Wednesday, December 22, 2010

test

It is positive!!!! Yay!!!! And I'm going out of town tomorrow, so no time to write more... Thanks for your prayers and keep praying!!! Love you all!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Transfer

We had transfer yesterday :) Thanks so much for all the prayers!!! Now we wait on the Lord :)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Transfer Tomorrow :)

Transfer tomorrow at 7:30am. Thanking and praising our heavenly Father for 4 sweet little embryos. Grow babies, grow!

Monday, December 6, 2010

ER

ER went well :) Very groggy and tired. They took very good care of me. Transfer will *probably* be Wednesday; find out tomorrow :)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Sanctuary

Most Holy One, I hide myself in You. You are my sanctuary.
I rest in knowing You. You are my sanctuary.

~Sanctuary by Jenn Weber Sinclair.

Well, no more needles for me! At least not in my kitchen, that is. I took the last injections tonight. So, now we are retrieval bound. Hope I can sleep the next few nights. This last medication always keeps me up, or maybe it's knowing retrieval is coming.

I keep listening to the same song over and over, Sanctuary. My rest is in Him.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Deliver Me - Retrieval on Monday

Today was tough. I had a conversation with a friend last night that shook me up a bit, and I didn't sleep well. Sometimes it's so hard to maintain friendships across the miles. I look in the mirror some days and wonder who I've become compared to who I was. Am I more like Christ intended me to be, or less? God places sinful, fallen people in our lives who are just as unfinished as we are. Separating out what is of God and what is of flesh is tricky at times. Sometimes I just want Jesus to be next to me with the skin on. And sometimes He is the in the form of a friend or loved one. But, it's rare. And sometimes Satan uses the people in our lives to confuse us, separate us from Him. I know the answer is to keep my eyes on Him. Not the easiest thing for a people-pleaser like me. I choose Christ. He covers me. He is what I'm holding to.

Had my final follicle check today. Retrieval will be Monday, very early in the morning. Transfer will follow probably 2, or 3, days after. For my first two IVF cycles, the days of the week worked out to be the exact same, so I had the same exact doctors for all the same exact appointments. This cycle has followed the same pattern (maybe that's a positive sign - the first two cycles did, after all, result in pregnancies). So, I knew I 'd see Dr. S today and I know he shoots a lot more straight than Dr. A. Don't know why it always knocks me off my game a little, but it does. It's so strange, there are days I go into that office and feel so encouraged, but encouragement wasn't to be found today. Things still look good, but Dr. S points out the possible things that could wrong whereas Dr. A just says it's all good. Don't know which way is better, but it's difficult to go between the two... this is just beyond my control. That's it and that's all. So, we pray and we trust God and we'll see.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Lamentations 3

Sitting in church on Sunday, I was reminded of Lamentations 3 yet again. Jen Weber Sinclair read this scripture to us and then sang a song she wrote based upon it...

19
I remember my affliction and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.
20 I well remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.
21 Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:

22 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”

25 The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
26 it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the LORD.

Here are chorus lyrics to the song she wrote:

Oh, You are my portion and my cup.
Oh, You've promised today to be enough.

This is the cry of my soul... today He has promised to be enough. I feel like I've spent so much time searching for His peace over all this. Finally, I feel it - it is my oxygen.

I was driving into the City yesterday for my appointment and I was listening to one of my favorite movie soundtracks, Elizabethtown. There is a song on that album that has nothing to do with the Lord, yet I was amazed how it reflected my heart toward Him right now. It goes like this:

All the nights and wasted time
trying to get my head to change its mind
all the talk of what it could be
when it never was

There are some things I can hardly say
You've got me feeling a brand new way
Please don't let this be summerlong
Please don't let this be summerlong
Cuz I want to stay... I want to stay...

Summer Long by Kathleen Edwards

God is in everything... even the things we purposely try to shut him out of because it hurts so much.

Oh, yes, the appointment. When I walked into the exam room, I noticed the previous patient's ultrasound image was still on screen. It must have been her graduation day, because there was a beautiful little peanut there on the screen. Just like Michael was way back then. I smiled and felt in my heart... oh, I want to see that once again. Oh, Lord, let me see that again.

I had determined before the appointment to really push my doctor to tell me what the backup plan is. What if...??? Jason had asked that question in an earlier appointment and I wasn't completely satisfied with the answer. Those that know me know that pushing anyone to do anything is not really my strongsuit... especially doctors that don't like to be questioned. God is so faithful; before I could ask the first tentative question, my doctor went into great detail about how well I'd done over the past few months with all the weight loss and how he feels certain there will be no issue with being able to access the ovaries. He showed me their positions on the ultrasound and how easy they should be to get to. That is a huge relief to me. Everything looks like it should, so I went home with 4 more days of dosing instructions.

Next appointment is Friday.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful

I hope everyone had a fabulous Thanksgiving! We had a very nice time over at a friend's house today. I was able to cook a few of my favorite dishes (sweet potato casserole with pecans on top and apple crisp) and I didn't have to wrestle a big ole turkey. Definitely a win-win. I am so stuffed right now...

Not just with food, but also with Menopur. First injection was tonight - just a few moments ago. Funny how a needle makes it all so much more real. Jason and I are scared out of our minds, but we are holding steady to our rock, our God.

So tonight I am thankful for a number of things:

  • Thankful most of all for my Jesus... that He loves me. I am nothing without Him.
  • Thankful for my husband... my rock. He is my one true North in life.
  • Thankful for my Michael... my joy, my laughter.
  • Thankful for my angel babies in heaven... may they know I love them.
  • Thankful for broken cycles.... my past, the ugliness of my family tree.
  • Thankful for unexpected phone calls...
  • Just thankful...

Monday, November 22, 2010

Gearing Up

We saw Dr. Awadalla today. Everything is "ready", and I will begin injections on Thursday night. We talked about whether or not he is concerned about being able to get to the ovary he couldn't get to last time. He was very optimistic. Jason also made a big point of telling him I'd dropped over 30 pounds in 3 months. He was very happy with that and said he thinks that will definitely work in our favor. So, overall a good visit. :)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Going Through the Motions

This might hurt, it's not safe
But I know that I've gotta make a change
I don't care if I break,
At least I'll be feeling something
'Cause just okay is not enough
Help me fight through the nothingness of life

I don't wanna go through the motions
I don't wanna go one more day
without Your all consuming passion inside of me
I don't wanna spend my whole life asking,
"What if I had given everything,
instead of going through the motions?"

No regrets, not this time
I'm gonna let my heart defeat my mind
Let Your love make me whole
I think I'm finally feeling something
'Cause just okay is not enough
Help me fight through the nothingness of this life

'Cause I don't wanna go through the motions
I don't wanna go one more day
without Your all consuming passion inside of me
I don't wanna spend my whole life asking,
"What if I had given everything,
instead of going through the motions?"

take me all the way (take me all the way)
take me all the way ('cause I don't wanna go through the motions)
take me all the way (I know I'm finally feeling something real)
take me all the way

The song Going Through the Motions by Matthew West caught my attention this past week. I've always really liked it and the message behind it, but as I listen to it now there are certain words that I feel deeply. There have been times in my life where I didn't feel anything, and I felt that life was meaningless. That's not the season that I'm in now. I have such a full life, and the people in my family mean so much to me. What resonates with me is the idea of living each day completely full of God's passion, despite the risks to my heart. It occurs to me that my heart is so human, so disgusting when left to its passions, that God breaking it and remolding it is what has to happen (and I hope has already happened on some level). My own pursuits are meaningless, but God's pursuits are everything. Being Michael's mama and Jason's wife are God given pursuits and I want to pursue them passionately, with total abandon. I do still want God to add to that pursuit another child/children, but I also am trying to see God's perspective and purpose. I know I am not capable of understanding it, but I pray that I am learning to live under his yoke, come what may.

Speaking of going through the motions, this week has been a bit like that. I am taking my pills like a good girl. I've filled out my paperwork. The best part of that was where they asked if I'd recently gained or lost more than 20 pounds. So, I got to say that I've lost more than 30 pounds in 3 months. That was a good feeling. Take that little evil doctor man! Ha! Okay, sorry, reigning myself in now :) Wonder if they really even read the paper work... anyway, I'm thankful and feel good :) I have had some dizzy spells. Don't recall that happening in past cycles, but I do believe it's a side effect of the pill, so no biggy. All done with the doxycycline, so at least that's one less pill to take. Another week, and we'll go see Dr. A. I am guessing I'll start shots on Thanksgiving Day.

The only other thing I can think to say is my heart is full of love. Thanks for reading.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Loving God

My doctors appointment last week was uneventful. They drew blood to check my FSH and TSH levels. I've since started on "the pill" (to shut down my ovaries so all the follicles can start from the "same" place) and an antibiotic. I go back in 2 weeks for a baseline ultrasound. Then I'll get my instructions for the injections. In the meantime, all my meds that I had to order have arrived. All I have to do for the time being is fill out some paperwork and make the financial arrangements (ugh). I'm feeling pretty good other than some headaches (which I think may be because I tried to stop my allergy med, so I'm going to wait a bit and try that again).

I've been doing a Beth Moore study this fall. The video this past week was on loving God. Beth reminded us that we have to receive God's love in order to be capable of loving Him (or anyone else). We are that fallen in our sin nature; we cannot conjure up true agape love on our own. Humbling, isn't it? We try to do it all in our own strength. She encouraged us to notice God pouring his love out to us this week. She talked about how we should be saying, "I love you, too." And I have been saying that a lot. I love Him, too. And I feel so thankful.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Beginnings

Today is the first day of November, the beginning of the month.

Today is also Michael's second birthday. Happy Birthday, my little miracle man!

It's his beginning, his first day, of being a two year old. He couldn't be any sweeter.

It's the beginning of something else; it is a Day 1 for me. It begins again.

Yesterday, as I was sitting in Sunday school class, a very Godly man shared this verse, Lamentations 3:19-26.

19 I remember my affliction and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.
20 I well remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.
21 Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:

22 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”

25 The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
26 it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the LORD.

This passage of scripture brought tears to my eyes (which is actually a rare thing for me, most of the time). I still remember the bitter taste of the last two times, the feeling of being utterly lost. This scripture captures those feelings perfectly. I love that this psalmist turns his downcast face to the ray of hope. God's compassions are new every morning; we shall not be consumed. And we were not consumed. And that gives me hope. It is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD. Girl, lift up your face... salvation is coming. I don't know what it looks like but I know it is coming.

So, after the shock (well, how shocked can I be, really, after all this time) that today is indeed Day 1, I called IRH. I have a blood draw scheduled for Wednesday, and then I begin the long protocol (bcps, oh how I hate those things - so counter-intuitive to be taking them during an attempt to get pregnant... lol). Last time we tried the short protocol and it was a pretty dismal failure. So, my RE is going back to what's worked in the past. Of course, I remember him saying that the short protocol was better, less suppressive. Oh, I pray we are on the right track here. Trust, girl, trust. God's hand is in this. He knows what He's doing.

I know my TOH girls read here regularly. Let me just say that your love and support are so greatly needed and deeply appreciated. I had given the link to some other friends and family but I think they have all stopped reading. If they are still reading, I thank them and I love them. This is all strictly on the down low right now; not many people know. We may end up telling more people or we may not. Telling people is so difficult and we've had some cases of some not being supportive and that has left us wounded and confused. We get it, though. We know that many cannot relate or just don't know what to say to us. It's just that with going through so much, we simply choose not to deal with that. One thing I've learned is that no matter how well meaning someone is, the wrong word (or even the right word) at the wrong time can hurt deeply. If you are reading, I ask that you pray for us. Pray for God's mighty hand to be over us.

Well, I reckon that's enough for tonight. Love to you all...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Lift Up Your Face - lyrics

You have fallen so far now

You don’t even know how, you are going to survive

(But) Just above the horizon

A new light is shining, breaking through the darkest night

Love is coming and it’s calling out your name

Lift up your face, lift up your face

Salvation is calling, salvation is calling

Lift up your face, lift up your face

Salvation is calling, salvation is calling your name

You feel like your life is fading

You’re tired of waiting, for your moment to arrive

But tomorrow will bring a song that you can sing

And your hope is gonna rise

Love is coming and it’s calling out your name

Lift up your face, lift up your face


Salvation is calling, salvation is calling

Friday, September 24, 2010

Nothing In Particular

Life has been a whirlwind lately. September roared in with lots of new activities for Michael and I. Our lazy summer days of trying to come up with something to do have been replaced by MOPS and Bible study and a membership at the Y and more hours at my part time job.

I honestly can't tell you where my head is these days. Most days are great and I spend them happily. There are still days where I feel like a cargo ship carrying nothing but my thoughts with no port in sight. I think about trying again a lot. I eat nothing and exercise constantly in hopes of making myself a better home should God choose to put another child there. I talk to a lot of friends about a lot of things, but rarely this. I wonder if I'll have the guts to do IVF again. The guts to even tell anyone we're doing it.

That stupid song "No Matter What, I'm Gonna Love You" that I heard for the first time as I drove home from my failed pregnancy test still is on the radio way too often. Its words are true but they irritate me. I'm not alone in this; I thought Jason was going to rip the knob off the radio a few weeks ago. I can't remember which song did it to him, but the look on his face let me know it was the same deal.

I've been studying Beth Moore's Breaking Free lately. It has given me a lot to think about and it's been good for me. It helps me put things in perspective. It reminds me Who God is. And how He loves me. I need that.

The diet is going. Last weigh in said I'd lost 21 pounds. So, technically I can go tell my RE that "hah" I did what he asked. I am not quite done though - want to get to 30 or more. Feeling pretty good - getting lots of compliments from J - that's such a good feeling and I feel pretty good in general. The DHEA I'm taking is supposed to be good for that too.

Well, it's late and I had nothing in particular to write tonight, so I'll end here. If there is anyone out there still reading this, I thank you for caring enough to read it!!!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Five Years Ago

Yesterday marked the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Although I had long since moved away from "home", the pummeling my hometown and surrounding area took was heart-breaking for me on many levels. I had family members and friends lose all they had as their homes washed away. I still look for the familiar landmarks whenever I visit, and they are just not there... forever gone. The distance I live from "home" has kept me from accepting that things just won't ever be the same down there. My friends and family though are intrepid and they carry on. A little worse for the wear, but with the bravest hearts I know.

Katrina also marks another anniversary for my husband and me. It was on that same week that we packed up and headed out for a romantic stay at bed and breakfast. The kickoff of officially "trying" for a baby. I remember being so conflicted, wanting to enjoy our beautiful surroundings yet tightly gripping my cell phone, waiting for calls from the people I love to tell my they'd survived.

And they did survive; and so have we. Five years of infertility can wear you out. We've spent 5 of our of our 7 1/2 years together counting days. We are so blessed though. A beautiful little boy and 2 angels in heaven to meet someday (well, actually more than 2 as we believe every embryo we've ever transferred was a life). I wouldn't trade any of it! It's all been worth it!

In current events, I have been on my diet for 4 weeks now and have lost 14.5 pounds. So, I press on! We have booked a week in Williamsburg for a little family vacation in late October, and I'm thrilled about it!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Eat, Pray, Love


Yes, I am still here. I haven't forgotten my blog. I've just been too busy to write. Busy doing what, you may ask. Cooking and exercising. Exercising and cooking. Doing dishes. Doing dishes. Doing more dishes. That's the South Beach Diet for you... lots of cooking and dishes! The up side is that I feel great and have lost 10 pounds during the 2 weeks of Phase I. Yay! I got to have my first good carb yesterday. I was so excited about my bowl of shredded wheat. It wasn't all that and it made me insanely hungry, all day! So, I think I'll try a slice of whole grain bread tomorrow and see how that goes. :)

I also was away this weekend. I went to the Beth Moore conference down in Lexington. Pure 100% awesomeness! The theme of her teaching was Eat, Pray, Love. Very appropriate for many reasons! For one, it was the same night the movie opened, but her points were far different from the book or movie. Two, I've been thinking a lot about all three of those subjects lately (especially eating, isn't that always how it is when you're on a diet?). The teaching was out of the book of Jeremiah.
I'll try to write more about it later.

Monday, August 2, 2010

I'm Still Here

I've been neglecting this blog... haven't been sure what to do with it. My original thinking was that it'd be a great testimony to God's provision and faithfulness. From down here in the valley, it's not looking so bright at the moment. God always works thing to our good eventually... in His timing, not ours. So, I reckon I need to do something with this thing in the meantime...

For our sanity (particularly mine) and our savings account (do we even still have one, guess I better check on that... just kidding, kinda), another round of IVF is on hold. And, I can't promise there will or will not be another... and yes, I do hear the clock ticking, LOUDLY! But, come on we are talking about me... stubborn as can be... so there will probably be another.... maybe.

I never wrote about my "meeting" with Dr. A. I made this huge list of questions and bolstered up what little bit of courage I had left and went to see him. The answers I was seeking were simply not there. No explanation, just really bad luck all the way around. He did set out some options to avoid the retrieval disaster, should we be brave enough to try it again. I have a wandering ovary it seems. It was where it was supposed to be one day and then it hightailed it out of Dr. A's reach on retrieval day. So, next time, we are going to explore the option of taking the eggs by laparoscopy. . . which would be harder on me, of course. I wish he would have just done it last time... of course, he hadn't anticipated this to be a problem, so they weren't set up for it... blah, blah, blah... sigh... I think he's seriously worried about how much of this drama I can deal with... I guess he's had more than a few patients completely lose their minds. It's too late, mine's already toast, so why worry now?

In the interim, I have a short term goal. I need something else to work on, so I've decided it's time for a diet (dang it). My goal is to lose 30 pounds. It'll be a great thing no matter what's next on our horizon, so let's do it. Plus, Dr. A thinks it's a good idea. I think I will enlarge a photo of him and throw darts at it when I get really frustrated. Hope he never reads this... like he has time to go searching the internet for his patients' blogs. He is a brilliant doctor - really, he is. I just need someone to vent my frustration toward. So, since I doubt it'd hurt his feelings, he shall be the person I make my voodoo doll of... just kidding...

I've picked my torture device, The South Beach Diet Supercharged. Today is Day 1 and the first 2 weeks are gonna pretty much suck. No fruit, no grains... just veggies, lean protein, and a teeny bit of dairy. Exercise as many days a week as I can stand it. I even bought the South Beach Diet Supercharged Exercise DVD... which sucks by the way! I can't even do have the stuff on there. So, I'll do my more sensible Walk Away the Pounds as my core exercise routine and continue to try to do the other one as an extra challenge.

So, that's what's up with me. Several people have asked how I am or how Jason is. I am learning to loathe the question. I can't answer the way I'm supposed to, and I don't like lying! I mean seriously, who asks that question without expecting the answer to be, "I'm good"? I can't really say that. I'm trying, really I am. I'm better than I was after the miscarriage, definitely. But, I'm still hurt, bewildered, and otherwise out of sorts. I know there's no good answer to the questions, why me? Why infertility? Why? And, yet they are there at times. And God knows... truly He does. But, I do not understand. I simply am trying to learn to submit and say okay. I will walk this out wherever you take me. That's where I am... at least today, at this moment. It's all subject to change later today or maybe even tomorrow.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

July 25th

Okay, so maybe being alone isn't good for me... I think too much but at least I haven't broken any pill bottles today. I couldn't paste on a smile for church today. I knew worship would reduce me to a puddle of tears.

Today is July 25th. I woke up to find my body is doing what it's supposed to do after a failed cycle, but it was like a final nail in the coffin for this embryo. No more irrational fantasies that maybe they were wrong. Not only that, had our twins lived, this would have been our due date. Instead of delivering beautiful babies, I am trying to pick up the pieces of a failed cycle. It's not fair. We were never promised fair. It still sucks though.

I've been working on my long list of questions for my doctor when I see him Tuesday. What else is there to say? All I can say is that I love my husband and I love my son. That's the good I am holding on to. God is with me, I know. I don't feel or hear him, but I know He's got to be there. Right?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

5:17 a.m.

I've learned several things over the last 24 hours...

1. This is not just a nightmare I can't wake up from; it's real.

2. When I finally was alone (J and M went out for ice cream), I learned that if you throw a bottle of Prometrium really hard, it takes about 15 really good throws before it bursts open and that if you scream your most agonizing blood curdling scream, you can only get out about 3 good ones before your throat gives out.

3. People say goofy stuff when they don't know what to say. I'll give you this tip, never begin a statement with "At least..." when someone is hurting.

4. If I'd just given up when it got rough before, we wouldn't have our Michael. Please don't tell me to give me up. It makes it worse. I don't know what comes next. But please don't tell me to give up.

5. The nausea which I didn't tell hardly anyone about (but it had me convinced we were going to get a positive) hasn't gone away yet. I see my doctor on Tuesday afternoon... God, give me wisdom and strength.

6. I can't sleep.

7. I keep supposing that there is some Godly, mature way to respond to this, but I haven't figured it out yet.

8. Bad things are happening everywhere. There was this girl who I've been mentoring that had an unwanted pregnancy. She'd asked us if we'd consider adopting the baby. We told her that she needed to take time to figure things out but if later on she was sure that's what she wanted, we would prayerfully consider it. Then she almost had an abortion. We prayed so hard she wouldn't abort that baby and talked to her a lot about it. She decided to continue the pregnancy. Then I found out Thursday night she lost it. Somewhere deep in my heart, I knew this was a bad sign for us. I thought God had a reason for placing me in the situation of dealing with someone who was considering abortion. I thought I was seeing God work out something amazing, in spite of the discomfort the situation caused me. And now I don't see His hand there. I know it is, but I don't understand the point of the exercise, you know?

9. I want so badly to curl up inside myself and never come out. I won't do that. I have the bestest little boy and husband in the world to take care of. No matter how bad I hurt, they are my priority.

10. I heard a stupid song yesterday on the way home from IRH. I, again, knew this was a bad sign... I know this is how I'm supposed to pray but it hurts so much right now...


I’m running back to your promises one more time, Lord that’s all I can hold on to, I gotta say this has taken me by surprise, but nothing surprises you. Before a heartache can ever touch my life, it has to go through Your hands, and even though I keep asking why, I keep asking why,



No matter what, I’m gonna love You, no matter what I’m gonna need You, I know You can find a way to keep me from the pain but if not, I’ll trust you, no matter what, no matter what.



When I’m stuck and there’s nothing else by myself, I’m just sitting in silence, there’s no way I can make it without Your help, I wont even try it. I know You have Your reasons for everything, so I will keep believing, whatever I might be feeling, God you are my hope, and you will be my strength,



No matter what, I’m gonna love You, no matter what I’m gonna need You, I know You can find a way to keep me from the pain but if not, I’ll trust you, no matter what, no matter what.



Anything I don’t have You can give it to me, but it’s ok if You don’t, I’m not here for those things, the touch of Your love is enough on its own, no matter what I still love You and I’m gonna need You



No matter what I’m gonna love you, no matter what I’m gonna need you, I know You can find a way to keep me from the pain but if not , I’ll trust You, no matter what, no matter what. I know You can find a way to keep me from the pain, but if not, I’ll trust you, no matter what no matter what no matter no matter what

Friday, July 23, 2010

Bad News

It was negative.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Beta hCG Test Tomorrow

Tomorrow I go for my blood test. It's a very simple blood draw and then I go home and wait for the phone call. With Michael, it came minutes after I got home and with my last pregnancy, it took them all day to call. So, tomorrow will probably be a long day. I am hopeful but cautious. I keep thinking of the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and how they believed God would save them from the fiery furnace. I also think about them saying that if He chose not to save them, they would never stop believing Him. My prayer is that no matter the outcome, I will find my rest in Him and that no matter what, my faith will continue to be strengthened.

I love the song Broken by Lifehouse. I heard it for the first time the night I found out I would lose the twins. The pain in the song was so reflective of how I felt. But, if you listen to all the lyrics, the song is also hopeful. I heard it yesterday and this part resonated with me:

In your name
I find meaning
So I'm holding on (I'm still holdin on)(I'm holdin on)
(I'm still holdin on) (I'm holdin on)
I'm barely holding on to you

I'm hanging on another day
Just to see what, you will throw my way
And I'm hanging on, to the words you say
You said that I will, will be okay

So, until tomorrow....

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Rainbow

We saw a rainbow on our way home tonight. It touched my heart. Babies who come after miscarriages are often called "rainbow babies" because they are the beautiful rainbow after the dark storm of loss. I wonder if our "Little Sweetheart" will be our "rainbow"...

It's been a rough day and I feel empty and scared. This week is going by slowly. God, I need you so much. I'm so tired.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Past the half way mark of the two week wait

Time passes. Even when it seems impossible. It passes unevenly, in strange lurches and dragging lulls. But, pass it does. Even for me.

The past week was busy, and busy was good, and even fun. It's good to be distracted. We keep praying for her... for every cell division.

Lots on my mind tonight. My 20 year high school reunion is going on as I type, several hundred miles away. I hadn't planned to make the trip for obvious reasons, and I didn't really enjoy my 10 year reunion that much. Don't get me wrong, I went to school with some really wonderful people. It's just been so long and my life is so different now (and I am in touch with the really special friends). It is nostalgic though to remember... who I was... not even a Christian then... just the smart girl that rode horses instead of chasing boys (well, okay there was one or two but I wasn't in any danger of catching them and for that I am so thankful).

Things with my dad are getting worse. He's back in the hospital and it doesn't look too good. He's trying to make his peace with everyone; he doesn't believe he'll come home this time. We talked more about his salvation and we did get into some detail. He said the right words and I pray that the heart matches. I was talking to my sister today about all this... I feel like I should feel much more than I do about this... it's so hard to conjure up any feelings. Have I just been through too much loss to feel it any more or am I harboring grudges from his past hurts (far too many to enumerate)? Is it the distance or the fact that he hasn't been much of a part of my life the last 10 years? Or is it God giving me a peace? I tend to think it's the Lord because whatever has me in this place is far beyond my understanding.

So, I'm here still. Hanging on to Scriptures and praying for my "little sweetheart". I love her so much already...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I really don't have much to write today, and I am counting that as a blessing. God has quieted my heart, at least for yesterday and today. The big "God thing" that I've been pondering is that He is unchanging. Despite whether our prayers are answered the way we hope or not, He is still the same God.

It's been a week since retrieval already. My next appointment is Friday, July 23rd at 9:45am. All it will be is a blood draw for a pregnancy test. So, like 9 more days to go. We continue to pray and love on our "Little Sweetheart". Jason has the tenderest heart for her already...

I just want to take a moment to say thanks to those of you who keep checking on me. I am blessed, and I love yall.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Two Week Wait

We are officially in the two week wait. There are several things on my mind today and nothing to be done about any of them but to rely on and trust God.

Today would have been my mom's birthday. She died in 2003. I miss her and even more than I miss her I miss the promise of her - the mother-daughter bliss that I always wished for with her. She lost her father at a very young age. She never got over it and it prevented her from really embracing life and led to a lot of other stuff. Life with my mom could be really fun at times, but there were a lot of sad, angry moments, and they put all of us a distance from her. No one could penetrate the wall she had. I smile when I picture her in heaven; I know she's happy and whole there.

Also on my mind is my father. He's been very ill and lives far away in England. He's pretty scared he'd dying and so he tried to plan his funeral with me yesterday over the phone. He has a flair for the dramatic, but that was a bit more than I could take. He is very sick and so we could lose him soon, and he's also very much an attention hound, so I know some of it is a manipulation for attention. When did the roles change? When was I ever the child and they the parents? I asked him whether or not he is saved. I think that startled him. He says he is saved. Only he and he Lord know for sure. If he's not, pray that our conversation made him think.

I'm wrestling with yesterday's sermon at church. Our pastor preached on turning fear into faith. He said that the "exhale" (the release from all the worry and stress) comes when you want God's plan for your life more than you want your own dreams. It reminds me of the song by Barlow Girl titled Surrender.

My hands hold safely to my dreams
Clutching tightly not one has fallen.
So many years I’ve shaped each one
Reflecting my heart, showing who I am.
Now you’re asking me to show
What I’m holding Oh so tightly.
Can’t open my hands; can’t let go
Does it matter?
Should I show you?
Can’t you let me go?

Chorus
Surrender, surrender
You whisper gently
You say I will be free
I know but can’t you see
My dreams are me, My dreams are me.

Say you have a plan for me,
And that you want the best for my life.
Told me the world has yet to see
What you can do with one
That’s committed to your call.
I know of course what I should do
That I can’t hold these dreams forever.
But if I give them now to you
Will you take them
Away forever?
Or can I dream again?

Chorus
Surrender, surrender
You whisper gently
You say I will be free
I know but can’t you see
My dreams are me, My dreams are me.

Sometimes I don't know what's from Him and what's from me and what is to be fought for and what is to be surrendered. I know the answer is to rest in Him and let Him show me, but I'm so agitated. It's hard to be still before Him.

My Little Sweetheart. She's in there fighting, I hope. No, not only hope. I trust she is fighting. Jason and I are vacillating between crazy strong hope and hopelessness. This child is from the Lord, that is for sure. Her life will be to His glory, with no room for the glory of man.

I had a difficult conversation with an old friend today. I've walked many miles with her, but she doesn't understand this. She basically told me to get over myself and go serve some homeless people. It made me angry. I was already angry. Angry at infertility, angry at my doctor, angry at myself. Angry at the people who haven't been supportive.

God, help me walk this broken road. I know I'm a mess and I'm floundering and I'm failing You. Thank you for the supportive people that I do have in my life. I cannot even begin to count my blessings. I am pathetic looking clay. Please make something out of me.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Transfer Day

Transfer went very smoothly. Dr. Scheiber showed us on the ultrasound exactly where he placed our little sweetheart. Dr. Scheiber and the nurse I had today were very encouraging and told us to think positive (to be honest, I wondered if they were really thinking that this is impossible, but then again I don't care; all that matters is what God plans). I know that the odds are not necessarily in our favor, but I love this little one and I trust God to make of her life all the He wills. I've been fond of every single embryo we've every transferred over the course of these 3 IVF cycles, but I have a special attachment to this one. She is a fighter, like me. May neither on of us ever give up!

Thank you so much for praying along as we've gone through this cycle. I ask that you continue to pray fervently.

This song is my prayer for our little sweetheart. I pray that she lives to fall in love with Jesus.

In open fields of wild flowers,
she breathes the air and flies away
She thanks her Jesus for the daises and the roses
in no simple language
Someday she'll understand the meaning of it all
He's more than the laughter or the stars in the heavens
As close a heartbeat or a song on her lips
Someday she'll trust Him and learn how to see Him
Someday He'll call her and she will come running
and fall in His arms and the tears will fall down and she'll pray,

"I want to fall in love with You"

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Transfer Tomorrow

Of the 2 eggs retrieved, one was mature and the lab performed ICSI on it. It did fertilize, so we are scheduled to transfer 1 sweet little embryo tomorrow. We are calling "her" our little sweetheart. The other egg was not quite mature. The nurse mentioned they were "watching it" (I'm not sure if they are watching to see if it matures in culture or if they tried to fertilize it the traditional way but they really don't hold out hope for it to do anything).

Transfer is scheduled for 7:45 a.m. tomorrow with Dr. Scheiber. Please pray for our little sweetheart. God is "her" creator and He can bring her all the way through if He wills it. Let us hope and pray that the phrase, "It only takes one," applies to this case.

Yesterday was beyond nightmarish and it is difficult not to assign blame. I won't go into the details here because they are so raw and painful. Jason and I were talking earlier and we are choosing to walk forward and focus all our energy on praying for our little sweetheart. Pray for me in this, as it is a challenge.

Please pray with us. We are meditating on this verse:

"The LORD has heard my plea; the LORD will answer my prayer." (Psalm 6:9 OYB)


and this song is what's in my head (Your Hands by JJ Heller):

When my world is shaking
Heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave Your hands

Your hands
Your hands that shape the world
Are holding me, they hold me still
Your hands that shape the world
Are holding me, they hold me still

Thanks for praying for us. I know that we'll never be able to say thank you enough.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

ER Day

Retrieval did not go as we hoped. Dr. A was only able to get 2 eggs. Please pray. We'll find out tomorrow if we will have any embryos to transfer on Friday.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Day 12.

No more shots for me! Had the last 2 last night! Today there is nothing to swallow, inject, or otherwise put in my body. I think I will use the extra time tonight to bake brownies for the staff at IRH to say thank you for all the great care we've been receiving. They really go above and beyond and I am thankful that God orchestrated that they would be our doctors. Yesterday, quite frankly, was a bad, bad hormone day. Today I feel much lighter and I even have a surge of energy. Today is all about enjoying my sweet toddler son and preparing our home for tomorrow. I'm going down the list the nurses gave me, with a few additions of my own. Shots, check. Babysitter lined up, check. Chick films ready to be watched as I lie on the couch tomorrow, check. A couple of new, fun toys for Michael to play with tomorrow, check. Unmentionable doctor's order, check (seriously, there are things that doctor's really shouldn't be able to tell us to do at specific times that I'm not going to even discuss), Happy Pill (aka Valium) in purse to take on the way to the doctor's office, check. Cat, check... wait, no, scratch that.

We are to be there at 6:45 a.m., yes I said a.m. I get no breakfast, not even water, and definitely no coffee *sigh*. Our babysitter will be here at 5:45 a.m. I love her. My big dilemma is whether to get Michael up that early or to let him sleep and wake up to the sitter.... hummm.... I'll probably get him up, I've gotta see that beautiful smile before I go. I don't want to sound morbid, because it's going to be just fine, but if God forbid something happens to me, my biggest fear is that Michael may someday wonder if his mommy loved him. I made Jason promise me that no matter what, he'd tell him everyday if for any reason I can't. I will be fine; I know that. But, it's a surgery, so, I just had to make sure that was taken care of.


On the way down to IRH (it's a 45 minute drive with traffic) I get a Valium at 6:15. I was talking with a dear friend today that has been through this whole thing and I was happy to find out that she, too, really looked forward to the Happy Pill. I was feeling a little guilty about that. It really does nothing but relax you; oh, but I need to relax. I remember my first IVF, I just became totally bubbly and happy. I remember Dr. A chuckling at me and saying, yep, she's good. When we get there, I will change into my lovely hospital gown and Jason will tuck me in bed. Then comes the IV. I am seriously concerned about the IV. I'm a difficult stick and they had trouble just drawing blood at my last appointment. I'm praying that I get a really good nurse (I told them a need a really good vampire). After they get the IV going, they wheel you into the ER suite. It's a very sterile, empty feeling room similar to a surgery suite. Our clinic has clouds painted on the ceiling so you can pretend you're somewhere else. And there are the loud fans you usually have in a surgery suite. They also play music but after a little while I can't hear it anymore. They use what they call moderate sedation. It is a very deep state of relaxation and again, I'm ashamed to say, I'm looking forward to my little mini-vacation from reality. You are kind of awake but time has no meaning, and you don't feel a whole lot. I've heard some women remember pain, but I haven't ever remembered that. I remember last IVF, I tried to pick up my head to say hi to Dr. A when he came in and I felt like my head weighed a million pounds.

Then they do the retrieval. I don't know how long it takes; it never seems long. Jason doesn't get to come with me, but he'll have his own stuff to take care of.
Afterward, Jason will come find me in recovery, and I'll chill out there for an hour or so. Dr. A usually comes by to tell us what he got, and the lab begins their work. More on that later. Then, we go home and I spend the day as a couch potato and begin an insane regimen of medications (thankfully, none are injectables). Oh, and I forgot to mention breakfast from Cracker Barrel. Jason always gets take-out for me on the way home... pecan pancakes :P

These are what follicles look like; my doctor will be suctioning the eggs out of mine tomorrow.

This is a picture of the room where my procedure will be. That's my doctor and a few of the nurses (the one in the foreground is my favorite nurse, but she's not working tomorrow, bummer). This is an older photo; most of the equipment in the room is more modern looking than in this photo, but that's generally what I'll be looking like tomorrow.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Day 11.

Trust. That's the word I heard in the early morning hours when all was quiet. I thanked God for the precious gift of that Word. I wondered if He meant that I needed to trust Him or was there someone or something else I was supposed to trust. After a bumpy, hormonal morning where nothing seems to come easy, I'm thinking He means to trust Him. People make me crazy sometimes; really, they do. If I'm teaching someone how to do an algebra problem, I can be the most patient and understanding of teachers. But, when it comes to matters of the heart, I am so easily hurt, doubly so with all these hormones pumping through my body. The only exceptions to this rule are Jason and Michael; as Martha Stewart would say, that's a good thing :) I often make the mistake of looking to the world for comfort and love when it's Christ that I need to run to. How many times do I have to learn this lesson? Tenth Avenue North says it beautifully...

Why are you striving these days
Why are you trying to earn grace
Why are you crying
Let me lift up your face
Just don't turn away

Why are you looking for love
Why are you still searching as if I'm not enough
To where will you go child

Tell me where will you run
To where will you run

And I'll be by your side
Wherever you fall
In the dead of night
Whenever you call
And please don't fight
These hands that are holding you
My hands are holding you


Why do we try to earn what cannot be earned? Why do we compare our road to another person's road? In moments of clarity, I am thankful for my broken road, for it has led me to Michael and to Jason. Of course, there are moments when I am so mad that I am not "normal". Nope not normal, never have been, never will be. Never. But, God blesses my broken road.

I think about the years I spent, just passing through
I'd like to have the time I lost, and give it back to you
But you just smile and take my hand
You've been there, you understand

It's all part of a grander plan that is coming true
Every long lost dream led me to where you are
Others who broke my heart, they were like northern stars

Pointing me on my way into your loving arms
This much I know is true

That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you

I was re-reading the post I put up yesterday, and it dawned on me that most people have no earthly clue what all the IVF techno-babble means. I've been living in this fishbowl for so long that it all seems rather obvious. I am going to shamelessly copy a few paragraphs and pictures from IRH's website to explain a little better (IRH is the IVF clinic we go to). Yes, the teacher-geek in me is coming out.

In its simplest term, IVF is simply the uniting of egg and sperm in vitro (in the lab). Subsequently the embryos are transferred into the uterus through the cervix and pregnancy is allowed to begin. A typical IVF cycle begins with shutting down the ovaries. The next phase involves stimulation of the ovaries with potent ovulation medications to stimulate the development of several eggs. These injections are given for approximately 10 days. When the eggs are ready for harvesting, a final step is to give hCG to induce final maturation. The eggs are then harvested by a process called ultrasound guided vaginal retrieval. Under moderate sedation, and with ultrasound guidance, a thin needle is passed a short distance into the ovaries and the eggs are suctioned from the follicles. Typically 5-15 eggs are collected. Then sperm are released into the petri dish to fertilize the egg. If the sperm will not fertilize the eggs naturally we can perform intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). This procedure involves injecting one sperm directly into the egg.



Below is a mature egg. The red arrow points to the polar body; that's the indication that the egg is mature enough to fertilize. We are praying for as many of these as possible.

This next photo shows a single sperm being injected into an egg during ICSI. Our eggs will be undergoing ICSI as well as assisted hatching (due to my age). After 35, eggs are assumed to be tougher and to need the extra help hatching after fertilization.

These are embryos 3 days after fertilization. This is what we are hoping to see. My last 2 IVF cycles, we have done day-2 transfers. We may also do a day-2 transfer this time. It all depends on the number of embryos we have.

The science of it all is so beautiful; totally shows how awesome God is. Only He could create us this way, and only He could give us the knowledge to understand enough to be able to attempt to overcome infertility.

Well, I'd say that's enough for today. I take my Ovidrel (hCG) tonight at 8. We'll be praying for all the little eggs to mature in time for the procedure on Wednesday.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Day 10.

Happy 4th of July everyone! I pray that yall all have a blessed day! We took Michael to a local festival yesterday and we had such a great time. He got to go to the petting zoo and to play on a bunch of toddler-sized inflatables. Last night, Jason and I sat out on our deck and watched several fireworks shows. It was so nice. Today we are planning on trying out J's new ice cream maker (his Father's Day gift).

The Technical: I had an appointment this morning with Dr. S. They took more blood (they took it out of my hand today - ouch!). They also did an ultrasound. I have about 6 that are large enough to be contenders. The leader is 19, then there are some 15s, and a 14 and a 13. Lining was looking good at 12. Dr. S said the 19 is getting a little on the large side, so we can't stim too much longer. He hopes they will all be mature for retrieval but he warned me one or two might not quite get there. So, the plan is for me to stim + ganirelix tonight and then induce ovulation with Ovidrel tomorrow night. So, only 4 more injections at home! Egg retrieval surgery is scheduled Wednesday morning (with Dr. A, he'll be back in the office) - very, very, very early. Praying that my babysitter can be convinced to be up at 6 am... I plan to bribe her with caramel frappacinos...

I wish we had more to work with, but we've worked with this scenario before and God is in control. It only takes one. As I was going over all my instructions and paperwork (more on that tomorrow), the calendar day that said "Pregnancy Test" took my breath away when I saw it. Stick me with needles, do surgery on me, whatever... I can cope. Pregnancy tests are scary to me.

Jason is excited. My nurse was very excited. I'm trying to get excited. I'm numb. I'm thinking a good cry is in my future. Too many emotions and hormones and no outlet. I tried to pose with Michael for some photos this morning because we were both dressed in our red, white, and blue. They turned out HORRIBLE. I look HORRIBLE; Michael is adorable of course.

I can't finish up this post without mentioning a dear friend who had a devastating loss yesterday, her 19 week old son. You are in my prayers, my sweet sister in Christ! My heart is so heavy for you. You are much loved, and I wish I could do more for you.

One more thing to add, the lyrics to Selah's Press On

When the mountain is steep
when the valley is deep
when the body is weary
when we stumble and fall
When the choices are hard
when we're battered and scarred
when we've spent our resource
when we've given our all
In Jesus' name we press on
In Jesus' name we press on
dear lord, with the prize
clear before our eyes
we find the strength to press on

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Day 9.

Today was a work day for me. I had 2 ACT students this morning and both of them were working on grammar today. You know, schools really need to bring back formal grammar courses. Most of my students can't even spell grammar...

I am feeling quite "full" today; I feel like a chicken that needs to lay some eggs. I'm glad I'm scheduled to start my Ganirelix shots tonight (Ganirelix prevents you from ovulating too soon). Double shots for me from now on! I see Dr. S tomorrow at 9:15. Hopefully the ultrasound will be good and I'll find out when ER (egg retrieval surgery) will be.

I heard a song this morning that I wanted to include the lyrics to... can't think of it for the life of me... oh, yeah, now I remember... Legacy by Nichole Nordeman...

I want to leave a legacy
How will they remember me?
Did I choose to love? Did I point to You enough
To make a mark on things?
I want to leave an offering
A child of mercy and grace who
blessed your name unapologetically
And leave that kind of legacy


My prayer today is this... Lord, you know your plans for me and I do not. Help me walk this road according to your will and to receive you as the center of my life. Help me make You central to all that I say and do. Hold me, Lord. I need you so much.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Day 8,

Inspire. I love that word. And I love these beautiful flowers that one of my very special students brought me for helping her prep for her ACT. She also happens to be Michael's favorite baby sitter and I am so thankful for her!

The Technical: Continuing on with the 4-3-4-3 pattern of injections. We had a little bit of a humorous moment last night. Jason was chatting away on the phone and it was getting to be time for my injection. He comes walking toward me with a loaded syringe and I'm like, "Oh nooo... you tell your friend to hold on while you are sticking me with that!". We both died laughing. Guess we are getting a little too comfortable with needles! I'm feeling decent - bloated for sure. If I could just get my sinuses to clear up, I'd be great!

The Rest of the Story: There's been a scripture in my mind today. It's Proverbs 3:5-6. A friend on Facebook posted it, and it really resonated with me.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.

It would be easy to get caught up in all the numbers... percentage rates and FSH levels and numbers of eggs and on and on... especially easy for me because with my background I can get really caught up in the technical aspect of it all. But, I feel like if I worry about those numbers too much, I will cease to walk by faith. And so of course, this song is in my head:

Will I believe you when you say
Your hand will guide my every way
Will I receive the words You say
Every moment of every day

Well I will walk by faith
Even when I cannot see
because this broken road
Prepares Your will for me

Help me to RID my endless fears
You've been so faithful for all my years
With the one breath You make me new
Your grace covers all I do

I pray God will help we walk by faith through this valley. That's all until tomorrow...

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Day 7.

The Technical: Today I had an appointment at IRH. Dr A. is out of town so I saw Dr. S. It was a good appointment. They took another tube of blood, and I had an ultrasound. Dr. S said things are looking good for where we are in the cycle. The lining is at 10 and the lead follicle is at 15, with a bunch of 10s behind it. I'm not sure if this new protocol is going to yield more eggs... but we shall see. I'm not going to have enough Menopur, so I ordered 10 more vials today. Hope I'll have enough Ganirelix. We'd ordered very conservatively because I've had lots of leftovers in the past. I'm thinking I'll definitely be stimming longer this time. Dr. S. estimated middle of next week for retrieval. My next appointment is Sunday morning, on the holiday no less... my doctors are so dedicated and I so appreciate that. Jason and Michael may go with me, but I may send them to church instead.

The Emotional: I'm just plain old tired today. Feeling the edges of a headache... need to keep hydrating. Missing my friends from NOLA today. Just wish I had somebody to give me a big 'ole hug. I find a constant paradox in my mind... on one hand I so want people to know what's going on and then on the other I want to keep every bit of it private. I find that to be true of me in general though. Have you ever desired to be truly known by the people in your life, yet also desiring to be this "other"... to look like the ideal that you hope God is turning you into? Afraid to be seen, yet so needing people to see me for who I am and to love me for it. I am so blessed to have a husband that does know me inside out and he loves me for it. So does Jesus. That is enough, I know that. Yet, I feel like I'm supposed to have purpose, to bear witness to someone about something... Too big for me to wrestle with at this moment. Little Man is napping and the couch is beckoning me...

Until tomorrow.... I'm still hanging on... another day :)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Day 6.

There's nothing to suck the air out of your balloon like the bill from the RE arriving. Why does IVF have to be so dang expensive and why do so few insurance companies cover it? Oh, well, never mind... God is our provider. He knows our situation and He will provide for us. Can't let the money scare me.

Super-duper tired today. Had a great time with some dear girlfriends last night! I am so blessed to have such wonderful friends. Thank you for loving me and supporting me.

Not much else today... not so much twinging today but just feeling like my abdomen is full... hopefully full of some nice looking follicles! Here are some more inspirational lyrics I heard on the radio last night.

We lose our way,
We get back up again
It's never too late to get back up again,
One day you will shine again,
You may be knocked down,
But not out forever,
Lose our way,
We get back up again,
So get up, get up,
You gonna shine again,
Never too late to get back up again,
You may be knocked down,
But not out forever

UPDATE ****

Just got off the phone with IRH!!! I asked if we could use the 2009 prices instead of the higher 2010 prices and the finance person said yes! God is so good!!! See, He is providing!!! This saves us ~$800!!! Thanks Father God!!!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Day 5.

Two shots down, and .... a lot more... to go :) I have to give a shout out to my husband. He is so amazing! Best darn shot giver in the world! The fun thing about Menopur is that it comes as a powder in teeny tiny little vials (Did I mention expensive? Oh, so very expensive!). It has to be reconstituted with NaCl solution and this often requires working with multiple vials. J is a pro - he handles it beautifully!

I feel it working... I feel it...

God gives me songs on the radio almost every day. I have a hard time sitting still long enough to always hear Him the way I need to - especially with Michael being so active these days. So, He sends me songs. Today He sent me the song Unwritten. I love this song - it gives me so much energy!

I am unwritten, can't read my mind, I'm undefined
I'm just beginning, the pen's in my hand, ending unplanned

Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find

Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten

I break tradition, sometimes my tries, are outside the lines
We've been conditioned to not make mistakes, but I can't live that way

Our lives can be so much more than they often are! We've gotta go for it! It may not turn out the way we plan, but I'm gonna live every moment! God's got a plan... I don't understand it, but I'm gonna live it... LOUD!!!!!!!!! I know I seem mousy and quiet a lot of the time, but I have to tell you, I'm a little wild on the inside ;)



Sunset last night... another gift :)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Day 4.


For fun last Thursday, a dear friend and I went to get pedicures. I've never had flowers drawn on my toes before, but I figured, what the heck! With all the "stirrup time" I have coming up, might as well have something that's uniquely me!

The Technical: The first injection last night went just fine. I did 300 units of Menopur on the right. Tonight will be 225. Dr. Awadalla has me on a seesaw pattern, so I'll continue to alternate those doses as well as alternating sides/sites. I had a small injection site reaction but it wasn't too bad, just some heat and redness. I was amazed how quickly my body responded and I've been feeling twinges all day. They don't hurt - they just let me know the medicine is revving up my ovaries.

The Emotional: I'm feeling good today. I've been thinking about a lot of different things. My old pastor (from New Orleans) posted this verse on his Facebook status this morning:

“Don't put your confidence in powerful people; there is no help for you there. When their breathing stops, they return to the earth, and in a moment all their plans come to an end. But happy are those who have God as their helper, whose hope is in the LORD their God. He is the one who made heaven and earth, the sea,... and everything in them. He is the one who keeps every promise forever.” (Psalm 146:3-6 OYB)


This really reminded me that although having people praying for us is vital, our hope has to be in God, not in somehow earning his favor. I know we all tend to think that if we do everything right, God will bless us. It doesn't work that way. I think I tend to do this so that I feel like I have some control over the outcome. But, I don't have any control. It's all in His hands. I still don't understand how God decides who gets to be pregnant and who gets to keep their babies. I never will. But, I know the One Who does. That has to be enough.

A little happy that Michael and Jason brought home for me yesterday! I am so blessed...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Day 3.


Well, tonight we open the box and start the injectable medications. We try to do them at the same time every night, so 9pm usually works best... Michael's in bed and we have time to focus. I'm really lucky that Jason sort of likes to give me the shots. It gives him an opportunity to be part of the process. I can give them to myself if I have to, but it takes me a while to work up the nerve. Something about sticking a needle (even a small one) into your stomach is just unsettling.

It's been an unusually quiet Sunday for us... lots of naps and relaxing and I think it's been perfect to settle our hearts. I know my heart will flutter with that first shot... it is always a big reality check. Yep, we're really doing this!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Day 2.

Today, I returned to IRH for my first appointment of this round. It's always bittersweet to walk through those doors. Sweet because of the hope of another baby. Bitter that I have to be there at all... especially this time.

The Technical: They drew blood to test my FSH levels (FSH = follicle stimulating hormone). That's the magic number they watch throughout the cycle to see how your ovaries are doing. Then Dr. Scheiber did a baseline ultrasound. All was quiet with the exception of the remains of a follicle from last cycle. He said I was good to start the short protocol and so my first injection of Menopur (FSH + LH) will be tomorrow (Sunday) night. I'll do injections Sun, Mon, Tues, and Wednesday and then return Thursday morning for another ultrasound.

The Emotional: I had mixed feelings when I realized Dr. Scheiber would be seeing me today, as he is not my primary doctor. Both doctors are excellent, but there's something about your primary... you feel like he is the expert on your body. It's pretty pathetic that I've been there so often, I recognize which doctor's car is in the reserved parking spot up front. I have to say though, the man was so nice to me today. He must have taken a moment to look at my chart before he saw me. He was so kind and encouraging, and I so appreciate that.

Jason and I spent a lot of time talking and praying about this last night. It's been really hard to figure out who to even ask to pray for us. It's like we are afraid to ask... it's hard to put yourself out there again in front of the world when it may all fall apart... again. It's so hard to show how hurt I am... I'll always tell you I'm about 10 times better than I am.

FEAR... that is the key word that pops up again and again and again. It's interesting how people respond to fear. Some are like horses... they run forward, backward, sideways, whatever... just keep forward motion and the bad stuff can't get you. Others are like deer; they freeze... utterly paralyzed. If what's after me can't detect me, I'll be safe. Both are the protective mechanisms God gave them. One isn't better than the other, but they are very different and can make for some long conversations about how to move forward. We know fear isn't of the Lord. I know Scripture says, "Do not fear." Well, I am not going to pretend I've mastered not feeling fear. I am just going to keep laying it at Jesus' feet.

But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
Isaiah 43:1-2

Fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

For I, the Lord your God,
hold your right hand;
it is I who say to you, “Fear not,
I am the one who helps you.”

Isaiah 41:10,13


God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
Psalm 46:1-2

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.

1 John 4:18

Friday, June 25, 2010

Day 1.

Here we are at the beginning of our 3rd IVF cycle!

The Technical: Drugs ordered and on standby. I called this morning and made an appointment for tomorrow. They will draw blood and do a baseline ultrasound scan. If the ovaries are quiet, I will begin the stimulation injections probably on Sunday. This is a new protocol for me. In the past, there has been a down-regulation of the ovaries first (they do this so that all the follicles are kind of starting growth from the same place). The hope is that by avoiding that step (in my case, since my ovaries tend to be pretty quiet at the beginning anyway), we may be able to retrieve more eggs. The change in protocol does make me a bit nervous, but I trust in the wisdom God has given my doctors. Anyway, we'll see what it looks like tomorrow - that will determine which protocol they use. I've also been concerned about going into this as I'm getting over a very nasty cold. The nurse assured me today that it's fine, so that does comfort me.

The Emotional: **Deep breath** Not sure... excited, scared, dizzy, so much to think about and no time to think. I don't feel scared about the process... I mean it's old news to us by this point. It's the unknown that scares me. The what if doesn't work this time and what if it works but we lose another baby? Why are we doing this???

...and then... I look at my angel Michael... and I know it's worth every agonizing moment of uncertainty. I've been listening to a lot of Jars of Clay lately. It's old-school, I know, but it's raw and emotional and so where I am right now. These lyrics from the song Much Afraid really resonate in my heart right now. So, here they are... they say it better than I can...

Empty again
Sunken down so far
So scared to fall
I might not get up again

So I lay at your feet
All my brokenness
I carry all of my burdens to you

All of these things
I've held up in vain
No reason nor rhyme
Just the scars that remain
Of all of these things
I'm so much afraid
Scared out of my mind
By the demons I've made
Sweet Jesus, you never ever let me go
Oh, sweet Jesus, never ever let me go


So happy to love
Yet so far to go
You lead me on to where I've never been before