Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Belly Shots (not the fun kind...)

They have arrived.  I had a strange excited/scared/can't breathe feeling when the FEDEX truck pulled up this morning.  It didn't help that the cable guy was here, asking me lots of questions about routers, high def, and lots of other crap that they never taught at Valpo University.  "That's your job.  I sell clothes.  Let's move on!"  Anyway, I could feel my face flush as I set the box on the kitchen counter in his presence.  He didn't look my direction, but HE COULD and if I opened the box I would be outed...to some random cable guy.  That of course is assuming that he knew as much about gonadotropins and Sharps containers as he does about fiber optics.  I am guessing I would have taken that round.

It's suddenly real.  $1022.72 worth of real anyway.  It's not like I opened the box, and our baby hopped out.  It's a new beginning, one that I hope follows very shortly after the ball falls on Time Square.  This would be no time for my body to give me attitude.  I pray that this is the answer,  and we don't require more invasive treatments.  I pray for a healthy pregnancy that brings us a healthy child.  I pray that those scary needles on the kitchen counter and packs of cartridges in the fridge help bring us a happy ending.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Silent Night...

One year ago today I said goodbye to my dearest friend, Sweet Baby Boogins kitty.   We had been married for about 6 weeks, and I had been living through my usual 6 day a week retail fog.  Pierce and I had only been ttc for 2 cycles at that point, so I had yet to become bitter and concerned about the future of my fertility.  We went out for dinner after church on Christmas Eve and returned home to find our sweetie struggling to stand up, not eating her food, and whimpering in pain.  I still have not forgiven myself for not coming straight home from church that night even though I am certain it would not have made a difference.  I held her in my arms and cried.  She was 16 years old and suffering, and I hated that there was nothing I could do to help her.  We had been together since I graduated from college.  She had lived in 4 different states, had 10 different addresses, and most recently had a really great new daddy.

Christmas morning I woke up to find that she had not moved since the night before.  She was curled up in her bed just as I had left her.  Pierce tried to comfort her and give her some water but to no avail.  My baby was dying and I knew it.  I told him that we had to take her to the emergency animal hospital and so we did.  They rushed her in and examined her, and the doctor came back with a bleak prognosis.  I made the only decision that I could, a decision that I was not prepared to make but knew it was the only unselfish thing to do.  We said goodbye to her on a sterile table as her heart stopped beating but eyes remained open.  My heart was broken. This was the little kitty that I lost every day in my closet when I moved to Chicago when I was 21.  The one who stayed in so many hotels along Route 66 as I moved to Arizona with my first husband and the one who cuddled with me on the floor when he and I would fight and I would tell her, "Someday it will be just you and me". And she would purr in acceptance.  And she did sleep next to me when my divorce was final and I was inconsolable.  She loved Pierce.  He made her so happy.  She was very smart, sweet and precious.  We had 16+ wonderful years, and I will cherish those memories for the rest of my life.

One year later, the pain is less but Christmas is still not the same.  The cremation service gave us a candle to light in her honor and a poem to read about animals crossing the Rainbow Bridge.  I am sure this is some nondenominational Heaven reference, and as a Christian I know that she is there with all of the others who have gone before me.  Tonight we lit her candle and remembered the one who brought us so much joy.  You will never be forgotten, my little one. Rest in Peace, Sweet Boogins baby.  Mommy and Daddy hold you in their hearts today and always.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I never thought I would create one of these things!

A few months ago, a good friend of mine suggested that I blog so that she could keep up with what was going on in my life.  I was a bit offended and then embarrassed.  When did we all become so busy that we couldn't pick up a phone to learn what was going on in each others' lives? When did we stop getting together?  And when did my life become so sad that I would feel like I had nothing great to talk about?

What Dee (name changed) didn't know is that I am battling infertility.  OK, I said it out loud.  Yes, I feel defective and am more than a little self-conscious admitting it, but infertility affects 1 in 8 women so I know I am in good company.  What's really difficult is that it doesn't seem to affect anyone I know.  I feel entirely alone and am hoping that blogging about my journey will help me find my way.

Here's a bit of background, just to bring everyone up to speed.

November 3, 2007  I married the man of my dreams at 38 years old.  I was married for 8 1/2 years and divorced in 2003.  Divorce was the most difficult life change I had ever been through, but my ex did not want children and I could no longer accept life without a family.  I have no regrets and still believe he is a good person, just not the right person for me. Our divorce was final 5 years ago yesterday, and the date still brings me to tears when I remember standing before the judge and saying good-bye to many years of my life.

We started trying to conceive (ttc) shortly after our wedding.  I really had not done my research and am embarrassed to admit how clueless I was about the entire process in the beginning.  I figured if 16 year-old girls can achieve pregnancy in the back seat of cars on regular basis, how hard can it really be?  After one BFN (big fat negative) I started using ovulation predictor kits.  I got positive results from these kits each month, so I felt confident that we had good timing; however, we never received a positive home pregnancy test (HPT).  After 6 months of trying on our own and receiving news of multiple friends achieving pregnancy when "they weren't really trying yet" (bleh!), we sought the guidance of one of the leading fertility docs in our area.  I had a hysterosalpingogram to check my tubes, which were clear, but my uterus looked a little "bumpy".  It turns out I had polyps in my uterus.  I had surgery in September to remove them.  I also had baseline ultrasounds and lots of bloodwork.  All of this came back fine.  Actually, more than fine, given my age.  My husband, who I will call Pierce due to my current Pierce Brosnan obsession, also had a semen analysis which had rock star results.  I knew enough about IF (infertility) at this point to know that it was much more manageable if it didn't involve MFI (male factor infertility).

I also paid a visit to my PCP who diagnosed me with high blood pressure and hypothyroidism.  I was put on meds for both, but my thyroid was seriously out of control and has taken 5 months to get under control.  But back to the baby doc....  We were told that we had to wait 3 months after my surgery  to start "treatment".  That would put us right about now.  Apparently he wants to start next month.  I figure he wants to take Christmas vacation with his wife and three girls, I mean who wouldn't?  The nurse in his office assured me that he has his reasons because he is "so good!" and I should just keep the faith.  We are on our 3rd natural cycle since the surgery and still hoping for a miracle.  Around January 5 (Happy Birthday, Mom!) I should be starting injections of fertility drugs for artificial insemination.  We have no insurance benefits to cover these treatments, so I am hopeful that IUI will be the answer to our prayers. If we need IVF, we are looking at $15,000.00 for a fresh cycle.  I hope that all of you fertiles out there now understand how fortunate and blessed you are.  Getting knocked up is not always just a matter of stopping the Pill and throwing caution to the wind.

So here I sit, listening to Harry Connick Jr. Christmas, in my beautifully decorated home, with my wonderful new husband, baking Christmas cookies, and I am SAD.  We have all the love in the world...we have great jobs....we have a nice house and a wonderful cat, but somehow we feel empty.  Christmas is not the same without children.  I feel like the only girl in the mall without a stroller.  Common sense would say, "Stay out of the mall!" but I work there and I work there now more than I do the rest of the year.  Next year I will be a mom....I keep repeating this over and over...I will believe this, I really will, but after 14 cycles I feel like I need a miracle.  I am a Christian, and I believe that that is what this time of year is all about; however, I am doubting my faith and blaming myself for waiting so long to try to become a mom.  I secretly detest women who get pregnant at 40 without any trouble, and I know more than a few of them.  There is nothing more painful.  I don't know what my father would think of all of this, but i guess that is another post in itself.  

I think I have covered all of the history.  I am crying like a baby!  I must reiterate at this time that my husband, Pierce, is the best husband in the world.  He is trying to cheer me up through all of this.  I would be lost without him.  He is stashing all of the Christmas cards that show pictures of my family members with their babies, especially one of my favorite cousins with his daughter, whose name is very similar to one of the names we had chosen for our daughter.  We can no longer use the name and that hurts.  I don't blame my cousin; he didn't know.  It just really sucks.  I want to believe in Santa again.  I want to believe in the tooth fairy, the Easter Bunny, and I want to believe that good things happen to those who have faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ, who died for my sins.  I am having trouble with all of this right now.  It is going to be a tough holiday season, and I have a bit of solitude in knowing this blog is  here for me and my thoughts.  Thank you for listening.