Thursday, July 29, 2010

{Day 16} Finding Balance

Dexamethasone (.75mg, oral pill): I'm done saying that I'm done with the scale. It's just one of those things that I have to accept about myself, because I'm always going to be curious about how much weight I gain while consuming large quantities of drugs.

Lupron (5units, subQ injection): Still no bruising; it's amazing.

I'm pretty sure I've broken a record.

Follistim (150units, subQ injection) & Luveris (50units, subQ injection): I'm officially a horrible documentor.

Just like everything else this cycle, I'm struggling to find the perfect balance between forcing myself to write a post even though I don't have time, and learning to let go of my obsessive perfectionism. But now more than ever, I want to be sure to keep up with this journalism process as the cycle progresses and the pace begins to elevate.

After considering our hectic schedules lately, my husband and I determined it would be for the best to administer these stim shots close to bedtime. So for documenting purposes, I'll always be a day behind, unless I choose to write these posts after 10:30pm, which we all know isn't going to happen.

Especially since I can barely manage to write a regular post-on time-during the day.

So for now, although I am perfectly capable of giving myself these shots, it's my husbands only true drug responsibility and I don't dare strip him of that position-and his manliness-just to simplify my life. So instead, I try my best to mask the pain I feel when his somewhat unsteady bear claw of a hand accidentally lifts up on the shot after it's stuck in me. Because despite the small amount of discomfort I feel, it's always worth it to see the proud look on his face after he completes his task of administering the ever important egg growing hormones.

And I'm thrilled to report that even after two full days worth of this new juice in my system, I'm feeling great. The lupron still causes a few headaches, but the insomnia has worn off and my energy has leveled off to a normal obsessive pace and I'm pretty much back to my old self; which I'm trying to take advantage of as the Follistim will soon make me look and feel three months pregnant.

In the meantime, I'm doing my best to keep up with my usual workout routine, while preparing myself for the possibility that mild to moderate lower abdominal pain and bloating may soon make it difficult to continue with all of the twisting and stretching that both Yoga and Centergy classes require.

Again, trying to find that balance.

I want to continue with my routines as much as possible, both to keep my stress levels down and keep my body feeling healthy. But in a few short days we'll be traveling back and forth to Sacramento for our follicle checks, and going to the gym every day but Sunday will no longer be an option. And being that we are only about a week away from a possible egg retrieval and just as close-hopefully-to a transfer, it's time to start cooling it down and learning to just set still for a while.

Not so easy for me, since go go go has been keeping me sane these past six months.

But it's not about me anymore. The yoga, acupuncture, vitamins, and attempt at a healthy lifestyle that I've administered for the last half of the year has all been leading up to this point, and now it's time to balance it all out. It's necessary for me to accept that I've done all I can at this point, and now I just have to set back and enjoy the ride, and watch how God chooses to bless all of the preparation that we've applied.

So tonight, I'll head to my hair appointment in attempt to look as good as I can before this process really begins, and then straight out to the gym for my Centergy class where I'll put my all into warrior squats and sun salutation combinations; because if these next few weeks bring us the blessings we've been praying so hard for, there will be no serious squatting or full fledged sun saluting for me in the next eight months.

Unless I can find an amazing pre-natal yoga instructor, that is.

For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Phillippians 4:11-13 (KJV)


Teach me balance, both in service to You and in dealing with infertility. Remind me that I can't always do it all, but through You, anything is possible. Calm my anxious heart, and give me the grace I need to be content with whatever comes my way,


"Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving."
-Albert Einstein

Monday, July 26, 2010

{Day 13} Sharing The Love

Dexamethasone (.75mg, oral pill): I know I claimed to have the willpower to stay off the scale, but it's just too much a part of my routine to completely disregard. So I still stepped, but more so for documentation than for the vain glory of watching the number drop to a more desirable outcome.

Organic green tea is attempting to replace Ben & Jerry's, and Doritos are no longer allowed in our home; so in implementing those two changes, I should be good to go even though the stim medication that begins tomorrow will begin to rob me of my comfort, causing a reduction in workouts.

Lupron (5units, subQ injection): These shots are still going smoothly. So smoothly, in fact, that I really have nothing quirky or quick witted to comment about; which may be part of the reason I skipped the last two days of documenting this glorious process.

I think it may be part of my my learning-to-let-go phase really, fighting to go with the flow and not against it. But it still drives me bananas that I didn't write a post on Saturday or Sunday, and it saddens the perfectionist in me that I won't be able to look back at a complete, day by day play book of how this cycle went down. I debated my options in my head over and over again, contemplating writing the posts late and still publishing them, but that just seemed so forced and it pretty much defeated the purpose.

And it was sort of nice to break out of my usual obsessive compulsive behaviour, to try my patience with myself in areas that I feel like I fail because I just can't keep up with. I still plan on documenting this process to the fullest of my ability, and as the next few days come into play it will definitely get more eventful, but for now it was nice to just have a break to stop and think, without having to come up with a post title or quote at the end.

And think, I did.

As I spoke with on of my favorite customers at work today about my infertility and how it's affected my life, I was reminded that everything happens for a reason. I know how often I repeat that God has a plan and He knows best, and that I truly am thankful for all infertility has taught me, but today I realized that my trials and tribulations are not always just my own.

Everything I go through-infertility related or otherwise-is an opportunity to share God's love with someone.

I often feel guilty for being a child of God, saved by His grace, yet seemingly unwilling to share the gospel with the world. Knowing that I should be out there, spreading the story of Jesus and how He died for us so that we wouldn't have to fear death and hell, but I've never been one to shout about it from the rooftops for fear of rejection, among other things.

But my story-my infertility-can be my witness.

I'm experiencing something difficult. Something frustrating, mentally and physically exhausting, and emotionally draining. But through this blog, and through the conversations with people that I encounter on a daily basis, I'm given an opportunity to share Christ by showing the love and strength that He gives, enabling me to make it though these trials.

I'm often complemented on how well I'm holding up, praised for how strong I am and told how amazing my attitude is; but the truth is that I'm not these things. I'm weak, imperfect, broken and-more often than not-faithless. But God is made perfect in my weakness, and I know that if I try my best to glorify Him in every situation, He is able to heal my infirmities and lead me right where I need to be.

I've always considered infertility as a blessing because it's helped change me, mold me and grow me into a better individual and a more competent future mother. But the truth is, I've always desired an answer to why I'm really here, experiencing infertility, unable to escape.

And I think I've found one of them.

Because even if this cycle doesn't result in the pregnancy I've wanted for so long now, God may simply have intentions to use me to help someone else.

Maybe God knew that I wouldn't be the most comfortable spreading the gospel in a more traditional form, but He knew that I'd be able to write a blog that would attract someone who needed to hear something He had laid on my heart. Or maybe He knew that I'd meet people every day on my job, individuals who would ask if I had any children, opening up doors for me to share my story and how I'm dealing with it by trusting in God to take care of me.

Everyone has something in their life that they have trouble dealing with. We all face trials and tribulations of a drastic nature, and I always find comfort in knowing that my situation could be worse. But these past few days have really put things into perspective for me, and I just feel like God really has something amazing planned for my life. Right now, I'm praying that I become a mother, and that my husband and I have the family we've waited so long for; but I have to accept that God my very well have other plans.

So in the meantime, while I'm stuck here on this bumpy road, I may as well glorify God and do my best to share His love with others while I still have the chance. Not everyone can empathise with infertility or even fully understand the depth of it, but if I can show someone-anyone-that God can give you what you need if you just trust Him, then maybe this journey will have been worth it in the end.

Whether I'm blessed with a baby, or not.

Because in the end, it's really not about me. My desire should be to tell others about Jesus, to strive to be like Him and to share Him and His love with the world. And without infertility, I may never have been able to do anything with my life that would have shown the example that infertility has given me the chance to display. And while I'm certainly not perfect, and most of the time I probably do more damage than good as a child of God, it's still an opportunity that I have to share Him with everyone that I come into contact with.

So now, among other things like desperately attempting to become impregnated, I'm on a mission to spread the love anyway I can. I'll think twice about being rude to the nurse who can't find my vein, have more patience with the doctor who won't email me back, and sympathize more for others going through physically demanding situations. And while I may not be good at walking around the mall and asking everyone I come in contact with if they have a personal relationship with Jesus, I'm still more than capable of using my story in attempt to come to the same end result.

And if He chooses to bless me with a child in the process, I'll make sure my pregnancy is used as another example of His miraculous grace; because pregnant or not, I am blessed.

And it's time to share the love.

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (KJV)

Dear Heavenly Father,

Just like Paul, You've given me a "thorn in the flesh", and just like Paul, I've asked for it to be removed over and over again. But just as You told him so long ago, I'm reminded in this verse that Your grace is enough for me, too.

I know You won't give me anything I can't handle, so please help me to learn to praise You in my infertility, and to be thankful that when I'm weak, You are strong. Give me the wisdom I need to share Your love with others through this trial, and the grace to allow You to work miracles in my life for the world to see,


"You can complain because roses have thorns, or you can rejoice because thorns have roses."

Friday, July 23, 2010

{Day 10} Surrender

Dexamethasone (.75mg, oral pill): Stepped on the scale right before bed tonight, after consuming massive quantities of snacks, and found that I've suddenly become heavier despite the fact that I've upped my workouts to match the rise in my caloric intake.

So, for the sake of my own sanity, no more scale.

It's for the best, really.

Lupron (5units, subQ injection): Not the most perfect of injections this morning, but it was bound to happen eventually. After an unsuccessful attempt at stabbing myself on the right side failed miserably, I simply moved on to the left side, refusing to become frustrated and brought low by such an unimportant matter.

That seems to be the theme of this cycle so far.

In the past I've panicked over weight gain, obsessed about timing, and become frustrated to tears over the strangest, most unimportant details of an IVF cycle. Unable to control even the smallest portion of my body on so many different levels, my type A personality became frantic on a daily basis over issues that were out of my control.

And when my nurse sent my official packet in the mail just a few short weeks ago letting me know that our cycle would be pushed down one week due to some annual protocol reviews and a visit from Dr. Sher himself, I didn't freak out. I didn't panic over the schedule change, fret about the dates I'd be gone from work or worry about how I'd rearrange my white lies to cover the reasons for my absence from town during this final, secret cycle; opting instead to be thankful for one more week of vitamins, yoga, and preparation.

That's the moment I knew I was capable of remaining calm where I normally would pee my pants with anticipation and drama over something as slight as a schedule change.

And I was rewarded when-after the said annual protocol review-my nurse called to let me know that they had specifically talked about my husband and I in their meeting, and decided to make a few small changes to my dosages just to ensure we were received the best possible chance at developing the most healthy, mature eggs for this final cycle.

I was so very grateful; because without that delayed scheduling, that protocol change never would have taken place.

So when I woke up this morning in pain and instead of my expected period found a large, fleshy mass on the toilet paper, the controller in me still memorized the measurements of the said object but didn't run frantically for my cell phone to call my mother and ask what in the world just came out of my girl parts. Instead, I wrote a detailed email to my nurse and asked her if this was normal-a clot perhaps-and waited patiently for her to email me back.

And after a few hours had passed and still no email had returned about my mysterious and completely disgusting dilemma, I began to think about my missing E2 results as well. I considered calling up the clinic and asking someone-anyone-why I didn't have my Estrogen level yet, and was even a few moments away from looking up the number to LapCorp and investigating the matter on my own; especially since it's Friday and I didn't know if I could make it through the weekend without knowing the answer.

But before I could even reach the tool bar for Google, I decided to let it go.

This was my chance to exercises my faith, and to show God that I am indeed trying my best to give up taking control of matters on my own and that I am capable of waiting patiently for His timing, especially on matters this minuscule. You know, drop it like it's hot, learn to pick my battles. I knew the nurse had received my emails, I knew my E2 levels would be fine just as they always have been, and this was my chance to prove I'm capable of being something other than an obsessive compulsive control freak.

And just as I made up my mind to sit this one out, relinquishing all control out of my own hands and back into God's, the little mail box in the upper left corner of my screen popped out a tiny yellow envelope and shot up it's little red flag.

My heart immediately became full; I knew exactly who it was from.

My nurse's perfectly timed returned email let me know that while it's possible I could have passed a fibroid, most likely it was just my shed lining as my period begins. She offered to bring me down for an ultra sound just to make sure, but I opted instead to just check things out when I go in for my regularly scheduled follicular monitoring ultra sound in a little more than a week instead; because even the thought of finding something wrong growing in my uterus after a week of stims wasn't enough to phase me and my new found confidence if the nurse wasn't terribly concerned with it either.

And at the end of the comforting email, she included the answer to the other question I had struggled to patiently wait for, confirming that my E2 level was nice and low at 23, the best it's ever been.


I know these examples are seemingly insignificant, and it's not really some huge feat that I was able to practice a bit of patience in the light of such small things going wrong. But in my eyes, today was a fabulous example of how quickly God swoops in to care for us when we truly surrender to Him. I literally received an email with the answers I had been seeking just moments after calming my heart and taking my burdens to the creator of the universe in a simple, short prayer.

And I know that wasn't just a coincidence, either.

The issues will become more difficult to deal with as this cycle continues. Soon I'll be watching a fuzzy black screen and counting follicles, waiting for them to grow, wondering if they are mature enough and questioning the doctors ability to extract my precious follicles at just the right time to ensure I get the slew of mature eggs we've been praying for. And then I'll be waiting for the phone call letting us know how many of our precious eggs were fertilized, followed by how many are still growing and wondering if we'll have any strong enough to transfer five days later.

And of course there's the week after where I'll spend every second of every day over analyzing my symptoms, wondering if God chose to allow the life inside of me to implant and develop a beautiful strong heartbeat or two, or if He decided to bring them to live with Him in Heaven instead.

Yes, the waiting, practicing patience, and giving it up to God will all become close to unbearable as these next few weeks fly by, that's pretty much guaranteed. But I plan to hold on to today's events and do my best to remember that no matter how much I worry about a situation, I have no control over the outcome, and if I'm trusting in Him like I know I should, it will always make more sense to just let God work His miracles.

And learn to let go.

"Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall He not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
Matthew 6:28-30 (KJV)


I know that You are in control. You showed me today in a simple, quiet way that You are listening to my prayers and that You truly are the rewarder of them that diligently seek You. Thank You for always blessing me despite my constant lack of faith, and continue to draw me closer to You as this cycle progresses.

Continue to remind me that I have nothing to worry about, I can always rest assured that You will care for me. Teach me to surrender to Your will, constantly giving my burdens to You and trusting that You will supply my every need because I am even more precious to you than the lilies,


"There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will."

Thursday, July 22, 2010

{Day 9} Waiting

Dexamethasone (.75mg, oral pill): I was doing so well.

Where most people drowned there worries in alcohol, I was drinking in massive quantities of baby friendly H2O. I've been keeping up with my workouts, taking my vitamins, even managing to to deflate a few pounds.

Until Ben and Jerry's with all of their dairy sinfulness came into the picture and joined forces with classic nacho cheese Doritos-courtesy of my husband-and in my weakness I downed at least two days worth of my caloric intake.

But tomorrow is a new day.

Lupron (5units, subQ injection): These little bee sting shots are still going smoothly; I'm currently bruise free and still waking up early without a hitch, despite my new physco productive night owl status.

It's glorious.

And amidst my usual filled daily work schedule I made my way over to get my E2 levels drawn, and the waiting began; because even though I made my blood draw my first stop this morning, the lab in town doesn't run that test STAT so I knew I most likely wouldn't get the results until tomorrow, which of course messes up my documenting process.

It's certainly not the most important number of this cycle, but it's the first one; thus marking the beginning of the next few weeks of waiting restlessly for phone calls that will either make or break my day.

And as we draw closer to the frantic schedule of multiple injections, traveling back and forth to out of town Dr. appointments, and the daunting task of hiding the fact that my abdomen is three times the size it should be as my body tries so desperately to produce ten times the amount of follicles it normally would, I'm suddenly reminded of how hard it is to simply wait.

So as I sit here now, waiting for my E2 results, the period that should have been here by now and a child or two to occupy my womb, I'll continually remind myself of yesterdays observance of God's perfect timing.

And try to practice patience as I hurry up and wait.

Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.
Psalms 27:14 (KJV)

You know my heart, all of my strengths and my many, many weaknesses. You've used infertility in attempt to teach me patience over the last several years, but we both know that I've failed those trials miserably. So I'm coming to You tonight, asking for the strength to trust in You again as the string of waiting games begin.

Thank you for this verse that reminds me that if I keep my eyes on You, my heart will be encouraged and my faith-and patience-will grow as I seek Your will and perfect timing in all areas of my life. Teach me to wait on You,


"Learn the art of patience. Apply discipline to your thoughts when they become anxious over the outcome of a goal. Impatience breeds anxiety, fear, discouragement and failure. Patience creates confidence, decisiveness,and a rational outlook, which eventually leads to success."
-Brian Adams

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

{Day 8} Perfect Timing

Dexamethasone (.75mg, oral pill): The insomnia threatened on the side of the pill bottle came out in full force last night, but it was sort of a blessing in disguise after yesterdays endless complaints about exhaustion.

Right around nine o' clock sharp I received an unexpected second wind. After showering and reorganizing the bathroom, I headed out to watch some mindless reality shows and eat the newest after dark indulgence as requested by my dexamethasone cravings, of a bowl-or two-of cereal. But instead of winding itself down amidst my normal bedtime routine, my body decided that sleep was an absurd and unnecessary waste of precious time.

I've never used recreational drugs before, but I'm pretty sure I was operating as though I was snorting crack cocaine in large quantities; or maybe even speed.

I'm not sure what the difference is, really, or if there even is one.

Anyhow, even after having to force myself to lay quiet and motionless at the ungodly hour of one in the morning, I woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed at six thirty on the dot. And believe me when I say that even after ten hours of sleep, bright eyed and bushy tailed are the last two adjectives I would use to describe myself on any given morning, so this was completely bizarre.

Bizarre, yet somehow productive.

Lupron (5units, subQ injection): Having teamed up with the tiny steroid pill, my lupron injection put me more on a high today then I've been in a long time. My sluggish movements and aching head were suddenly replaced with a frantically sleep deprived yet seemingly giddy individual, and I'm thinking that as always-just as I began to fall weakly under the pressures of my circumstances-God's grace and strength have been perfected again.

As I've taken the time to reflect back on this long journey, I've been amazed at His perfect timing over the last few days, months, even years. If I had my way, I never would have been infertile. I would have been pregnant just months after marriage with at least three children by now; and although that was always my dream, I'm finding myself thankful that God had other plans.

Without infertility, I wouldn't have been as grateful for the small yet brilliant things that fall into place all around me every day. I've been on my knees more in the last few years than I have been in my entire life, and God has made His presence known time and time again, weather I've chosen to recognize it or not. Without this thorn in the flesh, none of these much needed changes would have been possible.

I count myself blessed to be here, going through my fourth and final IVF. God's timing has always been nothing short of impeccable, and I'm filled with awestruck wonder at the way He is able to control even the smallest situations and place people and events right where they need to be in attempt to draw me closer to Him. And even when I'm in too much of a hurry to stop and recognize His hand in everything I do, He still sustains me and performs miracles on my behalf without ceasing.

And I feel strongly that this next cycle will be no exception, and He'll prove His sovereignty in ways my weary and medicated mind can't even begin to fathom; blessing me even more than He already has despite the circumstances.

And no matter the final outcome, His timing will be perfect.

He hath made every thing beautiful in His time...
Ecclesiastes 3:11 (KJV)

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for all of the many times that You've intervened on my behalf, right on time. And forgive me for not taking the time I should to give You the praise and glory for Your numerous daily miracles, both great and small.

Remind me always that Your timing is in absolute perfection. Your plan will always be far better than the one I've created on my own timetable, so give me the wisdom to understand that You most certainly can-and absolutely will-make all things beautiful, someday.


“Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity.”
-Henry Van Dyke

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

{Day 7} Exhaustion

Dexamethasone (.75mg, oral pill): It's been exactly one week of digesting these steroid pills, and even though some days are worse than others, I'm still feeling thankful to be taking them.

Lupron (5units, subQ injection): Another perfectly painless injection complete, and I'm enjoying the simplicity before we add several more into the mix next week.

As far as we can tell, my body does it's job fairly well in the reproductive department, so I've always been on the lowest dose of meds possible. But it never ceases to amaze me how strongly they still manage to affect me, both physically and mentally.

Only one week into my meds, and I'm already exhausted.

I normally wouldn't complain, because I'd much rather focus on the blessings and miracles that will transpire during this final cycle, but I also want to make sure that I'm being completely real and sharing as much as I can about how I'm coping with these changes. So as I begin to indulge in a bit of whimpering, rest assured that I'm still very much thankful for every step along this glorious path.

But I'm tired, my head is killing me, I can't stop eating, and I'm tired.

Did I mention I'm tired?

It's not so much of a desire to go to bed and never wake up tired, it's more of a feeling of being physically and mentally drained. I'm having trouble focusing at work, finding the energy to keep up with my daily list of things to do, and even making an effort to continue with my beloved yoga and synergy classes take some major self pep talks.

It's easy enough to get up in the morning, but as soon as the early afternoon hours roll in, the constant battle to kick my own butt into gear becomes a full fledged war.

My brain and my heart want to be superwoman and keep up with my old routines, but my body is aching for the hot bath that I know I can't have. My stomach has gone crazy, churning and wriggling inside of me; making me slightly nauseated yet insanely hungry at the same time. My inner "chi" wants to do set after set of sun salutations, down dogs and cobras, but my head aches and throbs for an extra strength Tylenol and a pillow instead. And of course my legs are begging me to let them jog, pleading to push and tone them a little bit harder while I still have the chance, but the one-hundred-plus-degree California weather outside threatens to join forces with my lupron hot flashes to officially kill me.

So there you have it. I haven't even started my stiming medications yet and I'm already a hot, cranky mess.

But I promise, I'm still thankful. Thankful that these changes mean my body is doing its job to prepare for a future pregnancy, and thankful that I have a massive support system to carry me through. Thankful that the majority of these ridiculously high cost meds that are driving me crazy were donated to me, and thankful that I'm healthy enough to be on such a low dose. Thankful that I'm blessed enough to even have the opportunity to be experiencing a fourth IVF cycle in the first place.

Tired, but thankful nonetheless.

Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:28 (KJV)

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for the simple promise that when this world and all it holds exhausts me and wears me down, You are only a prayer away. Remind me to come to You daily with my physical, mental and spiritual burdens, always trusting You to lift each of those extremely heavy-and completely unnecessary-burdens from me, just as You've said You would; and keep me from engaging in a tug-of-war game just moments later, when in my weakness I decide that I'm strong enough to take care of them on my own again.

Please be patient with my inconsistency. and teach me to cast my cares upon You, drop them like it's hot and leave them there; because I know that's the only way I'll find true rest in You,


"Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better."
-Samuel Beckett

Monday, July 19, 2010

{Day 6} Comprehending

Dexamethasone (.75mg, oral pill): Today was a really great controlled eating day, especially since I administered my most recent anti-snacking plan that consists mostly of drowning myself in fluids to avoid a growling stomach.

I figure if I can manage to force myself to consume two times the amount of water necessary on a daily basis, my insides will be too full to devour everything in site, and I just may finally be able to show this little blue pill who's boss.

And become best friends with the bathroom, of course.

If this brilliant routine continues as planned, this may very well be the easiest-and cheapest-solution to the steroid induced hunger binge problem ever invented.

Lupron (5units, subQ injection): Given the fact that my sluggish, lazy behavior and throbbing headaches had been steadily increasing at night, I was happy to finally be able to cut my dose in half this morning.

Today is also my last day of birth control pills, probably for the rest of my life. Obviously I don't need them to prevent a pregnancy, but the doctor does like to make me take the tiny estrogen pills a few weeks before I cycle just to be sure that my lady parts cooperate and land on their specific clinical schedule, and to sort of calm down any mischief going on inside before they introduce more potent drugs into my system.

I'm just happy to have one less man made hormone wrecking havoc inside my body.

But just like I have to trust in the Lord and His plan for my life, I have to trust that my doctor is giving me exactly the right medicine at exactly the right time, even if I don't understand everything that entails. Because it's not really my job to comprehend everything anyway, and I'm starting to realize that calmness seems to follow when I let go of needing all the answers and allow myself to trust in the experts to guide me in the right direction.


God thundereth marvellously with His voice; great things doeth He, which we cannot comprehend.
Job 37:5 (KJV)

When things don't go according to my own plans, it's so easy to try to come to my own conclusions and complain along the way. I often find myself getting lost trying to pave my own trail, blocking out Your voice as I push forward hastily instead of looking at the bigger picture and trusting You, waiting patiently for Your will to unfold.

Remind me to listen for Your voice through the chaos of infertility. You are a mighty and powerful God, and I trust you to do great things in my life. Use this struggle to strengthen my faith in you, give me patience to wait on You, and wisdom to follow You so that I can fully accept the amazing plans you have in store for me,


“Man must be disappointed with the lesser things of life before he can comprehend the full value of the greater.”
-Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton

Sunday, July 18, 2010

{Day 5} Rejoicing

Dexamethasone (.75mg, oral pill): I've tried my very best to stay away from the scale this cycle, knowing the mental and physical damage that small piece of scrap metal can bring, but I can't help but feel it mocking me every morning as I pass it by to start my day. So I stepped up this morning onto the cool, firm glass and waited for the black flashing digits to tell me the truth.

Is it really possible to gain five pounds in two days?

It sure is.

But I didn't panic, because as long as I'm doing my best to eat well and give my body the proper nutrients that it needs right now, the scale really isn't much of an issue. Besides, isn't the desired ending result of this madness to gain weight anyway?

There. Totally justified.

Lupron (10units, subQ injection): It cracks me up to think back to last year when I insisted that resting an ice pack on the injection site for at least five minutes before injecting this little guy was an absolute necessity. Now I just push and go, and the thought of being slowed down by a chilling attempt to numb my pooch in the early morning hours seems like a complete waste of precious sleeping time.

And while we're on the topic of numbness, I'm pretty sure that I'm still being blessed with a sense of peace and calm that I didn't have in my previous cycles. I still want a baby, I still get excited at the thought of this working and a little scared at the thought of it not, but mostly I'm just afraid of what will happen when the flood gates open and the emotions that I'm hoarding inside break loose.

Hopefully this will be our blessing cycle and we'll get the miracle we've always wanted, but there's always the possibility that it won't work and I'll experience that mental breakdown every one's been waiting for me to have.

Or maybe, if I have a little faith, I'll be fine either way.

I know I keep referring to this feeling as numbness, but there really is an even larger piece of my heart that just knows this is right. I'm confident that this is where I'm supposed to be at this exact moment, and have this strange, calming sensation that something really big is coming. And even though I can't be guaranteed a perfect cycle and happy ending, I'm thrilled to not be my usual obsessive compulsive self with a slew of backup plans and detailed lists, just in case.

This is our last try, and feel like I should be freaking out.

But I'm not.

And it feels amazing.

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise Him.
Psalm 28:7 (KJV)

Dear Lord,

I know that this cycle is just beginning, and that we'll soon be picking up speed where satan will do his best to use the stress of it all to break me down; but for now I just can't help but recognize how incredibly blessed I am to have amazing friends and family lifting me up in prayer, pouring there hearts out to You on our behalf. I believe those very same prayers are protecting me now, enveloping me in Your mercy and causing my heart to rejoice in Your perfect peace.

I truly am blessed.

As this cycle progresses and the darkness begins to outweigh the light, help me to trust You and Your perfect plan. Remind me that You are the source of my strength, and the only one able to shield me from satan's fiery attacks. Gently turn my heart back to You as many times as it takes for me to give You the praise and honor You so rightly deserve,


“He who loves, flies, runs, and rejoices; he is free and nothing holds him back.”
-Henry Matisse

Saturday, July 17, 2010

{Day 4} Holding Still

Dexamethasone (.75mg, oral pill): Today, for the first time in my life, I experienced what I was told was heartburn.

I always imagined heartburn, well, burning.

Instead, I felt a steady pressure on my breastbone and a dull, aching sensation. It certainly wasn't pleasant, but it wasn't crippling, either. Just uncomfortable, and nothing a few Tums couldn't fix.

And since I've never felt it before, I'm blaming the little blue pill.

Lupron (10units, subQ injection): Just like this same time last year, we left town for the Invasion, a sort of state youth rally for our northern California churches. But unlike last year, I'm a week behind schedule, so I wasn't forced to give myself several stim injections while hiding in an industrial fridge during services, panicking when I thoroughly botched my first Luveris shot and had to call my doctor after hours.

But I did have to shoot up my lupron injection in the corner of the hotel room early in the morning before anyone realized what I was doing.

Not quite as exciting, but adventurous, nonetheless.

Be still, and know that I am God...
Psalms 46:10 (KJV)

Heavenly Father,

As the chaos of secret injections, traveling chronicles of IVF, and the craziness of new symptoms swarm around me in full force, I'm reminded by this verse that You are sovereign. While I can't seem to catch up, keep up, or even give it up, You are always constant, never changing, always steady.

Hold me still, Lord, and show me Your mercy when I need it the most,


“To have a quiet mind is to possess one's mind wholly; to have a calm spirit is to possess one's self.”
-Hamilton Wright Mabie

Friday, July 16, 2010

{Day 3} Rediscovering Thankfulness

Dexamethasone (.75mg, oral pill): It's amazing just a few days of this tiny little blue pill burrowing into my system can turn me into and eating machine.

And how suddenly-after several months of being frappachino free-all I can think about is that sugary poisen topped with whip cream and carmel drizzle.

Lupron (10units, subQ injection): Another almost perfect injection paired with a small bits and pieces of hope, excitement, worry, fear, anxiety, and a tiny bit of numbness made me thankful that my life is anything but boring.

I feel like I've been caught somewhere between ignoring the fact that we're on our final IVF-blocking out as many emotions as possible to ensure the safety of my damaged heart-and finding reasons to be thankful that I'm in the midst of this amazing miracle.

Despite our disappointment in finding ourselves so far gone into this mess of infertility, medical treatments and the possibility of never having our own biological family, I really am thankful for the opportunity given to me to be able to try, especially when there are so many others out there that don't have that same opportunity given to them.

It really makes my complaints about shots, steroid pills and cravings seem pointless.

Even if it is our fourth try, and I'm tired, broken hearted and somewhat permanently damaged by pieces of our past and the long, hard road we've been traveling on the way to our happy ending, I am still thankful. There's absolutely nothing wrong with feeling all of the emotions that come along with the added hormones and crazy pills being pumped into my body on a daily basis, but it's imperative that I remember that I have been given an amazing chance to glorify God and possibly even get the pregnancy I've always wanted at the same time.

And if that's not a blessing, I don't know what is.

Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
Philippians 4:6 (KJV)

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for allowing me to come freely to you with every need, every anxious request that I hold in my heart. You already know every single one of my deepest desires, but I know You take joy in me coming to You daily to share them with You so that You can calm my anxious heart and remind me that You are always available to listen if I'm only willing to come to You in prayer.

Thank You for never tiring of hearing my pleas, and for reminding me to not only come to You as often as necessary with my every worry, but to also take joy in the many blessings I've been given; coming to You in the very same desperate, pleading prayer with plenty of thanksgiving, too.


“We are often slower to recognize blessings than evils.”
-Titus Livy

Thursday, July 15, 2010

{Day 2} Finding Faith

Dexamethasone (.75mg, oral pill): It may very well be a figment of my imagination, but I did indulge in a random case of snacking last night as I rummaged around my parents kitchen like some sort of rabid animal.

A handful of pretzels, a couple bites of peach ice cream, a few potato chips, one organic strawberry yogurt bar and three quarters of someones left over hamburger later, and I was finally able to talk some sense into myself.

Lupron (10units, subQ injection): Thrown off guard by the ease of yesterday's injection, I was little disappointed at the unsteadiness of my more than capable hand this morning. Still nothing to complain about-the needle swiftly broke the skin and left no sign of damage behind-but it was definitely enough to let a little discouragement sink in.

And then I panicked at the realization of emotion breaking through; which meant my numbness was disappearing more quickly than I'd previously anticipated.

But before I could shake it off completely, my husband started talking about how we would tell our families and friends the good news of our long awaited pregnancy. He dreamed up plans of a large BBQ-because that's what country boys think is necessary to have a good time-and even asked if he could be in charge of the ever-expanding guest list and all the glamorous specifics of the festivities, since I would be tired and nauseated from my pregnancy, of course.

And although I wanted to tell him it wasn't safe to start planing something yet, remind him that it's better not to get our hopes up and gently shatter his dreams of the perfect coming-out-of-the-pregnancy-closet-BBQ, I just gave in and granted him my permission.

And since I'm a type A personality by nature, I even began to form a mental picture right along with him, contemplating how long we would wait to announce our precious blessing, and what time of the year this massive BBQ would take place in. And before I knew it, thoughts of where we would have it, how we would decorate, and where we would come up with the money to put it into action took up at least an hour of our regularly scheduled bedtime conversations.

I still can't bring myself to do the math required to figure out the estimated due date of our miracle baby if this cycle happens to actually work, and I definitely will not take part in any sporadic baby purchases this time around. I realize I'm guilty of holding back in attempt at protecting what's left of my heart that hasn't been stained with infertility, but it doesn't mean I can't still live.

And it most certainly doesn't mean I can't pretend plan a BBQ, either.

And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith. And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.
Luke 17:5-6 (KJV)

Dear Lord,

When things get hard, when I feel overwhelmed by the madness around me, remind me that with you, all things are possible. I can let down my guard because You are the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow; and the advice that was given so long ago to the apostles still stands true against the trials and tribulations that I face today.

Lord, increase my faith, especially when a mustard seed seems so much bigger than it really is.


"The battles that count aren't the ones for gold medals. The struggles within yourself-the invisible, inevitable battles inside all of us-that's where it's at."
-Jesse Owens

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

{Day 1} Fighting Fear

And so begins IVF, Part 4.

Dexamethasone (.75mg, oral pill): In the past, this has been my section to complain about the usual bloat and weight gain that accompanies any normal IVF cycle, but I'm going to try to keep that to a minimum this time around.

Although I wish I were just a few pounds lighter going into this cycle and possible pregnancy, I'm happy enough with my progress at the moment and I refuse to let this tiny pound-packing steroid pill crush my dreams.

Lupron (10units, subQ injection): As I stood in front of my bathroom mirror this morning-slightly freaking out at the realization that I forgot to order a sharps container and extra alcohol wipes-I was amazed at the numbness I felt about the actual debacle of epic proportions that lie ahead.

For our first IVF, I couldn't sleep the night before; I was much too excited to jump into the world of shots, ultrasounds and new life. For IVF #2, I was more confident, but still scared to death because of our previous failure. By IVF #3, I was a professional shooter; excited again by the swiftness and smooth sailing of the previous cycle, yet cautiously optimistic because of the negative ending result. But as I stood there at the starting line of our fourth and final IVF, wearing my mismatched pajamas and gazing sleepily at the tiny needle that defines the beginning of the end, I couldn't seem to feel much of anything in the emotions department.

And I was sort of...relieved. Not paralyzed by fear, giddy with excitement or even over thinking how I would document today's events for the world to see; just relieved to be numb, more concerned with what I was going to wear to work today then with the fact that it was time to embark on our fourth and final IVF.

And of course grateful for the current peace being had before the unstoppable dam of hormone laced emotions breaks loose and I have to spend my days fighting fear.

And as I stopped contemplating my odd state of mind long enough to slip that tiny bee sting needle into what's left of my always present stomach pooch, I was encouraged by the ease and painlessness at which it entered the first few layers of the epidermis.

And I felt a little bit of hope creep in.

And the Lord, He it is that doth go before thee: He will be with thee, He will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.
Deuteronomy 31:8 (KJV)

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for your word; for the simple, yet powerful reminders you have hidden inside that let us know that you are always walking closest to us when we need you the most. Your promise in this encouraging verse wipes away absolutely any reason I've ever had to fear the future. Please help me to hide these words in my heart and bring them to my memory when I'm discouraged and afraid by the uncertainty of the next few weeks, because-although I'm feeling fairly calm right now-I have no doubts that the hormones being reintroduced to my body will wreck havoc on my peaceful state at any moment.

Thank you for your faithfulness, thank you for your promises, and thank you for removing all of my feeble excuses to be afraid,


"In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure."
-Bill Cosby