Friday, March 27, 2009

I am waiting

I've been loving this song lately, so I decided to have it playing on my blog. It's the perfect song, I think. But I do wonder when I'll stop waiting and just start living. Soon I hope.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Okay, I feel REALLY bad saying this...

But sometimes - not always, but every once in a while - it really, really bothers me when pregnant women complain. It's sooo wrong of me to feel that way, because I certainly did my fair share of complaining when I was pregnant with Elise. Pregnancy is uncomfortable. It makes you nauseous, gives you heartburn, makes you swell, makes it virtually impossible to find a comfortable way to get the idea. I know all these things through firsthand experience. That's why I feel guilty for thinking badly of other women when I hear them complain. There were some days when I was pregnant with Elise when I felt truly miserable. And I can remember for at least the first 6 months or so after she was born, every time I'd see a heavily pregnant woman I would actually feel sorry for her!

It is strange being on the other side of things now. I'll catch a snipet of a conversation from time to time and hear someone griping about being pregnant, and for a moment or two I'm tempted to snap at them, "Do you even know how lucky you are?? Shut up and quit complaining. You are so blessed." Of course I would never actually say anything. But I have to admit the words do pop into my head.

The really sad thing is that if I ever do get pregnant again, I am sure I will find myself complaining at one point or another. If that ever happens, I am going to have to come back to this post and remind myself to shut up!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Was I just talking about patience?

A new cycle began yesterday, so I went in today for my baseline scan and to learn how to mix and inject the Gonal F. I was ready to get the show on the road, and then we ran across a bit of a problem. A large follicle on my right ovary was picked up on the scan, so they sent me down for bloodwork to check my estrogen. The nurse explained to me that if the follicle was producing estrogen, we would have to call off the cycle. This is because the follicle is not producing an egg, and if we were to proceed with the injections, it would cause that follicle to grow rather than maturing "good" follicles that contain eggs. So, there is your crash course on ovarian cysts.

Anyhow, they had my results this afternoon, and sure enough, I have a cyst. I was all geared up to begin injections tomorrow, but now it will have to wait another cycle. I'm a little disappointed, mainly because I've been anticipating this new course of treatment for a few weeks now. But it's ironic considering that I was just posting about patience earlier in the week. So, it's okay. We'll try to do it the natural way this month, and maybe next month the cyst will be gone and we can try the injectables.

I'm trying to decide how I can best use this time to prepare my body for a potential pregnancy. It helps me to feel like I'm doing something other than just waiting. I added some extra Vitamin D in addition to my prenatal vitamin a while back after doing some research. The amount in the prenatal was not even close to what I really need. I'm wondering what other vitamins I might consider adding. I think I might spend a bit of time researching this more. A trip to the bookstore would be nice too. I want to find something light and fun to read. I'm thankful to have the day off tomorrow to regroup. Jamie and I are going to get our passports, and I am excited about that. We'll be one step closer to the sunny Jamaican beach! :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A beautiful post

Over the past few months I have become an avid follower of Bring The Rain. I know SO MANY women in the blogosphere follow Angie Smith's story, so I am certain that most have probably already seen her most recent post called The Sea and The Scarf. But I loved it, and it really spoke to me with all that we are going through (both with Elise and the infertility journey). So if anyone is reading that hasn't heard of Angie or her story, I highly recommend pouring a nice cup of hot tea and settling in for a wonderful read. Go all the way back to the first post and read them all. You won't regret it. And if Angie should ever happen upon my measley blog, I want to thank her for everything! She touches more lives than she'll ever know, I am certain.

Bring The Rain

Monday, March 9, 2009


I've found that when making tough decisions or dealing with trying situations, people often look for a "sign" that will point them in the right direction. Many people pray to God to send them a sign to let them know His plan. On more than one occasion, I've heard someone in the midst of a struggle say, "I just need a sign." I think we get subtle signs from God all the time in our lives even if we aren't asking for them, but they are easily overlooked and dismissed. One thing I've worked on lately is trying to be more open to receiving messages from God.

He knows this is a weakness of mine. I am just not a very intuitive person. And since He doesn't want me to miss anything, He is getting quite literal with the signs He sends my way. They are literally signs. I mentioned a sign that I saw while driving a few posts ago (the one about counting blessings). I saw another one driving to work today - on a gas station billboard nonetheless. But I know I was meant to read it. It said, "The future happens one hour at a time."

Count your blessings. Be patient.

Okay, got it!

Saturday, March 7, 2009


My weight has been fluctuating like crazy lately. I was at an all time high just a couple months ago and had to go buy all new pants. My jeans are so expensive, because I have to buy designer brands to get the length I need. I have 5 new pairs of jeans that are now falling off my waist. I just bought some of them 4 weeks ago. They are all of a sudden way too big. Don't get me wrong - I am not complaining about losing weight. But the sad part is that I sold all my old, smaller pants to a resale shop. Our closet is tiny, and I just don't have room to store a bunch of sizes that I can't wear, so I got rid of them. I thought I was just getting older and this would be my "new" size. Apparently not, and I am now in a position of needing to go buy a whole new set of pants in my original size. If I didn't have to spend $100+ per pair I wouldn't mind as much. I just want to cry! I practically live in jeans when I am not at work.

I think part of my weight loss is stress-related. I think I have a strange response to stress. Most women I know want to eat when stressed, but I am the opposite. When I feel upset and/or stressed, my appetite is totally suppressed. Infertility is stressful, but I've been dealing with a lot of other junk on top of that lately. I guess that explains my weight loss - or it could be the break from Femara cycles while I was on the estrogen. Who knows. Either way, I've learned a hard lesson, and I will be saving all these jeans that are too big. I suspect I may need them again sometime down the road. And I guess I am going jeans shopping tomorrow.


Okay, but in keeping with counting my blessings...Maybe I can use these larger jeans later when I get pregnant and put on some baby weight! Notice I said when instead of if...I am getting better at this! :)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A good AS article

One thing that has been incredibly frustrating to me is the lack of information about Asherman's Syndrome. It's something that you just never hear about, yet I feel it probably affects a lot more women than we realize. I'm a member of a yahoo group for women with AS, and this article was posted a few days ago. It's coming from the UK, but still good to see.

Click here to read

I tell women NOT to get a D&C if they can avoid it just about every chance I get. Sometimes it's necessary, but if you have other options, don't do it.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Praise! And a spelling lesson...

Okay, so I have been spelling "injectable" wrong. I'm a good writer, but a terrible speller! I have now fixed my previous post, because I can't stand grammar or spelling errors.

Okay, so funny that yesterday I was just saying how my experience with difficulty in conceiving has brought me closer to God and renewed me in my faith. I've recently been working towards giving more in terms of my time and money to our church. I've volunteered to assist with our production of Journey To The Cross (please click the link and check it out - we'd love to have our friends visit and experience this great show with us - I can provide tickets), and I've been increasing my offerings as well.

Tithing is something that I've been thinking about for a long time. I know it's the right thing to do and what God commands us to do. But I have difficulty with it due to some reasons that I won't discuss. Anyway, I've talked with a lot of Christian friends and finally felt led to increase the amount I give. This was less than 2 weeks ago.

I found out today that my medication is going to be covered by insurance - all of it. What would have cost us between $1,000 and $1,400 per cycle is going to cost $150 or less. This huge savings is blessing us *in excess* of what we gave to the church. Furthermore, it is blessing us with financial peace of mind to attempt up to 3 cycles as recommended by the doctor without worry for how we will pay for the medication. I am at a loss for words, other than to say I'm feeling in awe of how God can take my offering, multiply it, and return it to me.

And good things can come of the bad...Wow.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Moving on to injectables

Dr. Dunn and I met today (I told Jamie not to worry about taking another day off work). We talked about my lack of responsiveness to the estrogen patches. He said he discussed my case with a few other doctors in the practice, and the general consensus was that each of them had some patients with my condition that just couldn't ever seem to get the lining to regenerate in a favorable way. No one really knows why some people recover better than others, but it is what it is, right?

So, he said at this point, we basically have 3 options.

1. Continue the estrogen for an even greater period of time to see if we can get something good to happen.

2. Try injectable medication.

3. Find a surrogate.

I asked him what his recommendation would be at this point. He said he wouldn't try #1, simply because I've already taken so much estrogen (orally, vaginally, and patches) and we haven't gotten good results. He said he would recommend trying #2 before resorting to surrogacy. He was honest, and said the injectibles are not likely to work...but he said it is worth a try, since we want to exhaust all of our options before giving up. Injectables raise the body's natural estrogen production, and natural estrogen is always going to be better than a synthetic form of estrogen taken via pill or patch. It's going to be the identical and unique match for my body.

The injectable cycle is going to run around $1,500 per attempt. He said if it's going to work, it is usually successful within 2-3 cycles. So, you can do the math...this could be up to $4,500. For something that is not likely to work. Ouch.

Ironically enough, I was just in a discussion on Mommy's Online earlier today about the cost of fertility treatments. It's one of the hardest aspects of not being able to conceive naturally. You feel like all this possibility lies before you, but it is financially unattainable. I put $2,000 in my medical flexible spending account this year, so I have the money available to do one cycle. I feel like I *have* to try it to avoid regrets down the line should we end up not ever achieving pregnancy. What mother wouldn't pay $4,500 for their child? If it works, there is absolutely no doubt that it was worth every penny. Surrogacy runs around $30,000, so when put into perspective, it makes the injectable cycles look cheap!

At any rate, I have a whole packet of instructions. It will be a flippin' miracle if I don't screw it up. I am supposed to begin Provera immediately, which is supposed to bring on the start of a new cycle.

Then the protocol is as follows:

CD1-3: Baseline scan & lessons on doing my own injections
CD3: Begin injections (will continue daily through approx. CD11)
CD7: Scan and Estradiol level blood draw
CD9: Scan and Estradiol level blood draw
CD11: Scan and Estradiol level blood draw
CD12: Trigger shot (assuming follicles are mature)
CD14: Intercourse (how romantic)
CD16: Begin progesterone supplements (will continue daily until CD28, or until pregnancy is ruled out)
CD24-26: Schedule pregnancy test and appointment with the doctor to discuss results

I am not sure which injectible I will be taking, but I was told it will either be Gonal F or Follistim (they work in the same way). Dr. Dunn put me in touch with a mail order pharmacy that gives a $200-$500 discount on the 2nd cycle if the first cycle does not result in pregnancy. His nurse faxed my Rx over to them today.

My thoughts...Wow, one cycle will wipe out my entire flexible spending account for the year, and it's only March. I guess I should have maxed it out at $5,000. If we do get pregnant, there won't be any money left for the delivery. But I guess that would be a very welcome problem to have. Each injectible cycle requires 5 office visits, 4 of those being scans. I don't even know how to ask my boss for time off 5 times in a 28-day period. And I'll have to be gone one day soon to take Elise to the pediatrician for a behavioral evaluation (and that is a whole different story that I don't even begin to have the energy to type).

I'm pretty overwhelmed right now with the issues we are having with Elise at school. I'm overwhelmed by the cost and intense monitoring required for this upcoming cycle. We are in the midst of baseball tournament season, so I'm overwhelmed at home too. It's just a lot to deal with all at once. But I know it's all going to be okay, one way or another.

I passed a sign on the side of the road the other day that said, "Don't add up your problems. Instead, count your blessings." I'm trying to adopt this as my new, personal mantra. So, I have to end this post on a positive note. There is some hope. It might not be a lot of hope, but even a little hope is better than none. I'm blessed with a wonderful support system and family who has rallied around me during the past few difficult weeks. I've been humbled at the level of support I've received, especially from my Pitter Patter group - and I love you guys for it more than I can tell you! I'm so lucky. This journey is really causing me to grow in my relationship with God - I think this is the best part of all. And Jamie and I have been blessed with a great group of friends who called us last night and convinced us to book a 5 night trip to Jamaica with them....I am getting my escape after all! We will be in a group of 6, and it's sure to be a great time. I'll finish up by posting a link to where we will be staying. Every time I feel my anxiety level creeping up, I just click on this site and watch the pictures in the slide show. Ahhhh....I cannot wait.....

Click here to daydream with me