Blessings & Timing

Do you ever wish you could know what was going to happen and when it was happening? I find myself feeling like this quite a bit. I will be the first to admit that when we initially made our appointment back in September to see Dr. M I really thought we would be starting treatment the next month, if not right away. Then we found out about all the tests that we still needed and how much it was going to cost. As MANY of you know and unfortunately have to deal with, infertility is not an area insurance companies like to cover, or even really assist with. Knowing this, we had saved up some money and decided to move forward with the tests. My husband just graduated Paramedic school at the time and he was looking for new jobs that included benefits. Up to that point we had the lovely experience of going private for insurance- they didn’t even cover regular doctor appointments! Needless to say, we were praying hard for a new job to open up for him as we embarked into fertility treatments.

We got the call in October where he was offered a full-time position in the ER at the major Level 1 Trauma Center. We were so excited!! The only issue was that he wouldn’t start until the first week in November and our insurance would then start up in December. I was so anxious to start treatment with our October cycle, or even November… But December? It was a hard pill to swallow considering how long we had been waiting to finally get to the RE, but we were more than thankful for the new position and all the doors it would open. With that said, we still planned on doing one cycle of clomid before the insurance, even if we paid out of pocket. After that we would wait until the coverage started, praying it would alleviate at least some of the financial burden.

To our great surprise however, we got our BFP the week before he started the new job. Oh what a magical weekend that was! Unfortunately we learned early on that the pregnancy was not progressing like it should. I actually found out I was miscarrying on his first day at the hospital. Our joy soon turned into great heartbreak. In an attempt to give ourselves time to grieve and be healed we put off starting treatment indefinitely. I’m very glad we did, too. We grew so much closer during that time, leaning on each other for support.

December came and we were discussing our options again. We agreed to try one more natural cycle and then go back to the RE. Which leads us to here and now- two and a half months after our loss. Yesterday was my baseline ultrasound and last night I took my first dose of 50mg Clomid. I go back next week for another ultrasound and my trigger shot. We are now on track to *hopefully* see those two pink lines on Valentine’s Day! It feels surreal to be here, but we are as hopeful as ever.

There were times I really felt I couldn’t go forward… The heartbreak was too much and fear of another loss was almost crippling. But here we are.. I took my fears and laid them at the feet of my Father. I’m still a work in progress and I continue to struggle with those thoughts, but then He reminds me in subtle and not-so-subtle ways “I’ve got you” and the fear starts to dissipate.

Just yesterday I picked up my prescriptions I looked down at my receipt to see this…

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I’ve got you

God never ceases to amaze me with His perfect timing and bountiful blessings. He brought my husband’s job into our lives right when we needed it, He picked up our broken hearts as we grieved the loss of our first baby, and He is ever-present here now as we pursue treatment for our miracle. I really couldn’t ask for more.

God is good.

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What If…?

I can’t remember the last time I didn’t plan something around the “what if” in life. You know, that question in the back of your mind where you end up thinking of each scenario that could play out. I am a planner by nature and I do my best to look at every angle and possible outcome of a decision before I make it. But even with all the planning in the world, there is always going to be a degree of uncertainty- the part you just can’t plan for.

Time and time again I am shown that even when I try my hardest to account for anything and everything that could result from a certain decision, or action, life doesn’t always go as planned. Clearly these past few weeks have been a perfect illustration of that. Earlier this year I was wondering…

“What if we aren’t meant to go into treatment after my husband graduates?”

“What if the medication doesn’t work?”

“What if we don’t have the money to pursue it?”

“What if we’re rushing this?”

Then we finally got to the point where the “what if’s” started to change. We felt like God was giving us the green light to go into treatment. My husband graduated and received an amazing opportunity for a new job with great benefits. I felt confident and excited for what was to come. Everything was lining up and going according to “plan”, until it didn’t.

The unknown, our sweet sweet blessing, came to us after 22 months of waiting… and was gone just a short week later. The “what if” of getting pregnant, and miscarrying, the same week we were suppose to start treatment was not on my radar. It just wasn’t. Like I said… life doesn’t always go according to plan. Would I prefer to be in the middle of a clomid cycle right now? Honestly…no. A month ago I would have told you that is where I would be. Two weeks ago I would have a huge smile on my face and tell you that we didn’t need to. But now… now I’m in this confusing limbo of grief and anticipation. I have this whole new bundle of “what if’s” that keep me up at night. In all the years of planning and waiting, I can honestly say I’ve never been right here before and I’m not sure what to do… so I’ve been praying, a lot.

Earlier this year I was accepted into one of the best nursing schools in the state. Immediately the “what if’s” started to flood in, but the main one being- “What if we’re pregnant by then?”. I’ve been working towards my degree for the past 3 years with a mixture of full-time, part-time, and online classes due to our wedding, moving, and finances. I had been waiting for this moment for years, only to end up second guessing it because of the unknown of if/when we would conceive. Hundreds of students apply for this specific program, but they can only select a couple dozen each year. I went as far as putting down a deposit in the Spring so I could start the semester in August this year, but I ended up giving up my spot and taking the deposit back. My heart was in it, just not as much as wanting a baby and I just couldn’t go into it like that.

So here I am, still waiting and praying for our little family to expand. I feel as if I have put everything else on hold these past two years in an effort to focus on our attempts, get healthy, and relax. I have made small steps towards my end goals, but nothing compared to the strides I could have made. With that said, I don’t regret not going to nursing school this year and in all honesty I think I would be fine if I didn’t go next year, but this holding my breath business… living in fear of the “what if’s“, I just can’t do it anymore. I don’t believe that’s where God has called me to be. I know He has SO much more in store!

And with that… I am applying to nursing school, again. My hope is to start in May 2014, which will put my graduation date in May 2016. Understandably, they have a very intense schedule and I would end up quitting my job to go full time, but thankfully my husband is more than supportive. This is my attempt at letting go and jumping in head first. There is no guarantee of tomorrow, next month, continued health, or plans to go accordingly. I feel as though I know this better now than any other time in my life and I’m just not willing to let another great opportunity pass by because of the “what if’s“. I’m giving those up to God- they will not control me any more. One step at a time, that’s all I can do and if in the end it is meant to be… it will be.

“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.” Proverbs 16:9

The Week I Was Pregnant..

Part of me wishes that I would have kept up with updating my blog throughout this past week. Yet, in all honesty I don’t know that it would be any easier to write this post if I had. I have always said that this journey has been a rollercoaster ride, but this past week has brought a whole new meaning to “highs” and “lows”.

As I have already stated, we just started working with an RE in September to complete more testing. A week and a half ago we had our follow-up meeting discussing our course of action, that was set to start this week. The part of the story I neglected to write about on here was that I received my very first positive opk on October 19th. This was the same cycle as my HSG, so we went into the two week wait with great anticipation of what God was going to do. We felt so positive and so excited! Little did we know that we were just then accelerating  to the peak of the rollercoaster ride.

On October 31st, (my birthday), all of our hopes, dreams, and prayers had been answered. The moment we have been waiting for, almost two years in the making, was here. I had taken a cheap internet test on the 30th, but knowing I was only 10dpo I couldn’t be sure if it was a faint line or just a very hopeful heart. The anticipation for the next morning was so great that I only slept a few hours. I can’t even begin to express the emotions that filled that morning. The waiting, the anticipation, the tears… those two pink lines made it all worth it.

To top of the best birthday present I could have ever hoped for, my husband had already planned a surprise getaway to Myrtle Beach for the next 4 days. Our hearts were so full- so expectant. The next few days were the most relaxing, absolutely full of joy. We were expecting! Each night we would pray together, thanking God for this huge blessing & every morning we would pray again, and my husband would kiss my belly. I can honestly say that it was the best vacation we have ever had, and I’m so grateful that we were able to experience it.

Sunday came and instead of being sad about going home, we were excited. My husband was scheduled to start his new job on Monday and I had called in to get my first beta done that same morning. We laid in bed Sunday evening talking about when we would announce, what names we liked, and how excited we were to see my belly grow. Sunday was our last day on the top of the rollercoaster…

Monday came and we waited, yet again, for blood results. I was roaming the aisles of Target when I got the call that afternoon. I had just finished looking through the baby clothes and made my way over to the food to buy all my “cravings”. My phone rang, and my heart jumped. I was so anxious to hear our numbers- to get the official confirmation of the tests I had been taking and the symptoms that were so clearly evident. Then the nurse told me our Hcg numbers and I asked her to repeat them because I thought for sure I had heard her wrong, but I didn’t.

At 15dpo my Hcg came back at 9.

The nurse tried to tell me that it could just be early, that the numbers could still increase and I would need to come back in 48 hours to check them again. My heart sank. I fought so hard to not just break down in the baking aisle as I ended the call. As hard as I tried, I just couldn’t hold back the tears. I ran out of Target as soon as I could and left my full cart just sitting there. I don’t even remember the ride home that day.

Now let me just say, I know that Hcg numbers have a huge range. I have heard stories of women coming back from low numbers and having successful pregnancies. I have no doubt in my mind that God could work a miracle, if that was in His plan. But in my own heart, I knew it was over. I had received multiple positives on 50 mIU/mL pregnancy tests over the weekend, even with a diluted sample. My symptoms came fast and strong… and they left just as quick. With all of this said, we were still hoping and praying for a miracle.

Monday night and Tuesday were especially hard for me. I fluctuated between hope and complete sadness. Knowing I would have to wait to find out if we were in fact miscarrying, or if the numbers would miraculously double was so difficult. Yesterday I went to work as usual, thinking I would be okay. By mid-morning I was getting strong cramps, and again I fell to my knees and cried out to God. I tried my best to stay positive. Just a few hours later I started shaking… then the spotting started.

I ended up going home shortly there after. I stayed in bed most of the day, hoping and praying that somehow it would help. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye. I didn’t want to stop fighting.

My hopes would climb when I noticed the spotting had stopped, only to be dashed again by the disappearing physical symptoms from pregnancy I had been so joyfully experiencing. I curled up into my husband’s arms last night and we prayed. I have always believed that God is the Great Comforter, the Healer. I have experienced His powerful peace during times of stress, and loss. I have been comforted by His loving grace. And as we started to pray, I thought for sure I would be begging for our baby to stay with us. I can’t lie, I really really wanted to. He knows our hearts, He knows where we have been and how much we’ve wanted this, but He also knows what is to come. So while we prayed for healing, we also prayed specifically for peace- whatever the outcome.

I can’t begin to try and understand why this would happen. I don’t pretend to know the answers. But I know that through it all- God is good. He never left us. He was there when we were praying for our future children. He was there through all the tests and tears. He was there when this life was conceived. He was there when we found out. He was there when we celebrated. And He is here now when we are grieving. He never left.

This morning I woke up to terrible cramps, nausea, and the sight no pregnant woman ever wants to see- bright red blood. I thought for sure I would fall into this deep depression, we had fallen to the low point of the rollercoaster after all. But instead, I feel a surreal, supernatural peace that I can’t even describe. The Great Comforter, our God, has swooped down and picked up our broken hearts, letting us know yet again that we are never alone- not even at we perceive to be our “lowest”.

This loss still hurts. The wound is still so fresh. I even still have the band-aid on my arm from my second beta this morning, and the positive hpt’s in my bathroom…

We aren’t sure where we go from here, but we are taking every step in faith. Our journey is not over yet, our God has such great things in store. And while we would have loved to experience this pregnancy for longer.. to hold our baby and tell him or her that we love them oh so much, we are thankful for the week we had. I can honestly say that we enjoyed and celebrated this life every second, from the very first moment we found out and saw that faint line.

I never knew what to say to someone who was experiencing such a loss, how to comfort them. To be honest, there isn’t much someone could say at this point that would make things “better”, I suppose that’s just how it is. But just knowing there are people out there thinking about us and praying for us means the world. Right now we are still waiting on our second beta results (I will update this afternoon). So please continue to pray for emotional and physical healing, guidance as we decide what to do next, & where God wants us.

Update- The nurse called and confirmed my Hcg is at zero. They offered for me to come in for a baseline ultrasound on Saturday so we could start treatment this cycle, but we denied. We have decided to take time to heal and focus on us. Again, trusting and believing that God will lead us where we should be.

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HSG Complete!

 

Good news… I survived the HSG!

In all seriousness though, the anxiety really was the worst part. I’m not a huge fan of regular exams, so when you add in the horror stories I’ve read and heard in the past few weeks.. not pretty. I’m so very thankful, and counting my blessings, that I do not have one of those stories to share.

The day of the procedure I made sure to take pain medicine before heading to the surgery center. I even remembered to not go to the bathroom until I got there since I would have to provide a sample for the required pregnancy test. So besides my very uncomfortably full bladder, I was doing just fine in the waiting area. It wasn’t until I was taken back to “pre-op” that my nerves started kicking in.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I like hospitals and doctors offices. But this was different. I felt… vulnerable. The nurse took my vitals and we had a short chuckle about maybe needing a child’s cuff to take my blood pressure (we didn’t). We were back there for 10-15 minutes getting things settled. There was a lot of hustle and bustle on the other side of the curtain, and I think the combination of it all definitely explains why my heart rate was sitting pretty in the 90’s . Before the nurse left, she placed a warm blanket across my lap and said she was going to tell my husband he could come back. As soon as the curtain closed behind her I had to fight hard not to cry. I knew if I started crying then it would just get worse when my husband came back and I would be a blubbering mess before the doctor even arrived. Can I just say- I thank God for my husband! He could tell I was as nervous as could be, and in his lighthearted nature, he started cracking jokes. I am so grateful he was able to come with me!

I’m pretty sure they were running behind schedule that day, because my doctor didn’t even come in until 25 minutes past my time slot. I gave my hubby a quick kiss and walked over to the procedure room with my doctor and the tech. From the time the door closed to when I was walking back out of that room, I would have to say it was a total of 5-6 minutes. The procedure itself took maybe 2 minutes, with the dye part only lasting seconds. It was uncomfortable, very uncomfortable. Many ladies told me it would feel like menstrual cramps, and it did. I think the most painful thing for me was when she had to turn the catheter around when she found out I have a retroverted uterus. Other than that, I wouldn’t call it a “fun” experience, but I’m glad we had it done.

Oh… and the news I know you’re all wanting-

 

OPEN TUBES!

 

Yeah, I’m pretty excited about that too. It was amazing to see the dye move on the x-ray screen. It was so quick, but thankfully they printed off images to look at later. Dr. M seemed pleased with the results, which is good! She said she would go over it in detail during our next appointment, so I’m very anxious to hear everything.

Due to scheduling conflicts concerning my hubby’s new schedule we had to make an appointment for the 25th, which is only just over a week away now! Instead of the office a few minutes down the street, we are making the trek two hours away to see our doctor at her main office in Akron. We will be going over all the results- my blood work, hubby’s SA, and the HSG. We will also be talking game plan! My hubby and I have been praying over this appointment for a long time, and no matter the results- we know it’s all in God’s hands and we take great comfort in that. Right now we are praising Him for the good news the HSG has brought & my hubby’s new job that comes with health insurance! Each piece of the puzzle comes right when it is meant to… and it is getting more beautiful by the day.

 

Take a Step Back

You know how when you were little and your parents would always want you to step back from the edge, to move back away from danger and closer to what they deem as “safe”…

Well that’s where I am at right now. I’m on the ledge and I can feel how close the danger zone is.. It’s almost unbearable at times.

This cycle was unsuccessful, again.

So what can I do now??

I am taking a step back. To get back to the “safe” zone where infertility doesn’t run my life. I know it’s a part of my story now.. But it is not who I am.

So I choose hope. I choose to trust God and His timing, because my heart is just too involved in this. I choose to let go as best I can. I choose my husband. I choose to be the wife he needs me to be, not the obsessive emotional woman I have become in the past year. I choose happiness and joy, the kind that can only be received through Him.

My Father has put his hand on me and lovingly told me to step back. & I am listening.

Let Go & Let God

The hubs and I have been trying to figure out our “next step” for the past couple weeks. We haven’t set anything in concrete though, because honestly…

We don’t know.

I am so thankful that there are options out there. Yet, part of me is still holding out hope I can get my body to respond to natural treatments and healthy living since my blood results and tests have come back normal every time. That would be ideal. However, maybe we will have to go down the medical route.. Perhaps sooner than later.

Infertility brings a whole range of emotions. Many of which I am all too familiar with now. Just this past weekend I melted in my husbands arms, and he held me while the tears ran down my face.

It’s exhausting. Sometimes to the point where you just want to stay in bed. But you can’t- you still have a life to live.

Even amidst the pain and struggle, there are a multitude of everyday blessings we already have. Let me tell you, it is worth it to let go & let God. What good does it does it add to our lives to focus on the negative? So there… I say go ahead and have a good cry, or even scream into a pillow. This journey isn’t easy & it sure isn’t fun, but we are far from alone!

I have played this song every day for the past few weeks and I plan on continuing to for some time to come. ~(Help Me Find It- Sidewalk Prophets)~ I hope it brings some comfort to your heart today.

He will help us find whatever path to take. I truly believe that.

TTC update Temps are showing that we are officially in the tww  of the second cycle on Vitex. This is the earliest recorded O for me, at cd34. God is bigger than any obstacle we encounter! Praising Him.

What I Can’t Do

Since being diagnosed with PCOS I have-

Become a vegetarian
Bought organic food
Taken 5+ vitamins/supplements daily
Started Maca Root Powder & Vitex
Added mild exercise 5 days a week
Gained about 5 lbs to increase my BMI
Postponed nursing school to focus on stress relief
Tracked my cycles, intimacy, and BBT
Avoided toxins, caffeine, alcohol, and continually trying to rid my home of chemicals.

I have laughed. I have cried. I have screamed. I have loved. I have lost.I have been tested. I have prayed. I have grown.

But the struggle… The constant pulling and aching at my heart does not go away. My cycles are still nowhere near “normal”. Regardless of all that I have done, I am sitting here with an empty womb and  the sadness sets in.

Then I’m reminded of this..

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I can’t fix my body. I can’t heal my own hurt. But He can.

Holding fast to His love.