Monday, July 25, 2016

I Am Blessed

So I'm sitting here in Dr. M's waiting room, waiting to be called back for our IUI #4...

Apparently, it's a happenin' place today, as I sit here and watch countless women and men filter in and out for what I can only assume are all different types of appointments, consultations, blood draws, and procedures.

I feel good about today...

Dr. M said that all of my numbers looked good and things were right where he wanted them. I do think that he approached this cycle a little more conservatively than the last, given that I boarder line hyper-stimmed - so I do appreciate that. And after all, it only takes one good, solid little eggie to get the job done (and whole bunch of prayers, faith, trust - and some good swimmers).

As I sit here glancing around the nearly silent, yet packed waiting room, it's an odd reminder that we're not alone in this battle. Everyone else here is on their own journeys too. Albeit, we may all be in different stages and places along that journey, but the bottom line is that it helps serve as a reminder that the hubs and I are not the only ones going through this.

But I digress... Back to feeling good about today. Yes, that's what I want to focus on. I'm blessed to have my amazing husband by my side at this moment. I'm blessed to have wonderful family, friends, and even complete strangers praying for us today. And I'm blessed because I have the reassurance that no matter what happens, and what the outcome of this cycle is, I know that God is in control... and while it's still a daily (sometimes hourly) struggle, there's nothing that can help bring more peace than that.

I trust in you Lord... Here we go...

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Turning a New Leaf

This past month I've (been forced) to take a little vacation from treatments due to a couple of cysts that developed on one of my ovaries, most likely from over-stimming on injections during our last treatment cycle.

Although I didn't ask for, or want, to take this break, in the long run it's probably been good for me. Not having to worry about appointments, shots, and tracking everything has given me both a mental and physical break from everything... and I think I really did need that.

Lately, I've been struggling... significantly. And for awhile, I didn't even realize it. Until things started to bubble over the surface, that is. Numerous emotional breakdowns, random bouts of crying, fits of frustration and anger, spurts of depression and lack of any emotion, you name it... and I probably experienced it over the past month and half.

It even came down to various points of becoming so emotionally detached from the whole thing that I wasn't even sure what I was working or fighting for anymore... it just felt like a surreal daze of going through the motions, because I felt like I had to, and wasn't even sure if or how much I wanted to any longer.

But I've turned a new leaf.

How?... I'm not really sure to be honest; but, I think a catalyst was hitting an emotional out lash of "rock-bottom" in all of this, a couple different times (I'll spare you the details, but let's just say it wasn't pretty). After which I came to the conclusion that I was definitely experiencing a true bout of depression.

It can be expected I guess, given the circumstances, but I was still disappointed in myself for letting things get to this point, mainly in the way I was treating others around me...

You know, I've heard and read multiple times that there are actually various studies that have found the emotional and psychological toll infertility takes on an individual can be similar to that of an individual experiencing cancer. I'm not gonna lie, there's a big part of me that feels extremely uncomfortable even saying that aloud, let alone writing it. But I guess the truth of the matter is - many people truly don't understand the impact infertility can have on a person.

The five stages of grief that are experienced: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance... in any order and nonlinear. I can tell you that I've experienced all five, multiple times. The fear of the unknown. The fear and reality that the end goal is not promised, no matter how hard you try or how many treatments you receive. Grieving the loss of not being able to start a family the "normal" way... conceiving a child in the privacy of your own home, with your partner, on your terms. Accepting that you are "infertile." Accepting that you will have to go through treatments in order to possibly get pregnant. Bargaining with your self, with God, with the universe around so many things. Questioning, analyzing, trying to understand it all as you wonder, "why me?" Looking for anything and everything to "try"... And all wrapped up in denial, anger, depression, and sadness - at any given moment.

Whether or not this actually is comparable to experiencing a diagnosis of cancer, I can't say - but what I can say is that this experience changes you. It changes you at your core... and whether that change is positive or negative depends on you. For me personally, that depends on the day, sometimes on the hour - but the bottom line is, it changes you.

Like I said though, at this point I've turned a new leaf. I've worked to try and navigate my way through all of these difficult emotions that suddenly creeped up on me, and have fought to regain my footing. I've accepted responsibility for my feelings, made my amends with those I've unfairly unloaded on recently, and I'm looking forward at this point, not back.

Currently, we've started a new cycle... and me and the needle have once again become close friends, as of this past Sunday.

I feel good about this cycle and have been submerging myself in positive thoughts, affirmations, prayers, and feelings.

And from here on out it's laser focus ahead to the moment when our little bun(s) come along and join our family... <3

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Learning to Wait...

Waiting, waiting, waiting... Has anyone in life figured out a successful way to wait? Patiently?

It's probably one of the hardest things to master. Lucky for me, I have infertility to thank for giving me the opportunity to practice this skill on a regularly, really a daily, basis.

If it's not the all-dreaded two week wait that we're "waiting for," then it's test results, or appointments, or news on when we can start our next cycle round of treatment, or answers for what the problem is, or... well, you get the picture.

As individuals who are living with infertility, both us women and even men, we have no choice but to learn how to wait... if that's even possible, to "learn." It seems that life these days is filled with nothing but the opportunity to wait. Wait for our drugs to work... Wait for our beta pregnancy tests... Wait for our families to finally grow. No matter what, there's waiting involved.

As I sit here on the crux of yet another session of waiting to come to an end, I can't help but reflect on really how often we are forced to exercise this skill in our daily lives. At this moment, I'm yet again at that cross-roads of waiting... To either find out if I'm pregnant (which I still always hold out hope for) or to start a new cycle and hopefully continue to move forward.

Simultaneously, if I do start a new cycle, then a new waiting game begins over the following few days as I wait to have my baseline ultrasound and blood work appointment, to then wait for the results of whether or not the two cysts on my right ovary have disappeared or shrunk enough to move forward.

Then, as you guessed it, the next waiting game begins... waiting to begin the injections, waiting for the injections to work, waiting for the IUI to be scheduled, and then waiting for that first beta blood test.

At this point in my journey, over two years in, I've learned to (mostly) come to terms with the waiting. I mean really, I have no choice. I've accepted that this is my new normal for the time being and the only thing I can do is turn to the one true thing that can get me through all the waiting... and that is my faith.

I know that all this waiting will be worth something in the end, it has to be. And for the time being, I can only believe that God is allowing me all this practice at waiting only to make me stronger - to allow me the opportunity to grow my faith - to teach me to TRUST in Him even more.

In the end, all the waiting will be completely overshadowed by my new, new normal - a family... and suddenly, it will all make sense. This I truly believe.

...Until then, I just keep practicing my "waiting" skills, with as much grace and faith as I can...