Monday, March 29, 2010

Better luck next time

Well, today, we had an appointment with an Reproductive Endocrinologist (geez, I had to spell check that, what a freaking word). Notice I say had an appointment...

So, about a 1.5 weeks ago I call one of the few female RE's in Dallas, Dr. Lee (the only time I've been examined by a male, I had a hot flash so bad sweat dripped off my face. I'm not kidding; it weirds me out so I'm sticking with the females.) She's a partner to one of the most popular RE's at Preby Dallas. She's been educated at MIT, Harvard and Duke. She's a genius in my book. So she had a cancellation for today and I scooped it up. We're currently in the interview stage. We want a good personality fit with whoever is going to so cozy with my ovaries. I want a warm and fuzzy, ball-buster (not literally), but you know what I mean. Someone who is going to handle my hormone induced state very compassionately, but also someone who is aggressively proactive. You know, someone like me. :) So, we wanted to start interviewing doctors early so that when we're ready to start IVF, we'll have our ace in the hole already lined up. Then, late last week at work, an evening meeting got plopped right where I would barely have time to make it to Dallas and back to my meeting in the suburbs. I fretted about it all weekend. Literally from Friday evening to Sunday, I created every scenario in my head on how to make it back in time. But, I kept thinking of how if I missed this meeting, I'd probably also lose my job (ummm, should have begged for that one). So I begrudgingly cancelled my appointment this morning.

Here's how my day really became ironic.

1) My boss comes back from his mid-day meeting. A big part of the meeting was infertility. He goes on to tell me that there "are some really great advances out there". Yeah, I know. I would have learned some too had I gotten to go to my appointment.

2) My meeting tonight was with area OB/GYNs to talk about all sorts of relevant information about having babies in our new hospital. 20 OB/GYNs in one room just describing all sorts of situations that I may or may not ever get to experience. I got to take the minutes so I'll have the joy of reliving the meeting again as I get them typed up.

I mean, really?

3) Michael was disappointed about not going to our appointment today. We had lunch together at Jason's Deli and an adorable, blonde little girl walks by...he gives her the cutest smile I've ever seen. A little glimpse of the immeasurable adoration he longs to express to his own. It literally broke my heart into a million pieces at the table. I'll probably be in big trouble for writing this part, but geez, things like that stick with you for a while.

Alas, I rescheduled our appointment for the end of April so there is going to be a lag in fertility updates unless anyone wants a play-by-play of ovulation time this month... What? No takers?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Young and the Effortless...

Meet Ellie:

What? You didn't catch her? Ok, here she is again:

And meet my precious, Zoey:

As you can see, Ellie and Zoey have a lot in common. Ellie likes to run and Zoey likes to watch. These dogs are the most pampered, rotten and delightful dogs ever. They keep us constantly aggravated, entertained, loved and on our toes. When we first got Ellie, Zoey and Rocky just ran from her like she was New York rat - wait considering her size - more like field mouse. Now Zoey and Ellie are buds. Rocky didn't tell me how he felt about Ellie before he went to doggy heaven, but I'm pretty sure he was glad to be leaving us with the essence of youth to keep us entertained in his absence. Here are the innocent little angels all together.

We joke that, about the time I started praying really hard for a baby, along came Ellie. She's not exactly what I had in mind, but she's darn close. Apparently Mike likes her a little bit too. See
Exhibit A.

Exhibit A

Anyhoo, not sure that there is much more of a point besides we love our dogs. A lot.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

No blog for you!

Not a whole lot to say tonight. I worked from 8a-9p so I'm a wee bit tired. Where has this week gone? It's crazy to think tomorrow is Friday, but I'm glad it is. I get to spend some time with my favorite nephews this weekend and see Christy and Cordel who are visiting. I get to return half of the new work clothes that I bought because I've lost 5 lbs. since starting my job (and running around like a chicken with my head cut off!). I can't seem to see where the weight came off at but whatever. Bummer that I still can't fit into my "old" work clothes and my new ones don't fit either so I guess I'll get creative!

My old self is creeping in. Not returning phone calls; finding excuses about not staying in touch as well; feeling pretty drained when I get off work. If you are reading this and are still my friend even though I've been pretty MIA the last couple of weeks...please forgive me. I'll get adjusted to these hours and be back with you soon. I will say I miss my mid-day conversations with friends that can talk during the day. Thank goodness for Facebook even though it certainly can't replace visiting on the phone.

Wow, my blogging material has been very limited. I don't want to blog about work, but jeez the only other thing I did today was get breakfast at McDonald's! It was yummy, I've even sprung for OJ.

Maybe I'll have some adventures this weekend that are blog-able. I did get invited to girl's night tomorrow. Unfortunately, I haven't seen Michael, the dogs or bed for more than 5 minutes all week so not sure if I have the stamina...but does sound like fun!

Not much going on in the fertility front. Hold patterns just aren't that exciting! Usually, I'm either whiny or optimistic and tonight I fall somewhere in between more along the lines of "what infertility?" so that's good.

One cool thing, now that I think of it, happened today. I won't bore you with the awful details, but during our infertility work up, I had to have an HSG dye test. It's basically being injected with dye through my nether-region and then an x-ray taken to make sure my fallopian tubes were open (they were - get excited!). Anyways, I had the worst experience ever with it. Sorry boys, but there were no stirrups on the x-ray table and I just kept falling off. I even kicked the radiologist. I had a mild sedative or I would have stopped the test and just walked out. It was really as awful as it sounds and as a result of the trauma I had some bad side-effects. Anyhoo, I talked to one of my bosses today and we discussed the procedure I had. I'm happy to say the way I was taken care of will never happen at the hospital that I will be working at. The tests will be performed in an OB room so that women will not fall off the table or kick their doctor in the face or for that matter have leg cramps. Sounds stupid, but I'm so happy to know that women will have a place to go that will treat them with dignity. Very cool.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Be gone!

I have an easy time thinking about God. The challenges he lets into my life, the mechanisms he gives me to cope and the unrelentless love that He gives. On the flip-side, when someone mentions the devil or the temptation and sadness that he seeks, I have a hard time wrapping my mind around it. I just don't get it. But I just had a mind-altering thought (a bad one). Lately, I've been feeling so good about where we are. God is revealing to me ways that this struggle can be useful to us and others. I feel increasingly purposeful with this struggle. Then, of course, I get smacked right in the face with feelings of sadness and worthlessness to this struggle. Instead of helpful, empowered and strong, suddenly I feel old, has-been and grasping. I remember when I first starting researching infertility I would see message boards with women who had had every procedure x100. I wondered how they ever got to that point and could talk about it so matter-of-factly?! Like having a baby was a science. Well that's me today. I need a reminder of what all this looks like besides an empty extra bedroom waiting to be painted pink or blue.

And that gets me off on another subject. That super awesome extra bedroom that we kept closed up like an extra wing. In there sits my diaper bag that I bought before it was discontinued at Neiman's, a cute little lamb sleeper noise thing from my mom and my angel collection in case we ever have a girl. Not to mention, every junk item I could fit in there. A catch-all room as I like to call it. I sometimes clean it out when I'm feeling extra hopeful. Tonight it's filled from everything from Michael's bow and arrows, to dirty laudry, to clean laundry and even a cow-hide for Michael's office laying right in the middle of the room. I certainly don't have the incentive to clean it tonight. I'm really mad at the devil for bringing these feelings up when I was just starting to relax and find meaning in our journey. I'm determined to squash these icky feelings by morning. No matter; 6am will come early and the devil can't compete with the mound of work I have on my desk in the morning...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Happy Birthday, Dear Friend..

I think my BFF Margo reads this least she says she does. Here's the real test!

Happy Birthday, Margo!!! Margo, Margo, are an amazing friend. You are honest, loving, Godly, hilarious and beautiful. I hope you have had a wonderful birthday. May this time in your life truly be blessed. Love you.

Here we go...

IVF talk is all the rage at the Robinson household. It's funny, we're coming full circle around here. I've gotten busy and have put off researching doctors. Guess who has been researching? Mr. Robinson. I got a report from him yesterday of top docs with comments. What more can a girl want? No much...supportive husband - check. Financials on the upswing (aka blessings from God in many forms) - check. Positive attitude - check. So we're doing good. We had a conversation tonight that we haven't had before about frozen eggs, donation, etc. Nothing like cheap mexican food talking about whether we'd be willing to donate an embryo or an egg if we have more than we can use during the IVF process. Wow. I have to pinch myself to make sure this is my life. I keep having this reoccuring thought of the night Michael and I met - at Evelyn's birthday party. We were both 20 years old. You know when people talk about "fast forward your life 10 years"? Well we are there. We're fast forwarded. If we were a movie, we'd be the 10 second flash of "this is what life has in store". You know what? It's cool. God never promised me an easy life. However, he did give me all the love, tools and determination to do my best and that is what I'm trying to do!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Break ya off a little piece...

Of Puerto Vallarta... I keep meaning to blog about our trip, but downloading 500 pictures of Michael holding dead fish keep me from making it a priority. :) In the mean time, here's at least one picture that my husband took of me. If you notice, that is my shoulder on the left hand side of the picture. You got to love it when your loving hubby says, "hey, stop there for a picture" and then proceeds to take a pic of the dude laying on the beach in a speedo and thinks it might be the funniest thing EVER! I will give agree it was hard not to notice when the guy was laid out like a buffet, but still...! Anyways, if this tells you anything about the quality of the pictures and fun had by all, then stay tuned for a full report. Just not tonight. I had my first 13.5 hour day and just got home from work....board meeting. Wow, about 9pm, I thought I was going to nod off and poke my eye out with my pen. Job hazard! Hopefully tomorrow I'll have some time to pee in more frequent intervals (unlike today!), blog about our trip and maybe, maybe get some decent nutrition! Here is to tomorrow! :)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

KB's Shower

Yesterday was KB's shower! I think I wanted KB to get pregnant more than she did! We tried for a while "together" (well, not together, but we were trying at the same time); we talked about it so much we even ovulated around the same time every now and then! Also, it was interesting because our husbands even cracked us up now and then about the woes of trying to get your wife pregnant. I would bet money that they'll wish they had those days back someday!!! LOL. It was a very comforting time for me; we really had some good laughs and long talks about getting pregnant. I was convinced that we would conceive around the same time. And then she got pregnant around August last year.

When it came time for the shower, I, of course, wanted to help. But, when you're dealing with infertility, you never know how these things are going to affect you. I know some people who have told me, they absolutely could not go to a baby shower much less host one in their home. I, however, am of the mentality that I have to keep living life like I would if this challenge hadn't arrived. That's not to say I didn't wonder how I would react - of course it crossed my mind. I'm happy to report that it went great. KB looked adorable, she got some awesome gifts, and we all showered her with what she and excitement...and I got to be a part of it.

One thing to note: Anyone who is struggling with infertility knows that one of the worst parts besides not being able to get pregnant is the uncontrolled tricks your mind plays on you. I mean who wants to be jealous, envious or less than absolutely thrilled at the announcement that a new life has started? What I've learned at my infertility group is that these emotions are completely normal. They don't make you a bad person; they are just part of the deal. You have to learn to forgive yourself for feeling these thoughts. You certainly don't want anyone else to go through this - you just want to get to share in the joy. Another thing is you have to be willing to protect yourself. This one is tricky, though. When I think of protecting myself, then that would mean saying no to showers, visits to newborns and an overall avoidance of about half of my closest friends! I just decided I'm not going to do that. If I get into a situation that causes an emotional response, I'll just have the emotional response. That's what bathrooms are for. I decided when I woke up yesterday to be happy. Just that simple...have a celebratory day. And it worked out just like that. It was happy. I lobbied and prayed for little Mr. Parker and I can't wait to meet him.

Shout outs: 1) Kristen, I love you and am thrilled that you are my friend. You are going to be a wonderful mother to a baby boy who was so wanted. 2) Hayley, Aria, Katie, Jill and Julie are awesome co-hostesses. They really know how to throw a shower. 3) Oh by the way, Michael is an extra good husband. He helped make the fruit salad, bought the balloons and set them up as markers, helped move furniture, cleaned and just let me bark orders yesterday morning. I'm super impressed and know to be thankful for his help, concern and love.

Here are some pics:

Friday, March 5, 2010

A few thoughts before bed...

1. I've been a Debbie Downer. Just read over my blog - WOW. Glad life is a roller-coaster...and that there is always the upswing. Surely it's just around the corner.

2. Getting up at 6:40am sucks. Yep, it just sucks.

2.5 Dry shampoo is the best invention ever. Pssst (that is what it is called). Sold at Walgreens, less than $5 and saves 20 minutes on off days of hair washing. Only hiccup is the old lady smell. Who cares about the smell?!

3. Getting a paycheck again doesn't suck. In fact, Michael and I both got paid today. Amazing!

4. My house is baby-shower-esque. KB's shower is tomorrow. Blue hydrangeas, re-arranged furniture, blueberry mimosas and blueberry seltzers. It's a boy by the way... The other hostesses are amazing party planners and I'm looking forward to tomorrow.

5. I live vicariously through friends who are pregnant and I don't think it is weird. If I can't do it, damn it, there will be blueberry or strawberry butter for the biscuits!

6. I love my husband. I've been in a weird mood for two days and he just keeps taking it and exhibiting patience. He seems confident that I'm going to snap out of it. I appreciate him and just thank God for the partnership.

7. My Chihuahua is so darn cute (see above).

8. I need sleep. Speaking of sleep, since I've gone back to work, I've been sleeping like a baby. I am soooo thankful for rest. It's been a long time since I've slept this well. I love it.

9. People actually read this blog. I've gotten feedback from a couple of people who have been forwarded this blog who are going through similar things with fertility. You know that saying, "I was moved"? Well I was. Their comments absolutely made me feel OK with talking about infertility in a public way. So, I will quit questioning if this thing is TMI. Apparently it is not for others that are going through this, friends and family who want to keep up, and me who wants to write sometimes. Yay, blog!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Bad things happen in 3's

Well a couple of weeks ago I was saying 3rd times a charm. Now I've changed my story to bad things happen in 3's. Why this change in attitude, you ask? (First things first, I hate repeatedly giving bad news - even though I realize this effects you much less than it effects Michael and me, I still HATE giving bad news). Yet, since there is no getting away from it, the change in attitude is because our 3rd IUI was not a success. I hate calling it a failure with the amount of good intentions that was put into it, but it freaking failed. Not that it matters, but the IUI was perfect. Two good follicles, Michael's contribution was top notch, well timed, vacation after it, no obsessing about it, etc. etc. Yet it didn't work. I don't know what else to say.

A couple of friends have asked me where we go from here? The answer is I don't know that either. I do know we're down but we're not out. We'll keep trying and pray for a miracle natural conception. In the mean time, I think our tentative plan is to start researching reproductive endocrinologists and fertility clinics. Maybe in a few months go on some consults and find a good fit for us. I don't have a plan for what will happen after we find one. I'd love to do some more diagnostic testing to see what the deal is and to know if they can tell us more than "unexplained infertility", but we may have to settle for that diagnosis and just try IVF. We have reached our lifetime maximum on fertility insurance (it wasn't much in the first place - although anything is better than nothing). Any diagnostics will come out of pocket, so financially just pulling out the big guns (IVF) may be the answer. I really don't know. I'd be guessing if I tried to outline more of a plan right now.

What I do know is I'm scared. This just became very real to me. Up until this point, I just thought us to be unlucky, overbearingly anxious to start a family, and impatient. Now I'm thinking we may have a real, justified problem on our hands. The what-if's are haunting me. What if we have IVF and I miscarry? What if IVF doesn't work? What if, what if, what if??? Then I remind myself that I have other things to do and to leave this to God. What I need is a shock collar to buzz myself when I what-if. Ellie (our chi puppy) needs one too for her barking, by the way. Wow, I'm easily distracted tonight.

As bad as it sounds, I'm fine - Michael's fine - we're fine. The recovery time has gotten quicker with each of these failed attempts. It hits hard and then it just sets in as reality pretty quickly. Thank goodness this is all made me very observant of God taking care of me. He's brought Michael and I together to endure this hardship, He's provided another income so we can save for what's to come, He's led me to a great bible study and infertility group, and He's given me friends and family who care enough to read this torturous blog. I'm cared for and not alone. I'm of sound enough mind to know this is only a part of my life that is not going along as planned and that the majority of my life is provided for and blessed.

Still, I wish I had better news for me and for you...

Michael just told me the Mavericks have an 8 game winning streak; a close 2nd to the news I wish I could share. Too bad it's not April 1st, then I could have done an April Fool's joke instead of a Mavs joke to end this post on a lighter note. Anyhoo...