Keeping Expectations Low to Protect My Heart

download.jpgThose darn smiley faces just don’t want to show up this week. I am beginning to question if my body has the ability to produce the right hormones to get pregnant. I’m beginning to question a lot about my body and the “ifs” of this process.

Today will be my first ultrasound to see what the Clomid was able to produce.

Sadly, I’m not feeling too hopeful about this round. Especially now as I don’t have any sign of an increase in the HCG hormone. What if there aren’t any viable follicles? I still feel pretty defeated by the news from my doctor that she may not be able to help much longer.

I don’t want to have to do more fertility… spend more money. Why doesn’t this come naturally? I’m feeling bad about my reality and wishing this isn’t my story.

What did I do to my body that made me this way?

I also feel pretty bad for my hubby. He desires a baby too and I feel I’m the problem that’s preventing us from getting pregnant.

As we look to fertility clinics, the question is, how much do we want to spend on trying to have our own biological baby? At what point, will we decide it’s just too much money for the gamble? I wish fertility treatments weren’t so expensive. For something that happens to people at no cost at all, it makes me upset that it is so expensive.

I really don’t want money to be the main concern I have for bringing a baby into this world, but does it really have to be this hard? Is it supposed to be this hard? Or am I forcing something to happen that is not supposed to?

Is this God’s way of saying that I’m not supposed to have my own babies? Or maybe He’s wanting me to stop all this fertility ‘assistance’ and let him work in my life to give us a true miracle.

Either way, this is my last round of Clomid. I need to put this down for a while until my heart is in a better place.

I am still going to go through the emotions of this week… with a very low expectant heart. It’s hard to accept Gods plan when it’s different than what I thought it would be.

My defensive wall builds up in these moments. I begin to ask myself, do I really want to have a baby right now though? I am loving my quiet mornings, space I get to write and be with my thoughts for extended periods of time. How I get to spend time and attention on my marriage and growing in my relationship with Hubby. Having a baby would disrupt my world, am I ready for that? Do I want that? I know I do want a family and want to raise little humans. So how can I be hopeful that it will happen, and accepting that it’s not my present reality? That my life is pretty darn good without a baby and having a baby won’t make my life more amazing (well, maybe it will), it will just make my life experiences different than they are right now.

Oh to let go and just trust.

I take a deep breath and just soak in the space of where I am right now. Acceptance is always the key… so how can I be focused on what I am grateful for, in this moment? If I truly believe in God’s amazing plan, I can take my hands off this wheel and just sit back and enjoy the ride.

God will take me to where I am to go in this world.

Double the Dose

-D8OjkIt_400x400.jpgDoubling the dose of estrogen is leaving me feeling bloated and blah. Not very attractive to say the least and I just have to keep remembering… “this feeling is not going to last forever.”

It’s day 13 of my cycle and I’m not really sure how I’m supposed to feel. I’ve been on double the dose of estrogen for 3 days and am praying my lining is getting thicker. We will find out at the next ultrasound how my body is reacting.

I want to be excited and hopeful of what is possible and yet I also am even more hesitant to believe we will become pregnant after two cycles of feeling let down.

The beauty in the journey thus far is how much I have learned through each cycle… about myself and the power of surrender.

Four cycles ago, I was plotting and planning and trying to control when and how everything would come together and today I feel like we will just give it a try and see what happens.

Tomorrow I will go in for an ultrasound to see what is going on and what’s been growing. I’m a little nervous. I’d love to see more than one follicle this time (last time there was only one but the time before there were two). I need to lower my expectations and be happy with whatever is going on in there.

As I think about the appointment, I lay my hands on my belly and pray for healthy growth and positive hormone progression. I pray for God to bless this week and for acceptance of his will in our lives this week.

My prayer is that this week will not become too clinical between Hubby and myself. That we may continue to enjoy each other and have fun with this process.

In some ways, I’m not looking forward to this week because of the build-up it caused that last time around. The obsessive thoughts after I ovulated and the two weeks of unknown mixed with anticipation.

All I can focus on is today and not worry about tomorrow or next week. Staying present in the day and remaining hopeful of what miracles are possible.

More Gadgets to Try

IMG_0528Six weeks, that’s what the doctor told me. I was to wait 4-6 weeks to see if my body would kick in on its own to produce a period. I was skeptical since I didn’t really get a period, but I continued to pray, trust and rotate the little sticky patches of estrogen from my lower abdomen every 3-4 days.

I was introduced to an app called Kindara, and although it does track a woman’s cycle off of a period (which doesn’t help me), it also helps plot the month based off body temperature and mucus. I didn’t think I’d be one to try it, but figured ‘why not?’ and ordered my basal thermometer from Amazon. The trick with the temperature is that it’s important to take it first thing in the morning, before moving from the bed. So I began sticking it in my mouth blurry eyed and half asleep when my alarm goes off in the morning.

It’s interesting to learn more about myself as this process continues. I now know that I run a little colder than my husband, typically in the 96 degree range, where he is in the 97. May explain why I carry a jacket with me into restaurants even in the summer or like to drink hot water to warm up :-).

My body temperature has not ‘spiked’ over the past month as it is supposed to when a woman ovulates. So maybe… I don’t ovulate? At this point, I am not drawing any conclusions until I have used this app for at least 3 months.

So I add to my research, plotting and observing, gathering information and praying. The peace I continue to feel is surreal as I know God is in this, just like he is in everything. I know his timing is perfect and his plans for us is exactly what we want.

I did get to see how much stress can play a huge part in my body’s functioning. For 10 days in June, I was intensely studying for  the Certified PersonIMG_0485al Trainer certification through the National Academy for Sports Medicine (NASM). For hours each day, I was learning new concepts and memorizing various facts. Determined to pass the test before our summer trip, my body experienced stress which lead to a change in my bodies behaviors on Kindara. I saw how stress decreased my mucus production, which possibly indicates a change in my cycle. Thankfully I passed and have that behind me while also being more aware of how my body reacts to stress.

Here we sit, officially six weeks past that little blimp of spotting, and I am discouraged as I say nothing has come since. I will continue taking my body temperature at the start of each day, wearing the estrogen patch and will take one more round of progesterone to see how my body reacts.

My doctor believes the next step will be to see an infertility doctor and try Clomid. With the change in my job/insurance, we may have to wait a few months until the dust settles before we go to that next step. Either way, I know everything will happen in the way and timing it is supposed to.

So for today, I celebrate what I do have to enjoy, and embrace each moment of this life!

Mother’s Day on Progesterone: Round 2

Today is a beautiful day to celebrate the incredible woman who brought me into this world. I For Print-6213 cherish her and value all that she has given to raise me into the woman I am today. My mom is a strong, gentle woman who continues to be a picture of humility and poise.

Today is also a difficult day for me as I yearn to become a mother myself. Maybe it’s the progesterone talking, but I feel left out of today as Facebook and other social means are exploding with babies and their momma’s. Why can’t I be one of those? What’s wrong with me that I can’t receive the same gift of being a mom?

I feel selfish even thinking these things. I know I should be grateful for the things I do have and for all the rest and ‘me’ time I get to have with my husband. Not to mention grateful I have a husband, I get that… and yet, I feel as though people are passing me by on this journey. They are all progressing forward with life experiences, and I’m still back here. Not because I don’t want to move forward… but it’s because I can’t. For some reason only known by God.

It is one thing to not have a baby and be ok, it’s another to want to have one and not be able to.

With spring babies are arriving, it seems like every day I see another post of a newborn laying in his/her momma’s arms in the hospital. The joyful yet exhausted look of the mother and the peaceful innocence of new baby wrapped up in warmth.

In less than a week, I will become an aunt for the second time. I am over the moon to meet this new little one! To hold him, to cuddle him, to look at all the amazement a precious new life is with all the miracles it takes to make a baby. My brother and my sister-in-law have been wanting a second child for a few years and I am beyond thrilled for their family and for my nephew to have a play-mate.

As for our journey, two months have passed since I began sticking these hormone patches on my lower abdomen. Every 3-4 days, I rip off one and stick on another on another part of my skin in hopes of it working… Something changing.

Last week, I emailed my doctor to find out what my next steps are now that I’ve completed the 2 months of estrogen. I have continued to work through the struggles of water-weight and too-tight clothing with my countdown leading up to this week when I would hopefully go off the patch and I would feel my ‘normal’ body again.

Instead, I was prescribed another month of the patch and the 2nd round of progesterone which I will take orally for the next 10 days. (Thankfully, it’s not the other way I know it’s prescribed).

Am I ready for the crazies? For the mood swings and the acne break-outs? Not really. Especially since we are celebrating my husband’s graduation from Seminary. We have 2 weeks of company, social events and opportunities for me to show up for others in spite of what’s going on inside of me. (If there is ever a time to pump my body full of hormones, maybe it’s best to do when I am distracted with friends and family in celebration).

Seeing the announcement of the new babies and the happy parents stirs up longing as I desire for my own. Will we have children, we hope so. Will I have one of those pictures on Facebook of laying in the hospital? Maybe. I am choosing to be hopeful of what our future holds, what these next 10 days to 5 weeks hold. Will I get a period? Maybe. Does this mean I’ll be able to get pregnant? It’s not a guarantee.

All the technology and medical advancements of today do not guarantee the outcomes we want or hope for.  The only guarantee that I continue to focus on is that God is in control and will make all things work together for his good. If it’s his will that we have a family, it will happen regardless of if I get a period. Grateful to have the opportunity to trust in his goodness and plans for my life and the future of our family.

Grateful to know that God hears my cries and feels my longing.