Saturday, July 30, 2011

Part 1 - Avoid trying to fix or lighten the problem

Before I share the positive things that have personally impacted me, I have to share some of the things that have not been too helpful. I think that most people subconsciously feel the need to give some sort of advice to fix, or at least lessen the weightiness of the problem that their acquaintances or loved ones are going through. It's a natural response. But infertility is a medical issue, and there is unfortunately no such thing as a quick fix for this problem. A great majority of the responses I've received come across as more belittling than helpful. Below are a few examples of "tips" that I've been given. :)

Relax / Just stop thinking about it. 
This is the most common response, hands down. It's also the biggest myth ever. lol. There is no proof that relaxing can somehow make ovaries produce eggs, perfectly time sex, or make a man with low sperm counts suddenly produce more. Saying this insinuates that it is the infertile woman's fault that she can't conceive, because she is simply too uptight. The truth is, we're not stressed out about getting pregnant all the time. There are some key days when anxiety and frustration really hit hard. But when you are working with a doctor and making decisions about your health that will change your life, isn't a little stress natural? Offering the quick solution of relaxing, is belittling and not encouraging.

You should just adopt, and then you'll get pregnant. 
Ryan and I want to adopt. We always have. But that doesn't change the fact that I'd like to see a little someone with Ryan's eyes, laughing and running around my home. I want to feel a baby growing inside my womb. I want to nurse. Call me a psycho, but I even want to experience labor and delivery. lol. Mentioning adoption so casually, can sidestep a person's fear and grief that they might not get to experience these gifts of life. 

This suggestion also makes less of adopted children. It makes them second-string children that will fill the void until you get what you really want, which is a biological child. Especially for those of us who want to adopt, it is hurtful to speak about adoption as though it is just a means to an end.

Another thing to consider is that many can't afford adoption. It can cost anywhere from 5 to 25K, depending on which route you go with. While many couples would love to move on to adoption once they've reached the end of fertility treatments, the hard reality is that many can't afford it. 

You're young and have plenty of time. Just enjoy being with your husband.
Well, I may be young and I may have plenty of childbearing years ahead of me, but I may not have any. People don't usually go into the decision of trying to have a child lightly. Ryan and I went back and forth on the idea for a good month or two before we both felt comfortable moving forward. Much like couples that are 5 or 10 years older than us, once we decided to try, we knew we wanted it more than anything. :)

It'll happen when you least expect it!
So...I should try not to expect getting pregnant, when I'm having unprotected sex for the purpose of getting pregnant? ::confused face:: What does that even mean??? lol. This response is very common, even my OBGYN said it when I told her that I still wasn't pregnant after 9 months. ::head desk::
Take prenatal vitamins! Have more sex! Lose weight! Try organic food! Stand on your head and let gravity help the sperm!  The list goes on. :) But as with most other heartaches in life, your loved ones need you to be listeners, not advice-givers. So what things should you say? Glad you asked! That's our next topic to cover. :)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Supporting your infertile loved ones

Since it'll be another several days before I can give any updates, I figured it would be a good time to share something that's been on my heart for a while now - how can you love and encourage couples going through infertility? One in six couples is dealing with infertility, so chances are, I'm not the only person you know who can't seem to get pregnant. You have the opportunity to come alongside your loved ones, and help carry the load of this emotional roller coaster. Because this is such a private area of life, few people talk about it, and because it's not spoken of, there is a lack of understanding, and therefore, people with good intentions have the potential to say things that are unhelpful. It's a vicious cycle, and one that I hope to break through this little mini series. :) I hope that I can give some perspective from this side of things, and help you as you seek to love those around you... so stay tuned! :) 

Monday, July 25, 2011

I'm baaaaaaack!

What a wonderful vacation! :) Ryan and I thoroughly enjoyed our time away. FYI, Charleston, South Carolina is really hot this time of year. I thought I knew what that meant, but I seriously had no idea. haha. Never fear, a little sweat didn't stop our fun. We got to tour some cool historic places like Fort Sumter (where the Civil War began), a working plantation, and the downtown area with pretty, old houses.

I think we would have done more touristy type things if it wasn't so flippin humid. Alas, we resorted to game playing, eating, movie watching, eating, swimming, eating, and catching up with our family (did I mention eating? lol). It was a total blast and incredibly refreshing. I'm so happy to be a Miller. :) 

Now that we're home and our schedule has calmed down a bit, I'm eager to get back in the game of fertility treatment. I anticipate starting meds at some point next week, but it just depends. I'll keep you posted! 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Long time no...see? Talk? Read?

I have no idea what the appropriate phrase is for my subject line. Oh well, you know what I mean. :) Not much has happened in the past couple weeks. We spent the first week of July wishing we were dead because we were just that miserable. ;) Our AC has never worked and we've been in denial of that fact since we moved in. haha. We eventually just ended up crashing at my parent's house all last week, till it got fixed. But you know, the change in pace made the time go by fast, which was nice. Actually, this whole month is full of out of the ordinary activities, and that has really helped keep my mind from dwelling too much on our forced pause in treatment. Next week we're getting on a plane and spending several glorious days on the east coast with the Miller clan. I CAN'T WAIT! I'm thankful that I get to enjoy a vacation and time with the family, completely void of hormonal hot flashes, irritability, and headaches. :) Anyway, by the time we get back I will be just a few days away from my next cycle when we whip out the big guns of intrauterine insemination. Yeah baby! 

In other news, I came across the first song I've ever heard mention a struggle to get pregnant. It's not new, I just must not have ever paid attention to that part of the song before. Anyway, though it is just a very short verse (starts at 2min 15sec), it made me happy, in an eyes-welled-up-with-tears sort of way. It's what I envision happening some day for us. And yes, it's country. Don't hate. ;) haha

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Peace in seemingly cruel coincidences

Our next step is IUI (intrauteral insemination). I'm going to be on another 150mg of clomid and hope that we get two follies again. Dr. Q will trigger me to ovulate and put Ryan’s swimmers directly in my uterus with my egg(s) and we'll see if anything takes. There is a little more monitoring involved in this procedure, which needs to be done on specific cycle days. Unfortunately, we're going to be out of town on days that I would need to see my doctor. So I’m on the bench this month; I can't get treatment. We'll have to wait till August to move forward. 

I actually ended up being late. Two days late to be exact, and with the most beautiful chart I've ever had. As you can see in my average curve (in blue), my temps consistently drop, which mean that pregnancy did not occur. But this time they stayed high, and gave me hope that maybe the clomid worked, even after I got the first negative test. I figured I would test again this morning if my temp remained high. Alas, this morning's temp was a nosedive, and I started my period. Not only am I not pregnant, but I am also two days too late to do the IUI in July. 

I thought that I would be pretty discouraged about all this, but God has given me a peace in my heart about how everything worked out (thank you for your prayers!!). Why did God choose to lengthen this cycle, of all cycles? Furthermore, why lengthen it just enough for me to miss my small window of opportunity to move forward next month? I don't know. But it is just too specific for me to doubt that He has a better plan. Maybe He wants to display His power by letting us get pregnant next month without medical help, maybe my body needs a little break for the IUI to work in August, or maybe this is buying time for just the right adopted blessing to come to us. I don't know. But  I'm ok with that right now. God is good. I trust that one day I'll be able to look back and be so thankful that He used one specific sperm and one specific egg, in one specific cycle, in one specific way, to make one specific baby for us. When I look into that child's eyes, I don't think I'll care how long it took for him or her to be mine. :']

"I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord..." (Psalm 27:13)