Two Years and Counting


June 20, 2008, 5:19 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized
This morning I read a blog post by a female anchor on one of our local tv stations who has just overcome breast cancer for the second time in the seven years I’ve lived in this city. She said that she feels she has an obligation to be a source of information and support for others who battle cancer after her, since she gained so much knowledge and support from those who had cancer before her.
 
I sort of feel the same way about this infertility journey. I know I’m not as far along on the journey as some are. We haven’t entered the world of IVF, I don’t know a thing about using donors or surrogates, but my journey is what it is, and it could be useful to someone else at some point. Already, I feel it’s served to help one friend who’s coming just behind me on the path. She and her husband have been trying as long as Matt and I have, but she hasn’t yet taken steps to see an RE. She didn’t know a thing about infertility when she first opened up to me about their struggle, as I didn’t until I started reading about it, so the information I’ve been able to give has been an encouragement to her.
 
Like most couples, when Matt and I decided to start trying, we figured we’d be pregnant within a few months. When that didn’t happen (and I already had one friend who’d gotten pg without even having her first period after tossing the BC), a few “what if” thoughts entered my head, but I still didn’t really start reading much about fertility until we got to the 6th month or so. Once I started reading, I realized there was a world of info that I didn’t know. Sure, I knew that women ovulate and that the egg had to be fertilized, but somehow I missed out on the fact that that egg is only viable and able to be fertilized for such a short amount of time. That astounded me. After learning that, I was sure our problem was just timing and that it’d work out soon enough.  
 
To make a long story short, I’m still here waiting on that “soon enough,” as we all know. This may sound strange to some, but I fully believe my struggle to get pregnant (and all of your struggles as well) is a result of living in a fallen world. In a perfect world without sin, there would be no struggle to get pregnant. God told Adam and Eve to reproduce, and without sin entering into paradise, we would have been able to follow that command and get pregnant easily and richly enlarge our families. But this is not paradise, and here we are struggling with all kinds of problems, not the least of which is trying to coax our bodies into doing what they were created to do.
 
Never in a million years when I was imagining marrying my soulmate did I stop to think, “What if we have trouble getting pregnant?” or “What if we can’t get pregnant?” The thought was always, “I’m going to have beautiful children with this man and we’re going to have a wonderful family.” Sometimes the reality fills my mind and I still can’t believe this thing hasn’t come easily to us.
 
Thankfully, infertility has in no way caused us any problems as a couple. Our marriage is solid and extremely comforting and challenging (mainly to my innate selfishness) and fun and strengthening and in many ways, better than I imagined marriage would be. I still fully believe I will have beautiful children with this man and we will have a wonderful family. The picture is just shaping up to be very different than the picture I had in my mind. I don’t know how our beautiful children will come about, but I know they will come, some day.
 
Being the planner/controller that I am, I try to find some meaning in this road God has sent us down. That’s where the blog post from the news anchor comes into play. The only way I can accept this journey, this struggle, this huge mystery, is to know that it will end up helping someone else along the way, and that it will make me better for having experienced it. Otherwise, it’s a wasted journey, a pointless veer off the path of what I think my life should look like. At least if things aren’t turning out exactly as they should (in my opinion), I can still gain wisdom and grace from the situation, and I can pass that wisdom on to others who find themselves in a similar situation and be an encouragement to them. That’s the only way I know how to approach this less-than-desirable state of affairs. That, and to trust that even though this is a mystery to us, God does know the plan for my life, and this is part of that plan. He has said he will work all things for my good, and so I have no choice but to trust that this is for my good.
 
I cling to that promise when the cramps come, when the bellies swell around me, when we babysit the precious son of dear friends. I cling to that promise when Matt and I enjoy a night of reading and laying around the house with the tv off, everything quiet except the crickets we hear outside the open windows, relishing that we can sit in silence and be thoroughly content in each other’s presence—acknowledging internally that we are one of the only couples our age we know who can have silence in their house, without the sound of toddlers playing or babies crying. I cling to that promise when Matt and I take off on a spontaneous vacation, or a long weekend at the beach to spend lying in the sun with no cares except whether we put on enough sunscreen. I cling to the promise when I imagine playing on that same beach with a baby in swimmies and waterproof diapers.
 
I continue to cry out, “How long, O Lord,” but resolve to enjoy as wholly as possible the present full and blessed life God has given me.



Is this too alternative?
June 10, 2008, 8:10 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized
Several months ago, my mom told me she was talking to a lady who has a son my age. This son, J, and his wife A, have been trying to get pregnant for a while and have had no success. J’s mom told my mom that A decided to try going to a chiropractor, and my mom asked me if I’d ever heard of that for infertility. I laughed and said I’d never heard of that and couldn’t imagine that going to a chiropractor could possibly help you get pregnant. Mom said, “Funny, that’s what she said when I told her you’d tried acupuncture to get pregnant!”
 
So of course, I consulted Dr. Google and found several sites that mentioned a possible link between chiropractic care and increased fertility. In particular, the chair of the council on women’s health for the W.orld Chiropractic A.lliance, Dr. Madeline B.ehrendt, published an infertility study that detailed “a number” of cases where infertile women became pregnant while undergoing chiropractic care. B.ehrendt said she wanted to do the study because of anecdotal evidence—stories of women becoming pregnant after going to the chiropractor. She wanted to test the theory and see if anything concrete was behind it.
 
To make a long story short, they looked at women of a variety of ages, and various chiropractic techniques. Regardless of the technique used, many of the women in the study became pregnant while under care. (There’s a fairly sound argument for what chiropractic care does to your body and how it can positively affect your reproductive organs—read the article here.) They said results weren’t conclusive but were compelling. Chiropractic is usually covered under insurance, it’s a lot cheaper and less traumatic than fertility treatments, and there’s no reason not to try getting your body in line and working properly before trying more invasive treatments.
 
So. There’s that. I suppose I should bite my tongue for laughing when I heard A was going to visit a chiropractor. And since I’m still on the “I don’t want to” end of IVF, I suppose I should try whatever noninvasive treatments I can before I go to the big guns. (That was also my argument for trying acupuncture.)
 
What do you think? Have any of you ever heard of going to a chiropractor for infertility? Do you know someone who’s tried it, or have you ever tried it? Have you ever heard of it resulting in pregnancy? I’m really curious as to how widespread this theory is and if people (other than A) have really tried it. Any feedback would be appreciated!
 
Hope you’re all doing well.



Update
June 4, 2008, 5:20 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized
Sorry I’ve been slack with the posting. I feel I don’t have much to write about since we’re not in any kind of treatment right now. We had a wonderful time at the beach for Memorial Day. I partook of a few choice beverages since I knew I could. My acupuncturist said it’s wise to avoid all alcohol, even the first week or so of your cycle when you know you’re not pg, because it can mess with your temperature the next morning. But, seeing as I’m not temping, I decided to throw her advice to the wind. I immensely enjoyed a few Coronas by the pool and a cool, creamy b.ushwacker at a little seafood shack on the water. One thing’s for sure, with TTC, my alcohol tolerance has shot down to about nothing. Granted, it’s never been high because I’ve never been much of a drinker, but now, I can hardly finish a whole drink. But the time away from alcohol really allowed me to enjoy those tastes. I also allowed myself a little wine this past weekend while at a rehearsal dinner and wedding of a friend of my family. My parents came to town and stayed with us, and we had another enjoyable weekend.
 
I’m slowly approaching the middle of my cycle, and I’m determined to keep taking it easy. I’ll probably start temping in the next day or two, so I can see when the jump happens, and I may use an OPK a night or two as well. Just because we’re taking a break from treatment doesn’t mean we’re not trying at all, and I’d still like to maximize our chances as much as we can.
 
I just found out that M has 6 work trips between the end of June and the end of September. I’ve put the dates on my calendar, but I haven’t counted the days to see if and when he’ll be gone during my ovulation time. Judging by the dates, it looks like maybe only one of the trips will coincide with that time, and that’s just life. And it’s ok. One thing it’s made me think is that this could put off our thinking about ivf a little longer. If we have to go that route, or choose to go that route, there’s no way I’ll be sitting at home alone giving myself shots. We’d have to wait til his trips are over so he can be home for the whole “40 days in the wilderness,” as our RE called it.
 
However, here’s to hoping that we don’t have to approach that wilderness. Maybe M’s being gone so much and us not approaching the idea til after his trips are over will give us the relatively unstressed months we need to get pg on our own. (Because we all know relaxing is the trick!)
 
And who knows, maybe I need to drink more alcohol! Isn’t that how people get pregnant? Drink a bit too much one night then two weeks later find that their “visitor” doesn’t come? Oh if it were only that easy… (if it were only that easy, I wouldn’t have stopped at one b.ushwacker!)