Tuesday, April 28, 2009

60 Days Of Abstinence

It's kind of ridiculous how much of our liquid IVF requires.

This morning I dropped off my husbands latest donation-this time for his urea plasma-giving the lab the final round of liquid necessary to complete our pre-IVF testing. I walked into the lab awkwardly displaying the partially filled plastic cup between my hands while trying to keep the sample warm.

Of course when I got there, I couldn't just do a quick drop-and-go. I had to sit in the waiting room clenching the cup between my thighs to keep it warm until they called my name. And when they did, I gathered my specimen and walked it up to the counter, casually setting it down in front of the phlebotomist while pretending like I wasn't really embarrassed to be toting around my husbands business. Then I sat there awkwardly with it between the two of us as I filled out yet another piece of paperwork, wondering if our previously warm sperm was dying on the cold Formica counter top.

Luckily it was just a one pager this time-mostly asking about time of retrieval, traveling temperature and length of abstinence-so I was out the door and back to work in relatively no time. But before I could fully enjoy the fact that my husband and I will finally be able to keep our blood, urine and sperm to ourselves for a while, I received a phone call from the lab.

I marked our latest abstinence period before this sample to be a length of 60 days on that darn paperwork.

What I meant to say was 60 hours.

So since I had obviously incorrectly marked the paperwork, the lab had to call and double check the information. I suppose it would be pretty crazy for them not to find something wrong with a patient that was trying to conceive yet remained abstinent for two full months. Hhhmm...Maybe we should give having relations more often a try before we jump into something as serious as IVF?

Hmph. If only it were that easy!

"Through humor, you can soften some of the worst blows that life delivers. And once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be, you can survive it."
-Bill Cosby

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Who Does This?

Yesterday after work I ventured into Costco to pick up the prescriptions my nurse coordinator had called in for me. As I made my way up the the counter and gave the pharmacist my last name, she brought me my goodies:

A pack of birth control and some overpriced prenatal vitamins.

The pharmacist must have thought I was so confused; not sure if I was happily pregnant or desperately trying to avoid a pregnancy. Because who purchases pregnancy prevention birth control yet fills her prescription of crazy-strong prenatal vitamins at the same time?

Oh, that's right...I do.

I know it's normal for Doctors to put you on birth control for at least a month before IVF. Apparently the birth control suppresses your hormones and sort of cleans you out, preventing or eliminating any cysts you may have. By the time you start your IVF cycle and you stop the birth control, your hormones and your womanly organs are raging and ready for peak performance. Makes sense, I get it.

But it's still a little weird.

At that point I felt like I just had to explain myself to the lady, so I scooted forward, violating her personal space to let her know in a quite voice that I was preparing for a July IVF cycle in hopes that she would then understand the method to my madness. But instead of a head nod of understanding, she simply looked sympathetically at me. I don't think she got it, I may have just made things worse. But then again, maybe I'm not giving her enough credit and she did get it.

Because despite the sweet comments from an elderly couple behind me in line about how well dressed and lovely I looked in my sundress and heals, when I got home that night I realized I had a massive hole under my arm in the left side of my dress; leaving the distinct possibility that the pharmacist had spotted the distracting hole earlier and didn't quite know what to think of me; hence the strange looks and lack of communication.

Sigh* The things I'm enduring for my unborn children...

“I like someone who is a little crazy but coming from a good place."
-Angelina Jolie

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

As we celebrate the day that Jesus rose from the grave, I'm reminded that God sent His one and only son to die on the cross for our sins. Because of this, all we have to do is believe in Him and we are guaranteed an eternal home in Heaven, and an undying hope and peace that separates us from the rest of the world.

God loved us so much that He gave us the ultimate sacrifice; His own son. What an amazing and unconditional act of love!

We celebrate Easter today because Jesus didn't stay in the grave. Three days later He arose, overcoming death and the grave to give us hope and a chance to have eternal life if we just believe that He died for our sins and accept His free gift.

Because God gave His only son, He has grieved a child. He truly understands what we are going through whether we are struggling with trying to conceive, loose a child through miscarriage, or simply have to make a sacrifice. Because we are His children, and He loves us more than anything.

That's why He sent His son to die for us; and that's why I celebrate Easter.

"Easter says you can put truth in a grave, but it won't stay there."
-Clarence W. Hall

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Another Milestone

It's been a full year since the day I started this blog. I can see it now, in all it's dark blue and polka dotted background glory. I hadn't even come up with a final blog name yet, Just Tab. I was so nervous and excited to venture out into the blogging world; full of hope that positive vent-blogging would suddenly make me fertile.

After a few months had passed and I remained faithfully infertile, I chose to rename my blog Think (+) Positive to remind myself of the necessity to always see the good in my situation, and to use it to help others. I still had faith that one day I'd see that (+) on a pregnancy test, and had a plan to get there that included a round or two of clomid, possibly an IUI.

And here I am, one year, two IUI's, and one male factor infertility diagnosis later. I'm still Thinking (+) Positive, and am proud to say I've accomplished more than just an upgraded background; I've met new friends, amazing ladies who have shown me unconditional support though they've never met me in person. I've learned more about me, more about how my plans usually turn out. More about my limits, my fears, my personal struggles. I'm not as naive as I was back then, and this year has really opened my eyes.

I used to think that infertility had stolen things from me. My innocence of pregnancy. My ability to be truly happy for others around me that are pregnant. In some ways it's made me more compassionate towards others who are struggling, but it's also added a bit of bitterness into my heart, a jealousy and envy that I don't think was really there before. Sure, I'm stronger; but I'm also a little bit harder. And I blamed infertility for it.

But then I realized that infertility-or any situation for that matter-isn't responsible for changing us. How we choose to deal with the matter, what we let into our hearts is what changes us. Infertility did not make me hard, bitter, or jealous at times. I did. I alone am responsible for my feelings, actions, and attitude. During those weak moments, instead of looking to God for strength and help I chose to wallow in self pity, if even for a second, and that's when the envy and fear crept in.

As I type this entry, I'm realizing that there are many more stressful and traumatic things that happen to people far worse than infertility. I'm blessed that this trial I've been given is most likely something fixable, a broken dream that will become a reality someday. But I think it just seems so dramatic to me because up until this struggle, I've lived a pretty uneventful, trauma free, perfectly beautiful life. I was happy, blessed, and continually thriving. But since infertility, I'm really, truly awake. I know now, at 26 years of age, that life isn't always perfect. Things won't always go my way, and sometimes bad things happen to good people. But I've also learned that God's grace is sufficient, no matter what we're dealing with in life.

I'm not being punished for anything, and God didn't give me infertility, He's just holding my hand as I walk through it.

So maybe I'm a little messed up after all this time. Who isn't? The important thing is that I've grown. Not on my own-of course-but with the help of God, family and friends. It's really hard to look back on all I've experienced over the last year and have any complaints, any regrets. because even though this year hasn't brought me a baby, but it's taught me so much more than I ever expected. I've experienced more sunshine than rain, far more joy than pain.

God has revealed Himself to me in so many ways; and it's made me more ready then ever to be a mother. I am so blessed, and God has proven over and over again His very simple truth.

He is all I need.

It doesn't matter how tough we are. Trauma always leaves a scar. it follows us home, it changes our lives. Trauma messes everybody up. But maybe that's the point. All the pain and the fear and the crap. Maybe going through all that is what keeps us moving forward. It's what pushes us. Maybe we have to get a little messed up...before we can step up.
-Alex, Grey's Anatomy

Friday, April 3, 2009

Lemons & Lemonade

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!

My new blogging friend Kelli nominated me for the "making lemonade out of lemons" blog award:

Thanks for reading and nominating my blog Kelli! It makes me so happy that you've decided to share your infertility journey with us, and you are in our prayers every day!

As per the rules, I'm passing this award along to another new blogging friend that always seems to make lemons out of lemonade; her name is Robin, and her blog is called Our Life.

When you get a chance, stop by and check out her blog, she's hilarious. She's been my inspiration to make the switch over to a "greener" and healthier way of life before beginning the IVF process. I also love how she continues to look to God for guidance and strength during her very own journey through infertility, finding reasons to praise Him through the storm during her Gratitude Friday sessions. And of course we both share a similar sense of humor, a stubborn genetic flaw we call a "pooch" that won't go away no matter how many crunches we do, and an unconditional love for target.

She's basically my blogging twin, only much funnier, and she can run.

I like her. And I like lemonade.

“The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything.”