Friday, April 30, 2010

What If>>>

I responded to Resolve and Mel's blog in honor of NIAW a week ago and I have wanted to blog about it like so many other women are doing. However, every time I sit at the computer my stomach turns to knots thinking about my What If. It is dark, It is personal and it is true...which makes it even more personal and pretty terrifying to "lay it out there" for all to read.

My What If is...What if I always feel like a murderer because my body has been unable to support two pregnancies?

Obviously, I know that my previous miscarriages are not considered "murder" by dictionary definition, however I can not shake this feeling that I could have done more. That my losses were direct results of my lack of "action" to save my babies. Which in my mind is pretty similar to murder. I did not do enough to prevent the loss of my babies...let me explain...

With both pregnancies, I was not seeing an RE. The first pregnancy I was not prepared for. What I mean by that is I had focused so much time and energy on GETTING pregnant, I had no idea what to do once I finally got that BFP. I did not know that I needed to have my thy.roid, Prog.esterone and est.rogen tested. I did not know that I should have called in immediately for a Beta with a follow-up in 2 days. I had heard of all these things on my chat board, but those women were going through IVF or IUI's. This was just a simple cycle. (not really turned me into a she-devil) but when you compare it to an IUI or IVF was simple.

Of course I was devastated when I finally went to the Dr. 5 days after my BFP because I was spotting. I didn't know then that spotting was a sign of low prog.esterone....I know that now and I knew that when I got pregnant the second time.

After my first miscarriage I vowed to myself that I was going to be a better advocate for my care and the care of my baby if/when I ever got pregnant again. However, when I found myself pregnant with no treatment completely out of the blue...I found myself unprepared once again.

I did have the foresight to have an ultrasound done by my wonderful friend that is an ultrasound tech at a crisis pregnancy center. Not only did we see our beautiful baby (which really didn't look all that beautiful in society's terms they really do look like blobs at first) but we also saw a flicker of the heartbeat. I was in awe, I was terrified and I was beyond confused.

You see, I am a Christian woman and I truly felt this was our Gift from God (I know all children are, but we FINALLY got pregnant ON OUR OWN after FIVE years!!!) I just wanted to have faith and I wanted to believe that there was no way God would give us this true miracle and rip it away. So I nonchalantly made an appt. with my OB...they confirmed the pregnancy (but did not do an ultrasound). I practically had to force her to do a thy.roid and prog.esterone check. She told me it was unnecessary, but since I persisted...she relented and took the blood. However, I did not push to have the results rushed and called into me the next day. I waited. Wanting to be faithful and I did not want God to think I was un-trusting of Him and His ability to perform miracles.

By the time I got the results of my blood work, I had been spotting for 2 days and my precious little baby was gone when the OB did the u/s.

I feel much more responsible for this second m/c. I should have been MUCH more forceful in getting blood work, Betas and Progesterone supplements going. Immediately upon receiving the BFP, I should have called my RE because I know that OB's have little to NO experience with IF patients. But I sat by...passively and just let the cards fall. Boy did they fall.

My world came down around me once again and this time I had no one to blame but myself. Granted I know that if my progesterone level was at 6.2 when I was 6 1/2 weeks pregnant (that is when we found out we were pregnant, I miscarried at 7 1/2 weeks) adding progesterone supplements at that point probably would have been too late, but I had symptoms of pregnancy far before that and just refused to acknowledge them. I thought I was losing my mind and was not going to entertain my body "making up" pregnancy symptoms again.

So here I sit with two babies in heaven and a hole in my heart. The What If's of infertility can literally drive you into the nut house. (I know...I have driven by and actually circled around the nut house many times over the last 5 years)

Today, I am more prepared. I take OPK's every day so that I can be sure to never "miss" ovulation again. I have 6 months worth of Prog.esterone supplements sitting next to my bed so that I can start supplementing as soon as ovulation occurs. I have 50 cheap o pregnancy tests under my bathroom sink so I can freely test as much as I would like and I have my RE's phone number on speed dial on my phone.

This time I am ready...I hope.

There is is blogger deepest darkest "What If" of infertility.


*Click Publish Post*

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I never thought I would be here...

I know two posts in one day...but it finally came to me...the blog that has been swimming in my finally hit me.

I never thought I would be here. Even at the beginning of my infertility journey, I never in a million years would have thought that it would take us (at this point) over 5 years to have a baby.
I never thought I would have two (at this point) babies in heaven before I get one on Earth.
I never thought adoption may be the ONLY way I will be a mommy.
I never thought I would feel comfortable and almost giddy stabbing myself in the butt, stomach and/or thighs with needles.
I never thought I would have to spend so much money trying to start a family.
I never thought I would feel so uncomfortable at family gatherings or even gatherings with friends
I never thought my marriage would be tested to the ultimate degree by IF
I never thought I would feel like a murderer because my body could not support my two sweet angel babies
I never thought I would ever feel this level of guilt
I never in a million years thought that I would feel so helpless, alone, bitter and sad.

I have always been told that everyone has their cross to bear. Everyone has that shitty thing in their life that happens that they just have to deal with. Well...I went through something as a child and I thought for all these years that THAT incident was my cross. That was my trauma in life, that was my huge hurdle. Of course I was not naive enough to think that the rest of my life would be smooth sailing, but I felt that "incident" was profound enough and potentially damaging enough to be my "one thing".

Then IF was thrown on my plate and I am baffled! I have already fought my battle, I have (and continue to) carried my cross, I fought for justice, I forgave, I used the shitty "incident" and became a better person because of it. So...why this now? Haven't I endured enough?

I have been told that God puts us through tests to prepare us for the future...well I can tell you that if he is using the "incident" and IF to prepare me for the future...I am not so sure I want to know what the future holds for me cause I am pretty ain't good.

I much can one person go through?

I never thought I would be here...never in a million years!

Rambling Nichole

I have been pondering this post for a couple of days. I have struggled because I feel like I have a lot to write about, but when I click on the "New Post" button....I have nothing. It is National Infertility Awareness Week and I feel the pressure of having a "profound" and "moving" post, but I am not feeling very profound right now. So for now you are just stuck with the various updates.

First off, the diet. It is going really well. I have found some great recipes that I will continue to make even when we are out of this first phase of the diet. I got a little discouraged last week because Pace is losing weight so much faster than I am and you can actually SEE it on him! I know that guys lose faster, but it is still kind of tough to swallow when I am the one that has all the weight to lose, but it is good motivation to keep trying and to keep trying harder! So far I have lost 11 pounds. I am going to kick up the exercise this week to hopefully speed up the weight loss this week. The unfortunate thing is I have NO IDEA where the weight is coming from! My clothes all fit the same, I am not losing any inches...just very confusing. However weight loss is weight loss so if I really start exercising hopefully I will see more dramatic changes.

I started taking OPK's again yesterday and was pleasantly surprised that for 2 days in a row the lines have been darker than they have been in the last 2 cycles. That is very exciting for me. I started using FMU which may have made the difference I'm not sure. I have heard conflicting answers on when the best time is to take OPK's. I had thought that it was between noon and 2 in the afternoon, but when I got my CBE fertility monitor, it said that it was imperative to use FMU...hmmmm anyone care to weigh in on this?

We still haven't heard anything on the home study front. I am not pressing the issue, just hope we hear something soon.

I spoke to my sister yesterday. It is always great to talk to my sisters. Even though they are fertile myrtles and have dropped the occasional insensitive comment, I love them. If you will recall, two of my sisters had babies last year, when I was pregnant the first time, we were all three pregnant together. 1 sister was due in March, I was due in April and my other sister was due in May...well we all know how that turned out. When I was talking to my sister yesterday she was telling me how her and my other sister are done having kids and in fact my other sister had a procedure to prevent pregnancy and she was considering the same. I guess that part was all fine and dandy, it was her next comment that struck me to my core. She said "So now the pressure is really on Nichole, you are the only hope for future grandchildren." Wow. Thanks. I should have at least one baby by now and I should be 4 months pregnant right now...but lets not bring that up. Let's not bring up the over 5 years of TTC. I changed the subject and told her I had to get back to work.

I know they mean well, I know they don't mean to hurt my feelings, but dang...

We are going on a road trip next weekend! Woo hoo! We are driving to Salt Lake City next weekend to visit Pace's dad, step-mom, Grandma's, brother and nieces. It is going to be a very short trip and a lot of time in the car, but it should be a lot of fun. We have not been in SLC for over 2 years so it will be really nice to see everyone. I am a little nervous to see some of his family because they are not the most sensitive and supportive when it comes to IF, I am hoping the conversation just won't come up and we can all pretend there isn't a HUGE white elephant in the room.

I am pretty open about our IF. I post about it (not in specific details) on my FB and have posted a couple of things this week in honor of NIAW. I have received some amazing responses and have found other people (and distant cousins) that have struggled or who are struggling and I never knew! For me being open about it takes the "taboo" off of the subject. Why in the hell is everyone so scared of talking about it? People talk about other illnesses and diseases openly...why is infertility so different?

That is all I have for this morning...hopefully this "profound" post that is milling around in my head will come to fruition soon...I can feel it brewing...I promise!

I want to close by saying how incredibly blessed and honored I am to call you all my friends. I have no idea where I would be without the support of my blogger buddies. Just knowing that there are people out there rooting for me, that love me in the good times and the bad (and there have been some really bad) is refreshing and humbling. I appreciate every one of your comments and the fact that you take the time out of your day to entertain my life and my rambling thoughts!



Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Not this time...

This cycle was a bust. I actually started spotting on Saturday which was 13DPO, so I stopped taking the progesterone and AF was here full force on Sunday. I spent most of the day on the couch. I just wasn't feeling well. Not physically, emotionally or spiritually.

Yesterday I started the At.kin's diet. I figure that is the absolute best diet I can do with my insulin resistance. I am hoping I can really drop some weight and actually enjoy being in a bathing suit this summer. In addition to helping my chances of becoming pregnant.

I felt so much better yesterday. I had so much energy, didn't feel lethargic at all. It was proof that sugar and carbs are BAD for my body. I felt better yesterday than I had in a long time. I even went on a 2 mile walk with my husband and the dogs last night and was ready to go for more! I got up this morning and was 2 pounds lighter - probably water weight, but I will take it!

I am excited for the weekend, it will be a busy one. We are going to a professional Arena football game on Friday with some friends of ours and then working at a Music Festival on Saturday and Sunday.

More and More people are having babies and I have just started hiding them off of my feed. I am just not in a place to see pictures of their newborns day after day after day.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Bitter Sweet Day

Bitter: As everyone that lives in the US know today is tax day. Usually I am ok with tax day (I usually get money back) however due to a little mess up with our payroll service (and me not catching it) we are not getting money back...we are paying...a lot. So, I was not very keen on waking up this morning to know that a large chunk of money (which had been set aside for our adoption) was being sent to both the State of Arizona and the Federal Govt. *sigh*

Sweet: Today is my wonderful father's birthday. He is such an amazing man, a man of few words, but a man that is devoted to his family no matter what. He worked his butt off to provide for all six of his children and never uttered a complaint. I love him dearly and wish I could be with him today to bake him his favorite cake for his birthday!

Bitter: Today is the 1 year anniversary of my due date for our first Angel Baby. Today I should be honoring and getting giddy over our little one's first birthday. But I'm not. Today I woke up feeling a little sad, a little lonely and very forgotten. No one except for me knows what today is. No one in our family thinks twice about what today means for me. Why would I expect them to? They never "saw" our Angel Baby, after the miscarriage, they never really acknowledged his/her existence.

Some days when I think of our miscarriages, I yearn to know the sex of our Angel Babies. Because at least then we could give them names and make them more "real" to our friends and family. At least then there might be some acknowledgement, some memory. is a very bitter sweet day

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

From The Lushary

The most recent statistics from Resolve state that 1 in 7 (or 8) couples struggle with infertility. Well...I would like an answer to this: My mother is the youngest of six children, my father is the youngest of six children and I am the youngest of six children. I am the only infertile of the bunch. How is that for odds...

I am preparing myself for our trip back home to KS in June for harvest. My siblings and I all return to our childhood home for some good home cooking and some hard work. I used to look forward to this time each year, but now I find myself calculating how many nieces and nephews I will be surrounded by The count this year: 13 (two of them won't be there) That's right...13 nieces and nephews from the ages of 21 all the way down to 1. Just typing that takes my breath away and makes my hands go a little numb.

The fact is, I love my family. We have always been close and I love seeing them all. However, as they have more children and I have more miscarriages, I find that I have less and less in common with them. When we all gather together, they talk about their kids, what they are learning in school, what college they are going to, what sports they are playing, how many words they are saying and what is the newest solid food they ingest...I have nothing to contribute to any of those conversations. It sucks. I feel like an outsider with nothing to contribute.

I am sure they feel a little uncomfortable with me as well. None of them have ever mentioned it, but I am sure the discomfort is there.

This is my blog in response to Stirrup Queen's new game and part of the Virtual Lushary!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Wow what a weekend!

I had by far the busiest and most fun weekend last weekend! We spent time with some awesome friends, stayed up late and just really enjoyed ourselves.

After our last dunes trip we decided to buy a little dirt bike for me. It matches Pace's but is smaller so I can touch the ground when on it. We took it out to the desert right behind our neighborhood where kids have built little jumps and hills for me to really get to ride it and see how I like it...I LOVED IT!!! It is so much better than riding on 4 wheels. I am officially hooked and am very excited to go again.

I officially made it through the first week of my 2WW less than one more week to go! I do have symptoms but I am relating that to the prog.esterone supplements I am on.

We haven't heard anything on the adoption front yet. I am still under the impression that we should be certified by the end of the month.

Plans are in the works for our Second Annual Luau Party! Last year we combined that party with my birthday, but this year we wanted to do it earlier so it wouldn't be so hot. I am SO excited! Two of my favorite people in the world will be visiting from Hawaii and will be able to attend, so I have to really make this one feel more authentic than last years.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Protect Family Building Rights in AZ - PLEASE HELP!

Dear Friends - Arizonian's need your help. There are two anti-family bills that are in the very last stages of being passed into law in AZ. We need all the signatures we can get to keep these from becoming law and basically ruining the ART community in Arizona. Please help!!! Here are some bullet points of what will happen if these bills are passed:

SB 1306: Instead of banning egg donation directly, the bill takes a more indirect route. It imposes unprecedented and unnecessary informed consent requirements. The penalties are severe: if a physician does not follow the new rules to the letter, he could wind up losing his license to practice medicine, being convicted of a Class 1 misdemeanor (the most serious class), and face 6 months in prison. SB 1306 also casts other common medical practices into question: Will physicians be allowed to freeze and thaw eggs for preservation, a common practice? Can physicians screen for genetic defects? Can new specialists and embryologists be trained? The physicians in the infertility practices believe these practices will no longer be legal. Physicians will no longer treat patients who need egg donation as a means to build their families in Arizona, driving these couples out of state to seek treatment.

SB 1307: The second bill, SB 1307, also contains provisions that threaten infertility patients, mainly through vague terms that make it unclear what treatments doctors can safely perform and which ones could land them in jail. Most flagrantly, this bill could forbid embryo cryopreservation (freezing) – which would dramatically alter how reproductive medicine is practiced and would cause harm and hardship to patients.The bill makes it criminal to harm an embryo in the course of "nontherapeutic research" -- but leaves it very unclear whether ordinary IVF embryology lab techniques could be classified as such illegal research.

The penalty for harming an embryo is steep: a minimum of 6 months in prison, and up to 1.5 years. The point of the legislation – to make it undesirable to practice reproductive medicine in Arizona and to drive the doctors and clinics out.

“The medical community working in this field strongly believes that [SB 1307] would prohibit:
• Practices that allow embryologists to screen embryos for genetic disease. Some genetic conditions can actually be removed from an embryo prior to transfer.
• Practices such as Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis that select only healthy embryos from genetically challenged couples, avoiding miscarriage and health risks.
• Screening to select only the most viable embryos for transfer allowing doctors to transfer one or two embryos. This reduces the need for multiple embryos that lead to high-order multiples and premature birth.

"With a class 6 felony and loss of license to practice, no physician in Arizona would dare take that chance. They would no longer be able to help Arizona couples have families. These unintended consequences will drive businesses out of Arizona, and force couples seeking this treatment to go elsewhere [if they can].

Please sign this petition to let the AZ legislators know you oppose these bills.

Protect Family Building Rights in Arizona

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

2 Months later...

My dear blogger friends. It has been exactly 2 months since we found out we were pregnant with our most recent angel baby. For some reason, looking back on where I was 2 months ago led me to want to share this blog that I had started, but then never posted (because of the miscarriage) I wanted to share everything with all of you, but I was so terrified to get my hopes up at the time (for good reason apparently) is the blog that I started:

I am not even sure where to begin this post. Just to let you know, I started this post on February 11th, 2010 knowing that I had no idea how long it would be before I posted it. The thoughts and emotions are so fresh right now that I had to start writing it and I trusted that God would show me when the time was right to publish it. It is going to be very long, but I am going to journal it by days. Please feel free to quit reading whenever you need to.

My dear friends Pace and I discovered on February 6th, 2010 that we are pregnant. After 5 years of infertility, after IUI's, after Clo.mid cycles, surgeries, a miscarriage and deciding to pursue adoption, we conceived...naturally.

When we first found out of course we were ecstatic, however at the same time there was so much anger, confusion and fear. I was angry because I had let this part go. I had let go of the pregnancy desire and focused my mind on adoption, it was all planned out. I am confused because I don't understand why after so long, so many trials and tribulations, why now? (I will tell you what I think the answer to that question is in a moment) I am terrified because I don't know if I can survive another miscarriage. I am scared to tell people, but at the same time I want to shout it from the rooftops.

We saw an OB on Tuesday the 9th. According to her everything looks good. Our first u/s is scheduled for 2/16 we can determine at that time exactly how far along I am. Since I haven't had a period since October, it is obviously impossible to know how far along I am. The OB did a pelvic exam and based on that she thinks that I am somewhere between 6-8 weeks along.

I wanted to tell you all immediately. However, I had to be sure that this pregnancy was at least viable before I said anything. Obviously as I write this, I know the pregnancy is viable, however I don't want to make any official announcements until we at least have our first u/s.

Here is how I came to take a pg test: Somewhere around the 14th of January I started noticing tenderness in my breasts. I thought that I was just getting ready to start my period and dismissed it. The tenderness got worse and continued. Then the last week of January I started I again thought "Ahh...AF is coming" Of course pregnancy was in the back of my mind, but I kept it there. I thought my mind was just playing tricks on me and that I was maybe going a little crazy. Finally on February 6th, after AF had not shown her face and my breasts were still sore, I decided to test. When I saw the two lines I actually had to go get the directions out of the pg test box because I just didn't believe that it was positive!

I have definitely started having morning sickness, in fact I have been sick all week although I have only thrown up once. I have had no spotting to date, although I do have some intermittent cramping which I am assuming is my uterus stretching. I have only 3 pairs of pants that I can wear right now. I sit at a desk all day and it is very uncomfortable to sit in tight pants!

That is wasn't long after that I miscarried and once again lost myself. I changed, never to be the same. I am not necessarily worse...just changed.

Monday, April 05, 2010

I have a lot to share. I have had a very busy weekend and actually a pretty emotionally draining weekend too.

I took Friday off so I could share some alone time with Pace. We have been so busy lately, I feel like we haven't really had any quality time together. So Friday morning we shooed the momma bird off of the nest (at the suggestion of the lady at the aviary). We saw one egg and one baby. The baby actually was pretty big I was very surprised. It's eyes were open, so it had obviously hatched a week ago or more, but since the parent birds were sitting on the nest to keep the baby warm and to feed, we never saw it.

We had built a "faux" nest (using the same little twigs that the original nest was made by) in a small Easter basket and put the actual nest with the baby in it on top. The baby was not making any noises which concerned me. I was told that the parent birds would find the baby by the chirping...except the bird wasn't chirping.

Pace and I watched the parent birds for about 4 hours and sat by hoping and praying they would find the nest. We left to run some errands and when we got back we were very disappointed to see that they still had not found the nest. By sundown I knew it was going to be too cold for the bird through the night, so Pace and I put a heating pad on top of the Easter basket to hopefully bring some heat to the baby through the night. It was at THIS point the baby started chirping and I started bawling...I knew the baby wasn't going to survive the night without it's parents, and it was dark out so I knew the parents wouldn't be back till in the morning. I was right. The baby died all alone in the cold all because we had to move the stupid nest.

I have been thinking a lot about the "signs" that have been thrown my way since these birds came into our lives. Right now it seems like a lot of symbolism between them and our miscarriages. The first one didn't live long enough to really "hatch" and the second one died because I didn't do enough for it quickly enough. I was a total and complete emotional wreck.

Saturday morning Pace had an appointment to go skydiving with one of his best friends. It was actually a lot of fun and he had a GREAT time! This was his first jump, however I am sure there will be plenty more to come! I may even join him next time!

Sad to say...yesterday was just another day for me. We don't go to church on Easter. Too many adorable children and just way too difficult for us. Last year we decided to do an annual hike and balloon release. Well, we didn't do it this year. I didn't feel up to it and Pace was severly dehydrated so we relaxed around the house yesterday, had dinner with my MIL and SIL and that was it and called it a day.

Yes I am a Christian and yes I am grateful for the reasoning for celebrating Easter. However recently I am finding it very difficult to feel close to Him, to hear Him and to trust in Him. My faith is most definitely being tested in everyway possible.

I believe I ovulated yesterday. I didn't do my OPK's on Friday or Saturday because I didn't have them with me and I wasn't at home at the time I needed to do them. However...yesterday morning I had MAJOR ovulation pain on my left side and when I did the OPK yesterday the second line was darker than it had been all month eventhough it still wasn't positive. (So I am thinking I missed the surge which correlates with the ovulation pain I felt yesterday.) so I am considering this 1DPO and started the Prog.esterone supplements last night.