Wednesday, June 30, 2010

::waaaaiiitttingg::

ETA: Thursday, 10:10 am.  No word yet.  I guess if it were serious someone would have called me?

I called the nurse yesterday just to *see* if I could get someone to talk to me.  She said that she wasn't sure when Dr. C would be back in the office, but that she had her laptop with her so she should be able to review my u/s even if she's out.  She will call me after reviewing my films. It was pretty open ended....might be today, might not.

Being up all night with a sick child has served as a good distraction for this waiting time!  I appreciate so many people praying for me...all the texts, comments, emails, and phone calls have been a blessing.  I feel full of peace this morning.

The Lord is good.

Monday, June 28, 2010

::as my mom would say, "you can't read ultrasounds!"::

From the ends of the earth I call to you, 
I call as my heart grows faint;
lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
                   Psalm 61:2


In the name of holding it together, I'll start at the beginning.  I need to laugh to keep from crying, seeing as how I'm an emotional basket-case today.

My two year old has been sick all weekend.  He has had fever and what I think is a sore throat, screaming fits when he eats or drinks anything (throat? ears? two year molars?), and was up every hour on the hour last night.  After a really long day yesterday, I was exhausted.  But, motherhood doesn't really get eight hours off every night.  So I was up and down with my son all night, and yet he was surprisingly chipper at seven a.m. while I was still barely coherent after a very large cup of coffee.  Hmmmm...how does he do it?! 

My ultrasound appointment was at 9:20 and since I live a good 35 minutes from my doctor's office, I planned on drinking my 32 oz. of water on the way there.  I went to the bathroom about 20 minutes before I left my house, per their instructions.  By the time I parked at the doctor's office 55 minutes later, I was barely able to stand up straight.  I have some endometriosis growing on my bladder, so I am going to just use that as an excuse for the agonizing pain I was in.  I don't know that that has any affect on whether I can "hold it" or not, but if I'm going to have the disease, I soooo going to use the endometriosis card if I have to.

My doctor's office is on the third floor of a medical building.  I hobbled through the parking lot and waited for the elevator, all the while thinking, "What if the elevator gets stuck?  I'm going to explode in like five minutes!!"  I wondered how inappropriate it would be for me to unbutton my pants...I was wearing a tunic-like shirt, so surely nobody would notice....   I refrained.

I signed in at the desk, and stood behind another patient so I could give them my co-pay.  The receptionist told me to take a seat and she'd call me up in a few minutes to get checked in.

Was she SERIOUS!?!?!?    A few minutes?  With a half a gallon of water in my system?

I sat down.  I waited a full three minutes before running to the restroom to just take the edge off.

I came back and tried to read the book I had brought with me.  I vacillated between Kate Jacob's Comfort Food and Kelly Ripa's annoying voice on the waiting room TV screen.
My feet were both tapping the floor.
I noticed I kept nervously wringing my hands.
A few more minutes went by.
I started sweating.
I jumped up from my seat and pretended to peruse the rack of pamphlets on menopause.  I took a random pamphlet and began fanning my face.
Then I started pacing in front of the front desk.  I glanced at their clock....it was five minutes past my appointment time (plus I had been about 15 minutes early).
I watched one of the receptionists dial and start speaking in hushed tones.  Then she called me to her desk to tell me the ultrasound tech had to work in another patient ahead of me.  It would be about 15-20 more minutes. 
I'm giving you permission to laugh when I tell you I teared up!!

"I'm not going to make it!" I screeched.  She gave me permission to go "empty" a little, but not much.  I did, almost knocking down all the pregnant women streaming in for their appointments.  Oh, the irony.
I was in so much pain I couldn't stand up straight.  (Why do people not complain about ultrasound appointments more?? Is it because there's usually a baby on the screen to take your mind off the insane amount of pressure you're feeling down there???)
I texted my mom: "I'm at my u/s appt and they worked someone in ahead of me.  I'm about to DIE!!!  Distract me!"  

I reseated myself and was able to read for a few more minutes. Finally, the u/s tech called me back, apologizing all the way.  It was over 30 minutes past my appointment time.  But, I can't ever yell at anyone or be snippy...it's just not me.  So, I laughed nervously and said, "It's okay," which of course, it wasn't.  But she was really nice.

So, I hopped on the table for the tummy portion of the u/s.  As soon as she got my insides on the screen she said, "Wow, girl!  You have to be about ready to smack me right now!!"  I said something to the effect of, "Well, my main goal right now is to not pee on your table."  To her credit she finished up that portion of the u/s quickly.  Then, I was as good as new.

And that's the end of the humorous portion of this post.

I'm lying on the table watching the screen mounted on the wall while she takes pictures and measures what I'm hoping against hope are just normal organs and not growths, masses, adhesions, or fibroids.  But, I catch a glimpse of something she's measuring in my uterus.  Adhesion?  Fibroid?  And then she moves on to my ovary, which I can tell is an ovary because of the words "LONG  LOV" typed underneath...my left ovary, right? I can also see what I imagine to be the fallopian tube.  And then there is lots of measuring and pictures and weird angles on the screen and in my mind I am back in the same spot I was in two years ago when a huge mass was discovered on my now non-existent right ovary.  My mind is racing with possibilities.  Is it another endometrioma? Wouldn't I have symptoms if it were another endometrioma? Is my ovary doomed? If so, I'm officially done.  It will be the end of the road for us.
So, on and on I go, self-diagnosing.  After the tech finishes and I get changed, she asks if I have a follow-up appointment scheduled or was this all I had planned today.  I tell her it was just the u/s, which she says is unusual since usually there is a follow-up.  My doctor is out of the office until Wednesday, so she tells me to call to talk to my doctor Wednesday morning.  I know the tech can't tell me anything, but I am trying really hard to read into what she is saying.  Is that pity on her face?  Does she know if it's pointless to do anything further?

I leave with plans to call my doctor Wednesday morning.  That's it.

I called my husband from the elevator and promptly burst into tears.  I just couldn't shake the fear of a bad diagnosis.  He was comforting and ever the logical one, told me not to get upset yet....we won't know anything until Wednesday.  He is right, of course.  I can hear my son wailing in the background.  I feel like joining him.  Once I was in my car, I called my mom and then of course burst into tears again at the sound of her voice.  "You've gone in your mind to what the worst could be.  So, just go there and think about what the worst could be and realize that even the worst is still God's good plan for you. And then remember--you can't read ultrasounds!"  I laughed even while I was sobbing into the phone.  I probably sounded hysterical.

I needed to run a few errands while in Cape, so I found myself wandering through Hobby Lobby looking for some circular knitting needles, while hearing a familiar hymn piped in through the sound system.  I fought tears while poking through skeins of yarn and the aisle of needles.  I then stopped at Starbucks because, well...do I really need a reason to stop at Starbucks? No.  I realized I hadn't eaten all day, but the thought of food was a little nauseating, so I drowned my sorrows in a grande non-fat Caramel Macchiato. 

I texted two close friends and asked them to pray for me because I simply felt paralyzed by fear.  I can't explain how fearful I felt. I did what my mom said...I went there in my mind.  What is the worst case scenario here?  Here's what feels like the worst case scenario at this point: my only ovary is ensconced in an endometrioma and it has to come out, which would leave me permanently barren.  Okay.  I cry.  I wonder how I will get past that, I wonder how I will ever recover....I let my mind consider it, but all the while knowing that Christ is my Rock.  HE is how I will get past it.  He is with me.  Scripture passages come to mind.

As I drove down the interstate, I listened to Kari Jobe belt out the words to "You are Still Holy" and my fear began to melt away. I wept and prayed and worshiped.
I am truly afraid of what I might hear Wednesday, and I feel the need to brace myself for the worst, but even so....my heart feels deeply entrenched in the love of Christ.  My life cannot be so shaken as to shatter His grip on me.  His grip is firm, His truth real, His love deep.  And all that has been in my life up to now belongs to Him.  He is holy.

"You Are Still Holy"

Holy, You are still holy

Even when the darkness surrounds my life
Sovereign, You are still sovereign
Even when confusion has blinded my eyes
Lord I don't deserve Your kind affection
When my unbelief has kept me from Your touch
I want my life to be a pure reflection of Your love

And so I come into Your chambers
And I dance at Your feet Lord
You are my Savior and I'm at Your mercy
All that has been in my life up to now
Belongs to You, for You are still holy




Holy, You are still holy
Even when I don't understand Your ways
Sovereign, You are still sovereign
Even when my circumstances don't change
And Lord, I don't deserve Your tender patience
When my unbelief has kept from from your touch
I want my life to be a pure devotion...to You
And so I come into Your chambers
And I dance at Your feet Lord
You are my Savior and I'm at Your mercy
All that has been in my life up to now
Belongs to You, for You are still holy



I'll update as soon as I know something on Wednesday.  Please pray that I would not be overcome by fear, but that the Lord would use all of this to make me more like Him.

-glenna-

Sunday, June 27, 2010

::u/s tomorrow::

And so it all begins. 
I'm *pretty* sure it's just an appointment with the ultrasound tech, but if they find anything, I guess I'll see my doctor afterwards.  Praying against any more endometriomas!! 

-glenna-

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

::back in the saddle again::

Or stirrups, to be quite literal.

I've sort of been holding out on you, so here goes.



(We are diving back into fertility treatments.)

There. I said it.  It's out.

And it makes me nervous.

I have mixed emotions about it, but obviously it's something I want to try seeing as how I did make an appointment and then actually went to the appointment. I'm happy about moving in this direction, but I'm a little nervous about feeling happy about it.  (I'm well aware that that doesn't make a whole lot of sense.) 

So, what are we doing?  Well, the only procedure we are comfortable with is IUI at this point in time.  Now, given our fertility challenges, IUI does not have the best odds for a couple in our predicament.  Buuuutttt....we still feel that if we are ever going to try it, now feels like the best time to do it.

Long time readers may remember the summer three years ago when we tried to do an IUI, but I never responded to the Clomid.  A year later we found a massive endometrioma growing on my right ovary which explained a lot.  Oh yeah, and a ton of endometriosis to boot.  So, it's been almost 2 years since I had the surgery to remove my ovary and all the endo. Since then I've had (for the first time in my adult life) textbook 28 day cycles.  This encourages me that my one remaining ovary is doing her job just fine, thanks.  The male factor infertility isn't great to work with, and honestly there aren't a ton of options for that, but we feel encouraged to try the IUI anyway.  My husband and I have prayed and talked and prayed and talked about this.  We just feel that right now is a good time to at least give it a shot. 

Allow the crazy lady a caveat for a moment: This doesn't mean that we aren't going to pursue adoption again or that we wish we had done this sooner.  It in no way negates how deeply grateful we are for our son.  Seriously, people, this kid is a part of our hearts.  I can't even articulate how much we love him.  I know I'm belaboring this, but I want to be clear from the outset that it isn't that he isn't enough or anything like that.  It isn't that we don't feel complete until we have a biological child.  I think it just boils down to the same reason many other couples decide to have a second child...because they view children as a blessing and love their one child so much they can't wait to have another one.  Having to jump hurdles to get to that second child doesn't mean we shouldn't get to try to have one, right? We know that pursuing adoption isn't what is on the agenda for us today.  Tomorrow, it might be.  Or not.  We have no idea what the Lord has planned for our lives or which children, if any, are included in that plan.  I do think we'll pursue adoption again later.  I don't think we're done there yet.  :)

So, for now, we just take a step in the direction we feel led to walk in.  And then we'll take another step.  And then another. And we'll see. 


Now...on to the plan.

Because it has been a few years since we've had any reproductive assistance, we have to update all of our testing, especially since I've had surgery in the last two years.  I'm little overwhelmed at doing this all again, but oh well.  It is what it is. 
So here's a quick run down of what's coming up:
*Next Monday I have an ultrasound scheduled to look for any abnormalities (I'll admit it...I really nervous about this.  If you don't remember, a routine ultrasound is where my tumor was discovered.  I'm just nervous about what they might find.  I am currently very angry at my stupid reproductive system for being so accommodating to things like adhesions, endometriosis, and endometriomas.)
*Se.men anaylsis.  Humiliation, party of two?  Right this way, please.  It will be like the 5th time we've done this, but still.  Stirrups are preferable, in my opinion. 
*Extensive bloodwork on the 3rd day of my next cycle, which is roughly in about 3.5 weeks, per my calculation.
*Hysterosalpingogram (it's been 4 years since I had this done) on day ten of my next cycle.
****Then, a meeting with my doctor to discuss all results.  If she feels like this is something she would like to do, then we will schedule the IUI.  Otherwise, she will send us to a colleague in St. Louis whom she highly recommends.  I'm curious as to whether her colleague will think an IUI is pointless.  We will make it clear up front that that is all we are interested in pursuing right now.


So.  There you have it.  A flurry of events that will likely suck me into a mode of anxiety that I am desperately trying to avoid.
The good news?
(photo courtesy of lauren athalia)

The good news is the little embodiment of joy napping in his room upstairs right now. Knowing that God has already blessed me beyond belief will save my sanity!  I will not fall into desperation because I know I have been redeemed, rescued, and then given grace upon grace. If all of these efforts fail, then I am praying the Lord would use the disappointment to teach me that I am deeply rooted in Him.  If they succeed....well, then, I can't really even comprehend how that will feel!

I covet your prayers as we embark on this journey yet again.  Please bear with me as I plan to blog throughout the process in order to keep my perspective.  Plus, I thought you might enjoy the show.  :)

So, until Monday....

-glenna-

And P.S., if you think I sound pessimistic about the whole thing, just know it's a defense mechanism.  It's my way of being cautiously excited.  Seventy-five failed attempts at getting pregnant will do that to a person.  ;)   I really am ready to get this ball rolling!