Dear God,

God, I’m struggling. I don’t want to be bitter or resentful, but I keep feeling as though every one around us is being blessed while we just keep waiting. We want a child so badly. We know that you meant for us to be parents, but it just hurts so much. To see people having babies, to see kids who would be Jamie’s age. It just hurts. And there is nothing we can do but keep waiting. I’m trying so hard to hold onto my faith, to the knowledge that you have a perfect plan. But I need hope. I need reassurance that we will get our blessings.

And I know it’s not fair to ask You for blessings, when You have given us life and love, and all the other blessings that I know we have but right now don’t seem that important. I want to be thankful. I want to rejoice in you, rejoice in life. Please carry my heart for me, because it’s hurting. Fill it with hope and peace and thankfulness. Let me appreciate instead of resent.

And, oh Lord, please please bless us. But until you do, let us be happy in the moment.

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Can You Slap A Pregnant Woman?

A co-worker of mine is pregnant. They got married at the end of August and the baby is due at the beginning of June. I don’t have a problem with that.

What I do have a problem with, is this: the whole summer when she was planning her wedding, she kept venting to me and saying she wasn’t sure why she was going through with it. That she wasn’t even sure she wanted to marry him. She was angry and frustrated and questioning their relationship. And now she has been saying that she is regretting getting pregnant so quickly. That she wishes that she would have planned better, that she should have thought things through.

I hate the fact that she is pregnant already, but I hate even more that she is regretting having the baby. And I doubt that she actually regrets the baby, because she’s talked about being a mom for a while. I just feel like she’s rushed into this, which she admits, and is just setting up the baby for a rough life.  After losing Jamie, it just hurts so much to watch this unfold every day at work. To see someone regret the child growing inside them. Because it’s something we would not regret. She gets pregnant super easily and is now bringing a baby into an unsteady relationship, and Rob and I want a baby more than we can say and we have very little chance of having a baby. It just sucks. It makes me want to walk up to her and slap her for being so ungrateful. For not cherishing that little life inside of her. I would give almost anything to have Jamie back again, or to have another child, and she is complaining.

It makes me feel twisted and dark inside. Like I’m filling up with bitterness. And I know I should pray for her, for her situation to improve, and I am trying. I really am trying. Because I do want her to be happy, and I want so badly for that baby to have a good life, but I am so angry. I am so hurt. And oh Lord, I am so bitter.

Baby?

It’s hard not to think about having kids. It’s something Rob and I both want, but at the same time feel we can’t have. At least, not right now.

We tried to conceive several years ago after we lost Jamie, and found out that I don’t ovulate, at least not with any regularity. That, combined with several other factors, led us to the decision that we should hold off on having children for a few years. When we talked about it again, we both kind of mutually agreed that we would adopt.

But now the subject has come up again, and I’ve been thinking about rainbow babies. Carrying a baby inside of me. I know it seems irrational, because we have all these good, logical reasons why adopting makes more sense, but maybe this doesn’t have to be logical.

A co-worker of mine is pregnant, and when I saw her ultrasound pictures today I was just filled with this deep sense of longing. Not anger, not jealously, but deep, heart-filled longing.

And as I was leaving work tonight, I was so sad, because having a baby is something I want so badly. And I just kept replaying the other day when Rob said “Now I just have to not get my hopes up” in reference to us being pregnant. Not that we’re trying, but we’re also not not-trying.

And I guess there is always a chance, but I just don’t really see how we could conceive. Actually, I guess I’m concerned that we wouldn’t conceive a healthy baby. If I rarely ovulate, what are the chances that we will randomly have a healthy pregnancy? And if we do decide to try, I need to switch medicines because some of the ones I am on are not safe for TTC. I am so scared to conceive while on dangerous meds. I can’t even describe how scared. In all reality, I could be pregnant now (highly unlikely, but possible), and I have even been wondering about it the last few days.  Things like, ‘huh, my breasts are sore’ and ‘man, I am really hungry’ even (sorry if this is TMI) ‘woah, weird discharge’.

Part of me wants to test and find out, and the other part of me just wants to ignore everything. I don’t want to get my hopes up. I don’t want to find out I am. Because if I am, I have been on meds I shouldn’t be, and I could be hurting the baby. But if I am, I need to know sooner rather than later to stop the meds. But then I think I am just being paranoid and tricking myself because I want it so much.

I just don’t know what to do. Should we try again? Can we even afford a child? Are we ready for a baby? I feel like we are ready for a baby, but does being ready for a baby mean that you are ready for a 7 year old, because I do not feel ready for that. Can we handle it if we lose another child?

Time to Be Me

Well, now my cousin is pregnant.

It doesn’t hurt as much as it did when I found out Beth was pregnant. But when Beth announced her pregnancy (quite rudely might I add), we were in the middle of TTC. Now we aren’t. In fact, we’ve actually decided that children aren’t a part of our immediate future.

That’s actually a pretty new revelation. When everything went wrong in August, one of the first things that Rob and I decided was that we would rather have a strong marriage with no kids than have children and neglect our marriage. We realized that TTC was putting too much strain on our relationship, and after a lot of talking we decided that having a biological child wasn’t that important. So we landed on adoption.

That was around September, right before I started EMDR. As we have worked through EMDR and everything that comes with it, we have made several realizations, and one of them is this: we  haven’t had any time to be us unencumbered by the PTSD. It’s always been there, we’ve always had to work around it. But soon it won’t be there anymore. And we want time to enjoy each other–just the two of us–before we add another person to our family.

Also, I haven’t had a chance to be free since I was 6. I’ve always had to put on a face–mask the pain, mask the fear, mask the fact that I’m drowning. I’ve always felt as though I have to have everything together. There is a line from a movie that says “You can’t lose it. Other people lose it. We’re supposed to find it” I’ve felt that my whole life. I’ve never felt as though I had the option to lose it. I always had to hold it together, hide how I was feeling. And I think (perhaps wrongly) that when you are a parent, you can’t ‘lose it’ anymore. You are responsible for another life. You can’t spend days watching TV and sewing while desperately trying to hold onto your sanity.

I want to know what life is like when you aren’t afraid to lose it. When you aren’t afraid to show your feelings. Hell, to feel your feelings. I want to get to know who I am. I want to have time when I can be free to just be me. The true me, not a me that I create for anyone else.

So we have recently decided that while we may want children in the future, we don’t want them right now. If/when we decide to have children, we will adopt, but our first priority is always our relationship.

I think that’s why it doesn’t hurt as much with Katy. It stung. I would give anything to have Jamie back (Rob would too, we talked about it) but we can’t. I will always miss Jamie, but this is the life we have. This is the life we have chosen, and I am happy with it.

Talking with Melissa

I wrote the other day about how my good friend Melissa has unexpectedly found herself pregnant, and it really shook me up. After a lot of praying and crying I started to be able to wrap my head around her news. This is a chain of emails between us.
Date: Thu, 15 Aug 2013 19:32:11 -0600

  Subject: hugs for Melissa

 Hi Melissa,    I wanted to write you a little email to say a few things. First off, I am SO happy for you, and Bob. Second, I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for being so kind in telling me your news. So many people have thought only of their excitement and not of how other people might feel, and one of the most amazing things about your spirit is how empathetic you are. Thank you for being you. Third, I love you to pieces. I consider you one of my best friends (#1 local friend! 🙂 ) I know that life has thrown you a curve ball, and I just want you to know that I am here for you in any way you need me. I am more than happy to cry with you during movies, eat weird craving food, listen to your hopes and worries, and anything else you need. I know that you are concerned for me and I love you for that. I’m not going to lie, it does hurt that God hasn’t blessed us and that we are going through such a difficult time right now, but I don’t ever want you to hesitate to call me because of that. It would hurt me so much more to have a barrier come between our friendship. I am praying for you, Bob, and the little one to come and I hope and pray that everything turns out well. I would be honored to get to be by your side and help support you through this, and I can’t wait to hold that little blessing (yes there will be tears 🙂 )

Congratulations again

laura

PS- I told Rob, I hope that is okay. I told him not to tell anyone else.

Date: 8/16/2013 10:45 AM
Subject: RE: hugs for Melissa

You are beautiful!!! I am so glad you are my friend!

Maybe it’s the hormones….yes….I’m sure it is…but you sent me to tears!

I love you, Laura! Thank you.

Melissa

Date: 8/16/2013 7:15 PM
Subject: RE: hugs for Melissa
That’s okay, I was crying when I was typing it :)Got the call from the girlie dr- not pregnant (darn) but I DID ovulate 🙂 I told her that we are going to take a break from trying for a while and she asked if everything was okay. I told her we had been going and going for two years and our relationship was starting to suffer and that we wanted to take time to rebuild us before adding another family member. She said she thought that was great and that after we strengthen our relationship we can come back and make it even stronger with a baby and to call her if she could do anything. She also said she is praying for us.

It’s weird how much more mentally stable I feel after hearing that we are not pregnant. I’m disappointed because I do still want to be a mom, but so relieved that we can take the time to fix us and rebuild our relationship.

Thinking of and praying for you 🙂

Laura

Sad Relief

Yesterday actually was a very eventful day. Mom and my little sister Taylor (age 7) came up to visit me and the plan was that Taylor and I would go to a local children’s science museum while mom did her own thing. They got here a lot earlier than I expected and since the museum doesn’t have a food court we decided to walk to the local toy store and snoop for a bit before going to lunch together and then going our separate ways. The toy store was the first time I had been around people since I had my melt down, and I started to unravel. We stopped by the library on the way home so I could pee, and I also got to talk to Robby. It was so great to want to turn to him and not feel afraid to. To actually see him as a source of comfort was wonderful. We talked a bit and I decided to ask mom if we could change the plans and have all of us do something together that wasn’t the museum. Mom completely understood and explained to Taylor that being around so many kids and babies was going to be too hard on me (Mom had explained to Taylor why I was having such a hard time). Taylor was a little bummed but I promised we would reschedule our museum day, and when I suggested we go play with puppies at the puppy store she cheered right up.

I dropped the car off to Rob (I forgot to tell him I was doing that so soon and I kind of threw him off. I felt bad that I didn’t communicate that I meant I was bringing him the car NOW, but I’m glad he mentioned something so that I know how he felt) and Mom, Taylor and I headed to the puppy store. I was still calming down from my panic and accidentally sent us the wrong way (mom was driving) but we just took a detour and it all worked out.  We decided to each pick a puppy to play with. Mom chose a teensy Yorkie who trembled the whole time he was with us. Taylor picked a dachshund who was a little sweetie pie. She was the color of butterscotch chips and had the biggest ears and the tiniest little legs, I don’t think they were more than an inch and a half long. Her tail was wagging the whole time and she had so much energy! I picked the Rottweiler that I had played with last week but he was very wound up and Taylor was a little scared of him because he was so big, so we didn’t play long. I really think puppy therapy is one of the most effective ways to feel better.
We went to lunch, stopped by Hobby Lobby, and then went to the theater to see Planes 3D (pretty much the same basic movie as Cars, but still good. Taylor was SO EXCITED that it was in 3D and she was amazed at how big the theater was and that we had it all to ourselves. About halfway through the movie Dr M called me, so I went out of the theater to answer (reception was horrible and my phone was (of course) dying). She said that the blood work did show that I ovulated, and she was getting ready to give me instructions for the coming month when I told her that we had decided to stop trying, at least for now. She paused and asked if everything was okay, and I told her how we had been trying for 2 long years and our relationship had started to suffer and we wanted to take the time to rebuild before adding another family member. Dr M said that she thought that was a very smart move. That when we strengthen us we can come back to her and strengthen our relationship even more with a baby. She asked if there was anything she could do for us, and that if we needed anything then to call her. She also said she will continue to pray for us. I was so touched by her genuine concern. Through everything we have been through she has been so personally invested and has shown that she truly cares about her patients. I am so glad she is my doctor.
Well, we aren’t pregnant. Actually, the dr said there still is a small chance since the blood test was done so early, but Rob and I have decided not to test unless my period is very late. But the point is that Rob and I can actually take the time to rebuild our relationship. For once, we got the simpler option (yay). We talked a lot yesterday about how we feel about that news and we both agreed that we are sad but relieved. Sad because we do want to be parents, but relieved that we can give our full attention to us.

It’s not going to happen

I should have known.

I don’t know why I got my hopes up.

I feel like an idiot. It never turns out and I’m starting to feel like it’s never going to.  And I’m starting to think I should stop trying. I really think if next month goes like this one then I’m going to call it quits. I can’t keep going through this.

I just can’t.

I don’t want to give up. I don’t want to not have children. But I’m getting to the point where it hurts too much. There has to be limit, and I think I’m at it.

We’re just so close

It should not be this hard. We finally have everything lined up. All the test are great and we actually have the green light but now Rob can’t get off. I know he wants to but he just can’t and it’s really starting to make me mad. THIS IS OUR SHOT. We only get to take the Clomid for 6 months, and I do not want to lose one of our chances. And yeah, I know that he has the hard part of sex, I just get to enjoy it, but I am still so mad. I haven’t gone through all these tests and treatments just to get to the finish line and just quit. But I can’t keep getting my hopes up. It just hurts too much. Last night when he said that he needed to stop because he wasn’t getting anywhere and it was starting to hurt I just lost it. I just sobbed and sobbed because it felt like at that moment we were losing our baby. Our chance at a baby. And I wanted to scream and throw things because it shouldn’t be this hard. It’s not fair that everyone else gets their babies right away and we have worked so long and so hard and now it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen because of one stupid little issue.

I am glad he came up with the idea to get off into a cup and then use an eye dropper to shoot it into me, but it is still really frustrating. I can’t help but feel that if he could just get out of his freaking head then everything would be fine. I knew he was struggling last night but all I wanted to do was tell him to suck it up, this is how we have to conceive a child, it’s not ideal, but this is what we have, so just pull yourself together and get over it. I feel like he gets so stuck on the idea that he has to be turned on right now that he can’t relax enough to actually get aroused. And I’m trying to tell myself that it’s just the situation, that it’s not me, but it’s not working the best. I just feel like if I was a little more arousing, or could please him a little more then this will work and everything will be fine.

Friday I was so ecstatic and so positive. I could hear the Dr saying “you’re pregnant”. I could just hear it. And then yesterday I woke up with a sinking feeling. It was like part of me knew it was already over.

I know how to handle getting a negative pregnancy test, but I don’t know how to handle not even getting to try. I don’t want to be angry, but I’m worried that if we don’t get to try this time and if we don’t get another chance that I will always partly blame him.

I just don’t know how to handle that.

It could happen

I mean, it could actually happen.

Today was the ultrasound to look for follicles, and Dr M called and we are good to go! We have one mature follicle (or to use her words one “perfect perfect follicle”) that she says looks ready to release any day, so we are supposed to try every other day for the next few days. We decided to try today and tomorrow and then go every other day. We know from research that sperm is at its best when it’s replenished every 1-2 days, so we decided to get the old, stale, sperm out today and then start fresh tomorrow.

But it could actually happen. It’s been 2 years and 3 months of hope and heartache, and we might finally be reaching the end. I’ve had this feeling in the back of my head for a few days that this is going to be it. This is when we are going to get our child. And so far everything is pointing that direction. And I just can’t shake the feeling that this is it.

I’ve only had that feeling a few times in my life, and each time it’s been right. It’s never based on logic or evidence, it’s just this underlying calm, peaceful feeling that fate is happening.

I just don’t want this to be the first time that feeling is wrong. We’ve been hurt so much in the past and it’s been such a long, hard journey and we are ready to be parents. But I don’t want to assume anything either. Just because the tests look good doesn’t mean that we will conceive. There are still so many things that can go wrong. Even if we do conceive, we might lose another baby. I don’t know how to handle that. I don’t think anyone knows how to handle that. But having a child will be worth all of this heartache.

I’m glad that Dr M is going to have the lab test for HcG on day 21. She had originally said to take a pregnancy test on day 30 and if it was negative to take the Progesterone, but I asked if they could run a panel for pregnancy when they do the day 21 blood work and she said yes. The lab will call her with the results. We could find out in 10 days! She seems really positive about how things are going for us, and she’s always been very forthcoming about the medicine and what it is telling her, so that makes me optimistic. She even said she can already see a smiling face on the follicle. This could happen. I pray that it happens. Please, God, let it happen.

 

They stuck a balloon up my hoo-ha

No, seriously.

I had the HSG done yesterday. For those of you who have not experienced this procedure, this is how it works. Basically, it’s an x-ray with contrast. They inject the dye into your uterus via your vagina and take x-rays at intervals in order to see how the dye disburses and make sure there are no blockages.

Knowing how the procedure works and having the procedure done are two completely different things.

There were some things that were obvious; getting undressed from the waist down for example. They (kindly) gave me 2 hospital gowns so I could put them on so they overlapped, and took Rob and I to a big procedure room with an x-ray machine. Thankfully, they were able to schedule me with a female radiologist because even the idea of having a male perform the procedure started to trigger panic attacks. Unfortunately, the radiologist had given birth prematurely and they were trying to get the baby to go home that day, so she wasn’t available. The hospital ended up getting a female doctor who normally performs mammograms to perform the HSG, so it all worked out. The nurse and doctor explained the procedure while they prepped, and since I had read up about how an HSG works there weren’t a lot of surprises, but there definitely were a few.

Surprise #1- The Speculum

I have had pelvic exams, so I am no stranger to a speculum, but I have NEVER had one cranked so wide. Do you remember the first time you used a tampon? How it felt like you were trying to shove a cucumber up your nose, but much further south? Yeah, same basic idea. It was like being saddle sore but oh so much worse. I’ve heard of the pear of anguish before but I totally never got it until yesterday. That would be some effective torture.

Surprise #2- Iodine

It makes sense if you think about it, but I had never thought about it so it came as a complete shock to me when the tech told me they would have to sterilize me–to use her words–inside and out. She took what looked like one of those foam paintbrushes you get at craft stores and dipped it in an iodine solution–fairly common for sterilization. She then proceeded to scrub me down. Inside and out. Such. A weird. Feeling. Have you ever had a throat culture done to see if you have strep? Yup, felt just like that. So. Weird.

Surprise #3- The Balloon

In order to get the catheter to stay in the uterus while they inject the dye, they inflate a tiny little balloon to essentially fill the uterus and hold the catheter in place. So while you have your girlie parts on the spreader, you also have a balloon inflating inside your girlie parts. Think menstrual cramps squared.

Surprise #4- Oh the pain!

Everything I read and everyone I talked to said that the procedure would hurt, but I so underestimated it. It was really similar to the cramps and pain when we were losing Jamie, which, of course, was not something I wanted to ever feel again. I had to keep reminding myself that this was just a test and we were not losing another baby.

Surprise #5- Leaking

I saw them prepare the dye, but for some reason it did not sink in that the dye would have to come out some how. As soon as I stood up after the test I felt it start to run down my leg. Again, not a fun feeling. A week before we lost Jamie I had that happen with blood and it is a very frightening sensation. I think that was the hardest part for me. I had to force myself to look down to see that it wasn’t blood running down my leg, but it was still a very traumatizing to feel that again.

Overall, the test went really well. I didn’t have a panic attack (yay) and even though Rob had to sit in the corner during the actual test he was at least in the room which a big comfort. Preliminary readings suggest that my anatomy is normal, but we will find out for sure Friday at my girlie doctor appointment to monitor follicle growth. The nurse mentioned (and I had read) that many couples who haven’t been able to conceive get pregnant soon after having an HSG done. Apparently forcing the dye through the area helps open the pathways, thereby making it easier for the sperm to reach the egg. If this procedure does end up being responsible for us conceiving then it will have totally been worth the pain. And even if we don’t get pregnant right away, this is at least the first step in the right direction.

Like I said, Friday I go in for an ultrasound and we will see if we have the proper number of eggs growing. If you are reading this, Rob and I would greatly appreciate prayers. If you have gone through this before, I’d love to hear from you! Please comment 🙂