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…