Thursday, December 22, 2011

22 Weeks

‘tis 3 days before Christmas, and I can hardly contain, my joy and excitement to celebrate this day…so many great blessings and things through the year, so much to be thankful for, many reasons to cheer…2 days full of family and good food await, many gifts will be opened, we’ll give many thanks...but the greatest gift of all won’t be found under a tree, it’s wrapped tightly inside my growing belly...4 months from this day, our baby is due, our wonderful little miracle, we can’t wait to meet you!
We had an ultrasound on the 14th at 21 weeks, and everything with our little munchkin is looking great! As far as we can tell, it is a normal and healthy baby! We found out the sex, but decided not to reveal it to everyone. There has to be some surprises! :) I need to be better at updating this blog, so maybe I will make that my New Year's Resolution!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Half Baked



How your baby's growing:

Your baby weighs about 10 1/2 ounces now. He's also around 6 1/2 inches long from head to bottom and about 10 inches from head to heel — the length of a banana. (For the first 20 weeks, when a baby's legs are curled up against his torso and hard to measure, measurements are taken from the top of his head to his bottom — the "crown to rump" measurement. After 20 weeks, he's measured from head to toe.)
He's swallowing more these days, which is good practice for his digestive system. He's also producing meconium, a black, sticky by-product of digestion. This gooey substance will accumulate in his bowels, and you'll see it in his first soiled diaper (some babies pass meconium in the womb or during delivery).

How your life's changing:

Congratulations! You've hit the halfway mark in your pregnancy. The top of your uterus is about level with your belly button, and you've likely gained around 10 pounds. Expect to gain another pound or so each week from now on. (If you started your pregnancy underweight, you may need to gain a bit more; if you were overweight, perhaps a bit less.) Make sure you're getting enough iron, a mineral that's used primarily to make hemoglobin (the part of your red blood cells that carries oxygen).

If you haven't already signed up for a childbirth education class, you may want to look into one, especially if you're a first-timer. A structured class will help prepare you and your partner for the rigors of labor and delivery. Most hospitals and birth centers offer classes, either as weekly meetings or as a single intensive, one-day session. Many communities have independent instructors as well. Ask your friends, family members, or caregiver for recommendations.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

18 Weeks!

We're almost halfway there! I'm still mostly looking fat, but starting to get a bit of a bump!


How your baby's growing:

Head to rump, your baby is about 5 1/2 inches long (about the length of a bell pepper) and he weighs almost 7 ounces. He's busy flexing his arms and legs — movements that you'll start noticing more and more in the weeks ahead. His blood vessels are visible through his thin skin, and his ears are now in their final position, although they're still standing out from his head a bit. A protective covering of myelin is beginning to form around his nerves, a process that will continue for a year after he's born. If you're having a girl, her uterus and fallopian tubes are formed and in place. If you're having a boy, his genitals are noticeable now, but he may hide them from you during an ultrasound.
See what your baby looks like this week.
Note: Every baby develops a little differently — even in the womb. Our information is designed to give you a general idea of your baby's development.

How your life's changing:

Hungry? An increase in appetite is pretty common about now. Make it count by choosing meals and snacks that are rich in nutrients instead of empty calories (chips, French fries, candy, and other sweets). Bigger, more comfortable clothes are a must now as your appetite and waistline grow.
Your cardiovascular system is undergoing dramatic changes, and during this trimester your blood pressure will probably be lower than usual. Don't spring up too fast from a lying or sitting position or you might feel a little dizzy.
From now on, when you do lie down, it's best to lie on your side — or at least partly tilted to one side. (When you lie flat on your back, your uterus can compress a major vein, leading to decreased blood return to your heart.) Try placing a pillow behind you or under your hip or upper leg for comfort.
If you haven't already had a second-trimester ultrasound, you'll probably have one soon. This painless procedure helps your practitioner check how your baby's growing, screen for certain birth defects, check the placenta and umbilical cord, determine whether the due date you're working with is accurate, and see how many babies you're carrying. During the exam, you might see your baby moving around or sucking his thumb. Bring your partner along, and be sure to ask for a printout for your baby's first photo album!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

15 Weeks!

Here is my 15 week belly in all it's glory!




How your baby's growing:

Your growing baby now measures about 4 inches long, crown to rump, and weighs in at about 2 1/2 ounces (about the size of an apple). She's busy moving amniotic fluid through her nose and upper respiratory tract, which helps the primitive air sacs in her lungs begin to develop. Her legs are growing longer than her arms now, and she can move all of her joints and limbs. Although her eyelids are still fused shut, she can sense light. If you shine a flashlight at your tummy, for instance, she's likely to move away from the beam. There's not much for your baby to taste at this point, but she is forming taste buds. Finally, if you have an ultrasound this week, you may be able to find out whether your baby's a boy or a girl! (Don't be too disappointed if it remains a mystery, though. Nailing down your baby's sex depends on the clarity of the picture and on your baby's position. He or she may be modestly curled up or turned in such a way as to "hide the goods.")
See what your baby looks like this week.
Note: Every baby develops a little differently — even in the womb. Our information is designed to give you a general idea of your baby's development.

How your life's changing:

You've probably gained about 5 pounds by now (a little more or less is fine, too) and are well into the swing of your pregnancy, but you may still be surprised by an unexpected symptom now and then. If your nose is stuffed up, for instance, you can probably chalk it up to the combined effect of hormonal changes and increased blood flow to your mucous membranes. This condition is so common, there's even a name for it: "rhinitis of pregnancy." Some pregnant women also suffer nosebleeds as a result of increased blood volume and blood vessel expansion in the nose.
If you're having amniocentesis, it'll most likely happen between now and 18 weeks. This test can identify hundreds of genetic and chromosomal disorders. If you're getting very anxious while waiting for the results, it may help to know that most women who undergo amniocentesis get good news about their babies — bringing welcome relief from their worries.
Don't be surprised if you and your partner are feeling a little stressed out these days. Many pregnant couples worry about their baby's health and how they'll handle the changes ahead. But with physical discomforts on the wane and energy on the rise, this is also a wonderful trimester for most women.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

12 Weeks!

Week 12

Here I am at 12 weeks, second trimester, woohoo! I mostly just look bloated. I started wearing maternity pants about a week ago because the regular ones no longer snap, button, or zip. Whoever invented maternity clothes should get a hug. :)

The most dramatic development this week: reflexes. Your baby's fingers will soon begin to open and close, his toes will curl, his eye muscles will clench, and his mouth will make sucking movements. In fact, if you prod your abdomen, your baby will squirm in response, although you won't be able to feel it. His intestines, which have grown so fast that they protrude into the umbilical cord, will start to move into his abdominal cavity about now, and his kidneys will begin excreting urine into his bladder.
Meanwhile, nerve cells are multiplying rapidly, and in your baby's brain, synapses are forming furiously. His face looks unquestionably human: His eyes have moved from the sides to the front of his head, and his ears are right where they should be. From crown to rump, your baby-to-be is just over 2 inches long (about the size of a lime) and weighs half an ounce.
See what your baby looks like this week. (Or see what fraternal twins look like in the womb this week.)
Note: Every baby develops a little differently, even in the womb. Our information is designed to give you a general idea of your baby's development.

How your life's changing:

Your uterus has grown to the point where your healthcare provider can now feel the top of it (the fundus) low in your abdomen, just above your pubic bone. You may already be into maternity clothes, especially if this isn't your first pregnancy. If you're still fairly small and not yet ready for maternity clothes, you've no doubt noticed that your waist is thickening and that you're more comfortable in loose, less restrictive clothing.
You may begin to feel heartburn (also called acid indigestion), a burning sensation that often extends from the bottom of your breastbone to your lower throat. Many women get heartburn for the first time during pregnancy, and those who've previously had bouts of heartburn may find that it gets worse. During pregnancy, the placenta produces a lot of the hormone progesterone, which relaxes the valve that separates the esophagus from the stomach. Particularly when you're lying down, gastric acid can seep back up the pipe, which causes the uncomfortable burning sensation. For many women the problem doesn't begin (or get worse) until later in pregnancy, when your growing uterus starts to push up on your stomach. The discomfort may range from mildly annoying to intense and distracting.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

My baby is...

The size of a lime! It's fun to see what fruits and vegetables our Little Lloyd will be compared to as it grows!

 BabyFruit Ticker

Saturday, September 24, 2011

We hoped and prayed it would happen some day and Oh we're pregnant by the way!

The next chapter of our story begins on August 21. Well, it actually began a few weeks before that, but since we’re all adults here, I don’t think I need to explain those happenings to everyone.
I woke up in the morning, and for some reason, the thought popped into my head that my period hadn’t started yet. I tend to have long cycles, but when I got to counting the days, it had been 37 days since the first day of my last period (July 16) and that is long, even for my wacky body.

I was getting ready to go to WalMart to pick up a couple of things. I’m not sure I even remember what they were at this point, I think maybe mascara and something else. I decided while I was there to pick up a box of pregnancy tests, just to rule it out, knowing full well that it would be negative. I was so sure it would be negative that I didn’t even tell Brent I was going to buy one.

After my shopping excursion, I decided to do what I used to do every month, but had stopped doing a while ago…pee on that darn stick, and pray that it turned out positive.
I did my business, and while putting the cap back on, the second line starting showing up instantly. I didn’t even have the cap fully on before it showed up. It showed up even before the control line, or the “evil not pregnant line” as I like to call it.
I’m not sure if I got my pants pulled up before I walked out of the bathroom or not. Luckily it was just me, Brent, and the furkids, so it wasn’t anything unseen to any of them! J Brent is sitting on the couch on his laptop, and I walk up to him, shaking, saying “I don’t believe it!” and shoving the pregnancy test in his face. I think it took him about 30 seconds to register what I was shoving in his face, and then he just looked at me in shock. The look on my face had to have been priceless at this point. I am pretty sure that I said “I don’t believe it” about 12 more times before we hugged and I started crying.
I’m sure for most women, the moment they find out they are pregnant is overwhelming and exciting, but I don’t think anything can top the rush of emotions a woman struggling with infertility feels. Especially when you’ve pretty much given up, and assumed that a pregnancy was never going to happen for you.
Throughout the day, I kept looking at the pregnancy test. I took a picture of it. I stuck it in Brent’s face several times. I showed it to my dog, and my cat. I looked at it in the mirror. I wanted to carry it around everywhere with me, and sleep with it under my pillow, but Brent said no. To this day, I still have that pregnancy test in my purse. And yes, the cap is on!
Over the course of the next week, I took several more tests. They were all positive.
But that didn’t calm my anxiety. I know how it feels to lose a baby, and the last time we discovered we were pregnant, the joy was ripped from us a week later. We kept the news to ourselves for a week, and really, I was just waiting for it to happen again. But it hasn’t. The following Sunday we told Brent’s parents, and then Wednesday we told my parents. I wrote them a poem, which I will share with you all now.

We have some good news to send your way
We know how much you’ve been waiting for this day
Maybe not as much as us, but surely close behind
This news is pretty awesome, it will probably blow your mind
If you are not sitting down, I suggest you do that now
We never thought this day would come but it’s here…some way, some how.
The suspense is building as you read this poem, word for word and line for line
It’s time to share the secret that we’ve been holding for some time
A few months down the road from now, there’s someone you’ll want to know
Someone you’ll want to call your own, to watch play and laugh and grow.
The dream we’ve had for 3 long years is finally coming true
We’re overwhelmed by the wonderful news we have to share with you
We’re so excited, blessed, delighted, and overjoyed
Towards the end of April, there will finally be a LITTLE LLOYD!!!
Yes, I swear, you read that right, grandparents you will be…
I can’t believe it’s finally happened…pregnant, knocked up, and having a baby!!

We didn't really share the news with anyone else until Thursday, after we had our first doctor's appointment. We had an ultrasound and got to briefly hear the heartbeat, and amazingly, everything is going great so far. The heartbeat was 171. The baby looks like a little jelly bean right now at 9 weeks. It was the most amazing thing I've ever seen.

I still am in shock and awe that this happened. I really thought our path to parenthood was headed towards adoption...many years down the road when we could afford it. But, miracles do happen, and God does answer prayers, just in his own time.
We thank everyone so much for all their prayers and well wishes. Please continue those until our due date of April 25. We are praying so hard for a healthy baby.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I Would Die for That

I randomly came across these song lyrics while googling something today, this song was on a video a couple had made to share their infertility journey. The song is called "I Would Die for That" by Kellie Coffey.
I feel like these words have been ripped from my soul. If I was to write a song about what infertility and wanting a baby feels like, I could have done any better than this.
Sometimes I find inspiration in the strangest things. A quote, a song lyric, a passage from a book. It comes in all forms. Maybe my sharing this will give someone else some inspiration...

I've been given so much,
A husband that I love.
So why do I feel incomplete?
With every test and checkup
We're told not to give up.
He wonders if it's him.
And I wonder if it's me.

All I want is a family,
Like everyone else I see.
And I won't understand it
If it's not meant to be.

Cause I would die for that.
Just to have one chance
To hold in my hands
All that they have.
I would die for that.

And I want to know what it's like
To bring a dream to life.
For that kind of love,
What I'd give up!
I would die for that.

Sometimes it's hard to conceive,
With all that I've got,
And all I've achieved,
What I want most
Before my time is gone,
Is to hear the words
"I love you, Mom."

I would die for that.
Just to have once chance
To hold in my hands
What so many have
I would die for that.

And I want to know what it's like
To bring a dream to life.
How I would love
What some give up.
I would die ...
I would die for that.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Infertility Phenomenon

There is a phenomenon that, unless you have had a miscarriage or deal with infertility, you will never be aware of. A woman can go years and manage to see only a handful of pregnant women. Many of those pregnant women are probably on television shows or celebrity gossip magazines. But, if a woman is suffering with infertility, has a miscarriage or has multiple miscarriages, pregnant women start materializing before our very eyes. A simple trip to the grocery store can become a gut wrenching adventure full of pregnant teenagers and women dripping with children and sporting very round expectant bellies. Going to the mall is no longer a search for the most flattering outfit. It is a nightmare of ladies about to drop and give birth at your feet as they walk out of Baby Gap holding 3 bags full of adorable onsies and itty bitty tennis shoes.

Then there seems to be the sudden outbreak of co-workers or family members who have surprise pregnancies. They are the ones who claim they weren't trying or better yet, they were "on the pill" and really can't afford another child. Then they sit and complain about morning sickness, needing to pee all the time, and back pain from their growing bellies.

Facebook friends are another breed of anxiety inducing people who in most cases are just glorified strangers. All of the sudden every person that you ever went to high school with is expecting a baby. People that you barely knew, way back when, are posting ultrasound pictures and belly pictures. Just when you think every possible person on the planet who is of child bearing age has announced their pregnancy then the birth announcements come flooding in.

And just when you think it can't get any worse the phone rings. Your best friend in the whole world calls with that telltale shrill and giddy voice. Then, your voice begins to quiver as you try to say how happy you are for her. That feeling of your heart sitting so low in your stomach that you might either have to poop it out or throw it up. You want so much to share her excitement but all you can do is say congratulations and fake it through a few more sentences before making up some very valid sounding excuse to get off the phone. It is only a matter of seconds before the fake smile washes from your face by a waterfall of tears.

It is so hard to have a miscarriage or deal with infertility and then when "The Phenomenon" is shoveled into your face it is almost unbearable. This is how I finally decided to cope. When I came across a glowing pregnant woman in the grocery store or mall, I just reminded myself that I don't know her journey. She may have had 6 miscarriages too. She may have had to try for 3 years for that pregnancy. Not that I would ever wish a loss or infertility on anyone, but it somehow made me feel better to think she had "earned" that belly. She deserved that baby as much as I deserved one.

If it was a unwed teenager or someone who wasn't in a place to take care of a child I just had to remind myself that God sent them that child for a reason. Maybe that kid would save my child's life by donating an organ or becoming the doctor who cures cancer. While I very much wish that God would have put a baby in my belly or let me keep the one that had been there, there is not a finite number of babies. It isn't like God is going to run out just because someone else happened to get in line in front of me.

I think it is totally normal to be jealous, hurt, sad, and sometimes even crushed to know of others' good fortune (even if they themselves don't see it as good fortune at the time), even though you don't feel that way on purpose. When I see a friend's pregnancy announcement or ultrasound pictures on Facebook, I WANT to be happy for them. I want to send a message with a sincere congratulations, and give them a hug and pat their round bellies the next time I see them. But, right now, I just can't do it. I'm working on it though. Working on putting my jealousy aside, and realizing that it's not their fault I can't have the same thing. It's no one's "fault." Apparently, we are all players in this game called Life, and the game isn't fair...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A simple request...

I'm not asking you to lighten my load, God...

Just give me the strength to carry it.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

What Infertility Feels Like

I want to share my feelings about infertility with you, because I want you to understand my struggle. I know that understanding infertility is difficult...there are times when it seems even I don't understand.
This struggle has provoked intense and unfamiliar feelings in me and I fear that my reactions to these feelings might be misunderstood. I hope my ability to cope and your ability to understand will improve as I share my feelings with you. I want you to understand.

You may describe me this way...obsessed, moody, helpless, depressed, envious, too serious, obnoxious, aggressive, and cynical. These aren't very admirable traits, no wonder your understanding of my infertility is difficult. I prefer to describe myself this way...confused, rushed and impatient, afraid, isolated, alone, guilty, ashamed, sad, hopeless, and unsettled.

My infertility makes me feel confused. I always assumed I was fertile. I've spend years avoiding pregnancy, and now it seems ironic that I can't conceive. I hope this will be a brief difficulty with a simple solution. I feel confused about whether I want to be pregnant or whether I want to be a parent. Surely if I try harder, try longer, try better and smarter, I will have a baby.

My infertility makes me feel rushed and impatient. I learned of my infertility only after I'd been trying to become pregnant for quite some time. My life plan suddenly is behind schedule. I waited to become a parent, and now I must wait again.
I wait for medical appointments, wait for tests, wait for treatments, wait for my period not to come, my partner not to be out of town, for pregnancy. At best, I only have 12 opportunities per year. How old will I be when I finish having my family?

My infertility makes me feel afraid. Infertility is full of unknowns, and I'm frightened because I need some definite answers. How long will this last? What if I'm never a parent? What humiliation must I endure? What pain must I suffer? Why do drugs I take to help me make me feel worse? Why can't my body do what my mind wants it to do? Why do I hurt so much? I'm afraid of my feelings, afraid of my undependable body, and afraid of my future.

My infertility makes me feel isolated and alone. Reminders of babies are everywhere. I must be the only one enduring this invisible curse. I stay away from others, because everything makes me hurt. No one knows how horrible my pain is. Even though I'm usually a clear thinker, I find myself being lured by superstitions and promises. I think I'm losing perspective. I feel so alone and wonder if I'll survive this.

My infertility makes me feel guilty and ashamed. Frequently I forget that infertility is a medical problem and should be treated as one. Infertility destroys my self-esteem and I feel like a failure. Why am I being punished? What did I do to deserve this? Am I not worthy of a baby? Is this the end of my family lineage? Will my family be ashamed of me? It is easy to lose self-confidence and feel ashamed.

My infertility makes me feel angry. Everything makes me angry, and I know much of my anger is misdirected. I'm angry with my body because it has betrayed me. I'm angry with my partner because we can't seem to make this work.

I'm angry with my family because they've always sheltered me and protected me from terrible pain. My parents want grandbabies to show off and pass on family heirlooms to. Will they love me just the same if I can't provide this for them? I'm angry with my caregivers, because they control my future. They humiliate me, inflict pain, pry into my privacy, patronize me, and sometimes forget who I am. How can I impress on them how important this is to me?

I'm angry at my expenses. Infertility treatment is extremely expensive. My financial resources may determine my family size. My insurance company isn't cooperative, and I may have to make some sacrifices to pay medical bills. I can't go to a specialist, because it means more travel time, more missed work, and greater expenses.

Finally, I'm angry at everyone else. Everyone has opinions about my inability to become a parent. Everyone has easy solutions. Everyone seems to know too little and say too much.

My infertility makes me feel sad and hopeless. Infertility feels like I've lost my future, and no one knows of my sadness. I feel hopeless...infertility robs me of my energy. I've never cried so much or so easily. I'm sad that infertility may someday place a strain on my marriage. I'm sad that my infertility requires me to be so self-centered. I'm sad that I've ignored friendships because this struggle hurts so much and demands so much time and energy. Friends with children prefer the company of other families with children. I'm surrounded by babies, pregnant women, playgrounds, baby showers, birth stories, kids' movies, and much more. I feel sad and hopeless.

My infertility makes me feel unsettled. My life is on hold. Making decisions about my immediate and long-term future seems impossible. I can't decide about purchasing a home, vacations, and house guests. The more I struggle with infertility, the less control I have.

This struggle has no timetable, the treatments have no guarantees. The only sure things are that I need to be near my partner at fertile times and near my doctor at treatment times. Should I pursue adoption? Take expensive drugs? Should I pursue more specialized and costly medical intervention? It feels unsettling to have no clear, easy answers or guarantees.

Occasionally, I feel my panic subside. I'm learning some helpful ways to cope. I'm now convinced I'm not crazy, and I believe I'll survive. I'm learning to listen to my body and be assertive, not aggressive about my needs. I'm realizing that good medical care and good emotional care are not necessarily found in the same place. I'm trying to be more than an infertile person.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

967 Days...

It has been 967 days since we started on this infertility journey.
2 years, 7 months, and 25 days.
1,392,480 minutes.
83,548,800 seconds.
And my dream is no closer to coming true than it was that fateful day, November 7, 2008.
I would like to be able to say that I have learned so much from this experience, that I’m a much stronger woman now, that it has all been worth it. But truthfully, I can’t say any of those things.
What I can say, is that I’ve learned is I can be a really jealous person. That I can take other people’s joyous occasions and make myself so upset that I have to leave the room. I’ve learned that every time I see a pregnant woman, or a friend announces their pregnancy, all I can think about is how I wish that were me. Green can be a very ugly color…
I’ve learned more about my body than I ever wanted to know, and still, that knowledge has done nothing but take me two steps forward, and one step back. No matter how much you know, it doesn’t mean things work right or do what you want.
I’ve learned that my faith in God can be tested, month after month, year after year. It doesn’t mean that I don’t believe in Him, or that I don ‘t trust Him, but I can’t help but wonder why He is doing this to me.
And I’m starting to realize that this journey we’ve been on for so long might not ever end the way I want it to. I may never be a mother, even though it breaks my heart into a million little pieces to even type those words, let alone think them.
Infertility is beyond expensive. Medications, procedures, time off work, all of those things add up. And I can look back into my past and think that if I wouldn’t have bought this, or if I wouldn’t have done that, I might have enough money to continue infertility treatments. But where does that get me? Nowhere.
All I can do now is hope that we get lucky and God blesses us with a natural pregnancy, or that I win the lottery, or find that mysterious money tree somewhere.
I’m taking the steps that I can that cost little money, like exercising and eating right, and visiting the chiropractor. I’m down 15.5 pounds.
And I can keep dreaming, hoping, wishing, and praying. While that hasn’t worked for me yet, maybe it will. Maybe I’m just wishing on someone else’s star, or maybe God is too busy helping other people right now to answer my prayers.
Hopefully someday it will be my turn.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Words that rhyme that aren't even mine!

I found this poem on an infertility website, and it touched my heart. It's amazing how so many women know exactly how I feel, from so many miles away...

When do I stop? When do I realize it's enough?
Why does it have to be me who has it so tough?
There are many out there who are evil and perverse.
Yet do You burden them with an infertility curse?
A 16 year old delivers a healthy baby boy
then throws him in the garbage like some old broken toy.
A drug addict has 3 beautiful little ones
and beats them black and blue for nothing they have done.
A worn-out woman with already more than she can bear
sighs dissapointedly when she sees two lines are there.
God give me one, just one to cherish all my days
And I promise that to You I'll give all glory, credit and praise.
Make it stop, this intense longing and fear.
Please give me a child that I can hold near!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Ode to Infertility

‘Twas the night before your period and all through the house,
not a creature was stirring, not even your spouse.
The tampons were waiting in the bathroom with care,
in hopes that Aunt Flow would soon NOT be there.
Your future children were nestled, like dreams in your head,
while visions of cramps start to come before bed.
You’re sure you are pregnant, your breasts are so ripe,
you examine that toilet paper each time you wipe.
But you just might be pregnant, you have all the signs,
so why does this test never show those two lines?
And you cry on the floor until you are ill,
tomorrow you’ll refuse to take your prenatal pill.
“Come nausea, sore breasts, and frequent urination!”
“On weight gain, fatigue and then to lactation!”
We are getting impatient, our clocks start to tick,
but each month all we do is pee on that stick.
We know more about ovulation than our family doc,
so please fill our womb before our friends newborns can talk!
We thank all of our relatives for those sympathy hugs,
but we’ve spent our whole salary on fertility drugs.
Our spouse has more sex than his full teenage years,
but this time he’s not bragging to all of his peers.
So before our next cycle, lead us the fertile way,
Happy baby-making to all and keep periods at bay!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Letter to My Unborn Child...

They say it helps to write a letter to your unborn, future baby when you are struggling with infertility…so, here goes nothing.

Dear Baby,

As I anxiously wait to conceive you, many thoughts run through my head.

Will your head be shaped like a test tube? What if they implant the wrong embryos into my uterus? Will you grow in my belly, or someone else's?
Sometimes I wonder if you will ever be real...

I’m sorry we've turned your nursery into daddy's man cave. When you come, you better come out a Philadelphia Eagles fan, or you will be very disappointed in the decor.
Daddy really wants you to come, too, so mommy can stop being an emotional wreck and ruining his marriage...

After all our fertility costs, we might not be able to afford to send you to college, buy you new clothes or even feed you but mommy and daddy still love you very much. And no one (but child social services) can take that away from us.

I want you to know that I love you so much already, even though I may never get to meet you. If the day never comes that we meet face to face, just know how much I wanted you. Please know that it wasn't for lack of trying. Mommy prayed and prayed and prayed to the good Lord, begging him to bring you to place you in my arms, to let me see your sweet face, breathe in your scent, and finally hear your precious little voice say "Mama."

Sweet little child of mine, if the day ever comes that we shall meet, and I can call you my very own, I promise I will love you more than anything in the whole world.
I will be there for you no matter what. You will always be able to count on me. I will protect you from scary monsters under your bed. I will let you crawl in bed with Daddy and me when the angels in Heaven are bowling and making thunder. I will kiss your boo-boos and place band-aids shaped like whatever character is "in" at the moment on your little skinned up knees. I will be there to comfort you when you've had a bad dream.

I will let you make your own mistakes so you can learn from them. I will have two shoulders for you to cry on when you find out how mean kids can be, when your heart gets broken for the first time, and when you lose someone you love. I will argue with you about what clothes you should wear, and in the end, I will let you win, because I would never want you to not have the same "cool" clothes your friends have. I will be there to pick you up when you fall, when you get a bad grade, and when so-and-so won't let you sit at their lunch table.

I will help you pick out your first dress or tux for Prom, and I will take more pictures than is necessary, because that’s what Moms do.

I will cry tears of joy and swell with pride at your preschool, kindergarten, high school, and college graduations, no matter how many years it takes you to get there.

I will always be just a phone call away when you move away and don't know how to do laundry, make food that doesn't come from a box, or spell a word, and I will promptly hand the phone over to Daddy when you need to know how to change a tire, fix something, or hook up a stereo.

When you find your soul mate and get married, I will help you plan your wedding, and I will be the sobbing mess sitting in the front row next to your Daddy watching you walk away from your life with us and start a new life of your own.

When you have your own children, I will be there to pass down advice that was passed down to me. I will show you how I changed your little diapers, and how having a child of your own will be the only way to show you how much I really love you.

And when the day comes that I won't be here on Earth with you anymore, I will still be here for you, and I will still love you. I will watch over you and your family from Heaven, because having a child is learning to let your heart walk outside of your body, and as long as your heart still beats, I will be with you.

I hope I get to meet you soon. But until then, you are always on my mind, and always in my heart.

Your Mommy

I'm a Poet and I know it!

When you’re at the end of your infertile rope, don't smoke dope, just hold on to hope.

If you just want to mope and overeat cantaloupe and crank call the Pope, still hold onto hope.

When you’re body says “nope,” and your mind says “can’t cope” and your tubes can’t fallop, just hold on to hope.

When you can’t remember the last time you used soap, your bad breath wants Scope, your best friend wants to elope, and you're at the end of your rope, don't say nope, just hold on to hope.

If only Dr. Suess could see me now...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Are you there Uterus? It's me, Amanda...

Fertility treatment is supposed to be the magical solution. So why didn't mine work?

I tried to conceive naturally for a year and nothing happened.
Sperm got into a fight with Egg and refused to even touch her.
I went to the fertility doctor to seek out that magical cure.
I started with fertility drugs but that didn’t work.
I felt relieved to try an IUI because I knew that would be my magical fertility cure. uterus didn’t get the memo.
Although I have not yet, I might someday have to bite the bullet (not literally) and spend my life savings (If I ever have one) on IVF.
Finally, IVF will be my magical fertility solution and I know that would definitely work. How could it go wrong? The doctors actually stick the sperm right inside the egg!
So what happens when my magical IVF cure doesn’t work? After all, if I would be in IVF land (sort of like Disneyland but with more bumpy roller coasters), there is nowhere else to go.

Sometimes, fertility treatments, IUI and IVF do not work on the first try. There is no magical explanation although I search for the answer on Google. Maybe I'll have to do it a couple times or even more...
When it doesn’t work on the first time, it's hard not to lose faith and hope, but natural pregnancies don’t typically work on the first month so just because I paid all this money and screwed up my body with fertility drugs, doesn’t mean my uterus got the message!

When magical cures don’t happen on the first try, miracle wonders will, no doubt, occur later on...

So for now, while waiting for the magic to happen, I am working on a couple things. Losing some weight is number one. I have lost about 10 pounds or so, but my goal is to lose about 15 more. Getting my BMI out of the overweight range can only help my situation. I'm also taking the advice of some very knowledgable friends, and my favorite Aunt Nurse, and seeing a chiropractor. In some cases, getting adjusted in the lower back area can help a woman get pregnant...who knew? I have to say after my first visit, I'm feeling like my uterus is mad at me...and my shoulders, and hips, and everything else...I sure am sore!
I've also decided I'm no longer going to let infertility consume me. It's not going to be the first thing I think of when I wake up, or the last thing that comes to mind before bed. I'm going to continue my dieting, exercising, chiropractoring, hoping, wishing, dreaming, and praying...but for a respectable portion of the day. ;-)

Monday, April 25, 2011


Well, I went in for an ultrasound today to check and see how the follicles were developing. Turns out I have a big cyst on my right ovary, but nothing that looks like it is going to release an egg again. ;-(
My doctor feels like he is wasting my money if he keeps continuing to treat me with this stuff, because it's not working. So, he said the next step it to see a fertility specialist, and do injectibles.
However, those run approximately $2,000 per cycle, so that is something that is just not in our future anytime soon...unless anyone comes upon a money tree with my name on it. ;-)
He said we could always get lucky, it did happen once before with no treatment. And he also said that while I was not very heavy, studies have shown that people with PCOS have a better chance of ovulating on their own if they lose 10% or so of their body weight. Usually that works with women who are heavier than me to start with, but it can't hurt. And it doesn't cost any money!
I'm down about 10 pounds from when I started seeing him, so if I lose another 1-12 more, that would be about 10% or so. He thought maybe around 150 would be a good goal. If I can get the weight off and ovulate on my own, we might be able to get pregnant on our own, plus, there's not so much drugs in my system that way.
I kind of feel like after 14 months of treatment, all of them being on one kind of medication or another, my body is just saying enough is enough. It's confused, mad, and doesn't want anymore interventions for awhile. Not sure if that's really even possible, but I don't know why it couldn't be.
I'm trying not to be too down about it...there's really nothing I can do, except try to lose some weight, and try to save some money in case that doesn't work. I can't change the way my body is. But it just makes me feel so bad that the whole reason we can't have a baby is MY fault!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Infertility Confessions...

When you desperately want to have a baby, you have a lot of private thoughts that you’d rather not share with the world. Your best friend doesn’t need to know that you sobbed in a public bathroom after she told you she was pregnant (and those weren’t tears of happiness). Your husband doesn’t need to know that you’ve actually touched your own cervical mucus; and your pregnant Facebook friend doesn’t need to know that you’ve hidden her so you don’t have to see her growing belly photos. Here’s a few of my own infertility confessions. Because, even though it’s a horrible, crappy situation, laughter is always the best medicine.

**Whether it’s tampons or those very stylish maxi pads, I always convince myself that this will be the LAST box of feminine hygiene products I will ever purchase. Well, maybe not ever, but at least for the next, oh, 9 months or so. When going to the drug store, I can be found cursing in the feminine hygiene aisle. “I can’t believe I have to buy another stupid box of tampons.” So I do the only rational thing an infertile can do, I purchase the smallest box of tampons I can find. None of those family sized feminine hygiene products for me! I buy the bare minimum. After all, this is the LAST time I will ever get my period so I won’t need them anymore. Yeah, right.
The next month, the evil witch returns and I end up tearing my bathroom apart because I can’t find a single feminine product to wear. And good luck if it starts away from home…I have nothing in my purse, and I end up stuffing toilet paper in my panties. Great, another pair of stained underwear! Infertility has appointed me the President of the Soiled Underwear Club. I might as well get all my panties at the dollar store at this rate. I would rather stuff toilet paper in my underwear for the next 7 days, than buy another box of pads or tampons. Want to find out if a woman is having infertility problems? Go to your local drug store. She will be in the feminine aisle sobbing over a box of lady products…

It’s a sad but true story.

**I am always relieved when I see another woman carry a tampon into a bathroom stall, or when I hear that packaging crinkling and unwrapping from the stall next to me. “Yay, she’s not pregnant!!” There are always a million pregnant women all around me, but I’ve just found one who is not! Of course, she’s not even trying, and once she does she’ll get pregnant immediately, but for now, she’s dealing with Aunt Flo just like I am!

**I find myself giving bad baby name advice because I’m scared that all the good names will be gone before I actually get to have a baby. Someone tells me the great news---they’re pregnant. I try really hard to be happy for her and not bitter like I usually am. Somewhere deep down, I’m trying to make small talk about the baby-to-be and ask, “so have you thought of any names yet?” I’ve nailed down firm names for my first 3 boys and 5 girls that haven’t materialized yet – What if someone takes something off of my list? So I start giving really bad baby name advice – just picking the ones that are the furthest away from anything that I’d ever choose. “Oh sure,” I say, “I looooooove the name Bertha. So soft, so delicate. And Ursula doesn’t remind me at all of that horrible witch that tried to kill the little mermaid. What was that last one? What? HOW do you spell that? Oh sure, that sounds FABULOUS! I really think you should go with that one… that you just said… that I can’t pronounce…

Friday, April 15, 2011

How did I get here?

As a new cycle started this week, I can't help but take a breath, look around, scratch my head, and wonder how I got to this place of infertility. All my expectations have been proved wrong. Like many of us, I started out the journey so positive and expected success right away. When things didn't happen, I spent so long being hopeful that somehow all of our issues would work themselves out naturally.
I never thought I would need fertility treatment, and here I am, 2 and a half years later, 14 months into treatment with no success. 7 previous rounds of Femara haven't worked, including one with an HCG shot. 3 rounds of Clomid didn't work. An IUI didn't work. I didn't even ovulate last cycle!
How did I get here? Why did God choose this path for us? Why is it that we can't have something that feels like it should be a birth right? Why do I have to feel jealous, angry, upset, frustrated, and broken-hearted all the time? I'm a good person and the love I would have for my child would be enough to fill up the Grand Canyon.
I don't think my "whys" will ever be answered. I will never know God's plan or why he chose this path for us. Everything happens for a reason, and maybe someday the reason for all this will be clear to me, but right now, it's really hard to see the blueprints through the tears...
You never know how strong you are until it's the only choice you have, and the only thing you can do.
Each step I take brings me one step further away from a disappointing past, and closer to a hope filled future.
Here's to hoping God will take my broken pieces, and turn them into masterpieces...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

FWD: Cross to Bear

Yesterday I opened up an email, what I thought was a typical forward. You know how some of them are funny, some are informative, and some of them you wonder why in the world someone sent this to you in the first place!
This one was different. It was inspirational to me. At the end of the email was a lovely little poem about the crosses we bear, and how God helps us carry them.
Infertility is my cross to bear. It's nice to know I'm not alone in carrying it. While I may have the heavier end, God is on the other, helping me to hold on and not fall down from the weight of it...

We complain about the cross we bear but don't realize it is preparing us for the dip in the road that God can see and we can't.

Whatever your cross, whatever your pain,
there will always be sunshine, after the rain....

Perhaps you may stumble, perhaps even fall;
But God's always ready, to answer your call.....

He knows every heartache, sees every tear,
a word from His lips, can calm every fear...

Your sorrows may linger, throughout the night,
But suddenly vanish, dawn's early light...

The Savior is waiting, somewhere above,
to give you His grace, and send you His love....

God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage.

......and you question God -'why me?'..
always look at the bigger picture......
A day without the Lord- Is a day wasted.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Our Story...

I've decided that it's time to start a new blog...all about our adventures in infertility. I'm sure there are some people in my life who don't want to read about it all the for them, there will be a blog about our everyday lives, and a blog about our infertility struggles.

For anyone who doesn't know, Brent and I have been trying to conceive since November 2008, which means it has been roughly 2.5 years. We were lucky enough to conceive on our 3rd month of trying, but devastatingly, that ended in a miscarriage at about 6 weeks. We tried another 12 months or so on our own, and then decided it was time to seek a professionals help. I had an ultrasound, and several vials of blood drawn. The conclusion: Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome. Read all about it here. The long and short of it means I have trouble ovulating every month like normal, healthy women do.
I was given a prescription to balance out my blood sugar, and a fertility medicine to help me ovulate. We continued down that path for the next 6 months, with no pregnancy in sight.
Shortly after that, Brent got transferred, we moved to Iowa Falls (yay!), and I started seeing a new doctor. More of the same came...only he switched me to a different fertility medicine. He also ordered a Semen Analysis test for Brent. The results of that were mostly good...normal count, although the motility isn't 100%.

Due to us both having issues to deal with, in January of this year, we moved on to the next step, which was an Intra-Uterine Inseminaiton, frequently referred to as an IUI. Read all about that here. I was so excited. I really got my hopes up that it would work. But, once again, 2 weeks later, I was met with disappointment. It didn't work.

Which brings us to the present. The latest round of fertility medicine had poor eggies in sight, even though previous lower doses have worked fine. So there is nothing to do this month but wait for my period and move on. My doctor is to the point where we will do one more IUI in April if I have any eggs..and then he feels like he can no longer treat me, and will refer me onto a fertility specialist.

However, since my insurance covers 0 of our infertility treatment, seeing a specialist is not something we will be able to do anytime soon. IVF is beyond expensive. $10,000-$15,000 per time, and there are no guarantees it will work. Who has that kind of money? Adoption is something we would also consider, although the cost for that is similar to IVF. But at least that way you for sure get a baby.

Now, I will say, no doctor has ever told us the chances of us becoming pregnant on our own are 0. I've never really been given a statistic, really. It did happen for us once. Brent does have a normal count, and I DO ovulate on my own, just not all the time. So we can continue to try on our own. But we all know there are no guarantees in life. There is no guarantee that I will ever be a mother. But I hope and pray everyday that it will happen, one way or another.

Please join us as we continue our journey. I know there are a lot of you out there hoping and praying for us, and I appreciate it more than I can share in words. I believe in the power of prayer. It can only help tip the odds in our favor.

Here is a story about the beginning of our journey...just starting out, and the miscarriage that broke my heart...before the word infertility ever was a thought in my mind.

It was finally time. The moment I had waited for for 5 long years. We were finally ready to start a family. Financial burdens and low-paying jobs were no longer an issue. My dream to be a mother was about to come true.
A few months earlier, I began to arm myself with any and all information regarding fertility and conceiving a baby. I started taking prenatal vitamins. I bought the book suggested by all my friends on the Ovusoft message boards, Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler, and a basal body temperature thermometer.
The book taught me how to check my “lady juice” and take my temperature every day to find the few days I was most fertile every month. I was surprised and amazed by the wealth of knowledge that was in this book. It was like the Holy Bible of the woman’s body.
Armed with the knowledge of how and when, I jumped in with both feet. The first month was fun. We timed everything perfectly. I tried not to get my hopes up. After all, there is only a 25% chance of conceiving every cycle in perfect conditions.
When the witch came to visit me, I was let down for sure. I thought of how amazing it would be to tell all the grandparents we were having a baby for Christmas. But, I wasn’t too discouraged. This was only the first month, after all.
The second month I threw myself even deeper into my quest. I tried out another trick, using an Ovulation Predictor Kit, which alerts you to a surge of a chemical the body releases right before ovulation. Again, we had perfect timing. And again, the witch showed up, on Christmas Day. I couldn’t hide my disappointment.
I went into the third month thinking “the third time’s a charm, right?” and it was. Amazingly, the witch didn’t show at her usual time. I was so excited, I ran out to buy a pregnancy test, and spent the next few hours squinting at the faint line that was there. I wasn’t sure I believed it, so the next day I went and bought one of those fancy digital tests. The most amazing word in the whole world stared back at me. I was pregnant. It was January 26, the best day of my life.
Brent and I couldn’t wait to tell our parents. We took a picture of the test and emailed it to everyone, telling them the race was on to see who would call first. It was so amazing to share this wonderful news with them, everyone was so excited and happy for us.
The next day I went out and bought a pregnancy book and began thinking about baby names, nursery themes, if we were going to find out the sex or not. I made a doctor’s appointment for 2 weeks later. All I could think about was how I was going to be a mother. I spent a lot of time on the internet looking for baby things and talking excitedly on the Ovusoft message boards with other expectant mothers.
5 days later, January 31, one spot of blood unleashed a torrent of tears. Reality flooded in. I was at work. Brent was at work. I called him, and we went to the emergency room, hoping for the best, but expecting the worst. The doctors took my blood, examined me, and broke my heart. The pregnancy was over before it really even began. Just a few hours earlier, my arms longed for the fulfillment of my dreams; then in a matter of minutes, my heart felt like it ripped in two. I grieved as though I had lost a child to death. In a sense, I had. My child had been within reach, then snatched away. Though I had not made it to the day of it’s birth, my child was real. It’s so hard to say goodbye when I never even got the chance to say hello.
6 months later, my heart still aches. The due date of my lost angel fast approaches, and I am no closer to having a baby in my arms than I was that horrible day in January.
My faith in God has been tested heavily over these past 9 months. I know they say He doesn’t give us more than we can handle, but sometimes I wish he didn’t think I could handle so much. This has been the most difficult, heartbreaking process I have ever been through. Each month we try, and each month, we fail. Each month I am hopeful and excited, imagining all these “symptoms” in my head. But every time I take a test it’s negative. And each one hurts just a little bit more than the last.
For those of you that have children, you are so very blessed. Never take them for granted. I will never understand some things about the world. Two unmarried people involved in a one night stand get pregnant and it’s a burden. But, two loving, committed people who want a child more than anything in the world suffer each month with empty, aching arms.
I am not giving up. I will never give up on my dream to be a mother. I have faith in God that he knows it’s what I was born to do. No one will ever love a child more than I will. No child could ever be more wanted then the one that is somewhere in my future. I just pray that God blesses us with a gift soon.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

More Ramblings...

It always feels like we are the only couple on earth suffering from infertility. I hear and read that millions of people are going through infertility treatments but yet where are they? My friend "Martha" got pregnant after (oops!) drinking too much one night; My friend "Belinda" tried for an agonizing three months before it finally happened to her; and all of my friends are either pregnant or having baby number two. If there are millions and millions who suffer from infertility, it certainly feels like they are living somewhere else.

I might feel like a jealous infertile.

I might feel bitter and envious.

I might feel like everyone is pregnant but me.

I might feel angry, disappointed and frustrated.

I might feel hopeless, then hopeful, then hopeless again.

I might feel heartbroken, emotionally-drained and desperate.

I might feel encouraged, excited and exhausted.

I might feel like I can’t look at that toilet paper even one more time.

I might feel like I'm getting high on Folic Acid.

I might feel like I see that Transvaginal Wand more than my husband.

I might feel like I will go crazy if my fertility clinic doesn’t call me back by 3pm.

I might feel like I know more about cervical mucus than a fertility specialist.

I might feel like I've had more unprotected sex than an immature teenager.

But I might feel calm and strong and determined.

And although I might feel lonely when experiencing infertility, I am definitely not alone.


Here are some reasons it's GREAT to be infertile...

(1) No awkward sex talk with my future children! Explaining the birds and the bees to our children will be fun! “Little Tommy, when a mommy and a daddy love each other they drive to a fertility clinic and 4 years later, you are conceived with a lot of love and a little test tube.”

(2) By the time I am pregnant,my friends are already finished having kids. I can borrow all their baby stuff (even if they are stained with poop and vomit).

(3) During IVF or IUI, My partner doesn’t even have to be present during conception! Just send him a quick text once it’s done. “Honey, we did it! How was it for you?”

(4) When I go to sleep at night, I still get to sleep through the night.

(5) I get to cry about infertility in random places. Why go to a boring old grocery store if you’re just going to shop. Yawn. Boring. Having a emotional breakdown in the tampon aisle, now that’s interesting!

(6) My friends all offer to let you have their bratty kids. Great! So don’t be surprised and call the police when I take them. We had a verbal agreement.

(7) When my quintuplets arrive, I might get your own television show called IVF Mama Plus Five!

(8) My friend have stretch marks, sagging breasts and wrinkles. I only have weight gain and acne due to fertility medication.

Even if it doesn’t always feel this way and I thinkIou will never get pregnant, infertility is most likely temporary. But hope and determination are permanent.