Two Years and Counting

Coming to a close
May 22, 2008, 8:19 am
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Not too much to report here. I’m at the tail end of this cycle, with my period most likely coming Saturday. Which also means I’m in the last couple of days of temp-taking. I’m going to hide the thermometer for a couple of months while we sit things out for a couple/few months. I also went to my last acupuncture appt this week. I told Dr. I. that I’d call her towards the end of the summer and let her know if I’d be back. (If we proceed with IVF, I’ll do acupuncture the whole cycle.) When I left her office, I felt a huge sense of relief. I’m just so looking forward to a few months of no doctor visits at all. No needle sticks, no ultrasounds, no blood draws, no waiting rooms. I’m going to enjoy the break. I may make one appt with Dr. H. (the RE) sometime this summer to go over my *two pages* of IVF questions. I’ll have to have some answers regarding these questions before I can decide to proceed with it. Seriously, two pages!

I have good days, but then I have hours here and there where I’m pretty sad about the current state of affairs. I’d say I’m ok more than I’m sad. (I’m also really great a lot of the time too. There’s a slight undercurrent of disappointment, but all things considered, my life is really good.) A few days ago, I ran across a paragraph from J.I. Packer’s Knowing God that I had copied down when I read it at the end of last year. It said (I’m paraphrasing here) that God is acting in love every minute of every day, in every single thing that happens to us. Everything that God allows to happen in our life is an expression of his love for us. Because of that, even if I don’t understand the whys or hows of something, I can be sure that he loves me and is acting in love. I don’t really know how that applies to IVF, but until I have to make that decision, I’m going to rest in the knowledge that God loves me and is acting in love towards us, even in our infertility journey. (I don’t know how this concept applies to awful things like car accidents or cancer either, but that’s too big of a question for me to ponder.)

Tomorrow M and I are headed to P.erdido Beach for a long weekend with my family. We don’t come home til Tuesday afternoon! That’s four days of sunshine (hopefully), books, bike rides, crawfish sandwiches at the best hole-in-the-wall seafood shack in O.range Beach, cooking dinners in the condo, more reading, and hopefully finishing my wedding photo album with my mom. (Yes, I’m a slacker. We’ve been married for two and a half years and my wedding photos are still in a manila envelope! Shame.)


May 13, 2008, 3:21 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I’ve had a hard time coming up with what to write here. Or more accurately, deciding what I want to say and what I want to be quiet about for the time being. In a nutshell, our RE threw IVF onto our radar yesterday at our meeting…albeit in a gentle way. For me, this is the big, scary thing I never thought we’d have to face. Honestly, I never thought we’d be in this boat at all (isn’t that what everyone struggling to get pregnant says at some point?), much less having four iuis, all of which were unsuccessful. But even still, I believed we wouldn’t have to broach the IVF subject. After 17 months of trying, with all tests pointing to normal ovulation and normal sperm functions (Dr. H. assured us that M’s counts and stats are all normal, even good), and the aforementioned iuis, we’re smack in the middle of unexplained infertility, and Dr. H. thinks IVF would be a good choice for us. She went over the statistics, talked about the protocol (birth control, Lupron, stimulating meds, shots, ovaries the size of grapefruits), and went over single embryo transfer. She assured me she is conservative in her approach, and will be as conservative as the patient wishes to be. She’s very in favor of the single embryo transfer when the situation warrants it, because she is against unnecessarily impregnating women with multiples if she can help it.

I took all the information in as well as I could, having to distract myself a couple of times with jotting down notes to keep the tears from falling. I just was so hoping she would have said something like, “I know it’s been 17 months, but you’re both healthy and fairly young, so you should have no problem continuing to try on your own.”

And she didn’t close the door on that. She said our post c.oital test showed reasonable but not great results, which means there’s still a chance we can get pregnant on our own. It was good to hear her say that. It wasn’t a situation where there’s only a teeny tiny chance, and for that I’m thankful. I’m also thankful that right off the bat, she said I still don’t need Clomid. (However, given the option of Clomid or all the daily shots of IVF, I’m not sure which is worse!) She also said she thinks our plan to take a break from treatment is a good idea. She said she could tell I wasn’t yet ok with IVF (I’m not), and that we needed to continue our break and get our life back, and that if I become ok with it, I’ll know, and I can come back and she’ll go over it all again with me.

After the appointment, I was pretty quiet, not even wanting to talk to M about it in the car on the way back to work. As soon as I tried to say something, my chin started quivering and my eyes overflowed. I had to frantically wipe because my work is only about a mile from the hospital the doctor’s office. No walking into work with teary eyes for me.

I spent the whole day pondering everything, reading a few things online, and going back through my book The Infertility Companion, rereading the section on IVF. That night, M was unusually chipper, and to tell you the truth, it kind of bothered me. I didn’t know why he was in such a good mood when I was sitting there thinking about grapefruit-sized ovaries, a needle-pocked abdomen, and multiple dollar signs. Turns out (and I had a feeling this was the case) he was just trying to cheer me up, knowing I was disappointed and burdened. I just told him I needed time to be quiet and didn’t really feel like being cheered up, but that I was ok. We did end up talking about it some, just enough for me to fully explain to him how many factors go into this decision to go ahead or not go ahead with IVF, decisions which can’t be taken lightly and that may take me a while to make. (He’s for it, by the way. He said he’ll support me in my decision making process, whatever I decide, but he wants to do it.)

For the rest of the night, this morning before work, and during the day today, I’ve been just praying off and on about it. I’m feeling a peace about not knowing, honestly. I’m ok with where I am. I sort of feel like I’ll get to the point where I’m ok with IVF (assuming we don’t get pregnant on our own between now and then, whenever ‘then’ is), but I’m not there yet, and that’s ok. I’m praying that God will lead me/us to make a decision that’s in accordance with his will for us, and that we won’t overstep our boundaries just because we ‘can.’ I’m also praying that he’ll give me peace about IVF if that’s what he intends for us to do. I have peace about not knowing, but not about IVF itself. Honestly, I’m scared of it. I’m scared of the meds, the shots, the discomfort and pain associated with it, the retrieval, the transfer, the sterile aspects of it all, the emotional investment in something that isn’t guaranteed, the otherworldliness of it (as in, we’re creating life in a dish and putting it back in to me—isn’t that crazy?!)

However, this is where my hesitation in posting comes in. I’ve decided I’m going to spend the next few weeks purposefully NOT reading about IVF. Not googling, not reading blogs specifically for IVF info (I’ll still keep up with the blogs I regularly read though!), not asking questions about it, not reading any more books about it. This morning I was struck by the verse, “Be still and know that I am God.” The footnote for the verse said that we can’t hear God’s voice if we listen to all the noise of the world. I’m going to really try for the next few weeks (or longer, I don’t know) to keep out all the “noise” and just pray and ponder and try to listen to what God might be telling me. (And I don’t mean that well-intentioned advice is just noise, I don’t mean that at all. There will come a time when I’m very interested in all that advice, but for now, I need to restrain myself from filling my head with everyone else’s opinion and thoughts, if that makes sense.)

Going forward, I’ve decided I’m going to stop acupuncture after the end of this cycle. I’d like a few months of no doctor visits at all, including my weekly visits to Dr. I. I may even stop temping, except for the 4 or 5 days in the middle of my cycle, so I’ll know when ovulation is. It may sound drastic, but I want to minimize stress and requirements as much as possible so we can truly get our life back, like Dr. H. said. I won’t lie, these five months of treatment have been rough on me…and I haven’t even been on meds! The emotional ups and downs have been hard, and they’ve been hard on M too because he’s had to watch me swing between all points on the emotional map. All the temperature taking, the wondering when ovulation will come, worrying that we didn’t time things right, the blow when you find out it didn’t work…it’s a lot, and I’m ready for a break. I’m thankful for a break. I don’t know how long this break will last. I don’t know how or when God will direct me. And I’m ok with that. I know myself, and I know I typically don’t like to not know what’s going on for too long, so if I had to guess, I’d say I’ll probably make my mind up sooner rather than later. However, like I said, this is a decision I don’t want to rush. I want to be able to take as much time as I need, and feel confident that it’s a decision God has led me to…so I can feel at rest about it.

(I feel like I need a disclaimer. I know many of you, probably most of you, have done IVF, and I don’t mean any disrespect by talking about my qualms with it. My opinions about it don’t in any way color the way I think about any of you who have tried it. If you did it, I know it was because you decided together that it was the best decision for you.)

May 7, 2008, 9:03 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Thank you to everyone who answered my question about the herbs + acupuncture. I really appreciate the view points and tips. Strangely enough, I decided, after taking the first 5 pills, that herbs are not for me. It’s not that they did anything bad to me–it’s that I had a little stress-fest that evening and decided I didn’t want to add another routine to my already cluttered plan to get pg. If these next couple/few months are to be our “break” from anxiety-inducing doctor visits, blood draws, and procedures, adding 8-10 pills a day is not what I want to do. I immediately felt better after making that decision…and after blubbering to Matt about my feelings of being totally out of control and having no idea what steps to take.

Since then, and even for the last couple of months, I’ve really felt that God is impressing on me that I just have to pry my fingers off this whole process. I’m praying (and longing) for a deep rest that comes with totally trusting that God is in control of all this. He knows my age, he knows the timeline I have in my own mind, he knows my desires, and he knows my heart. He’s not ignoring all these things, but he knows so much more clearly exactly what I, and what we, need. I do believe that rest will come to me when I can grasp this truth and get through the entire month (the anticipation of the first two weeks, the guess work of ovulation, and the unknown in the second half of the cycle) without letting go of that truth. So that’s where I am. I feel like I’m tasting that rest, that God is pointing me to words and people who are radiating this rest and trust, and it’s helpful to me.