Tuesday, August 25, 2009

today i give thanks for...

... being able to let my feelings out in a place where no one is burdened by it.


What a great little application. I have already hooked up with a lot of old friends from high school and college. It truly is nice to see where they are all at. It is also an amazing test of humility. I was never at all reduced to jealousy to see my friends with families... until I was put on the roller coaster of infertility. I am now facing the awkward moment where I need to not think about what they have and I do not. And it is very, very challenging. I just found a friend who I was in her wedding a few years back. Just a year after that, they announced thy were pregnant. At the time I was thrilled for them. Their daughter arrived on New Years Day of 2007. We lost touch a bit after that, but through the miracle that is facebook, I caught a glimpse of her today... with two children. Granted I am still happy for them, but I just can't shake that feeling that I am missing out on something so natural and amazing. Why is it I am forced to work so much harder for it? Perhaps the photos of all my old friends smiling for the camera with their beautiful children are not all sunshine and roses. Maybe they struggle too.... with infertility or finances or whatever it is that might be their skeleton in the closet. Not that I wish anything other that good fortune for each and every one of them, but assuming that they do not struggle at some point is a bit narrow minded. The reality is that nothing is perfect, but that is what makes us and our bonds better and stronger. It builds character.

I must work on my humility and Jeff needs to focus on his pride. We have a long ways to go and to be burdened by these things will only make things more difficult than they need to be.

Sometimes it is just too hard to see the end of the journey for fear the journey will never end.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

today i give thanks for...

...two clear tubes. Enough said.

the joy of instant gratification

Nothing is more gratifying than the instant results you get from the HSG procedure... well, as long as the results are good. All we ever do is wait in this journey and it is nice to have something confirmed right away. Both tubes are clear as I had hoped and it is a go to have a follow up consult for IUI commencement. How exciting!

Just in case anyone stumbles upon this blog and has no clue what an HSG is...consider yourself fortunate. This is an indication you are not facing infertility or other female related issues. My first HSG resembled the illustration above (click image for more detail). One side would not allow the dye to exit through the fallopian tube while the other side flowed freely. My new procedure today showed both tubes flowing. If you were in my position, not only could you feel the dye being injected, but you could see the uterine cavity fill and then watch the dye follow the tubes out similar to the image on the left. In retrospect, it is a little surreal to get that personal with the inner workings of your own body. Surreal and oddly captivating. Yay for open tubes and no more HSGs!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

today i give thanks for...

... my two little puppies who shower me with affection and love no matter how I am feeling.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

today i give thanks for...

...the upcoming thunderstorms. They are beautiful and relaxing and renew my sense of who I am.

follow up hsg

I finally decided it is time to go back for a second HSG since the first one showed a "possible" blocked left tube. The doctor stated it was not conclusive... however, a second would be. My hope is that it was just a spasm considering the nurse had to root around in there to unsuccessfully locate the opening in my cervix (not overly comfortable). Once it was located, I would have (if I was not laying down at the time) doubled over in pain after the catheter was inserted and expanded. Of course, then the catheter decided to come out (no wonder it felt fine after that!). So it was back to inserting and expanding for a second time... it felt no better that time. Once everything was in place, they dye was injected and expanded the uterus until it went out the right tube (also a bit painful). He injected one more burst of dye to check on the second tube with no luck. I cannot describe the discomfort I went through for that procedure.

and reliving it right now really makes me second guess my choice to get it done again...

But it is my hope my left tube spasmed with all the poking and prodding and that if I take a muscle relaxer prior to going in, I will be less apt to tense up as much. That is my hope. Otherwise, I am subjecting myself to a great deal of pain with a hefty price tag... for nothing. I certainly hope things will be more productive this go around!

Monday, August 17, 2009

today i give thanks for...

... realizing there is much greater power in being positive than dwelling on things that cannot be changed. Remember the past, but look towards the future.

my realization

As I enter into my 22nd cycle in the seemingly relentless and never-ending journey towards having a child... things are just now starting to come into perspective. During this journey, many emotions have been felt - and many assumptions have been disproved. Since we are so far into our journey with no history recorded, I will attempt to make a brief synopsis of the events that have transpired:

Jeff and I got married on September 22nd, 2007 at which time we knew we wanted kids, but were not quite ready to start at that time. Within a few months, although we did not discuss it, the birth control was no longer a priority by January 2008. I thought perhaps that first month would have worked for us. Clearly, but much to my surprise, it did not. That is where it all started...

The excitement begins as we decide it is time to start trying. I join a site that helps me track my cycle (which I know like the back of my hand today) and I get a lot of support and advice from others who have been trying for several months (who naively felt sorry for and simply could not imagine being in their shoes). I diligently chart and temp and record every sign my body gives me from a twinge here to a headache there. My OPK and temps point to my ovulation day perfectly and the first thing I learn is that I am fortunate enough to have a clear and consistent cycle nearly every month.

Three cycles pass and I am still oddly shocked it has not worked...

Cycle six comes and goes. I sadly graduate to the thread on my fertility site designated for those trying six months or more. This is the threshold where everyone is told if all is well they "should" be pregnant by. I am now more humbled and less shocked each month that test shows negative.

At cycle nine, I am
humbled, but still in the running. After all, it can take up to a year for some couples. We still have a chance. But I can't help but cry each time my cycle greets me.

Enter lucky cycle thirteen. This is the cycle that marks one full year of trying. Now we have become a statistic... we are infertile. Doctor
visits and specialist appointments confirm this. I have what appears to be a blocked left tube revealed by an HSG. Jeff's count is good, but morphology (93% abnormally formed... yuck) and motility are lacking terribly. We are told his numbers could be off due to his uncontrolled diabetes. This gives us something to work towards... getting healthy and improving our odds. My battery of tests leads us to one blocked tube-but one clear one. Not all bad I suppose.

Cycle 14 to current has been dedicated to getting Jeff's diabetes in a good place which thankfully we have done. But just as one thing is addressed, another one arises. Back when Jeff was a teenager, he had trouble with his testicles. The doctors were able to alleviate his pain back then without any surgery and he was sent home with the advice to take ibuprofen when the pain returns. Over 20 years later, he is still self-medicating this chronic pain and he spends more time in pain than not. Just a couple weeks ago, he goes to the doctor and he finally gets an ultrasound which reveals a varicocele. Not only can this affect fertility, but it can also be the root of his chronic pain. I am thrilled to hear there is a fix for his pain, but at the same time disheartened. Even after a procedure to fix it... fertility may not return. Only time and a repeat SA for him will tell the tale. The negative tests are so expected now that after an evening of mourning another lost cycle, I pick myself up and dust myself off.

Never did I expect to know what charting and clomid was. I am shocked at what I know now about HSG, SA, IUI (with and without injectables) and IVF... lots of letters that most people never need to think about. It is a painful and costly road we are on.

So that brings us to today. We are now actively pursuing the fantastic medical intervention called IUI. Our visit on Sept. 21st will be the start of what we hope to be the answer we need to close this journey. My realization is that this is our journey and no one else's. This has been given to us to grow as people and be better for it. I cannot spend my time feeling sorry for myself and being angry at how things are not progressing. We will be better parents for it.

On to the next cycle, one cycle closer to the one where all the points converge perfectly and the miracle of conception will happen.