Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Growing in Patience

Ryan and I have been talking recently about patience. Isn’t it a shame that patience is something that you can only learn by not getting what you want? Haha! I just want God to zap me with it, instead of building it slowly, over time – but I suppose that would defeat the purpose wouldn’t it? ;) At church a couple weeks ago, a friend of mine was warming up a bottle for her baby boy. He had about two minutes to wait, and he was just crying like the world was over. I had to smile because I realized in that moment, that God starts teaching us patience from infancy, and continues to build it in us throughout our lives. The waits get longer and harder over time, but He gives just enough to stretch us to the next level of endurance. :) It seems like simple enough concept to grasp, but I think sometimes, in the heat of a trial, it’s easy to forget the basics of what we believe. The trial of not being able to get pregnant has been both emotionally and spiritually challenging for me. I feel like I’m finally able to see some aspects of the struggles in retrospect, instead of being overwhelmed in the thick of it, but it’s taken me a long time and I have not "arrived" just yet. :)
I’m not the type of girl who loves work, and is seeking to build a career for herself. I have only ever wanted to be a full time wife and mom. It is spiritually confusing to know and desire the roles that God has called me to, and yet not be granted the opportunity to fully act on them. I prayed diligently when we first started trying, then I got convicted that maybe I was making an idol of this desire, so I stopped praying about it. Then my heart felt heavy because I was not bringing it before the Lord. So I tried again for a while, and ran out of things to pray, and felt like God wasn’t hearing me anyway, so I stopped praying all together. Then I felt distant from the Lord, and stopped reading my Bible. Before long my perspective of God had changed from loving Father, to a heartless figure who gave me a test that I was incapable of passing. And that was my lowest point- I forgot that God loves me. I forgot that He is teaching me patience, because he loves me and is keeping His promise to sanctify me, and make my heart more beautiful in His sight. I am so thankful that the Lord snapped me out my false perception of Him, and called me back to the reality of His grace. I’m still going to have down days. Actually, now that we're getting help, I think the highs will be higher and the lows will be lower. But I need to keep reminding myself that the Lord is not bullying me, He’s on my side. I’m still His girl, and He will not give me more than I can handle. :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Nests and Hatching Eggs

I’ve been reading a book called Adopted For Life by Russell Moore. I definitely recommend it to anyone who is considering adoption, or is at all interested in this subject. He has expanded my perspective to see adoption the way God sees it, beyond the physical aspect of adding a member to our family. I have been blessed to reflect on my own personal adoption into the great big, multicultural family of God. :) I have also appreciated what Moore has to say about infertility. He speaks compassionately from experience, yet charges those struggling with infertility to check themselves for sin issues that this emotional roller coaster tends to surface. There is literally a heading that reads, “Adoption For People Who Are, Or Think They Might Be, Infertile.” ::cue Twilight Zone music:: How did he know??? ;) haha. Anyway, there is a lot of other good stuff in the book, and I still have a couple chapters to go before I finish it. But I wanted to share a little tidbit that was encouraging to me this week. As we move forward with fertility treatment, it is so good to be reminded of God’s loving care and sovereignty in this aspect of my life.
Whatever your views about how God’s kingship fits with human freedom, you know as a Christian that God is at work in bringing about His good purposes for you. Your decisions fit, mysteriously, into that overall plan. Don’t worry. As you move forward, remember, that your God is King; so “do not be anxious” (Matthew 6:25-34). Just as our Father provides food for the birds of the air, He also provides them with nests and hatching eggs.



Friday, May 13, 2011

“hmmm…Denay, I think it might be your ovaries.”

I figured that the tests I took yesterday would come back normal, just like the other tests that we’ve done thus far. I didn’t expect that the doctor would actually find anything unusual. But he did. I’m getting ahead of myself though, let’s back up. :)
My mom drove out to Glendale with me, to be a carpool buddy and supporter. Ryan would have come, but knowing that the HSG procedure would only take about 15 minutes, we decided that we’d rather save his time off for more important occasions. Like ultrasounds one day (hopefully). Anyway, mom and I made the trip out, talking the whole way, which was awesome cause we had a good time and I was totally distracted up until I got my legs up in the air. Haha. The procedure itself was…a little more painful than I expected. Lots of intense cramping as they were putting the catheter in, and then I got a really painful and light headed sensation as they were putting the fluid through. But that part was very short, it only took about a minute, so it was tolerable. My tubes looked great! So we moved on to an internal ultrasound to check out my ovaries. And this is when Dr. Q made the previously mentioned statement- “hmm. Denay, I think it might be your ovaries.” ::insert my stunned face here:: Basically, he said that my ovaries don’t look like the ovaries of a 25 year old, they look more like ovaries of a 35 year old. Still working and producing eggs, but they’re just not as “hearty” and healthy looking as they would be for someone my age. He assured me that everything else looks good, and that I will be able to get pregnant. It’s just a matter of time, and how aggressive we want to go with our treatment options.
While I was expecting everything to be fine and normal, it was nice to hear that there may be an actual reason behind why this is taking us longer than we thought it would. Now Ryan and I have more information to make some decisions with. If my ovaries are 35 now, how will they look in a few years? If we want to have biological children, now is the time to try. We’re going to pause our thoughts on adoption for the moment, while we pursue the next couple stages of fertility treatment. I filled a prescription last night for Clomid, which will stimulate follicle development in my ovaries. It’s the easiest, cheapest route, and since it’s too late in my cycle for the other options, we figured we had nothing to lose by just giving it a go this cycle. It actually doesn’t raise our odds very much, so depending on how I respond to it (I’ll be monitored to see the effects), we might do it again next cycle, or just jump to the next stage of aggression.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Plan Of Action!

It’s been a year of trying to get pregnant – now what? Well, we’re actually starting out by taking two simultaneous routes right now, and I trust that over the next few months God will make the right path obvious to us.
Ryan and I have talked about adoption since we were dating. It’s just been on our hearts as something that we’ve always wanted to do, whether or not we were able to have biological children. I admit, I didn’t think that baby #1 would be adopted, but getting pregnant is obviously taking a little longer than we anticipated, so why not? *chuckles to self* Ok, “a little longer than anticipated” is an understatement- I totally thought I was going to be a one-hit-wonder and here I am a year later. ;) haha. Anyway, we brought the subject up about a month ago, and decided to do some preliminary research and get together with some dear family friends of ours to hear about their adoption experience. We were so blessed by our get together last weekend! The more that we talk about adoption, the more excited we are to pursue it. This week we made the first step by contacting a local Christian adoption agency to request more information on their particular process. I just received the preliminary application and supplemental questionnaire this morning, so Ryan and I will go through those and see what happens from there!
While doing that, I will also be going through some fertility testing. We have already done the first round of simple tests with our primary physicians- SA & blood work for Ryan, and ultrasound & blood work for me. Both checked out just fine. The next step is to meet with a reproductive endocrinologist (who will henceforth be referred to as RE). I have my first consultation appointment scheduled for next Wednesday, which I hope is when he will give me a referral for an HSG test. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s essentially ink/dye being shot up into my lady bits to see if there are any abnormalities such as clogged tubes, narrow or tilted “passageways”, etc. The nice thing about this is that if my tubes do happen to be blocked, the pressure of the fluid will (hopefully) clear it out. We’ll see what options lie ahead of us, fertility-wise, after Wednesday. I’ll keep you posted. J
It’s exciting to have a plan. I'm really looking forward to seeing what God will do. :)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

"When are you guys going to have kids?"

I had subconscious expectations about what my life would be like once I got married. One of those expectations was that we would have a baby when we were ready. It turns out that many, if not most, people also assume that if a person doesn't have a baby, it's because they don't want one quite yet. This became quite apparent to me as soon after we were married, people started asking us when we were going to have kids. It seemed to be a fairly natural and simple question at first. Something that I was expected to answer with the same non-chalant vibe as answering “What are you making for dinner?” Ryan and I came up with clever ways to avoid that question, especially when we actually did start trying a few short months after we were married. While I'm sure there was no harm intended by the person asking, as time went on, that question became annoying, then insensitive, and then so outright painful that I often found myself turning around with tear filled eyes. 
My sweet husband and I have crossed the milestone of our first year of trying to get pregnant. It has been an emotionally and spiritually challenging journey, let me tell ya. And as we start getting more aggressive in our quest to find the soul that the Lord would entrust to our care, I figured I would start documenting the process. If you have not struggled to get pregnant, chances are that you know someone who is. I hope that this will be an encouragement to those who are currently going through the same heartache we have, as well as to provide some level of awareness to those who have not been exposed to it. Thanks for joining me in the search for Baby Miller. :)