Sunday, November 24, 2013

How Do You Do It?

While we are taking a break from treatments I am going to take advantage of the time to answer some questions that I get a lot. (If you have questions for me, please ask. I am more than happy to answer questions and it may even give me more topics to write about that I haven't thought of.) One of the questions I get most often is, "How do you do it?" I get asked how I was able to handle my husband's brain surgery while going through infertility as well. How am I able to handle treatments and work full time? How am I able to handle so many people (with children) around me? How am I able to handle being a nursery worker? How am I able to handle all of the pregnancy announcements, birth announcements, and baby showers? How am I able to handle all of the negative results? How am I able to handle moving forward with a new plan since the first one didn't work?

There isn't just one answer for all of these questions and some of them are quite complicated. The questions are worded as if I just walk through all of these situations without much trouble. However, its quite opposite. I don't feel like I am just able to do these things. I stumble and fall, and then I have to crawl through it. That is how it feels to me. I have come up with some things that have helped me to cope better though, so I will try to address and answer some of these specific questions.

1. How are you able to handle treatments and work full time?

I was worried about this one myself at first. I didn't know how sick I would be and wasn't sure how all the appointment scheduling was going to work. Utah Fertility Center was really great to work around my work schedule for my appointments. They would try to get me in before work for all my ultrasounds and treatments. When they absolutely couldn't make that happen they would work it so that I could go during my lunch breaks. They understood that I had work responsibilities as well and allowed me to do both treatments and work. If that wouldn't have been possible we wouldn't have been able to do treatments.

Many times I would be really sick during work and wouldn't feel well. I had so many miracles happen in this area. So many times I would pray because I just didn't think I would be able to make it through the day and then all the sickness would go away. Even though it was hard, I wasn't left without the help that I needed.

2. How am I able to handle all the children around me as well as pregnancy announcements, birth announcements and baby showers?

Even though it may seem like I handle this well, I really don't. It is extremely hard to have so many people around me starting their families while we are still struggling to get there. I am so extremely happy for all of my friends who have been able to start their families. I get so excited to see them be able to bring a little one into the world. Even though I am so happy for them, it's hard to see them be to the point that I want to be at. It's really a difficult place to be in because you are so happy for them, but at the same time it's a reminder of all our heartbreak.

Even though a lot of times it's really hard to hear the announcements and see all the new little ones, at the same time it can give us a lot of hope. One of my best friends has been trying for a child about the same amount of time we have. She finally got her miracle. It really was a miracle and she told me about it and everything that happened before she made big announcements. It was helpful that she was able to tell me before hand so I would be prepared for what was coming, but her story also gave us so much hope. It reminded us of how great of miracles Heavenly Father can make happen. It's a reminder of  what we have been promised and one day it will be our turn for one huge miracle.

Many times when I hear unexpected announcements and it's just one of those hard days, yes I have to break down and just cry on Taylor's or a friend's shoulder. I used to feel so guilty when this would happen because I didn't want anyone to think that I wasn't happy for them, because I really am always so happy for them. I had to learn to go through the emotions for myself though. If I just hold it all in, it just makes it worse.

As for the baby showers, this is going to sound horrible, but I just don't go to them. I don't think there is any way I would be able to sit through one without breaking down and turning into a complete mess. Even the thought of having to go shopping for a baby gift and then sitting through a shower makes me all emotional. Once again when we first started our journey with infertility I would feel so horrible and guilty for not going. Taylor then talked to me and told me it was okay for not going. The only baby showers I am invited to are ones of close friends and family so he told me it was okay because those family and friends (since they were people close to us) understood what I was going through and knew that I still loved them, supported them, and was happy for them, even though I wasn't actually able to go. Instead of sending actual baby gifts, gift cards are sent. That way I can avoid the shopping and they still get a gift.

3. How am I able to handle working in the nursery?

Working in the nursery was a calling from Heavenly Father. If that is where Heavenly Father needs us to help then that is how we will help. There are definitely hard days when I wonder when I will have a little one in nursery but I love having the calling. Even though it is really tough sometimes, it also gives us a lot of hope at other times, reminding us again of what we have been promised. It so fun working with all the little kids and I have grown to love them all so much. During the hard times I just have to remind myself that our day will come when we will have little ones.

4. How am I able to handle all of the negative results and how are we able to move forward with a new plan after the first plan failed?

The negative results never get any easier to hear. Treatments are really a roller coaster ride the whole way through. You start out the treatment so hopeful then as you move through the cycle you have spurts of hopefulness and frustration as you think it either worked or didn't work. Then all the hopes you had come crashing down when you get the negative results. It all then starts over again with a new cycle of treatments. Each time I hear the negative results, I have to first work through all the emotions of heartbreak and disappointment, but then I just need to remind myself that Heavenly Father has a plan for us that is better than our own plan and we will one day hold a baby in our arms. I then, once again, gain that hope that maybe the next cycle will work.

Moving on to a new plan is heartbreaking just for the fact that the first treatments didn't work. However, we know we have to keep doing all we can and move forward as much, and as well as we can. We need to put forth all our effort into this and Heavenly Father will provide a way for everything to work out. We don't know if it will be one of these more expensive treatments that will eventually make it happen for us or if we will get a huge miracle and we will be able to get pregnant on our own. However, we need to keep moving forward with the knowledge we have. It's hard thinking about the finances and wondering if or how it will all come together but if Heavenly Father needs us to go through treatments to make it happen then He will provide a way for everything to come together for us. I know that He will not leave us without the help that we need. He has always provided a way for things to work out.

With all of these questions there is one main thing that helps us to go through all that we have and that is Heavenly Father's help. He has strengthened us so much and has helped us get through so many things that we never thought we would be able to handle. But then more trials, and harder trials come and helps us through even more. We know He has an amazing plan in store for us and we know that He will take care of us. I have been promised so many times that all the tears that come from all this heartbreak will be multiplied in tears of joy. I can't wait for that day and that is just one of the promises that keep us going.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

IUI #3 Results

Well results are in for IUI #3 and the results were negative. We were very hopeful that this would be our time, but it wasn't. It was heartbreaking. I think this round of results has been the hardest to deal with just because we don't have much of a plan moving forward. We have a meeting with Dr. Foulk on December 13th to come up with a new plan, but whatever that plan is it will be much more expensive. We will have to take a break for a while to save up for what comes next. We have talked about what we think the next plans will be but we won't mention them until the doctor confirms it. Its so painful and heartbreaking that all three attempts have failed. It never gets easier hearing negative results over and over again. Even though its been a very discouraging and frustrating day we are trying to move forward with faith. If Heavenly Father is making us go through this, He will help us find a way through it, no matter how impossible it seems. We are trying not to think about timeframes as much as possible. Today when we started talking about how long it would take us to save up for the next plan it became even more discouraging. Heavenly Father has a plan for us and it will all work out in the end. All of our tears from all the heartbreak will be multiplied in tears of joy.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

IUI #3 Rollercoaster

Today was the day for IUI #3. This time it took about an hour and a half. Yep, that is right, an hour and a half for what should have been a five minute procedure. I went in to the office and got all signed in. There was a staff meeting so they were running behind from that, but they took me to the egg retrieval room for IVF patients. It was weird being in a different room and one with a lot of machines and gadgets. I was just hoping that was not a sign for what is to come. The nurse practitioner came in and she was really nice. She said that Taylor's count was amazing. She tried the first time but couldn't get the procedure done. So out came that speculum and in went another. This same procedure went on for three times and it was extremely painful. I could tell she was a little frustrated with it not working. She kept saying she has done tens of thousands of these and has never had such a hard time. She said she would get it though because she told me, "You ARE getting pregnant this time". Her outlook on it all made me pretty hopeful. After so many tries she finally asked if it would be ok to let Dr. Gurtcheff have a try. I told her that was fine so she went and got the doctor and her come in. This is first time I have seen Dr. Gurtcheff and she was really nice. The nurse practitioner came back with her and sat by me and rubbed my arm as tears streamed down my face from all of the pain. I was just expecting Dr. Gurtcheff to come back but it was nice of the nurse practitioner to come back as well. I know she was really worried and concerned about me and the procedure. It was really nice of her to try to comfort me through it all especially since Taylor couldn't be there again.

After two tries Dr. Gurtcheff was able to get the catheter in and the IUI was completed. They both felt really bad that it took so many tries to get it done and that it was so painful. With each IUI the actual procedure has become harder and harder for them to do. While Dr. Gurtcheff was in the room she said, "Even though you are obviously so tough, it will be a good idea to see Dr. Foulk again if this one doesn't work". We knew we would be stopping after this try anyway because that is what they usually recommend. They usually like to do three tries then re-evaluate everything and try other options. She said that I was one of the toughest patients she has seen being able to endure so much today but I certainly didn't feel tough.

I will have my blood test in a few weeks to see what the results of this cycle are. We also set up an appointment to meet with Dr. Foulk in December just in case its a negative again. If we do get our miracle this time then we will just cancel the appointment but he is really hard to get into so we wanted to get the appointment in advance.

So now the last IUI is completed and it's completely in Heavenly Father's hands. I am hoping and praying with everything that I have, that this will be our miracle cycle. I had a comment from someone saying I have been really pessimistic talking about what will happen if this cycle is negative. I didn't mean it to come across that way. I just like to prepare for what may be coming. Even though I am making a plan ahead of time and thinking about all scenarios, I really am hopeful that this may be the time we get our baby. Either way I have complete faith that things will work out according to Heavenly Father's plan.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Good News After A Scare

Friday I went in for my ultrasound to see how follicles were developing. It turned out to be a disappointing appointment. The ultrasound showed that I didn't have any follicles ready for an IUI. I was scared and thought for sure the cycle would be cancelled. The worry was that my body stopped responding to the medicines. However, they scheduled me to go back in today for another ultrasound just to be sure. I was fully expecting bad news but the ultrasound tech was happy to tell me that one follicle had developed and was plenty big enough for the IUI. She told me to do the trigger shot at 1:00 today and then IUI could take place tomorrow. Luckily I took my shot along with me since I had to go to work right after the appointment. When 1:00 came I snuck away to the bathroom and did the shot. Not only did a follicle develop but my lining looked great so I didn't need any extra medications and the follicle was on the left side which is the non-ectopic side. So far things are going well with this cycle. The only down side is that ever since I gave myself the shot I have been extremely sick. Its to be expected since the shot fills your body with the HCG pregnancy hormone that usually causes morning sickness in pregnant women. The past two cycles I haven't had the sickness so I wasn't expecting it, but it decided to come this time.

Last night I was getting ready and gathering everything that I would need today for my appointment. I remembered I would need to probably take my trigger shot with me just in case. The sight of this turned me into a sobbing mess.

My first cycle the sight of this needle terrified me. However that was not the reason for the tears last night. The shots don't bother me anymore. What terrified me was the thought of it all being over. We are really hoping that this cycle will be our miracle cycle but there is always that thought of what will happen if its not. I am terrified of what will happen when I will no longer be able to move forward with more treatments for a while. Its going to kill me to not be able to keep going forward. If it comes to that I know I am going to feel so lost without things to be doing, calendars to follow, and treatment plans occurring. I am going to feel at a stand still without being able to reach our miracle.

Even though all of this is very terrifying, we are still hopeful for this cycle. We are so grateful that its going better than last time. We know that things will turn out the way they are supposed to and according to His plan.

Sunday, November 3, 2013


When I was about eight years old I received my first journal for Christmas. I didn't know what I was supposed to write and didn't get into it all that much. I didn't finish that journal until 2009. When my grandma passed away, I was able to get all her journals and read them. She wrote in her journal religiously every day. Most days it would only be a few sentences but she still wrote. This had a big impact on me to see how good she was at journaling every day. Among her belongings was a blank journal which I was lucky enough to have and I was able to use to it for my own personal journal.

However over the past two years or so I have really taken up journaling a lot. With so much happening, it is my one way to completely get my thoughts and feelings out. I have been going through about one journal every six months. Today I finished another journal.

Journaling has really helped me a lot through this whole infertility journey. It's the one place I can pour everything out without judgement or worrying about offending others with things that I say. Anyone going through infertility would understand that when dealing with it, you just need an "out" of sorts. Not only do I write happenings, thoughts, and feelings, but I always record blessings that I am given and I then write them in my journal. It's good to have them all written down so I can always look back on them. 

I have often went back and re-read what I have written and I love seeing how far we have come in our journey. There is no telling how much longer this journey will be, but I am happy that I have decided to write everything down.