Sunday, February 28, 2010

Patience and Faith

At church today I listened to a very good talk.  The lady spoke about how we can rely on God for help with our burdens.  I especially liked the quotes she shared by Elder Maxwell about how patience and help have a unique relationship.

Here was one that I liked, "the Lord simultaneously tries the patience of his people even as he tries their faith (see Mosiah 23:21). One is not only to endure—but to endure well and gracefully those things which the Lord “seeth fit to inflict upon [us]” (Mosiah 3:19), just as did a group of ancient American Saints who were beating unusual burdens but who submitted “cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord” (Mosiah 24:15)."

This is a link to the whole talk: - Ensign Article - Patience

This evening I was still reflecting on that quote and wanted to read the whole talk.  The whole talk was so great.  Elder Maxwell was a master of the English language.  I just love reading his talks.  This was another quote I liked:
"Sometimes that which we are doing is correct enough but simply needs to be persisted in—patiently—not for a minute or a moment but sometimes for years. Paul speaks of the marathon of life and how we must “run with patience the race that is set before us” (Heb. 12:1). Paul did not select the hundred-yard dash for his analogy!"

This struck home.  As much as I wish this infertile race was a 100 yard dash.  It sure isn't.  I don't know how long I will have to run this infertile race, but for as long as it lasts, I  need to try to run it more patiently.  As I thought about how much I wished this race could be over I just how far sperm needed to travel to reach the egg.  It is clearly not 100 yards, so you would think they could reach their destination easily.  

According to wiki answers:
"The sperm have to travel about 10 cms only. But this is a difficult task for it to ovecome all the hurdles. Half of the sperm would be dead and remaining would be not able to travel properly.  The remaining sperm have to overcome the unfaconditions of the vagina. Even under the most favorable conditions, the sperm have a daunting distance to travel. Although only about 4 inches (10 cm) lie between the sperm and egg, the extreme itti-bittiness of the sperm make this distance a marathon. The sperm's whiplike tail, 10 times the length of its head, can propel it at about 3mm per hour."  

If my math is correct, that means it would take about 33 hrs for the sperm to reach the egg.  I guess they do have a long, tough road to travel as well.  I will try not judge them so harshly anymore. 

Here are some other quotes by Elder Maxwell that I liked: 

"There is also a dimension of patience which links it to a special reverence for life. Patience is a willingness, in a sense, to watch the unfolding purposes of God with a sense of wonder and awe—rather than pacing up and down within the cell of our circumstance.

Too much anxious opening of the oven door and the cake falls instead of rising! So it is with us. If we are always selfishly taking our temperature to see if we are happy, we won’t be.

When we are impatient, we are neither reverential nor reflective because we are too self-centered. Whereas faith and patience are companions, so are selfishness and impatience."
That is what I am doing right now--constantly, "opening the oven door" hoping to see a "little bun in the oven", and when I don't see one I am reminding myself that I am not happy about my current infertile situation.  No amount of thinking, "it's not fair", or being upset at God has helped me feel any better.  

I think it is a tricky balance.  Because you have to think about your current situation to figure out how to fix it, but you need to make sure it doesn't become all consuming or too depressing that you can't think straight.  
I have still been struggling with prayer, but this talk and a few others I have been listening to on my iPod lately have been helping.  This talk has helped to see the connection between patience and faith, and realize that I am in short supply of both.  
"Patience is tied very closely to faith in our Heavenly Father. Actually, when we are unduly impatient, we are suggesting that we know what is best—better than does God. Or, at least, we are asserting that our timetable is better than his. Either way we are questioning the reality of God’s omniscience, as if, as some seem to believe, God were on some sort of postdoctoral fellowship." Elder Maxwell
This was the "wake up call" I needed.  Who am I to think that I know more than God?  I realize how much more I need to learn and grow.  I hope to have more patience in this trial.  
I am grateful I was able to go to church today and receive this guidance and direction that I desperately needed.  Now to put it into practice--that's always the tricky part.  

Friday, February 26, 2010

Unicornuate Uterus (UU) + part of my infertility story

Me and My Uterus

(Warning:  this is a super long post!)

(that is a pic of me on the day of my surgery to remove the non communicating portion of my uterus.  I was so happy!  I could hardly wait for the surgery to start.  And it became the first of many photos of me in a blue hat.  I think since that day I have had a picture similar to this every year.)

There is such little information on the internet about unicornuate uteri that I feel an obligation to post some information about it.

I was diagnosed w/ UU about 3 yrs ago.  For years, since I was a teen every few months I would experience a debilitating pain to my left side.  As a teen, my mom asked are you constipated?  I said heck no!  (truth be told, I didn't even know what it meant to be constipated, so even if I was, I wasn't going to admit it)  I then looked constipation up in the dictionary and realized that I might be.  So then I would get harangued about my diet.  "You don't eat enough fiber" "exercise more" "are you lactose intolerant?"  No, no, no.  I ate the same food my family did and I exercised regularly.  So it didn't seem to make sense that I would have issues.  I would just suck it up and deal with the pain.  The thing was I never knew when it would hit.  I could feel dull crampyness or achyness for days and weeks and know that eventually I would be incapacitated in pain on the floor, but I didn't know when that moment would strike.  It seemed to sometimes coordinate with my periods, but not always.

Once the pain hit.  I would be unable to move for 1-2 days.  Then it would be over and I would be back to normal until the next time it felt like happening.

It was terrible.  And then for a few years I would be in so much pain and then until I threw up it wouldn't begin to improve.

I went to doctors.  I had scans.  Everyone always thought it was intestinal related.  I would try to tell them how it was sometimes related to my period as well.  I was told that was a "red herring".  I had a colonoscopy that showed irritation. So I started meds for IBS and got stuck with that diagnosis for awhile.  Then I got a premarital checkup from an OB.  I told him my medical/pain history, he did my 1st of many vaginal ultrasounds and he said I had a large fibroid.  So that started an additional diagnosis.  He almost did surgery to remove it (thank goodness he didn't).

The IBS meds never helped.  Like a good nurse I stopped taking them.  I moved to Texas, that pain continued, so I went to another gastroenterologist specialist.  As soon as I hopped in her chair she said, I want to do another colonoscopy.  I told her, no thanks, I had one done a year ago.  I left her office and never returned.

Then my hubby and I started trying to have kids.  No luck there.  After about 9 months of trying I went to a doctor and began my lovely life as an infertile.  Blood tests showed I wasn't ovulating.  So I got to have another vaginal ultrasound with an insanely full bladder and a not so lovely hysterosalphinogram (HSG)-- (for those fertiles out there--this is when dye is rammed up your cervix to see where it goes--not fun).  The radiologist (I wish I knew his name I would send him a thank you letter--finally someone competent in the medical field was taking care of me!), recommended to my doctor that I get an MRI to check my uterus out a little bit more.  And then the HSG test showed that no dye spilled into my left tube.

That was when I got my first "you'll be pregnant in no time" comment.  The nurse said, "A lot of people get pregnant after the HSG because it opens up their tubes nice and wide".

I got an MRI shortly after that.  Then my OB doctor called and recommended I see an infertility specialist.  And I have never heard from or seen my OB since.  I dream of the day I can walk back into his office.

My hubby and I went to the RE that my OB had recommended and he immediately told us that I had a unicornuate uterus w/ a non communicating rudimentary horn.  Hence the reoccurring pain on my left side.  I had found yet another smart doctor in Texas.

here is a picture of what mine probably looked like

It was such a strange word to hear.  I had a unicorn in my uterus?  I didn't know unicorns existed.  The RE also descibed it as "banana shaped".  So I had a unicorn eating a banana inside my uterus?  No wonder I couldn't get pregnant,  there was no room for a baby in there.

When a fetus is developing it develops from the outside in. And uterus starts as 2 pieces, but when it comes together it merges into a big normal uterus.  Mine did not come together.  So one side developed as much as it could, the other (left) side barely developed.  But it developed enough that it had some lining which would slough off with each period but then have no where to go.  This would cause intense pain, cramping, and general misery on my part.  It also made sense to me that this would cause irritation to my intestines that were right next to my uterus and foul up my digestive tract in the process.

Also if you have UU you may possibly only have one kidney or kidney issues because the kidneys develops at the same time as the uterus.  I did another test to check that, and I had both of mine.

So my RE referred me to a better surgeon than him and in a short 6 hr surgery it was removed.  And I have never had pain since.   He did a laprascopic surgery to remove my left rudimentary non communicating horn and he removed the left fallopian tube as well.  He said I had no endometriosis which was great news, but that I had a ton of scar tissue.    (this was a pic my hubby took of me after surgery.  I got some good drugs that day)

If only that was the end of the story.  With a UU I am at risk for preterm labor, incompetent cervix, breech delivery (hence C-section birth), and the baby could also have IUGR (intrauterine growth restriction).  And the kicker is with IVF I should really only put 1 embryo back, because there is no room in the inn.  Oh well.  I used to be real set on having a natural vaginal delivery, but after all this news, I threw those plans out the window.  I will just focus on trying to get pregnant.  How the baby comes out of is the least of my concerns.

But there is a silver lining to my story.  If I hadn't been infertile I never would've gotten these tests, and I could still be doubled over in pain every few months.

I am so glad I am not in pain anymore.  It was terrible.  I can remember most every spot that it happened, it was so excruciating--on dates, during vacations, at work, while teaching a class, while driving down the freeway.  Oh my, I am glad those days are behind me.

And I no longer have to hear people tell me how to improve my bowel function.  That in itself is great.

Sometimes I feel like writing a letter to all of my previous doctors so they know what to look for and to listen to their patients a little bit more.  We'll see if I ever do.

And that is the first chapter in the story of me and my uterus.

See what everyone else is posting at Mel's Show and Tell

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Measuring UP to Wonder Women

I was visiting with a friend today and we were talking about all of the talented ladies in our church.  Here is a list of their talents:

  • photography, graphic design on the computer, gardening, composting, canning, (I went to a composting and canning workshop last week--crazy I know, but really interesting), wood working, cooking, crocheting, & sewing to name just a few of their talents.  

They are wonder women.  And sometimes when we take each of their talents it is easy to feel like a nobody and that we don't measure up.  But I figure they need someone to go to their classes and workshops, so that is my talent--Supporting them and learning from them.  The other nice thing is that all of these ladies are so willing to share their talents.  I guess I can teach everyone to turn their socks into monkeys and strange creatures.

When I was little, Wonder Woman was popular and my sister and I would pretend play.  Unfortunately, since there was only one Wonder Woman, and I was the younger sister, I was always Wonder Woman's sister.  So I guess that is what I get to do now,  be all of these Wonder Women's sister.  I guess that's better than nothing.

I wonder, (ha ha ha, no pun intended), if Wonder Woman will let me borrow her red boots.  They are pretty sweet.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Muffin Top

I have officially declared war on my muffin top.  I am so sick of it.

I have been trying to get in shape since the new year, but like most resolutions my determination and resolve had waned.  Sometimes life just gets in the way of me getting out and exercising.  But no longer.  I am really going to try harder.  I started doing "spot reduction" more ab exercises as well.  So we'll see what happens.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Hi everyone from ICLW.  Thanks for stopping by my place yesterday.  Comments really are the "new hug".  I have also enjoyed getting out there and meeting all of you.  As much as I hate the fact that I'm infertile and wish I had lived in ignorant bliss of the pain of infertility, there are some bright spots on this journey.  And one of them is the IF community.  So thank you for making this journey more bearable.

Have a great day.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Olympic Questions

While "W" (my hubby) and I have been watching the Olympics we have had a few questions, maybe you can answer them for us.

  1. How do the bobsledders get into their onesies?  We think they use mayonnaise to slip into them.  Side note--I think onesies should really just be worn by babies.  I'm just saying.  
  2. Who is Bob Costas' plastic surgeon?  Do you think he will look the same in the next Olympics?  Or do you think he has discovered the fountain of youth?
That's all the questions I have for now, but I'm sure I will come up with some more.  

We lost internet access for 2.5 days.  It was terrible.  I am so glad to have the internet back up and running. I feel pathetic, and I realize that I am addicted to the internet, so thank goodness my withdrawals have come to a close.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Show & Tell: Sock Monkey Stanley

I love monkeys and for Christmas 2 yrs ago my hubby bought me a kit to make a sock monkey.  I am an very amateur sewer but I was very pleased with the results. 

Here are the various stages of Stanley's creation

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Taco Champions of the World

Today we had a good friend over for dinner and we were declared the "Taco Champions of the World".

Our friend, is so great.  He always asks my husband, "how is your beautiful wife?"  and when holidays are coming around he encourages my hubby to buy me a scented candle.  He is so fun.

Anyhow, whenever we have him over to dinner we compare our food vs his mom's.  And so far we are doing pretty good.  He has declared our BBQ chicken pizza to be better than his mom's.  (But we can never tell her).  She has us beat on the banana bread.  But, we have now added another winning food to the list.  Our corn tortilla tacos with spanish rice was a winner tonight.

Our friend these last few weeks has been sampling the cuisine of a few of our other friends in the neighborhood and so we asked him who the best cooks are.  He was smart, and wouldn't answer that question.  So we rephrased it:  What has been one of his favorite meals that he has eaten in his friends' homes.  And guess what he said?!  Our tacos!!  We were ecstatic.  Mr. R and I were cheering, and hooting and hollering!  It was great.

Then we broke into song.  R started playing "We are the Champions" on his guitar and we changed the words to "We are the taco champions of the world".  It was so fun.

You can see Mr. R playing the guitar, and our friend started playing the drums using the pitcher and serving utensils.  

What a great night.  Loved it. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ramblings: Work, Happiness, FYI tip for Infertiles

Whenever I have a really sucky day at work I tend to wish for what I don't have.  And guess what that would be?  A fertile life full of kids.  And I wish that I could fulfill my true dream in life to be a stereotypical Mormon housewife.  I should be driving a BMW (big Mormon wagon) and wiping the faces of my snotty nosed kids.  Ok, maybe it wasn't my dream to be stereotypical.  And I definitely had not planned on throwing 6 kids in the back of my van, but I did dream of being a hardworking, fun loving housewife and mom.  And as a Mormon, (not that this is exclusive to Mormons), but I grew up knowing that I wanted kids, and the importance and love of families was and still is emphasized.  So, sometimes it is hard to accept my lot in life and take the lumps and the bumps of infertility.  So no Mormon housewife here.  I got to put my nose to the grindstone today for 14 hrs straight with a very short 30 minute lunch.  Lucky me.

I left work feeling like I could spit nails I was so mad about the terrible day I had.  But it's over now and I enjoyed some pizza and rootbeer for dinner.  That is one of my favorite food combinations.  As I ate I watched more Olympics and listened to more stupid commentators.  I wonder if they ever replay their remarks.  I would recommend it.  At any rate they make for good laughs and certainly plenty of groans.

Ok, now on to a FYI tip for infertiles.  Eventually many of you will graduate to becoming pregnant and then having those beautiful babies.  Unfortunately I have found that many infertiles are not aware that they may have difficulty producing a good milk supply when breastfeeding.  This is due to the fact that you needed hormonal assistance to get pregnant and producing milk relies on hormones as well.  And sometimes our bodies just don't cooperate.  So, just do your homework and be open to the fact that you might not be able to produce enough milk to exclusively breastfeed because many people's hope ands expectations of doing this unfortunately can not be realized.

That's all for now.  I gotta watch the snowboarding half pipe competition.  Or as one commentator said, watch Shaun White's "red locks fly"  Ha Ha Ha.

Go for the Gold

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


 I was feeling a bit sad about my infertility and my childless family yesterday.  I didn't plan my day well and got stuck in cyperspace.  I think I am over Facebook.  I have been over it for awhile, but now I really am.  I am tired of looking at pictures of pregnant people on it.  The worst was yesterday when someone posted "look at my pregnant belly" along with 4 pics of her belly.

Oh well, whatever.

I decided to watch the Olympics for a bit hoping it would cheer me up.  I was not disappointed.  The women's XC skiing was in full swing.  And as I listened to the reporters I just started cracking up.

Reporter #1 talking about the Finnish skier, "She's losing time to [the Estonia skier] since the 5K mark"
Reporter #2 replied, "So what does that tell you?"
Reporter #1:  "She's slowing down."

I laughed out loud.  It was hilarious.  Sometimes these reporters are so ridiculous.

And sometimes they are so annoying.  I hate how they latch onto a story and won't let it stop.  I feel bad for Lindsey Jacobellis who just got DQ'd in snowboard cross.  They will never let her forget that she fell and lost her gold last Olympics, and now they will never let her forget that she got DQ'd today by going off course.  They focus on the one unfortunate aspect of your life and they never let up.

I wonder if we do that to each other sometimes.  We so easily remember each other's mistakes and weaknesses and refuse to look past them.  Anyhow, that's my deep thought for today.

But I do love watching the Olympics.  The ice skating, speedskating, snowboarding, skiing, and all of the inspiring stories of the athletes.

My hubby and I love to pretend we are the commentators and say silly things like: gorgeous spin, beautiful lines, that's gonna be a deduction, etc.  The Olympic Spirit is alive and well in our home.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy Lupercalia Day

Time to get your toga on and get out there.

Feb 15th is an Ancient Greek holiday called Lupercalia.  I learned about this holiday from this blogger. You never know when some men will show up to whip that infertility out of you.  Wikipedia says (so it must be true), "Girls and young women would line up on their route to receive lashes from these whips. This was supposed to ensure fertility, prevent sterility in women and ease the pains of childbirth."  You never know when some men will show up to whip that infertility out of you.  

Between Valentine's Day and Lupercalia Day all of us infertiles should be in good shape.

Maybe I will sing: 
Even though the sound of it is something quite atrocious, 
If you say it loud enough you'll always sound precocious, 

Thank goodness my neighbors don't know about this option for me or else they just might show up at my house with a whip in hand.  

Uh oh, I think the doorbell just rang.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I married a ham sandwich

Sometimes I really think I married 2 pieces of white bread w/ some ham and cheese in between.  My hubby can be so ridiculously funny sometimes.

We had a ton of snow the other day and now it's all melting.  Yesterday we were going to a church function and we were driving 2 other ladies to it.  On the way my hubby said, "have you guys seen the waterfall?"  We replied, "no",  and so he began to talk about how beautiful it was, etc.  Then as we were driving through a portion of the street that is under construction he said, "Look, there it is".

And, what a site it was.  In the middle of the street there really was a waterfall.  A beautiful 6 inches high waterfall was churning brown melted snow.  I wish I had brought a picnic lunch so we could spend the whole afternoon there.

It was hilarious.  The other ladies and I had a good laugh about it.  And of course, we had to pass by it again on the way home because I think this may quickly become one of the 7 natural wonders of our city.  And my ridiculous ham sandwich will be credited with discovering it.  I am so proud of him.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Snow Much Fun

It's a winter wonderland out there.  
Record Snow fall: 12.5 inches of snow!  
Gotta get out there and have some fun.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Beautiful Blogger Award Ceremony

First off I would like to thank Rebecca at: for giving me this lovely award.  She welcomed me with open arms into this group and I am happy to call her my first friend inside the computer.  She went through IVF and had 2 beautiful embryos transferred.  She is now waiting and wishing for more good news in the upcoming days.

7 things you don't know about me:

1. I can't sing to save my life.  Can't carry a tune.  My husband can attest to that, and loves to torment me by encouraging me to sing so he can laugh at me
2. I like to sew.  I sewed a sock monkey last year and named him Stanley.  He is a great addition to the family.
3. I don't have any pets.
4. I had the chicken pox 3x as a child.  I constantly had that pink anti itching cream--calomine lotion--all over me that once my brothers convinced me to pour some on my pancakes and eat it.  It was gross.  I wouldn't recommend it.  It was definitely only meant to be used topically.
5. I want to go skydiving this year.
6. I love to read.  I recently read the Hunger Games--it is really good.
7. I live in Texas.  And we had 6 inches of snow today.  Crazy.

Now, 7 blogs that I would like to spotlight and give an award to are:

Winner of the award are supposed to tell 7 things we don't know about you, nominate 7 new blogs and send a link to them so they know they won the award. Make a copy of this award and link it to your site.

So congratulations ladies, hope you can find a spot in your trophy case for this award.

1.  Mel, the stirrup queen and her ability to organize these blogs and also her desire to help the ALI community is just amazing.  I am in awe of her.  She organizes LFCA, a weekly show and tell, Creme de la Creme, raises twins, writes a book, and probably half a million other things.   She does so much and I just wanted to thank her for that.

2. newwife at is always leaving such encouraging comments for me.

3. I like Suzy's profile picture.  That is how I would describe her blog.  Fun, cute, and cheerful.

4.   She just had a baby.  Congrats.  I like the funny pictures she puts up.  She had one of a life size pregnancy test.  It was hilarious.

5.  Eve is going through a tough time.  She is pregnant, but recently lost one of her babies.  Her words describing her pain are so touching and describe so well how difficult it would be to miscarry.

6.  shared a funny joke w/ me and has become my friend.

7.  You may have heard of the book: Silent Sorority written by Pamela Mahoney Tsigdinos who wrote this blog.  I have enjoyed reading many of her posts.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The 2 seater

Thank you for all of your comments.  It is so nice to know that you guys know what I am going through and I have someone to laugh and groan about all this with.

I seriously laughed about that 2 seater car comment all day.  I think I'll go test drive some 2 seater cars this weekend.  I can see it now, me and my hubby cruising on a romantic drive, and then as we turn the corner and look at the beautiful scenery,  all of a sudden I'll be pregnant.  What was I thinking spending all the money on infertility when I could've gotten a baby and a sweet ride all at the same time.  I will have to go thank my neighbor for sharing this advice with us.  Where was he 4 yrs ago?

Anyhow,  You guys are great!  Hope you all have a great day tomorrow.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Blanket Drive and Infertility Conversation Stopper

Ok, so a few weeks ago a friend of mine started a blanket/coat drive for some homeless downtown that sleep on the street and won't go in the shelter.  So my hubby and I decided to that we hadn't talked to our neighbors in quite some time and would like to be more social with them.  So we decided to have some treats and invite them to participate in the drive.  (I am not a big party planner person--I think this is actually the first get together with a bunch of people I have ever organized.  I am not very confident in my hosting skills)  But it went well.  I had made a Texas sheet cake and some sugar cookies and they were very tasty.  People came, it was fun to catch up and people seemed genuinely happy that we had asked them to donate their coats and blankets.

And then it happened.  One guy asked another couple that recently moved in on our cul-de-sac, "do you have kids?"  They responded "yes, and their ages are blah blah blah."  Then the guy asked us,  (we have lived in our home for 5 yrs) "Hey when are you guys having kids?"  Just because he has a mouth, does that mean he has to use it to ask that question?  Obviously we don't have any now.  And we will have them when we have them.  So I tried to side step the question.  I said things like, "don't know, maybe there are some in the dishwasher there, wanna take a look."  Then my hubby, my sweet, dear, I love him, husband, said, "We want kids, but we're infertile."

Yeah.  Thanks.  I was mortified.  And then I got to hear all the lovely suggestions as to how to obtain a lovely child, since they were obviously experts having obtained some.  Here they were again as a refresher for all of us.  Maybe we should try some of them.  Uh, thanks, but no thanks.

  1. Buy a 2 seater car (that was actually a new one for me)
  2. Adopt a kid.  Followed by several people chiming in that they knew several people that that had happened to before--who had adopted only to then become pregnant.
  3. Buy something really expensive
  4. Buy a cute outfit, and then you'll be bummed that you can't fit into it.  
  5. Followed by some 30 yr old saying, "yeah, I think my elementary school teacher had that problem"
Oh it was terrible.  

I think guys just view this infertility thing differently.  It is not as emotional maybe for them.  I don't know. I know it's hard for my hubby too.  But he just deals with it differently.  I really don't have too much of a problem talking about it, but I didn't expect it to just be presented out in the open like that to our neighbors.  I am more of a one on one person, and actually quite private.  I guess not anymore now that I have a blog.

Deep breath.

I kept it together, the party broke up shortly after that.  
We got a lot of blankets and coats which was very nice and generous of my neighbors.  And they are all very nice people.  Unaware of the plight of infertile people, but very nice people nonetheless.  

Then we went to over to my friend who had spearheaded this project and had a great time talking with her.  She is so funny and that was enjoyable.  So all in all, a good day.  Ended on a good note. It was memorable, that's for sure.  

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Limbo Land

I am in Limbo land right now.  I am trying to take a break from thinking about my infertile life, but how can I?  It's like trying to avoid my own shadow.  There is no escaping the fact that I am infertile.  My husband and I agreed to take a break from thinking about it until January.  And that helped until January came.  Maybe for my peace of mind I should've said January of 2012 (that's when the world is supposed to end anyway, right?).

The thought of another round of IVF scares me to death.  I don't think I can handle the hormones and the emotions associated with it.  The thought of doing anything, pursuing adoption or becoming child free scares me to death.  The thought of doing nothing and not thinking about it depresses me.  It's not easy to do nothing.  I'm not getting any younger.  If I want to have a family I need to get going on this.  So then I think, why do I even want kids?  Should I decide to be child free?  Why can't I be one of those people that always wanted to be childfree?  It would've worked out perfectly--being ignorantly infertile.  I can just imagine freaking out that I might be pregnant when I missed a birth control pill, and then being so relieved when I wasn't. Wouldn't that be strange?

What to do, what to do?

Maybe I need to take more time to heal.  I thought I had, but it is quickly becoming evident that maybe I need more time.  Maybe I ripped the bandage off too soon.  I once heard the phrase that "faith has a short shelf life", so therefore we need to always keep replenishing our storage.  I think I had a lot built up, but then IVF, wiped it all out.  Just like an emergency disaster would wipe out my all of my emergency food I had stockpiled.  Maybe right now I need to focus on restocking my supply of faith and courage to even be able to make a decision.  Because even if I built up enough reserve to make a decision, would I have enough to even pursue the course?  I really doubt it.  I am having an especially hard time with prayer in relation to infertility.

I was enjoying remembering what I was like pre-infertility, pre-hopped up on hormones.  It was kind of nice.  I missed that person.  I had forgotten what she was like.  Maybe she needs to get a little more attention for awhile.

I liked one thing that a lady at church said today about being grateful.  She said, "I count the things I have, not the things I don't have"  So, in order to end on a good note, I will do just that:
  1. wonderful husband
  2. good job
  3. good friends and family
  4. a warm and beautiful home
  5. a Father in Heaven who loves me.  I know He loves me, I really do.  If I can just remember that, everything will be alright. 
On that note I will go to bed and hopefully slip into sleep.
Good night.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Found Some Joy

I was still a bit sad and mopey in the morning and my plans for this afternoon had fallen through.  Then I remembered that there was also a baby shower going on today.  Which made me a little sad again.   I currently know 7 people that are pregnant right now and I've been able to be happy for them, but not so much today.  Two days ago I had the best time shopping for all of their baby shower presents and thought I had been cured.  I found a sweet 75% sale rack with the cutest clothes and went to town.  But today infertilitis struck again and I felt sick to my stomach with the thought of walking past a row of bellies.

I wanted to go to the shower because I wanted to be able to do a hard thing and find joy.  I didn't want to be a "sour grapes" person.  It's not their fault I'm infertile.  Even though nobody was expecting me to be there, I knew I could now go, and I felt that I really should.  My husband encouraged me to go.  He said, "get out there and find joy now.  Isn't that what you're blogging about?"  He is really ridiculous sometimes, aggravating, but ridiculous nonetheless.  So I went, and am happy to report that I did "find joy now".

The first 5 minutes was the hardest.  I walked in and almost walked right back out.  I felt like I stuck out like a sore thumb.  The Sesame Street song, "one of these things is not like the other" came to mind.  The infertile one had arrived.  But I forced myself to mosey on over to the food table.  Then I side stepped the ladies that were talking to one of the 4 other pregnant ladies there about the highs and lows of maternity clothes and thankfully found a friend to talk to.  Then everything was good.  I talked to a few friends, had a few laughs and enjoyed myself.  I was proud of myself for going and getting through it.  Now it will be left to be seen if I ever attempt that feat again.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Trying to take my own advice

My day had it's ups and downs.

Work was crazy busy.  Exhausting, funny, and disturbing all at the same time.

Just let me ask a few things of any of you that end up getting pregnant and having your babies in the hospital.  Please remember that you are in a hospital, not a hotel!  Please remember that nurses and techs and a whole host of other people are marching in and out of your room.  And while nurses have seen everything, that doesn't mean we want to.  We don't want to see you snuggling in the little hospital bed.  And while we are already in your room, we certainly don't want to see out of our peripheral vision the dad walk out of your bathroom in just his undies and calmly proceed to put his pants on--he should run right back into the bathroom until we leave.  Yikes!  TMI you say?  yeah well, I thought it was a bit TMTS (too much to see)

Came home, ate some award winning chili and then vegged out watching a bit of America's Funniest Home Videos.  That never gets old.  People do the funniest things.  We had some good laughs watching that.

Then my hubby and I took a little time to read the Bible together tonight.   We happened to read in Luke 18: 1-8.  I used to love this parable about praying always and not fainting.  The parable talks about a judge in the city who got tired of a widow who kept asking him to avenge her adversary.  In the end he granted her request just to make her  go away and stop bothering him.  I had read these scriptures during my infertility treatments and figured I could also "weary the Lord" until He granted me the desires of my heart simply because He was tired of my pestering Him with this request.  Sometimes the scriptures make it sound so simple:  "ask and ye shall receive, knock and it shall be granted unto you".  Reading these scriptures tonight brought me back to that time when I tried to weary the Lord with my request for a child, but came up empty handed.  As I remembered this, my faith faltered and I felt sad.  My husband, tried to remind me that we don't know God's timing.  This is true, but still hard to accept sometimes.

My husband has been practicing the blues on his guitar, so of course he proceeded to play some to try to cheer me up.  He sang an Eric Clapton song about being confused and angry.  I told him, that wasn't really helping.  So he switched to another song.  One thing I love about when he plays is that he likes to change the words of the songs.  He started playing the John Maier song "Waiting on the world to change".  Then he added lyrics about things that happened this the week such as, "waiting for the carpets to be cleaned" and I don't remember what else.  But it was funny and did the trick.

I know everything will work out, it always does.  It's just hard to remember that sometimes.  In the meantime I'll just try to make the best of it.  A phrase that sometimes helps me just came to mind--I can do hard things.  I'm pretty sure infertility qualifies as a "hard thing".  If that's the case, then I can get through this.  At least I hope so.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

My journey

(sorry for the huge space above--i can't get it to go away)

I have been reflecting of late on what it was that helped me "turn the page" so to speak and become able to find joy and happiness in the deep abyss of infertility.  I think it was a combination of a lot of things, but a few things in particular stand out.

1. My husband.  He is truly one of a kind.  He is kind, patient, and so funny.  He is a true optimist.  Not much fazes him.  And while this could be aggravating at times when I just wanted to be so sad and keep crying my big hormonal crocodile tears, I always knew he would hold me for as long as it took and he would find some way to help me smile.  At times I relied on him so much.  I’m sure he can attest to that.  He took the brunt of my hormones and lived to tell the tale.  But he was with me every step of the way.  We had some really fun times in doctor’s waiting rooms.   Sure, there were some sucky times too, which is why I am steering clear of stirrups for the moment and not sure if I ever want my foot to touch one again.  I can just imagine if I ever go to a normal doctor and she asks, “When was your last pap smear?” I’ll reply, oh about 20 yrs ago.  She’ll ask why, and I’ll simply say, “I have a stirrupaphobia.”  (fear of stirrups—not yet listed as an actual phobia for some strange reason.  What is wrong with us, my infertile friends?  Am I the only one with stirrupaphobia?)  And then she will calmly write in her chart that I refused the pap smear and after I leave, her staff will talk and laugh their heads off about how crazy their last patient was.   So, my husband’s humor and love helped me continue to try to find the joy.  I realized that I’d rather laugh than cry about all of this craziness.  And as a result, I do look back on my experience thus far with some happiness.  

2. Humor.  I love The Far Side cartoons.  And in the beginning stages of my infertility journey I came across 2 of my now favorite cartoons.  They still hang on the wall of my craft room to bring a smile to my face when needed.  Due to Far Side's copyright laws, I can't post the cartoons.  But I will try to describe them.  The first one shows some devil in hell working people to the bone.  You can see the fire and brimstone and everyone is sweaty and glum faced.  Then here comes a guy whistling away as he is carting rocks in his wheelbarrow.  One of the devil says to the other devil:  "You know, we're just not reaching that guy."  I decided I could be that guy.  I wouldn't let the adversary and everything going on get me down.  I would just whistle away down here in infertility hell.  

The second one is awesome too.  Two chickens are chatting in their house and one of the chickens is at the fridge.  The door is open and filled with at least 4 dozen of her friend's eggs.  So the chicken tells her friend: "Well, here's your problem Marge--if you and Bob really want kids, next time try sittin' on these little guys."  I thought it was hilarious.  And the other great coincidence was that this cartoon was on my far side calendar and the day it fell on was on Rob and mine's wedding anniversary.  :)  Humor has became my secret weapon at combating the sadness of infertility. 

3.  And then I would have to say that my religion and belief system helped me.  I can still recall 3 key talks/quotes that helped me remember to view things in a different perspective. 

I have always liked this quote that President Hinckley ( a leader in my church) shared in a talk: 

"Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around and shouting that he has been robbed. The fact of the matter is that most putts don't drop, most beef is tough, most children grow up to be just people, most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration, most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. Life is like an old time rail journey...delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride."  

“Come what may and love it” by Elder Wirthlin is another one of my favorite talks.  Every 6 months the leadership of my church speak to the church via satellite.  The talks are then put online to read or listen to again.  So I enjoy listening to these talks on my way to work and stuff.  Rob and I listened to this talk on the way to one of our infertility appointments and we were laughing so hard.  In this talk he teaches that The way we react to adversity can be a major factor in how happy and successful we can be in life"  Here is the link if you want to read it

The other talk that really touched me during my first IVF cycle was: Happiness—Your Heritage.  In this talk Elder Uchtdorf inspired me to keep trying and realize that while I couldn’t create a child, I could create happiness in my life.  And because we are children of God, we inherited certain characteristics from Him that will help us be happy.

4.  And then the last time we did IVF in Oct, 2009 it was really hard.  It took all of my courage just to try again.  We were thrilled when we were told that we had a positive pregnancy test, but the joy quickly turned to pain when my HSG levels didn’t rise well, and then dropped.  Oh how I cried.  I was devastated.  I also felt pain, depression, demoralization, anguish, sadness, and anger.  I had assumed I could handle a negative IVF cycle, after all, I had done it before.  But I hadn't counted on this scenario -- feeling the elation of success, only to come crashing down to earth.  As I tried to pick up the pieces of my shattered dream a lightbulb went on inside my head.  With determination I told myself: Forget it! I am just going to enjoy life from now on.  I have been waiting and constantly putting my life on hold and thinking in terms of “nine months from now”.   I cannot rely on having a baby to bring me happiness.   And that helped me get through the holidays and completely weaned off my hormones so I could think straight and come up with my plan to find joy now.  

 I realized I couldn’t  wait any longer.  When I start to feel down I try to remember inspiring words, find something to laugh at, or try to create something.   And then I feel as though I truly can succeed on my quest to find joy now.   

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Life is good

I was driving to work this morning.  And I was just thinking to myself.  Life is good.  I feel full of joy.  And then I started to get nervous that something would happen to drag me down.  I imagined myself as a cartoon character  thinking everything's great only to have a piano crash on my head and send me six feet under with stars and birdies flying all around me.  But the day continued and I made it with out any catastrophe.

Here were some of the highlights:

  • My period started.  I am probably the only infertile person happy about that.  Well maybe I'm not happy or thrilled, but I am at peace about it.  And that's a big step for me.  It's late, so I will write more on that later.  But finally my period is not late and I am not left hoping to not get my hopes up, thinking that maybe this time I'm pregnant, only to finally start to hope that maybe this time the miracle of all miracles has happened, only to have my hopes dashed.  It simple started today, it didn't phase me, and life continued on. 
  • I had some good laughs with my friends at work today and I was able to help them manage some of the craziness of the day.  
  • I have a few friends inside the computer.
  • I did something special for my husband.  (just left him a thank you card for him to find when he got home from work--nothing big, just a little something to let him know I was thinking of him.   And I just felt good about doing that) This last week, someone told me that a great way to enhance your marriage is to do "something special" for your husband each day.  And as I have tried to do that I have really felt an even greater love for him.  It just helps keep things from getting stagnant of mundane.  
  • I heard some inspiring stories about people and organizations that are reaching out to the people in Haiti.
And now I am going to bed and thinking to myself.  Life is good and  I feel full of joy.  I am so grateful to God right now for this moment. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Facebook friends

bring me joy, especially when one of them is my brother.  He is so funny and makes me feel good about who I am.  I was starting to get mad at him because he hadn't answered my friend request.  If he didn't want to be my friend, then fine, be that way.  But tonight I was going to let him know how I felt about him snubbing me.  What aspects of his life was he trying to keep from me?  Anyhow, I am now his friend.  If only he knew how close he came to being blocked from my facebook list.  So there!  He is a lucky guy.  And now I will be able to track his every move.  He became my 109th facebook friend and I am feeling very loved right now.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Please don't freeze my face

Infertility injections brought some stressful as well as light-hearted moments. I had my husband give me my progesterone intramuscular (IM) injections in my butt. I just didn’t feel like trying to reach around, and the needle is just so big, and I was just pretty tired of giving myself injections. So this became his job. He is a queasy guy though. And hates needles. He would squirming in pain and contorting his face thinking he was getting hurt when he went with me to some of my initial RE (reproductive endocrinolgist) visits. It was ridiculous. But he decided to man up and do it for me. I was very proud of him for doing that for me. But it was a little scary for both of us. Thank goodness I had the EMLA cream to numb the area because I was always a little tense.

There were many funny phrases he said during this time. Some that I recall and am willing to write down for the world to read are: drop your drawers and I hope I don’t freeze your face--(yeah, me too buddy).

With me being a nurse, my hubby has learned a few nursing facts along the way. But the funny thing is that you never know quite what he will remember, and when he does it is hilarious. There is a large sciatic nerve that runs from the butt down the leg and in nursing school we were always reminded to not hit the sciatic nerve or else it could cause some serious pain and rare, but possible paralysis—but not of your face. Face, leg, same difference, right? To my husband, yes. So having him give me an injection in that same area so close to my sciatic nerve was a frightening experience for both of us.

Thankfully, the torture of getting nightly injections ended, thankfully the hormones eventually wore off, and thankfully my face never froze.