Saturday, February 27, 2010

Ode to Anne

I owe a big shout-out to my sister-in-law Anne. She took the time to teach me how to set up this blog. She also took the time to email me the steps as I just sat there going "uh-huh" and head-nodding while she showed me. I'm pretty sure this blog wouldn't be set-up if she hadn't went ahead and sent written instructions. She is fun, pretty, crafty, upbeat and stylish. This pic is from her bachelorette party...Anne and me (and a creepy orb that joined the fun). MMMWAAHH or other kiss-y sound for helping me out!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Quit thinking about my fist...

Yikes. I don't know why I feel like getting this off my chest but...

I have a rebuttal for the "quit thinking about it and it will happen". I'm sure you know what the "it" is. I was told after our first IUI failed that I needed to quit thinking about it...that my brain was getting in the way. (Sidenote already: I was told by a health care professional - not a well-meaning friend or family member. Well I take that back...I've been given this advice approximately 1,000 times but only the health care professional struck a chord so hard I'm about to spend 20 minutes having a mock argument with my blog. Anyone who loves me and gives this advice is excluded from this rant.) Anyhoo, I decided to make a list of the do's and don'ts that I'll need to wipe from my brain in order to get pregnant:

Don't use Proactiv Skin care - Never mind that prior I used Proactiv since I was 18.
Don't have x-rays days after ovulation during any given cycle.
Do take a prenatal vitamin everyday.
Don't drink or drink very little.
Don't take ibuprofen or naproxen.
Don't take antihistamines during certain times of the month.
Don't have surgery during certain times of the month. I had to schedule my skin cancer removal around my cycle because the doctor will not operate on a TTC woman after ovulation until period starts.
Do, on assisted fertility cycles, call the doctor on day 1, have a vaginal ultrasound by day 3, another vaginal ultrasound on day 12, artificial insemination on day 13/14 and then just sit back and don't let it cross your mind!
Do acupuncture 1 time per week. And I have for the last 4 months at the recommendation of my doctor. I HATE needles. I literally have to give myself a pep-talk every session. Why else would I do it?? At the low, low price of $70 per session.
Don't sweat the baby showers. I'm 30. All my friends are pregnant. There are baby-showers.
Did I mention baby-showers?
Don't worry about travel schedules. My husband travels 3 days a week and books usually 2 weeks in advance.
Don't stress about the financial piece. IVF costs $12-$15 K and we have to save for it. New designer purse? Nope, thank you I'm saving for IVF. And forget sushi dinner date night...raw fish & spending money, double bad.
Do enjoy pregnancy gazing at Wal-Mart. Every person that shops at the Wal-Mart by my house is pregnant. It's a prerequisite. (Now I'm just being a smart a**!)
Don't take Nifedical (my Raynaud's medicine). It's class C. Had to get off of it 6 months before we started trying.
Last, but not least, don't long for a child. Yet, I desire to have my own baby. I long to see a little one that looks like its daddy. I want to look forward to soccer or basketball games. What about that is not to think about?

I kind of equate all of this to the "real world" like telling someone, don't worry about that promotion, your finances, paying the mortgage...if you don't think about it, they will take care of themselves! Maybe that's a bit of a stretch, but ya know what I mean. I'm sure plenty of women have probably gotten pregnant doing/not doing any/all of the above. But just for the record I tried it the good 'ole fashioned way and didn't worry about it for many, many months. It just didn't work out. So I think about it. There. I don't think about it as much as I used to but short of cutting my head off, it's going to cross my mind now and then as I'm do-ing and don't-ing through this hand we've been dealt.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Lent Minus the Wine...

In case I seem grouchy, more coherant or exhibit other bad traits, I gave up booze for lent. I'm not much of a boozer. But I am more of a winer.

No, I'm not Catholic, but I don't have to be to give something up in His name. I like to relax with a glass of wine. Lately in my boring, adult life, that tends to be the only thing that will unwind me (a glass of wine, not a bottle of Jack). Regardless, that's b-a-d.

So...goodbye social skills, goodbye sweet dance moves, goodbye pics like this:

But really, it's freeing. It takes the guess work out of...should I? Shouldn't I? Just no thanks. Maybe if I could just get to working out too, I might actually get back into shape. One thing at a time...
P.S. As always, a disclaimer...I really don't drink that much. I just like to make a big deal about things for dramatic effect. Don't call Betty Ford on me. :)

Hopeful Hearts

Every month I attend a infertility and early/infant loss group hosted by the church we attend. It has literally saved my sanity. My friend, Amanda, suggested it - I had no idea the church even offered it. I think I started going around last fall. When I started attending, I felt consumed by the want for a child, Michael was having trouble understanding my continued devastation month after month and I didn't think God could hear my cries for a baby. So much has changed since then and much to the thanks of Hopeful Hearts. I could list so many of my emotions that have been brought forward and ultimately changed. But the best way to describe it is I no longer feel forgotten. I actually know deep down that one day I'm going to be thankful for this struggle. Even now, I know that parenthood won't be the same for me after knowing the want for a child for this long.

Usually Hopeful Hearts is about me, me, me. Each of us share and grieve for one another in our own way, but ultimately it has been about me feeling better after the meeting...less alone. Last night was different. I was OK with where we are. Even when I was sharing my story - there just wasn't that anguish that I usually feel. It just seemed like a way of life rather than getting something off my chest. However, last night doesn't weigh any less on my heart, but less for me and more for others. I cannot even tell you some of the horrific things that have happened in the last month to women who have become my friends. I thought my uneventful journey has been, sometimes I think He's spared me by letting our journey be just that: uneventful. We've had letdowns but not tragedy and for that I am thankful. Please pray for the women in this group - God knows who they are. Please pray for peace for each one of them (us).

Monday, February 22, 2010

She's BA-ACK!

To work that was my first day. I'll say, it was a good first one. However, it was different that other fist days that I've had. At my last two jobs there were ladies who took me under their wing showed me over and over where shared drives were, how to set up my voicemail and where to run and hide. Not today; not a go-to person in sight. I began my day with an HR briefing and then it was off to my desk to figure things out. There were very nice IT peeps to set up my email and get me started with my phone, but other than that I basically just snooped, sifted, observed and tried to look busy with all my "HR" docs that needed filling out. I can certainly feel the calm before the storm. People are scrambling to get things done. We are in a temporary office until we get the certificate of occupancy to move into the hospital. I know my busy time is coming. It's kind of nice just getting to stick a toe in today before I'm paddling like hell in the near future.

I'm thankful for the job; I think it is going to offer me a great and very productive outlet. Plus the paycheck every other week will be awesome!!! Thanks, everyone, who wished me well today. I feel very loved and cared for by my friends and family.

Here is my pic getting ready to walk out the door. Dang my purse was heavy today!!

P.S. Puerto Vallarta pics and tales coming soon. I'm still deciding how much public humiliation that I will put out on this blog - also referred to as photo selection. :)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Who dat?

I'm new to blogging, duh, as you can tell. I just realized I never finished setting this page up like I want it, so I'll work on that. I also see that I have put any pics up. I'm REALLY bad about downloading them from my camera. So until I start documented my really exciting life with photos, here is what Michael and I look like in case you've forgotten. :)

3rd time is a Charm! Let's hope...

Michael and I had our 3rd (and maybe final) IUI this morning. We told a lot of people about our first IUI as it coincided with a very important family event (Mark and Anne's wedding!). Plus it was super exciting because we just knew it would work! Well it didn't. That was in November. Here is the quick play-by-play of what we've been doing regarding fertility since then. The first cycle after the failed IUI, I was a mess. We just "took off" that cycle. I know, gotta love the lingo. Anyhoo, the Nov/Dec cycle I had some cysts (party favors) left over from fertility drugs that I had taken in early November. However I had a good feeling about them going away mid-month and the cycle was miraculously converted to a all-natural IUI cycle. Umm, that one didn't work either. We didn't really tell a lot of people about last month's cycle - we just prayed the 2nd IUI worked.

So back to this cycle...First of all, I took another fertility drug, Femara. It works like Clomid, but with less side-effects. Apparently, I was a wee hard to deal with the month I took Clomid. Funny story about the clomid month (I just realized that this blog is not going to be G rated - sorry) I saw a male ob/gyn the month of the cysts (and yes I realize these cycles are all running together to you as you read this - don't worry, I've got them straight so no need for you to try). I told the male ob/gyn about my "hormones" being a little out of whack when I took the Clomid to which he repied "I don't know why anyone gives Clomid anymore, it just makes you a real b*tch that no one will want to sleep with so how are you supposed to get pregnant?" WOW, that's the difference between the male ob/gyn and my regular sweet female ob/gyn - I don't think that she mentioned the b*tch part when she prescribed it! Well I took the male's advice and switched to Femara this month. Today's procedure was text-book. The IUI is just a little uncomfortable, but I feel fine now. Mike had a strong-like-bull count.

Now is the time where I begin reassuring myself that I have done EVERYTHING in my power this month to give us the very best chance of getting pregnant. From here it is in God's hands. My prayers have been something like this: "Jesus, it is in your hands. You know it is in our hearts to have a child to raise in your Word. Please let your will and our desire align this month. If not, please give us peace to know your timing is perfect."

Although that prayer sounds simple, it has taken me a year to arrive at it. There are so many emotions/thoughts/wants/etc wrapped up in every prayer about this process. There's selfish desire, entitlement, total surrender, hormones, guilt, praise and anger wrapped up in it too. It can get pretty complicated to have faith that the Lord CAN bless you with a child but yet not presume that we are entitled to it. Anyways, my friend Margo has helped me simplify it; it is simply out of my hands and my will cannot produce a baby only His can. Thus...

WE'RE GOING ON VACATION! Since I've done my job and it is in God's hands now, I'm/we're going to Puerto Vallarta! We leave Saturday and come back on Thursday. Oh how I long for sun, sand, alone time with Michael and cerveza (no not many, I realize beer guzzling and TTC do not mix). We are just going. Mid-winter, bloated, white bellies are apparently allowed in Mexico so off we go!

Side note: IUI is an intrauterine insemination. Basically, they take the "leg-work" out of the swim. That is the technical medical-journal description. TTC is trying-to-conceive. Just think how "in the know" you'll be about fertility after an acronym lesson! Gag. :)