Monday, August 31, 2009
Well, it was worth the wait. I called this morning and spoke with the receptionist, who shared that my levels were within the normal range, so I do not have a Protein C Deficiency after all. Thank You God! What a relief! That means no more Heparin shots, if we ever get pregnant again.
It wasn't until a couple of hours later that I realized that perhaps I went through those six weeks of shots twice a day in the stomach for nothing. Oh well. I trust that the doctor was advising me to the best of his abilities at the time with the information that he had available. Then I started wondering if perhaps the Heparin could have caused the miscarriage...but I tried to push that thought away. I can't dwell on it--what's done is done. I don't know why things turn out the way they do, but at least I didn't spend nine months taking shots that I didn't need (don't get me wrong--I would have gladly done so if it meant having a healthy baby...but turns out I don't need them, so I'll gladly forego the pain and the expense from now on).
That's my blessing of the day as well. No more shots, and no more paying for shots that my insurance doesn't cover. What a blessing!
Thursday, August 27, 2009
It's been super busy, but so far it's off to a good start. I've got some great student leaders to rely on, and I've really been trying to delegate responsibilities to them lately. I admit that I'm still rather "hands on", but I have been trying to relinquish a little bit of the control to which I tend to cling. I have to remind myself that it's really my job to "empower" them rather than "direct" them.
But I feel so bad on my first day home before 6:00 pm...that I chose to stay home and pick up the house instead of going to my husband's softball game with him. I normally love going with him and cheering for his team, but I've been getting home so late all week and just crashing, that I feel like I needed a moment to get caught up on my domestic obligations. So although I really wish that I was with him right now, I do hope that he appreciates a tidy house when he returns (notice I say "tidy" but not "clean"...I don't think I have that much energy).
My blessing for the last few days has been my supervisor. If this first week is tough for me, it's even more crazy for her. And yet she's been such a great support to not only me, but everyone else in the office. In particular, she has helped me put out a couple of little fires that could have totally exploded into huge issues, and always does so with so much patience. She's a true woman of faith, and I'm so blessed to have her as a supervisor.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
In between loads of rocks and weeds, I also managed to bake two cheesecakes--one Blueberry Swirl, and one Snickers. I think I often show my appreciation for others through baked goods, which is a nice-enough gesture...as long as I can control the urge to sample absolutely everything that comes out of the oven. These two cheesecakes were a "welcome back gift" for my student leaders that I was meeting with this afternoon before classes get started tomorrow. I just hope that it's enough of an inspiration for the busy start of the year.
Yesterday's blessing was the chance to have dinner with a great friend. Actually, I supervised her during her first year of grad school, and always appreciated her for the work that she did and the friendship that developed throughout our time of working together. I got to meet her new boyfriend, and see just how happy she is at this point in her life and her career. She is now teaching kindergarten, and I know that she must be such an amazing blessing in the lives of her students.
Friday, August 21, 2009
When I first found out that I was pregnant the most recent time, I had been so excited to think that I would probably be showing at this point, and all of my students would come back from Summer and be so excited for me in that condition. It didn't quite work out that way...though I do hope that they are still excited to see me. Oh well. Perhaps we'll get lucky next month, and they'll be able to notice the growth throughout the academic year.
So last month, we were still in the "trying but not trying" sort of mode as we were in that time between "two months" and "two cycles". Now that it's been officially two cycles, I guess you could say that we're officially "trying" again. I'm leaving it all in God's hands, but my husband's birthday is mid-September, and I would love nothing more than to give him a BFP for his birthday. But again, it's in God's hands, not mine. I can think of all these cute plans in my head, but ultimately, I recognize I have no control in the matter.
For blessings, I recognize that this summer has been nice. I sure wish that I had been pregnant all summer long, but in the absence of a pregnancy, I was able to travel and visit friends and family more than I would had I been preparing for a baby. The slow time of the year has really been a blessing, as I've been able to relax and work-out and unwind each evening. I just hope that I find just as many blessed moments as we head into the school year.
Monday, August 17, 2009
So, here I am again on Cycle Day 1 (I know that a common term on IF blogs is "AF", but I just can't bring myself to call it that). This is the second cycle after the last loss, so I guess that by "trying but not trying", we followed the two-cycle/two-month wait after all (which ends up actually being more like three months when you add it all up...but who's counting?).
I also ended up calling the RE's office today to see if there are any tests that they want to run (or re-run) before my insurance changes in October and I lose my IF coverage. I debated over whether or not to call, but they decided to retest my Protein C and Protein S levels, as that was the one thing that came back slightly irregular last time. If I remember correctly, my Protein C levels were 69, but the normal range starts at 81. After Loss #3, he said it had nothing to do with the Protein C Deficiency (which really just means that I'm more prone to blood clots). If it means possibly avoiding twice-daily Heparin injections again, I'd gladly sacrifice one prick for a re-test. So I'm glad that I was bold and made the call--I'm afraid that I would kick myself later on down the road if I realized that I should have been more proactive when the insurance was covering it.
Today's blessing was a speedy answer to prayer. I put it out there yesterday that I needed prayers for patience and understanding as I waited through being "late", and my cycle shows up first thing in the morning. I don't even know if I ovulated last month, but at least things are starting over now. Some may call it a "curse", but I sure consider it a "blessing".
Sunday, August 16, 2009
If I were following a perfect 28 day cycle; then yes, I would say that I were "late". As I mentioned in a previous post, I don't feel different at all...so I haven't tested yet. I guess part of me just doesn't want to "waste" a test. And perhaps another part of me doesn't want to be disappointed by a BFN (even though I say that we were "trying but not trying").
More likely, I'm thinking that I'm "late" because I'm afraid that my cycle may be off again. The last cycle was six-weeks, but I chalked that up to the fact that it was following Loss #3, so I figured my hormones were out of whack. The cycle prior to the most recent pregnancy was 30 days, and I was stoked! I thought that perhaps the Metformin had "fixed" everything. But I'm now on Day 33...and wondering if I even ovulated...or if perhaps that is still to come...or maybe won't show up this time at all...
I'm trying not to worry or obsess or dwell on it too much. It would be so hard to deal with another loss, so I pleaded with God that He only allow me to conceive if and when I can carry to term. After three losses, I'd rather just not conceive than deal with another loss. I realize that I can't exactly tell God how to run my life, but I have to trust that He knows what he's doing.
I realize that I can only live in this "late" phase for so long. Something is bound to happen in some capacity, sooner or later. Until then, I pray for patience and understanding.
Today's blessing is totally selfish. My husband and I play Scrabble at Starbucks every Sunday after church, and it seems like I've lost every game this summer. Maybe I just got lucky, but it sure was a blessing to win today. More importantly, it's always a blessing to have this consistent time alone with my husband.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Well now, our poor state is in a bit of a budget crunch--as are many other institutions these days. I knew that rates and services and coverage were going to change...but I wasn't prepared for them to completely cut out any infertility coverage. It's all gone:
Infertility counseling, diagnosis, and treatment previously covered at 50% up to $1,000 per member or $2,000 per family will no longer be covered. Medical services for infertility will be the responsibility of the member.
I can feel my stress level rising as I type that. Gosh, I'm glad we got those tests done last year. For the most part, I believe that my RE is seen as just a "Specialist" (thus a $30 co-pay, though it was previously only $20), rather than exclusively as "Infertility Treatment" (which is no longer covered at all). And luckily, it seems like my RE often charges me for just "Regular" OB/GYN types of visits rather than even at the "Specialist" level (and OB/GYN visits were the one and only service that didn't change from the $10 co-pay). But perhaps that may change too.
Thinking back to my previous "What's 'Right' With Me" post, I may not ever even need insurance that covers infertility. I've conceived naturally three times now, so something is working without too much intervention. But then again, I've also lost all three babies in the first trimester...so perhaps I really could benefit from coverage. And if I think beyond myself, what about the couples relying on these benefits that really do in fact need extended infertility coverage? I imagine that their hearts are breaking right now.
I guess it might be time to look at what my husband's insurance is covering...
But as for blessings, I do realize that it is such a huge blessing to have health insurance! So I'm disappointed that the coverage has decreased for areas that I see as vital, but I hope that this isn't construed as "complaining".
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
But with that in mind, rather than starting to obsess about what could be "wrong" with me, I wanted to try to consider what is "right" with me. (And thank you to Christa for the inspiration to adopt a more healthy "mantra").
So...here are the things that I know are "right" with me:
- My spiritual life has brought me closer to Christ than I think I've ever been before
- I've been able to conceive naturally three times
- Thanks to three years of braces, my teeth are straight
- My car is completely paid off
- I've lost a considerable amount of weight from the combination of exercise, healthy diet adjustments, and good ol' Metformin
- My relationship with my family (especially my mom) has never been better than what it is right now
- The doctor says I have a "beautiful uterus" and "perfect tubes"
- I married the man who is absolutely perfect for me and loves me the way I am
- My chromosomes (and those of my husband) are totally normal
- I have friends who love, support, and challenge me at the necessary times
- I have a good schedule that allows me to get just about eight hours of sleep a night
- In such a challenging economy, I have a "good-enough" job with "good-enough" benefits
I could go on--and I need to remind myself of that. I have so many good things going for me. When people start giving me that pity look when I tell them my story, I'm quick to point out that I am perfectly healthy and my husband is perfectly healthy, and that's such a huge blessing. It doesn't negate my desire to have children, but it is a good reminder.
In addition to those listed above, my blessing of the day was running into some of my former student staff members from my previous position. They are in training for the upcoming school year (which was always my favorite time of the entire year), and they totally brought me so much joy both when I worked with them and now. Some students just have that ability to bring joy wherever they go!
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
But in the IF world, I'm not normal. And so I wait and wonder.
I don't feel anything strange. In each of the three previous pregnancies (and even in the cycles in between), my breasts always hurt after ovulation. They don't hurt now. Perhaps I didn't ovulate. Or perhaps things are just different. I don't remember my breasts hurting prior to TTC...but then again, I was on the pill. I don't remember them hurting prior to the pill...but then again, I wasn't paying attention to the details since I wasn't TTC. So who knows?
I trust that the Lord has something in store for me. And luckily, things are starting to pick up at work to keep me preoccupied and distracted.
As for blessings, I was blessed to get a new computer at work yesterday. I've been having all kinds of problems with my old laptop...then the replacement they got was even worse...and I've been on the temporary "office floater" for most of the summer. It might seem so trivial, but I heavily rely on my computer in my position. Classes start in less than two weeks and it will be the busiest time of the year, so I'm totally grateful that I'm technologically ready. Now I just have all the other little details to finish up...
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Since that fateful month, I've suffered two more miscarriages; while my brother and sister-in-law have postponed trying again. In my recent trip back home, she shared with me that they were hoping to start trying again in August. She's a teacher, so in her "perfect world", they would conceive at the beginning of the school year and deliver at the end of the school year, so that she could go straight into summer with her new baby.
Here's my problem. I'm the oldest. I was married first. I'm the oldest grandchild. In my mind, I'm supposed to have the first baby. But obviously it doesn't work that way. And I often need to remind myself that it's not a race.
Like I said, I totally love and adore my sister-in-law, and we often share about our fertility fears. I wish that neither of us had to deal with these losses, but it is kind of nice to have someone else in the family who understands what I'm going through. We process our losses in different ways, but I appreciate the support that she has shown me through the difficult times. I know that she will be an amazing mother, and my brother will be the coolest father. So why do I want so badly to have the first baby?
If I've learned anything from these losses, it's that my plans don't turn out the way that I want them to all the time. I need to let go of my plan to be the first to have a baby, and trust that God's plan for my life (and the life of my sister-in-law) is perfect.
As I think about my blessings after a post like this, I really do recognize just how blessed I am to have such an amazing sister-in-law. She brings so many great things out in my brother, and perfectly tolerates my crazy family (let's be honest--it's hard to marry into a family where you have a pastor for a father-in-law and a marriage and family therapist for a mother-in-law). I love her dearly, and hope and pray that we can share the joys of pregnancy and children together soon.
Friday, August 7, 2009
This colleague works part-time in our office, and teaches part-time as well, so has a cubicle rather than an office. I dropped in to ask her a quick question, and since her back was to the door (facing her computer screen), I didn't see that she was on her cell phone. But I did see the computer monitor, full of beautiful ultrasound pictures. I know that her daughter is expecting in December (when I would have been due), so I assume that she was talking to her on the phone. I didn't stick around to look, but rather gave her the privacy to finish the conversation (and admiring her first grandchild).
But I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was genuinely happy for my colleague (who, by the way, is so kind and compassionate to me). I admit that I think I sometimes have some lingering feelings towards women who I know who are so easily pregnant without experiencing the pain and frustration that I've endured. I can't say I'm "bitter" or "jealous"--it's not quite that extreme...they are just "feelings". And I even feel bad writing this, as I fear I may offend or hurt some readers--and that's not intent--rather, I just need to be honest with myself and others and disclose that sometimes it's really hard to be around pregnant women when I can't seem to fully join that club.
But maybe that's part of it--my colleague isn't the one who is pregnant. It's her daughter--who I've never met and don't have to pass in the hallways everyday as she gets bigger and bigger. Or maybe it's that seeing my colleague care for her daughter (even just over the phone) reminds me of my mom, and how much she cares about me. Perhaps it's that I recognize the desire to want your child to be happy--that's what I really want, and I'm sure that's what she wants for her (grown-up) child as well.
So I think that having an "Ahh!" escape my lips and truly penetrate my heart is a good first step. I know I still have a long way to go, but it's a start.
Today's blessing was being able to leave the office at the end of the week and feel like I had accomplished something. Things were relatively slow in terms of my appointments, but I was able to get a lot of little details completed for the various programs that I oversee. I'm also blessed with a board of student leaders who are excited to help out, and tell me that they really want to impact others around them. You may remember that I was lamenting a few posts ago ("Ugg") that I felt rather unfulfilled in my work. I guess I'm happy to say that things are starting to look up. Maybe it was (dare I say it?) just too much time on my hands. Something tells me I'll soon miss those days...
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
I was once an anonymous reader and commenter. It was after Loss #2, and I was starting to feel like I didn't know of anyone else in my circle of friends who had more than one loss. I happened to find a blog when I was googling, hoping to find some sort of answers for my unending list of questions. What I found, instead, was comfort and inspiration, knowing that there are other women out there like me.
Prior to discovering the world of blogging, I never thought that anyone would want to read my thoughts. My brother is the writer of the family--complete with a degree from Yale and a novel in the works. So why would anyone be interested in hearing me go on and on and on about the struggles to carry a baby to full term? But apparently this pain can lead to camaraderie; and from there...hope.
There may not be a lot of followers (and I admit that I have a tinge of "follower envy" at times), but they are genuine. I appreciate the honesty and vulnerability (and occasional humor) that they share, and the care and concern that I receive. So to my four amazing (visible) followers--Thank You too!
Today's blessing was a day off. I can't believe that school starts in just over two weeks now! My summer is definitely coming to a close. So days like today are "preventative maintenance", since I know that my schedule will only get fuller as the days tick away. It's such a blessing to relax and veg...but perhaps I'll also use the opportunity to get a work out in.
Monday, August 3, 2009
I'm also feeling better since my "Ugg" post. Thank you for letting me get a lot of that off my chest. Nothing has "changed" since that post, and it's not that I'm saying that I "accept" my situation. Rather, I guess I'm just "recognizing" that I want more. Now I just need to figure out how to get it.
On the "trying-but-not-trying" front, I think I ovulated somewhere in the last week or so. And true to my word, I didn't ruin the moment by saying "Honey, I think I'm ovulating" (although, I admit, I did "intentionally initiate" more than I told myself I would, rather than letting things happen "naturally"). But I was out of town for a couple of days without my husband...so maybe we missed our window of opportunity. Now we wait.
As for blessings, I had the chance to spend some valuable time with some amazing friends in the last couple of days. These are all former colleagues (from my previous position) who were (and are) so much more than co-workers to me. With all three, a constant theme of our conversations was that growing up sometimes sucks. Whether it's job struggles or physical ailments, we each have our issues (or "Ugg moments") from time to time. I love them dearly, and wish them all the best.