Monday, September 17, 2012

bump #30: no news is good news

There is no new news to report here.
But I am inclined to disagree with the saying that "no news is good news."

Nope. That's just another moronic mantra that does not apply to infertility. Same as "a stitch in time saves nine" and "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush." Stitches suck and who wants a bird at all? I want a baby!

So, no news is not good news and it makes for a very boring bump on the {b}log.

But that's where we're at. This boring spot where TTC is a real nuisance and we're getting nowhere. But, regardless, I've been diligently tracking my temperature the last few weeks, tinkling on OPK's, (Pretty much everything short of the cervical mucus analysis because that just really freaks me out!), cutting out caffeine and my beloved pina coladas, replacing them with prenatal vitamins that make me gag and healthy smoothies. Blagh. And after all of that, I'm pretty sure I didn't even ovulate last month. So it was all for naught.

It's like my reproductive system is going on strike.
I guess I don't blame it.

And in the midst of all of this stress, everyone {ok just my mom really, oh and Frankie from Frankie Goes to Hollywood} keeps telling me to relax. And I'm sure there's some truth to that. Not like do yoga, breath deeply, meditate, and BAM! - Pregnant! But like quit hating on my uterus (that insists on housing polyps instead of persons) and stop dwelling on the worst case scenarios (like being forced to live on the street after fertility treatments bankrupt us.) Yes, that is in fact a dark place in my mind that pops up every once in a while and I have no comment as to whether or not I have been saving all my cardboard boxes for, you know, just in case!

Being told to relax isn't my favorite thing.
Relaxing feels impossible.

But what the heck, I'll go ahead and give it a try. A relaxed attitude is not a defeatist one. This is not me throwing in the towel. I suppose this is me "going to the beach and laying out on the towel." I choose to look at relaxing as regrouping, recharging, and really re-examining our route.

So September will be the month where I chillax a bit.

{Yeah, right!}
Wednesday, September 12, 2012

bump #29: remembering to have a sense of humor

My husband posted this on facebook and I actually found it to be quite hilarious given the books that I have on my bookshelf...

Without further adieu...

1. Before Your Pregnancy... with a chainsaw
2. Making Babies... with a chainsaw
3. A Few Good Eggs: 2 Chicks Dish on the Insanity of Infertility... with a chainsaw.
4. Pregnancy for Dummies... with a chainsaw

{Just to prove not EVERYTHING I read is about infertility and babies here's a few more}

5. The Fat Flush Plan... with a chainsaw
6. The Great Divorce... with a chainsaw
7. In the Dressing Room with Brenda... with a chainsaw
8. Training Your Dog... with a chainsaw

And this one for the win...

Taking Charge of Your Fertility with a chainsaw.

Let it be known that infertility has robbed me of many things, but my sense of humor is firmly intact!
Sunday, September 09, 2012

bump #28: however He chooses

In my last post {you know the one where I was high on latex paint} I mentioned something about God leading us to our family "however He chooses to do so." Emphasis on He chooses, not we choose.  This is something that has been on my heart the last few months after one of my best friends, upon discovering our issues with infertility, asked how we felt about adoption, surrogacy, or IVF.  And my obnoxious response was equal parts selfish and ignorant when I replied "none of those are our first choice."  Ha! Can we have a moment of silence for the "no duh" moment I created just then. My best friend (who Lord knows is a true friend, because she still speaks to me after such a brainless response!) offered the most encouraging words of wisdom and spot on advice that can only come from a woman after God's own heart, who has experienced first hand what it feels like to be in this place where you so desperately want a family of your own, but you just can't see how it is going to come about. In her case, it was through the beautiful act of adoption.

I am admittedly no expert on any of these subjects (adoption, IVF, surrogacy, etc.) and, until recently, honestly never considered them as options for us. Please, please don't misinterpret me or the place in my heart where these thoughts are coming from. For 28 years I had my head up my bum never truly understood the way that infertility robs you of peace, joy, and freedom in what should be the happiest, most fulfilling time in your life. It leaves you stressed, bummed, and forced to make tough decisions you may or may not be prepared to make. I recklessly assumed that I would pull out my calendar, pick a nice due date month, quit taking birth control, and get bumped up just as conveniently as I wanted to. I know how ridiculous that sounds now, but for some people it really is that easy. Well it seems like it anyway.

But for the rest of us who don't live in fertile fantasy land, there are some challenging questions you have to be prepared to answer. Some difficult scenarios you have to be aware of.
What if the oh-so-desired pregnancy just is not going to happen naturally?
What if it takes years and years of fertility treatments and procedures before you get pregnant?
What if even after said medical intervention there is no family in sight?
What then?

You entertain other options or you give up, of course all the while praying that God would lead you to make the best choice. And there is no one-size-fits-all here, everyone's decision is different and that is ok. We have not decided what happens next, but today, right now, these are a few of our options and how we feel about them. (I know there are a lot more options than these, but they were the three that my friend mentioned, and the same three that our doctor brought up at our first appointment when he said "you will have the family you always wanted, it just might happen differently than you imagined.")

I am going to start with adoption because, of the three, I am the most familiar with it. We are all adopted into God's family and adoption is very clearly at the core of our Father's heart. That is how I first learned about adoption... in Sunday School. I always thought of adoption as something God calls people to do. The Bible says to care for the widows and orphans, and adoption is one beautiful way to do that.  5 of my cousins are adopted, 3 close friends are in the middle of an international adoption, and 2 of my best friends have adopted children. Praise God that if/when we adopt there is such a loving and supportive group of friends and family surrounding and encouraging us through their own example. I also chose to share my thoughts on adoption first because the choice to adopt is very common, and not exclusively for infertile myrtles such as myself. I actually find it interesting that not all of these children were adopted because of an inability to conceive a child naturally. Some people simply have a strong desire in their heart to adopt, regardless of whether or not they have genetic offspring. It is not their back-up choice if getting pregnant isn't in the cards, it is their first choice for starting or completing their family.

So where does that leave me? 
Curled up in the corner feeling like a complete dum dum for saying "it is not my first choice."

In a moment of complete honesty I am going to tell you why I said that.
Because adoption scares me.
Let me rephrase that, I am scared of what happens when an adoption falls through.
(the birth-mom changes her mind and decides to keep the child or place them in another family or any other combination of heart-breaking events.) I realize how uninformed that sounds as the sole basis for not adopting right now, but half of the adoption stories I know end in that way. God always, always turns it around for good, for His glory and I have an unspeakable amount of admiration and respect for all of the families I know that have been through this. {tears just thinking about it} Adoption is not for the weak-hearted and in this present moment, I feel weak and weary-hearted.  My heart is still healing from learning that I might never be able to be pregnant, to feel a baby kick in my belly, to know the all consuming pain of childbirth {ok, so I would gladly take a free pass on that one!} I don't feel like I am at that place where I can devote my whole heart to the adoption process.

Am I happy with myself or with that answer? No.
I wish that I could embrace adoption with arms wide open, without hesitation or fear that it won't work out. But I'm not at that place yet.

Another reason for the reluctance is that it would be years before we could financially afford to adopt. Grad school is a means to an end, but it seems like it will never end!
Money is not the only constraint, but presently, it is a big one.

So maybe we won't adopt now, but in a few years we may. I will never close that door.
Adoption is how God chose us to be part of his family. I love that!

We are open to adoption, and will continue prayerfully considering it.

And if adoption is His choice for us, I know that He will do a work in our hearts to prepare us for all that it entails and we will follow Him to our adopted family.

I am going to skirt around the surrogacy option because we would need win the lottery {a couple times!} before that could be a viable possibility :)  But in all seriousness, surrogacy is truly remarkable and a great option for some, especially my bff Giuliana Rancic, who welcomed a baby boy last week via gestational surrogate. Congrats girl!
Giuliana Rancic becomes a mom via a surrogate

Of the three options here, IVF is probably the most likely next step we would take if our current plan of trying naturally and/or re-trying IUI is not successful.  Unfortunately it is not covered by our insurance, so it is not really feasible right now.

All that to say I never thought we would find ourselves here, in this infertile land. But here we are and no matter what, God has put the overwhelming desire in our hearts to be parents, so he will fulfill that promise however he chooses.
Saturday, September 08, 2012

bump #27: the cure

First off, "the cure" is in no way a reference to Robert Smith and that fabulous 80's band of his. {random trivia: my favorite song of all time is "just like heaven" by the cure} And to all my fellow baby bump seekers, I apologize if you were mislead... I have not found the cure to our present situation, you know, beyond triple-scoop ice cream cones and

The cure that I am speaking of has to do with this:

And now I get to wait around for a few days to put my house back together until the paint "cures."
Because after all my reading (ok, so I merely scanned the back label of the can of paint) I learned that
"The paint will not achieve its full strength until it is completely cured...
which is the point at which the paint is as tough and durable as it will get."
This may be the paint fume inhalation talking, but I learned a few things from my painting adventure.
1. I will not be pursuing a career in painting. {Earth-shattering revelation}
This one was easy to come to terms with, mostly because I can't rock the over-alls
that painters are required to wear. No biggie.
2. It takes a really flipping long time for paint to dry
and now I have to wait for it to cure too?!
This is not good for my impatience condition!
which leads to the third lesson
3. I am not finished yet.  2 whole days of painting and it still isn't over.
In real life: I am not finished yet. 2 whole years of trying to start a family
and it still hasn't happened.
The paint has not cured yet and neither have I.
Yes, the paint toxins definitely went straight to my brain, but I think there's a point here somewhere.
This furniture painting project did not turn out like I planned. It took way longer, was super messy, and turned my house upside-down. It is going to be a process to get to the "cured stage."
But once I have my shabby chic, fresh and clean living room these few days of waiting for the paint to dry will have been worth it. 
This family planning project has not turned out like I planned with all of the same aforementioned painting hassles and then some, but it is a process and I am not cured yet. Even if/when God leads us to our family (however He chooses to do so) His work curing me will never be done.
But, in all of this, I am so grateful that I am merely the canvas and He is the artist because my skills with a paintbrush are severely lacking!  
Perhaps I need a cure for turning the everyday mundane experience
into a metaphorical rant on infertility!