Monday, November 24, 2008

Early Thanksgiving

My friend Rebekah and her husband were told that because of their PCOS and MFI, they would never have their own children without medical intervention.

I've always struggled with this. Of all the people to be given this burden, why her? I've never really questioned my own battle with infertility, but I have always questioned hers. She is one of the most faithful, spiritual women I've ever known. She was a fellow church member and our family babysitter, possessing a talent and gift for working with children that I will always envy. She was always a natural born mother, yet unable to produce her own children to love and nourish. I know that questioning God is never a good idea, but I often wondered why He chose her to fight this battle.

Seven years and two adopted children later, Rebekah is now miraculously, wonderfully, thankfully...pregnant.

Rebekah has been one of my most faithful inspirations during my battle with infertility, always there to offer up support, prayers, and encouragement. A constant reminder that God has a plan for us bigger than we could ever imagine, and He'll always carry us through the mentally and physically painful battle of infertility. This is a miracle, but it's no accident. God heard her prayers all these years, and because of her faithfulness, strength in Him, and His plan for her life, granted her this blessing that only He could provide. We serve an amazing, powerful, merciful God, and Rebekah's life-and this baby-are both testaments of what our God can do.

I don't have all the answers, and it's not my place to assume, but I now have my own theory as to why she'd been given this struggle. First of all she's strong, and God only gives us what we can handle. Because of this, she's been tried and tested, gaining life experience that she was then able to share with me. Second of all, without infertility her two precious adopted babies Ben and Hannah wouldn't be with her. And lastly, Rebekah, because of your struggle, mine has been made easier. Because of your victory, I've been given more hope than you'll ever know.

You-and this baby-are my early Thanksgiving.

"Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough."
-Oprah Winfrey

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Last Year

About this time last year I was throwing my little sister her first baby shower. I remember being so incredibly happy for her, but a little saddened by the fact that I still wasn't pregnant, especially since her shower was full of pregnant bellies mocking me the entire time.

Fast forward a year later; to my sisters second surprise baby shower hosted again by yours truly and our mother. And inevitably, 32% of the guest list is sporting way cute rounded tummies.

But this year there are two big differences. The first one:

63% of the guest list were also new mommies, and most of them brought their bundles of joy with them, making it look more like a daycare center than a baby shower! And if you can get past these unflattering pictures of me looking like a blue blob and not sitting like a lady, you'll see the second difference:

I loved every minute of it.

I'm not implying that I didn't have a good time last year, because I did. But I think I was stuck in the beginning stages of denial, refusing to believe that I could actually be infertile. At the time we'd been trying for just under a year, and I was determined to get pregnant before that defining one year mark. And let me tell you; ignorance is not bliss. At least it wasn't for me. Watching all of the pregnant bellies at the shower last year was-at times-absolute torture. I felt completely left out of conversations about pregnancy symptoms, crazy cravings, nursery decor, and labor classes.

So what's changed between last year and this years baby shower? I don't really know. You'd think I'd have had an even harder time this year, but that just wasn't the case. Not only were there the ever-present pregnant bellies, but also an army of new babies as the result of last years pregnant bellies. And instead of pushing the one year mark, I'm now looking at almost 2 years of unproductive baby making, with two failed IUI's under my belt instead of a growing belly. And of course instead of holding my own baby in my arms, I'm holding everyone elses.

Yet I'm still happier than I've ever been. Even before infertility.

Maybe I'm just over it. Not over wanting a baby of course, but over the poor-me aspect of it all. Maybe it's the lack of fear of being considered "infertile" after hitting the one year mark since I'm about to lap it, just like my sister is about to lap me with baby numero dose.

Either way, I'm counting my blessings. I'm happy, healthy, been given more than I deserve and have the most amazing family and friends ever. I have a brand new nephew on the way, and I'm going to be an Auntie all over again. And although being a mommy is still at the top of my to-do list, I'm done wasting time worrying about what could have been/should have been.

I'd rather focus on what will be.

"This day is all that is good and fair. It is too dear, with its hopes and invitations, to waste a moment on the yesterdays."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Left Behind

Today I arrived at work and started my morning ritual, logging into my blog to check my blog list. And suddenly I felt left behind.

Over the last few weeks I've watched my I'm Not Alone list dwindle down, and my Proof It Can Be Done list grow steadily. I've been struggling to find new blogs to re-fill my rapidly shrinking section, but it seems like every time I add one, I loose another. Then today, as I switched over some new mommy's to the other side, one of the blogs that I've read since we started TTC called Maybe Baby caught my eye. As I opened up Jill's blog to read her latest post, I teared up reading her birth story and looking at the pictures of her precious new baby girl Ava...and then it hit me. A year and a half ago I started reading 3 blogs that I fell in love with about these girls struggling with infertility. Out of those 3 original blogs, Jill has had her baby, Rachel is due next week, and Bev has just under 8 weeks to go. And suddenly I panicked, realizing that after all this time I haven't even had a pregnancy and they're all delivering theirs.

And then I realize something else. None of these girls have had an easy road. It's not like they were only on my blog list for a few months before they moved onto my success list; each of them had already spent 2 to 3 years TTC before they ever achieved a pregnancy. Jill struggled with PCOS, Rachel with MFI, and Bev with Unexplained Infertility before God finally blessed them with their miracles through IUI & IVF. They felt the same pain that I feel. They moved girls down the line on their own blog lists, wondering when it would be their turn to move to the Proof It Can Be Done list.

So here I am today, just a few months short of two years of TTC, still feeling left behind. And I'm pretty sure it's only natural that I'll continue to feel left behind as I move blogs on down the line. But luckily I'll be OK, knowing that even though today leaves me feeling left behind, tomorrow holds hope of a better day to come. Someday, I won't feel left behind. Someday, I plan on becoming my own success story, and I'll move forward on someone else's blog list.


"There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful as expectation of something better tomorrow."
-Orison Swett Marden

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Mirror Mirror On The Wall

Will I be pregnant by next fall?

I finally had the phone consult with Dr. Green. I'm still trying to decide how I feel about it. After checking out all of our medical records, everything looked good to him except our SA's (sperm analysis). Apparently the criteria the lab has been using is from 1992, and it's not a complete analysis anyway. Both of those, mixed with low post-was counts point toward a problem...and it's not with me. The majority of the conversation was spent talking about IVF being our best option because of possible MFI (male factor infertility). I listened to the facts, and I tried to have an open mind, but I couldn't help thinking "don't you need to thouraly test us before you give us the IVF speach?"

Of course in order to prove his suspicions our next step would be to to visit a specialist and get ourselves a proper SA. And I'm trying to keep in mind that Dr. Green is just doing his job and giving us the facts, but we don't want to be pushed into something as drastic as IVF without getting fully tested-in person-before we proceed with anything. He did give us a few reasons why we would be wasting our money to continue with IUI's though:

  • We have yet to work with anyone that specializes in infertility. So although they know the basic information, they may not be up to date on thier research or procedures.
  • An IUI should not be done with less than 5 million sperm. Our highest count was 2 million.
  • Even with a good egg turn out and good sperm, each IUI only has a 15% success rate. I only produced one egg each time, and our count was low.
  • With my single eggs, and our post-wash counts, we've been looking at a 4% success rate each cycle. So it's possible, but not probable for an IUI to work for us.

Would we ever do IVF? Probably not. Is our sperm inadequate and the reason we aren't pregnant after almost two years? Possibly. If that's our only problem, can vitamins alone improve our count enough to get pregnant on our own? Maybe. Will we be pregnant by next fall? I hope so.

"Forget about all the reasons why something may not work. You only need to find one good reason why it will."
-Dr. Robert Anthony