Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sarah Laughed

Hello readers! I know, long time no hear from. But I was taking a break. And then I was too grumpy to write. Now, I can't help myself.
At the beginning of May I was reminded once again of the story of Abraham and Sarah. Now, Sarah laughed twice regarding her infertility:
Once was in God's face. I mean it, she literally laughed in His face when He told her she'd have a baby soon. And believe me when I say, I know exactly how she felt!
The second time was when she gave birth to her son, Isaac. She said that she laughed and that everyone who heard about what she had gone through and about her son would laugh too. This time, she laughed in joy, not pain.
I couldn't get that story out of my head last month. Over and over, every time I'd doubt, or be sad. Or when our OPK didn't show that I was ovulating, in spite of using Clomid last month. Through it all I tried to remember this.
When Dan and I went to my OB on June first to talk about why I didn't ovulate the nurse suggested a pregnancy test. I grudgingly gave a urine sample. A little bit later, my OB peeked her head in and said "You're positive."
I was stunned, as was Dan right next to me; but that only lasted a half second. We laughed and cried for about fifteen minutes or so and then we did a blood test. The results later that night showed that we were definitely pregnant.
Today, we went in for our first ultrasound. I'm six weeks and four days along and the baby looks perfect.
It still doesn't seem real some days that the journey is over and a new one is beginning. Sometimes all I can focus on is not throwing up all over the floor (so far I've only had nausea and fatigue, but there's a been a few close calls on the actual vomiting department the last few days.) But today, with seeing the heart beat and seeing this small thing inside of me...Well, it brought it home to me and I started to cry some more.
Our baby is a miracle to us. We didn't think we could conceive without an IUI, but we did. We were worried I wasn't ovulating, but I was. And God put it all together and said "Now is the time."
I laughed, like Sarah. And everyone we've told has laughed and cried too.
So I guess God was trying to give me a heads up for what was to come.
If you'd like to follow my pregnancy blog, it is Sarah Laughed.

Thanks to all of you who came with me on this journey, who cried with me and prayed or thought good thoughts for us. I hope this makes you laugh.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Taking the 100lb back pack off

So I realized why it hit me so hard on Wednesday: I had three weeks of freedom from the constant three year worry about doing every little thing right to get pregnant and it felt so damn good.
The thought of picking that all back up and putting it on my back was too much.  In the three years we've been doing this we have only had this last month as a break and I realized that I needed more time.
So we're taking April off too, and we'll decide in a months time what we want to do next. I can't tell you the peace and freedom this has brought me.
I felt that I was coming very close to the point of throwing up my hands and say "Let's just adopt, I can't do this anymore."  Now, I feel like after this next month I'll be better able to handle the next steps in this process for us.
One of my very supportive readers suggested that I needed to come to terms with perhaps not building my family by giving birth.  It's a good suggestion. And to be honest, I've chosen not to see it as giving up. It's a whole new phase, a whole knew part of this process that has different pitfalls and worries and struggles. But I've not seen it as giving up, just making another, different choice. I'm not ready to consider that as our next step yet. And whether we have a biological child or not, Dan and I will adopt a child in the future anyway, we've always said that. If the decision needs to be made before we have a biological child, it will be tough. I'll need some time to come to terms with building our family differently.  But, it will be no less sacred and amazing.
It's amazing what things will take your attention when you've cleared room in your mind for them. Infertility has been this huge plant in the soil of my head that's needed constant attention. Now that we've chosen to leave it dormant for another month, I can concentrate on my acting more, getting published (I've nearly finished the final draft of my novel), and on our actual garden which is going to need some TLC before it's ready for spring.  I can focus on Dan and our dog Gracie, I can focus on our home, I can focus on our brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews.
It feels wonderful to have that room in my headspace for these things and it makes me wonder how I can achieve this balance after picking the infertility struggle back up.
Having a baby has become the end all be all to our happiness, and Dan and I realized today that it's not healthy.  It's not the key to happiness. It's a wonderful thing, and it will make us very happy, but it's not the ultimate. And because we've had this point of view with it, everything else good in our lives has taken on a paler shade, has become less good to our eyes because it's not having a baby.
That's a sad way to live and I think many infertile couples deal with that. The whole process dominates our lives, and it squeezes out room for the things that used to be there. It's horrible. But there must be a way to make that not happen, and for us I think it's realizing that it's not the ultimate happiness for us, to really try to be grateful everyday for what we do have, to focus our energy on our creative lives and not let them fall by the way side.
It's ok to make room for other things during this process, in fact it's a must. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Post vacation breakdown.

Vacation was great. It was strange how this whole thing didn't really creep into our vacation, especially the first week.  The second week...well, it reared it's ugly head a little, but nothing really earth shattering.  The last night we were at a romantic restaurant, there's a bay the restaurant overlooks, and on the lawn was a canoe club doing maintenance on their boats. There was a little boy, perhaps 3, his chubby feet bouncing on the ground as if he's too excited to keep them on the ground too long, his blond curls were ridiculously angelic, his laugh bounced from the grass up to us.  I watched him, feeling confident that I could without the piercing pain in my chest.
He was incredibly curious about the little can lights at the bases of the Palm trees. He'd run from one to the other, putting his hand in, then looking in, springing back from the brightness of the light, and then go do it again.
That's when the pain hit me, and my eyes filled with tears.
I knew then that my time on vacation from this was over.
Since we boarded the plane home, I've seen infertility lurking on the periphery of my mind and feelings and I've been able to keep it there for the most part.
But today was my first acupuncture appointment for almost a month and we talked about our next step; or she suggested some next steps anyway. And I began to feel tense, weighed down across the shoulders and I felt tears build up behind my eyes as she began talking about the new tests I should think of doing. 
As I laid on the table after she had put the needles in and left, I began crying. 
I went to Trader Joe's to et a few things, and I did my best not to cry in the store, though I felt drained and beat up.
I drove home and cried off and on the whole way.
I got home and there was my dog, and after cuddling with her a moment and making some lunch, I began to feel better, though more fragile than I thought I should.
Needless to say, I've been kind of blindsided by this. I expected to keep all this at bay for at least two weeks after vacation, but it came up and (excuse the expression) bitch slapped me.
I have no idea what's next.  I feel almost at my end with all this, and hearing that there are about half a dozen more tests to run for the next phase of treatment...well, I'm about done.
Done with being sticked, prodded, poked, peeing on test strips, taking fertility herbs, looking at the calender to see if I can have wine or about a dozen no-no foods, scrambling to figure out how to schedule an IUI, waiting two weeks on the edge of my seat worrying that any little thing I do will cause me not to get pregnant and then fearing that's exactly it when I'm not, tired of crying at the drop of a hat with other peoples kids, tired of being mad, sad, grieving, tired of feeling alone in my church because I'm the only one going through this.
I could scream, honestly!
I guess I also sound a little...hmmmm....like I'm inviting you to a pity party.  Ok, done now with that.
But, really, I can't say I'm done yet. Just getting really, really close.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

An Oasis

Wow, where to begin? I only have a few minutes.
Well, we did another IUI, and it didn't work. That's three now and we're re-evaluating what to do.  I think we'll likely try Clomid next time, but it won't be this month. We're a few days away from going on Vacation to Kaui and we'll be there for two weeks!!! OH BLISS!  So we're taking the month off, and I gotta say, after getting over the initial shock and sadness and pain of not being pregnant, it's a relief to be taking a complete break from this; and I do mean complete! We're putting it on a shelf for the month. though it may come up during the vacation, we're not gonna try to time sex or anything. We're just leaving it here in Seattle.
I have to say though, I would much rather be pregnant.
This is all getting to feel so heavy. It feels like, in a lot of ways, we are just spinning our wheels here. And then, when I feel overwhelmed by this, I have to stop and think. There's a lot that's positive and good in our lives.  But, there's also some key things that just feels like it's not happening. Not just with baby making, but our careers too. No one wants to invest in movies right now, and we're feeling stymied in this half way place. Projects ready to go and no one wanting to give us the money we need to begin shooting. It's really...well, I'm not sure how to describe it really, but it feels like we're in this trench sometimes, and we keep running to get out and are still there.
I wanted to be pregnant not just because I want a baby so badly, but also so that something could break for us and we wouldn't feel perpetually in a holding pattern.
But, at least we get to get away.
I gotta say that's been the bright spot in all this.
But, if I think about it too much, not having a baby yet, I do get a heaviness in my chest, and tears threaten behind my eyes and I feel very tired. So I can't think of it too much. I want to think of vacation, sunshine, the clothes I'll buy today.  the good things, the happy things.
And at the same time, believe. Always, trust and believe. This job of baby making, it's too hard for us, it's out of our hands, we do what we can, but ultimately, the final decision is God's to make.  I hurt, and ache, and cry out "Why?" He could fix it, He can and He hasn't...yet. Oh I have to throw the yet in there! I have to!  Because sanity, though it looks insane, is in that "yet", in that hope.
I can't give up.  I have to keep believing, I want to.  I can trust Him because He loves me, because He's shown it every day of my life.  He cries with me, He wants to give me this baby, beautiful, dark haired, bright eyed with a laugh that sounds like bells on a snow sleigh.  But as my father told me yesterday, He knows the perfect time; it will be perfect....
Oh give me strength to keep going until then!
But for now, for this month, we're taking a break, we're at an oasis and we're getting refreshed.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Failed OPK, no IUI, waiting till next month, OH MY!

This month was...interesting. First off my OPK never showed a solid second line (indicating that I would ovulate in 24-36hrs) so we missed this cycle with IUI.  My acupuncturist said it's actually kinda normal for women to sometimes not have a high enough LH surge to show on the test, which made me feel a lot better.  But then she strongly suggested taking my temp for this next cycle until I ovulate so that annoying thermometer is out of the drawer again.
Dan and I had a fleeting thought that perhaps this month we made a baby the old fashioned way and wouldn't that be just like God:  Yeah you made a plan, you trusted Me and here I go doing it the way I want.
Well, found out today that we're not pregnant.  It was sad, I cried in the middle of a restaurant during brunch because a family with a four year old and a newborn walked in and sat right in front of me. I felt embarrassed to cry like I did, I just couldn't help it. The thought, fleeting though it was, came into my head: See, that's what a family is supposed to be, not just you and Dan and your dog.
Man that was harsh.
And I dismissed it after a minute because it's so not true, I know that. We are a family damn it!  And I know that one way or another we will have children. I'm not ready to move on from IUI yet, not ready to consider adoption yet, but if it comes to that it will be no less honorable and wonderful and miraculous than if we were able to birth our biological children. 
I'm not ready for that yet, and I think that's ok.
A note about our dog though: she has been a real comfort.  She's sweet and loves attention, though on the flip side she can be a real pain in the ass too! I love her, unconditionally.
Dan talks about her all the time to his co-workers, and made a comment that he's probably gonna be insufferable as a Dad because he'll talk about the baby even more.
I gotta admit something:  I'm having a hard time lately seeing the end of all this. Seeing myself with a baby in my arms, seeing myself pregnant, seeing the triumph, the joy after all this pain. I'm having a hard time imagining it.  And it scares me. Am I giving up inside? Am I doubting more than believing this will happen?  I try not to worry about it, but I do.
But then, after a minute, I have peace.  Like I said: we are going to have children. We are.  I still have hope.  I guess the doubt, the inability to see it is normal, and it passes. It doesn't mean it won't happen.  
I hate this, but I know I'm growing through it. That's the purpose of hard, excruciating things in our lives; as much as I know that's little comfort to most.  The shitty happenings draw our character out and make it stronger and shine brighter; at least that's what I believe.  It's the potential within suffering, the reason for it.  I know how this sounds, and I know that it can be like nails on a chalk board to hear someone say this when all you want is the pain to go away; believe me I've been there, still am there and will be until we have our baby, but it's something that makes this whole thing seem worth something; that it's not just random cruelty on God's part, there's a bigger, better reason for it.   I've probably said this before, but sometimes it feels like a new realization for me.
Anyway, almost time to check out the doggie day care we're enrolling Gracie in. 
Yes, I've turned into one of THOSE owners! But we have to find a kennel for her before Kaui and I want her to get used to it before we leave her there for two weeks.
Oh yeah, did I mention we're going to Kaui for 2 weeks in March.
Sometimes, those tax breaks actually work for the little people!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Twinges and compassion

That's what it is lately.
So many people pregnant, at least three on my facebook friends list, and they are all talking about their due dates and if one of them is expecting twins, and then people comment on it...you get the picture.  I know it sounds horrible, but when I found out one of them already had a set of twins and is pregnant again (unknown whether it's twins again or not) the thought flew through my mind "REALLY?  She gets twins and I haven't been able to have ONE yet? REALLY?"
As Dan says: "It's not like she took the last baby in the bin."  so I should just let it go. But there's a part of me, whether it's selfish, whiny or just normal humanity that's been stretched to the breaking point, that wants all those pregnant people to read my profile, have a little compassion and stop talking about it!!
But really, how realistic is that?
And besides, I don't go to their pages, I don't write to them, nothing. I've chosen to kinda ignore them until I can rejoice with them.  I'm wondering when that will start.
My counselor keeps telling me to have compassion on myself, so here I go:  It's ok, this is normal, it's not even that bad. Let yourself feel it, and then let it go. Don't judge the feeling, pray, meditate if you need to and then let it pass.
Easier said than done, but just giving myself permission is nice.
Right now I'd like to give "shout out" to my faithful readers. You guys are great and always encouraging. Thanks so much for the support. I will never forget that you've all been here for me.
So, here we go again. OPK's, IUI scheduling, two week waiting period.
At least we've put the damn basal thermometer in the drawer for a while.
Please pray for us, send good thoughts, cross your fingers or whatever your spiritual thing is for us this week.  
Love you guys!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

New Year

So, another Christmas, another year without a baby.  
Was it rough? Yeah
Did I cry? Some
Am I hopeful still? ...Yeah, I am.
My acupuncturist swears that it felt like I was pregnant, and that I actually got really close this time. She said that sometimes it takes the body a few tries to get it all the way; kinda like it's ramping up in a way.  So, that made me hopeful, you know? I'm getting closer each time...ok, we didn't tell anyone but we did another treatment. We actually don't want to tell anyone when we do these anymore because it was so stressful the first time with everyone knowing and waiting with baited breath with us. Though we loved the support, it was just too much when the test was negative.
You know, if you had told me when we started all this almost three years ago that it would be taking this long....well, I think I would've just said "Screw it, let's adopt!"
But...Well, I want to keep going, keep trying. If I'm getting closer and closer to my body actually doing this thing then why quit now?
I looked up some of my old Bible College friends on facebook today and most of them have kids or are preggers.  It gave me a twinge of sorts.  It would've been comforting to know that one of them has gone through this; of course I don't know that for sure and in all reality wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy.  I hope if one of them is reading this that if they have gone through this they'll let me know; even a cyber support buddy would be appreciated.  Though I believe I already have one of those and greatly appreciate and value her support!!!!
I had a good Christmas, I think partly because I really did feel pregnant. I had unexplained nausea for days, I got dizzy at the drop of a hat and I was exhausted.  But then it went away and one came menstruation.  I don't think of it as a miscarriage, but it does sting to think that I probably had a fertilized egg inside of me and it just didn't implant all the way.
It was our nephew's first Christmas, and he was adorable.  As hard as it was to see him and hold him and wish we could tell everyone that we were finally expecting, it was also good to be withe the family; to laugh and talk. 
We adopted a dog for Christmas. Her name is Gracie and she's a two year old Coon Hound mix. She's adorable and so smart! I love her!!!! For pictures you can check out my husbands blog.  
In two months we leave for Kaui and I gotta tell you I would LOVE  to be preggers by then! Even if it does mean I can't drink Mai Tai's; which any of the Hawaiian Islands have the BEST Mai Tai's compared to the mainland.  I wouldn't care though. I'd lay out on that beach even if I did have a baby pooch by then.  But we'll see.
I'm wanting to focus more energy on my career which has been lagging a bit in the last few months. Work has become scarce with the economy the way it is, but our production company and a friend's company is going to be doing some short films just to keep our skills sharp and promote our feature projects. I'm really excited about it.
It feels right and such a relief to some extent to focus on something other than when to start certain herbs and when to start my OPK's!  I'm glad to be driven to do it, instead of moping on the couch the way I was last year.
I have that to be thankful for I suppose!