Pins & Needles… or just a pin cushion?

Wednesday- right side

Thursday- left side

Friday- right side

Saturday- left side

Sunday- right side

I’m beginning to look like a pincushion on my backside with little prick marks across the upper region.

Hubby has done a wonderful job as I know this is not easy for him to be inflicting minor pain on me each morning and standing by as I limp off to begin my day.

Image result for upper quadrant of buttock

By no fault of his, he crept a little too close to my middle region of my back area and boy was that a rough day. Thankfully we have clarified where the upper quadrant is for this to continue.

If we are fortunate, we will continue with these morning shots and the three pills a day for the next 10-12 weeks.

Yes, shots in the buttock for the entire first trimester.

The progesterone and estrogen combination is helpful in continuing to create a safe home for Coffee Bean to be secure and to grow healthy.

Unfortunately for me, this means morning IM shots and a day with soreness when I walk and sit.

This is all worth it… this is totally worth it.

I have continued seeing my acupuncturist, 4 times over these past 14 days. Her main focus has been to increase blood flow to the uterus.

This time she has had me laying on my stomach and needling areas of my lower back and connecting stimulation clips that provide an additional current to help encourage the response for blood flow.

I can honestly say I have done everything I can think of to prepare my body for this little one to rest and grow.

Tomorrow, we fly!

 

The Longing Grows, but I Need to Change

The time away from medication has been a delight. Over the past 7 weeks, I have felt my body deflate from the bloating, my mind rest from the thoughts and my heart calm down from the emotions. I am moving back to what feels normal again and I am grateful for the breath of fresh air. It is indeed a much-needed break.

For the most part, I feel calm about our journey. I know we are in the process of gathering information for our next steps and know that we will be at peace whatever we decide.

Do we go for IVF or do we begin the process of adoption? The golden question with an unclear answer at this point.

My heart does hurt to have a family. I was with my little nephews and it stirs my heart to want to have some of my own little people to help guide, grow, nurture, and teach.

Yes, exhausting as it seems to be, my heart is slowly nudging me in the direction of having kids and seeing the abundance of life that comes with having them in my life.

This process is a messy one and I don’t expect to have it all figured out before the little ones come, but I do see that I am more prone to want a family than not, and this is something I cannot ignore.

When we started this journey back in December 2014 (that’s when we pulled the goalie, so to speak), I thought I wasn’t ready and needed to get a better job that had more flexible hours that would support me working from home. I was kicking myself for not choosing a better major in college or career path after college that would support me being a working mom. Why couldn’t I make more money to be able to work fewer hours a week?

I began trying to change my life in order to fit the kids I was hoping to have… and what I have found is all these new adventures in trying to figure it out has left me putting the cart before the horse. Maybe it’s time to just slow down my ‘figure it out’ side of my brain and just relax.

I always hear relaxing is what helps people get pregnant. Might this be a key ingredient I have been missing?

Simplifying my life and slowing my mind down.

I’m prone to ‘go’.

My entire life has been a to-do list, moving from one stage of my life to the next, packing in as many experiences as possible in each season. Might this be a season for me to take things off my plate and just ‘be’ for a while?Image result for change

 

Letting go of the commitments I love to be apart of might be more painful than not being able to get pregnant, but what if this is going to help me become pregnant?

Maybe all the things I’m committed too need to be put on hold for now and can be picked back up later, when these little humans have arrived and are napping, playing, or at school.

I haven’t been willing to really change, until now. (I hope).

My heart swelled with emotion as I saw my nephews playing mixed with the background of other families engaging in laughter while the little ones shouted ‘look at me, dad’ from the distance.

Will I get to experience this? Am I too late?

Sometimes it feels as though I have missed the boat and I will never be ‘there’. It’s easy for me to wallow in the ‘if only’s’ and the ‘why not’s’.

Why is this road so much longer than other people around me? Why didn’t the medicated cycles work for us?

The WHY’s never really seemed to be wise questions to ask.

Would they work if we give it another couple of rounds?

Thankfully, at least for today, I feel at peace knowing that the medicated cycles are not an option for us anymore. I know we gave it a good try and with Dr. G’s support, we are moving on from that.

It’s time for the next level, may it be IVF or adoption, and the next level of surrender in my own life. I can’t do it all right now and the tears are flowing a little more often now, as I desire a family.

Even though I am scared, I am beginning to look at having kids as an opportunity for adventure and growth instead of a scary unknown. Maybe it really is the best thing that will happen to me. I have got to give this a shot because my heart hurts too much not to.

Moving on… to what?

It’s been a month of healing for me. Not having to think about my body being in the tip-top condition for a life to begin, I worked out as much as I wanted and enjoyed being fully present with my current status in life.

There was a second about 2 weeks into this month where I pondered tracking and trying to get pregnant, but quickly let that thought go as I’m exhausted.

It’s been tiring tracking and plotting, waiting and hoping.

I am amazed that we are over a year into this fertility journey of medication and doctors manipulating my body and cycle for optimum results.

I really didn’t think I would be here, still.

When I was 16, my OBGYN said it would be a long road to become pregnant, but I certainly didn’t expect this.

Call it my eternal sunshine, but I can’t help but have hope that God will work a miracle in our lives.

I choose to believe that he is continuing to write an incredible story that will show his love and provision. Not to mention, that he is using this to teach me about his faithfulness and all-knowing nature.

Am I ready to move on?Image result for decisions

The thought has crossed my mind many times.

We have prayed and shown up for all the fertility options given by our doctors.

This past round, my girlfriends spent time intentionally praying for God’s will to be done. Tears streamed down my face as they surrounded me in prayer and love.

I really believed that it was possible that we would be pregnant.

When the pregnancy test was negative, I felt a sort of calm, knowing God had answered—Not Now.

So, where does this leave us?

I don’t think I want to continue with medicated cycles.

Actually, I know I don’t want to (it’s just scary to write that because I am scared to let go of the only way I have control over getting pregnant)

What? That doesn’t make sense. I have been doing this for a long enough time to know that I don’t have control over getting pregnant, regardless how much I try… and yet, there is some part of my brain that still thinks that my decision to take medication means I will get pregnant.

Have I placed too much of my hope in medicine and not enough in the power of nature?

In my depths, I know I’m ready to move on from medicated cycles.

So, where do we go from here?


Am I to move onto adoption and put the desires of my heart in having my own bio kids aside for now?

Hubby and I looked into a couple of adoption options. We had some interviews with international agencies. I met with a girlfriend who was just matched after 18 months of waiting for a domestic adoption.

I guess I’m ready to move on?

I don’t know. It doesn’t feel right, yet.

Adoption will be a part of our story, at least I think it will. But is there another way to have our own bio kids?


IVF stares at me.

I have friends who have gone and are going, through it.
Their insurance covers some of it.

Ours doesn’t.

In fact, if we were to go down the road of IVF, we would have to look for new insurance coverage because the one we are on would not cover an IVF pregnancy.

Long story there.

When it comes to IVF though, there are numerous stories- many successful, some not.

The price is astounding for me.

We begin to do our research… all options near and far.

We have looked into International IVF- learning that the clinics in Barbados, Mexico, Czech, Spain, and Israel are pretty reputable.

The cost is much less, which is easier to stomach and in fact, the prices quoted are less than what we have spent this past year on the medicated cycles.

It seems like such a big decision.

Traveling to another country is a bit daunting to me for this type of procedure. In fact, it’s almost turning me off, thinking the issues wrapped up with the travel piece is not worth it for me. The timing has to be perfect and there are a few unknown factors that I would hate to miss.

Imagine- flying across the border, or the Atlantic, just to learn that there weren’t enough eggs to pull, or there weren’t enough viable embryos to use. What would we do? Fly back to the States, and rebook a trip the following month to fly back across the Pond in hopes that the next time is better?

I don’t know. This one is a little more of a decision that might take some getting used to, not to mention a major nudge confirming this is the right next step.

We will continue to research options and find the right fit for this step.

Wiping Tears

This week started out hopeful. After 10 days of the mega dose of Letrozole, I’m feeling as though there will be lots of little black circles staring at me on the ultrasound screen. I went to my OBGYN for the follicle check and there we have it folks, bundles of black circles! We have follicles!

None of them are large enough to force an ovulation so they put me on a low dose of Letrozole for 2 more days and ask me to return.


Two days later, I am hopeful there has been growth. Yet, when she checked, it was only slight. Take two more days of low dose Letrozole and return. The nurse also talked with us about planning for an Inter Uterine Insemination (IUI) a few days after this next check. An IUI involves placing sperm inside a woman’s uterus, by way of a catheter, to facilitate fertilization. The goal of IUI is to increase the number of sperm that reach the fallopian tubes and subsequently increase the chance of fertilization. To me, it’s like a turkey baster, squirting those swimmers up nice and close to where the egg should be.

I am getting excited and hopeful that my body is getting ready for this next step!


Here I am 2 days later, and I can’t believe that the follicles have decreased and my lining has thinned out.

What’s wrong with me that I can’t produce what I need to?

Why is this happening to me?
I have been concentrating so hard on eating the foods people say to eat, not working out too much, but still getting my blood going and circulation throughout my system. I have been napping almost every other day and taking things slow. Reading has become my new hobby and praying that God will bring us a miracle.

My eyes are leaking.c0224595b355ac7bc4b6c1b73cf08ad4--crying-eyes-sad-eyes.jpg

I can’t stop the overwhelm of emotion and the tightness in my chest.

I am just so sad that this is so hard for us.

Why God? What are you doing in this?

How am I supposed to learn from this and when will I grow stronger?

Isn’t that what people always say. It’s through the trials and hardships- the storms of life- that resilience and character are refined.

I’m all about learning life lessons, so what is this all about? Patience? Learning that I don’t always get what I want? Believing there is a bigger picture?

The pain is so strong; it overcomes my thoughts like a wave crashing over the rocks.

I have to let my tears roll down my face. No use trying to stop them.

I just want this pain and heartache to be over.

Why can’t we just get pregnant? Why does this have to be so hard?

I don’t know how many more cycles I can go through. This is hard on my body and my emotions.

I don’t want to give up now out of fear that we are quitting too early in the process.

I really thought this time would work. We amped up the dose of medication and the days that I was to take them, how could my follicles not have grown?

I just don’t understand and trying to make sense of any of it is too exhausting.

Tonight, I have to accept what is. There is no other way around it. I can’t change it.

I pray our doctor is learning more about my body through this and I also pray that I might see God and how he is working in and through me with this heartache.

As I have been writing, I get a call. “CCRM”.

Hello, I answer.

Hi, this is Gina from CCRM. I have some next steps for you.

“What?” I’m thinking. I thought we have missed the chance for this go around.

We are going to have you do 3 more days of Letrozole at the highest dose and have you check through an Ultrasound in 4 days.

I am relieved, overjoyed. This cycle is not too late!

I go skipping to the pharmacy to pick up the medication.

We are still in the game!

Reaching a New Level

We aren’t messing around anymore.

These past two rounds have been insightful for Dr. G. and he is ready to pull out the big guns.

We begin 10 days of Letrozole, at 10mg/day, the highest dose he will prescribe.

I am actually a little excited at the possibility of what this will produce.

Let’s get these follicles growing!

Each cycle has become such a routine that I have grown accustomed to.

Day one, make an appointment with my OBGYN for an ultrasound.

Head to the local LabCorp and get a blood test to confirm I am not pregnant.

Pop into my OBGYN for the ultrasound, ensuring there is nothing funky growing inside of me from all the hormones and measure the uterine lining.

Check, check.

Day three, begin Letrozol.

Days three through twelve, endure breaking out, early bedtimes, afternoon naps.

Day twelve, follicle check and see what next steps are to be.

Learning how to take care of myself on a new level.

I am going to the gym this time around. I need to. My mind needs the oxygen and release of tension. My muscles need the weight and attention.


At the start of this cycle, I receive news that one of my closest, dearest friends is pregnant. I am overjoyed. My body exudes love and excitement for her.

I have no sorrow. Only joy and praise for the opportunity they have received to raise a little one.

My heart is shifting. I am not looking at myself. I do not have the heavy heart as I have experienced in the past. My excitement and praise for God’s miracle growing inside of her are overflowing.

What is going on? I love that this is how I feel.lightnessofbeing-2015-Dec16-300x189.jpg

I meet the new little baby girl of another friend. I get to hold her and express my excitement and joy for her to my friend.

Am I changing? What is shifting inside of me? Whatever it is, I really like it.

God, thank you for giving me this part of the journey to refine and grow me.

My rough edges are being smoothed and I trust how you are reshaping my heart and mind.

Continue to use this to make me a better person, a more loving friend, and a more faithful, trusting person is who you are and what you’re capable of, God.

I thank you for this heartache and let down as it’s shaping my journey so far.

So excited to see what you’re going to do in and through this!

May I be a vessel or light to reach others. God, use me and my story to help others.