Thursday, April 30, 2009

Post surgery SA sample dropped off

Friends, thank you so much for all of your kind words, understanding, and reassurances. I do know those numbers are fine. They are normal. As much as I can tell from those numbers (which I know is not the be-all or end-all), my eggs are ready to make babies. I think I just wanted them to be better, you know? To make me feel like I have many child-bearing years left. But those numbers can't really predict that...and I can only see what is here in front of me. And what is in front of me is that my bloodwork results are normal. (Funny side note: When I was crying and showed DH the numbers he said, "What!? Those numbers are inside the normal ranges. How would you feel if the normal limit was 50% and you got 3%? And I had to laugh really hard through my tears, because he was referring to his own sperm motility, and he can say it in such a funny way).

This week has hit me like a ton of bricks. Remember how excited and anxious I was to get the ball rolling and move forward? I am so glad we are, but A LOT has happened and will happen in this week. So many tests and so much information that I am barely able to start processing it all. My emotions are so close to the surface that the best way I can describe myself is that I feel fragile. Last night I had two sobbing sessions.

I dropped off the post surgery semen analysis today. I had no traffic and found parking easily, so it was a smooth drop off...which I felt like was a small blessing from the Lord, especially knowing my fragile state. I checked the STAT box myself on the SA form. I wonder if a lot of my emotional state comes from an underlying anxiety about this test. Probably. I just want to get these results and process ALL of this information. Cry or rejoice depending on the news, and pray.

A re-cap of this week:
Monday: u/s (found the fibroids) and b/w

Tuesday: incredibly painful SHG, found out fibroid is decreasing my fertility by 30%, need to have surgery

Wednesday: got b/w results back that were normal and good... but not excellent like I had hoped

Thursday: SA (maybe we'll get the results at the end of the day??)

Friday: appointment with urologist in the AM, and then consult appointment with my ob/gyn about the surgery in the PM

I'd like this week to be over, please.

A verse that has always been such a comfort to me:
1But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
2When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
Isaiah 43:1-2

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Freaking out

I got my cd 3 bloodwork results. They told me everything falls into the normal ranges, but it looks barely normal to me. I confess I am freaking out right now. Google is not providing me with helpful links. Do any of you have a good website that lists the normal ranges??? ETA: I just found this site that is exactly what I was looking for.

FSH: 8.7 (how fast could this go up? I just turned 28!)
E2: 68 (forgot this one!)
LH: 5.7 (normal is 5-20?? barely normal. Freaking out. Trying to stay calm.)

I also just read that high E2 can falsey lower FSH. So if my E2 is on the high side my FSH could technacally be higher which would put me in dangerous zones.

I hate being infertile.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I feel like a true Stirrup Queen now

I had a sonohysterogram (SHG) test today (you guys were right!), and I feel like I have completed some right of passage to become a true 'Stirrup Queen.' Those stirrups were large and high and I felt oh so exposed!!

I took a couple advil an hour before the appointment and showed up at the RE's office right on time. They had me pee in a cup to make sure I wasn't pregnant (ha!), and then took my blood pressure and temperature. After waiting for a few minutes, they had me go into the room with the large and high stirrups, undress from the waist down, and sit with the little paper sheet over my lap while I waited for Dr. S. I really wasn't too nervous because I had read that this test wasn't that bad.

Dr. S walked in, and this was only my second time meeting him. He greeted me with an almost fatherly pat on the leg that I found comforting, and explained the overall procedure to me before hand. As he began each step, he thoroughly explained what he was doing and what type of sensations to expect. He struck me as very adept each step of the way, and his bedside manner was great. I was pleasantly surprised.

Now, what I was NOT so pleasantly surprised about was how much this HURT! Let me back up and say that in my few unpleasant medical experiences in my life, I have always thought of myself as a grin-and-bear-it sort of person. Not that I have such a high pain tolerance, but I think I've always figured if I acted on the pain it would just make it last longer. Plus, I think the thought of making noises or faces embarrasses me, so I've always tried to keep a sort of poker face with maybe only a slight grimace (in case they can stop/change/ ease up on whatever they are doing to make it more comfortable).

Yeah, no poker faces today. He inserted the speculum - no problem. Put some sort of dark brown liquid on my cervix - no problem. Removed the speculum, inserted the catheter, and injected the saline solution - uncomfortable. At this point I thought I was experiencing the "mild cramping" I had read about. It felt like mild and slightly different than menstrual cramps, but way less than the cramps I get on the first day of my period.

Then Dr. S inserted the ultrasound wand, which at first just felt like some pressure. But then I felt such sharp cramps that were unlike any cramps I have felt before. I don't even know what was cramping-- my whole lower half?! I almost think he was hitting my fibroid with the wand or something!!! He did say, "Sorry, I'm just right where I need to be to get a good look." I have no idea what was actually hurting or why...

But I cried out. And arched my back. And stared intently at the ceiling. The nurse asked if I was ok and all I could manage was a terse "Uh-huh." And had to fight with all my might not to move in an effort to somehow make the pain stop. I held on tightly to the arm rests and told myself it would be over soon. And probably made a few more noises. (I am honestly embarrassed to remember how I acted. I know it's ok and I couldn't help it....but I don't like to be whimpering and writhing in front of people!)

It was over in about two minutes. Whew, I must be wimp! Dr. S told me he would see me in his office after I was dressed, and the nurse put a pad under me to absorb all the saline when I sat up. I felt back to normal -- just a little shaky -- and got dressed (definitely needed a pad for all the leaking that happened this afternoon).

Dr. S showed me the ultrasound pictures and said that, in his opinion, the submucous fibroid (which is protruding into my uterus) is decreasing my fertility by about 30%. He said that an embryo would not be able to implant in that area. However, an embryo could implant in other parts of my uterus, but I guess you never know which spot that little guy is going to pick to try and make himself at home. I asked Dr. S if he thought I should remove it, and he said yes. He said if I were easily able to get pregnant, having my fertility reduced by 30% might not be a big deal. But seeing as how I have never been pregnant...and any IF treatment success rates would be lowered by 30% as seemed like a no-brainer. I'm having the surgery.

How awful would it be if my DH's sperm actually made it up there....found an egg....fertilized....and then the embryo went to implant but couldn't because of the fibroid! Our one in a million chance -- gone! The thought of that is horrible. I want that thing out.

The surgery will be in the first part of my next cycle, but one interesting development is that my RE will not be performing the surgery. His main office -- which includes a surgery center -- is in the Big City two hours away and is not covered under our insurance. The doctor's fees would be covered but not the use of the facilities, and the insurance lady estimated that it would be about $1,500 out of pocket if we had Dr. S do it. So Dr. S suggested that my ob/gyn perform the surgery, and assured me that he has worked with her before for other patients. And - how funny is this -- he said he was having lunch with her today and could bring my chart and go over everything with her. How awesome is that! The only thing that is not so awesome is that I have never met my ob/gyn. When I made an appointment at her office a few years ago as a new patient, she was only seeing new pregnant patients. So I ended up with the Nurse Practitioner. I guess being infertile is like a golden ticket to get to the actual ob/gyn!

PS- Everyone says the HSG is worse than the SHG....what if I have to have one of those later....and I thought this was bad! Eek!

Another ultrasound

Thanks for "getting it" about the "happy news" of discovering I have fibroids. lol. I am still very relieved to know why I have had so much bleeding throughout my cycle, and it feels like validation. Like I can say to the world, "Seeee? I knew there was something wrong."

But I think the reality that I DO have something wrong has set in a little more, and thanks to Dr. Google I know it is nothing serious. In fact it is so not serious that the vast majority of women who get fibroids don't even get them removed unless their symptoms are severe. And -- here's the kicker -- they don't generally link fibroids to infertility....unless they are a certain type in a certain place of the uterus. Which the NP seemed to think one of mine was.

The RE called yesterday afternoon and scheduled me for another u/s with him today. He said he wants to get a look at them himself and do another type of ultrasound that includes some liquid (I am so fuzzy on that -- I don't know exactly what type of procedure we're doing today. I just know I need to take advil an hour before, but I don't think it's "as bad" as the HSG). He said the fibroid may be effecting my fertility.

Here's where I start to feel overwhelmed. The fibroids may be effecting my fertility. They might not be effecting my fertility and might not be removed. One (or both?) might be removed. If only one is removed I might still have all my bleeding issues. It appears fibroid removal may cause scar tissue in the uterus. If the fibroids are not removed because they are bot thought to be effecting my fertility, they might cause recurrent pregnancy loss down the road. Might, might, might, might! Obviously so few things in the medical world are 100% definite, but there are so many unknowns that it is frustrating. And, as many of you have experienced, it is hard to add more to the "Things Wrong with our Reproductive Abilities" list and to feel like it is just another thing to overcome in getting pregnant, you know?

However, I don't want to take away too much from the happy fact that we know what is wrong and it is either harmless or treatable. That is good -- I would so much rather know about this to work with it than to just feel like something is wrong. And it will be interesting to hear what the doctor's plan is after this mysterious u/s today! I'll keep you posted.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Hallelujah, I have fibroids!

I just got back from my ultrasound, and guess what we found??? TWO FIBROIDS! As I said to DH on the phone, Hallelujah! I mean, of course I don't want to have abnormal growths in my uterus...but finally I have an explanation to all of my bleeding that is common and no big deal. :::::huge sigh of relief::::: The NP said that one of them is very high and not likely to effect fertility, but the other is in the area where implantation would occur so that could definitely be causing our infertility. (Then I told her about our MFI, but still. Even if one little sperm could get up there, my fibroid would be getting in the way!). Now I just have to wait to hear from the doctor about when we are going to get those things OUT!
I also have to say that I LOVED this nurse practitioner. Like I said in a previous post, this NP works with my RE to do u/s and monitoring for patients in my city, and I was a little sad that I couldn't just do everything at the RE's office. However, it looks like they have a really great system for working together and this NP was just so kind, thorough, and informative. There was another woman there ahead of me from my RE's office and she and the NP definitely seemed very friendly with each other. Her office was colorful and unique....It made me look forward to going back and seeing her again! And DH ended up unable to go with me...he did want to, but remembered that it was his boss' first day back from a 3-week vacation and he didn't want to get to work late today. But I asked the NP about bringing DH next time and she said, "Of course! Bring whoever you want, we could have a party in here!" :)
Now I'm just waiting for my blood test results...!!! I'm nervous about my FSH. Even thought I know I am "young," in this land of IF statistics become rather meaningless, you know? I'll keep you posted!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Would this be weird?

Tomorrow morning at 8 am I'm off to get my cd 3 ultrasound and blood work. DH totally surprised me by saying, "Hey, can I go with you?"

Now, he is generally supportive about our infertility by letting me talk his ear off, asking questions sometimes, and offering hugs when needed. But he's not truly interested in it. I do all the research, I read the books, I think about different options...I honestly don't think our infertility crosses DH's mind unless it relates to me and my emotional responses, you know? So I was shocked when he asked this, especially when the thought of him coming with me hadn't even entered my mind as a possibility or as something I would need.

I think he wants to go to show me he is actively interested in this infertility stuff for my sake. But I also think he is genuinely curious to see what the ultrasound is like, and he wants to see the picture of my ovaries because he likes the scientific/ medical side of things.

The funny thing is, I don't know if I want DH to come with me! I honestly don't feel like I "need" him there like I imagine I would at other times. I'm also wondering if this would be totally weird?? If it were something *important* and I really wanted DH there, I wouldn't care if we looked weird to the medical staff. But this is my first time going in to this office (it's a local ob/gyn's office that partners with my out-of-town RE for ultrasounds) and I kind of don't want to look like that freaked out infertility patient who brings her husband to her first silly appointment.

DH wouldn't care if I said I didn't want him to go. But should I promote his unexpected interest and bring him along? What do you think? Also, a technical question: Do I need to have a full bladder? I had an u/s once before (in regards to my spotting before TTC) and I was told to come with a full bladder...but the RE's office didn't say anything about that for this u/s.

PS - I realize I just wrote this whole long post and want to make it clear that I am not stressed out about this. I don't think it's a big deal either way, but I thought I would throw it out to you as we weigh our options in this *little* decision. :)

Friday, April 24, 2009

AF was late enough...

I was hoping to avoid a need for cd 3 blood work on Sunday, but AF was late enough for me to have it on Monday. Good news, I guess.

I have never anticipated AF more, even in the tww. Usually by the time AF should be arriving, I have already tested negative or somehow assumed she was coming...thus not really caring about when she specifically arrived. But these past two days I kept waiting....and thinking she was here...and then she wasn't...

Let's just say I made way more bathroom trips than necessary that included unneeded tampon changes. :) I even woke up at 4am this morning, felt some dull achy cramps, and thought, "Ahh, AF is finally here" only to wake up a few hours later and find out she wasn't!

Only infertile women could care that much about their period. Thankfully, I can sleep easy now.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

HPT numbness

I took an HPT this morning. I knew it was rather silly. I mean, I'm not even late yet since AF should be arriving today-ish. And I've been spotting since 1 dpo with my normal progression of light to heavy spotting. The only thing different is that I have had really sore bbs that have stayed sore. Normally that goes away before AF's arrival. So when I woke up this morning to aching bb's, I got out my internet cheapie HPT and took it.


And I didn't care. It didn't make me sad. I threw it in the trash and continued getting ready for work. DH gave me a hug but I didn't even need it.

Oh, well. I'll save all those crying BFN's for treatment cycles (although I am hoping I won't have to experience that).

Now I am just hoping AF does come today so my cd 3 blood work will be on Saturday and not Sunday. I don't think the lab is open Sunday and it would just make life a little easier.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

ps- birthday confession

A small confession in relation to my birthday yesterday. :)

At the top of this little blog I list our ages, and prior to yesterday it said, "Me (27) and DH (25): TTC our first child..."

On my birthday I changed it to, "Me (28) and DH (26): TTC our first child...". I confess: DH and I do not have the same birthday. I am 2 years... and a few weeks older than DH.

But I hate that, for those few weeks, it looks like I am 3 years older. To avoid this, I decided that DH turns a year older the same day I do so we are always just 2 years apart (although he sure does tease me in those few weeks!). Maybe there are some "older women" out there who can relate!?

Don't worry, we still celebrate DH's birthday on his actual birthday. :)

Monday, April 20, 2009

It's my birthday!

After a major cry-fest last night over infertility, I woke up today not looking forward to my birthday. I just felt like I couldn't enjoy it, you know? I've just been too emotional.

BUT what a great day that totally pulled me out of my funk!! My day has been filled with so many special little things and more people than I deserve who love me. In my emotional state (that I KNOW is PMS but I *somehow* think, "I'm am extra emotional. Maybe I'm pregnant?!), many of these things moved me to tears, but this time there were the good, "Oh my gosh, you love me!" tears.

DH made me breakfast and put it on out "Your Are Special Today" plate that he painted for me two years ago on my birthday. He attached a note on a piece of lined notebook paper declaring his love and happy birthday. I got calls from my parents, in-laws, and other friends and relatives. Text messages and emails from my youth group girls. Even the random FB messages made my day! :) And an unexpected gift dropped off at my work by from somebody in my homegroup, a couple cards in the mail...*sigh* I am blessed.

I also got myself a mocha frap (with whip for once since it's my birthday), and tonight DH and I are going out to dinner, getting a yummy cupcake from this place I've always wanted one from, and then picking out his gift to me. It was his idea to go to Home Depot together and pick out a new porch light, since we don't like the one we currently have. Fun, fun!

And to round out the week I'm getting my first ever massage on Friday! I have a gift certificate and am going with a girlfriend, I can't wait!!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Moments of emotion

We had a such a wonderful weekend at our church retreat. Extended time with friends, worship, and God's word truly are nourishing to my soul.

I did get to hang out with my newly-discovered infertile friend a lot and I love her! I am just going to have to name her and call her Grace. We did not get to have our extended infertility talk because there were so many people always around, but we have a rain check. :) And even without that talk, we had a few moments of connection...she really has already been like having one of YOU around and it is such a blessing!

An example: I was in the bathroom at the sink and Grace was on the other side in the shower room. A newly married girl walked in, and through the course of some small talk asked the "When are you going to have kids?" bomb. Grace came out of the shower area in the midst of this and after the newlywed had left said, "I flinched for you when she asked THE question." Seriously!? She's like you guys, she GETS IT!

Over the course of the weekend I did have some moments of refection and emotion that were quite powerful. Some are IF related and some are not. In order of occurrence:

*The retreat speaker mentioned a severely autistic girl that he has had a friendship with over the last couple years. He described how she can barely communicate and cannot be touched. She often speaks through some kind of technological device. This girl told him that she has always believed in Jesus because God has always communicated with her...daily. He tells her that she is his special daughter, and that he is closer than we all think. I wish you could have heard the story...but a silent sob burst through at the thought of what an amazing God we serve. He communicates with her in a special, intimate way because he loves her. I can't even describe what a beautiful image of God this stirred in my heart.

*Seeing the children preform a musical, and the lead actor sang many adorable solos. At the end of two songs he sang out loud and clear, "Salvation is from Lord." It is a joy to see praises come from the mouth of babes, and I think I was the only person to CRY during the children's musical. I think I was also imagining how proud his parents must be and hoping I, too, could see my own child on stage performing like that someday.

*The speaker briefly talked about the woman who touches Jesus' robe and is immediately healed of her bleeding disorder that she has suffered with for twelve years. I cried out to God -- I want to touch your robe! How do I touch your robe? I want to be healed. Or maybe DH should touch your robe. We want your healing in our life in all areas, including our fertility. I cried.

*Grace told me she prays for DH & I. She said she prays that our infertility would end...not necessarily that we would have a baby. Isn't that interesting?? I am still pondering this one and look forward to hearing her describe this more.

As you can tell, I was a bit emotional, although mostly in a good way. I think AF is around the corner (already!?). God is so good.

Friday, April 17, 2009

A new IRL IF friend

A couple weeks ago I found out that a new couple we are friends with is dealing with IF...3 years into their journey. These are friends who, before knowing this, we have been really excited to get to know and grow in friendship with. And now...let's just say I am extra excited to have an IRL friend who gets it!!

They are a super fun couple, really down to earth, and very thoughtful. I actually feel like I can probably learn so much from her -- I think she has reflected and processed a lot about their IF struggles.

When we had our brief conversation two weeks ago, we both agreed we needed to hang out soon and have a nice long chat. This weekend we're sharing a cabin with them at our church's annual retreat!! As excited as I am about the retreat itself, I'm much more excited to hang out with this friend!! :)

We go to a fairly large church, and one blessing of this is that there are bound to be other couples experiencing IF so we don't have to feel so isolated within our church community. The flip side, as she put it, is that "we go to a very fertile church." She totally gets it.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

She got her baby!!

You might remember that a couple months ago I posted about an IRL friend who had struggled with IF for 6 years and was waiting to be matched with a baby through an adoption agency. Well, I have WONDERFUL news -- they got their baby boy!

When I saw the headline of their email announcement, my heart literally fluttered in my chest. And as I read the words and saw the pictures of the new little family tears streamed down my face. What a miracle. God has blessed them. Yes, their IF journey was very difficult, and I know they would have never chosen that path. But if you read that email and saw the joy in the faces of those new parents, you would know just how blessed they feel.

I am so thankful for that little baby and that he was placed in their lives!!! Praise God!!!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Losing my will power

Although the urologist said we could have the post-surgery SA done after 3 months, DH & I had decided to wait 4 months. We thought we would be more likely to get a 'positive' test by waiting a little longer, and we have read that some doctors recommend the 4 month wait.

Well, 3 months is up tomorrow
. And I don't know if I have the will power to wait the extra month!!!

All of our treatments hinge on this SA. Either we get to move forward or we have some huge decisions to make, and potentially more waiting.

I posted on the nest, and a few women whose husbands had the surgery thought waiting the extra time would be a good idea. I want to test and feel like we can always re-test after a couple more months, but waiting could prevent me from experiencing the heart break of a negative result. To test or not to test....

Can I just say this frustrating fact about male factor infertility and varicoceles?!? Sperm changes all the time, so SA's can vary significantly. And it can take up to a year to see the full results of the surgery. A YEAR! One of the women said it took 7 months for the surgery to improve her DH's numbers. Sperm and sperm production are weird things that take way too long in my opinion!

DH & I talked about all of this tonight, and he understood my impatience... so we're moving the SA up a little. We'll do it around the same time I do my HSG (which I'm guessing will be the last week in April or the first week in May), so it will be about 3-1/2 months post surgery. Then we will have as complete a picture of our fertility as we can get for awhile. I'm praying the picture is a nice, sunny fertility landscape without a cloud in the sky...

Monday, April 13, 2009

Further thoughts

Happy belated Easter! I hope those of you who celebrated had a joyful holiday celebrating the amazing hope we have in Christ. We had family visiting for the weekend and got to host an Easter lunch -- it was such a treat!

In the down time, I did a little more reflecting on our RE appointment. Here's my first impression list of how I think it went:

Things I liked:
* The doctor, nurse, and office person we interacted with were all very nice. I'm a sucker for nice. I know it doesn't directly correlate with receiving good care, but it sure helps.

*The doctor seemed optimistic about the varicocele repair. I have read on many blogs that people's RE's don't put much stock in a varicocele surgery helping fertility, so I was relieved he didn't make some back handed comment about that. He might not really believe it will work (I have no idea), but since we already done it he just acted hopeful that we might not even need IF treatments.

*He didn't just do a sales pitch for IVF. I was nervous about this.

Things I didn't like:
*Even though they were nice, I didn't feel comfortable until the last 5 minutes of the appointment with the nurse (who we met with after the RE). I really think this is just a bit of nervousness/ white coat syndrome, but it didn't make the appointment pleasant...

*The doctor and staff only come to my local office a couple times a week, and not even for a full day. I will be doing all tests and monitoring through "trusted" lab people here in town, but I do wish it was at their office. However, it is also not worth it for me to drive 45 minutes each way to go to their office!! If it felt like a problem I could start doing the drive in the future (there are no other RE's in town).

*I wish he had asked more questions or had more to say about the spotting.

*DH thought everyone was a little weird. I don't know what to make of that (I thought it was a strange comment to make and I don't really agree!).


Thank you to everyone who participated in my little giveaway!! It was really fun to do, and I loved reading through your book recommendations. Some of them were books that I've already read, so it was neat to connect with you in that way and say in my head, "I love that one too!", and others sounded like great reads. So thank you!

And.....the winner is....through an online number generator.... Nichole!! Congrats, and let me know which book you choose! :)

Friday, April 10, 2009

1st RE Appointment

If you would have asked me what would happen at our 1st RE appointment, I would have said we would talk to the RE and get set up for testing. And that's exactly what happened today, but it was a little anti-climactic. (Which is not surprising after I had waited so long for the appointment -- I'm sure I had it built up in my mind!).

We met the doctor, who talked through our medical and TTC histories, explained IUI and IVF a little, and told us that the course of treatment he would suggest would be based on DH's next SA. Again, just as I expected. He was professional and overall I felt rather neutral about him by way of first impressions.

We then spoke with the nurse who got us set up for testing and explained each test. DH will have another SA as well as some hormone and disease blood tests. I will have the cd 3 bloodwork, an ultrasound, and HSG. All as expected. :)

I'm either ovulating today or tomorrow, so all of this will start in about two weeks!! I'm excited to get some testing done. I brought up the spotting, but much like the nurse practitioner, he didn't seem too concerned. He said depending on what treatment plan we do that could bypass that issue altogether, and many medications boost ovulation and raise the progesterone which eliminates the problem. He also said my testing would give a better picture of anything going on with me.

And that's it! All this hype for nothing new, really. As DH said as we were leaving, they can't really tell us anything new until they do the testing and have some information. I'm just happy to be doing all the tests!

And, really, everything will come down to DH's SA. If his numbers are the same the doctor definitely implied that IVF would be his recommendation.

Thanks for all your well-wishes today!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The wait is over

The wait is almost over. Our RE appointment is TOMORROW (or today if you're reading this on Friday). I can hardly believe it -- I am excited and nervous at the same time.

I think I have been waiting for this since November 5, which was the day we found out my DH's sperm don't really move. I have been waiting for more information about what our future holds. Waiting for hope that we will be able to conceive. Waiting for somebody to tell us we have a chance. Waiting to truly try to conceive again.

I was not looking forward to the waiting. It is difficult to be patient....and waiting meant I would not be getting pregnant anytime soon (barring a miracle). Life continued on while I was stuck holding onto my dream and unable to move forward with it.

BUT I am amazed at this side of the wait that this period of time was actually a breath of fresh air. God blessed us in our waiting and gave us rest. I look back to November 5th and feel like over the course of these months I have regained my footing and am standing on solid ground. Trying to conceive for 8 months with negatives at the end of each had taken an emotional toll, and I was so tired. Eight months is not that long, I know, but I had feared something was wrong for a couple years before that first month. And as you all know, each month when you're TTC feels like a year!

DH & I are ready to move forward. Throughout this waiting time we had many wonderful conversations about infertility, our desire for our family, and trusting in the Lord. I think DH understands me that much more, and understands infertility more. And how infertility and me go together. :)

Thank you, ladies, for waiting with me these months as I processed so many new thoughts and emotions. I know my "long" wait will be one of many that comes with infertility, and there may be longer ones yet. Although I try to guess what lies ahead, I have no idea. But I know today we are stepping forward trusting the Lord will guide us, comfort us, and do good by us. He has already blessed me so much thus far -- even through this waiting -- and I know he holds me closely.

I know, I's just one measly RE appointment. But somehow this appointment marks a new beginning in my mind :)


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

100 posts!

Today I am celebrating a small accomplishment -- I have written 100 posts on this little ol' blog of mine!

I began this blog just a few days after receiving the bad results from my DH's first SA. I remember it was a Saturday, and my DH had to go into work for much of the day. I, on the other hand, didn't really have anything to do but think about that SA we had just heard about. And infertility. And what does it all mean??

Prior to our entrance into the world of MFI, I had already posted occasionally on The Nest and knew they had a "Trouble Trying to Conceive" board. So on this Saturday I started there (I had already exhausted Dr. Google in the previous evenings, lol), and saw links to people's blogs. I started reading some, found Mel's Stirrup Queens list, and knew I wanted to start writing out all of the feelings that were swirling around my head and my heart. I wrote my first post just before lunch. I met DH for lunch, and I was bursting with excitement to tell him -- I had started a blog!! I don't think he really understood why I was so excited...or, really, why I wanted to write about our infertility....but he was ok with it. And I think he has gradually started to understand why I love doing this. :)

I am not a writer, but I love that I get to write. I love a place to share my thoughts, feelings, and experiences about infertility, which is such a large part of my life right now. I think this blog helps me to process this roller-coaster ride, and what a joy it will be to read back through these posts whenever I land where God takes me.

Blogging has been such an amazing source of encouragement and support. Through blogging I have met all of YOU!! How wonderful is that? I have met others who share the feelings I'm experiencing, have the knowledge to give advice along the way, and are cheering me on! I cannot thank you enough for joining me on the journey, for your comments, and for your prayers and well wishes.

So as I celebrate 100 posts and the beauty of this blogging community, I want to THANK YOU by doing a little give away. It seems like such a cool blogging thing to do, you know, and since I'm celebrating blogging....I'm doing it! :)

I love to read, so I decided I am going to give away a book! The winner can choose from one of the books below (you can click on the image to go to Amazon's description of the book):

I LOVE getting my Cooking Light magazine every you can enjoy some of their tasty, healthy recipes, too!

This is a wonderful novel I read recently. The writing is so beautiful that it feels like you are overlooking the most scenic landscape while you are reading. This story does have strong Christian themes and, on some level, is about faith, but I would not call it a "Christian book." I think a non-Christian could enjoy it, but please keep the Christian themes in mind if you choose this one.

An infertile's memoir. I picked this one up after Mel's blog announced it was available in the States and she suggested it. It's kind of like reading another blog, only you get the whole story at once!

This is one that I have not read, but is on my to-read list. So if you choose it, we could read it together! :) Please note that this is a Christian's perspective on infertility.

Alright, blogging friends, I again just want to say THANK YOU for walking this road with me. I can't say it enough....thank you thank you thank you thank you!

To enter my giveaway, leave a comment with a book recommendation for me (IF or non-IF related, anything's fine!). The winner will be randomly selected from the comments below. If you have a blog, I will notify you that you've won and find out which book you would like through a comment on your blog. If you don't have a blog just leave an email address in your comment. All comments must be made by 10:00pm PST on Saturday, April 11 to be entered into the giveaway.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

3 days to go!

Wow, we only have 3 days until our RE appointment!!! I got a call from the RE's office and received GREAT news: all of our testing and diagnostics are covered by insurance! That was such a relief to hear. I'm sure the $30 office visit copays will add up, but nothing in comparison to having to pay for everything out of pocket. What a blessing.

I feel like I should have a list of great questions to ask the RE, but at this point I don't really. I want to talk about my spotting issues....and what he thinks about the MFI if DH's surgery doesn't help his SA numbers. But I figure those things will come up anyway. And I want to get tested for everything! But, again, I figure that's what he'll set me up for. should be a piece of cake, right?!

I'm bringing all my charts and DH's SA results. Is there anything else I should bring, or any questions you think I should ask??


To answer some of your questions, I am feeling a little better about DH's surgery and his upcoming SA. Thank you for all of your prayers, understanding, and encouragement. But....he's still having occasional stabs of pain. I suggested he call the doctor to ask about it, and he might. Somebody asked if we have another follow-up appointment with the urologist, and we do but it's not scheduled. We were just planning to schedule it for a few days following the SA in May to go over the results. Maybe we'll go sooner because of the pain, but it doesn't seem like it's to the point where DH is really motivated to do something about it. The pain does seem really odd to me. Around the time it began he had been playing handball (random, I know), and he wonders if he could have messed up something through that?

Monday, April 6, 2009

The nursery prayer room

I'm sure many of us have a room like this in our house: the room that we've dreamed will be a future nursery. The one we may for now use as an office or guest room. Or one we don't use and just keep the door closed because it hurts too much. We have one, too, and it's just the "extra room." We have a couple of things in it that we're going to sell, but overall it's just an empty room.

Gradually, my DH has turned it into a prayer room. I guess he likes how there is nothing to distract him in there, and sometimes on the weekend I will find him sitting in this room looking like he's doing nothing....when he's actually praying. Honestly, I never thought much of it as DH did this and have never thought to go in there to pray myself.

I also had never made any connection to the fact that this room....which is our future a prayer room. And that's kind of cool. I mean, what better place to pray for our future children?!?

Usually DH and I pray together before bed, and last night DH suggested we go to the "prayer room." Since it was pretty warm I didn't mind getting out of bed and so we walked across the hall....and it hit me. We were going to pray in the nursery.

I told DH this and that I want to pray for our future children here. We always pray for them, but last night we prayed with such joy and fervor as we prayed in their room.

I also told DH about a blogging friend who has begun praying for her children by name and that I wanted to do that too. DH and I have talked about names we like....and we both know which are our top choice names....but I have been too scared to "pick" the names. I didn't want to get my hopes up that much more, or get ahead of myself when we don't know if there will ever be a child to name. But reading Beth's post made me realize I have nothing to fear in choosing names...I am laying my dreams and desires before my Father who loves me. And I want to ask God for big, specific things! So last night, in our dark empty prayer room nursery, we named our future child and prayed for him or her by name.

Claire Charlotte or James Stephen, we are praying for you before you are even created!

I am doubting that the surgery worked

The other night DH told me that he has been having occasional pain in his tes.tical. The same one he had the varicocele in that used to cause him pain. He said it's a different kind of pain. Immediately my eyes filled with tears and they began to trickle down my face.

All along we have known that there are relatively high odds that the surgery will not work. The urologist said we have a 60% chance of success....which means a 40% chance of failure. And, from what I've read, there are mixed opinions in the medical community about the surgery and fertility. So maybe the 60% chance is high, anyway.

But....but.....I could not really, truly think about the surgery not working. In my head I knew it, I could say it....but in my heart I couldn't let that possibility seep in. If I think about it, then I will have to start facing the painful reality that we may never have children without ART. And we may never have biological children at all. And why would I let myself start to feel those heart wrenching emotions if I don't have to at this point??? So I haven't. The surgery *might* work.

In that brief conversation I felt like I got an itsy-bitsy, tiny glimpse of how terrible it will feel to find out the surgery didn't work. I am scared to feel those emotions. I am scared the surgery didn't work, and after hearing about the pain DH felt....I am thinking that is what we will hear.

I know God is walking with me, holding me. He is my great Comforter, and will give me the strength, peace, and hope I need to face whatever lies ahead for DH and I. I will take one step forward at a time. That is all I can do.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Wedding weekend

Remember that wedding and bridal shower I was writing about a few months ago? Well, my good friend got married yesterday and I was honored to be a bridesmaid. It was a beautiful day that I was so thankful to be a part of and celebrate....but now that it is Sunday I am exhausted from a weekend of wedding festivities. A bridesmaid lunch on Friday, manicures/pedicures that afternoon, and a rehearsal followed by a rehearsal dinner Friday night. At 9am Saturday we met at her hotel, where all her bridesmaids and family hung out, took turns getting our hair done, and got ready. It was fun to look so beautiful for the day (DH said I did :)) The wedding wasn't until 3, but it was amazing how fast the time flew by and we were suddenly at the church walking down the aisle. And then we ate, drank, and danced the night away until about 11...whew, I am tired. :)

During the ceremony, our pastor prayed (among many things) that they would be blessed with children. I darted a glance out to the congregation and caught DH's eye...I love it when we have those significant eye glances at the same moment. I do pray that my friend and her new husband are blessed with children. And I beg God daily for that blessing for myself and my DH.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Horseradish, Lemons, & Lemondade

I did it! I pulled the prank! I couldn't find the wasabi, so I used horseradish instead. While my DH was in the shower I pranced out to the kitchen giggling in anticipation, got the horseradish, and dabbed a little into his mouthguard. I carefully placed it back on his nightstand and then proceeded to get ready for bed as usual.

We both climbed into bed, prayed, chatted a little...and I waited for DH to put his mouthguard in. Occasionally he forgets to wear it, so I was sooo tempted to try to casually say, "Oh, don't forget your mouthguard." But I thought that would draw too much attention to it so I kept waiting. I turned out the light and rolled over. I waited. Finally I could sense he was reaching for it. I rolled over to face him more to see his reaction...

AND BURST OUT LAUGHING! That uncontrollable laughter that makes your eyes water. Yeah. It was so fun even before he put it in his mouth! I tried to explain away my laughter as something I had been thinking about, but 1. It was too hard to come up with something that fast, and 2. I could barely talk I was laughing so hard.

DH got suspicious. He had just put the mouthguard in. He asked if I did something to it. I kept laughing. He tasted something funny. He got a little mad and took it out. I kept laughing. He asked what it was and I managed to gasp, "Horseradish." He proceeded to rinse out his mouthguard, brush his teeth, and floss. I kept laughing. After a moment he said that although he was annoyed he had to do all those things again, he thought it was kinda funny too. And that I was cute for laughing before the prank actually happened. :)

He climbed back into bed and gave me a big hug. He also threatened to retaliate, and he said he won't wait until next April Fool's. It was fun.


Another fun item is that Missy nominated me for the Lemons & Lemonade Award! Thanks, Missy, I have really enjoyed getting to know you and your blog since ICLW!

Here's the information on the award:
1. Put the Lemonade Award logo on your blog or post
2. Nominate blogs that show great attitude or gratitude
3. Link to your nominees within your post
4. Let the nominees know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog
5. Share the love and link to the person from whom you received your award

So I'm going to nominate two newer bloggers who I have really enjoyed meeting and have fabulous blogs -- you should check them out!

1. Kelli
2. Jones

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Happy April Fool's Day

Happy April Fool's! I haven't done anything for April Fool's Day in a long time. Actually, I think I only have once. :) I still laugh thinking about the joke I played on my little brother, though! I was probably around 14 and he was 10. We were watching TV and he was eating his dinner, and I offered to get him a glass of milk to go with it. I added some salt to the milk, but didn't think to stir it. I watched him closely out of the corner of my eye as he began to drink, but he didn't seem to notice anything different about his milk. I was sad to think that my first (and so far only) attempt at an April Fool's joke had fallen flat. However, once he got to the bottom of the glass he spit out the milk, his face got red, and I burst out laughing. He was pretty mad and I think he socked me like most ten-year-old brothers would do. (I just texted my brother that I was thinking about our April Fool's memory... he texted back that I am evil! I call it funny, but whatever)

I'm not typically much of an overt prankster, although I did my fair share of pranks in college. But things are slow at work today and a new blogging friend's post has inspired me a I've been trying to think of something funny to do to my husband tonight. I think I might put some wasabi into in his mouth guard (he has to wear a mouth guard because he grinds his teeth when he sleeps). Hmm...

Did any of you do any pranks today?