Disconnected

We have become information gatherers.

Clicking through websites, reading reviews, talking with friends and friends of friends, scrolling through Reddit posts, praying, journaling, and just waiting.

Side note: Through our visits with different doctors, I was diagnosed with PCOS (again). I’m over the idea of diagnosis. At this point, I don’t really care, as long as we can get pregnant.

I am tired.

I know this is a big decision and it would be so much easier if someone would make it for me. It doesn’t work that way.

I am an adult and adults make decisions and learn to live with the outcomes.

I just don’t want to make a decision because I don’t want to be wrong and I certainly don’t want to regret the path we decide to take… wondering, what if…

As I mentioned, we have done our research, from Colorado-based clinics to North Carolina, Maryland, New York, Barbados, Mexico, Canada, Israel, and the Czech Republic.

There is no shortage of IVF clinics around the world.

The question is which one is going to be our best option for becoming pregnant and carrying a baby full-term?

We have learned that the percentage of success with a fresh transfer is much lower and therefore it would be recommended to do a frozen transfer… meaning at least 2 cycles and 2 separate visits to whichever clinic we decide upon.

The lingo has become second nature to me so let me share the process:

  • Since I don’t have a period to even begin this process, that is where they will begin.
  • I will start birth control to get my body onto a cycle. I will take medication for 21 days and then go off to create a bleed. Day 1.
  • Starting on Day 2 or 3, I will begin follicle stimulating medications (these are shots) on a daily basis for upwards of 10 days.
  • Doctors will monitor the medication through bloodwork and ultrasounds, measuring the size of the follicles. The goal is to get as many follicles growing as possible.
  • Around day 10-12 of my cycle, I will give myself an HCG trigger shot to force ovulation.
  • 36 hours after the shot they will put me under (with anesthesia) and surgically remove the eggs from my body. They do this by sticking each follicle-cyst with a needle that drains the liquid carrying the egg into the doctor’s care.
  • From here they will use Hubby’s sample and fertilize all the viable eggs.
  • Watching the eggs for 5-6 days to see which are growing healthy cells they can insert an egg back in me. This is a Fresh transfer.
  • The remaining eggs (now called blastocysts) are tested for proper chromosomes.
  • The healthy blastocysts are frozen to be used another time.
  • When we were ready, doctor’s would then recreate a cycle through medication and by suppressing ovulation would then transfer one of our eggs back into me. This is called a Frozen transfer.

There is a higher success rate for Frozen transfers based on a variety of factors.

  • The blastocysts used are chromosomally healthy
  • The body is clear of the medications used for stimulation

All this makes me wonder if I’m trying too hard to make something happen that clearly is not in the cards for me.

Meaning, this whole process is supposed to happen naturally. Instead, IVF is the process by which doctors take over the whole conception process and MAKE it all happen. (Although they don’t make the baby stay in… meaning there is still a whole lot of God in all of this process of the baby attaching and growing healthy to full-term).

Since my body doesn’t do it naturally then maybe I need to simply accept that my body is not created to do this whole getting pregnant thing on its own and to let it be.

I am wrestling with this.

I know God created women to carry babies and even commanded that we be fruitful and multiply. God, we are trying! WHY don’t you help us fulfill this?

I know that my body has not ‘worked’ normally for years:

  • So is it MY WILL trying to have my own baby?

OR

  • It is for me to be grateful that modern science has closed the gap for those of us whose bodies don’t work as they are supposed to?

When I sit with this, I am torn. I just want God to bless us with children.

But I want so badly to have a family and to have my own babies. When I sit quietly, I know God is with me and that He is pleased with either decision (IVF or adoption).

So what is the next step?


We sit on opposite sides of the street, disconnected. With all the research on which clinic we would go with, Hubby and I are split.Image result for disconnected

Currently, I feel comfortable with the two Colorado-based clinics (CCRM and Conceptions). Hubby feels comfortable with a clinic abroad.

I don’t like being disconnected. It’s much easier when we are on the same team and the same page moving forward. So does this mean we are at a wash? Needing to agree to disagree on how to move forward with IVF?

Possibly.

What this means then is that I am going to have to move on from IVF and begin looking into adoption.

Am I ready to move on from IVF?

No

But if Hubby and I aren’t able to be on the same page, I might have to.

Reality Hurts

sadness-07.jpgWhat I thought would be a simple visit to the OBGYN with an ultrasound to clear me to start another round of Clomid (just like all the others I’ve had) turned into a dose of painful reality.

“You may want to make an appointment with the fertility clinics, we may have done all we can do at this level.”

This will be round number four of Clomid (round five if you count the first one when I didn’t have any follicle growth) and my doctor is a little more hesitant than she has been in the past.

Typically, she prescribes four to five rounds, sometimes six, before referring patients to a fertility clinic based on data that shows after three rounds, the success rate actually goes down.

Defeated

My heart is low as I have been hoping that we would get pregnant with Clomid and not need to advance to the fertility clinic world of systems where patients become just another number. I have friends who have been through and are currently patients at two of the top fertility clinics in Colorado, one is the top in the US… all report feeling as though they are just another number.

There is a desire for me to feel unique and special, as though someone truly cares about what I’ve been through and will ensure the care necessary for our success in growing a family.

I don’t want to be lumped into the group of just another person with “XYZ” diagnosis and then carted along without really being known and understood.

Fear

It costs more money to go to a fertility clinic. Is it worth the cost? Would our money be served better going towards adoption? how far are we willing to go for our own DNA into a child?

I’m scared we won’t have the money to pay for all that they are asking.

I’m scared we won’t get pregnant and I’ll have to feel the pain of accepting we won’t have our own biological child.

I’m scared it won’t work for me. Proving I’m even more broken than I have known to be.

Support

Incredible community of people I can lean on. Nothing anyone does or says really helps at this point. I don’t really want to talk about it but I also don’t want to stuff it down. There isn’t anything anyone can say or do at this point to help, except just to listen when I am feeling up to talk about it.

This type of comfort does not come from here, it needs to come from within and above.

I just need to “be” for a little. Quieting the crashing waves inside my soul, to be at peace in knowing my truth and accepting what “is” for me today.

You can find me snuggled on my couch, under a blanket with a book and journal and music in the background. I’ll come out when I’m ready.

Questions

If something is not coming to you naturally, how far do you push to make it happen? It’s been said that if It comes easy then it’s Gods will because He’s making it happen. If it’s not happening then to accept it as it is and trust that God will bring it if it’s supposed to.

So how do you know when to stop trying? Stop putting in the effort. We can do our 1%, so when does it become clear that the efforts are no longer needed?

Gratitude

There is a possibility that we won’t need to go down the fertility clinic route. I still have one round of Clomid to go before this referral takes place (possibly 2 if we can convince our doctor).

I am grateful there are fertility clinics available to go to and that I will get to be a number on the patient list. Born in a different time or in a different country, I may not have this option.

Focusing on today and the possibility of this round being ‘the one’ while praying for a healthy body, mind, and spirit through these next few weeks.

Grateful for my life as it is today. Enjoying all the moments that I DO HAVE in front of me as opposed to looking at what I want and don’t yet have. Focusing on the amazing gifts of this life.

Prayer

Seeing that I can’t force myself to become pregnant and can’t ‘do’ anything more to ‘make’ it happen, I turn to prayer. Knowing God is amazingly miraculous with His ways and can do anything, I’ve seen it. I believe in Him and trust in what his timing and plans will be for Hubby and me.

As I take the day 5 Clomid medication, I place my hands on my stomach and pray for healthy follicles and eggs to be growing inside of me. I pray for any negativity to be washed away from my body and for Hubby’s swimmers to be strong and ready when the time comes.

This I CAN do.

And really, this is all I can do.

Miracle Grow

Hooray! A period comes and I am officially able to start my new cycle. What a relief that is to know that I get another opportunity to become pregnant.

I’ve been sensitive to the words I am choosing to use.

  • I talk about us going through fertility treatments as opposed to we are struggling with infertility.
  • I say that I ‘get’ to have a period to kick-start a new cycle as opposed to having to have a period which means we aren’t pregnant.
  • I remain hopeful for the journey to be an experience that will shape my character as opposed to a victim-fill, woe is me, this is so hard and why-is-it-happening-to-me type mentality.

I call my OBGYN and they get me in for an ultrasound. Everything looks clear and ready for a new round of Clomid.

Let’s do this!

My lining is still incredibly thin (what’s new there?) so they want me to up the dose of estrogen to two patches and begin on Day 10.

I also provoke the conversation around the dosage of Clomid. In my book, it needs to be increased. That is without medical training or understanding of the medication but what I know is I’m not yet pregnant and want to explore every option.

My OB takes a look at our last cycle and agrees. My follicle only grew to 20

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mm before they gave me the Trigger shot and for being on Clomid, that seems a bit sm

all to her.

The script read: 150mg of Clomid

Three chalky white pills a day for 5 days… miracle grow.

Grow follicles, grow!

Another Opportunity

I am sad. I felt really good about this last cycle. Hope… shattered.

I am not pregnant after another month of trying. The blood test came back negative to confirm the results. My heart is broken. I thought after last week’s positive that there was still a chance, but the phone call with the nurse who got right to the point ended those hopes pretty quickly.

So another month of trying is ahead of us and although I want to be positive, I find myself becoming a little frustrated. I really thought that the sickness was related to pregnancy and was getting hopeful, turns out the doctors aren’t sure what that was- could have been heartburn or a bug.

What’s even more frustrating is that I don’t have a period to even start the process of the next cycle. I limited my working out this week in hopes of alleviating stress on my body and there is still nothing to show for it.

After waiting a week after my expected period, the doctors want to put me on Provera to force a period. I am grateful there is a medication that will do this sort of thing, but I can’t help but be a little bitter that my body is not responding naturally. Plus the fact that we will have to wait another 10 days (at least) before my period will begin.

The doctor says to give it 2 weeks after the period to even start a period. My track record has been that my body responds pretty quickly after ending the 10-day Provera cycle, praying this is the case again.


God, what are you doing? I don’t understand your plan and am trying to believe in what you have is good for us. I don’t want to lose hope, lose faith in your goodness. It’s just these down times that lead me to question what you want for my life. Maybe you don’t want us to have our own kids. If this is the case, I pray that I can accept this for us and remain open to receiving your will for our lives- your plan for how you want us to serve. If it’s not through raising children, then how? Where do you want us to give of our time? Change our hearts around having kids if you don’t want us to have them. It’s too painful to want and not have… and not be able to control if we have.

I don’t understand your plan and am trying to believe in what you have is good for us. I don’t want to lose hope, lose faith in your goodness. It’s just these down times that lead me to question what you want for my life. Maybe you don’t want us to have our own kids. If this is the case, I pray that I can accept this for us and remain open to receiving your will for our lives- your plan for how you want us to serve. If it’s not through raising children, then how? Where do you want us to give of our time? Change our hearts around having kids if you don’t want us to have them. It’s too painful to want and not have… and not be able to control if we have.

It’s just these down times that lead me to question what you want for my life. Maybe you don’t want us to have our own kids. If this is the case, I pray that I can accept this for us and remain open to receiving your will for our lives- your plan for how you want us to serve. If it’s not through raising children, then how? Where do you want us to give of our time? Change our hearts around having kids if you don’t want us to have them. It’s too painful to want and not have… and not be able to control if we have.

If it’s not through raising children, then how? Where do you want us to give of our time? Change our hearts around having kids if you don’t want us to have them. It’s too painful to want and not have… and not be able to control if we have.

Just as when I was single, I couldn’t force a marriage to happen and couldn’t make a husband appear. I just had to wait while still living my life as it presented itself to me in that moment and trust that you had a good partner for me and that you would introduce him to me in your perfect timing. You know what? You did and I am so grateful for the wait to meeting my hubby so I can take that experience and apply it to my emotions today.

I will trust you, God. I choose to, at least for today. Comfort my heart as I accept what is, today.

Infertility is my fault

The calendar becomes my obsession. It’s not the date on the calendar that has my attention, it is the number I’ve put into my Google Calendar to count the days since my period began, that’s my day 1.

I’ve checked each day in some strange way of preparing myself for days 12-17, they haven’t changed, they won’t change. They are still there at the same dates I originally computed, taunting me.

The hours, let alone days can’t go by fast enough and I spend my time praying for my body to create the necessary elements that will enhance our chances of becoming pregnant. More than anything, I am praying that God’s miracle working hands will bestow us with the charge of parenting.

The prayers help, yet my thoughts can turn the corner pretty quickly into negativity and sorrow.

I can’t help but question why my body is this way? What’s wrong with me that my body doesn’t know how to function on its own and what could I have done in my past to make my body this way?

Is it possible that my body is this way because of something I did in my past, as though I did something to deserve this?

There isn’t much I can think of that would support this other than a few decisions I don’t think too favorably upon. I also know that my insane behaviors around eating and exercising were major issues in my teen and early twenties. I liked to eat and found it very difficult to stop eating. So instead of stopping (or limiting my food intake), I exercised to stay thin, scared of what other people thought of me and fearful of letting myself become too overweight. Exercising is not bad for anyone, as long as it’s in the appropriate amounts, but I was working out up to 3 hours every day. My life revolved around how to stay thin after eating what I wanted.

I liked to eat and found it very difficult to stop eating. So instead of stopping (or limiting my food intake), I exercised to stay thin, scared of what other people thought of me and fearful of letting myself become too overweight. Exercising is not bad for anyone, as long as it’s in the appropriate amounts, but I was working out up to 3 hours every day. My life revolved around how to stay thin after eating what I wanted.

The doctors attributed my lack of a period to my athletic activities and yet never challenged me or questioned why I was working out so much. Nor did they share any side effects this may cause as I grew older. I don’t blame them; I just wish I would have treated my body better.

The good thing is that for the past 11 years; I have been making an amends to my body for all the years of torture I put it through. Allowing my body to heal from the ridiculous behaviors and calming down to be more neutral and balanced.

So, am I the reason we can’t get pregnant? Is it my fault from my decisions of the past?

Possibly.

I won’t ever really know. Plus, it’s not helpful for me to sit in the space of pity or despair.

What I do know to be true is that I have a chance, today, to be made new. For my body and mind to be clean of my past and I can take the necessary actions to help my body grow healthier.

Today, I will place my hands on my belly and pray for God to do His thing. For my body to be creating these wonderful little follicles that house strong, viable eggs and for my uterine lining to be receiving the Estrogen patch’s medication well for a nice cushy lining. I’m also practicing visualization of what this might look like and pray for God’s will to be done.

My situation is not my fault, even if it is, I am choosing to believe that God is bigger than anything I may have done and can repair and bring to life anything if it’s in His plan.

Today, I believe God is powerful.