Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Moving right along

Yesterday's appointment went well. Basically, Dr. Q wants to be careful not to stimulate too many eggs (4-8) since I’m young and haven’t established a history of failed IUIs just yet. So we’re going to try to get two or three eggs again, this time using only injectable meds instead of the Clomid/inject combo that I did last cycle. This will help both the quality and quantity of my eggs. It's a little more aggressive, without being too risky, which I am happy with. I started my injects yesterday, and I'm really hoping that I can get three good sized follies from it. I will feel like we actually have a good shot at this with three. But we'll see what God has for us this time around. :)

Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
O for grace to trust Him more!

Monday, August 29, 2011

On to IUI #2!

Thank you all for your words of encouragement this week. We were really discouraged Monday through Wednesday, but things got better as the week went on. I trust that your prayers had something to do with that. ;) One nice aspect of going through treatment, is that after a failed cycle, you move right into the next game plan. It helps keep things moving, which I really like. Ryan and I are going to see Dr. Q this afternoon to get our next plan of action. I've been meaning to talk to him about our goals, but I have never actually verbalized it with him, so we're going to do that today. Basically, we're only going to do one or two more IUIs, we do not plan on moving on to in-vitro at this point in our lives, and we're not afraid of twins (on the contrary, we'd actually be pretty stoked about twins *teehee*). So how aggressive can we be this cycle? Cause we really need it to count.  lol. I'm eager to see what Dr. Q has in mind for us. I'll try to post an update tomorrow. :)

P.S. I love this-

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Part 4 - Closing thoughts

Everything that I've said up to this point has been under the assumption that the struggle of infertility has already been shared with you. But what about all the couples that have not "come out of the closet"? Believe it or not, not all infertile couples are cool with putting all of their business on the internet for the whole world to see, like I am. haha. ;) My encouragement is to deny yourself the pleasure of fulfilled curiosity- do not ask people or tease about when they are going to have kids. :) You do not know what is going on in this private area of their life as a couple, and they should not be put on the spot to tell you. She could have gotten a negative pregnancy test that day. They could have just experienced a miscarriage. They may be on their third year of trying. It is always best not to go there, unless invited in. You will be appreciated, whether or not you know it. :)

Well that's it folks. Thank you so much for the positive feedback you've given me through this series. It makes me so happy to know that there are people who are trying to be sensitive, and eager to know how they can encourage others. :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Part 3 - Giving prayer support

We're in another lull phase folks (story of my life, lol). So I want to finish up my series on how you can love and encourage your infertile friends. :) If you are new to the blog, you can catch up on the previous posts here- Intro, Part 1, and Part 2.

Praying is an incredibly important service to your loved ones. I rely so much on the prayers of others. I know that God is the only One who can/will help me, but at times, my heart grows tired of my own repetitious requests of Him. I sometimes feel as though I have run out of words to bring before the Lord. It is so comforting to know that when I do not have the strength to pray, I have loved ones coming to God on my behalf. Of course, prayers for the blessing of a baby are needed, I think that goes without saying. But below are some other topics to keep in mind when praying for your infertile friends (in no particular order). 

Feeling comfort / love from the Lord – I mentioned a while back in this post, how I lost sight of God’s love for me. It surprised me how easily heartache can blinded me spiritually. I felt alone, I felt that God had stopped listening to my cries, I felt that He must be trying to teach me something that I was too stupid to figure out. The  emotions of this whole ordeal really skewed my perspective of who God is, and how He relates to me. But He has proven His love for me! First by sending His Son to die for me (Romans 5:8), and He continues to show His love through faithfulness and provision day in and day out. I know this in my head, but there have been down days when my heart has forgotten. 

Emotional endurance - I don't think I have to say too much about this. Infertility is a roller coaster of emotions. High hope, disappointment, hope, disappointment, over and over and over again. It's draining.

Strength to recognize and conquer sin – This trial has definitely revealed sin in my own heart. Anger, bitterness, jealousy, impatience, self pity, idolatry, and an unloving attitude toward others, just to name a few. :) Unfortunately, this sin pattern is paired with heartache and an increased amount of hormones, which makes it particularly hard to recognize and conquer. But I am responsible for my response to the circumstances that God has put me in. I need Him to give me eyes to see when I am not responding properly, and the strength to seek forgiveness and get back on the right track.

A strong, loving marriage - I thank God that this time has only drawn Ryan and I closer together. My wonderful hubby and I have been partners in this 100%. We've cried together, learned about fertility together, and have even had some good laughs along the way. :) However, infertility can drive couples apart. There are high emotions, added hormones, sex on a schedule, and sometimes disagreements on the appropriate course of action. It can be draining on a marriage, so pray that husband and wife quickly learn how to support, encourage, and serve one another through this difficult time.

Wisdom in making decisions - There are so many decisions to make! What are the risks and side effects of the medications and procedures? What are the moral implications and/or dilemmas of this particular treatment? How will I respond to this dosage of medication? Will it help me at all? Will it help too much? How aggressively should we dive into treatment? How many cycles of treatment can we afford? How far should we take this? At what point do we need to look at our other options? How do I feel about the other options? Is that a biblical way to feel/think about them? It can be a little overwhelming at times. Many of the decisions are based on results of another, and the next step needs to be decided right away. Ryan and I are constantly in need of wisdom to make the decisions that God would have us make, and not be blindsided by our own emotions in the moment. 

As always, I can't thank you all enough for your continued prayers on our behalf. We definitely feel them. :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

IUI #1 complete!

Wow, what a day. Such a mix of emotions. I was feeling anxious throughout the day at work- super ready to get the IUI over with. 2:20pm finally hit, and as I started cleaning up my desk and getting ready to leave, I was suddenly overwhelmed with sadness. I have been pretty good emotionally throughout my last couple treatment cycles. I'm comfortable with my doctor, and I was totally ready to go to the next stage of aggression with this IUI. But it dawned on me at that moment, that my husband and I cannot make a baby in the privacy of our own home the way most couples do. I was about to lay on a white table, in an all too familiar white room with my legs in the air, while a doctor put a catheter up my hoo ha. Then I have to wait another few weeks to see if it actually worked, or if I have to go through it again. Getting pregnant the ol' fashioned way seems like such a distant luxury now. One that I think a lot of people take for granted. I cried the whole way there. 

But after a long hug, a prayer with Ryan, and a few encouraging text messages, I walked into that office with a smile on my face. Dr. Q had a hard time getting the catheter in, so that part was a bit painful. I'm glad that Ryan was able to be in there with me. Once the cath was in place, Dr. Q put the ultrasound camera in so that we could see the sperm go into my ute, which was pretty cool. :) We've got an army of 56 million in there as we speak! woohoo! :)

I'm feeling pretty good right now. Just crampy and a little tired. I'm happy that it's over and I get to relax at home with Ryan. ::sigh of relief:: I cannot thank you all enough for the amount of love and encouragement you continue to pour out on us. We're so blessed to have such a wonderful group of cheerleaders and prayer warriors. :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Here we go!

Well folks, my monitoring appointment showed that I will probably only release one egg for the IUI. I know that it only takes one egg to make a baby, but I can’t help feeling a bit disappointed that the injections weren’t able to help me produce a couple more. My dominant follie is measuring at 21mm (18mm or larger is mature). I have a second one on the other ovary that’s measuring at 14mm. Follies grow a little every day, so I suppose it is still possible for that little guy to catch up and release an egg for me, but I don't know how likely that is. Since the bigger follicle is mature and ready to go, Dr. Q wants to do the IUI earlier than anticipated. I triggered ovulation this morning, and I’m getting sperminated TOMORROW! Ahhh haa hai!! Why yes, that was a mariachi yell. It seems appropriate for some reason. Baha. ;)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Ahhh needles

Well, we're in full swing of treatment. I've decided that rather than rushing to finish my mini-series, I'm going to just put it on hold until we hit our next waiting period in a few weeks. Not ideal because it breaks up the flow of topics, but I would rather do that than get behind on what is happening currently. Hope that's ok with everyone. :)

The latest and greatest is that I have successfully given myself my first couple FSH (Follicle stimulating hormone) injections. woohoo! We actually recorded our first shot at it (buh dum bum. lol), so you can see for yourself if you so desire. :)

My memory card filled up before I was able to tell Ryan how I felt. :) Aside from a little sting because I was injecting too fast at first, it wasn't bad at all. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it went. I haven't felt the full weight of side effects yet, but I'm sure I will this week. Clomid has affected me a little more than last time even though it's a lesser dosage. Kinda weird. I've had several headaches, fatigue, achy ovaries, and of course, the return of my ever faithful companion - Madame Hot Flash. Fun times. :)

I am going to see Dr. Q this week to see how I'm responding, and talk about our next steps. :)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

"We interrupt this program to bring you a special news bulletin"

*teehee* Just wanted to pause the series to briefly give you the latest news on treatment. My baseline monitoring appointment went well and we are moving right along. Dr. Q dropped me down to 100mg of clomid, and then added five days of injectable meds to the mix which I will start this weekend. This is what my dresser looked like after I brought everything home-

Vials of injectable medication, syringes, oral medication, ovulation trigger shot, alcohol wipes, gauze, and bandaids. I feel like such a druggie. haha. Anyway, Dr. Q is hoping that this combination will give us two or three eggs to work with for the IUI. For those of you who don't remember, an IUI, or IntraUterine Insemination, is basically bypassing the plumbing by putting Ryan's good swimmers right in my uterus with my eggs. So that's it, we're just cruisin on meds for another week or so. Giving myself shots for the first time should be interesting. I'll definitely let you know how that goes in my next update. :)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Part 2 - Ways to encourage

Though I have been cut by people's words regarding my infertility, I have had an amazing amount of encouragement through this journey as well. Ryan and I are so blessed by you- our family, church, and friends who have hopped on the bandwagon with us to find Baby Miller. Thank you so much. We feel very loved and supported. Below are some practical things that you have done to uplift my spirit. :) 

"I’m sorry." Simple, but it’s a really refreshing response when everyone else seems to imply that you’re overreacting and need to relax.  A few months back, I was having a particularly bad day at work. There was a baby shower at the office for a coworker, everyone kept telling me to get to it and have a baby already, along with lots of other unwanted advice. I eventually snapped, and had to apologize for my sharp response, so I felt down about that too. One of the ladies was on her way out at the same time as I was that day, and genuinely asked, “So what about you Denay, no babies for you yet?” I simply told her "No, I can’t seem to get pregnant." She looked in my eyes and said with a sympathetic smile, “Honey, I’m so sorry.”  That was all I needed that day. She didn’t pry further with questions, she didn’t offer me advice, she was just a woman who showed that she actually cared that I was hurting. I don’t think she’ll ever know how much that meant to me, but I’ll never forget it.

Let them know you’re thinking of / praying for them. When you have a person on your heart, I think it’s always a good idea to let them know. There’s probably a reason that God put them in your thoughts at that particular moment. Quick text messages, cards, emails are a huge blessing. When you’re thinking about getting pregnant every day, it’s nice to know that someone else is thinking of it too. :) 

Follow up. Once a person shares this struggle with you, it is (usually) not taboo anymore. It’s ok to ask them how an appointment went, how they’re feeling, how they are responding to medication, etc. Infertility is lonely struggle. Showing a simple interest in the details of this journey goes a long way.

Give positive feedback. "You’re going to be great parents one day....I’m so looking forward to seeing who God gives you...I admire ________ as you go through this hardship...You’re an encouragement to me..." You get the idea. It’s easy to be down on yourself when your body's not doing what it’s supposed to be doing. In addition to that frustration, you’re in a constant battle of ugly feelings like bitterness, jealousy, anger, discontentment, and plain ol' sadness. It’s very encouraging to me when people express the positive way they’ve been impacted through our journey of infertility.

Non-verbal Responses – Words can be overrated. Paul knew what he was talking about in Romans 12:15, when he said to "weep with those who weep." There is something incredibly comforting about someone wrapping their arms around you and letting you cry. It’s even more comforting when they cry with you. When I've been at my lowest and most vulnerable emotional point, there is nothing that has helped me more than someone else sitting right next to me with tears in their eyes too.

One of the major ways to support that I left out of this post is prayer. There are so many things to bring before the Lord! In my next post, I will share some specific things to pray for that would silently, but abundantly, bless anyone struggling to get pregnant. :)