Friday, December 31, 2010

Broken Dreams

I've read this poem on a few blogs, most recently on We Are All Mothers. I find myself reading it a lot more lately, several times in a row, and it's been on my mind constantly. I just love it.

As children bring their
broken toys
with tears for us to mend,
I brought my broken
dreams to God, because
He was my friend.
But then, instead of
leaving Him,
in peace, to work alone;
I hung around and
tried to help,
with ways that were my own.
At last, I snatched them
back and cried,"How can you be so slow?"
"My child," He said,
"What could I do?
You never did let go."

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2010 & 2011

2010 was an interesting year. Understatement of the decade.

In this year, I was able to begin treatments again after years of waiting and wanting. What a blessing! Those treatments led to pregnancy, and I had the best week of my life in 2010.

Followed by one of the worst months of my life.

2010 was also simultaneously the most difficult and most wonderful year of our marriage.

What a roller coaster this year was for us, and I have to admit I am happy to see it go.

About a month ago, our Stake President encouraged us to ask friends and family to fast with us on the first Sunday in January. Ryan and I are fasting that our fertility treatments will be successful and we'll be blessed with children. It is not usually in my character to ask this, but if you are so inclined, we'd love for you to join us.

My hope is that 2011 will be our year. So far, we seem to be off to a hopeful start!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Shadow Hanging Over Christmas

I believe Christmas is about one thing, celebrating the birth of Christ. Sure, there are a lot of other wonderful things about Christmas... family, friends, traditions... but when it comes down to it, it is all about a tiny baby who came to earth to save the world.

Even so, it is hard not to get caught up in the game of "might have been" or "should have been".

Where are my kids to tuck in on Christmas eve? Is this really Ryan's and my 15th Christmas as a couple with no children to share in the magic? Probably the most painful thought is that today I should be coming up on month 5 of my pregnancy and instead my body is the same size it's been for years.

I had images of posing for a picture by the Christmas tree with Ryan, my hand tucked under my growing belly. But that's all gone now.

These thoughts are a shadow hanging over Christmas this year. It takes an enormous amount of effort and strength not to let them take over everything. It is a constant battle, sometimes one that is fought minute by minute.

In our first years of trying to start a family, I would tell myself each Christmas that the next year I would be a mother. I would think, "Hopefully, this Christmas will be the last one just Ryan and I".

Then as the years ticked by, I stopped doing that. It was too heartbreaking as I saw that dream come and go with every passing year.

This year, I am again telling myself that next Christmas things will be different, that next year will be *our* year. This constant promise to myself (as out of my control and as potentially deviating as it is) is sometimes the only thing that holds me together.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

All I Want

I don't want a lot for Christmas
There is just one thing I need
I don't care about the presents
Underneath the Christmas tree

I don't need to hang my stocking
There upon the fireplace
Santa Claus won't make me happy
With a toy on Christmas Day

I just want you for my own
More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true
Baby, all I want for Christmas is you :(

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Laura Bush - One of Us

Apparently, former first lady, Laura Bush, dealt with infertility as well. I found a quote from her on Hillary's blog and I had to investigate further, as I knew no one could make a statement like that without experiencing infertility first-hand.

Politics aside, I always felt Laura Bush was a graceful, strong woman. I love her even more after reading this excerpt from her book,

"For some years now, the wedding invitations that had once crowded the mailbox had been replaced by shower invites and pink-or-blue-ribboned baby announcements. I bought onesies or rattles, wrapped them in yellow paper, and delivered them to friends. I had done it with a happy wistfulness, believing that someday my time, my baby, would come. George and I had hoped that I would be pregnant by the end of his congressional run. Then we hoped it would be by the time his own father announced his presidential run, then by the presidential primaries, the convention, the general election. But each milestone came and went. The calendar advanced, and there was no baby.

The English language lacks the words to mourn an absence. For the loss of a parent, grandparent, spouse, child or friend, we have all manner of words and phrases, some helpful some not. Still we are conditioned to say something, even if it is only “I’m sorry for your loss.” But for an absence, for someone who was never there at all, we are wordless to capture that particular emptiness. For those who deeply want children and are denied them, those missing babies hover like silent ephemeral shadows over their lives. Who can describe the feel of a tiny hand that is never held?"

Thursday, December 9, 2010

It Comes and Goes

Last night I was skimming my FB homepage when I saw an old friend’s recent status update… Only 1 more week and we see what gender the baby will be!

This friend is pregnant, due in May, just like I was.

Grief from the miscarriage is always there, although the intensity comes and goes. You are walking around and coping fine when suddenly…BAM. It’s right there in your face again.

After 7 years of waiting, I found out I was pregnant on our Anniversary and had a due date of Mother’s Day. It couldn’t have been more perfect. And in a flash it was gone. This baby, our little appleseed, is gone. And that’s it. Just like that.

I want to be in that place again. I want that baby. Even if I am blessed to become pregnant again at some point, I will always want that baby.

I don’t think that feeling goes away.

Ryan was perfect… he didn’t say much… just kissed my face and held me.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Infertility Currency

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but it is funny how infertility changes you, and permeates every aspect of your life.

One small example is how I think about money. Dollars? What are those? Everything in my life is valued in treatment terms now… and this new currency comes with a ridiculous exchange rate!

A nice night out with the hubby is no longer fifty dollars. It is now an Ovidril Ovulation Trigger Shot.

My husband’s new uniform and boots cost one vile of Follistim Egg-Stimulating Hormone.

I projected our taxes for 2010, and in April we will owe the government one complete medicated cycle.

Sometimes it’s funny to think about, sometimes it’s depressing…

I need new tires on my car. There goes an IUI.

Our electric bill is 3 bottles of prenatals.

I can’t turn it off.


Anyone else use infertility currency???

Sunday, December 5, 2010

What is Going On?

I had another spiritual experience today. Another confirmation that someday this journey will come to an end with the result I've been dreaming about. In a way today's experience, although less detailed, was even more surprising.

I am confused at what is going on. For years I have begged for answers and direction, and felt I have heard nothing. (Well, almost nothing.) Now it feels the flood gates have been opened. I want to pinch myself to prove it is real.

I wonder why now? Did I just get so desperate it was time for a bit of mercy? Or have these answers been there all along, and I've just been too hard-hearted to receive them...

Friday, December 3, 2010

I think I can... I think I can...

Doesn’t it always happen that the minute you write a positive, uplifting, nothing-can-stop-my-happiness post, everything in the universe conspires against you? I’m being over-dramatic here, but today I am really being tested. Really.

Baby pictures, baby talk, baby stories are running rampid right now and I can not escape.

I have to be okay with where I am right now. And grateful for the gift I’ve been given. And excited about the Christmas season.

I have to be okay!

The Poorest Spot in All the Land

Last month was our Stake Conference at church. The last few Stake Conferences (we have two a year) have been amazing to me, as there has been at least one talk that was written specifically for me. I’m joking, of course. They weren’t actually written for me, but their message was exactly what I needed to hear.

This time, the talk was on waiting for blessings. Or maybe the actual topic was on something else… but that’s what I got from it. Our Stake President spoke about a particular scripture, Jacob Chapter 5 in the Book of Mormon. It was interesting because Ryan and I had read that chapter not too long ago, and I remembered it. It was an allegory using olive trees.

I hadn’t thought much of that chapter at the time, but in the talk it took on a whole new meaning for me.

21 And it came to pass that the servant said unto his master: How comest thou hither to plant this tree, or this branch of the tree? For behold, it was the poorest spot in all the land of thy vineyard.

22 And the Lord of the vineyard said unto him: Counsel me not; I knew that it was a poor spot of ground; wherefore, I said unto thee, I have nourished it this long time, and thou beholdest that it hath brought forth much fruit.

We can relate this to our wait for desired blessings. We pray and pray and it feels like those blessings never come. We feel like the poorest, most neglected spot in all the land. But God hasn’t forgotten us. In fact, He labors on our behalf even more. He is nourishing us and preparing us to bring forth great fruit.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Keep that Feeling

Ever since I received some answers about this long journey we’re on, my life has completely changed. No one can tell by looking on the outside… I’m still not pregnant, on a break, unsure of when our blessings will finally come… but on the inside, I feel like a different person.

My faith that motherhood will come has returned. My knowledge of which path is right for us is sure. Now I have to simply do my part and lean on my dear frienemy… patience.

In the meantime, I am doing things to protect myself from sad situations to try and keep this positive, happy attitude for as long as possible.

I reclaimed my lunch hour. I decided it is my hour in the middle of the day to do whatever I’d like. As I mentioned before, work is a difficult place for me right now. The people are awesome, but the circumstances are hard sometimes. Now, instead of eating lunch in the conference room, I use that time to run errands, read a book, watch something fun on Netflicks, or even write a quick blog entry. ;) I am loving this hour for myself immensely and it is the right decision for now.

Another thing I am doing is hiding people on Facebook. I had only hidden a few, select people before, mainly those who posted too frequently, use it for business networking, etc. I have expanded this to include people who are in a stage of life where motherhood consumes them. Not all mothers, mind you, just the ones who constantly post about their babies, kids, and the endless frustrations of being a mom. I don’t fault these women at all, so I hope no one is offended. Once I’m a mom, you probably won’t be able to shut me up about that kind of thing! :) But for now, I don’t need to see it all the time. (Disclaimer to my mommy friends who are reading this: I am not talking about you. The moms I am hiding on Facebook do not follow my blog or even comment about my situation when it does come up. They are 100% in their own mommy world, which is fine, but I don’t want to live in their world right now.)

I have continued saying “no”. I started trying out the “no” word when I began treatments again about 5 months ago. I made the decision that I am going to keep using that word, even during this treatment break. Sometimes I modify it a bit (“Yes, I’ll help with that, but I can only do such-and-such.”). I’ve learned that it is not always selfish to say no; sometimes it’s self-preservation. On the flip side, when I do say “yes”, I don’t begrudge it because I consciously chose to do it. I find that helps me enjoy the task more, and I do a better job.

There is a lot more I’m doing, but I’ll just share one last thing. I am trying to have a tougher skin and focus on what really matters. One small example… Since I posted about my experience on Sunday, I lost several readers who were following along publically. My natural instinct is to have hurt feelings and mull it over for a while, wondering why they left. Maybe I had offended them… maybe my blog isn’t “real” enough (I’ve been accused of being *too* positive in the past)… maybe it’s too religious… maybe they got bored…

In reality, it absolutely does not matter. When I started this blog, it was just to document my fertility treatments so that people who knew what I was going through wouldn’t have to ask all the time how I was doing. The money for treatments fizzled out quite quickly and what came after was years of working through the never-ending grief that is infertility. I kept writing, thinking it could be something that my future child would read someday, or at least a history for myself of our journey. That is the real purpose, not whether 100 people read along or 1000. I know it seems silly, but I am a sensitive soul, and I could be hurt by a lot of silly things. Refocusing on what’s really important is helping me to stay sane.

I feel like I have changed a lot since Sunday, and I hope this positivity and peace sticks around for a while. I find myself actually able to bear the holiday season this year, something that has been lacking in many years past.

I want to share a quote that a wonderful woman posted on here a few days back. On Sunday, I was completely low. Hopeless. The desperation and despair was worse that day than it had been in a long time. Even worse than when I found out we were losing our baby (although the miscarriage was a *huge* part of why I was feeling so low on Sunday – delayed despair I guess). I thought it just couldn’t get any worse. It was at that moment, that God showed mercy on me, and gave me answers I had waited 7 years to hear. This quote describes that moment perfectly.

When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hold on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.

- Harriet Beecher Stowe

Sunday, November 28, 2010

New Hope

I had a very spiritual experience today. It is a bit personal to share publicly, but thanks to my Heavenly Father and an inspired priesthood leader, I feel comfortable with 2 confirmations:

1. I will be a mother someday, in this life.

2. We should continue with infertility treatments, and put the idea of adoption on hold for now.

I don't know anything more than that, but that is enough to keep me going.

Immediately after this experience, I cleaned up my snotty, tear-streaked face and rushed off to the last church meeting of the day, arriving just before the opening song began.

And this is the song we sang:

Be thou humble in thy weakness,
and the Lord thy God shall lead thee,
Shall lead thee by the hand
and give thee answer to thy prayers.

Be thou humble in thy pleading,
and the Lord thy God shall bless thee,
Shall bless thee with a sweet
and calm assurance that he cares.

Time Off for Good Behavior

I took a test early this morning and it was negative. My official test date is tomorrow. However, if I was pregnant, it would have shown up in today's test. I am positive about that. I buy the most sensitive tests on the market, and they are accurate on the day before your period for nearly all women.

Sure enough, two hours later, it appears my period has begun, despite my friend Prometrium.

Ryan really wants to take some time off, so we will, but it's going to be hard going through the holidays not pregnant and not in treatment.


Then we'll try IUI with Follistim one last time.


To read all the posts from this treatment cycle, CLICK HERE.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Empty Shell

God says He won't give us more than we can handle. I feel like I can't handle much more.

I don't have high hopes for this cycle, and the thought of doing another one is exhausting. If Follistim / IUI #5 doesn't work, it's IVF time (after a long break to save up the money). The thought of that is agonizing.

God: I can't take it anymore. I know others have had more treatments, more disappointments, more heartache, and they make it through. But I can't. My journey has been too long and there have been too many roadblocks, traffic hazards, and unanticipated delays.

I can't do it. I can't.

Monday, November 22, 2010

I Survived.

All my life, I wanted to be done having kids by 30. This is why I talked my apprehensive husband into letting me stop birth control at 23. I wanted 4 children and expected to spend my twenties barefoot and pregnant.

As infertility reared its ugly head, I became nervous about my “done at 30” goal. It’s seemed possible I wouldn’t be done by 30 after all.

Then, as years went by, I started to become worried I wouldn’t have even started by the time I was 30. For someone with my background, culture, and life goals, this thought was devastating. How could I reach age 30 without even starting (what I hoped would be) my medium-sized family??? (Yes, 4 kids is medium for Mormons, even in today’s world.)

This fear became greater as the birthdays clicked by… 26… 27…28…29… I just knew I would not survive turning 30 without becoming a mother first. But I couldn’t stop the clock.

Finally, my 30th birthday came. I was not a mother. I was not pregnant. I had no adoption profile.

I got up, got ready, and went about my day.

In short, I survived.

The earth did not swallow me up in misery and total despair. I had a regular day. In fact, I had a nice day. And life went on.

Today I turn 31. I had hoped beyond hope that I would be a mother by today.

I’m not.

But I still got up, go ready, and went about my day.

I survived. :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Yesterday's IUI

Yesterday's IUI was one of the best and worst I’ve had so far. :) I also hope it will be the last!

It was quite an adventure. Once we decided to proceed with the IUI, we became excited to make a day of it. Ryan was so great throughout the process and I feel so grateful that he was able to be with me yesterday.

Because my doctor’s office loves me so much, they scheduled me for the afternoon, so I could avoid the morning rush. We still had an 8:30am drop off, but the IUI would be at 1:45pm.

That morning, Ryan realized they did not give him all of the needed “equipment” for his part of the procedure. Thus, being the awesome guy that he is, he improvised!

This would be the tube from his IUI kit, a kitchen funnel (that I will never use again) and some packaging tape.

And… done!

You have to have a sense of humor about these things.

We dropped off his men and headed home to get ready for the day. We then went to lunch at a Japanese restaurant and took a long walk around the local cemetery. It was peaceful and the day was gorgeous.

Back at the doctor’s office we got started with the IUI. Because of the number of mature eggs I had this time around, I had been noticing some symptoms I had not experienced before. Nurse H put my mind at ease.

My ovaries are so swollen they are pushing on my diaphragm, making it difficult to breathe, especially when lying down. The severe nausea I’ve been having is because there is so much fluid, it is seeping out into areas where it normally doesn’t go. I have to combat that with increased fluids, no matter how gaggy I get drinking all that water.

Nurse H also told me to expect a lot of cramping, pain, fullness, heaviness and bloating. And she was right! I got them all.

Even so, we decided the IUI was not the end of our day together and Ryan took me to the gun range. We had a great time and I enjoyed doing something he loves so much with him.

Upon returning home last night, I felt the full effect of the increased ovulation. This was the most painful IUI I've had to date. I was walking around like an old woman and had to be gentle when standing up or sitting down. Today, I still feel many of these same symptoms.

But I don’t begrudge them at all because I believe these aches and pains are just pushing me closer to holding my babies someday.

Working Infertile

Work has become a very hard place to be.

It’s no one’s fault. If it were anyone’s fault, it would be mine.

I work at a small office full of young people. There are 7 of us and, besides the boss, the oldest one is 32. When you get a group of people in their late 20s and early 30s, you inevitably get a bunch of people starting their families.

I started working here in 2004. At that time, I had been trying to conceive for about a year, and for the first four years, none of us “young kids” had any children.

Over the last 2 years, all that has changed… One employee has had 2 children, another one just gave birth to her first child, and we hired an employee who is a new father to twins. Even the boss delights in being a grandfather.

It is rough! Every day, I see others rejoice in the one blessing I desire that never comes. I hear clients down the hall gushing over baby pictures, asking for updates, and laughing at all the adventures that come with new parenthood. I hear complaints about lack of sleep and find baby pictures in my email box. On good days, it is hard. On bad days, it’s devastating.

I was used to church being a difficult place to be, with children running around everywhere, pregnant SAHMs, and the constant reminder that “motherhood is your ultimate calling”. After a while, I learned being with friends wasn’t always a safe place, as they add baby after baby to their families, while the list of common ground gets shorter and shorter. Now work is another place where I can’t get away from the constant baby parade.

I start to daydream about walking out the door and never coming back. I do mental calculations… could we afford to live on Ryan’s income alone? I become sad because all of the years of hard work to develop this career seem worthless if I hate being here.

But then I have a client meeting. Just me and a single person or a couple. We talk and laugh and at the end, I feel like I did something to help their situation. And that gives me the strength to come back the next day.

I am fortunate in so many ways. I like helping people and I am able to do that as a planner. I have a boss that has a good heart. I have one co-worker (and a former co-worker) who will selflessly listen to me ramble and complain. I have a flexible schedule that lets me work from home 4 days a month or so. Not to mention, the money I earn at this job allows me to do the fertility treatments that might bring me motherhood.

So I take a deep breath, put my head down and get through it.

And remind myself it can’t be this way forever…

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Mid-Cycle Ultrasound

My mid-cycle ultrasound on Friday was an emotional experience. I knew there were going to be big results. I had tremendous side effects and I felt more going on down there than I have in any other cycle. Even so, I didn't expect to leave the appointment with teary eyes and a spinning head.

Nurse H did my ultrasound. I knew things were interesting when (as she was looking at the ultrasound screen) she said, "Now remind me, you are not open to selective reduction, right?"

Oh no.

I have 7 eggs total: one 16mm, two 15mm, two 13mm, and two 11mm. Five of those are considered mature enough to be fertilized. Nurse H said I wasn't to the point that they would cancel the cycle, but I am at risk of becoming pregnant with multiples.

Since then, it's been an emotional journey. After talking with Ryan, many prayers and a trip to the temple, we are proceeding with the IUI on Monday.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wannabe Moms Club

My friend Laura not only had the most wonderful idea, she actually went through the work of getting it put into action.

Next Wednesday, we will have the first monthly meeting of the “Wannabe Moms Club”. It will be a time to eat, talk and vent with women who actually do know how I feel! We have three confirmed members so far and I am excited to get to know these ladies better.

If you are local gal who is struggling to start your family, and this sounds like something that interests you, feel free to message me for more information. :)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Dear Follistim,

Over the course of our relationship, I have put up with a lot. And happily too, I might add. I have worked through tiredness, grumpiness, abdominal cramping and, worst of all, severe headaches.

I so appreciate the chance you have given me to become a mother. I am willing to go through just about anything for that to happen.

That being said, I don't know how much longer I can live with this current, unexpected side effect. The hundreds of small, itchy, painful bumps all over my face and neck is a hard pill to swallow. Nothing helps. Nothing. It is slowly making me insane.

I won't give up on you, and if I have to live with this for the next week, so be it. But please take mercy on me and let up just a little?



Monday, November 8, 2010

Base Ultrasound & Medication Reaction

Friday was my base ultrasound. I asked 2 questions:

1. Should we use something stronger than Prometrium during our next 2ww, considering I started my period while still on the medication?

Nurse H did the ultrasound and agreed that maybe we should try something else. She has two options for me, and they are checking if either of them would be covered through my insurance (thus far, the Prometrium has been the ONLY thing my insurance has helped with).

2. Does Follistim become less effective after several cycles (as the Clomid does)? Should we stick with our plan of 5 Follistim / IUIs total?

No, the effectiveness of Follistim does not decrease each cycle. You could technically use that method forever. She thinks if this one doesn't work, we should try 1 - 2 more. After that, we will want to weigh the increased chances of success with IVF with the increased cost and decide where to go from there.

My dosage this time is similar to last time: 100iu for 2 days, 75iu for 4 days. Mid-cycle Ultrasound is this Friday.

The last 2 months of Follistim brought me severe headaches. This time around, the headaches have been rare to non-existent. However, today (Day 2 of the stims) I developed a rash of tiny bumps all over my neck and half my face. It is itchy and painful. I tried to determine where they came from and I am fairly convinced they are from the Follistim. A read through the possible side effects confirmed that this is a good possibility. Nothing helps... Benadryl, Cortisone Cream, nothing.

My choices were to stop the cycle and wait until next month to try something new or push through it and hope it goes away. Considering I just spent $600 on this medication, I decided to push through it. I've resorted to pressing a cold, wet washcloth on my face all evening. I pray that this doesn't last throughout the whole week...

It is so amazing to me how different each cycle can be.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Great Expectations

I think I expect way too much from people.

I feel like I am a pretty sensitive person. I work hard not to say things that would be offensive or bring someone sadness. I monitor my words and actions the best I can. I’m not perfect by any means, and I often find myself with my foot in my mouth. But I really put a lot of effort into making sure I don’t bring anyone sadness because of the things I say.

Because of that, I automatically expect others to be the same way, and I find myself disappointed when they don’t live up to these expectations.

The community I expect the most from? The infertile community. And they are always the ones who disappoint me the most. Some of my most crushing moments have come from people who “were” infertile, the people I think should “know better”.

Of course, I ask the impossible sometimes, and I know it. How is someone supposed to know that this is the *wrong* day to show off their baby’s pictures? How is someone supposed to tone down their excitement about an impending child, simply because I’m in the room? And would I even want them to? What kind of person would that make me?

Even so, there is story I have to share, if for no other reason, to remember it for the future and ensure I never do something like this to my ‘infertile sisters’.

When Ryan and I arrived for our last IUI appointment, the doctor’s office was packed. We took the last 2 chairs available, and they weren’t even next to each other. I had never seen it this crowded!

During the wait, as I was inconspicuously looking around the room, I noticed an older mother, one or two grandmothers, and an older gentleman. I thought this was strange but I didn’t think much of it. Suddenly, a young couple burst out of the back room with huge smiles and ultrasound pictures in their hands. I knew they must be pregnant and I smiled to myself. Good for them.

But then, as they crossed out of the lobby and into the breezeway, I noticed all those other people get up and follow them out there. They were all relatives of the pregnant couple. They proceeded to stand in front of the office, jumping up and down and screaming.

The entire waiting room of 10-15 infertile people got to witness this moment through the full-length windows of the office. We got to see her hold up the pictures, tell everyone there was “just one”, laugh, cry and hold each other. This went on for about 5 minutes.

And there I was, sitting in my chair, my husband two seats down, watching it all happen. I looked around the waiting room and saw the mixture of pain and sadness on all the other couples faces. Not jealousy… pain.

This couple and their family were beyond excited. I don’t blame them. They had no idea I was thinking about my miscarriage and the ultrasound picture I would never hold. I wondered about the stories of the other waiting couples who were watching this with me. I’m sure some were there to ask why their IVF didn’t work, some might be getting their own ultrasound only to find no heartbeat, some were just starting their own painful journey.

I found myself in a world of emotions… Why would they bring all their relatives? I couldn’t even sit next to my husband because they had to bring all these people. It was a beautiful day. They could have waited outside. Did they not think for a second about celebrating like that in front of an audience of infertile people? Could they have walked 10 feet down the breezeway and then celebrated? They “used” to be one of us… Why would these thoughts not cross their mind?

Some people would tell me this situation should have brought me hope. It didn’t. And from the looks on the faces of those around me, I wasn’t alone.

Maybe I shouldn’t hold people who have had infertility to a higher standard. But I do. The one week I was pregnant, the biggest thing on my mind were those people who were still waiting, whether I knew them personally or not. I did everything I could think of to make life less painful for them. But maybe I didn’t do enough. Maybe I was one of “those” people. That thought makes me sick.

Maybe I expect way too much from people. All it does is hurt me in the end.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

What To Say To Someone That Has Experienced The Loss Of A Baby...

Christine has been a huge support for me throughout this long struggle. Her recent blog post really resonated with me. I have experienced both sides of many of these scenarios, and I firmly agree with her assessment.

What To Say To Someone That Has Experienced The Loss Of A Baby...
Authored by

Experiencing the loss of a baby is something I know all to well. Before I had Conner I experienced a miscarriage. Then there was Conner. Hayden was actually a twin and I lost that baby in the first trimester. Then there was the miscarriage last year, followed by a chemical pregnancy (which yes I do count it) and then the miscarriage at the beginning of the year. It's not that I am keeping track or am trying to say, "Yeah, I have had it bad." I'm not. I know of others that have experienced many more miscarriages. It's just my way of letting you know that I have learned a few things along the way. Although I have not experienced a failed adoption, I do view them as one and the same...and imagine the feelings are the same. You may have to alter the phrases below just a bit...but really you get the idea.

I really feel that miscarriages and failed adoptions are very much looked over in today's society. With my miscarriages the feelings I felt were just as intense and devastating as loosing someone that I had known for years. Which is confusing to many. How can a person feel such a loss of someone they don't know? I too have asked myself that question. The thing is for women, I believe that we are so connected to that life. As soon as we hear that someone is to be in our care we naturally feel deeply for them. We have to be, that's why we are the caretakers and the nurturers of the family unit. When that loss comes we not only loose that child physically, we also loose all of those hopes, plans and dreams. The future seems very dark and we want to go back to the time when that little someone was in our life again. It's all so confusing and the pain is very deep, As a result, there will be some that just don't know what to say... and in their efforts to help they may say something offensive without even knowing. I do believe that there are good things to say and better things to say when it comes to the loss of a baby. That is what I want to focus on in this post!!


For example: One may hear the phrase, "I'm sorry to hear that you have miscarried." or "I'm sorry you lost your baby." or "I'm sorry your placement failed." Every time someone said that to me my heart dropped and was crushed. Deep down I felt it was because of MY BODY that the child couldn't thrive. To hear the words, "you miscarried" or "you lost your baby" was just a confirmation to me that what I felt was true. It was my fault and that was salt to injury.

The Truth: Miscarriages happen regardless of everything we do in our power to prevent it. I could mention all of the statistics but I won't. The thing is, after much thought and prayer I KNOW that these little ones receive a body once conception is made. Seriously, the more one learns about all that it takes for a woman to conceive, the more one would naturally realize the complete miracle of it all. It's just that SO much has to happen. Everything has to be perfect and in a perfect order. It's amazing that anyone has babies at all!!! Obviously there is a divine intervention there. Just as a spirit enters, if it needs to only be here on earth for a short time, then that is it's purpose and it's need. We so often forget that we only see one side of the show. There are many more things we have yet to learn and realize, including that of the going-ons on the other side. Quite often, I feel that these little spirits only stay for the short time they need. Then Heavenly Father needs to call them back for other important tasks. These lost babies are so pure and so valiant. They don't need the experiences and trials of life. Instead, they are able to go onto the other side. Cheering and guiding their family here on earth until the end of their journey. It's their mission among other things and it's SO easy to forget that. So miscarriages and lost babies are out of our control. Believe me, if a child is meant to be here on earth, he or she will be. I know this from experience. I believe the same is true of a child placement. If that child is meant to be apart of your family circle, he or she will be.
So, the better response would be: "I'm sorry to hear the loss of your baby." or I'm sorry to hear the adoption didn't go through."


Instead of using the phrase: "You're young, you have plenty of time to get pregnant again." or "Maybe this means you need to change your plan and try to get pregnant instead of adopt." A better phrase would be, "I have hope for you and your husband, hang onto that hope as well." We can't receive personal revelations for others. The individual must receive that for themselves. Plus, personally when a person told me I was young and had plenty of time I wanted to bawl and throw a very impressive tantrum right in front of them! Lets be honest, when a woman experiences a loss, she is not thinking rationally- not to mention hormones may be at play as well! For me it was a time game. All I could think of was, "It took me 4+ years just to get pregnant. What if I have to wait another 4+ years just to get pregnant again....and what if I miscarry then? Will I have to wait another 4+ years...." and then THAT led to, "What if I never have children." That never having children part was just too much to bare at the time... and that is what made me want to throw a tantrum! On another note, the whole "getting pregnant again" phrase seemed to encourage the replacement of the child I had lost. Even though I didn't know him or her, that someone to me was precious not replaceable...and still isn't replaceable all of these months & years later.


Steer clear of: "At least you know you can get pregnant now." or "At least you were chosen, that's good news." Honestly, this didn't mean diddly to me. What's the point of getting pregnant or being chosen if a child, the most desired thing, was not the end result? Nope, this wasn't helpful at all. Just avoid that subject all together! Honestly, I have dealt with getting pregnant and miscarrying AND I have dealt with not being able to get pregnant at all. I would MUCH rather prefer the latter. It's such a heart wrenching thing to be SO CLOSE just to have it fall through. To me that was always an extra punch and harder to work through. To loose Conner however is another subject...but still the phrase is not appropriate!


Some may try to mirror their experiences onto those that have experienced loss. I know people mean well, but sometimes, just sometimes tactfulness is left at the front door! When I was suffering a miscarriage I did find it helpful for others to share their experiences, but for the most part, it was so flustering when some would turn my pain into their pain...and soon I was comforting them. At times it was almost as if they were telling me stories to make my experience seem lighter and less traumatic. It was all done in pure honesty of course but at the time, how I was feeling, I needed to be allowed to grieve how I wanted....and not feel guilty that "so and so had it so much worse." I had lost a baby and that was real to me. I have also had women say to me, "I know exactly how you feel. I'm here to listen." That was the best thing in the world. They understood and they were offering help...but only on my terms. Just remember if a woman wants to hear of an experience, she will ask, if not, she's simply not ready...or wants to.


On the opposite end there are those that just don't get it and say things like "Awe man" or "Oh No! That's terrible" or "Shucks, I'm so sorry to hear that." It's not like we have simply burned dinner or use the wrong cookie recipe....we lost someone. A much better phrase would be: "I really don't know how you feel, but I do care about you. I want to help you in any way you need." Also, one may not know what to say and ignore it all together. That's the worst thing one can do. To ignore it implies that the person doesn't care AT ALL. Instead, just be open and let them talk when and if they need.


Also, putting a time limit on a grieving person is a huge mistake. Just because a person is trying again or several months have passed, doesn't mean they have fully healed. If they need to talk, let them talk for as long as they want...even if it is months later. For me, it always got worse as time went on. I would trap myself into the what if and if only all remember! I would just keep thinking, "I could have been such and such weeks by now. Or my baby would have been born today." It's an awful, awful thing to do. I advise not to do it...but it is hard!! People all heal differently and at different times. For some it may take longer than others. Be patient and never tell them to "Get over it" or "You need to move on." They will when they are ready. Usually for most, talking it out is the best way of getting there.


One last piece of advise!! Some are so curious and have that itch to ask month to month if anything has "happened" yet or they have been chosen yet. It's o.k. in some cases such as close, dear friends and such...but please use your best judgement if you are one of these special cases. It's one thing to lose a baby...but a whole other when the pressure is on. To know that everyone is watching and taking notes is so stressful. As time goes on, it can also become embarrassing and add to depression. I for one did not like being watched...or talked about as if I was some form of entertainment. That was just one more thing I found myself needing to cope with that I shouldn't have needed to.

She's Back

Well, the spotting became a full blown period. I am so surprised, as that has never happened to me before. Usually, I have to stop the Prometrium and a couple days later my cycle will begin. I plan to ask about this and see if there is something else we should be doing. I have always believed that part of my problem is a luteal phase defect and low progesterone. I am wondering if they will change the protocol this next round.

Day One means a lot of things… disappointment… annoyance… cramps… but it also marks the beginning of the next cycle. I am happy to move on and try again, but also a bit sad.

This will be Follistim / IUI cycle #4. When Ryan and I talked about how many of these we’d try, we always said 5. Dr. Synn agreed with that decision. If we stick with the plan, that means we have only 2 more of these treatments before we hit a crossroad.

Do we stop there and start saving for IVF? At $10,000 - $12,000, we could be on hold for a long while. But when we did try again, our chances of success would be nearly twice as much as this treatment. Then again, I did get pregnant on this treatment. And we could try this route four or five more times for the cost of one IVF. It is a difficult dilemma. I guess the first step is to ask if the chances for success with Follistim decrease with continued use, as they do with Clomid.

And then there is the option of adoption, which we are open to. The problem is it will cost nearly as much as the IVF (as of now) and the information I’m getting from LDS family services (the agency we’d most likely use) is discouraging. Hundreds of adoptive couples, a small amount of babies available, and higher fees on the horizon (possibly double what they are now) is not good news for wanna-be parents like us.

My hope is that I won’t have to make these tough choices… that the next cycle is the winner.

My base ultrasound is tomorrow.


I guess the spotting yesterday that looked identical to the implantation bleeding I experienced last time... wasn't.

I was really angry last night after I tested. I was going into testing day clueless about the outcome. I was prepared to accept a negative result, UNTIL I got that spotting. Then I allowed myself to believe and was crushed when I saw that single pink line.

I do not understand why I was put in that position. "Everything happens for a reason." I can see that in most things with this struggle, but not this. I didn't see any purpose to getting my hopes sky high and crushing them down. It felt like a mean joke.

It was a rough night.

This morning the spotting started again and now I see it was my period breaking through. I'll need to ask about that, as the Prometrium is supposed to prevent this from happening.

The scariest thought I've had over the last 12 hours? What if last month was the only time I'll ever get pregnant? What if I am one of those girls who gets pregnant once, miscarries, and is never pregnant again? I know it happens; these women survive and eventually move on. But that is a future I'm not ready to imagine...

To read all the posts from this treatment cycle, CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Please don’t let this be a cruel, cruel joke!

I am spotting! It is pink to light red and looks pretty dang similar to last time. It could be my period trying to start, but during all my other treatments on Prometrium, the only time I saw any color was last month when I was pregnant…

I’m supposed to test tomorrow morning. We are sticking with our plan though and testing tonight. Although the test is most effective first thing in the morning, I feel like tonight is close enough and we got a positive result last time on the evening prior to testing day.

If it’s negative tonight, I’ll still take my medicine and test one last time tomorrow morning, just to be sure.

I am afraid to hope!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

And the Beat Goes On

As is always the case with the “two week wait”, once testing time approaches the hope dwindles. This is especially true this time around. I occasionally have little twinges and pulls, but who knows. It could just be digestion. ;)

The implantation bleeding I experienced last time was MIA. While I know each pregnancy is different, it was really hard not to see that nugget of hope this time around.

Also, there’s the idea that I couldn’t possibly get pregnant again my *first* treatment after the miscarriage. I am just not that lucky, right???

I am patiently waiting to see what happens…

Friday, October 29, 2010

High Hopes - Always a Dangerous Thing

I've got hopes for this cycle. High hopes. It doesn't help that I am having the same twinges and pulls in my abdomen that I did last time (when I became pregnant). Implantation??? Maybe... Maybe not...

No implantation bleeding yet though. I've been checking for it constantly, now that I've had that pregnancy symptom before. It feels like the old days when I was waiting for my period, hoping it wouldn't come, and checking to see if it did all the time. Now with the Prometrium, my period won't come on its own, so I thought I was done with "checking". Thanks infertility for bringing me another fun bathroom activity!

I didn't have Ryan hide the pregnancy tests this time around. I trust myself more now. Plus, after some convincing, I got Ryan to agree that we can test Wednesday night instead of Thursday morning, just like we did last time. Seeing that BFN on Thursday morning and then going straight to work would be hard. Seeing a BFN on Wednesday evening would give me time to grieve before venturing into public again.

There is the update! I hope no one reads this for a loooong time! ;)

Pregnancy Announcements

Ahh, the wild and wonderful world of pregnancy announcements. They take on a whole new meaning when you're infertile.

First the disclaimer... Pregnancy is such a wonderful event. And the announcement of the pregnancy is one of the best feelings in the world. I know! I've been there! So I would never, never tell someone how they should announce their pregnancy. Obviously, you have every right to announce it in any way you please.

Disclaimer over.

The purpose of this blog is to answer a question I have been asked several times: What is the best way to tell an infertile that you are pregnant?

I have been on the receiving end of some pregnancy announcements that were so painful for me, despite my positive feelings for the people involved, because of the method used.

I can only speak for this infertile. I prefer it to be quick and in writing. I don't like games, because the minute you tell me you want to "talk to me about something exciting" or you want me to "watch this video" or "figure out this riddle", guess what? I already know. :)

But what makes it worse, I can't stop and deal with it at that point. I still have to make the phone call or play along with the riddle because, even though I know, there is always the little voice saying "what if I'm wrong?" It makes the whole experience long and torturous for me. I know it is never intended, but while it is going on, it just feels cruel.

Once I know you are pregnant, I can process the info, compartmentalize my feelings, and move on. The "moving on" part always includes excitement for the soon-to-be parents and a love for the expected baby.

I prefer in writing because it's just easier for me. Call it cowardly, but it feels better to learn this news on my own and allow my natural reactions to come as they come. Email, text, Facebook... all of these work well. I don't like announcements in front of groups of people because, I know from experience, it makes everyone in the room feel weird. They are happy for the couple, but feel awkward around Ryan and I. I get sideways glances and hushed comments, when everyone should be focusing on the excitement of the new pregnancy!

Okay... It took a lot of courage to put this post out there. I've wanted to do it for years, but kept chickening out. I didn't want to hurt people's feelings. I was afraid of negative comments, or hearing how 'selfish' I am. But I finally felt it was time to answer the question I've been asked so many times.

Having said ALL that, you preggos and soon-to-be preggos out there... you share your amazing news however you feel you want to. Us infertiles are pretty good at getting through that situation. Many of us have had a lot of practice. I think I've achieved "pro" status. But for those of you who asked (or who wonder in silence)... quick and in writing is the way to go! ;)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Moded and Corroded!

Did you ever say that expression in 1st grade? Admit it! You did. And it is the perfect expression for this blog posting.

This childish statement goes out to all those well-intentioned busy-bodies who spent the last 7 years making me cry with the following statements…

- Just relax and it will happen.
- You’re trying too hard.
- Forget about it and you’ll get pregnant.

Notice all of these items put the blame on us. Not on some unexplained medical condition we might have, but on our mindsets, our attitudes, our anxieties. The reason we weren’t getting pregnant was under OUR control, but we were CHOOSING to “try too hard” and “not relax”. And THAT is why we weren’t pregnant yet.

Even though, logically, I knew that there was some other issue going on, I spent so much time blaming myself for our infertility because of these comments. I think this happens a lot to those with “unexplained infertility”. There is not a diagnosed medical condition, so the problem must lie somewhere else… right?

Well, in 2010 we were vindicated! We achieved pregnancy. No, we didn’t relax or try less. We sought medical treatment. If there were no medical issues, then why did we get pregnant on our 2nd Follistim with IUI cycle? We were anything but relaxed, we were trying really hard, and we were definitely thinking about it.

So, for all you well-intentioned busy-bodies out there… moded and corroded! :P Hopefully this is a lesson to you that no diagnosis does not equal no medical issues. And maybe you’ll think twice before making these comments to other couples who struggle with starting their family.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

This IUI

Yesterday afternoon, I was at my desk preparing for a client meeting. All of a sudden, I felt a huge yank on the left side of my abdomen. It took my breath away. A few other yanks followed and then a dull aching and cramping. The cramping soon began in my right side as well.

I debated calling the doctor's office. I was afraid I was ovulating and my IUI wasn't until 10:30am the next morning. I pride myself on being a 'trusting patient'. I am still my own best advocate, but I make a conscious effort to trust their protocol and relax. They aren't perfect, but they know what they're doing.

I did a quick Google search and it appeared an egg has 12 - 24 hours to be fertilized before it deteriorates. This concerned me, so I gave in and called the doctor's office.

They put my mind at ease quite quickly. The yanking and pulling could be ovulation, but it could also just be my body preparing to ovulate. Either way, they assured me I wouldn't miss our opportunity. It was intense because of the amount of mature eggs I had this time around. Last time, I had 1 large egg and 7 smaller ones. This time around, I had 3-4 large ones (and 1-2 small) and I guess that makes a big difference.

The cramping continued until early evening, and then subsided. Later that night, I felt a bit more on the right side.

This morning, we dropped off our 'sample' at about 8:30am and had two hours to kill while we waited for the IUI appointment. We went and got some breakfast (Starbucks for me, Sonic for him). The weather was nice, so we just ate and relaxed in the car. Ryan fell asleep, poor guy. He worked last night and works again tonight.

Finally, it was time to head back to the doctor's office. It was super busy, but we eventually made it into the little room. This IUI was done by Nurse H. My cervix wasn't as "cooperative" as it has been in the past and it was a bit painful, but everything went smoothly. I've had some cramping since, especially on the right side and down low.

I came home and took a long 3 hour nap. I've been up for a few hours, but I could go back to bed. I'm exhausted. This process is emotionally and physically draining. But so worth it if it results in a baby that will be ours forever. :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

God's Promise

I love when I read a new scripture. By new I mean one that I have probably read before, but that takes on a whole new meaning when read again in a different situation or mindset.

I came across this one in Sunday School and it hit me very hard. This is a flat-out promise from God. And God doesn’t break promises. What a comfort this was for me… I’ve probably read it 30 times since Sunday.

Perhaps things may be confusing and heartbreaking now, but God promises they won’t always be that way. No matter what the struggle or situation, I think everyone can gain something from reading this promise.

And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.

Isaiah 42:16

Monday, October 18, 2010

Feeling Happy and Hopeful

I had my mid-cycle appointment today. I had no idea what to expect. I had felt a lot of tugging and pulling last Thursday and Friday, but that tapered off some over the weekend.

I have five measurable eggs (3 on the right / 2 on the left). It appears three of them will be mature enough at ovulation to be fertilized (another one is borderline). So, while it is possible that triplets could result, it is unlikely and the chances of more than triplets are slim to none. That was reassuring. If I could guarantee that all three babies were healthy and happy, I would love triplets (once I stopped hyperventilating). But there are no guarantees in life, so I am open to whatever God gives me. Just give me something! Haha

Nurse M went on and on about how wonderful my lining looks. That made me feel good too. It seems everything is ‘perfect’ this time around. I’ve even read studies that say the first few months after miscarriage are your most fertile (some people dispute this). But I have to remind myself that even in the most perfect of circumstances the chances of this working are 18%. And there is a chance for another miscarriage as well.

So I will trigger tomorrow night, and the IUI is on Thursday. I was thinking, “Wow, it will only be a few weeks until I can post all these ‘secret’ blog postings…” but that’s not really true. If this cycle is successful, no one will be reading this until late December at the earliest. Weird! :)

The Lesson of the Wheat

In church yesterday, our speaker told the story of Sarah Peterson. Sarah was a member of the LDS church back in the early 1850s. Her husband, Canute, was serving a mission for the church. Back then, the typical mission was not 18 or 24 months, but could last several years. When Sarah’s husband left, she was now in charge of not only caring for their family alone, but raising the wheat that would sustain the family through the long winter.

According to everyone in town, Sarah messed up. She planted her wheat too late and too deep. She had failed. As everyone else’s wheat was growing tall and strong, hers hadn’t even sprouted yet. She was told there was no hope that she would have a crop for her family that year.

But then a rash of crickets came through the area. Everyone’s wheat was eaten and wiped out. It was complete desolation. Soon after, amidst all the damage, people began to notice small buds peaking out of the ground in Sarah’s field. What used to be considered “late” was, in reality, right on time. That harvest, she had enough wheat to sustain not only her family, but the entire town.

This was a testimony to me that sometimes God’s plan is greater than we know. Everything can appear completely hopeless when, in fact, it is all part of God’s beautiful design to teach us (and maybe those around us) an important lesson.

Maybe sometimes we feel like those fields of eaten wheat. Wiped out, devastated with little hope to cling to. But it is important to always remember there could be a miracle waiting just around the corner.

Friday, October 15, 2010


October 15th is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day, a time to promote awareness for those who are suffering or may know someone who has suffered a miscarriage, an ectopic pregnancy, a still birth, or the loss of an infant.

When I had my miscarriage, I was amazed by how many women contacted me who had also experienced miscarriages. Most of them contacted me privately, through emails or quiet conversations.

What amazed me even more were the stories I heard and the emotions that still surfaced in these women, even 30 years later for some. They spoke about the sadness and longing that was still a part of them. They spoke about feeling alone, and about husbands who couldn’t understand their grief. It was an eye-opening experience.

It is sad how alone these women feel, when in reality there are so many of us. What saddens me more are people who think that miscarriages happen to so many women, it must not be that big of a deal.

But it is huge. It is huge because it is the loss of life, the loss of a dream, and (for a period of time) the loss of hope. It is the loss of what once was, what could have been, and what will never be. Personally, it was the loss of a happiness and a fulfillment that was 7 years in the making. It was devastation.

Fortunately, I am of the mindset that my baby had a spirit. And whether he or she returns in this life or the next, I will hold my little “appleseed” someday, and that baby will be perfect.

I can only speak about miscarriage. I can’t imagine the heartache that comes from the loss of an infant. I hold those families close to my heart today.

So for all those women out there who are suffering in silence and anonymity, I wanted to say that you are not alone in your grief. I am crying with you and for you, and remembering your precious babies today.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

What a Headache!

After the whole miscarriage roller coaster, I am once again trying to keep the timing of my treatments private. I tried that with our first Follistim/IUI, but because of certain obligations, I had to miss out on events and find substitutes and the word soon got around.

The second Follistim/IUI treatment, I was open about the timing from the beginning. So when I got my BFP, I felt I needed to tell as everyone right away, as they knew the exact day I’d be finding out anyway.

We watched the heartache of close friends and family who had waited so long for that good news, only to see it taken away a week later, and we decided we couldn’t go through that again. Somehow, someway we would have to keep this next treatment private.

So far we’ve been pretty good. My co-workers might know (because of the missed work due to appointments), but to the world at large our secret appears pretty safe.

The benefit to doing this is I can vent all I want and I don’t feel bad because no one is reading this (yet)! In the past, I sometimes tried to censor myself for fear that people would think I was trying to get sympathy. By the time anyone reads this, I will be way past this point. No sympathy needed (or wanted either!).

This cycle reminds me of our last one, but with an even stronger headache. The nurse told me that the headache is a sign I need to drink more water. I am supposed to drink half a gallon a day. On Tuesday (day 1 of the shots; day 3 of my cycle), the headache came within an hour of the first dose. I had already drunk my required half gallon of water before dinnertime and still it was there. By Wednesday morning, it was gone… just in time to take my second dose. Sure enough, an hour later it was back. I’ve just come to accept that it will be my companion during the 6 days or so that I take this medication. It is just interesting that it gets worse with each cycle, although this time makes more sense because they did increase my dose slightly.

Other than that, I am still plugging along, doing my shots and appreciating every moment. Any time I start to complain too much, I think back to where I was 2 years ago…

I was sitting in a psychologist’s office sobbing hysterically because we had too much debt and not enough money for treatments. The stock market had tanked, my career was stalled, and we were basically paycheck to paycheck. There was no light at the end of the tunnel and I was in the midst of a deep depression. No hope, no encouragement, no way out of where I was. I was so hysterical, at one point, she had me hold onto this little machine and concentrate on the patterns of the vibrations it made. Looking back, I think she was just trying to distract me enough to calm down so I could drive myself home.

Whenever I begrudge the shots, the emotions, the disappointments I am feeling now, I picture that person sitting on that couch holding onto that stupid vibrating machine. And it makes me grateful for every bit of it… even the headaches.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Baseline Ultrasound

Today I met with Nurse M and had a baseline ultrasound. Everything looked great... no cysts and my uterus appeared normal. So we will proceed with starting treatment up again.

Starting tomorrow, I will take 100 iu of the follistim for 2 days. Then I'll lower the dosage to 75 iu for 4 more days. My mid-cycle ultrasound is in one week.

I am a bit nervous about how the increased dose will work with my body. Last cycle, I took 75 iu for 6 days and I had some pretty uncomfortable side effects, not to mention 8 eggs at my mid-cycle ultrasound. But, as I've said several times, I am trusting the medical professionals as well as God above that it will all turn out how it's supposed to.

Give 'er Some Credit!

Sometimes my body surprises me.

The last four weeks have been somewhat of a waiting game. After the miscarriage, we waited for the next cycle to begin on its own. The longest month of my life, literally. About two weeks ago, I thought we had made it, cramps and all. It was only about two weeks since the miscarriage, but I had been warned that my next cycle could come at any time.

I called the doctor's office as instructed and made an appointment for the next day. By the time I showed up to my appointment, it was gone, and a quick ultrasound proved it. (Thank you to Nurse H for not charging me, saving us $100. :))

After 2 more false starts, I was getting frustrated. Throughout this time, I was told if I didn't start on my own by October 14th, I would have to take Provera (strong progesterone) for 10 days and force myself into a period. I really didn't want to do that.

Finally, it came on its own. And, if you were to consider the miscarriage as my last "cycle", it was only 1 day late.

Sometimes, I don't give my body enough credit. I think of it as "broken", because of the unexplained infertility.

Then I have to remember... Although I may not be able to conceive for some unknown reason, my body is healthy, functioning, and can do a lot of things on its own, including bounce back quite quickly from a pregnancy loss (I wish the emotional side was that easy!). Not everyone can say that, and I should be grateful for the body I have.

Wow, a whole post dedicated to my monthly visitor. Never thought I'd see the day. :P

Sunday, September 26, 2010

To All the Women

In the last year, I’ve probably read this paragraph (and similar ones) dozens of times as they make their way around Facebook and back again…

To all the unselfish moms out there who traded eyeliner for dark circles, salon haircuts for pony tails, long showers for quick showers, late nights for early mornings, designer bags for diaper bags, and wouldn't change a thing. Lets see how many moms post this. Moms who don't care about whatever they gave up and instead LOVE what they got in return. Post this if you love your life as a Mother.

Well, I have finally written my own…

To all the heartbroken women out there who traded flat stomachs for bruised and bloated ones, romantic nights with their husbands for costly inseminations, designer bags for a refrigerator full of medicine, healthy bodies for headaches and hot flashes, their privacy for a chance at adoption, and wouldn’t change a thing… because every one of these trade offs is a CHANCE at Motherhood. Woman who don’t care about whatever they gave up and instead risk everything for the hope of something wonderful in return. Post THIS if you’d do anything to become a Mother.

Longest Month of my Life

So far, this has been the longest month of my life.

I am not exaggerating or being over-dramatic. I have never felt time crawl by as slowly as it has in the last fourteen days.

Ryan and I were talking about the next cycle, and he asked when it might start. I told him, best case scenario, I could start in 2 weeks. Even he was shocked that we still have at least two more weeks before we could possibly do anything to work towards our family again. As I said, time just crawls now.

I try not to recognize every lost milestone (today I would have been 7 weeks... I would have started showing by my birthday... I would have been 4 months at Christmas...). I try not to memorialize each sad memory (it’s been 2 weeks since we found out we lost the pregnancy... it’s been 10 days since I started bleeding...).

It’s hard, but I try.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

True Happiness

This morning I was talking with my mom on the phone. Out of the blue she asked, “Are you happy?”

I was surprised by her question, and responded, “Me? You’re asking me if I’m happy?” It just seemed like a random question, out of nowhere.

In a flash, I thought about all the wonderful things I have in my life… An awesome husband, caring family, great friends, the comfort of religion, the cutest kitties around, a nice home, a good job, and the list goes on.

But am I happy? I answered her with a yes. But there is a caveat…

I am happy, but now I know how happy I could be, which makes my current state hard to bear.

After 7 long, agonizing years, I experienced one week of blissful happiness. Suddenly, all that was taken away.

The blessing is that I can finally say I know true happiness. The curse is how much I want it back.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.

Mosiah 24:14

Tomorrow morning at 9:30am, we were supposed to see our baby's heartbeat. Every time I think about that, my heart breaks a little. I am grateful that my boss scheduled a staff meeting for tomorrow, so I won't be staring at the clock thinking about what might have been. I am even more grateful that I found out the baby had stopped growing prior to tomorrow's appointment. As devastating as it was to get that phone call, finding out in the doctor's office would have been even harder.

I am saying extra prayers tonight that tomorrow goes by quickly.

Ryan had a dream today that I was pregnant again. I asked if we were nervous or scared in the dream and he said no. We were happy.

Friday, September 17, 2010


Ryan's step-mom shared this beautiful quote with me tonight, and I can't get it out of my head:

Where there is life, there is hope.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Time Out

It’s been one week since I got that awful phone call. I can honestly say it’s been the longest week of my life.

We are blessed to have so many people who love and care for us. Many people have called, emailed, or left comments. I am so grateful. If there is one thing I can say, I don’t feel alone in all this. A lot of women do, so I am very blessed.

Some people have asked what they could do to help. I know if I was watching someone I love go through this, I would want to do something, find some way to cheer them up or help them forget.

Honestly, I think I need more time. I know it’s selfish, but I just want to crawl in a hole somewhere and hibernate for a while. That is what feels good right now. And all I want to do is something that feels good, anything that takes some of the pain away.

I know many, many women experience miscarriages. I’ve heard from a lot of you who have. I know some of you think I should just put on a brave face and jump back into life. Thank you for encouraging me to do so (including my hubby, who sweetly suggested a vacation). I look forward to the time I can. But every person is different, and this was devastating to me. I waited 7 years to see those 2 lines, got one week to live in paradise, and then had my entire world crash down. I need time. I wish I was stronger, but I want to be realistic about where I am now. And this is where I am.

Monday, September 13, 2010

200th Post

Verily I say unto you my friends, fear not, let your hearts be comforted; yea, rejoice evermore, and in everything give thanks;

Waiting patiently on the Lord, for your prayers have entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, and are recorded with this seal and testament—the Lord hath sworn and decreed that they shall be granted.

Therefore, he giveth this promise unto you, with an immutable covenant that they shall be fulfilled; and all things wherewith you have been afflicted shall work together for your good, and to my name’s glory, saith the Lord.

Doctrine and Covenants 98: 1-3

When I started this blog as a journal of this experience, I never thought I would make it to 200 posts. But here I am...

From the very first post in 2006, to the 100th post, written during one of the hardest times of my life, it has been a journey for sure.

And now I'm at 200, and it hasn't gotten much easier. BUT the hope is still there. In 200 posts, I haven't lost hope.

Today, a fellow church member gave me the scripture referenced above. If that's not a promise, I don't know what is... I've read that passage several times in the past hour, and find more comfort each time I read it.

Tomorrow is a big day. It will be the first time I've really interacted with people face-to-face since I got the news. I have hidden out in my home for the last 4 days, reading your supportive and encouraging comments and emails. I haven't had to censor my emotions or try to make others feel comfortable. I can just break down when I want to with no repercussions. That's all going to change, and I'm going to have to look people in the eye again. I hope it all goes okay.

Earlier, Ryan was joking around and being his normal sweet self. I was laughing along for a while, but then got quiet. He asked what was wrong and I said I was just sad. He seemed disappointed at that. I told him, you know, it's only been 4 days since life changed, not even 2 days since the miscarriage began. He commented that it seems like it's been a lot longer. He said, "I just miss you". I think he misses the wife he had during that wonderful week, the week I finally felt like myself again. The best week of my life.

But that is over now. And I need to work on getting through this, and having faith that I will be in that place again someday.

Even though I never thought I'd make it to 200 posts, I am so grateful for this blog. I am grateful for the support that has come about because of it. I am grateful for the friends I've met. I am grateful for the ability to purge my innermost thoughts and feelings into the universe, which somehow makes it easier to acknowledge and accept my situation.

Mostly, I am grateful that SOMEDAY, whether at post #300, #500, or #1000, there WILL be an ending and I pray everyday it will be a happy one.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Where Can I Turn for Peace?

I did not make it to church today. I was tormented about whether to go because I knew it's where I needed to be, but facing people today seemed too hard. I haven't been in public (or even left my home really) in 3 days.

Fortunately, as I was trying to decide what to do, God showed me a little mercy and the miscarriage began on its own.

I am grateful for that, as it seems I avoided a D&C (surgery where they basically scrape the uterus). A D&C is rough anyway, and because I am over-sensitive to anesthesia it would have been even tougher. Usually, a D&C is necessary for women who are further along in their pregnancy, but I had been warned that some women on Prometrium need to have them too, even if they lose the pregnancy early.

Because I was missing church, I tried to find some way to feel spiritual today. I was hoping it would help bring me some peace. I pulled out my copy of "Fertile in our Faith", an infertility book written from a LDS perspective. I read the whole book, reading the portion on pregnancy loss twice. I was looking for something (anything!) that could bring me comfort.

The pregnancy loss chapter focused on learning to 'release the hug'. It is said that when a child hugs you, never be the first one to release that hug; always hold on until the child lets go first.

In the book, the author relates this to pregnancy. Pregnancy is your opportunity to "hug" your child and, just as it is outside the womb, you should never be the first to let go. The author encourages the reader to enjoy pregnancy, savor those moments, and hold on to hope.

That is one thing I can say about my brief time in pregnancy, I hugged our baby. Although I was nervous and scared of losing the pregnancy, we still savored each moment we had in that state. We celebrated, gave prayers of gratitude, and spread that happiness to others around us who wanted it almost as much as we did. Not for one minute did I begrudge anything about that experience: the waiting it took to get there, the pregnancy symptoms I was having, the overwhelming feeling that life was going to change. I held onto our baby as hard and as tight as I could. It ended up not being enough, but I tried 100%.

The author goes onto say, if the time does come that your baby releases the hug, it is helpful to acknowledge the loss in a tangible way. This is true even for people like us, who lose their baby so early in the pregnancy. It was a relief to read this because I hadn't really given myself permission to do that. I felt silly, like our baby wasn't "real" enough yet to other people for us to grieve over.

There were suggestions in the book on how to acknowledge the loss. None of them seemed quite right for us, so I researched around a bit more and found something that felt good. This brought me some comfort.

One thing I have learned the last few days is how fleeting those moments of peace and comfort really are. Seems I mostly just try to make it from one peaceful moment to the next, without falling apart in between. But this morning I had the opportunity to feel comforted for quite some time, and for that I am grateful.


Where, when my aching grows,
Where, when I languish,
Where, in my need to know,
Where can I run?

Where is the quiet hand
to calm my anguish?
Who, who can understand?
He, only One.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

I am struggling...

On top of all the emotions of the last couple days, I am struggling to make sense of something far more deep than I can explain... but I guess I'll try.

I have always believed that embryos are life. They are sacred. This I know. The question I keep asking myself is, when conception occurs, does that embryo already have a spirit?

In other words, were the few weeks that this baby spent inside my womb considered his or her journey to earth, and sufficient enough for God's purposes? Part of the reason for life is to gain a body and be tested. Well, my baby never really got a body. But did he or she have a spirit?

I don't think anyone out there truly knows the answer. I know I sure don't. I'm not asking for anyone to speculate or give opinions, I'm just trying to make sense of all this. All I know is that deep down inside, I loved this embryo like a child, and the loss is overwhelming. I'm sure most people wouldn't consider me a "mother", but I know I feel the emotions of one. I have never felt my heart break like this.

I read this poem a while back. Every time I read it now, I cry. I wonder if it applies to me. Is this baby a real spirit waiting for me on the other side? Or did this baby not live long enough to gain a spirit? This question just torments me. I wish I knew the answer...


I thought of you and closed my eyes
And prayed to God today
I asked "What makes a Mother?"
And I know I heard Him say.

"A Mother has a baby"
This we know is true
"But God can you be a Mother,
When your baby's not with you?"

"Yes, you can," He replied
With confidence in His voice
"I give many women babies,
When they leave is not their choice.

Some I send for a lifetime,
And others for the day.
And some I send to feel your womb,
But there's no need to stay."

"I just don't understand this God
I want my baby to be here."
He took a deep breath and
cleared His throat,
And then I saw the tear.

"I wish I could show you,
What your child is doing today.
If you could see your child's smile,
With all the other children and say...

'We go to Earth to learn our lessons,
Of love and life and fear.
My Mommy loved me oh so much,
I got to come straight here.

I feel so lucky to have a Mom,
Who had so much love for me.
I learned my lessons very quickly,
My Mommy set me free.

I miss my Mommy oh so much,
But I visit her every day.
When she goes to sleep,
On her pillow's where I lay

I stroke her hair and kiss her cheek,
And whisper in her ear.
Mommy don't be sad today,
I'm your baby and I'm here.'

"So you see my dear sweet ones,
your children are okay.
Your babies are born here in My home,
And this is where they'll stay.

They'll wait for you with Me,
Until your lesson's through.
And on the day that you come home
they'll be at the gates for you.

So now you see what makes a Mother,
It's the feeling in your heart
it's the love you had so much of
Right from the very start.

Infertility and Dessert

Thanks to a friend for reminding me our dessert will come someday. I've officially tasted the chocolate cake, and it was promptly taken away. Now I know that pain, but I also know the joy. I need to just trust in the baker...

Waiting for Dessert
by Christine Dallimore

Friday, September 10, 2010

Wake me up when September ends...

If September 1st was one of the best days of my life, September 9th was one of the worst.

The day started out normal, well as normal as possible when you are walking on a cloud. I was at the lab as soon as they opened to give blood for my second beta test. Afterwards, I came home, did a little laundry and got ready for the day. I told Ryan that morning, there was nothing in my life I could possibly complain about. It was such a weird feeling, that I was completely content, that those 7 years were completely worth it. For the first time in years and years, I felt completely happy.

He had the day off too, and we headed out for a lunch date. I kept glancing at my phone, waiting for the phone call from the doctor's office. After lunch and a little browsing around River Park, we decided to venture into Babies-R-Us for the first time. We were originally going to wait to go in there until we had seen the heartbeat, but I wanted to get my mind off the impending phone call. So we decided to go for it.

Although I had been there before to pick-up gift cards, I had never been further than the cashier up front. As we walked in, we passed the registers and headed towards the back of the store.

I can't explain the awful feeling that came over me. It felt like a feeling of dread or foreboding. I instantly felt like I didn't belong there. I couldn't breathe. Ryan followed me as I looped around the store and headed right back into the parking lot. That is where I started to cry.

I just figured it was because of the infertility. Perhaps after 7 years, I just couldn't imagine that I could really be in a store like that. I felt like I couldn't be one of those happy pregnant women or new moms browsing through the isles; it just couldn't happen for me.

Now I think that God was trying to tell me something.

We headed home and I still hadn't heard from the doctor's office. At 2pm sharp I called. The nurse stated they couldn't find my results and she would call me back. I waited and waited. I started to feel like something was wrong.

At 3:30pm I called again. The girl put me on hold for several agonizing minutes. Finally, she came back and said the nurse practitioner had taken my file home with her, and was going to call me directly about it. My voice started to shake as I asked if everything was okay. She said she wasn't sure, but she would text her right away and tell her to call me.

The next hour was the longest hour of my life. Finally, at 4:30pm, the phone rang. My hands shook as I answered the phone and picked up a pen to write down my results.

I don't remember much about the conversation. I remember her saying she was sorry over and over. I remember shaking and crying. I remember her telling me the baby stopped growing and my numbers went from 147 to 34. I remember writing those numbers down and staring at them. I remember looking at Ryan and watching him stare at the ceiling and rub his eyes. I vaguely remember her telling me what would eventually happen next, none of it sounding pretty.

Since that time, I have been a roller coaster of emotions. I bawl, I get pissed, I cry and I've even laughed a few times. I'm a total crazy person. And completely devastated.

The angry times are the worst. They scare me. I feel like my entire body could explode. I even declared out loud that God hated me, even though when I said it I knew full well it was untrue. And in the next breath, I am thanking Him for giving us such a wonderful blessing, even if it was just for a moment. I feel like a mess.

The last 24 hours have been spent just waiting. Feeling my stomach clench and cramp and waiting for the ax to fall; not looking forward to seeing the evidence of this nightmare, whenever it decides to arrive.

I used to spend time imagining how wonderful it would be to finally be pregnant. Now I know, and it was unlike anything I could ever imagine. I was the happiest I had ever been. I remember driving to work one morning thinking that after years and years, I was starting to feel like myself again. The real me. The 'me' that infertility stole. Now I look in the mirror and she's gone again. I want her back.

I miss the tiny appleseed that once brought joy to so many people. I wanted to see him or her grow and thrive. I wanted to hold this baby in my arms someday. I have to come to terms that this will never happen now. Even though I know it's crazy, I feel like I failed.

In my good moments though, I still have faith. I have faith to try again, and when that waivers I borrow Ryan's, because he has even more than I do. He is my rock.

Somehow, I'll get through this day, this week, this month. I look forward to October. A new season, a new start, a new hope.

here comes the rain again
falling from the stars
drenched in my pain again
becoming who we are

as my memory rests
but never forgets what I lost
wake me up when september ends

summer has come and passed
the innocence can never last
wake me up when september ends