Tuesday, July 31, 2007

moving forward

Beginning Clomid in T-minus 2 days.

After 5 days of Clomid comes 5 days of Estradiol. I did turn down the $200 tube of Progesterone Gel this time around. (!!!!) Wait for a positive OPK and the call the doctor when I get a smiley face on the Clear Blue OPK stick.

The IUI could feasibly happen by the latter part of NEXT WEEK!!!!!

Prepare ye the way for mood swings and emotional rollercoasters!! Clomid does not have the reputation for making women nicer people. ;)

Please be in prayer for us....

-gm-

Saturday, July 21, 2007

sometime in august....

is when we will begin the stuff.

The "stuff" being Clomid, the OPK's, the IUI and the hormones (which I assume to be progesterone).

I am strangely excited about it all--not even hating that I will be taking ovulation-inducing medicine. For the record, I don't have major ovulation issues, but the Clomid *should* give a much-needed boost.

I spoke with Dr. C. the other day about all of this...and might I add that I LOVE having a doctor who calls me personally and leaves messages on my answering machine. Not a receptionist or a nurse, but MY doctor calling and when I call her back, all I have to mention is the word "infertility" and they patch me right through to Dr. C., whether she's in the middle of something or not. Finally--the word "infertility" is good for something! :)

Anyway, Dr. C. gave me the details about everything, so unless I am pregnant this month, we'll start all of this at some point in August, Lord willing. However, we are praying specifically that we conceive THIS month to avoid the IUI. Please pray with us!!!!

I'll update as things get rolling....

-gm-

Thursday, July 12, 2007

tears, for a different reason

I had a chat with my doctor yesterday about our options as far as pursuing an IUI is concerned. Thankfully, she was very kind and positive about doing the procedure for us. I swallowed tears around the huge lump in my throat as I explained that coming around to an IUI was a difficult decision--that people often say "Why don't you just DO it? What's taking so long?" I told her that emotionally it was a hard place to come to. She nodded and said, "You know, Glenna, infertility patients are under the same amount and type of emotional stress that chemotherapy patients are under! No wonder it's hard to come to a decision--you're under a lot of stress!" I so appreciated her empathy.

My doctor (who I'll refer to as Dr. C. from now on) needs to meet with a colleague who performs IUI's more frequently than she does, so she is supposed to call me in a couple of days to figure out the timing of it all. We will most likely combine the IUI with a round of Clomid, a common fertility drug to make sure we've got all our eggs in one basket, so to speak (pun intended). If my body cooperates, we'll begin this process about mid-August, which will put the actual IUI procedure in late August. I used to think that I would keep all of this as private as could be, but so many people know of our inferitility, that I know they will want to know details and results as they happen. For that reason....I guess privacy is one thing that goes out the window, along with dreams of "easy" conception. It's just part of infertility, I guess. I've accepted that, and I'd rather have people praying specifically for us at specific times than to leave everyone in the dark for the sake of my privacy.

It's a tricky thing--pursuing reproductive assistance. I know many people out there think that pursuing treatment is evidence of a lack of faith in God. And in some ways, I suppose it could be. It was for me for a long time...which is why I put off the option of IUI. I needed to get to a point where I am trusting God to provide children, not modern medicine. And yet, I think infertility can be described as a "condition" in the same way that many bodily issues are. We simply have parts of our body that don't function the way they were "intended" to function. My husband has a pancreas that does not work. At all. If he did not take insulin daily, he would die. His medication, through the grace of God, keeps him alive. That might be an oversimplistic or faulty analogy, because with reproductive organs--a LIFE is the goal or end result, not simply overall health. I have wrestled over and over with whether or not having reproductive assistance is the "right" decision. Are we reflecting that we are not trusting God with our fertility? At this point, we are comfortable pursuing some help. We are not "creating" life. We are simply trying to make the conditions more favorable for conception to take place.

Ultimately, though....we know that it lies in the hands of a Sovereign God. No matter how easily or with difficulty life seems to be conceived, it is always a miracle at the hand of a mighty Creator. So, if the IUI fails the first or second time, we'll know that it was not what God had for us. And we'll move towards adoption more aggressively. Not that adoption is a sure-fire thing. God may say "no" in that area as well, which will mean that we have to simply wait or accept "no".


I will say, though, that I left Dr. C.'s office yesterday with tears in my eyes, but for the first time in a long time they were tears of hope, not despair.

I will keep you all updated as things unfold. We COVET your prayers! We want to guard our hearts, to be cautiously excited, but to NOT stake all our hopes in a procedure. We want to continue looking to the Father for the miracle of life. We want to rest in His sovereignty, even if He continues to say "no". Please pray that He WOULD grant us this request of a child or children--we ask boldly for that daily. But also pray for us should His answer be "no". We still want to walk faithfully in obedience to Him.
And as a woman, I covet prayers for myself emotionally. It is a tough thing to walk through without my heart being exposed and vulnerable. I feel entirely exposed.

Thanks for praying for me yesterday.

xoxoxoxo,
-glenna-

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Nervous

I have my regular, yearly check-up tomorrow with my obgyn. I'm not nervous about the appointment itself, but it's my first time to see my doctor since August of last year when she gave me the results of our last tests and HSG (Hysterosalpingogram. You know you're infertile when you can pronounce AND spell that word!). My doctor had referred us to St. Louis to an infertility clinic. We thought about it for a couple of months. And a few more months. And then it turned into nearly year. We never went to St. Louis because we just couldn't get "there" emotionally. I know--it sounds like a flimsy excuse. But, unless you are facing reproductive assistance, you may not quite understand.

Now has come a time where we are comfortable with pursuing IntraUterine Insemination, otherwise known as IUI. A minimally invasive procedure (among infertility reproductive technology), this procedure simply puts the sperm as close to the egg(s) as possible, in hope of naturally occurring conception. We have been told by two doctors that this is a good option for us. And while the success rates are not as fabulous as I would like for them to be, we thought we would give it a shot before we commit to an unknown time frame where we would be wholly devoted to adoption, feeling free to opt out of infertility treatment while pursuing adoption. Even if it doesn't work, we'll at least know that we tried before potentially signing an adoption contract that asks us to refrain from infertility treatment while committed to the adoption process.

Here's why I am nervous. I know my doctor will ask why we have not gone to St. Louis. I don't know if I can put it into words exactly why we have not done this, although I can think of many reasons/excuses right off the top of my head. And really, it's more discomfort on my part rather than my husband's. I can't really put it into words other than to say: I don't want to go and have to redo all the testing, have multiple visits to tell us what we already know, have brand new work-ups to simply get us to the point where the doctor is ready to do the IUI. Not to mention that we are two and a half hours (at least) from this clinic, which will require many trips back and forth, nights in hotels (that we can't afford), among other inconveniences. Wouldn't it all be worth it, you might ask? Sure, if it works. Which is no guarantee. My doctor here said that she has done IUI's in the past and could feasibly do ours, but she is more comfortable sending people to St. Louis.

So she can do it. But will she? That is the question I'm nervous about. If she consents, I'd like to do it the month of August, if possible. I will start working again about mid August, so it will be hard to get to my appointments anyway, but I can manage it much better than if I had to get to St. Louis.

But, let's not put the cart before the horse. Pray for me tomorrow. I'm not very brave in front of doctors and don't know how to be pushy when I need to be. I'll update when I have news to write about. I always cry after going to the obgyn because there has always been some negative news or reminders about our infertility. For that reason alone, I dread my check-ups. They make me sad.

xoxoxo,
-glenna-

Thursday, July 5, 2007

the ocean and infertility

I was sitting on the beach last week, watching the waves crash onto the shore line in front of me thinking that yet again, we are not pregnant. It was hard to hold back the tears, even though I feel that I should be used to this by now. I sat in the sand, praying in desperation for....something. Hope. Children. Faithfulness to God in spite of my grief, in the middle of my grief, because of my grief. I watched the rhythmic pull of the tide, with each crash of water, powerful waves crept towards my feet in the sand. I remembered the passage in Job (a fitting book when one wonders at her circumstances) where God says that the waves of the ocean can only go as far as He allows. In essence, God says, "little wave, you can only go this far, and no further up the shore than that." And the wave--powerful though it may be with the force of the Atlantic behind it--must obey, must submit to a Sovereign Creator. And so must I.

This may seem a disjointed train of thought, but what I reckoned with on the beach is that the God who holds the sea at bay is the same God who holds my fertility in His hands, as well as every other aspect of my life. He is the same God who is close and tender when He says, "No, not this time." Maybe His restraint in my life is not really like His keeping the mighty oceans in line, but maybe it is. I know that it is for my own good. And, as only a mighty and powerful Creator can hold the waters in his hands, He is letting me glimpse His glory in the midst of infertility.

Blessings, friends.

-glenna-


"And I said, 'Thus far you shall come but no farther; And here shall your proud waves stop.'"

-God, in Job 11:38, NAS