Again

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There’s so much not fun stuff about any path during infertility that it is difficult to express what is most not fun.

Starting over is one of them.

It’s not square one, but it’s not a happy ending either. It’s just part of the process. I said at the beginning of the journey we might not get the result we want. For the first round of IUI that is obviously true.

We had high hopes.
Every month you get your hopes up a little bit. I mean by this point we’ve learned to read the signs, time things right, etc. This isn’t our first rodeo. It’s definitely not my first negative pregnancy test. I’m certainly well aware no new position, no relaxation technique, no new supplement is going to suddenly cure our infertility. But this month, after drugs and tests and all the getting everything just so, we let our hopes drift up a little higher than ever before. So it hurts when there’s yet another negative test to add to the pile.

The thing to remember (yes I’m saying this to myself as well) is that we’re just in the middle of the story. We’ve only just read a couple chapters in and we’ve got to keep going. Yes, this next chapter looks a lot like the last one, many of the steps will be the same. But, we won’t know how it ends until we get there. That’s just how it is as we move through the story. We keep hoping each step will lead us to the ending we desire. We keep walking in faith, even on the hard days.

Yes, today is a hard day. I’m allowed to feel that. I’m allowed to cry and feel sad and ask why even when I know I’m not going to get an answer. In the midst of my tears I’m also allowed to feel hopeful, look up, and keep going. One of the most beautiful things about being human is we have this amazing ability to feel all of the feelings all at once. Love, hate, sorrow, and joy (and a million other emotions) can all exist at the same time inside of you. Learning to embrace them all and not shut out the uncomfortable emotions is sometimes really hard. I’m practicing that today.

So, we begin again.
Today is my baseline ultrasound, which means Dr B will be looking for any cysts left over from ovulation. If there is one we will wait a month for it to go away. If there’s isn’t one we will get more drugs. You already know I’m not about the waiting, so send all those clear ultrasound green light prayers our way!

Thanks for sticking with us for IUI -round two!

Waiting

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The thing about infertility and waiting to find out if you’re pregnant is that it absolutely consumes you. Even when you are outwardly just living your life your brain is stuck in a loop of hope and worry.

I’m having lunch with a friend.
Do I feel any different?
I’m buying groceries.
It’s really too soon to feel any different.
I’m laughing at his jokes.
Is that a baby cramp or is my period coming?
I’m cleaning the kitchen.
Oh, God, don’t let it be my period.

Of course I’ve felt this waiting before many many times. In the early years of our journey more acutely, and then we kind of buried the emotions for a while. Living with your emotions swinging on a pendulum can start to wear you down.  This time, all these emotions feel heavier. And, sometimes they’ve got a touch of desperation.

Waiting is a tangle of a hundred different emotions and trying to sort and calm them all one by one. It’s holding onto not knowing as hope when the feelings of despair want to first creep in and then wash over you. Some days you have to talk yourself down from the clouds so as not to set yourself up for utter defeat. Other days you have to drag your heart from your feet and whisper a mantra to keep it from pulling you into a pit.

The whole while you feel a little ridiculous. I mean hundreds of people get pregnant by accident everyday. By accident. How is it getting pregnant for my body is like playing blindfolded darts with the target a mile off?

I do believe everything happens for a reason. I do believe God has a plan. But anyone who’s ever waited for something life-altering knows that the wait can feel endless. When your whole being is caught up in the waves of emotion that come with waiting you just have to trust and ride it out.

And so we are.
Waiting.

Dear Baby

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Dear I-Really-Hope-You’re-In-There Baby,

We are about a week from knowing if our prayers have been answered. While I’m worried and nervous your dad is calm and hopeful. He says of course we’re lucky enough to have you so soon after trying something new. I’m hopeful but with a skeptical eyebrow raised. I’m also hyper aware of every little feeling happening in my body right now. It’s like in the middle of the night when you think you hear a noise and you strain your ears to catch it again. That’s how I feel for every twinge, every sensation. Hoping and holding my breath Is that you?

We’ve made some progress on this little space in our house that will be yours. The Baby’s Room sounds like magic to us. You have new carpet; it is so soft and squishy and great for bare feet. I’ve unpacked the few boxes of baby items your dad & I have been collecting since we thought you were right around the corner. We never anticipated you’d be a half-dozen years down the road.

You have a Cars rug from your Aunt Kellie and her mom. We’re sure whatever gender you may be you’ll inherit the love of Cars from us. You also have a play mat that your Aunt Aubrey and I found during one of our yearly garage sale day excursions. We just couldn’t pass up a like new play mat for $3. In my dreams during our sale day this year you’ll be along for the ride and we’ll find lots of other great things for you.

Our too-long anticipation of you is all over this room. Your first piggy bank, it’s tractor shaped, is waiting for you next to a few books and many blankets. You already have blankets from both great-grandmothers and from me piled in your closet. You’ll never go cold or lack for comfort that is for sure!
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Dear little seed,
You already have your very first onesies; in size 0-3 months, up to 12 pounds. I hold them and almost can’t believe humans start life so small. I also pray you’ll be tiny but mighty because I’m hoping for a natural birth. Be gentle on your mama, ok?

The glider (also from a great-grandma) where you and I will spend many an hour is ready for you. Sometimes I come in and rock and imagine your closet full of little clothes and toys. I imagine the sounds you’ll add to this room; your first crys, first laughs, baby hiccups is there anything better? I can’t wait to find out.

This week is a hard one, the waiting to know and trying to feel if you’re there yet or if we’ll be trying again. Your mama is an impatient woman and God is surely using you to teach me to change my ways. He will use you to teach me a great many things in sure. I’m just so eager for these lessons to begin, I hope you are too.

Love,
Your-Mama-In-Waiting

Little Eggs

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Good morning, friends!
This morning I am waking up with excited anticipation!

I’ve finished taking my fertility drugs, gotten my shots, and have seen three little eggs on my ultrasound. You can see them on the monitor in the photo above if you look close. They are the darkest grey/black circle – ish things. They are smallest to largest left to right. Dr B was measuring the largest one during this photo and the white dots are the indications for that. Once they’re the right size (mature) I was given a trigger shot to tell my body to let them out of the ovaries and into the tubes where we’re hoping they meet some swimmers and begin to grow.

So that’s the quickie update,  but let’s back up and talk drugs for a second. The first drug I took was Clomid; it was a couple of pills every day for five days. I didn’t really notice anything very different or have any side effects to speak of, just slightly elevated emotions and a bit of an acne breakout.

The next thing was a shot in my belly of a drug called Menapur. This expensive little thing didn’t hurt and was barely noticeable until I began to feel my ovaries.  It’s sounds strange to tell people your ovaries hurt, but that’s what the Menapur did; made two little balls of achy-ness in my abdomen. It also made my acne hyper! I got little red dots and tiny white-head zits, a few on my face, more on my neck and chest. So that is weird but not uncomfortable, I’m happy to look polka dotted if it helps this baby process!

Then, I had an ultrasound. This was Sunday morning, awesome Dr B is in-office whenever someone needs something done. During that ultrasound he looks for my eggs and finds three of them in there on the left side. Two are a little larger than the third and are OK to be released if we are in a hurry. But, he suggests we wait one more day and let them get a little bigger and a little better.

So, Monday morning, I have another ultrasound and Dr B smiles and says “you’ve earned yourself a shot”.  This is the trigger shot that makes me ovulate. It’s the ‘release the hounds’ shot! It went in my hip and left a spot that feels like a bruise there. Thankfully, I didn’t really have side effects with that drug either. There’s a not-fun list of side effects that could’ve made this process much more difficult. I’m feeling grateful and blessed I didn’t have them. Especially since I may end up needing to go through this process again on stronger doses.

Alrighty,  that brings us to:
Today! is the first of two days for my IUIs (intrauterine insemination). We are praying hard that one of those little eggs turns into what I like to call a sticky bean. We need a happy fertilization today and then a good attachment in the right place.  If God continues to smile on us over the next couple of days we’ll be on our way to growing a baby!

That. Is. So. Exciting!

I’ve gotten a lot of questions about when and how we’ll know it worked…
The normal (nail biting) two week wait and pregnancy test don’t change for all the rest of it. We wait and see. We hope I don’t begin the cycle again and get to see two lines on the pee stick. :) The next two weeks might be the longest of our lives! We’re so glad you’re waiting and praying with us!

{Weekending} chaos

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Saturday lazy morning with the girls keeping watch… and probably wondering when the heck breakfast will be ready.

We’ve got a busy weekend to begin just as soon as we finish an episode of The A Team and manage to crawl out of bed.

Saturday will be full of tractor stuff and family time. Sunday is when we go in bright and early for my next ultrasound to see if we can plan out how the rest of our IUI week will go. We also have to empty our bedroom and pull up the old carpet because new carpet is coming next week. This is on the heels of stripping and painting the nursery that will also have new carpet.

We’re in a funny mix of tractor project – family project – home project – medical stuff – life right now. It feels like chaos to me. I have the ability to multitask but too many things going at once makes me anxious. I’m a one-track minded creature a lot of the time. Luckily life gives me ample opportunity to work on that!

Here’s to a full, messy, life filled weekend for you and for me!

A Quilt For Patty

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About six months ago my mom posted a little fabric challenge to our family on Facebook. She asked for a few fat-quarters of fabric to be sent for inspiration and in return we would make the sender a lap quilt from their fabric.

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My cousin Patty took mom up on her offer. She sent us a awesome pack of fabric in greys and blues. It was fantastic to work with colors mom and I aren’t normally drawn to. We needed the push to do something new and we both really love the way the quilt turned out! It’s very calming and peaceful -so relaxing to look at and cuddle.

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It’s been so great to make something for someone we both love so much and who got to personalize it a little bit. We’ve already packaged up our little masterpiece to send off to its new home. Of course, even as I stitched on the label mom asked “What are we working on next?”

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Pattern: Meet Me At The Corner by Atkinson Designs
Machine pieced, hand bound.
Long-arm quilted by Dream Catchers Quilting

Green Light

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It felt a little like we were playing a game of Red Light, Green Light today. Luckily, ultimately, we got a green light!

I had my baseline ultrasound today and HALLELUJAH it was clear! My prayer warriors are talking the good Lord’s ear off and I am so thankful!

♡ Seriously, I love you guys. ♡

The ultrasound tech did play a small game of Keep-Away with my ovaries. They apparently wanted to hide. I had to assist her and push them into view so she could capture pictures. (Is this a sign of my parenting style already?!) The good news is that they were kinda hard to see, which means there’s no cysts in there. Cysts are very easy to spot, they are big black holes in the surrounding grey of the ultrasound.

Alrighty.
Now I get to take drugs.
Woo!

I have a little chart that tells me the days for taking Clomid (pills) & what day to go in and get my Menopur shot. After that then I’ll have another ultrasound to see how the little eggs are developing in there. Then when the eggs are the right size I’ll get an HCG trigger shot to make my ovaries release them. (Release the hounds!) Then, after the HCG trigger I will have two days of IUI.

Whew!
That’s a busy couple of weeks!
I’m living in the optimisticly faithful lane and just focusing on our part, God will take care of the rest.

Also, how grateful am I that I grew out of that debilitating fear of needles?! My Dad is up in heaven just laughing his butt off about that I’m sure.

So, that’s the update! Good news!
Thanks for being such a beautiful cheering section. 
♡♡♡

Curious about all those drugs and what they do?
Ok, here’s that break down:

Clomid: (clomiphene) is a non-steroidal fertility medicine. It causes the pituitary gland to release hormones needed to stimulate ovulation (the release of an egg from the ovary).

Menapur: contains follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone activity. These hormones stimulate healthy ovaries to make eggs.

HCG: Human Chorionic Gonadotropin is a hormone that supports the normal development of an egg in a woman’s ovary, and stimulates the release of the egg during ovulation.

All caught up?
(I’ll happily answer any questions if not.)
:)
Okie doke.
Onward!

Dear Baby

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Dear yet-to-be-created Baby,
    This is what it looks like outside your window today; the day we began painting your room. It’s a cold, wet, snowy day. Your dad and I picked this color a few days ago when the sun was shining with bright blue skies. One day you’ll understand just how common that is here in Colorado and you’ll tell people the cliche phrase we all say at least once in our lives “Don’t like the weather? That’s ok, just wait a minute. ”

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    The color we chose is called Porpoise, it’s a beautiful medium grey. I’ve been dreaming about you for a long long time you see, so I’ve had nursery plans running around in my head quite a while. We obviously don’t know if you’ll be a boy or a girl so I tried to pick a color that was a good neutral. I’ve been loving greys lately in many things and so it seems just perfect for me to spread that color love all over the walls in the room that will one day be yours.
    Also, it doesn’t hurt that the color is Porpoise and your Florida-girl-mama happens to love marine wildlife. The only thing that could’ve made this color any better is if it had been called Manatee. One day I’ll share my love of water with you and we’ll take trips to the aquarium and the ocean and you’ll learn all about some seriously cool creatures. I think you’ve got a pretty decent chance of being an animal lover like your parents.
    Your Grandma Elaine and Aunt Sharon came to help me paint today. We talked about what your name might be and where your furniture might go. Your dad is with Grandpa Ralph working on tractors, something you’ll also come to find common. Something you could be doing with them, if you are so inclined, when you’re old enough. Boy or girl we hope to encourage you to follow your interests wherever they might lead you. Plus, your dad would love to have a tractor pull pal and to teach you all about his passion.
    You’ll be one lucky little human, because your dad is an excellent teacher. He knows lots about mechanics and sports and all sorts of things, and he makes them easy to understand and interesting even when they really aren’t ‘your thing’. I speak from experience, my love, because many of his things aren’t mine, but I still love for him to teach me about them.
    You might find it funny little yet-to-be-created child of mine that we are so eager to get started creating this space for you. That’s something we’ll teach you about together: walking in faith. Sometimes you just act in the direction of your dreams and trust God to get you through. You’ll also learn your mama is a ridiculously hopeful, optimistic person. Even my darkest moments can’t talk my heart out of believing in miracles, and that’s what you’ll be for us -a beautiful miracle.
    So, my miracle-waiting-to-happen, we’re working on your place and when you’re ready to come we’ll be ready to welcome you home.
   Love,
Your-Mama-In-Waiting
   
   

The Romance Of Scheduling

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I’m so glad the sun was out today for our afternoon of doctor appointments and errand running! I could have done without the cold wind, but I’ll take what I can get. Besides, today was a good day.

Today we had a little sit-down with Dr. B and he offered us two next steps in our baby journey.

Option one is for super-ovulation and timed intercourse. In which I’d take all the necessary meds to up my egg production. I’d be monitored closely, then be given a hormone to make my body release the egg at the optimal time, and finally be sent home to do the rest the old fashioned way.

Option two is for all of that meds and monitoring stuff but instead of ‘the old fashioned way’ we’d have insemination for those two peak days. Which means we’d make sure those little swimmers do not pass go and do not collect two hundred dollars.

We could go with option one for a couple cycles then switch to option two for a couple more. And, I’ll tell you honestly the hubs was up for Option one.

But… I’m of the mind that (I’ll even use one of Dr. B’s metaphors, he’s a fan of them when he explains all the things.) if we’re in for a nickel we might as well be in for a dime. Dr. B is pretty great about laying out all our options, giving us pros and cons, and not swaying the conversation. He wants us to do what we feel good about doing -all of us. He’s for good medical choices and good couple choices. Lucky me, when I told my guy let’s just go for it, he was all in.

And there’s the romance of baby making. It’s in the signing of consent forms. It’s in the filling out of schedules. It’s in the knowing that in six days I have an ultrasound to see if my next cycle will be our first IUI.

Six days.
Yeah, I’m nervous as heck, y’all!
Here’s the next link in our prayer chain:
a clear ultrasound.

Every month we ladies have the opportunity to develop a cyst in the ovary that just released an egg. My dumbed-down explanation is that the egg leaves a little hole that fills up with fluid after it is released. Most times that little fluid pocket re-absorbs and all is well. Sometimes it doesn’t and it causes a cyst. Most times your body deals with the cyst itself over the course of the next month. Sometimes it doesn’t and the doctors need to intervene.

There’s a whole lot of ‘if this, then that’ in our lives right now. It sure stresses me out! So, if you’re a pray-er we’d be blessed for you to add that little test to your list.

In other news; I’ve been having some chronic hip/lower back pain since December. I’ve seen a chiropractor to try and get relief and it’s not really fixing the issue. I have another doctor’s appointment later this week to see if maybe I need something more invasive. I could use some prayers surrounding that as well. Being in pain sucks. There’s just no nice way to say it. And, hello stupid back! I need you strong enough to carry a baby, yo. Get it together!

Ok, sweet readers, that’s my baby making update. Maybe I’ll find something interesting to talk about over the next week while we wait for the next thing. Feel free to chat back and join the conversation below, it’s a little one-sided up in here. :)
♡♡♡

Las Vegas, short & sweet

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DSCN3633DSCN3637DSCN3645DSCN3730DSCN3732~> Every three years in February my guy and I take a work/vacation trip to Las Vegas. We go for the World Of Concrete convention and spend about half our time doing convention stuff and half our time doing fun stuff. This year we invited some friends from California to meet us there and spend the afternoon/evenings wandering around Vegas with us. It was awesome! Well worth the exhaustion, aching feet and sore back from all that go-go-go. My favorite thing was riding the High Roller at sunset. Beautiful! These are just a few of my favorite photos captured during our week away.

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a cuppa and a catch up

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