One of Those People?

The stories you hear that stick with you and make you think, “Well, good for them,” are the ones where someone magically conceives naturally right before IUI or IVF, or after years and tons of treatments that were successful or not, magically conceives naturally.  Those stories that perpetuate the very incorrect and frustrating cliché of “if you’d just relax, then it will happen.”  And you can just think, “Yes, good for them, but that will never happen to me.”

I guess it just hadn’t happened to me yet.

I think last I checked in I was trying out Femara.  So in December it didn’t do a darn thing for me like it had the cycle before, following the last miscarriage.  I also posted about how I’d been feeling God telling me to WAIT.  I realized that I was trying as hard as I could and nothing good was happening and so yes, God, I will listen and STOP and WAIT.

In January I began to come to peace with having my two miracles and no longer pursuing a third child, and I even decided to maybe call it off completely and start preventing forever beginning the next cycle.  I was ok with all of that, and so I did nothing just like I felt God had been telling me to do for months, and I waited.

Then my cycle wasn’t ending and I was like what the heck, man, and I waited and waited and started feeling some hormonal symptoms and on a whim decided to take a pregnancy test just to rule it out.

You may be able to guess by now that it was positive, and not a faint positive like I get early on, it was POSITIVE.  What.  the actual.  heck.  Complete shock and I had no idea when I had ovulated.  Based on the darkness of my test I guessed I was about 4-4.5 weeks.

Typically at this point I’d be calling for bloodwork and scheduling an early ultrasound and taking the progesterone that I’d paid hundreds of dollars for to try and help the last baby, but I still felt God telling me to do nothing and so I did nothing.

I was already past the “chemical pregnancy” danger of the last two pregnancies, so that was at least a better sign.  And then at 5 weeks my symptoms completely disappeared and I was CONVINCED I was having another blighted ovum because why would I not?  I went a week feeling nothing, then some cramping, and was completely physically and emotionally prepared for the miscarriage to start and I knew I’d be ok with that outcome.

But it didn’t start, so I took another test to at least see if my hcg was going down and the test was basically as dark as a test can actually be.  I was really anxious and confused now, so I finally called to schedule an appointment with the CNM.  It would still be another week before they’d get me in for an ultrasound, so I made them do an hcg quant in attempts to quell my anxiety.

And then BAM the symptoms came back in full force.  I couldn’t eat and couldn’t even keep water down and spent one night up half the time puking harder than I ever have before and within 2 days I was back at the CNM getting a prescription for Phenergan (anti-nausea/vomiting) and IV fluids because I was dehydrated.  I also learned my hcg a few days ago had been 45,000.  I was like… so this baby is actually growing normally?  I couldn’t comprehend it, and I felt guilty because I’d actually been ok with not having another baby… but then one seemed to have miraculously appeared anyway.

A week later I had an ultrasound and we saw a baby measuring 7 weeks 5 days with a heartbeat of 163 bpm.  I spent the next several weeks too sick to be very anxious about it.  I’m feeling more like a human now, though my much needed Zantac is not working as well as it was.

I am 13 weeks and 5 days today, and earlier this week I saw the midwife again and she immediately got a heartbeat of 158 bpm with the doppler.  A baby is definitely growing in there, and sometimes I can feel wiggles.  I’m very slowly starting to come out of denial that we’re somehow having another baby, and I did nothing but give up and listen to God.

So now am I one of those people?

I don’t feel like this just happened to me because I relaxed and stopped trying.  I still had to go through difficulty on the journey to ultimately be where I am right now.  I suppose that’s how those people feel too?

Miracle Baby #3 coming in late October.  “Big” ultrasound is scheduled for in about 6.5 weeks!

Money and Peace

For the most part I can get over the fact that I need medication to decrease my risk of miscarriage, but the thing that I have a hard time not feeling angry about is when the thing that prevents me from doing all that I can is money.  Not that I don’t have the money, but that this stuff costs so much.

There is very little insurance coverage out there for fertility testing and treatments.  We were very fortunate to have had just about the best infertility coverage you could find when we were going through thousands of dollars a month in treatments.  We only had a $20 prescription copay (those injections were thousands).

Since we currently have no worthwhile insurance coverage (thanks, Obama), money has been what has set our limits, and that is very frustrating.  If it wasn’t a factor, I’d just be all like let’s do IVF again.  It’s our option with the highest chance of success.  I probably wouldn’t have said that 6 months ago, but I’m more determined now that this can have a happy ending.

It still may not, but I do not want to have to give up and quit and try to move on because I couldn’t afford a medication.  I thought that was going to be the case up until this morning, in fact, although I hadn’t entirely decided to give up.  Just a month or two until I could come up with the $93 to refill my Femara.

Someone told me that Femara is only $7 at Costco.  WHAT.  How can that be possible?!  I had to check into it.  I can afford $7.  Long story short, it’s true.  I refilled my double Rx for $7.56 this morning.  Today is the day I’d need to start taking it.

I would’ve been crying and jumping for joy if I didn’t have a peace about it.  I’d come to realize in the past few days that God isn’t trying to prevent me from trying to have another baby, he’s just helping me to be patient about it.  “Wait” is the word that has come up again and again in the last 6 months.

So with that in mind, I hope that I can continue to feel peaceful and patient this month.  I want to concentrate on Advent (which, coincidentally, means “waiting”) and Christmas with my family and not OPKs and symptoms.  They need to take a back seat.

 

P.S. While looking for scripture to have B read when we light our Advent candles, I came across this:

Therefore since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
Romans 5:1-5

So look at that: I shouldn’t ever feel stupid for continuing to have hope.  This is how I’m able to still have hope.

“I Don’t Know How to Make Peace with My Infertility”

This was an article I came across today that resonated so much with me.  It is something I have continued to struggle with and do every single day.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/wendy-litner/i-dont-know-how-to-make-peace-with-my-infertility_b_8525700.html?ir=Parents&ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000037

This really highlights how it feels:

The agony of infertility runs so deep that I feel irrevocably changed by the experience — so much so that having a baby now almost feels beside the point. How will I ever heal? How will we ever be OK with the hows and whys and buts of it all? My heart feels mashed inside my chest. Could a baby really put it back together again?

And I have learned from experience that the answer is no.  Having M brought me a lot of joy, but it was a separate joy.  It wasn’t one that automatically erased all that had happened because it had been “resolved.”

It can never be resolved.  The pain leaves a profound impact on you, and there is no cure.  I can’t just have a baby no matter how much I want one, no matter how hard I try.

I haven’t entirely put this out there yet, in so many words, but we have been hoping to have another baby.  I’ve had two more miscarriages since this began, including one where I was maxed out on Clomid.  I’m on Femara right now, which I’ve never tried before but it’s expensive and possibly the last option.  Doing IVF again isn’t an option (unless maybe it were magically free).

And so here I am feeling crazy for trying, for hoping maybe this time everything will work out, but it’s not going well.  Sometimes I wonder why I should expect a different result?  I don’t know how I can ever come to terms with it.  It’s the most maddening, heartbreaking position to be in, and I know that it’s very likely at some point soon I’ll have to try to accept giving up and moving on.

Snowbird

Snowbird

I wanted to believe that you’d be able to stay
I was so afraid you wouldn’t, just like the others
I prayed for you, I loved you, and I hoped
I told myself it was ok and I waited
I nestled you into my heart, where you will always be
I wonder how I can let myself keep hoping
Even after you flew off to be with the rest
I saw snowbirds today
Beautiful gray and peaceful
I know you’re safe there with them
You all have each other

Now I Can Walk

ps 138 7

Five years ago today I was just beginning to see my RE.  I found hope in that.  I had been drug through over a year of disappointment and heartbreak.  I had been learning how to walk in such darkness, how to hold God’s hand and let him support me as I walked.

I had two more years of walking through that dark valley.  There were a lot of painful stumbles.  Finally I made it out to the other side when M was born.  She brings so much joy to our lives, and not a day goes by I don’t know that and remember.

She is almost 3 now, and I had several years of healing from that walk and never wanting to try it again.  Then somehow our minds changed, even before losing Flicker a few months ago.  I am three months into starting this walk again, not knowing how long I’ll be on it nor how many wounds I’ll suffer on the way.

There are days it is still hard.  I see cavalier comments, triggering announcements and pictures, and I hate being back here.  I hate that it has to be so hard for me.  I feel isolated again.

But now I have learned how to walk this path.  It is familiar to me.  I hold God’s hand and walk more confidently.  I know that I can walk through it and where the stumbles are.  I know that while I’m surrounded by these troubles again, by the familiar pain of waiting for a baby I’m already supposed to be having, that my life is safe.

Another Angel

I got to spend one long, crazy, nice day with now another little angel baby.  He was certainly a surprise, but very much wanted, but today is already gone.  I’m sad and disappointed, but under the circumstances am glad it happened sooner than later.  I only had the one day to get my hopes up, rather than weeks or months.  But there was a lot of thinking, dreaming, and love for that one night and day.

Here are some of the scriptures, images, etc. that I came across or that came into my head in the last two days that will forever be associated with Flicker.

Flicker

“Trust the Lord and His mighty power.
Remember his miracles and all his wonders
and his fair decisions.”
Psalm 105:4-5

“The Lord is righteous in everything He does;
He is filled with kindness.
The Lord is close to all who call on Him,
Yes, to all who call on Him sincerely.”
Psalm 145:17-18

“Greater things are yet to come
And greater things are still to be done.”

It Doesn’t Go Away

Read this article just now.  Great article, spot on.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/parenting/wp/2015/04/27/the-other-side-of-infertility-i-finally-joined-the-elusive-mommy-club-but-did-i-really-belong/

It puts into words so much that I’ve felt.  Just recently in fact I was sitting with two other moms of kids on my son’s baseball team who were talking about her surprise baby and ease-of-conception-issues that went on from there.  I wanted to cry and throw up having to sit there listening to it.  I don’t feel like the other moms when stuff like that happens.  I feel like an outsider.

I’m 2 1/2 years past our “resolution,” and I have learned that the effects of infertility are profound and stay with you always.  It’s still something I have to deal with: all of those feelings are still there and are the first to surface, even if they don’t hit me quite as hard.

In fact, lately I’ve been reminded just how much it is still part of my life when faced with the desire to want to have another baby.  It is an incredibly complicated and scary issue.  It brings back all of the risk of heartbreak; it is still something I would have to face if we did make that decision.  I have to factor my willingness to risk going through all of that into a decision, and I’m back to feeling angry about how unfair it all is.

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