Saturday, January 30, 2010

Why Won't Anyone Pray That I Puke?

They say that morning sickness is a good sign in a pregnancy...right?  So why do my husband and family and friends (the limited few with whom we've shared the news) shake their heads and tell me that they hope that I don't have to go through it when I ask them to pray for morning sickness?  Why won't anyone pray that I puke?

I want to experience this pregnancy to its full capacity, morning sickness (or all-day sickness) and all.  I was actually excited when I broke out a week or so ago.  It was before I had taken the test, so it gave me hope that something was happening with my hormones.  (C'mon hormones!  Do your work and make me sick!).  After experiencing the three previous losses, I feel like I'm clinging to any symptom that may or may not be legitimate.  The more times I can look at a list and say "I have that!", the better I feel.  (However, I'm trying to stay clear of "Dr. Google" as much as I'm just thinking back to anything I've ever previously learned about pregnancies).

I guess I feel a little bit queasy from time to time, but I can't tell if I'm nauseous...or hungry...or if it's all just psychosomatic.  To be sure, I want the knock-me-on-my-butt no-way-to-deny-it type of morning sickness.  So really--I give you permission to pray that I puke.

Today's blessing is that my husband is motivated to clean the house...and he's perfectly content to let me relax and incubate.  He's a computer nerd, and his recent projects have spilled out of his office and the "man cage" and have taken over our dining room table.  I've tolerated his mess for a couple of weeks now, but I will be glad to have a presentable house again--especially since we have friends coming over next weekend for the Super Bowl.  He's in a cleaning frenzy, and I'm perfectly content.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Acknowledging "Anonymous"

Here I am, a little bit concerned but mostly excited about this pregnancy...while a woman searches for "recurrent miscarriage" and stumbles upon my blog.  She shares in an anonymous comment that she read my story and cried at her desk at work for an hour.  I've been there before--crying at work over blogs from women whom I've never even met.  My heart breaks for her, and as silly as it sounds, I wish that I could reach out and hug her.  Like me, she has suffered three losses.  Like me, she longs to hold her child in her arms.  I assume that she craves a community of women who understands her pain, and yet probably secretly wishes that she weren't associated with us.  No one wants to be part of this community...and yet here we are.

I wanted to acknowledge this "Anonymous" commenter, and any others who have anonymously shared words of hope for me along this journey.  I wish that I had a way to connect to those who wish to stay anonymous...but yet I realize that the whole premise of anonymity allows the author to remain unidentified.  Though I may not know the details of your story, please know that my heart goes out to you and I keep you in my prayers.

It's so unfortunate that we all had to "meet" this way--over common pains and yet-to-be-filled desires instead of cups of tea and family photos.  And yet I cherish what you offer me--understanding, support, encouragement, and hope.  I pray that I am able to provide to you a bit of what you have shared with me. 

I don't know if this woman will ever check my blog again.  Perhaps the hour she spent reading my story will be the only time our paths will cross...or perhaps she will feel empowered to share her pain and her desires in a similar venue and experience the healing support that is offered here.  Either way, I pray that she--and any other readers--know how much I appreciate them and that I hold on to hope that the Lord bless them in their journey.

Today's blessing was a nice walk with my husband after a long week at work.  I can tell that our days are starting to get just a little bit longer, so it was nice to enjoy the sunset and his company. 

Thursday, January 28, 2010

So Hard

I was in a Dixie Chicks mood over the weekend, so dug through my CDs to find their most recent album (whch I realize is now a few years old).  I hadn't listened to it in a while, but was immediately touched by the lyrics of Track 13, titled "So Hard":

Back when we started
We didn't know how hard it was
Living on nothing
But what the wind would bring to us
Now we've got something
I can imagine fighting for
So why is fighting all that we're good at anymore

And sometimes I don't have the energy
To prove everybody wrong
And I try my best to be strong
But you know it's so hard
It's so hard

It's so hard when it doesn't come easy
It's so hard when it doesn't come fast
It's so hard when it doesn't come easy
It's so hard

It felt like a given
Something a woman's born to do
A natural ambition
To see a reflection of me and you
And I'd feel so guilty
If that was a gift I couldn't give
And could you be happy
If life wasn't how we pictured it

And sometimes I just want to wait it out
To prove everybody wrong
And I need your help to move on
Cause you know it's so hard
It's so hard

It's so hard when it doesn't come easy
It's so hard when it doesn't come fast
It's so hard when it doesn't come easy
So hard

I can live for the moment
When all these clouds open up for me to see
And show me a vision
Of you and me swimming peacefully
Last night you told me
That you can't remember
How to feel free

It's so hard when it doesn't come easy
It's so hard when it doesn't come fast
It's so hard when it doesn't come easy, easy
It's so hard

I hadn't realized the significance of the song when I first heard it, but it really resonates with me now.  After listening to it in the car, I immediately headed home and found an article in which the sisters shared their struggles with fertility.

I wish everything wasn't so hard.  Even now that I'm pregnant, I still continue to worry.  I woke up this morning to realize that my boobs don't ache the way that I wish they would.  I also didn't wake up in the middle of the night to pee, like I had the two previous nights.  My mind starts going to places where it shouldn't...and all I can do is call out to God to bless me.

My blessing today is the chance to have lunch with my very-dear friend.  In addition to being a prayer warrior, she's also just about done with med school, so she has precious knowledge to share with me that helps me better understand the human body.  I'm so blessed that God brought her into my life.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

So Far, So Good

So the results of the betas are in:

Test 1:  Friday, January 22nd:  653
Test 2:  Monday, January 25th:  2047

According to this website, that calculates to a doubling time of 47.32 hours.  As I understand it, HCG levels are supposed to double every 48-72 hours, so I'm right in there...right?

I'm still rather clueless as to exactly when I ovulated, but I'm guessing it was around Day 16 (the previous two cycles were 30 days, so it seems like a reasonable guesstimation).  If so, that would mean that the beta tests were done 18 and 21 days past ovulation, and would look like this:

I'm selfish, and can't help but wish for more tests, but insurance doesn't pay for it and the doctor has already said that the numbers are "great".  So I need to trust him (and more importantly, trust God).

Based on these results, the RE scheduled an ultrasound for three weeks from today.  So February 16th is the next big day for us.  By my calculations, I should be around 8 weeks (give or take a few days), and I pray that we hear a solid heartbeat at that point.  My ears yearn to hear that amazing sound!

Today's blessing was a surprise at the pharmacy.  Even though the insurance people told me my copay for the Heparin was going to be $10 for 7 vials...the pharmacy said that it's actually only $10 for 60 vials!  They still hurt, but that's totally more manageable.  On the other hand, they only gave me 30 vials (and owe me the other 30)...apparently there is a Heparin shortage so they are back ordered.  If they don't get more, then the pharmacist suggested Lovonox  (with the RE's permission, or course), which only requires one shot per day instead of two.  I neglected to ask is the Lovonox is covered, but I trust that God's plan will provide, one way or another.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Belly Shots

No, no no...not those photo type of "belly shots".  It's way too early for anything like that.  And no...not those types of "belly shots" either (that only happened once in grad a Mexican karaoke bar...and come to think of it, they're typically called "body shots").  No...I mean "belly shots" in injections...of the Heparin kind.

I can't say I'm a little bit bummed.  But before I go any further, of course I'll do them.  Yet I have to admit...I'm a little bit peeved at the doctor.  When my RE first did the test (along with a whole list of other tests) back in February 2009, he waved it off as if were a fluke.  When I got pregnant a few months later, I gladly sucked it up and tolerated the shots...even during the weeks in between ultrasounds to confirm that there indeed was no heartbeat.  So I was extremely relieved in August 2009, when I asked them to retest, to learn that I was no longer deficient, and would no longer need the shots...or so I thought.  Now that I'm pregnant again, he's now saying that perhaps it was the second round of test that were the fluke.  He put the ball in my court, and said that I could go with the most recent results and pass on the Heparin...or I could play it safe and suck it up again.  Apparently there's no point in retesting at this point because my body is already reacting differently with hormones and such.  So...I wish that he had enough foresight when I got conflicting results in February and August to perhaps retest to figure out which result was the fluke.  But I can't live in a "could-a/should-a/would-a" type of world.  The bottom line is that he didn't retest, so I have one elevated test and one normal test--and I want to do anything that's within my power to maintain a healthy pregnancy.  So yes, I'm on Heparin again.  (Perhaps this can be a morsel of wisdom to anyone else out there--if you have conflicting results, it's worth it to press your doctor to get some clarifying information).

So...the next step was to call the insurance.  Previously, they covered none of the Heparin and only a part of the Progesterone.  My insurance changed, so now they cover a part of the Heparin and none of the Progesterone.  The insurance lady was as kind as can be...but she said that my coverage on the Heparin is $10 for 7 vials.  I'm supposed to do injections twice that copay would buy me 3.5 days of medication.  Over the course of a month, this would be $90 a month...but I guess it's better than the $120 I think I was paying previously.  On the other hand, I remember the pharmacist commenting (last time) that it was a good thing that the insurance covered part of the Progesterone because apparently that's the expensive one.  I'll see what kind of bill that's going to cost me tomorrow when I pick it up...  But hey--if they can help maintain a pregnancy for the full nine months, I know that it will all be worth it.  I would gladly tolerate much more pain and heftier bills if it means that I can finally hold a baby in my arms.

I realize that it sounds like I'm complaining.  And well...I guess I am a bit.  But I realize that access to insurance and doctors is a huge blessing, and I'm extremely grateful for the things that they do cover.  I pray with all my heart that it's all worth it.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Beyond Excited and Freakishly Scared

Thank you so much for your kind words, encouragement, and prayers yesterday.  After posting, I called my RE and spoke with the receptionist, who gave me the green light to go and get my blood drawn for my first beta.  Surprisingly, I was in and out of the lab in 10 minutes (the lab they use is not a part of the RE's office).  Shortly after returning, the receptionist called back to let me know that the RE wanted me to continue the heparin injections until they could retest my Protein C/S levels on Monday.  My levels were slightly elevated in February 2009, then normal in September 2009 when I asked them to retest before my insurance changed.  So I assumed that I was in the clear, but I understand and appreciate the caution in having me tolerate the injections until they can test the levels again.  I had a few leftover vials from last time, so I'm really hoping that they will get me through until the results come back...and then hoping that I won't need them anymore beyond that.  But if I do need them, of course I'll gladly bear the pain.  He also prescribed Progesterone supplements (suppositories...ew yuck), which again, I had some leftovers (though I'll probably need a refill on those).  The RE's office won't get the results of the first beta until Monday, at which point I'll go in for the second round (and Thyroid and Protein C/S as well).  Although I'm curious to know my first number, it's kind of nice to not have to think about doubling times over the course of the weekend.  Rather, I'll probably get the first number on Monday and the second number on Tuesday, and just have 24 hours to think about it.

I told my three friends from church about the pregnancy, and shared with them that I'm beyond excited and freakishly scared, all at the same time.  I know it's early, but I need their prayer, support, and understanding.  Some prefer to keep this sort of thing a secret, and I don't blame them.  But as much as I want to think that I'm strong and independent, I know that I deeply rely on those who are closest to me.

I'm back out on the tightrope, and all I can do is trust God.  I think it's all still kind of sinking in that I'm pregnant again.  I truly am beyond excited, but I'm also freakishly scared.  It's tough to do this again when my last three ended in loss.  I'm hoping and praying that this one sticks, and I totally appreciate your continued prayers as well.

Today's blessing was some sunshine after a couple of days of rain.  We need the rain, but it's so nice to see a little bit of sunshine after the atypical amount of rain that we got this week.

Friday, January 22, 2010


I pray that I not cause anyone pain through this post.  If you're not at a good place to read this now, I completely understand, and I pray that you feel God's comforting hand today and always.

I woke up in the middle of the night at 1:30 am.  No...not morning yet...fell back asleep.  I woke up again at 4:30 am.  Did everything I could to fall back to sleep...counted all 30 baseball teams...counted all 50 states in alphabetical order...went through the alphabet and prayed for the first person who came to mind whose name started with that letter.  Nothing helped...I was too excited to take a test.  My alarm typically goes off at 5:20 so that I can get up and do yoga, but I knew I couldn't make it until then.  I promised myself that I would wait until 5:00 am.

I cuddled up against my husband for the last few minutes.  4:58...4:59...5:00...and then made my way to the guest bathroom where my leftover test was stashed behind a pile of towels.  I must have tossed and turned last night, because my hair was a mess.  I pulled it back into a cleaner ponytail, thinking that if I looked at my expression in the mirror, I wanted to notice my reaction...not my crazed hair.  I was also trying to contain my excitement, and trying to tell my body to relax.  As I went about the "testing", my toes instinctively curled in anticipation, as they have with every other time that I've tested.  Placing the test on the box on the counter, I willed myself not to look at it as I finished up.  As I wiped (still no spotting) and flushed and turned to look, it was undeniable.  The brightest, pinkest, most beautiful + I've ever seen.

What an amazing blessing!  Praise God!  I know that this new miracle comes from Him.  I know that He will keep me and protect me through this adventure, as short or as long as it may be.  I pray, with all my heart, that I have this baby the whole nine months, and then for years and years to come.  Please continue to pray for me and for this child that is miraculously now growing inside of me.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Patience is a Virtue...Right?

Thank you so much for your feedback yesterday in helping me figure out when to take a test.  Based on your responses, I've come to two conclusions.  First, I think that the consensus was that I should wait until tomorrow (Friday), so that's the plan.  Patience is a virtue...right?  I have some good distractions throughout the day, including lunch with a good friend, then my husband's softball game, then all my Thursday night shows.  I've often shared that I need to practice patience, so this is another good exercise in waiting on the Lord.  And second, I apparently need to start shopping for tests in the dollar store.  Who knew?

Still no period, still no spotting, and the boobs still hurt.  Those are good signs...right?  I guess I'll know more tomorrow.  Please pray for me.  You don't have to necessarily pray that I get a positive test (though I admit that would be nice); rather, please pray that I feel God's comfort and grace in whatever happens.  I'll be sure to share an update tomorrow.

Today's blessing is the chance to have lunch with a good friend.  I actually met her through the "very-dear friend" a few months ago, and she is also becoming a very close friend (perhaps I'll need to think of a nickname for her as well).  She is an amazingly caring person, and is a great listener, and I always feel so good whenever I hang out with her.  So lunch with her will be the highlight of my day.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I feel kind of silly putting this out there.  I wonder if anyone else gets this way...or is it just me?  I apologize ahead of time if I'm being too dramatic...

I'd love your feedback.  I'm debating whether or not I should take a test; and if so, then when.  I haven't "wasted" a test since my last loss, and I'd rather not start now.  There is just something so demoralizing about a negative test...and I only have one left from my last purchase, so I want it to be put to good use.  When I'm tracking my temperature, I have some sort of indication of where I am in the post-ovulation calendar.  But since I didn't track this cycle, I'm rather clueless.  Here is what I do know:
  • Today is Day 32
  • My last five cycles (since the third loss) have been 33, 32, 32, 30, 30 days (the more recent being 30 days)
  • I've had no spotting (but my cycles typically start with spotting 2-3 days before it really starts)
  • My breasts have been sore since the weekend (but perhaps that's from poking them every five minutes)
  • My face has broken out (but last week was the first week of perhaps it was due to stress)
I originally told myself that I would wait the full five weeks until Saturday...but then I start getting ahead of myself, thinking about betas and turnaround times at the RE's office and when I could slip away from work. If I waited until Saturday, the RE's office will be closed.  So if I waited until Friday morning, I could call the RE first thing in the morning and hope that they could get me in to do the beta bloodwork and hope that it fits with my schedule that day and then hope that they could get the results back to me before the weekend (this is all assuming that it's a positive test...of course).  So if I wanted to pad that turnaround time a bit, that would put me at Thursday...which is tomorrow.  But then I start wondering if that's too early to test.  So then I'm back at square one.

When I try to take a step back and put it all in perspective, part of me realizes that I should say "what's the rush?" and just hand it all over to God.  But then the other part of me really wants to be pregnant...and really wants to know.

So what do you think?  I'm open to your feedback.

In reflecting on my blessings, the first thing that came to mind is how thankful I am to have this venue and the relationships that I have developed through this blog.  When I feel like there is no one else who understands what I'm going through, I realize how blessed I am to have all of you and your support.  Thank you.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Two Months

I recently realized that I have about a two months supply left on my metformin prescription.  My RE put me on it in February 2009, shortly after my second loss, when my bloodwork came back showing that my FSH/LH levels were not where they were supposed to be--meaning that I had PCOS.  For anyone who may not know, metformin is actually a Type-2 Diabetes medication, but it apparently balances insulin levels, which apparently balance hormone levels.  So metformin is supposed to shorten your cycles (and from what I understand, most people with PCOS have longer cycles).  Since going on it, we've had one more pregnancy and one more loss, and my cycles have typically been in the 32-35 day range.  That's much better than the 100+ days I once went without a cycle (which I admit was shortly going off the pill, and I was totally eating like crap), but I wouldn't say that it's been a "miracle drug" for us.

So I don't think I'm going to refill the prescription once it runs out.  I figure I got pregnant twice before it, and once since it, so it's not like it's the answer to the conception part of our puzzle.  And since I lost each pregnancy, both with and without it, it doesn't seem to be the answer to that riddle either. 

I'm not saying that it doesn't work--because I believe that it does.  But rather, perhaps I don't need it anymore.  If it's main purpose is to balance insulin levels (which start the chain reaction of balancing hormones, etc., etc.), then I can intentionally be careful about the foods that I eat that may cause my insulin levels to spike...and avoid them.  I'm not saying that this will be easy--but it's something to which I can commit for the sake of the chance to have a child.  I've already made some huge lifestyle changes with my diet and exercise, so I believe that the rest of these little changes are manageable as well.

This isn't to say that we're no longer "trying"...because we are.  It's just that it hasn't really seemed to be doing drastic changes in my system--but I do believe that my diet and exercise have made a difference.  So why keep up the artificial bandaid when the natural path seems to be helping?  I'm not saying that everyone should dump out their metformin...I'm simply saying that I'll say "goodbye" to it when the prescription runs out (unless my doctor convinces me otherwise).

Today's blessing was a bit of rain...but sunshine during the times when I needed to walk across campus.  Living in the desert, we'll take as much rain as we can get.  But there's nothing worse than being soaked to the bone all day long (why do you think I chose Arizona after two years in Oregon?).

Sunday, January 17, 2010

10 Pounds

My sister-in-law, who I love dearly, called me the other day to share some frustrating and disappointing news that she received.  She had a doctor's appointment earlier this week, and shared that she showed up feeling chipper and declared to her doctor that she and my brother were ready to start trying again.  For those who are new (or may have forgotten), she and my brother suffered a loss at 30 weeks in September 2008 when my nephew, Joshua Lynn, passed due to entanglement with the umbilical cord.  She has some other health concerns that they were trying to get in check, but now that those other concerns have been addressed, they feel ready to try again.

But even though she feels ready to try again, her doctor recommended that she lose 10 pounds first.  His argument is that she's at a higher risk of twins since her father was a twin, so if she were to get pregnant, she could gain up to 80 pounds.  While I understand his concern, I shared with her that I thought it was rather ludicrous.  I would say that my sister-in-law is in fairly good shape.  I guess I wouldn't say that she's "skinny", but she's most definitely not "fat" by any means.  I'd say that she's pretty much totally "average".  She eats pretty well and gets a fair amount of exercise--especially now that she walks their golden retriever puppy pretty much on a daily basis.  But she has a goal and she has resources, so she's going to try to please the doctor and lose the 10 pounds.

My sister-in-law has apparently been dubbed "super-fertile".  I don't know who gives out these sorts of titles, but I admit that I'd rather like to have the powers associated with it as well.  And given her super-fertility abilities, I also admit that I was just a little bit relieved to hear that her doctor bought me more time with his recommendations to lose the weight.  I know that it's not a race, but yet in my own selfish way, I still want to be pregnant first.  But for her sake, I hope that the weight falls off quickly so that she can pursue her desire as well.

My husband totally blessed me yesterday by treating me to a wonderful date night.  We went to a movie, and then out to dinner at this amazing restaurant with authentic Mexican recipes where the menu changes twice daily, so you never know what you're going to get.  He made the day so sweet, and was a great reminder of just how kind he is.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


As far as this month's cycle goes, I'm pretty much clueless.  I know it's Day 27, and I'm pretty sure that I already ovulated, but I admit that I'm pretty clueless as to how long ago that was.  I didn't track my temperature this month because a) I was on vacation and b) I was a bit upset that I didn't get any plummeting numbers to warn me that the new cycle was starting last month.  I brought the thermometer with me all the way to Montana with the intent to track, but quickly realized that with five nieces and nephews in the house that my sleep cycle would be totally thrown off (not to mention that the heating system that my father-in-law has rigged up keeps the house at a toasty 78 degrees).  I first started noticing EWCM on New Year's Eve, and was rather surprised at the punctuality...but then it stuck around for nearly a week, so I'm totally confused.  It's gone now, so I feel like I can say that ovulation occurred sometime in early January...but I don't know exactly when.

For the last few months, my cycles have been anywhere in the 31-35 day range.  If this is the case, I shouldn't be expecting anything quite yet.  I feel like it would be silly to test tomorrow, so my goal is to try to hold out until at least next Friday, and then decide from there.  At least when I track my temperature, I can focus in on the start-point and end-point of the 2WW.  But I'd hate to "waste" a test.  At least things are busy at work, which can keep me occupied.

My most recent blessing is the chance to spend ample quality time with my husband as we enjoy our new Bluray player.  He's such a techie, and it's so cute to watch him get excited about his new toys.  But I've especially loved catching up on LOST, just snuggled up with him on the couch.  No, we haven't exactly been too productive around the house, but we both totally get engrossed in the show.  And we first started dating around the time that the show came out, so it's kind of fun to re-watch the episodes and think about just how far both our relationship and the plot have evolved.  (And by the way, I'm feeling much better--taking the day off on Monday seemed to do the trick for my cold...thank you for the well wishes.)

Monday, January 11, 2010

No Longer Playing "What-If Games"

About a month ago, I posted my thoughts on living in the moment, and have continued to try to follow this lesson.  My family, on the other hand, hasn't been so quick to embrace what life offers today.

My family is from California, and my husband's family is from Montana.  Our first Christmas together, my husband and I tried to please both families and split our time evenly between the two locations.  On our flight back to Arizona, we both realized how crazy (and expensive) it was, and agreed to alternate our visits.  Christmas 2008 was spent with my family in California, and since my sister-in-law and I had both just suffered losses in September, the family decided to do something fun and different.  So we skipped the gifts and camped in tent cabins in Yosemite in the snow...and it was amazing! 

Fast-forward a couple of months to this most recent summer, and my parents went to Hawaii with some friends to take advantage of their time-share.  My mom sent daily text messages to my brothers and me sharing how much she wanted to bring us all to Hawaii again (we last vacationed there as a family in 2000).  So we all agreed that we would spend Christmas 2010 in Hawaii.  Sounds marvelous, right?

Well now the rest of my family doesn't want to go to Hawaii because they're playing the "what-if games".   What if my sister-in-law and/or I are pregnant?  What if we get pregnant right away and have a newborn?  I'm extremely disappointed--not only that I'll miss out on Hawaii, but also that my family is stuck playing "what-if games".  I've embraced living in the moment, and I wish that they would as well.

I can't control them, and of course I'll still join them for the holidays (it now looks like we'll vacation in Tahoe, which is only two hours away from my hometown), but I will no longer play the "what-if games".  I will no longer put off getting a massage during a 2WW because I'm afraid it may release toxins in my body.  I will no longer stand up in the shower to shave my legs because I fear that I may pick up bacteria from taking a bath.  I will no longer pass up the chance to lick the beater when I make cheesecake because the raw egg could cause damage.  And as I previously shared, I will no longer wear clothes that are three sizes too big because I'm holding onto hope that I'll soon fit into them. 

I love my family dearly, and perhaps I will be pregnant or have a newborn in December.  If so, I'll humbly repent of my little outburst and gladly eat my words.  Until then, I'm happy to embrace the life I have today.

Today I was blessed by getting a sore throat--today.  No, it's never nice to get sick, but the timing was right. Classes start on Wednesday, and thus work will pick up for me then, so I'd rather be sick today than later this week.  So I spent the day on the couch watching movies and napping.  I admit that I'm a bit of a work-aholic, so it's hard to call in sick.  But the timing was right to lay low today, and hopefully I'll be back to good tomorrow.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

In The Beginning

You may remember my post about the flippant fertile from some weeks ago.  This post isn't about her...but the "very-dear friend" who tried to reason with her.  Well, this very-dear friend recently shared with me that she and her husband are now TTC.  On her birthday last month, she and her husband made up their minds on what to do with their careers (they're both in med school), bought a house here in town, and through their birth control pills out.  She knows everything that we've been through (and then some--I've shared extra details with her since she's a doctor and all), so I really appreciated that she gave me the heads-up that they were going to start trying.

Bless her heart...that's all I can say.  Knowing what I know now, it's interesting to watch her embark on this journey.  I remember what it was like, in the beginning, to be so hopeful.  Take the other night.  She showed up at another friend's birthday party, and whispered in the birthday girl's ear that she was "late" (these two also have a really close relationship--the birthday girl was her neighbor until recently when the very-dear friend moved in with her in-laws so they could save rent until their new home is finished next month).  So the birthday girl gave the very-dear friend a HPT to take, and then rejoined the party, while the very-dear friend went to do her business.  She emerged a few minutes later, with a thumbs-down and a forced smile  As I hugged her, she tried to reason that perhaps it's okay because another month or so may be better timing for her residency, and joked that it would be too hot to be that pregnant in the summer anyway.

I totally adore and sincerely appreciate this very-dear friend...but I can't imagine taking a HPT in someone else's home (especially on their birthday).  Yet I remember how it feels to be so anxious and hopeful, so I sure don't blame her.  And to her credit, the poor girl is living with her in-laws!  However, it would have been really hard to keep up a smile if the very-dear friend had emerged with a thumbs up and joyful tears in her eyes (and I admit that a teeny bit of me worries that she really did get pregnant that easily and lied to us, but I trust that she understands the pain that would cause me and believe that she values my friendship enough to be honest--even if it causes me pain). 

I do sincerely hope and pray that this very-dear friend and her husband are blessed.  I know that they would be amazing parents!  I pray that she isn't discouraged, and I just pray that I'm able to enjoy the journey with her--whether or not I'm pregnant. 

As I was typing this and trying to think of my my significant blessing, I was blessed with a package that just arrived in the mail from my grandma.  She sent advent calendars to my nieces and nephews (on my husband's side), and received the sweetest thank-you note from my 10-year old niece that she sent on to me.  It's such a blessing to be reminded of not only an amazing grandma, but also a pretty cool niece.  On both sides, I'm blessed with caring and thoughtful relatives.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

California Sunshine

Bear with me, as I realize that this introduction is rather lengthy...but keep reading as I reveal how my abilities to control the weather relate to my difficulties to believe that I can carry to term.

I was born and raised as a California girl, and have lived in Arizona since 2003.  So when my husband decided to bring me home to Montana with him for our first Christmas together in 2005, he warned me that it could get in really cold.  I admit that I really have no concept of "really cold".  For two weeks before our trip, we checked the weather report, which always seemed to be below zero.  I think I packed every item of warmth that I owned...which really wasn't all that much (again...California girl now living in Arizona).

We arrived--he in a sweatshirt, me bundled in layers and scarves and gloves and a stocking cap.  The temperature that day:  54 degrees Fahrenheit.  It stayed in the mid-50s during the day for the rest of the week, and only dipped to the 20s at night.  My husband assured me that surely this must have been a fluke, and he guaranteed that I would see snow the next year.  But sure enough, I experienced the same thing the following year.  Again, my husband tried to reason with me--perhaps the whole global warming threats really were legitimate.  His family joked that I bring the California Sunshine with me whenever I visit.  I started to believe them, when we had amazing weather the following Thanksgiving.  Three winter visits, and not even an inch of snow!

So I was sure that I would experience sunshine and unseasonably warm weather again this year. I even started "talking smack" about the Montana winters, pulling up the weather report online for anyone who would hear me out.  Sure enough, they were expecting sunshine.  It was with unwavering certainty that I packed my suitcase, sure that I truly was blessed to bring the California sunshine with me wherever I went.  I was convinced that I would have another warm visit and could bask in the glow of the sun (and the appreciative smiles of my in-laws).

But then we started traveling...and then our flight was canceled due to winter storms coming in from the east...and then the snow actually came!  Don't get me wrong--it was beautiful and special to have a "White Christmas" for once.  And although I realize that this truly is "normal" for the region at this time of the year, I was secretly stunned that I hadn't in fact brought the sunshine with me after all.

Now, I realize that I have no secret powers to control the weather.  But I was struck at my unwavering conviction about the weather...and how it is drastically different than my certainty in my ability to start a family.  Before we left, I was rather pompous in declaring that it would be sunny.  I had a confidence about me...that I realize hasn't been there for a while.  Sure, I knew deep down that I didn't have any control over whether or not it would snow, but it was nice to act like I did.  Looking back, I think I once felt this way about my fertility.  When we first started trying in Summer 2007, I assumed it would all happen sooner rather than later, and I trusted that everything would go smoothly.  And why wouldn't it?  I had no reason to believe otherwise.  I hadn't seen any snow or any rain yet, so wouldn't it be all sunny for us?  But then it rained (we initially struggled to get pregnant)...and then it snowed (I experienced loss after loss after loss).  And now I feel like I'm waiting for my sunshine to show itself again.

Like I said--I fully understand that I can't control the weather.  Likewise, I realize I can't control my fertility or my future.  Rather, I have to relinquish it all to God.  I don't know what He has in store for me, but I know that He'll shelter me through it all.

My blessing today was a student who brought me a bottle of apple juice today.  It was such a simple little gesture, but yet it was also so thoughtful.  It's little acts of kindness such as this that get me through the long days as we prepare to start a new semester.  For anyone else in education, I pray that you are equally blessed through your students as your semesters get going as well.

Monday, January 4, 2010


I had an interesting heart-to-heart conversation with my husband a few nights before Christmas (yes, I realize that was almost two weeks ago now...but I haven't had much time to get on here and share the experience).  He still didn't know what to get me for Christmas, and shared that he was frustrated with me for being difficult to shop for (and apparently his mom and sisters were frustrated as well).  I really struggled to answer the "what do you want for Christmas?" question this year--because honestly, all that I want is a baby.  My husband is definitely part of the equation in creating a baby, but it's not like he can wrap that sort of gift up for me (at least not anything I can open on Christmas front of his family).

Somehow the "what do you want for Christmas?" conversation turned into him disclosing that he thinks I'm sad.  He feels like I refused to ask for anything for Christmas because he thinks that I think that I must not "deserve" anything.  He shared that he thinks I'm too focused on getting (and staying) pregnant, that it inhibits me from having fun in other areas of life.  The thing that alarmed me the most is that when I pressed him to "quantify" his perception of my sadness, he said that he thinks I'm sad 40% of the time.  Really?!?!  That's almost three full days out of the week!  Here I was, thinking that I was doing pretty well at handling the pain of three losses, and my husband--the person who knows me best--thinks I'm sad 40% of the time.  I really don't know what to think.

This conversation was a really healthy heart-to-heart.  It wasn't a "fight" by any means, but it was totally revealing.  I still don't know if he's totally convinced that I'm not sad 40% of the time.  And the truth is--I'm not the same naive girl I was when I married him three years ago (another theme of our conversation).  I don't believe that any woman can suffer through multiple losses and come out exactly the same.  We're bound to change in some capacity.  I hope that I've grown and developed in positive ways through this experience, but I know that there are parts of me that are a bit damaged now.  I admit that it's hard for me to be 100% totally carefree when a piece of my heart still aches.  But I believe that I'm doing much better than the 60% that he must see.  So I guess I need to work on showing him more of my inner joy more often...any ideas?

So you may be wondering what he did end up getting me for Christmas, after such a lengthy discussion.  I'm totally blessed that he wants to take me to Scotland.  A dear friend and former colleague is in Scotland for a year while her husband completes his master's degree, and I really want to visit her and see the land of my heritage.  When I first brought it up to my husband, he said it was out of our budget.  But he has since reconsidered our finances, and says that it will work.  (I think he also got the travel bug from his layover in Paris on his way home from Africa).  So it's such a blessing to look forward to spending 10 days with such an amazing man in Scotland in the next few months.