Tuesday, August 21, 2012

bump #26: back to the drawing board

Back to BBT (Basal Body Temperature Charting)

Back to the 6 AM alarm clock reminding me to take my temperature every morning and ever so neatly circle it and connect the dots each day looking for some kind of pattern that proves my body is doing what it is supposed to.

Can I be candid with you and just say that I don't think the dots are lining up right? Not just on that chart (because it's day 4 of my cycle and I've only taken my temp once!) but in my life. Connecting the dots is supposed to be easy.

Dot #1: get pregnant  Dot #2: have a baby  Dot #3: be happy. 

Ok so there are a few "dots" missing in the equation, namely Dot #4: dress said baby up in cute clothes and take a million photos, but you get the idea. I'm beginning to think that my coloring book is crapped out and there aren't even any dots to connect in it. I know it takes time, and at first it's just a mess, but once all the dots are connected it makes a beautiful picture. The problem is that all I see is a blank page.

So for now my temperature chart looks like this:


dot. dot. dot.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

bump #25: cautiously optimistic

That is how I would describe our outlook after our post-op visit with the doctor on Friday, cautiously optimistic.

We are cautious because this is not our first bump in the road on infertility boulevard. It is the 25th bump. It is also nearing the 25th month that we have been hoping and praying for a baby. Ouch. For all I know there could be 25 more bumps just around the corner. And it is for that very reason that I just upped my credit limit enabling me to self medicate with retail therapy as needed.

Kidding. Kind of.

We are optimistic because it appears that all of the known obstacles (namely that pesky polyp) are out of the way. And it only took like 5 incredibly painful, expensive, and invasive procedures! That sounds sassy, but believe me, I know that it could have been way worse, so I am actually seriously grateful that fingers crossed the worst is over. At least, at this point, we have done everything we possibly can on our end to overcome infertility. So yes, we are optimistic.

But optimistic doesn't necesarilly mean happy. It means we're trying to see the good in all of this. Trying to see God in all of this. It hasn't been easy. Optimistic does not mean that we are all smiles and sunshine. And I'm learning that that's ok.

Don't read too much into that, I am still a happy, bubbly bren. This has just been a very challenging season in our lives and God is showing me that he loves me and carries me through the good times and the tough times and I don't have to pretend like everything is great all the time. It's character building :)   

It actually felt strange to leave the fertility center and not have to schedule another procedure, or make an appointment for an exploratory ultrasound, or fill a prescription. It was a relief, but it was also rather anti-climactic being done there. I wasn't expecting a diploma or some kind of congratulatory ceremony. But in hindsight a little gold medal or something would have been nice. I mean, it is the olympics afterall.  No, on the surface it was just a doctor's office, but inside it felt more like I was leaving a war zone. Battle-scarred, broken, tired, and just over it.

I feel like after all we have done, we are still back at bump #1.
In my head I know that's not true. But my heart needs some convincing.

In fact, I have some pretty disgusting photos from the hysteroscopy last month that prove bump #1 is a thing of the past.

(Sorry for the gross factor, but my life mantra is "pics or it didn't happen", so here are a few pics.)
If you think of it like a blimp, it's not quite as icky.
The doctor explained all of this to me... something about how he removed the polyp and scraped out the potential polyps.
I don't remember what else he said, I just remember thinking, who knew I was growing coral in my uterus?
So here we are.

We don't know what happens next.

We are ok with that. We are working on being ok with that.

Monday, August 6, 2012

bump #24: be still

Sorry for the hiatus! Let’s catch up, shall we?

I am still alive.
I am still not pregnant.

Be still and know that I am God.”

Still doesn’t sound like a great place to be, it sounds counter-productive and lazy (spoken from a true obsessive-compulsive, multi-tasking busy-body). I don’t have the patience or desire to just chill and be still. And yet I hear God clearly telling me to be still right now.

The conversation goes something like this:

Me: God, what in the world is wrong with me? Why can’t I have a baby?

God: Be still and know that I am God
Me: Ok, but what about the six girls on my newsfeed that had perfect, precious babies last week? They are the same age I was when I started trying to get pregnant. What’s up with that?
God: Be still and know that I am God.
Me: Um yeah, you said that already. Duly noted.  Thinks ’yeah, I’ll have plenty of time to be still once I have a nice big baby bump and am restricted to bed rest.’ 
God: {face palm} - at least that’s what I imagine his response to be :)

The conversation doesn’t always end there, but His response is always the same. It’s kind of infuriating. Until I realize that He keeps telling me the same thing not because he is a recorder on playback, but because I am simply not getting it. His words go right over my head (FYI: I am 4’11” so most things do go right over my head!) Perhaps He is a little infuriated with my response as well. Ugh. I keep missing the point. Can anyone relate? I so want to please my heavenly Father and live a life that reflects his truth, but my tiny brain just can’t fathom how He loves me so much when I miss the mark so bad.

I’ve tried to be still. I even tried yoga once. It was a disaster of epic proportions. My downward dog looked like disco duck. Don’t ask! I don’t think He understands just how hard it is for me to be still. There are way too many things for me to be busy worrying about. I guess that’s why he doesn’t stop there. He goes on to say AND know that I am God. Apparently these concepts go hand in hand. It has always been easier for me to know that He is God. Of course I don’t acknowledge it when I act like I am, but deep down I know. He is good at reminding me.

Here is an example:

I am terrified of the ocean. (Luckily cruise ships combat that fear!)
It all started when I was 4 years old and walking at Shell Beach collecting shells. Imagine that! (I feel it important to say that this was the only time I ever went to the beach without my mom, and of course, the only time I almost drowned.) I ventured out into the water and it was only up to my knees so I took a couple more steps. Unbeknownst to me, the sandbar I was walking on dropped off suddenly and the water was immediately over my head. I panicked. I had taken swimming lessons, but the elementary backstroke of “monkey, airplane, soldier” wasn’t going to save me from that current. I dropped my handful of seashells and my arms were flailing, I was not a svelte tot and was sinking fast. I reached up as high as I could and still was underwater. My eyes stung from the saltwater so I closed them tightly and just as I did, I felt something hit my feet. It was flat and soft and it lifted me back to where I could stand. It could have been an angel or a stingray or a wad of seaweed, but whatever it was, God used it to rescue me. When my arms were flailing and I was sinking down, down, down, he was already there to pull me out.

God wants to rescue us.

All he asks is that we be still so that He can. 

Bottom line: We cannot rescue ourselves. We need to get out of our own way so that He can.

Right now I am drowning in a sea of infertility.

It sucks.

He knows. He is already here to pull me out.

But sometimes I am not still; sometimes I worry that He has let go of me for a minute, you know to see if I can swim. 

I can't.
So I panic.   

And then I turn on the radio and this is what I hear:

Oh no, you never let go
Through the calm and through the storm.
Oh no, you never let go
Every high and every low.
Oh no, you never let go
Lord, you never let go of me…

I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on.
There will be an end to these troubles, but until that day comes,
Still I will praise you
Still I will praise you.

image via