents/children structure.
She went on to share that she taught a Sunday school lesson on the 6th day of creation; and the children drew pictures of animals and then Adam and Eve on a large piece of butcher paper. She told them that this was the point at which God said it was “very good,” and then rested. One of the little girls pointed out that there weren’t any children in the drawing.
“No children, not yet…and still God called it very good. Not….’good-but-it-would-be-better-if…’ After he made man and woman, he proclaimed his work finished. It was complete. They were complete.”
She comes to realize that a family is not formed once children arrive. The family of two is just as valuable, just as complete.
And she closes the chapter with her new response to those prying “when are you going to start a family” questions. Her answer is essentially this:
“We already have. We’re just waiting to see if God chooses to add to it or not.” (my edit)
-quotes and paraphrases taken from Empty Womb, Aching Heart (chapter 10); book compiled by Marlo Schalesky