Wednesday, January 13, 2016

some documenting and updates for posterity's sake

I guess this is as good a place as any to do some documenting. I'm definitely not one of those chalkboard every week "bump date" here's a pic of me sticking my gut out kind of people (I mean, you really don't want to see that! hehe). But I know I'll want to remember some things from this journey, especially since it took so long to get to this point !

I keep going through periods of elation then to periods of doubt and extreme worry. I'm so excited this is happening--so excited that I worry it will all be taken away. I know...I just need to have faith and trust the Lord that HE will provide whatever we need in the right time. The first trimester was a breeze, I wasn't sick (just a few bought of not feeling well) and I felt  pretty much myself! I know that's a huge blessing because so many are so sick and miserable those first weeks. Now that I'm officially into the second trimester I keep panicking and worrying. Everything went SO well and I felt remarkably UNpregnant that now every twinge or pain sends me into a tailspin! I keep reminding myself to be thankful for every moment we get to be this kids' parents. Truly the one day at a time mindset is what works for me--Lord help me!

Some things I won't want to forget:

At six weeks and 5 days we heard your heartbeat and saw you for the first time! Your dad cried. I was so elated there was a baby in there that I just laughed. Your heart rate was 127 bpm.

At 9 weeks I heard your heartbeat again--184. So fast and strong. Once again, elated that you were in there and doing your thing. Still in disbelief! Shock! Awe!

At 12 weeks 3 days we saw you again and heard your heartbeat. It was 170. You are starting to look like a little person! Who are you even in there? We can't wait to find out.

Your cousins can't wait to meet you. They are really excited about going to the hospital. They love to hear stories of who came when they were born (or borned as Charlie would say) to the hopsital. They are sad they won't get to pick your name. Hah! You are lucky to have so many people who love you already. They will teach you some shenanigans for sure, but that's what cousins are for!

So many friends and family have prayed for you to arrive on this earth. It has been so encouraging to see others excitement for us, for YOU to be here! I hope one day you will know this and let it bring joy to your heart--how wanted and loved you were from the beginning not only by us but God. He loves you even more than we do! It's true and we'll do our best to teach you that every day.

Can't believe you're in there! We don't know yet if you are a boy or a girl--and really either way will be great! 

Some verses I've been meditating on:

"Don't worry about anything, instead pray about everything" Phillipians 4:6

"Do not fear, for I am with you: do not anxiously look about you for I am your God. I will strengthen you surely I will help you surely I will uphold you with my righteous hand". Isaiah 41:10

"But the Lord is with me like a mighty warrior" Jeremiah 20:11

"You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you" Isaiah 26:3

"You have filled my heart with greater joy" Psalm 4:7

and I think the number one right now is:

"Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen". Hebrews 11:1

I can't see you right now, and it's all I can do to trust you're ok. I need to have more FAITH that the God who miraculously created you can keep you safe even though I can't see you and won't have reassurance 24/7. Faith that when the time is right this summer I will meet you! Hang in there little buddy and keep doing your thing. We'll try to keep it chill in the meantime.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

signs, wonders, & miracles (and the longest blog post ever written)

*ok, it's time I need to write about this! for myself, I know I'll love to look back and remember things that I'm sure time will do it's best to blot out of my memory. sometimes it's easier to get caught up in fiction (blogs, books, tv) and forget you're living a real story too and it needs documenting!
I guess I've been postponing writing about this because I'm still in shock and having a hard time accepting reality...maybe having trust issues/faith issues and waiting for the other shoe to drop. But that's not a good place to stay.  This is all happening and I want to tell this story!*

After a year plus of being cured at WTC we were having zero luck getting pregnant. It was so maddening...there were so many announcements from friends and accquaintances that it felt like one blow after another. Even though I was happy for everyone...I just felt trapped in a box of unchange. I was in a 28 cycle ground hog day for 8 years and counting.   I would constantly think of the definition of insanity: repeating the same action time and time again and expecting a different result.  My body is like a clock when it comes to cycles, blood work said I was ovulating on time, tests said hormones and male factor were all good. This should all be encouraging, right? Of course instead of being happy things seemed to be ok, I was wracked with guilt and doubt and fear. I probably wasn't doing enough to be fertile. So many women lose weight, eat a very strict diet, work out x amount of times per week, drink pineapple juice and other fertility cocktails ect. Maybe if I could just do everything right it would happen. I know it sounds like a dumb excuse but weight loss, teaching, and trying to get pregnant...I'm not that great of a multitasker. Lame, I know. So I would beat myself up because I hadn't lost weight like I wanted to, or got pregnant, or made any progress whatsoever. (Looking back I know I was climbing mountains everyday with God's help, in my personal life and professional, it's just so hard to see when you're in the thick of it). I think this is obviously a struggle for me to avoid this mindset. Being faithful in your given tasks is a good thing, you do what you can and have faith that God see's you and has a plan. I often feel if I haven't John Henry'd my way through the mountain by sheer FORCE I've done NOTHING. (I would be the world's best drill sergeant if I used the tactics in bootcamp that I use on myself mentally, lol).  I couldn't wait to get to my doctor and find out what her plans were for us going forward.

Excited but also scared. You know, the whole drill sergeant thing. I was so nervous she would tell me I needed to lose weight first (seriously I hear about women who are thin but their doctors still want them to lose weight to pursue fertility treatments and it had me so fearful and self loathing---like if that lady had to lose weight first then I HAVE NO HOPE, haha).

Anyways, after the exam and we talked about how things were going and I was telling her my bullet point list of all the things I hadn't done like I wanted (lose weight, work out x amount of times per week, perfectionist list ect) she said "You have changed so much from when we first met. You should feel nothing but really proud of all you've accomplished". Talk about words sent from heaven. These two sentences have meant the world to me...when all I see is disappointment in myself...when will I learn to stop doing that?

So we made a plan. Blood work, saline test, and so on. I couldn't believe I was finally to the point where this wasn't all going to be on me. We would have help. If it didn't work I wouldn't have to blame everything I did wrong, I would just accept it didn't work BECAUSE IT DIDN'T WORK--IT WAS OUT OF MY HANDS NOW!!! Which is an awesome feeling--Jesus take the wheel and so forth. (Should have known it was basically out of my hands the entire time but hey).   After doing the saline test (after some anxiety inducing scheduling snafu's) it was September. Through a long and let's just say uncomfortable scenario of catheters  and CLAMPS (I shudder thinking about the clamps, haha) we were able to see my tubes were not only clear but there was a follicle waiting and ready to be released. To see inside your own body--especially an area that you've questioned about your whole life (is everything ok in there? would I know if something's wrong?? and a million other questions) If I didn't get pregnant this cycle we would begin treatments. BONUS: doing the saline test usually boosts fertility for a few months due to kind of opening everything up a bit more. I really hoped I wouldn't need treatments, that we would make it happen after that scary and psycho but super affirming and so glad I did it test. But alas, my 28 day clock work friend came calling. And we started our new plan: IUI. To follow through with the insemination my doctor needed at least one follicle of at least 18 mm, no smaller by day 16 of my cycle.

I remember a few days into the cycle I had Ted and I drag our lawn chairs out to the driveway to star gaze. Where we live I feel so close to the stars...we live up high on a hill and away from the city so they really do look so pretty. I was feeling like our routine needed to break from tv and phones after dinner. We needed to connect and be thankful for where we were headed: I wasn't certain any of the treatments would work out. But in 6 months time we would know either way. 3 Rounds of IUI and 3 of IVF. If nothing worked we would have to move on and think of other options. Either way our journey would be over and we could move on. After all this time.

Fast forward a week or so to the follicle scan. I was very nervous (of course! when am I not nervous). It could go so many ways, having taken Clomid (albeit a very low dose since I ovulate on my own) there could be lots of follicles (John and Kate Plus 8 much) or there could be none, or there could be some and none of them meeting the requirements to proceed. I really didn't know what to expect. As I was laying on the table and the nurse was preparing with the wand I started to panic and I said "WHAT IF THERE'S NOTHING IN THERE!!!" (This same nurse had been with me during the saline test and she is kind but tells the truth which I really appreciate). She said "sometimes that happens unfortunately...we try our best to make this happen but there's only so much we can do!" I totally get that. I kind of closed my eyes and gritted my teeth and waited for the verdict---right side, looked around apparently nothing there, swoops to the left side and she screamed "AH-HA!!!!!! THERE IT IS!!!!" I opened my eyes and saw a follicle on the screen. I think she was relieved as I was! One follicle, and guess was 18mm! The smallest it could be for us to still carry on. She called the doctor--I was to come in the NEXT MORNING for the IUI! I had to go to the pharmacy and get a shot and then give it to myself (I felt so Pulp Fiction).

 Through long waits at the pharmacy and confusion over my prescription, to the insurance saying they wouldn't cover the procedure because our claim hadn't been filed 2 weeks in advance, (we said screw it we're doing this we'll pay), to giving myself the shot, and a fit full nights sleep...I woke up super early the morning of the IUI. I was pacing the bathroom, when I looked out the window and saw the BIGGEST and BRIGHTEST star I've ever seen. I immediately thought it was symbolic of our child saying "It's ok...I'm coming, don't worry anymore. I'm on my way". I seriously thought it was a plane or UFO it was so big and actually twinkling. I'd never really seen a star twinkle before, maybe this sounds crazy. It probably is.

A small step back before finishing the story: for so long during this journey I would ask God for signs  that He was listening, there, and had a plan. I would give myself random time tables, like "things will work out before xyz". I finally realized that He didn't need to show us signs because He was working. We could take to His word to read his promises and live life fully without searching or demanding. I was starting to pray that I could find reason to live outside of this and stop. looking. for. signs. And just, live! And know that this would be a cherry on top, an extra blessing, and life was still good and would go on. But that I had to complete this journey so there would be no what if's or regrets.

Miraculously, we got all we needed to do to complete the IUI, the insurance said they would indeed pay (yay!), the procedure was quick and painless. It was over! Now I could block it all out for two weeks, and know if it didn't work everything that could have been done WAS done and there is a certain peace in knowing that.

Somehow we made it through the wait. I was so nervous to take a test. Rejection is hard even if  you've tried to mentally prepare yourself. I prayed God would help me if it was bad news that I wouldn't fall apart and just get ready to try again. Practice round if you will. Finally, I forced myself to take a test the morning before I officially had to, to let the doctor's office know. My nieces birthday was in 2 days and I wanted time to sulk if it was negative so I could be happy at our family gathering. At like, 4:30 in the morning on October 29th 2015 I saw two pink lines. TWO. TWO LINES PEOPLE. I will never take that sight fore granted!  I swear, this is a true miracle. How anyone ever conceives at ALL is truly a miracle in my opinion. So many things  have to happen for this to succeed.

So here I sit. 13 weeks and 5 days.  So thankful and excited. So nervous and anxious. Trying to not wait for the other shoe to drop. To trust the Lord with His miracle and pray I am worthy. Ready to start documenting this journey and ready to do my best and READY to not beat myself up about being imperfect. Ready to soak up every minute because our wait was so long, but it taught us how important this is and for that I'm so thankful.

Looking forward to writing more. Emotionally exhausted from trying to put the impossible into words.