Monday, July 27, 2009


It was just one of those weeks. Oh wait--it's only Monday. Double Ugg.

Believe it or not, it doesn't really have anything to do with infertility or loss (for once). I can't quite explain it, but I've just felt really out of sorts lately.

I first noticed it with my husband. I was just getting a tad bit frustrated a little bit too easily with him. We would be driving somewhere, and I would have this wish that I could put up a wall in between our seats. I love him so much, and we're not having any "problems". Rather, I probably just wasn't having enough patience.

Then it came on stronger this weekend when we went out to dinner and miniature golf with two couples from church on Saturday. I've been known to be competitive on occasion, but I guess I just feel like miniature golf is a place to be silly. But in reading the captions that my friend posted to Facebook, I apparently came across as a major brat. That wasn't my intent. I was just trying to be silly. But it leaves me with this uneasy feeling--even though I have apologized profusely.

Finally, it totally manifested itself in my professional world. I'm adequately pleased with my job, but I feel like I could do more. I'm not one to chase titles, but I do seek challenges and professional growth and intellectual stimulation. I just don't feel like I'm getting those development opportunities in my current position (though, to put it in perspective, I realize that things are slower in the summer...which is a blessing...but I'm thinking "bigger picture"). There was an opportunity elsewhere on campus that I was really hoping for, but I was totally overlooked. It makes me think that I hit my "professional peak" two years ago.

Thinking back to that time in my professional life, I also had it all going for me in my personal life as well. I was engaged and excited about the upcoming wedding. I was living in ignorant bliss of the infertility and loss that I would soon experience.

I know I can't go back to those days, but I can only hope and pray that God has more of those years of fulfillment--both personally and professionally--for me in the future.

Oh...and to cap it all off, I ruined a cheesecake. I had looked forward to baking it as a redemptive experience, and even that got messed up when the middle of the crust didn't separate from the bottom of the pan...resulting in a donut-shaped cheesecake.

Throughout this recent "Ugg" experience, I'm blessed to have my husband by my side. He puts up with my impatience and breaks the invisible barrier that I wanted to build in the car by reaching over and holding my hand. He lovingly rebukes me for my behavior at miniature golf and honestly tells me that he, too, was disappointed in my actions despite my attempts to be silly. And most importantly, he holds me tight and lets me cry, and wisely points out that there will always be "peaks" and "valleys", but that he'll be by my side through it all.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Faith and Science

I realize that there are probably countless articles and presentations out there on the relationship between Faith and Science. But this post isn't "researched" or anything--it's just my own thoughts and reflections.

I had originally planned to title this post "Faith vs. Science"--as if they are opposing forces. But the more I think about it, the more I realize that I'm not on one side or the other. I believe that the two can be complimentary rather than competitive. And come to think of it, I actually know very little about either. But Jesus said, "I assure you, if you had faith as small as a mustard seed you could say to this mountain, 'move from here to there,' and it would move. Nothing would be impossible" (Matthew 20:21). So perhaps it's okay that I don't have a lot of knowledge on Faith. As for Science, I guess more knowledge would make it easier to understand "doctor talk".

I remember having a conversation with my brother about the Science behind medical interventions for IF. Instantly, he responded that if God blessed the scientists with the knowledge and the abilities to create procedures to intervene, he'd use them in a heartbeat. I realize that one could argue that God blessed individuals with scientific knowledge and some created bad and hurtful things as well...but I do get what he's saying.

But another part of me gravitates to Exodus 14:14: "The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still". What a promise! And what a test of Faith when there are so many distractions out there!

In thinking about Faith, I feel like I've come to the conclusion that I faithfully believe 100% that God has something in store for my life, and that He will provide for me. But after three miscarriages, I feel like I can't say with that much certainty that His plan will include carrying a baby to full term. That's what I want more than anything, but maybe that's not what He wants for me. But if what I want doesn't match up with with He wants, I trust that His perfect plan will emerge, and it's up to me to embrace it.

I guess it comes down to a combination of both Faith and Science. I would be silly to refuse the Science behind the bloodwork tests if they could help give us some answers. But when Science fails, I need my Faith more than ever. If I--according to Science--take vitamins to nourish me physically; shouldn't I also--according to Faith--spend time with Christ to nourish me spiritually?

This reminds me of my own grandmother, who was given a 5% chance to live when she was diagnosed with a weird strand of cancer 20-some-odd years ago. Of course, she went through the radiation and chemotherapy that Science recommended. But that wasn't enough of a care plan for her. My grandmother is a prayer warrior, as are many around her. When the doctors--with all of their Science--proclaimed her free and clear of the disease, they attributed it to the power of prayer and Faith.

I guess it comes down to this (at least in my mind). Science may or may not help me carry a child to full term. But my Faith will undoubtably bring me closer to my Lord; and by Faith, I will undoubtably one day see my children in Heaven.

As for blessings, reflecting on this topic has reminded me just how much I love my grandmother. She's an amazing woman who cares so deeply for others around. When I was in college, she used to send me cookies...and a check for $15 to buy the milk to go with them. And she makes the best cookies ever! I pray that I have the chance to see her with her great-grandchild, and I pray that I get the chance to be an amazing grandmother someday as well.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Big Mistake

Things were a bit slow at work I found myself on "Dr. Google". For someone who is trying not to obsess about trying, this turned out to be a big mistake! A woman suffering from RPL can make herself sick with worry at the statistics, recommendations, and painful stories that appear whenever she hits "search". It only lasted for about half an hour...but it was enough to mess me up a bit.

Ugh. I'll get over it soon enough, but it got my mind going. Are there things that I should be trying? Would additional vitamin supplements help? What about herbs? Is there some sort of treatment out there that my doctor hasn't considered? Then I end up grappling with the whole "faith vs. medicine" question...but perhaps I'll save that for another post.

All in all, I still need to call the slow time at work a blessing--even if it is getting me into trouble with unnecessary searches. My appointments having been filling lately, so I've had the chance to look ahead and prepare for the Fall semester. I often tend to procrastinate, so I'm super proud of myself to starting on some of these projects. It's a true blessing to be able to focus on my work and not rush through it.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Two Months...But Who's Counting?

Now that my cycle started and I got a negative HPT, I called the RE's office to update them. I guess I really should have called about two weeks ago when we got the negative test, but I kept putting it off--I guess waiting until the next cycle started to know for sure--but perhaps that's another good sign that I'm not obsessing over calling them right away. Anyway, the kind receptionist looked up my chart, made the update, and read the note that said to wait two months with barrier protection before trying again. However, when I had seen the RE at the dreaded appointment when they couldn't find a heartbeat, he told me at that time to wait for two months before trying. (And come to think of it, that was now exactly two months ago--I hadn't put those dates together in my head until just now.)

So the question is, do I go by the two months that the doctor previously said (he clearly said "July or August" when I saw him in May)? Or the two months as the receptionist said yesterday? Part of me wants to be cautious, because I fear that if we get pregnant again and lose another baby, I'm going to be second-guessing myself and wondering if it could have been prevented by waiting longer (though the doctor previously briefly mentioned that there's no correlation between recurrent loss and the length of time one waits). But the other part of me says that I'm not the biggest fan of "barrier protection" (as the receptionist put it). So I think I'm going to just leave it up to God (and my husband's desires--remember, I'm trying not to obsess about "trying", and rather just have fun).

As for blessings, I have a lot to be blessed about. For starters, we've had a productive weekend so far with pulling weeds. Sure, the work isn't quite fun, but our yard is looking better. I also had the chance to watch my husband's softball team win their playoff tournament on Thursday. He gets so much enjoyment out of his time of the team, so it was great to see them win it all. Lastly, we're in the middle of the monsoon season now in Southern Arizona, so I've been able to sit out on the back porch for the last couple of nights and watch the rain, lightening, and amazing sunsets with my husband. It's nights like these that make the summer heat bearable.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Cycle Day 1

So I get back to Arizona after not seeing my husband for a week, and what do you expect happens? I start my period right away.

I'm going through a mixture of emotions. I'm somewhat relieved--we weren't supposed to be trying again until I had another regular cycle, but we also hadn't been using any protection, so it's probably good that I'm not pregnant already. Then again, I'm somewhat disappointed--it's so tempting to want to be pregnant again, so I kind of wished that an "oops" had happened. I'm somewhat anxious--I can't help but start counting down the days until I think I'll ovulate...and with a "perfect cycle", I'll probably be flying out to visit a friend in Southern California without my husband. I'm somewhat scared--I worry that I will start obsessing again. But I think, overall, I'm mostly "pleased"--this was about a 5 week cycle, but given that this was following a miscarriage and it takes a body a bit more time to get back to normal after a loss, I'll take it.

So here we are, back in the "trying mode". But like I said previously, I don't want to become consumed with trying. I'm going to try to not to obsess about everything. I'm going to resist that urge to ruin the mood by saying "Honey, I think I'm ovulating" before getting into bed; and rather, simply just enjoy each other.

I'm blessed to have had a great visit with my family (including an amazing day at the spa with my mom and Sister-in-Law on Monday); but I'm also blessed to be back home with my husband...who tells me that I'm more comfortable to cuddle with than a pillow.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


There are certain dates of significance that stand out to me like mile-markers on this journey of TTC. Of course, there are the three days of loss--my husband's birthday, Valentine's day, and then most recently on June 6th. But then there's today--July 12th. I don't know why today sticks out in my mind so clearly--it probably wouldn't for anyone who has had a "normal" pregnancy. But one year ago today, I ovulated for the first time in seven months and conceived our first child. I know, becuase I was obsessively tracking my BBT.

I think this date is significant for two conflicting reasons. First, it was a sign that we could get pregnant on our own--a great source of joy. And second, it marks of year in which we suffered through three miscarriages--a great source of sadness.

Mid-July 2007 (when I went off birth control) through July 11, 2008 was a year of frustration over my crazy cycle (or lack thereof). July 12, 2008 through today was a year of some major peaks and valleys. While I never want to forget the lives of my three lost babies, I sincerely hope and pray that we can move on from this year. This process has been slower than what I would have hoped for, but perhaps the joy will outweigh the sadness this year.

As for blessings, I've been so blessed on this trip home to visit some people who are so dear to me. I'm staying with my parents, but also got to spend some quality time with my brothers and my sister-in-law. I went up towards Tahoe to visit my grandma on Friday with my mom, and then headed the opposite direction to the Bay Area with my parents today to visit my grandparents. On Saturday, my parents left me all alone while they attended a wedding, so I had the chance to visit with a couple from church who have been a such a support to us and have prayed for us through our journey. It may be a sleepy little farming town, but there are so many people here who really do love me and encourage me. And for that, I'm extremely blessed.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


You may have remembered a post from a week or so ago entitled "Positivity", lamenting that I still had enough HCG in my system to result in a positive HPT. Well, I'm happy to report that I can now post the flipside--aptly titled "Negativity".

After the positive test, I told myself that I wouldn't test again until after the Chicago trip. But we got home on Sunday...and I kept forgetting to test until this morning. I take that as a good sign. It's funny that when we're TTC, I'm always so anxious to test, and I feel like I have a one-track mind, just counting down the days and waking up early on the set day. So to forget all about it for two days gives me hope that I won't always obsess as much as I do (at least until we start trying again).

I recognize that hoping for a negative test is not quite as mentally consuming as praying for a positive test. And I feel a bit weird saying "I'm happy to report", because in the grand scheme of things, I'm not at all happy about a negative test. I wish with all my heart that I was still pregnant right now. But given that this wasn't God's plan for my life at the moment, I see a negative test as a small victory. It means that I'm physically ready to move on. (So now is the time to start praying for a new cycle).

Today's blessing (aside from the negative test) is that my supervisor brought in apples from her garden for me! I can't wait to make and eat applesauce from them.

Monday, July 6, 2009

One Down, One To Go

We got back from our amazing vacation to Chicago last night...and I booked another trip this morning. I'm headed home to visit my family in rural Northern California this time, so it's nothing nearly as glamorous as the trip to Chicago. But I am so excited to see my family. My mom offered to come and visit when I was going through this most recent miscarriage, but it just wasn't the right time. I feel like I'm in a good place now, so I look forward to seeing them soon. Did I mention the trip is this weekend? I don't usually wait till the last minute for things like these, but was trying to coordinate it around my husband's work and Army stuff, and things kept getting messed up.

Anyway, Chicago was a blast, so I'll incorporate our adventures into my blessings:
  • I'm blessed that our travels to and from Chicago worked out just fine with no delays
  • I'm blessed that the Cubs won at Wrigley Field...and it was such a blessing to see the look on my husband's face as he reacted to a Grand Slam!
  • I'm blessed to have had the chance to eat some amazing food at "Taste of Chicago": Jambalaya, Pierogies, Irish Eggrolls, Sesame Beef Skewers, Sweet Potato Fries, Polish Sausage Sandwich, Oreo Cheesecake (yes...I totally deviated from the healthy eating recommendations that my RE suggested...and it was totally worth it!)
  • I'm blessed to watch amazing fireworks--but more importantly, I'm blessed to live in a country that fights to preserve my freedoms
  • I'm blessed to have had an amazing time with my loving husband exploring the sights and restaurants of the city, with the chance to sleep in every morning

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


We leave bright and early tomorrow morning for a long weekend in Chicago! This trip is bittersweet--though mostly sweet. We booked the trip while hanging out on the couch all day on that fateful Saturday when I took the meds to induce this most recent miscarriage. Bless his heart, I'm sure that my husband does not recognize and equate those sorts of things. But I can't help but remember little details like that.

But like I said, mostly sweet. We'll catch a Cubs game tomorrow night, check out amazing food at "Taste of Chicago", watch the fireworks over Navy Pier on the Fourth of July, and relax and enjoy each other for the rest of the weekend. We've both only been to Chicago once before (not together), so we're looking forward to exploring the city (though I admit that we are both small-town kids...and he tends to freak out a bit at the thought of crowds).

As for blessings, it's now July...and that means that we hit the really slow time in our academic schedule. We finished the bulk of our New Student Orientations, and now I get to leisurely work on various projects that I've been putting off throughout the busier times of the year. It's a blessing to be able to have a moment to catch my breath and truly focus (and take time off).