Christmas and 1st Ultrasound

Last Tuesday I went and got my 2nd blood draw done. Of course I had to wait at work until 4pm before I received the call with the results. I was extremely nervous but thankfully my hcg was 5,ooo and the nurse seemed pleased with that. Thursday AC and I drove 3 and half hours to stay with my parents through Christmas. I had a picture printed out and stuck it in a Christmas card for them to open. The card has a cute pair of baby socks with little puppies printed on them and our dogs exclaiming they will be big brothers soon. We had wanted the dogs in front of our Christmas tree with the socks in the middle of them but our fur babies would just not cooperate. It still came out pretty adorable though. I couldn’t wait until Christmas on Sunday so pretty shortly after we arrived at my parents, I gave them the card and had them open it right away. My parents were shocked and elated! They didn’t even know we had been trying or the struggles we went through (guiltily I still didn’t tell them, I didn’t want to taphotogrid_1482279538340int the moment with pcos). Sunday my whole family met up at my grandparents house and again, everyone was told we are expecting. It was such a happy time! In the back of my mind I worried because we told everyone so early and a lot can still go wrong. Thankfully, today was my first ultrasound at the specialist’s office and everything looks really good. She didn’t send us home with any photos yet since I am only 6 weeks and we could just barely make out a heart beat. So I will have a 2nd ultrasound with her next friday, where we can hopefully hear a much louder and more clear heartbeat as well as see the baby itself more clearly too. I am just so thankful that Dr. P said so far baby is doing what it is supposed to be doing and continuing to grow! I hope you all had a great Christmas and have a happy New Year.

Getting through the Waiting

img_20161214_105231_processedAfter I had experienced all those positive signs early on, I then started getting signs that AF was coming. My face started breaking out like crazy and I was having very bad mood swings. I took another at home pregnancy test last Friday, 10dpO  and it was still negative. Apparently I am one of those people who tests way too early then continues to test every other day rather than wait the full 2 weeks. To distract myself and cheer myself up from the sadness I kept feeling after the negative tests, I threw myself into decorating our house for Christmas. Christmas is definitely my very favorite holiday. And this year is my turn for AC and I to celebrate at my parents house, which I could not be more excited for. I get to see my family about once a month if I am lucky. And my Aunts and Uncles, I only get to see on the Thanksgiving or Christmas holiday when it is my turn. This past weekend my best friend and her husband came over to our house for the weekend to also be a great distraction while I waited out the Timg_20161204_153647_processedWW. Saturday we bundled up and went to Christmas Town at Busch Gardens, it was magical! And just what I needed to brighten my spirits. After my friends left on Sunday, I took yet another digital pregnancy test since it was now day 12 of the TWW. After waiting around what seemed like forever, it came back positive! I couldn’t believe it, I ran out of the bathroom with the pee stick and showed it to AC. He immediately asked if it was real haha, not sure how I could fake such a thing. Then he pushed me back to the bathroom and said to take another test just to be sure. I told him didn’t have anymore pee right now and we would have to wait. Then the gravity of the situation hit us and I started crying and my legs were shaking. So we just stood in the bathroom holding each other. Neither of us truly thought this would happen for us. At least not just with a 3rd round of Clomid. I later took a 2nd test, which was also positive. AC then immediately went into planning/panic mode and had been non stop applying to jobs. He is currently a full time student while I work full time. He wants to start working full time and just take online classes part time now to help save up some money. Tuesday I went in to my specialist’s and got my blood drawn to test for the pregnancy. The nurse told me I should get a call with my results my noon. No one called the whole day, so at 4:30pm I called them instead. My HCG was 251, she said they were looking for 50+ so that was good. My progesterone was 18, and she said that was good as well. They want me to wait until next Tuesday to do my 2nd blood draw, which seems forever away. So now I am waiting again in hopes that the next draw shows my numbers going way up. Fingers Crossed!
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The Disgrace of Infertility

I lifted this from a fellow bloggers page because it spoke to me and is really worth sharing.

This post, written by a pastor named Nate Pyle, is so powerful…I just had to share it. 

This Christmas I preached through the Christmas story as told by Luke. For all the times I’ve read the story, I’ve never noticed this small line hidden in the middle of the Christmas narrative. But this year was different. This year, that small, innocent line refused to go unnoticed and forced me to see it.

After Elizabeth became pregnant with John, she praised God saying, “The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.”

We know that disgrace. My wife knows that disgrace. I know that disgrace.

Infertility.

No, it isn’t the same type of disgrace that Elizabeth experienced. In that day, an inability to bear children was equated with sin. It was assumed that the reason for barrenness was your own doing. You must have done something. You must have something to repent of. Some sin you committed. Some reason God was withholding his blessing from you.

You.

You created the problem by your disobedience, and now God is punishing you.

Thankfully, the shame of disapproving eyes and rumored gossip doesn’t surround infertility in America anymore. But shame still exists.

Shame grows with constant thermometer readings. Peeing on countless sticks. Needles. Probes. Tiny plastic cups. Forever counting days. Sex that feels mechanical and forced because “It’s time.”

Shame slips in with the silent words spoken as another, month pregnant only with hope, passes by. It is amazing how much silence surrounds the struggle of infertility. The silence of not wanting to talk about it. The silence of wanting to talk about, but being scared. The silence of trying to avoid the one thing you are wondering about, but not wanting to focus on it, and yet having your mind dominated by it. The silence of not feeling comfortable talking with others about it because it involves sex. The silence because you just don’t want to deal with the questions.

That silence gives shame all the voice it needs to whisper silently, “Something is wrong with you.”

Infertility is a shame-filled, silent trial, isolating couples in closed bedrooms of pain.

As a man, the pain of infertility is difficult to talk about it. While my wife and I walked through our experiences together, she felt the pain of not being able to conceive more acutely than I did. Pregnancy was failing to take place in her body. Even though the doctors couldn’t find anything wrong with either of us, she was the one scheduling the monthly ultrasounds. She was the one taking medications. She was the one physically being reminded every 28 days of the failure to conceive. The pain was much closer and much more tangible for her. And all I could do was stand back and watch. I felt hopeless. Unable to do what I normally do when situations aren’t what I want them to be: fix it.

We stood in the kitchen having the same discussion we’ve had every month. The sadness was making Sarah cry and I stood there helpless. I hugged her, but I couldn’t do anything else. I couldn’t fix this. This was out of my control.

Helplessness is not a feeling I do well with.

As I held my crying wife, I didn’t cry, but quietly grieved and pulling back from hope. The grieving brought on by infertility is different than other grief I have experienced because you do not grieve what was lost, but what never was. At some point you start grieving for what never will be.

Men don’t talk often about infertility. My guess is that, if we started the conversations, a lot of guys would feel helpless. When people dream of starting their family, no one sees years of disappointment and frustration as part of the process. No, when we dream of starting our family it is a nice and tidy schedule. “First we will go off birth control, then in 3-6 months we will get pregnant.” Wouldn’t that be nice?

Instead those struggling with infertility find themselves dealing with resignation, bitterness, anger and exhaustion.

Exhaustion from fighting to hold on to hope.

Infertility is a brutal cycle that steps on hands gripping hope. The cycle begins each month with hope only to be followed by disappointment.

Hope.

False alarm.

Hope.

Discouragement.

Hope.

Frustration.

Hope.

Shame.

Hope.

Despair.

At any point in this cycle you are constantly reminded of what you cannot do by running into countless pregnant women in the grocery story, at church, or at the gym.

Church is a good place to find support, but it isn’t always a tower of refuge. The American church is one place in our culture where marriage and kids is an expectation. Singles are constantly met with questions about when they will get married, and unnecessarily pitied or prayed for when a potential spouse isn’t in the picture. Young married’s are bombarded about when they will start having kids, as if their marriage doesn’t really matter until a child validates it.

Around church, having kids is talked about as if it is like scheduling a tune-up for your car. “Isn’t it time the two of you start having kids?” is one of the most painful questions a couple dealing with infertility can hear. Because thats exactly how they feel! It is time for them to start having kids. They’ve been hoping and praying and wanting and waiting for a long time for God to respond to their request. So yes, it is time, but no, kids don’t show up on a time table.

My wife and I struggled for 14 months before we surprisingly found ourselves expecting our now 3 year-old son. We were literally starting to have all the testing done the next month when my wife woke me up with the news that she was pregnant.

So many couples never wake up to that news.

It’s now been over two years that we have tried for another child. Two years and an ectopic pregnancy that we had to end. I’m not writing because my wife and I have discovered some secret to living with infertility. I don’t think there is any. I’m not writing because I have some great pastoral wisdom to help comfort those who are struggling with infertility. In fact, I don’t even know how to end this post. All I have is this:

You are not alone. Your struggle may be in silence, but you are not alone.

I don’t have a magic Bible verse of comfort, or prayer of peace, or words of wisdom, or any answers.

I only have “me too.” Us too. We know. We understand. And we mourn with you.

So may we, together, accept that there is nothing wrong with us and see we are simply sharing in the human experience – which is simultaneously beautiful and painful, disheartening and hopeful.

Anxious

I am on 6dp ovulation and it is so hard to keep waiting! I will admit I lost my mind on 4dpO and Peed on a Stick and of course it was negative and I was discouraged. Lesson learned. Don’t be dumb and test when it takes at least 6 days for the egg and sperm to travel to the uterus, day 4 is obviously going to show nothing. My hopes are just sooo high for this 3rd round of Clomid. So many things have gone right and seem to be signs.

  1. I ovulated on CD16, I have never ovulated this early, it’s always been around cd26+.
  2. My boobs have been sore ever since ovulation. My boobs have never been sore in my life!
  3. My temperature has remained up these 6 days so far, so I am still in the game.
  4. Last night there was the tiniest bit of spotting that I am hoping was implantation.

That might not be much, but when all of these things have never aligned for me before it has me really thinking maybe we will have exciting news for our families this Christmas. How amazing would that be?! Fingers crossed I make it to Fri/Sat when I test again.

Round 3

Well Thanksgiving has came and went. AC and I rotate which family we spend Thanksgiving and Christmas with each year. This year Thanksgiving was with AC’s family so that Wednesday night we drove to their house and stayed through Sunday. Honestly, I thought I was going to have flashbacks of when I lived there for a year and was very hesitant for staying over so long. Thankfully, it was actually pretty nice overall. AC’s mom is the only family member who knows about our TTC and my having PCOS so far. She asked how everything was going and what was next for us. It was nice to have her to talk about it all with. I informed her about my upcoming HSG in December, and then after that I have no idea. There was a few awkward moments when my ML was telling AC and I how ready she was to have a grandbaby and I really didn’t know how to respond since I have no control over it and AC informed her that she should pester her other son and his wife, who have been married longer than us, to get on it. Then another instance, we all went to dinner on Saturday night when a friend of my ML came up to our table and the conversation turned into her asking when my ML was going to have another little one in the family . Really?! Thankfully my ML jumped to my aid and made a joke about how she was ready to have another baby of her own and my FL better be ready haha. That quickly diffused the situation. Overall, it was a good holiday and not too painful.

I was supposed to come back from Thanksgiving break and get my ultrasound done at my obgyn’s this passed Monday to monitor how my body is responding to the Clomid. Unfortunately, my period came later than I had anticipated when I booked the appointment and I was now too late in my cycle for them to do it. So I am currently in my 3rd and last unmonitored cycle of Clomid. I surprisingly ovulated this Tuesday CD17. I have never ovulated this early in my cycle! I am so happy about that, I feel like this 3rd round could be it. I am only 2 days post ovulation now but my temperature has remained up so far, I hope it continues. This is however, the same cycle as when I went to the specialist and she pointed out all of the cysts in both sides of my ovaries, I hope they don’t affect anything. Also, does anyone know if it is safe to work out during a 2ww or is that risking the pregnancy, like the egg from sticking or anything? I don’t know if that is silly or something I should be careful with.