Monday, December 5, 2011

All I Want for Christmas...

This has been quite a different holiday season for me, indeed.  

During Thanksgiving, I started my medicated fertility cycle due to an unexpected early visit from Mother Nature...

So in the exciting, controlled chaos of planning a Thanksgiving meal and entertaining out of town family, I had to begin 

The blood work
The sonograms
The getting prescriptions filled.

 In all honesty, I don't mind at all.  What's a little bump in the Thanksgiving plan?  It was totally worth it to see beloved family that we rarely get to see!

Plus, we got to indulge in the pepper green bean casserole that Jeremy made.

He accidentally put 1/4 cup of pepper in the casserole instead of 1/4 teaspoon
But as I said, what are the holidays without a bump in the road?

We only ate one bite of the casserole, actually.

On a more serious note, the holiday season is not easy for me.

The phrase keeps playing over and over in my head...
(sometimes accompanied by the enthusiastic melody of the children's song)


Things such as putting up the Christmas tree, hanging stockings, putting presents under the tree...
They are all a reminder of the child I want so badly.  And I constantly envision my husband and me with a child...

Putting up the Christmas tree, hanging stockings, opening presents.

It is all a painful reminder of what I don't have.

Don't get me wrong, I am not trying to complain.  
Just being transparent.

Jeremy keeps asking me what I want for Christmas. I cannot think of any tangible item I need.
I can only think of one thing.

I was touched the other day when he again asked me,
"What do you want for Christmas?"

"A baby" I said.  And he could sense the yearning in my voice.

He lovingly responded, "Babe, if I could give you that, I would."

I will say that this journey has made me be more thankful for the here and now.  As stated above, my husband cannot change the future.  I cannot change the future.
We cannot change the future.

But I know Someone who has a birthday coming up that can

Change the  future, change us.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

An Intricate Design

Since my start of this infertility journey, I have had a new appreciation for the way God has designed us.  There are so many intricate details that God designed in order for the woman's body to work in perfect harmony.

There are so many hormones ...
So many cycles of cellular life ...
Then there is the "perfect timing" ...

Just knowing all the many DETAILS God put into the art of procreation!

  It is truly a miracle each and every time a woman conceives.  I challenge you to research this process if you have never done so:  the process of conception, pregnancy, and birth.  You will have a new appreciation for life, I assure you!

That being said, I have at times struggled with being "mad" at my own body.  Even talking to it sometimes.

"Ok ... get it right, body."

But  why would I be mad at this body God chose to give me?  The temple in which He chose my soul to dwell?

I suppose many other people have felt the same way: cancer patients, long-term illness patients, and so on.

Has anyone else ever had these feelings?  Or even experienced these feelings in the name of a loved one who suffers?

Perhaps God is teaching me a lesson in all this.  But, sometimes I struggle with the meaning of it all.

I don't have to feel alone, though.  Did you know that over 7.3 million women in the USA alone have suffered from infertility?

Walking into my fertility clinic the other day,  I saw many different women walk through the doors. Business women.  Different nationalities.  Short. Tall.  Well-Dressed. Women who, in all appearances, seemed normal.  My heart went out to them.  I share their secret burden. I felt connected to women I didn't even know.

That day my RE explained that one of my hormones, AMH, indicated that I have diminished ovarian reserve.  In other words, my ovaries do not function as they should for someone my age. 

She told me that I don't have much time to waste, so she put me on a 'fast track" infertility treatment plan.  

She plans to have me take an oral medication, Clomid, my next cycle in order to stimulate my ovaries.  I will then have to get blood tests and sonograms to make sure my ovaries are responding well.  When my follicles are large enough to release an egg,  I will then take an injection of HcG in order to "force ovulation".  Then, I will use ovulation test sticks (same as a pregnancy test) to know about the time I will ovulate. When I have a positive result, I have to call my fertility clinic and schedule a time for an IUI (intrauteine insemination).

And then we will wait ...
If that cycle does not result in a pregnancy, she will put me on more aggressive medication injections.

We will take it one day at a time, holding on to hope each and every step!

Thank you all for your outpouring of love and support!  We are truly humbled.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Revelation

Have you ever wanted something so badly that you would give anything for this particular thing?

Have you ever lain awake at night thinking ...
   "If only I had (fill in the blank), my life would be SO much better."

Have you ever begged, pleaded, even wrestled with God ...
   "If you can give me just this ONE thing,  I PROMISE I will (fill in the blank)." 

If so, I can relate.  I think we all can.  My journey just may be a little different than yours.  Or perhaps you are meandering down the same road as me.

As some of you may know, my husband and I have been wandering down the difficult and oftentimes very lonely path of...


There. I said it...Phew!  If you are a friend or family member wondering why Jeremy and I have not joined the parenthood club yet, now you know.

I find myself talking about my journey to anyone who will listen (you know who you are). But, I rarely speak of the depth of emotions that can come along with it. 

"Why can't I get pregnant?  What is wrong with me?"

"Another baby shower?"

"Another period?"

Low self worth, jealousy, heartbreak, desperation.

And the aforementioned feelings are only scratching the surface.

The other day, I received some news from my infertility specialist.  In the world of infertility she is known as my Reproductive Endocrinologist, or RE.   Getting back on track, this news was not the best of news regarding my fertility.  I was heartbroken.  Although it was nice to hear a reason for my inability to conceive over the last couple of years it felt like my world was crashing in on me.

And then... I heard a still small voice.

"Melissa, I am allowing you to go through this trial, because I plan to change someone's life through YOU!"

 Wow.  A revelation.  Truly.

In that instant, I began to view my situation differently.  All the tears I have cried, the heartache I have felt, the loneliness I have endured...

It has all been in vain.
God's purpose for my suffering has been clearly stated:

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."

I firmly believe God is allowing me to go through this trial not only to test my faith, but to reveal His power to myself...and others.

 If you share this common bond of infertility with me, know this:

“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Lastly, I would like to share the story of Hannah in the Bible.  I will make it short.  

Hannah was a woman from the Old Testament that was one of two wives to Elkanah.  The man's other wife was able to bear him many children.  Hannah, on the other hand, was unable to bear him any children for many, many years.  She was stricken with grief, loneliness, desperation...

Sound familiar?

In biblical times, barren women were highly looked down upon.  They were considered less than women who could bear children.

Hannah spent many countless hours praying to God for a child:

In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the LORD, weeping bitterly.  And she made an [oath], saying, “LORD Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the LORD for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.” 

God eventually gave her a son, Samuel.
And Hannah kept her oath.

Hannah's oath, MY oath.