December 31, 2012

23 Week Update

Seriously! Isn't she SOOO cute!!!??

We had an ultrasound today and we are so relieved!  That may sound a little strange but we've been having some concerns that we haven't told anyone about.

For those who don't know, when you are pregnant you have the option of doing genetic screening to find out if your child is at risk, or rather a higher risk for any genetic defects/problems.  We decided that we would do a "quad" screening which is a blood test during your second trimester.  Since blood is pumping from mom and baby they can now use a blood test to get a basic screening.

Well, a few days after the blood was drawn I got a message saying that my results were fine - but the nurse didn't say what about, so I called to find out.  Turns out I was normal for 2/3 tests and the third they were still waiting to hear back on.

So I again waited

and waited

and then I got a message to call my doctor back.

That's always scary - when they tell you good results over a message and then tell you to call them for the final result.  You know it's not going to be good.

So I played phone tag for 2 days - I thought I was going to go nuts!

As it turns out I tested in normal ranges for trisomy 18 and spina bifida but my results came back slightly elevated for down syndrome. We were pretty worried and waited a few days till our doctors appointment to ask our doctor what steps we should take next to know if our risk assessment was one we should really be worried about.

It's not that we would abort (heck, we've been waiting two years for her to come!) but we want to make sure that we are prepared to help Kaylee in any we can.

So we went and had genetic counseling - this is where they sit down with you and go over all the different tests and you go from there.  We decided to take things one step at a time and so we started with an ultrasound.  The ultrasound checks for "hard" and "soft" markers.  Hard markers are physical signs that are typically associated with down syndrome.  Soft markers are physical signs that are common among people with down syndrome but does not necessarily mean anything and can be associated with other causes.

After a 30-45 minute ultrasound the specialist came to us and told us that from what they could see Kaylee had no hard markers (granted they didn't get good photos of her heart or spine cause she was being bouncy that day).  However she did have a soft marker - while she herself measured in the 33 percentile, her femurs were in the "less than 5%."  Anything under 10% they get a little worried.

So we set up an appointment for three weeks later (today). I've spent the last three weeks wondering and being worried, hoping her little femurs would grow. It is the strangest feeling to be so worried about someone you've never met and you don't know.

I was also conflicted. I know people with down syndrome and I know their families.  These people are so loving and kind and wonderful - would it really be that bad if Kaylee had it too? Could we handle it?  What kind of life would she have?

Basically, the last three weeks have been emotionally tormenting.

I'm so grateful for modern technology though - we felt so much relief today.  After only three weeks our little Kaylee's femurs went from 5% to 22%!  As of now, they are not as concerned that she will have down syndrome.  She could, but there are no more signs for now that would lead us to further testing.

Again, I feel totally conflicted - Is it bad to say I'm happy?  Happy that my child will most likely be "normal?" I can't help but think of all the other mothers out there who have gone through the same thing but had different news - isn't their child normal too?  I know so many people who have different outcomes than myself and my heart goes out to them.  How do you handle that emotionally? Spiritually?  I know it's not the right word, but I feel a little guilty for being so relieved.

Regardless, I'm incredibly happy - happy that I'm pregnant, that we got to see Kaylee, that she's growing, that she's healthy and strong (believe me she's strong - her kicks are powerful!).

So here's our update:

  • Kaylee is now in the 38% (that means out of 100 babies her age, she would be smaller that 62 of them)
  • Kaylee went from 11 oz three weeks ago to 1lb 3 oz (that's 8oz!!!!)
  • She is kicking up a storm, especially at night when I'm trying to sleep.  While I complain about it, I'm secretly loving every minute of it!
  • She also moves - A LOT
  • When she kicks me, she is Garrett's child.  When she is being sweet and makes me happy, she's my child ;)
  • We love her dearly and are excited to move to our new apartment so we can start getting ready for her arrival (our place it too little to start collecting everything we need)
  • She is SO CUTE (see picture above)
  • We are now debating if she will have blonde or red hair (on both sides there are grandparents with red hair) and if it will be straight or curly 
    • We know though that she'll probably be born bald
  • Again, we love her so much!  She's got both of us wrapped around her finger and she's not even here yet!!

December 17, 2012

November 8, 2012

Daily Rituals

Wow, I have not written in a while! Sorry!!  I get so wrapped up in the daily grind that I forget that I even have a personal blog here!
Anyways, Garrett’s been out of town all week for his yearly training and I've re-realized how much I love one of our favorite traditions.
My love languages are touch and quality time – I've known this about myself since I was young (er). When Garrett and I got married we often found that school and work did not allow us to spend as much time together as we would have liked.  I would physically and emotionally get stressed and anxious.  Finally one day I was so frustrated that I stomped my foot on the floor twice – very hard – to get Garrett’s attention (we call this “stomp stomp” – and I say it now to get his attention since we live on the second floor in our complex).  He looked over and I exclaimed that we needed to take a break and go cuddle.  These became a tradition called “every five minute breaks.”  While they didn’t happen every five minutes, we knew how nice it was to just stop and take a break from everything going on around us.  We’d be working and one of us would call to the other, “I think we need an every five minute break!!”  And off to our room we’d go to just lay in bed and talk or lay in silence enjoying each other’s company.
In school we often saw each other on campus throughout the day but when we moved to Houston and I started working from home while Garrett was gone most of the day, the separation again started to take it’s toll on me emotionally and physically.  I would get anxious and panic and my back would tense and I would get migraines (clearly Garrett is not allowed to die before me).  So once again we began our tradition of every five minute breaks.  This time though, as soon as Garrett walks in the door, we give each other a hug and one of us leads the other to our bed where we take five to ten minutes to just be.  Sometimes we talk, a lot of times we laugh, but mostly we just lay there holding each other.  We've found that the days we do this are incredibly pleasant. The days we don’t we almost ALWAYS end up arguing or fighting about some stupid thing.  So now we just do it – every day.  We allow ourselves to let go all the stress from the day – we've made our marriage our refuge from the craziness of the world.
I've always known that this special time we have together each day will always be one of our most cherished traditions.  But sometimes it takes not doing it to remember HOW special the little traditions are.  Whether it’s “every five minute breaks, ”  holding hands when praying over dinner, playfully bickering over who’s turn it is to pray, my always trying to steal Garrett’s spot on the bed, Garrett coming home and always finding me turning around from my office chair with a big smile on my face, Garrett taking twenty minutes of alone time to read his comics, Garrett immediately checking out IMDB after we watch a movie even if he’s already read through it…the list goes on.  But those are our traditions and I love every single one of them.  When Garrett is gone my heart hurts because I don’t get to repeat our daily rituals.  But when he comes home I know I appreciate those little daily moments more.

August 14, 2012

1311 Days

Yup, I’m pregnant!
I can’t even begin to explain how excited we are.  For those of you who didn’t know, Garrett and I have been waiting almost 2 years to have this news.  We knew that having children would be difficult and based on the experiences of other family members, we didn’t think that anything we did would work.  After over a year of trying we found a clinic in Houston that has some of the top doctors in the nation for fertility (for my fertility issue).  We knew as soon as we started our treatments that the reason we felt we needed to go to Houston rather than Dallas was because of this clinic.  We started treatments and for a while nothing happened.  Garrett and I were prepared to stop treatments after another month because we couldn’t afford them.  We pretty much thought that the only other option we would have was adoption if our last cycle didn’t work – and that would mean waiting at least another 5 years.
It was hard to accept that.
But I responded to the last round of treatments.  We waited and waited till I could take the pregnancy test.  I was so afraid to take it – that it would be a negative.  I took the test and waited, willing it to be positive.  After the three minutes were up I looked at that first test and my heart broke.  There was only one line – a negative.  But then I looked at it again and there is was – an incredibly faint second line.  Incredibly faint.  I immediately went to the computer to find out what that meant.  It was possible I was pregnant.  So I waited a few more days and tested again – POSITIVE!!!!
Baby Williams is officially due April 28, 2013.  We’ll have waited almost 2 1/2 years to have a baby when he/she arrives and we are so grateful and excited!!
So how did I tell Garrett?
Technically I knew a few days before Garrett found out – I needed time to make sure I could tell Garrett in a cool way.  When driving around, Garrett and I always see “expectant mother parking” spots and joke that I should be able to park there because I’m expecting to be a mother someday. So I went and picked up Garrett from the bus on Monday and when we pulled into our parking spot Garrett saw this:
How far along am I?
This question took a LONG time to answer.  I didn’t know my official due date until 10/10/12!  Why? Well, until 10/10, I thought it was because due to the treatments and timing, normal calculation methods wouldn’t be as accurate.  Then I found out from my OB that the fertility center had the wrong date listed as the first day of my cycle (it was off by 1.5 weeks).  I thought I was going to have a HUGE baby because early on the nurses kept saying that our baby was measuring large for how far along I was supposed to be.  Then my OB and I cleared it up and it turns out I was farther along than I thought (and all measurements were now normal).
As of 10/14/2012 I will be officially 12 weeks!
What we know so far:
  • Baby is growing great and is measuring perfectly!
  • Despite being on pelvic rest due to tears and being tired ALL THE TIME, I’m doing great – I’ve yet to throw up!
  • Baby is about 1 1/4″ long.  Baby doesn’t like being compared to food, but to give you an idea, he’s about the size of a lime.
  • Baby does not like the terms “prego” or “preggers” – his mom is PREGNANT.
  • Baby likes to wiggle and sleep – just like his Mom
  • Most everyone thinks Baby is a girl. Garrett wants a boy (but only a little more than a girl).  I’m happy with a boy or a girl

August 7, 2012

Cycle 3: Day 16

I am so happy right now.  I feel like words cannot express what I feel and yet I have so many thoughts running through my head.
It worked.  The medicine worked this month.  I went in for my ultrasound today and found out my meds worked.  The goal was to have a follicle measure at least a 12. The hope was for a 15.  Anything bigger would be a miracle (in my mind).  All of my follicles were 10 and under.
Except one.
One beautiful miracle.
A 17.5.
I literally gasped when the nurse told me.  When she showed me the monitor the follicle looked HUGE!
I waited for the nurse to come back from talking with the doctor.  I’ve never gotten to this point before so I had no idea about what would happen next or what our actual chances are.  I asked if it could be likely that I could get pregnant with only one follicle.  Yes!  I can!   With chlomid treatments they actually only want 1-2 grown follicles (at least that’s what the nurse told me).
And then I cried (of course).  Why? Because after 21 months of wanting to start our family I am actually in a position where is it possible. That one beautifully HUGE follicle could possibly result in a future member of our small family.  And while the chances are still slim I am so happy that the possibility even exists!
I’ve felt over the last while that my amount of faith has been so tiny.  I feel like I’m on a faith roller coaster sometimes.  I know that this small yet huge miracle was not a result of my own faith.  I feel so blessed to know that the faith of my family and friends have been constantly around me.  Regardless of what the outcome would have been today, I cannot deny that I have felt the strength and support that comes from God when others put their faith in God in your behalf.
My heart is so full of gratitude right now.  And such peace, which is the one thing I have desperately pleaded for.  One of the best things I have ever done was make CDs of past general conference talks to keep in the car.  I often forget they’re there, but as I drove to my appointment I didn’t want to just listen to the radio – I instead remembered and longed to hear the voice of the prophets.  As I listened to the messages that were given I knew Heavenly Father was with me.  I knew (and still know) that God loved me.  I knew that He would comfort me and support me and bear this trial with me – even when my faith is tiny.
I often feel the Holy Ghost quietly whisper to me and remind me of Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father.  Heavenly Father knows I am one that needs gentle guidance and joyful reminders.  He patiently waits as I forget about Him in my day-to-day life and then return to Him.  I have said before how I often forget Him.  And I have said before how grateful I am to know that He does not forget me.
As I listened to the words of the prophets – men who have the authority to speak the words God wants us to hear – I was beautifully reminded of Heavenly Father’s love for me:
…as an Apostle of our Master, Jesus Christ, I proclaim with all the certainty and conviction of my heart…You are not forgotten.
Sisters, wherever you are, whatever your circumstances may be, you are not forgotten. No matter how dark your days may seem, no matter how insignificant you may feel, no matter how overshadowed you think you may be, your Heavenly Father has not forgotten you. In fact, He loves you with an infinite love.
Just think of it: You are known and remembered by the most majestic, powerful, and glorious Being in the universe! You are loved by the King of infinite space and everlasting time!
He who created and knows the stars knows you and your name—you are the daughters of His kingdom.
God loves you because you are His child. He loves you even though at times you may feel lonely or make mistakes.
The love of God and the power of the restored gospel are redemptive and saving. If you will only allow His divine love into your life, it can dress any wound, heal any hurt, and soften any sorrow.
My dear sisters, you are closer to heaven than you suppose. You are destined for more than you can possibly imagine.
It is my prayer and blessing that you will never forget that you are truly precious daughters in God’s kingdom.
-President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Forget Me Not,” October 2011 General Conference
I know what I’m going through isn’t easy.  Frankly, it sucks.  I feel so blessed, however, to have the knowledge I have of God and His son, Jesus Christ. I feel so blessed to know that God knows my name;  That He knows my heart and the desperate desires I have to start a family; That He knows how to provide me with the strength and comfort I ache for.  I am so grateful.  Again, words escape me.
Not every part of life has a happy ending.  Today happens to be a very happy moment in our journey through infertility.  I am so comforted to know that I am able to feel peace on both the good days and the bad.

August 3, 2012

Cycle 3: Day 12

Okay, so this may not be the-most-incredible-news-on-the-face-of-the-planet news, but it’s good and it’s happy!
I went into my dr. appointment today.  It’s day 12 of my cycle and they did an ultrasound of my ovaries to see how fast my follicles have been growing (like I mentioned before, the doctors want them to measure between a 12 & 15).  During the last two cycles the highest a follicle ever got was a 9, but they mostly stayed in the 6/7 area (and that was being checked on day 16-20 of my cycle).
Well today is only day 12 which means I’ve still got some time to go…
and today my follicle measured
A 10!!!!!
It’s not a 12 or a 15, but still – a 10 is MUCH better than a 6, especially at this point in the cycle!
I don’t think I’ve really digested that news until now.
I did that!  My follicle hit a 10!
There’s hope!
My body is responding!
I’m not failing!
It’s working! (even just a little bit)
I’m so excited!
BEST. DAY. EVER!! (okay – well, it’s closer than many other days)
What’s next?  Well, we wait until Tuesday when I go back in for another ultrasound (meh).  Hopefully by then they’ll have matured to at least a 12.  After that – well, it’s up to the doctors, but assuming things go well we wait for nature to take it’s course and hope for the best.
So here’s what I need you to do: Send good vibes our way!  Regardless of what happens, we know that Heavenly Father’s watching out for us and we’re trying to trust in His time table.  But asking for extra help and for peace and understanding won’t hurt either so any prayers for us to whomever you believe in is appreciated.
We’re totally hopeful that this could be the month (and totally freaking out too – but then again, what sane person doesn’t freak out at the thought of becoming a parent!).  We’re trying not to let our fears take over and instead remain hopeful.  All I know is that right now I am so incredibly grateful.  I don’t know if I could have handled another month of complete disappointment.  Again, even if I don’t get pregnant this month, this news is better than any of the news since we’ve started this journey and I am so grateful.

July 30, 2012

Cycle 3: Day 9

No emotion.  That’s what I feel right now, or rather what I don’t feel.  Except tired – I am tired.  Tired of having no control over myself, of feeling nothing, of taking pills, of being poked and jabbed. of feeling sick every day. Granted, this is probably the meds talking, but I can’t help but wonder if the question I keep asking myself is actually from me: Is this all worth it?
I’m trying to be strong – to not feel apathetic, depressed, doubtful but it is so hard.  Every month that a cycle gets cancelled I feel like a failure and I can’t stop thinking about the time and money that I'VE wasted because my body isn't responding to the medication.  And although it’s only been two cycles, it feels like I've been in a constant state of failure.
I know in my heart that I’m not.  A failure, I mean.  I know in my heart that I’m really not a depressing person.  I know in my heart that I am not worthless and hopeless.  I know that in my heart.  But the sinking feeling I keep having from my head sometimes makes it hard to believe.

July 29, 2012

Cycle 3: Day 6

I want to give a shout out to all you supportive spouses.
Thank you for your constant encouragement and support.  Thank you for holding us while we struggle with feeling inadequate, broken, and like a failure.  Thank you for editing your language and knowing what is and isn’t okay to say.  Thank you for knowing how to love and lift us.  Thank you for missing an event because we couldn’t bear being in public.  Thank you for dealing with the doctor visits, the financial struggles, and especially the crazy-eyes (you know what I’m talking about).
Most of all thank you for understanding and remembering – understanding that this is not easy and remembering that all the discomfort, pain, and sadness is for something GOOD – for our future family.
Thank you.
I love you and think you’re wonderful.  Thank you for going through this so we can have kids.  I know it’s not easy on you and I appreciate it.
–Text from Garrett yesterday after a dr. appointment

July 28, 2012

Cycle 3: Day 5

Whew!  So I just finished re-designing this whole blogsite and it has been so much fun!  I’ve changed my website a lot, but never a complete revamp and I am SO happy with how it turned out – it’s totally me!

With the new design I decided to open up a bit more about the things going on in my life, particularly my experiences as Garrett and I go through fertility treatments.  This is the first post I’ve written knowing that people will be able to see it – all the previous posts were written on a private blog that I shared only with Garrett. No one saw it.  So this is kind of a big deal.  I’ve been going over this decision in my mind for a while now – to make these posts public/accessible.  I’ve hesitated because I view everything I do as an extension of my brand/business (which is an extension of me) – and I really don’t want to be that person who shares WAY too much about their personal life on the internet…like T.M.I.-ville.
Obviously I decided to take the plunge.  Why?  In my short time in “infertility land” (2 years is short – I know people who’ve been here for 10+ years) I’ve been blessed to meet so many women who are struggling with infertility as well.  Each situation is unique, but there is an instant connection between women who face infertility.  These women have showed me how easy it is to be closed off about your problems and endure them alone AND how easy it is to share your trials and find support and encouragement.  Especially as of late I’ve been meeting women who are where I was almost two years ago.  I feel that it’s 100% easier to deal with something when you know and can talk with someone who’s been there (so yes, that means a conversation…meaning you can ask me questions/offer advice & insight if you want to).
I started blogging because (1) I hate to write by hand (it hurts) and (2) to cope (poor Garrett – He’s spent way too many nights awake consoling me).  So while I’m writing in a public area, I’m writing more for me – because I need to.
I hope if you’re reading this that you might find some strength/hope/empathy/compassion from me – even if your trial isn’t fertility-related.
We all struggle.  We all need someone to just listen.  So thank you for being my listening ear.

June 30, 2012

Cycle 2: Day 35

I've learned about myself that I hate feeling sad or depressed or unhappy. I instead find a way to quickly get over bad things that happen to me.  Things roll easily off my back.  When I found out that Cycle 2 was cancelled I was sad, but I quickly got over it and continued being busy with everything else I was doing.  

I honestly feel like a bad person because I'm not in a state of emotional shock and sadness.  Of course I am sad that I haven't gotten pregnant yet but I'm not constantly thinking about it.  I don't know - I just feel like I should be feeling incredibly upset about it but I'm not.  This is such a weird balancing act. 

I think I'm okay just being happy with life.  Or at least content.

I've been feeling happier though - I think it's because I've been working out more.  Excercise has always been frustrating for me.  I have NO MOTIVATION to go.  But I finally asked for help from someone from church - she's been training at the gym for about a year now and looks AMAZING.  So I asked if I could work out with her and if she could help me modify some exercises until I'm strong enough to do the actual exercises.  SHE SAID YES!  Woohoo! (you have no idea how scared I was to ask - I'm sometimes afraid to talk to people/ask for help).  

So this whole last week I was at the gym working out with her.  I was in SO MUCH PAIN (Garrett was helping get up and down).  But it was good pain.  The kind you earn.  I feel strong.  It's so good to know that you're not in pain because you did something that you're body should do but rather because you worked your body.  I LOVE IT.  

So what's my motivation?  (It's not because I love it - I just say that mostly so I don't associate bad feelings with exercise).  It's my future kids.

The PCOS I have isn't because I have cysts on my ovaries.  It comes because of hormonal imbalances and weight.  If I am able to lose weight my chances of getting pregnant increase.  When I'm at the gym and I feel like I'm going to die but know I can still keep going, I think of what getting stronger means - family.  So I'm hoping that working out can help in my next cycle.  I'll start on Monday taking progesterone for 10 days and will hopefully start my cycle 2-3 days after.  That gives me two more weeks.  Two weeks to make myself a little stronger.  That's the goal - to be stronger, not skinnier (although that'd be great too). So I'm going to rock the gym and rock eating healthy (because really, it's 70% diet and 30% exercise/strength training)!  And I'm also going to ROCK being happy :)

June 11, 2012

Cycle 2: Cancelled

No words right now.

May 31, 2012

Cycle 2: Day 5

In April during General Conference, President Packer said something that I took offense to at the time.  He said:

Another young couple tearfully told me they had just come from a doctor where they were told they would be unable to have children of their own. They were brokenhearted with the news. They were surprised when I told them that they were actually quite fortunate. They wondered why I would say such a thing. I told them their state was infinitely better than that of other couples who were capable of being parents but who rejected and selfishly avoided that responsibility.

I told them, “At least you want children, and that desire will weigh heavily in your favor in your earthly lives and beyond because it will provide spiritual and emotional stability. Ultimately, you will be much better off because you wanted children and could not have them, as compared to those who could but would not have children.
I'm not quite so sure why I took offense - I think it mainly was because I felt he was belittling the couple's grief and pain.  How could President Packer compare these two scenarios and focus on their eternal judgment rather than offer kind words of comfort and counsel?!

Then the other day I came across an article titled "10 things to never say to a women without children."  I often see titles like this and I always read them.  Typically they always are written from the point of view of a woman who cannot have children.  I glanced over this article and thought it sounded like any other one I'd read like it.  Then I really started reading it.  While some points were made from an infertility view, most were taken from the context that whatever woman you're talking about chose not to have children.

This is when I got upset.  

I honestly could care less if another couple decides not to have children.  That's not my choice.  But I get upset when people compare the experiences and emotions between women who cannot have children vs women who choose not to have children.  Understandably, treating an infertile woman and a woman who chooses not to have children like neither knows how to care for kids is equally offensive/rude.  But asking "when are you going to start having children" is (in my mind) much more painful for the infertile woman.  If you (general 'you') are choosing not to have children, there is obviously something more important that makes the decision easier (but not necessarily easy) to stand by.  You have a reason.  There is a logical explanation for why you do not want kids. So when I ask you "when ..." you can easily say "we aren't having kids for reason x,y,&z."  The question is possibly emotionally tough, but you have a supporting reason to stand on.  For women who cannot have children, all we can do is shrug our shoulders and either say "not for a while - we can't have kids" or lie with some made up reason/half-truth like "we're not ready" or "we're waiting till we're financially stable."  

I don't know why, but all of a sudden I was so proud of the battle I'm fighting.  I am fighting myself to have kids.  While totally draining (as any battle is), I am fighting for something good and worth while.  I no longer felt this major self pity party.  I was pumped to kick infertily's butt!  Whether through natural conception, IVF, adoption, ...  we are going to have children!

So now I can read President Packer's quote with a little more understanding - what we're going through isn't great.  But how blessed are we to have this perspective - that we do to want something that is good and precious in our lives.  

That's when I told Garrett that I'm grateful we're going through this.  If it wasn't infertility, it would be something else.  Our lives will have challenges.  But I feel so blessed to know that we're fighting to do what we know is right.  We're not giving up and being hopeless.  We are blessed to know that whatever the outcome, we can make this trial happy - by the way we talk about it, the way we react to it, the way we support each other. The things that we will have to do to fight for the chance to have children can potentially help us become really great people - selfless and supportive. I am so glad that this is my trial.  I don't know what other trials I could handle, but Heavenly Father knew that this trial would be hard, but that I would find the strength and support to get through it.  I will have hard times ahead, but in this moment I am happy.  I am grateful.  I am hopeful.  

May 30, 2012

Cycle 2: Day 4

With so few posts, anyone reading this probably wouldn't really get the metal/spiritual/emotional place I've been in.  It was dark.  Not like pitch black or dark grey, but more a medium grey place.  I've known since about the time Garrett & I got married that natural conception would be hard.  When we started trying I came at it from the viewpoint that if we had kids, great - if not, that's fine too.  I wouldn't let myself admit that having children was what I really wanted.  I still can't fully admit to it.  The risk of heartache is too great.  But after over a year of trying, I started to believe the lie I so often repeated to myself - that I don't want kids - that I'm not ready - that I'm still just 'little'/too young - that it's just not the right time.  

It's now been over 18 months since we started trying to have kids and almost the whole time, I was in a medium-grey world (when it came to having kids).  It was within the last few weeks though that I've had an epiphanie.  This journey has been as spiritual as it has been emotional and physical.  But I had been ignoring my relationship with God for a while.  I can't say why exactly - not because I'm embarrassed but because I really don't know.  I can guess and say that it could have been because I was lazy or I was too afraid to ask for children and He would say "no" or that I would discover I was being punished for some random thing I did.  Whatever the reason though - I was ignoring Him.  

But what a comforting thought it is to know that He never ignored me.

Over the last few months I have been slowly trying to be better  - to do the things that I know are good and right.  I fail a lot.  But I'm trying.  And these last few weeks I've felt so many small and gentle reminders from Him.  They have been so quiet and so small.  But they're reminders of how good it feels to have faith and hope and trust.  I have had none of those things for a while.  The lies I believed prohibited me from feeling hope and trust in Heavenly Father's plan.  

So here's the epiphanie I had: What I'm going through sucks.  A lot. And it will continue to suck and to emotionally beat me if I continue to try to face this alone.  But when I trust Him, it will still suck, but it will suck a lot less and I won't feel alone.

Since realizing this, I've started changing the way I think.  Last month I was asking WHY ME!?  Yesterday I told Garrett that I'm grateful for what we're going through (?!?! - that's another story).  I can't explain how or when the changes started happening, but they have and I am so glad.  With starting cycle 2, I've felt so much more peace.  I don't understand (and I probably never will) but I feel good.  Unlike cycle 1, where I thought the whole time "this isn't going to work," I'm now feeling hope.  This could work.  This could be the month!  This could be the time that our whole lives change!  The thought "this could fail" enters my mind too.  But it's not as loud as it used to be.  

I'm not saying that this whole positive thinking will magically change how my body responds to the medication. It won't.  But I am tired of feeling broken and alone and hopeless.  It is DRAINING.  There's no doubt in my mind that this month will be another month of being poked and prodded - getting shots and constantly taking pills - feeling inadequate, emotionally unbalanced, sad, anxious, and often a little crazy.  But all of that seems like nothing now - the hope that I feel is so gloriously warm - like laying on the beach, touching the warm white sand and feeling the sun gently overtake the thoughts you have of everything, placing you into a "happiness" coma. All of the stress and worry still exist, but for that moment, you feel happy/at peace.  

So, Dear Self: Remember this.  Remember how good it feels to trust Him.  Remember how good it feels to know that you have the support of your great husband, your understanding friends and a loving Father.  If this isn't the month - that's okay.  Feel sad.  Feel grief.  But never lose hope.

April 23, 2012

Cycle 1: Cancelled

I went back to the doctor's last Friday and got the confirmation to cancel this month's cycle.  At least this time I was prepared.  After Monday's appointment, I just knew that this month would not happen.

I'll admit I'm sad.  I feel like I always feel - broken.  I know that things will turn around and we'll have our family when we're supposed to, but for now I just feel sad and broken.  And that's okay.  I feel lucky that right now I've got a bunch of stuff going on to distract me.  I'm processing, but I'm able to do it in small doses which is all I can handle right now.

So the next step is Cycle 2.  I get a double dose of chlomid (more commonly referred to as my "crazy pills").  Pray Garrett and my young women make it through this next cycle unscathed - my nurse said that the increased dose will make me a little more crazy than the one I just had!  Yikes! But hopefully my extra crazy will result in some cute wonderful miracle we'll call our own :)

April 16, 2012

Cycle 1: Update

I'm not going to lie - today was tough. I went in for my cycle-day-16 ultrasound, where they check to see how the follicals are growing.  So I checked in for my appointment and waited.  The nurse called me back after about ten minutes - she kept asking me how I was doing.  I thought I was fine but I guess there was something in the expression of my face that was saying something different.

I got ready and the nurse came in.  She kept saying, "we're aiming for a 15" - like I know what that means. We "go in" and we measure the uterine lining.  It's a 10 - that's good.  Then she starts measuring my follicals.  She calls out "6" "7" "6.5".  I have no clue what that means because by this point, all that's been explained to me is that I'm going to get lots of ultrasounds.  She finishes and prints out the ultrasounds to take them to my doctor.

Within thirty seconds after I finish getting dressed she's back and the first words out of her mouth are along the lines of "your follicals are really small.  We might have to cancel this month's treatments. Let's schedule you back for an ultrasound on Friday."

After asking a few questions I finally get the information I needed to hear - I haven't ovulated yet.  In order to have a viable treatment (and have a trigger shot) my follicals need to measure to a 15.  Mine were at 6 & 7.  My follicals aren't growing fast enough.  I'm likely not to ovulate this month meaning only one thing.

No baby.

I smiled and asked what would happen next.  I'll just be doing the same thing next month only my chlomid treatment will increase.  Great - more crazy eyes from Kimmy.

No baby.

NO baby.

It's been 18 months.

no baby.

Sometimes I have this feeling - like something inside me is desperate to get out and inside my head feels so loud that I'm going to be swallowed whole.  And then there are moments when I feel my whole spirit has shrunk into the deepest walls of my heart and my limbs are empty, moving only due to 22 years of repeated motion.  As I sat in my car, trying to leave the hospital, I felt so small.  So empty.

no baby.

I thought I had prepared myself for this moment - the moment when I would find out the first cycle wouldn't work.  I knew it wouldn't work - and yet I still hoped.

I still hope.

But despite the hope, that knowledge - no baby - has consumed me today.  I tried to stay busy - I watched shows while working on mind-numbing tasks - but each moment I was caught off guard brought a new flood of tears.


While this is all sad, it is also good.

It is good because I know without a doubt in my mind that God loves me.  Each streaming tear was another cry to Him for peace and comfort and He gave it.

As Garrett and I have prayed together I ask briefly for the treatments to work.  I ask more that we will have peace and understanding.  I know that He has answered my prayers.

It's taking a lot of faith to go through this.  I'm not alone - I have a wonderful husband who is so kind and gentle and caring.  I also have family who prays for me and offers advice and comfort.  I have friends who are ready to drop everything to help me.  And I have a loving Heavenly Father, who knows why I am going though this and has a special plan for our lives.  I thought I knew how to trust Him - I was wrong.  I am relying more on Him every day as I pray for peace and understanding.  I am relying on Him to keep His promises to me. But, it sure is hard.

If I am going through this at such an early stage in my life, I can't help but wonder what kind of woman He sees in me.  She must be pretty strong because the trials won't end here.  I feel small now, but I can't wait to meet the woman God intends for me to day.