Monday, November 8, 2010

The Lord Will Fight for You, and You Have Only to be Silent. Ex 14:14

Its Not About Me, but Its All About Me

I have said before that when I was younger I felt like because of my childhood struggles, nothing else bad could ever happen to me. Like everyone on earth gets one bad thing that happens to them, but thats all that God allows. Well I know now that I was wrong! So then what do you do with the knowledge that multiple bad things can happen to you? I'm struggling with alot of fear at this realization. So maybe my childhood prepared me for this. I prayed for strength every day and maybe this is just a test of the strength God gave me. But if this is true, my fear is that this is just preparing me for the next battle in life. Like there is something much worse than this coming and God is making sure that I will be strong enough. My church tells me that sometimes God has to do something to you to change something in you to do something through you. I have prayed from a very young age that God would use me. I want to make a difference in this world. I want to help others. I think everyone wants that, but I begged for it. The Bible says that sometimes God will afflict you with something and even if you pray and do everything you are supposed to, His answer to your prayers will be no. This is not meant to be cruel, but to humble you. My mom is convinced that I am going through this so that I can help others, which is why I started this blog. She also is convinced that I will have a child and that I just have to be patient. As much as I love her and I want to believe in the hope that she speaks, I feel that I have been patient. I've had TWENTY MONTHS of patience. I pray that God's grace will be sufficient for me and that His strength will be made perfect in my weakness. 2 Corinthians 7:9

I prayed to the Lord and He answered me. He freed me from all my fears. Psalm 34:4


The thing I battle most in all of this is anger. I am angry almost all the time. I am angry at my body, I am angry at God, and I am angry at everyone around me who has no idea what I'm going through. I am a very religious person and I believe that God is good. I believe that we can all have a close personal relationship with Him and that when we pray to Him, He answers us. What I struggle with are the answers. There have been a few times in my life that I have felt like God gave me a clear answer to a problem. When I was growing up, I had a pretty difficult home life. I won't go into details because that is a story for someone else to tell. But I always thought that that was the worst thing that could happen to me, so nothing else could hurt me. Because of what I went through, nothing else bad could ever happen to me. I believed that. Once this journey began, I began to feel that God was drawing me nearer to Him and I felt thankful for the quick growth that I was going through. But that feeling of thankfulness soon turned to anger.
The Dalai Lama says that without basic human goodness, religion cannot work. You have to remember that all beings want happiness and have the right to work on suffering. Compassion is an emotion based on reason and you must meditate your whole mind on this emotion. When the feeling of compassion gets weaker, analyze it again and then when you get it back, meditate on it. This is the way to combat anger.Then you will see the negativeness of hatred and what it does to your happiness. Individual anger is blind energy that brings disaster. It is alright to confront injustices without anger. With compassion comes self-confidence.
Meditating on this wisdom has given me peace on many occasions.
I know that as a Christian, sometimes people feel that looking to other religious beliefs for wisdom is worng. But I feel that wisdom can be foundin many places, and there are truths in many beliefs. I don't have all the answers, obviously, so I will continue to search and listen and pray that God leads me to a path of righteousness.

Clomid Round 4, IUI Round 1

Per my husband and my agreement, I was to be under no stress for any reason during the month of October. If there was something that he thought may stress me out, he was to couch it until next month. I took six days off from work during the time I was scheduled to ovulate. I thought it would be a good idea to have a big support system this month and I strongly believe in the power of prayer, so I told my closest friends what we were doing. One friend even posted on her facebook for others to pray for us. I felt very loved and like this month I was not alone. My doctor instructed me that I was to take an OPK every day starting day 10. Once I got a positive I was to call them and we would do the IUI the next day. I was soooo afraid that I would get a positive on a Friday and it would be too late by Monday. But luckaly, we got our positive on a Sunday (cd15). On Monday morning, I called the doctor. They told me that we needed to be at the lab at 3pm to give a sample. The lab would spin it and pass it off to us to bring to the doctor. They said not to wait in the waiting room and that they would send us right back. My husband and I got all ready, went to a nice lunch, and headed to the lab. I could tell he was nervous. He gave the sample, we waited for an hour. They called us back and the woman gave me the sample to put in my bra so it would stay body temperature. And we rushed over to the doctor's office. When we got there, they told us to wait in the waiting room, which of course irritated me. Then they finally took me back, my husband stayed in the waiting room. I undressed from the waist down and layed on this weird chair/table that could raise and lower my lower half. The doctor and nurse came in and explained what would happen. The doctor said that my husband's sample had 9million good sperm! To the fertile person, that sounds like a lot, but you and I know that its not great. But all we needed was one!! At first it just felt like a pap smear. But then came the catheter and some intense cramping. It wasn't that it was painful as much as extremely uncomfortable. It seemed to take forever! Once it was done, they brought my husband in. He held my hand and we prayed together. I got to lay there for about 15 minutes and then got dressed again. I felt pretty crappy. I went home and layed in bed. I layed in bed for the rest of that day and all day Tuesday. I ate tons of food, all healthy of course. I relaxed. My husband had taken such good care of me all month. On Tuesday I ovulated. I knew that all we needed was just for that egg to attach and we would be pregnant. I treated my body like I was pregnant for the rest of the month. I went back and forth between being hopeful and cynnical, but stayed mostly hopeful. I started using my progesterone cream at 2dpo just to make sure my levels stayed high! Then on 3dpo I started to feel EXTREMELY constipated (sorry TMI I know). I looked it up, and constipation is an early pregnancy symptom! Hopeful. I felt bloated, nauseous, achy, tired, hungry, irritable. I just knew I was pregnant. I felt pregnant. On November 1st (13dpo), I took an hpt. It was negative. After twenty months of negatives being negatives, I now believe a negative. I held out a little bit of hope for two more days, but November 4th (16dpo), I started spotting. I knew it was once again, all over. I was beyond devastated. I was crushed in every ounce of my being. Plus I had told so many people we were having this procedure done, that I didn't want them to be disappointed too. It looked like I would be ending another month with margaritas and tears. The most cruel part of all of it is that at the end of the month, if you aren't pregnant, you get to have cramps and acne. Insult to injury.

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life. Provers 13:12

Clomid Rounds Two and Three

I started Clomid round two at the beginning of August. I ovulated on August 15th (cd18). I was pretty depressed all month. It was a bit of a blur. I think it was the feeling that we had been trying for so long and it was a year from our initial pregnancy deadline. When I went in for my post ovulation doctors appointment, he told me that even if we did everything right, it is very difficult to get pregnant. Humans are not particularly fertile creatures. Yeah, tell that to the hundreds of pregnant teens that seem to cross my path every day! He told me that since the clomid was doing what it was supposed to, he didn't need to continue to monitor me every month and that I should go through the next four rounds and just call them when I'm pregnant. I didn't take a pregnancy test that month. I couldn't bear not to see those two lines. On the 29th (14dpo), I started spotting and knew the evil witch had conquered again. It was now September and I was very hopeful and eager for round three! I had read that most people get pregnant during round three or four. I was extremely moody this month. I was either starving, thirsty, exhausted, or all three at the same time. I had a huge blow up with my husband because he came home late from work and I had been waiting for him to go to dinner and was STARVING! In retrospect I see how ridiculous it was. At the time I knew how ridiculous it was. But I COULD NOT CONTROL MYSELF! I yelled, I screamed, I cried...I beat my couch up with a pillow! I called my mom and told her that my husband was probably going to divorce me (and I was completely serious). I was convinced that he was not mature enough to be a father and I was obviously a crazy person and should not be a mother. It felt like all of the pain and frustration and resentment had all culminated in that one night. NINETEEN months of trying to have a baby and it eluding us. I ovulated the next day. My husband and I talked it out and decided that we each needed to do some changing. I showed him a list of possible symptoms from clomid and explained to him that I had them all! I let him know what I needed from him. I made an appointment with my doctor to discuss the next steps, because obviously this was not working. I told him that I was only willing to do 6 total rounds  of clomid and I wanted to use rounds 4-6 to do iui. He agreed. I knew I wasn't pregnant. On Octoer 3rd (17dpo), the evil witch again reared her ugly head.

Let Your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in You alone. Psalm 33:22

Clomid Round 1

I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I had read all about clomid, the uses and possible side effects, read people's posts about clomid on numerous boards. I just didn't really know what to expect. I think I believed that it was this magic pill and once I took the first one, I would immediately feel different! But I took all five of them, and felt nothing. July 6th I had acupuncture. July 11th (cd17) I ovulated (I was still tracking my bbt). The only symptoms I had was a little bit of extra moodiness and pain during intercourse right around ovulation. On the 15th (cd21) I went in for a pelvic exam and a progesterone test, which showed my progesterone levels were sky high! The doctor sounded very hopeful and said that if I hadn't started my period in a week that I was probably pregnant! YAY! I took an early test on the 20th (9dpo) because my husband and I were leaving on a trip to Europe the next day, it was negative. I took another test on the 23rd (12spo), it was negative. I took another test on the 26th (15dpo), it was negative. On the 28th (17dpo) I started spotting, and I knew it was all over. I had all of these grand hopes that I would find out I was pregnant while wandering the streets of London or Paris. Could I find some fabulous baby names while in Europe? Buy little European baby outfits? I was devastated. I just knew that THIS would work! I had gotten my hopes up again for the first time in months. I had a 10hr flight home on July 31st (cd3) and started round two.

God arms me with strength and He makes my way perfect. Psalm 18:32

The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust Him with all my heart. Pslam 22:7

He renews my strength. He guides me along the right paths, bringing glory to His name. Psalm 23:3

Sunday, November 7, 2010

And To The Infertility Doctor We Went

By May 2010, with our discovery that I had LPD and my husband had crappy sperm, we decided that it was time. As much as I hate Western Medicine, we had tried everything else and needed some help. We went to a Urologist who told us that other than the vitamins and herbs my husband was already taking there was nothing they could do for him, so we decided to take care of what we could, me. I had done all the research on Luteal Phase Defect and knew the doctor would perscribe Clomid. Basically, every time I would ovulate, I would start spotting almost immediately, giving the egg no time to implant. Clomid was supposed to increase my estrogen, causing my body to produce more progesterone, which I was lacking, and creating a longer luteal phase. This was what I had been avoiding for months! We went to an OB who had been highly recommended to us and had some tests done. I went in for a pelvic sonogram and they saw that my tubes were clear, I had no cysts, and my eggs looked good. By the way, if you have never seen a sonogram of your ovaries, it is quite disturbing and will haunt my dreams for years to come. So all we had to do was wait until I started my period and then we would start our first round of Clomid. So as is my nature, my period never came. I knew I was not pregnant, so I tried EVERYTHING to make that evil witch show her ugly face! I went to a holistic doctor who was concerned that I wasn't getting enough iodine and magnesuim and insisted that I use a progesterone cream once I ovulated so that I wouldn't miscarry if I did get pregnant. Not so helpful. And I drank ginger root tea and ginger ale like it was going out of style. I don't know if it was all the ginger, the magnesium, or just simply time, but I FINALLY started my period June 25, 2010 and started my first cycle of Clomid cd3-7.

Stop and consider the wonderful miracles of God! Job 37:14

Things People Say

By April of 2010, I was devistated. It had been a year since I had stopped taking the pill and no pregnancy in sight. Plus the horrifying news that my husband may be the reason for our infertility. I didn't want to get out of bed. I felt like I couldn't breathe. I couldn't understand why God was being so cruel. In the time that we had been ttc, three of our friends had gotten pregnant. Why not us? And of course everyone's response was "you're just trying to hard", "you're too stressed", "you need to relax", and my favorite "if you just stop trying, you'll get pregnant". My husband's family was less than supportive and my family just wanted to fix it for us. Everywhere I turned I saw pregnant women and teens with babies. You mean to tell me that a 16 year old is more apt to care for a child than my husband and I?? What was I supposed to be learning? Patience? What was this growth that God was causing in my life? What was the purpose of my pain? And if this was just a spiritual journey and when it was time God would give us a child, then what was I to do in the mean time? To stop trying wasn't an option! At one point my sister-in-law told me that maybe I just wasn't ready to have a baby because my life is too busy and I wouldn't be able to give that child the attention it needed. She and her husband of one year and partner of three years are now trying to have a baby. She is in a better place than us though because they have tons of money and she works for her father from home. She will be able to give her child more attention; even though she plans to get a nanny to help her because she won't be able to get any work done with a baby around. These are the hurtful things that people say! They make you feel like it is your fault that you have not conceived! Like this thing that you want more than anything in the world would be attainable if you would just calm down your life. If you had enough faith in God, you would get pregnant. What are you supposed to do with it? So what I did was listen, know that it was a load of crap, and everytime I began this self-loathing thought pattern to say to myself, "you are doing the very best that you can, and when the time is right, God will give you a baby". These people that say these things for the most part are not trying to be hurtful. They just don't know what else to say. Nothing they say can really help because they have no idea what you're going through. They can't imagine the pain that comes with not being able to conceive. They are not in your shoes. They are not the ones who have peed on sticks every month for a year only to see that one lonely line. They have not cried in the shower countless times. They have not had their sex life turn into a science experiment. They have no clue what you are going through, so their "advice" is just crap!

If possible, as much as depends on you, live in peace with not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12

Acupuncture, Aromatherapy and Feng Shuing My Way to a Baby!

When we first began ttc, I decided that I wanted my body to be as healthy as possible. I gave up caffeine, bagan doing yoga twice a week, and switched to all natural beauty products to make sure I had no toxins in my body. Being that I have this "all natural" mindset and don't even take ibprophin for a headache, you can understand my hesitation to pump my body full of hormones in order to get pregnant. So I began to search for alternatives to Western Medicine in my quest to get pregnant. The first thing I found was a book called The Infertility Cure. The author, Randine Lewis, claims that through the use of acupuncture, herbs, and diet, all infertility can be cured. I have always been somewhat of a "closet hippy" and skeptical of Western Medicine, so I was thrilled to try all of the things this book offered. First, I diagnosed myself through its user friendly checklist and discovered that I not only had a spleen deficiency, but I also had signs of damp heat. Plus, my bbt chart showed that I had LPD. If you don't understand what all of this means, thats fine, its not really the point. So I went on the perscribed herbs and eliminated carbs, sugar, and dairy from my diet completely. I felt great and healthy and my bbt chart was looking great. My mom got me an aromatherapy book for Christmas and I began creating potions of lavandar, rosemary, and geranium to rub on my belly. I also found that lavandar and peppermint make a great headache reliever. I live in a medium sized, conservative town on the Bible Belt, so I was unsure that I would be able to find an acupuncturist. To my surprise, a friend of a friend knew a woman who had her own Eastern Medicine clinic and practiced acupuncture. I was very nervous, but made an appointment in January 2010 with Tracy. My first appointment, I had to fill out a long questionaire about my diet and what medicines I took, etc. Then I sat down with Tracy, who was a 30 something hippie, and she asked me all about my journey and questions about my body and diet. She told me that she was concerned about my cold hands and feet because that meant my uterus was also cold, and that she wanted to get my blood flowing and warm me up. The acupuncture itself was a bit surreal. I removed only my shirt and rolled up my pant legs. She started by rubbing lavandar oil on all the places where the needles would be placed. The first needle went right in the top of my head! She placed some in my ears, on my forehead, chest, stomach, wrists, and ankles. It didn't hurt, but some of them felt like reflex points and were uncomfortable. She put a warm light on my feet and stomach, and told me to meditate on my orange, sacral chokra and take deep breaths. About thirty minutes later, she came back and placed tuning forks on my shoulders and feet, removed the needles, gave me a nice rub down, and told me to take my time and get up slowly. I felt like I had been realigned and was given a boost of adrenaline. It was a wonderful experience. She works with an herbalist who gave me some more herbs to take and I began to see her once a week for two months. It was very costly, at $65 a week plus herbs. I was, at this time, taking about 17 different vitamins and herbs a day. But I felt that if this worked it would all be worth it! Then March came along and my husband agreed that we needed to get the ball rolling to prepare ourselves that we may need to see an infertility doctor. He went in for a semen analysis, and things did not look good. His sperm count was great, but his morphology and viability were very low. I was crushed. Could it be that all the things I had been doing were just a waste of time? I wasn't even the problem all along? And now what? There isn't much doctors can do about male factor infertility. I decided to take a break from acupuncture, herbs, and trying to have a baby all together. In the mean time, I decided to feng shui my house and did a sage smudging to get rid of any bad infertility energy. In April, my acupuncturist was blessed with a surprise pregnancy with her new boyfriend. I was happy for her, but felt that maybe she had stolen my baby ju ju!!

To create health, you need a new kind of knowledge, based on a deeper concept of life. Deepak Chopra

Friday, November 5, 2010

Back to the beginning

In August of 2008, my husband of two years (partner of 6 years) and I finally decided we were ready to begin trying for a baby! We decided that the following August we would start trying, that would give me enough time to really prepare my body. I have a heart problem and had been taking steroids for 2 years and see a cardiologist every March. When I went in for my visit, my doctor told me that I could not take the medication I had been on once I got pregnant, and that it would be important for me to drink lots of water. I stopped taking the steroids immediately and went off the pill. In June, I celebrated my 23rd birthday, my husband celebrated his 27th, and we celebrated our 3 year anniversary. By July 2009 I started getting anxious because August was the month we really wanted to be pregnant by and I had already been off the pill for 3 months. So I started researching and began charting my bbt and taking vitex because my cycles had been pretty irregular. August and September passed and at the end of October when my period never came we were thrilled at the idea that we may be preggers! But the test said negative and so we waited. Still no evil witch, but still no positive hpt. So I went to my general doctor, who seemed less than concerned, and still the test was negative. She ordered a blood test to check my hormone levels and sent me on my way. My period was about two weeks late at this point and I was feeling like everything was a pregnancy symptom and maybe I was just one of those people that tested negative for a while, plus all the water I was drinking was diluting my urine. Then I started getting stomach pains and nausia. My doctor told me that sometimes when you want to be pregnant you cause yourself to have false symptoms, thanks! But she reluctantly sent me for a pelvic sonogram to rule out the possibility of an ectopic pregnancy. I had to wait two days for the results, and the conclusion was...I was ovulating. My doctor's explanation was that "sometimes women just miss their period once a year and its totally normal", thanks again! So now it was December and I had been off the pill for 9 mos. I was fully aware of the looming one year mark at which we would be considered officially infertile. So I decided since doctors had been less than helpful, I would turn to Eastern medicine.

Daniel 3:17&18. I know that my God is able to deliver me from this, but if He doesn't, I will still serve Him!