This is turning into one heck of a first week of my cycle.
Last Sunday and Monday were spotting days, Tuesday was abdominal pain, Wednesday was nausea and abdominal pain, Thursday I actually felt a little better, Friday more abdominal pain and a migraine, Saturday was horrible left-side pain and exhaustion along with some serious bloating, and today I almost fainted and can hardly get off the couch. Oh, and I also had some more abdominal pain.
What is with me?
I can't help but wonder if the endo is back. I mean, all this abdominal pain cannot be just normal cycle stuff, can it? If I had to rate it on a scale of one to ten (and keep in mind I am a former [hopefully former] endo girl who experienced level 10 pain all the time), I would say it is a two or three. Except yesterday morning was probably a seven. But I should also note that I took advil several times this week, something I don't normally do, which shows it was worse than normal.
But then I wonder whether perhaps my medication - or lack thereof - is causing the wackiness. I was low on T3 capsules this past week so I went down to one a day, and three weeks ago I went without my bromocriptine. So not exactly compelling evidence, but it could possibly be related to the exhaustion and feeling faint. But to abdominal pain? I doubt it.
The near-fainting spell happened today at Mass (actually Fertile Thoughts was sitting right behind me, so she would have witnessed the whole thing!). The few times I have felt faint at church (which hasn't happened in a year) have been when I was kneeling and today was no different. What is it about that? Anyways, it passed and I started feeling better after going up for communion, but have continued to feel out of it all day.
Another interesting symptom - I think I lost the ability to taste salt the last few days. At first I thought it was the food, and as I was cooking I just kept adding an obscene amount of salt to things. Things just didn't taste right, like they were missing that bite that salt gives things. Then last night, after asking my husband about it, I realized that it wasn't the food, it was me. My mother said the inability to taste salt, and the desire to keep adding it to food, could be a thyroid issue. Apparently my uncle had that problem for years. So if that is true, then I guess you could blame the fact that I took only one T3 capsule a day this past week. But I never had salt issues before the T3! And I was hoping to go off of it soon. Now it might actually be helping me? Ahh!
Just another question to ask my doctor. The list is growing long.
Anyways, I can't help but think of all those times I've asked God to reveal anything else that may be wrong with me. Perhaps that is exactly what he is doing.
Sunday, May 31, 2009
This is turning into one heck of a first week of my cycle.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
My husband has felt very called for some time now to pray for something in particular. Not for a pregnancy, or even that we are picked by a birthmother soon. Rather, he has felt led to pray that God shapes us in this time of waiting to be the best parents possible to our future child. Isn't that great? I love how that prayer takes the emphasis off of getting the child and, instead, focuses on the parents we will be. That's definitely a change in thinking for me.
Ryan has definitely been receiving a lot of graces lately, that's for sure! Thank God for that, too, because without all of my husband's insight in recent weeks, I might feel as if I was going through a time of spiritual dryness. But I don't at all, simply because I feel connected to God through Ryan. How great is that, that he seems to be treating us as a unit, which we are in his eyes? I love that! God speaks to me through him, to the point now where when we leave adoration, I have trained Ryan to remember all the thoughts and feelings he had while there so he can report back to me (poor guy...the last time we went, he admitted he was worried that he didn't have anything for me! But then once I got him talking he came out with all this great insight, as always!).
I think because of that, I am feeling very hopeful. Maybe not hopeful for a pregnancy any more, but hopeful in general. Interestingly enough, it seems like when I started to loosen my grip on the dream of conceiving, my level of hope actually began to rise. I didn't expect that! And, as we all know, the positive attitude can come and go, even from minute to minute, so we'll see how I feel in about an hour. But right now I am hopeful.
Hopeful for what? Well, for starters, I am hopeful in our Lord. I really am. I have been reminded lately that perhaps I should have hope in Him, rather than desperately trying to have hope for things. I tried so hard and for so long to have hope that my body would work right, that I'd ovulate, that I'd have a miracle pregnancy. Hoping for those things was a constant struggle for me and where did it get me? I'd try to make myself hope, and just when I'd think that maybe I was hopeful, it would all come crashing down at the end of every cycle. Balancing hope and my emotions - which were real and very painful - wasn't easy.
I think the problem might have been that I was incorrectly directing my hope. It should have been placed solely on God - more specifically, that he is real and that I will see him one day - rather than on what I wanted him to do for me. This might sound obvious now, but it wasn't to me for a very long time.
I just feel like lately God is showing me that my whole life shouldn't be focused on conceiving. Like Ryan feeling called to pray that God shapes us as parents, there are other things to pray for, and to focus on. There are many, many, many other blessings to be found, especially blessings and graces that have to do with our relationship with him.
I think I might also be more hopeful right now because tomorrow is Pentecost. I've been praying a novena to the Holy Spirit (which, I just learned, was the very first novena ever said, and what all novenas are based on - when Our Lady and the apostles prayed for nine days before the Holy Spirit came) and I really think it has had an effect on me. A calming effect. The novena is for the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, and I wouldn't mind receiving the gift of fortitude, which is to courageously bear your cross. I need that, that's for sure!
The prayer has so many wonderful parts, but I will leave you with one of my favorites, and something I need to remember to say to God each and every day:
Give me grace, O Holy Spirit, Spirit of the Father and the Son to say to You always and everywhere, "Speak Lord for Your servant heareth." Amen.
Friday, May 29, 2009
I've been pretty out of it, physically speaking, this week. I don't know why my hormones are hitting me this hard right now. Tuesday (cycle day three) I had abdominal pain and felt like my insides were going to fall out. Wednesday more pain and just feeling completely out of it. And on Thursday I was completely nauseous and the thought of food made me gag.
Interestingly enough, though, I normally would have blamed my nausea yesterday on the Tamoxifen and/or the B6, but because of my two days of spotting I had at the beginning of this cycle (which caused my doctor to instruct me to start the Tamoxifen on day five), I hadn't even taken it yet! So I thought that was very telling. I always have stomach issues around this time of my cycle lately, and apparently I've been blaming it on the wrong thing!
Today, so far, I feel better, although I woke up with a migraine. Luckily I was still sleepy so I took advil and went back to bed to sleep it off.
I'm also on the good old emotional rollercoaster again (I hate rollercoasters so I should know better than to even get near one). Each day brings a new emotion, whether it's despair, acceptance, or excitement for adoption. I can't keep up.
Oh, and I also am guessing that I miscalculated my peak day last cycle, hence the quirky stuff that happened (low progesterone, short luteal phase). Here's the evidence:
- I had what could have been ovulation pain on cycle day 14; at the time I was sure it was
- Best quality mucus on day 14, but also saw peak-type mucus (just not as good quality) on days 15 and 16
- Temp rose on day 14
- Peak +7 progesterone level was 17. If I miscalculated, and it was actually peak +9, then that is exactly in line with my last four cycles of progesterone levels on peak +9. They have all been around 17
- And if I am correct that I ovulated on day 14, rather than 16, then my luteal phase would be 12 days, rather than 10. Still shorter than I had been seeing, but it's never as short as 10
I am not saying Creighton is wrong here; according to Creighton (at least without special instructions) I charted my peak day correctly. But Creighton doesn't say your peak day is always the day you ovulate, and in this case, it just didn't match up and it messed up everything that followed it. Creighton is awesome, but not perfect.
So I am sticking to that theory, not that it matters at all.
Here's hoping I have the energy to actually clean and cook today. It's been quite the struggle lately and my house would be evidence of it, if not for my wonderful husband who was fine with just eating a turkey sandwich for dinner last night and did the dishes this morning as well. I'm a stay-at-home-wife who can't even take care of her home. I guess this week I called in sick!
Update - So I called my doctor's office to leave a message saying I wanted them to call with my peak +9 and 11 results (and, by the way, the voice mail now says they do not call ob/gyn patients with normal test results, only abnormal. What? Don't they know I am crazy over here?I understand, though, but hopefully I'm not considered a normal ob/gyn patient. Infertility should get us some perks in life!)
I, of course, still leave a message and a nurse calls back and says my doctor's on vacation and I can't get my test results til next Wednesday. Then I hung up and had a good cry.
What? Why am I crying? These test results aren't even that important in the whole scheme of things and I will get them eventually. So why do I even care? Probably hormones.
I don't know. The idea of stopping certain medications, blood draws and charting is sounding better and better every day. I just overwhelmingly feel like I'm trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. It just isn't working and all this superfluous effort isn't going to change a thing. This just doesn't feel right any more. God will grow our family in his time.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Well my peak +7 progesterone was very low for me: 17. When it had been as high as 44, and usually hovers in the 30's, 17 is low. It's actually lower than my peak +11 results had been the past several months.
I have no idea why it was so low this month, but the nurse on the phone said the doctor in the practice who signed off on it said it was great. But I'm sure when my doctor sees it he will notice it is abnormally low for me.
As for what cycle day I'm on, according to the Creighton Model, I'm on day four. I had two days of spotting before starting my period. That also means that - according to my doctor's instructions to wait until I have two full days of a period before taking Tamoxifen - I will start my Tamoxifen on day five (it's normally taken on day three). I'm not going to worry about the details of it, though, because I'm sure my doctor doesn't care where I put my spotting days on my chart. And I also know how I chart isn't going to get me pregnant. As Hilgers himself said when I was in Omaha, the stickers are just for us. He could read it if it were all jumbled on one line with no little baby pictures.
In other (albeit related) news, I think I'm entering a new phase.
After nearly five years, I am more and more sure every day that I will never conceive. It's like for a while, we were climbing uphill, getting closer and closer to a pregnancy (or so I thought). And then, without even realizing it, we had reached the top. But on this mountaintop, nothing awaited us. There was no prize for all the hardwork and time spent. Now I'm descending on the other side, although that's not to imply that this side is easier because it's downhill. Oh no, I think it's harder than I could have ever imagined. And the closer I get to the bottom, the slower I want to walk.
As much as I am depressed about this, I haven't even begun to mourn the finality of it. When I let my mind wander there, it is too overwhelming. When the time comes to truly deal with it, I'm sure it will be a process. A long, painful one.
Does this mean I'm giving up tomorrow? Ending all the charting and medications? Well, some of my medications are forever, like the metformin. No, I'm not giving up tomorrow. I said I'm entering a new phase. I'm going to wait until my June 16 doctor's appointment and see what he says. If he is optimistic and wants to try another treatment, I'm not going to turn it down. I'd still like to try some kind of injectable.
I know I might sound all over the place about this - feeling strongly that I'll never conceive yet open to injectables - but it's complicated. It's like I know in my heart that it's over, but, at the same time, giving up medically is a big decision that you don't want to look back on and regret, afraid you made it too soon. Perhaps any additional treatments I do will be to rule out their success. Actually, that's how I've felt for a while now.
Now, I know, ultimately, that God is in charge. I know that all things are possible with him (which sometimes makes his lack of a miracle for me hurt more). I know that just like charting wrong won't affect my health, deciding to "give up" won't affect God's plan for me. I could declare to the world I'm giving up, and God might hear that and chuckle because he has other plans in store. I truly believe we don't need to make these grand decisions, it is not our decision to make.
But, that being said, I just feel like this is the direction I'm being sent, and I'd like to think it is coming from Him. So I'm not going to do anything drastic, I'm just going to go with the flow. And, more importantly, I'm going to start mentally dealing with never having biological children. I feel called to prepare my heart for this. Of course, this is something I've been grappling with for many years now, but not in a real, raw sense.
And while I know I must leave it all up to God, I don't think I can handle allowing myself to think that maybe, many years from now, I will have a surprise pregnancy. I know technically it's possible that I may be one of those lucky few, but I may not be. I can't hold onto that hope. I'll hold too tightly and it won't be healthy for me. I can't live my life chasing something that might happen in the future. Hope is one thing, but, for me, learning to live for today is more important.
So you probably won't notice too many changes in my blog in the near future. I'm sure I'll go back and forth from wrestling with the finality of never having kids that look like me one day, to complaining about spotting the next. That's nothing new. I just don't know where this new phase will take me and, frankly, I'm scared to find out. I can write about moving on, but doing it is still a painful concept to wrap my mind around. I just pray that God has mercy on me while I travel this new road.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Well it looks like today is cycle day three. But this leads to much confusion over when to start the Tamoxifen and it probably means another call to my doctor's office.
I had spotting on peak +11, peak +12, and now peak +13 (or, as it will likely be charted, cd 1, 2, and 3). But here's where the confusion starts - according to the Creighton Model (and I could be wrong here), three days of spotting goes on a new line and starts a new cycle, but four or more days is part of the previous cycle. Right? It's the type of thing where you don't know how to chart it until you can look back and see how it all played out. But that doesn't help me right now, as I try to figure out what cycle day I'm on for starting the pills (which need to start on day 3). And while my doctor is familiar with Creighton, it's not the sole method he prescribes to. So he might not think that spotting starts a new cycle at all.
And I have just had spotting, nothing more (so far today, at least...it could end up being two days of spotting and then today starts my period), and I remember my doctor telling me you should have two days of a regular period before taking the Tamoxifen. I'm probably going to call his office and ask. Oh, and I peed on a stick to rule it out before starting a drug that could kill a fetus and it was, of course, negative.
Now let's discuss the long-term physical and emotional ramifications of this spotting. First, I haven't had spotting in a long, long time. Not since getting "healthy" last fall. While I did have a day of spotting mid-luteal phase in December and a day of it mid-luteal phase last month, I have not had any, ANY, spotting at the end/beginning of a cycle in many, many months. Now granted, this spotting is red and not brown, so that must account for something, right? With my luck it probably means something worse!
So I went without my bromocriptine to lower my prolactin for about ten days this cycle. Did that cause this? My doctor assured me on the phone (in a voicemail) that it wouldn't have an effect in that short amount of time. But maybe he got the message wrong and didn't realize it had been as long as it had.
I want to be level headed about this and maintain my composure, but I'm pretty sure the reality of a ten-day luteal phase is going to hit me hard any minute now. It's like, really?? I can't even have the comfort of thinking things are improving? And now it looks like things are getting worse?
I know I've prayed for whatever is wrong to come to light and maybe this is it. But what? My cycles have just been so good lately! Well, my body still doesn't do what it was designed to do, so my definition of "good" is definitely different than that of normal people. But my luteal phases were lengthening, and had been 14 or 15 days since February. Now ten? It hasn't been that short in years!
Why can't things just go smoothly? Why can't it be obvious when I should start my medication? Why can't I get a darn prescription called in when I need it?? (That's another whole story)
I'm sorry, but I'm not one of those people who others will look back on and say "I never heard her ask 'Why me'." Ha! I think I ask that once a day! WHY ME, GOD?????
Alright, time to start calling my doctor, the pharmacy, then probably my doctor again. At least it'll be interesting to see what my progesterone was this cycle. It must have been all sorts of messed up. Hopefully I'll get at least the first result today, but then again, I'm sure I'll have to wait. That's what I do.
Monday, May 25, 2009
I'm back home and glad to be here. Ten days is a long time to be gone from your husband, especially when he tends to have medical issues only when you're gone. Last time it was back surgery, this time these. And he even did a news story on them, if you're interested (be warned - he shows his own bites!).
I'd update my cycle but I'm not sure what's going on just yet. I'm either on peak +12 (had my peak +11 blood draw today, a day late), or cycle day two. I had some spotting last night and again tonight. It was red, along with 10KL both times. If it is cycle day two, then that means this last cycle had a mere ten-day luteal phase, which would be a huge step backwards in my humble opinion. Oh well. I'm not freaking out, surprisingly. I'm going to trust in God and look towards the future. Something that seems bad could end up being good, such as revealing a new symptom that needs treating. The Lord knows I've been praying for whatever else is wrong to come to light.
So my mom and I made it to the Blessed Kateri shrine on Friday and it was awesome. A man who worked there went and got her relic for us to pray with, even though normally it's only brought out for large groups (they had one stolen, reliquary and all, so they are very guarded with it now). Then, when I entered the chapel where her shrine is located, the very first thing I saw was a shrine, not to Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, but to St. Maximilian Kolbe. He is one of our very favorite saints, and Ryan took his name when he was confirmed. I couldn't believe it was there! Apparently, the order that runs the shrine is the same that St. Maximilian belonged to.
Here are some pictures from our visit, as well as some from my sister's bridal shower:
At the shower, from left to right: My mom, me, the bride, and our youngest sister:
This is my first attempt at a fondant cake. It was, well, messy, to say the least. If you've done this before, don't look at it too closely. The judges on the Food Network challenges would throw me out of the kitchen:
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Just a warning - about 75% of this post is related to certain t.v. shows. Fox shows in particular, actually. I know that might sound a little pathetic, but it's a great t.v. week. And anything to get my mind off of infertility, right?
So, for starters, I am SO excited about American Idol tonight. I was a Danny fan from the start, but when he started going a little too adult contemporary for my taste, I switched to Kris. And then, about a month ago, Kris sang one of my favorite songs ever and that sealed the deal for me.
And while this might cause you to think less, or at least differently, of me, I must admit that his performance of it is currently my ring tone. Although I regret it every time someone calls me while I'm in a silent, crowded post office. And every time my husband hears it and then gets it in his head. "Take this sinking boat and point it home, we've still got time. Raise your hopeful voice you have a choice, you'll make it now..." over and over and over. It is pretty poignant though, isn't it?
And how incredibly humble was Kris when he won? Not the fake humble we often see from Hollywood, but a real humility. He seemed truly embarrassed, like it was a mistake and he felt silly that somehow it had turned out that way. I know we don't really know them, but he seems like such a nice guy. And how cute is he with his little blonde wife?
So I'm calling it now - I think Danny might release a Christian album. It could happen! He is a praise and worship leader at his church, and he would be so successful in that genre. Anyways, that's just my personal hope. But if he does, I totally called it!
Oh, and did anyone watch Glee? When they showed the girl singing "On My Own" in front of a video camera in her bedroom, I couldn't help but picture all of us who commented a while back on TCIE's blog about singing the same song ourselves. Although that girl sure sings it better than I ever did!! I am obsessed with her voice. And how about the two musical numbers - Rehab and Don't Stop Believing? Awesome!
And, last but not least, one of my all-time favorite shows begins tomorrow. Six words: So You Think You Can Dance. Enough said.
So I'm sure that's more than you ever wanted to hear about my take on television shows.
In infertility news, I had my peak +7 blood draw today. I'll have peak +9 drawn on Friday, but peak +11 isn't going to happen. It's a Sunday, and then Monday is a holiday. Is it worth going on peak +13 on Tuesday? I guess it actually would be interesting just to see what it is that late in the cycle. And it's not like my doctor cares.
Ooohh, ooohh...Speaking of my doctor, he is coming to our next infertility support group meeting! He wants to hear from real women suffering with infertility. How great is that? Thanks to Grace In My Heart for emailing with him to pin down a date. He is truly a wonderful man. I have so much respect for him.
Well the big bridal shower is in just a couple days. I can't wait! Here's what I've been working on the last couple of weeks:
My mom made the jam and I designed the logos and my youngest sister and I put them on, and then I did all the fabric on the tops. And, yes, that is an endless sea of jam. It's going to be a huge shower!
By the way, you should be happy to know that my blog is truly affecting my life now. My mom and I went right by the Kateri Tekakwitha shrine today, but I didn't stop for one reason and one reason only - I didn't have my camera. I couldn't possibly go there and not take pictures for you all to see! (If a blogger visits a shrine but doesn't have a camera with her, did she really visit the shrine at all?) We're going on Friday though, so hopefully I'll have lots of pictures to share.
Alright. Time for bed! I'm on a whole new schedule here!
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
I need humility. Badly.
I think that is what God is telling me most, if not all, of my problems come back to. Of course, I'm not talking about my problem of not conceiving, as if as soon as I become humble I'll get pregnant. I'm talking about the problems I have as a result of my infertility - jealousy, anger, frustration, you know the ones. I'm just thinking more and more that the pain and sadness I feel might not cut as deep if I were more humble.
Jealousy is my big one right now. When I hear someone else is pregnant, or if I even imagine it happening in the future, I start to feel physically ill. Of course, I don't want others to suffer infertility, and I don't want something bad to happen to someone else just for the sake of them suffering. No, my reasoning, which isn't much better, is that I want others not to conceive so that I don't have to deal with it. But that's obviously self-centered and prideful of me.
Being humble is hard. It's hard and painful and it requires changing my entire way of thinking. To be humble is to want others to conceive before me.
Yes, actually wanting good to come to others and not myself.
This has been weighing on me ever since I first read the Litany of Humility several months ago. The words in the prayer are quite revealing regarding what is asked of us, and, for me, it was a real eye-opener for how short I fall. They are definitely words to live by, although I haven't actually gotten there yet:
Litany of Humility
O Jesus meek and humble of heart, Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed,
From the desire of being loved,
From the desire of being extolled,
From the desire of being honored,
From the desire of being praised,
From the desire of being preferred to others,
From the desire of being consulted,
From the desire of being approved,
Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being humiliated,
From the fear of being despised,
From the fear of suffering rebukes,
From the fear of being calumniated,
From the fear of being forgotten,
From the fear of being ridiculed,
From the fear of being wronged,
From the fear of being suspected,
Deliver me, Jesus.
That others may be loved more than I,
That others may be esteemed more than I,
That in the opinion of the world, others may increase,
and I may decrease,
That others may be chosen and I set aside,
That others may be praised and I unnoticed,
That others may be preferred to me in everything,
That others may become holier than I, provided that I become as
holy as I should,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it. Amen.
After reading this prayer, I can't help but think that my life needs to drastically change. I'm far from where I should be.
That others may be chosen and I set aside. How pleasing to God it would be if I lived this way. But it just goes against everything society tells us. I was about to say that it goes against everything in our being, but I don't think that is true. God made us in his image, so, underneath it all, I think our souls want this, to be humble. But with sin, and the outside influences of a sinful world, we are conditioned to want our own success and the comfort that comes with it.
Being set aside is hard. I have to really retrain my brain to look at that as a positive, which is actually looking at infertility as a positive. I'm not yet convinced I'm capable of getting to that point. Surely, without God's grace I couldn't, but with Him anything is possible. Please, God, help me to change my life and live with humility!
One of the reasons I came to New York this week was because I was asked by a confirmation candidate to be her sponsor. She is actually the young woman I am doing a documentary on, about her life as a physically disabled teenager in a very large family of adopted children. Her parents are faithful Catholics, whose mission it is to adopt children in need. B, the wonderful girl I sponsored, is from Ser.bia and only came to the U.S. a couple years ago, but is already fluent and so smart. And she's one of the most outgoing and bubbly teenagers I've ever met.
She was confirmed last night, along with more than a hundred other youngsters at the National Shrine of the North American Martyrs in Auri.esville, New York. Here we are, after the Mass:
She chose the confirmation name Kateri, for Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, who I love as well. Blessed Kateri is actually from the area where I grew up, and her national shrine is just across the river from where we were last night. I'm going to try to make it there this week if I can.
B did so good last night, I'm so honored she asked me to be her sponsor!
Saturday, May 16, 2009
I made it safely to NY, but it took a little longer than normal. My GPS really messed me up in New Jersey. It just randomly sent me off of the highway and, for an hour, put me onto a two-lane road that had about a thousand stop lights. Oh, and I also got behind a couple school buses. Just what you want during an eight hour drive (well, it ended up being a nearly ten hour drive). And the most frustrating thing was there was NO reason for it. The GPS just completely malfunctioned apparently. And I was stupid enough to follow it blindly.
So perhaps the most-used term since I've been home is "faceplant." Why, you ask? Well, last night, when I was about an hour and a half from my parents' house, my mother called to tell me that my grandfather had fallen and they were headed to the hospital. No one saw it happen, but someone driving by saw him face down in the road (he lives with my parents now, but his house is across the street, which is where he was headed when he fell). He's okay, but broke his nose, and they're trying to figure out if he just tripped, or if something caused the fall, like a heart problem. Those of us who are trained by CSI are pretty sure he didn't just trip, since he fell directly on his face and his hands aren't scuffed up like they would have been if he had attempted to catch himself. He'll be at the hospital for at least another day or two. Please say some prayers for him if you get a chance.
My grandmother's burial was today. My grandfather had to miss it, of course, which apparently he was relieved about because he was dreading it. It was a nice service. (And in case you're wondering, if someone passes away in my hometown in the winter months, the cemetery makes you wait til spring for burial because they aren't able to dig through the frozen ground).
Hmmm, what else? Well my doctor called me on Friday as I was driving home. I was talking to Lifehopes when I got a call waiting beep and, for some reason, I didn't even look to see who it was. When I got off with her I checked my voicemail and it was my doctor himself! I can't believe I missed his call! He left a long message, though, and as for the highlights - he didn't think it was a big deal at all that I went without my prolactin medication (although he mentioned something about it being only a day or two, when in reality it was nearly two weeks). He also said how my bloodwork my last few cycles looks great. And said he was going to take care of everything else I called about, like ordering another cycle of Tamoxifen for me and mailing my bloodwork order to my parents' house, since I'll be here for my peak+7-11 draws. He must have looked at my file and seen how many times I've called lately! I bet my file is flagged as a psycho patient!
I'm on peak +3 today, I think, maybe peak +4. Although I don't believe that my peak day was the same day that I ovulated, if I even do ovulate (after all, that's not something we can just assume).
I'm getting excited for my sister's bridal shower next Saturday! A lot of planning has gone into it and there's still more to be done. It's gonna be a great time!
Okay, time for me to go to bed. It's only, oh, about five hours earlier than normal for me, but I am exhausted. I think it's yesterday's long drive combined with starting my prolactin medication again (I think it makes me tired at first). Hope you're having a great weekend!
Thursday, May 14, 2009
One of the blessings I have in my life is that I have friends who know exactly what I am going through. Just think about how cool it would be if you lived by other infertility bloggers who you could hang out with in real life! Well I get to do just that!
Tonight, the three of us got together for dinner:
That's me on the left, Grace in My Heart in the middle, and Fertile Thoughts on the right.
It's so funny how we've known each other in real life for a while, and now we all three have blogs in the same Catholic infertility circle. So picture us sitting around tonight discussing your latest posts and issues! Sew, were your ears ringing??
Seriously though, I am so blessed to know them both. I had a such a great time and we need to do it more often!
Well I'm getting ready for a long trip. I leave tomorrow morning for my parents' house, where I'll be for the next ten days. Ryan's staying here, since he has to work. While I'm there I will attend my grandmother's burial, a confirmation where I am someone's sponsor, and my sister's bridal shower. I'm sure I'll post while I'm there, though, so you won't even notice I'm gone!
I can't say I've been doing well lately. I have my moments, but overall I'm having a hard time. For some reason I feel like God is placing it on my heart that I'm not ever going to conceive, and so I feel like I am dealing with that right now. I prayed to him recently and asked for some knowledge, if that was at all possible, and since then I've just felt, overwhelmingly, that adoption is our path. Not adoption and then we'll conceive, but that I'll never be pregnant.
It's kind of an issue of 'be careful what you pray for'. I guess until now I knew my chances of a pregnancy were pretty slim, but now I'm pretty certain there's zero possibility. I know it might sound crazy, because nothing else has changed, but I just really feel this way. And I guess I liked not knowing better.
I know I could be wrong, but I really don't think so. I mean, even from a factual standpoint it makes sense. We've been trying for nearly five years with no miscarriages. I'm no doctor, but I'm pretty sure that means our chances of ever conceiving are pretty minimal.
I know God is ultimately in charge, but that is my point exactly. He is in charge and I think he's telling us that adoption is what we're called to do. And I'm fine with adoption, I really am. Any hesitations I had with it are nearly gone and I'm excited about the possibility. I feel confident, thanks to the testimonies of many of you who've been there, that I will feel immediately like the baby is mine.
But all that being said, I look at conceiving as a separate issue. Sure, they are intertwined, but I also am able to separate them in my mind because they are not mutually exclusive. And separate from the excitement I feel about our path to adoption, I mourn the likelihood that I'll never conceive. Which is surprising in itself, because in order to mourn it anew, I have to admit that I thought there was still a chance. Yes, even after all I've been through, and despite the fact that my mind has programmed itself to not be able to imagine myself pregnant whatsoever, I guess I still hold onto a glimmer of hope that I will, one day, function like a normal human being. That I will no longer be on the short end of the odds and that I will carry a child just like the vast majority of women have throughout time.
I realized this because, the other day, when I started to contemplate myself as the completely infertile woman - rather than the temporarily infertile woman, like most of you are - I just couldn't do it. That seemed like another person, but not me. I know we get used to new concepts over time as they sink in. But without a conclusive diagnosis, it might never truly sink in until I hit menopause, when it will REALLY be final (oh, goodness! Not looking forward to that. We'll all have to pick up our blogs again in twenty years for support).
I also can't help but think that if God did, in fact, want to impart this information on me, then he definitely doesn't want me to worry and stress about it. And, I should also make clear, that I didn't hear him actually tell me that I'll never get pregnant. I just have been inundated with signs about adoption, including some very strong (and rather specific) feelings my husband has gotten lately (which is actually why I'm so certain about this. If it had come from me, I'd probably question it more).
So I guess it is my human nature that is causing me to take what should have been a positive (God placing adoption strongly on our hearts, as well as some more specific callings associated with it) and make it a negative (never having biological children).
Thanks for letting me work this out! It's amazing how writing something down can help you work through it.
The funny thing, though, is that no matter what emotions I work through here, I rarely put them into practice. My husband will read a post and think "Oh, great! She has a good attitude now!" only to listen to me cry a few hours later. Realizing something and living it are two different things. And, I'm sorry, but the waiting and the uncertainty (not to mention the jealousy) are still just too excruciating. I have yet to figure out a way to make those things easier.
Speaking of waiting, I will leave you all with a video my mother-in-law sent me. It's really beautiful. Now if I could only put this into practice...
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
This is what I'm dealing with right now...
I have now gone one week without my prolactin medication. When I called to refill it last Monday, I saw on the bottle that it had no refills. Well, that's my fault, of course, but when you're taking several medications, it's easy to lose track of which medications are nearing their end. Especially when they're refillable for like a year. So, the pharmacy said they'd call my doctor's office. Tuesday goes by. Wednesday goes by. On Thursday I call my doctor's office and leave a message. I said on the message that my pharmacy called to refill it on Monday and it's not there yet, so could they please fax a new prescription to the pharmacy. Thursday goes by. Friday, Saturday, Sunday goes by. On Monday I call and leave another message. Later that day, my doctor's office calls me and says that they faxed it over to the pharmacy. Great. So as I'm about to go pick it up today (I called yesterday and it wasn't ready yet...or so I thought), I call just to make sure it's there and guess what? They never received it. Great. It's after five so I can't even leave a message with my doctor's office because it's after hours. Which is why I am turning to my blog to vent my frustration instead! (Turns out the pharmacy had the wrong fax number listed. Ugh! That happened with my blood draw lab once too!)
And I've been so calm this past week (which is unlike me...I usually get nervous skipping just one of my many pills). I wasn't going to let it get to me. I was just going to go with the flow because I couldn't control it anyways. I was doing all I could. But seriously? Over a week? I don't even know if it's good to stop and start this medication. When I first started it a year ago, I felt like I was going to pass out for several days before I got used to it. Will I have to go through that all over again?
I'm also dealing with another issue.
In two weeks, I will need to know whether I am supposed to start a sixth cycle of Tamoxifen or not. I would have loved to discuss this with my doctor face-to-face, but my appointment isn't until June 16, and my new cycle will probably start around the end of May. That's fine and I decided to just figure it out over the phone. I talked to a nurse two weeks ago about this issue and she said she'd leave a note on my doctor's desk, but I haven't heard anything yet.
Now to my cycle. I think my ovulation timing is off, as in, things are just not clicking at the right times. For instance, I had some pain on my left side on Sunday which could have been ovulation, but yet my temperature didn't rise until today. And I've heard that your temp is supposed to drop lower right before it goes really high during ovulation, but mine doesn't exactly work like that. So my pre-peak coverline is usually around 97.8. On Sunday, it dropped lower, to 97.3, which I thought was good. But then yesterday, instead of shooting up high, it went up a little, to 98.0. What? Today it went up to 98.3. So instead of one nice rise, it goes up slowly. That can't be right.
I am thinking more and more I need a trigger shot. I am going to ask my doctor for this next month and I hope he agrees. If he even does, I am not sure if he does this or if he'd say I need to go to a specialist.
I don't know. At the same time, I feel like this is all pointless. I truly don't think I am meant to get pregnant, at least not for a long time, so why am I putting so much effort into it? Although, I need my medications whether I'm trying to get pregnant or not (well, everything but the Tamoxifen), so I guess I'd still have to deal with all this.
On another related topic (yes, I'm kind of frantic today...maybe it's the rising prolactin), do you ever feel like something happens every cycle to work against you getting pregnant? I know this is silly. I mean, as if I need any outside influences to get in the way of conceiving. My body is doing a great job of being infertile all on its own! And I also think that if God wanted to prevent me from conceiving each month, he wouldn't have to go to the great lengths of me not refilling my prescription. He could just have my ovaries do what they've always done - not work! But still, it just really seems like things go wrong each and every cycle.
I hope this post doesn't sound like I am down, because I'm not at all. Just a little stressed by these recent difficulties in dealing with my doctor's office. I actually came to a realization last night that God is comforting me, answering my prayers, and is actively guiding me along a path that he has planned especially for me. I was actually in the process of accusing him of not comforting me and answering my prayers when I was corrected. I will admit when I am wrong.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Just a quick little story for you about something that helped to lift my mood the other day.
It was an observation that was made by a sweet little girl. She's so adorable, in fact, that I just had to let you see her before telling you this story, so you know just what to picture when you hear what she said. So, this is her in a previously-unaired video clip from our adoration documentary interviews. She's talking about her little brother:
This didn't make it in the movie, but I love it! And just look at that face! (She had actually just lost her front tooth minutes earlier)
So picture her (referred to as G below) as you read this conversation she had with her mother, a dear friend of mine, as told to me by her mother:
"We were driving around today and from the back came G's voice, totally unprompted: "You know Ryan and K. Nobles and how they would love a baby? Well, I really think they would be the best parents. I mean Ryan is so friendly and easy to know and he really, really likes kids and that's good! And K., well, she's just... She's perfect! They would be perfect parents to someone."
So precious (I know, I might be biased since she thinks I'm perfect!). I just think it's so fascinating that she was even thinking about us, especially because we haven't seen her in a really long time. And it's no surprise that it came just when I needed it most!
Hope everyone is having a great day!
Saturday, May 9, 2009
God is definitely telling me that adoption is next. At least, I'm 99% sure (you never do know with him).
Since struggling with despair last week, I have been asking God to put me on the right path, or to at least let me know that I'm already on it. I think my exact prayer was to have some sort of wisdom, knowledge or understanding of what is ahead. And since then, one theme has popped up over and over again - adoption.
Yesterday, I posted about this a little and how an actress' words got me thinking about being happy with what you have and also about not having to give birth to a child for them to be yours. Well, people.com did it again (who would've thought it? I usually have to avoid the site due to all the baby announcement!).
Here's an excerpt from the latest article that made me cry. It's a beautiful article written by actress Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding). Here, she's describing her priest blessing their newly adopted three-year-old daughter:
The priest said the words, "Today you have given birth to your daughter," and I began to cry. It all poured out. All the grief, all the anger, all the angst at the difficult and long journey to parenthood. And that outpouring of tears was quickly followed by a peaceful gratefulness.
I held my daughter in my arms and thanked God for bringing her to me. If the standard route of creating a family had worked for me, I wouldn't have met this child. And I needed to know her. I needed to be her mother. And in that moment, I knew why it had all happened this way: So I could meet this little girl. She is, in every way, my daughter.
And that brings me to the video that has already been posted on several blogs. It is my new obsession. I love it and it makes me love adoption.
I seriously can't get enough of it, and I also can't watch it yet without crying. (On a side note, I love the music! I've already learned all about the guy who sings it and he's awesome... he went to Steubenville and studied bioethics in Rome).
I hate saying that things are signs. Obviously, these articles and videos are out there for everyone to consume. I'm not implying that God had all of these people conspire just so I could know that adoption is what he wants of us! What it's about for me is how I've reacted to all of these things. Each and every time it comes up - from the conversation with my social worker the other day to a sudden influx in stories about adoption on the internet - I find myself not only excited about adoption but actually touched that I've been chosen for this path, and thankful. That's definitely a change in my attitude since a year ago, or even last fall.
My heart has changed dramatically, and this week God is showing me that. That there's nothing to be afraid of, and that this isn't a second best life. He answered my prayer for insight this week and I wanted to recognize that.
In other news, please pray for Lifehopes. She wanted me to let you all know that she started a new cycle the other day. She's going away for a couple days with her husband so she didn't get a chance to post about it. Keep her and her husband in your prayers and please, Lord, bring her peace!
Friday, May 8, 2009
I read an interesting quote today from San.dra Bull.ock in an article about her marriage to Jes.se Ja.mes (who, of course is on my current favorite show, Cele.brity Appren.tice!):
"You don't have to give birth to someone to have a family," Bull.ock says. "I'm not going to spend two seconds of my life wishing I had something I don't … I just want people to admit that there's no one way to live your life."
Hmmm.. sounds like someone dealing with infertility. Maybe you all already knew that, but I'd never heard it before. Not that I think about San.dra Bull.ock's life all that often, but if I were to, I guess I would figure she just hadn't been married that long and that I'd probably see the announcement of her pregnancy (most likely via IVF or surrogate, because that seems to be the only way babies are conceived in Hollywood) on the cover of a magazine in the check-out line any day now.
So I googled it and found this:
At the premiere for her latest film, Infamous, actress San.dra Bul.lock reportedly got angry with a reporter who asked her if she and her husband, TV Host Je.sse Jam.es were expecting.
While jumping in the reporter’s face and pointing her finger, Sandra allegedly shouted, "Oh my god, that is just a disgusting question. And you know what? What if I couldn’t have kids? You know what? That’s the way you make women feel when you ask them that question."
Can you believe she said that?! Apparently that was back in 2006, and some articles go on to quote her saying something about having "stagnant ovaries."
Who knows. Her situation might be very different from mine, it might be completely due to her age (she's 44), and, of course, she still might end up doing ART and conceiving. And, not to mention, maybe she's not infertile at all, and maybe I'm completely wrong in reading into her quotes (but come on, it is kind of like gay-dar....infertile-dar?). None of that matters, though, because I am really sharing all of this for one reason - what she said in the first quote I posted above. Specifically, the part I made bold (okay, go check).
I, for one, spend A LOT of time wishing I had something I don't have. That's my full-time job (if only I got paid...) and probably where a lot of my misery comes in.
Interestingly enough, this isn't the first time today I found myself thinking about this very thing.
This morning, I was watching a segment of the interview a morning news show did with the woman who had the face transplant (God is speaking to me through the media now! He probably thinks, "Well how else am I supposed to get your attention?"). It really hit home to me when she was asked about her old self and what she thought when she looked at old pictures. She said how foolish it seems now that she worried about the way she looked at the time and then said, "I want to be positive. I want to move on. When I woke up from that surgery, I thought, 'It's 2009. Everything's going to be great from here on out.'"
The reason that I relate that to infertility is this: We might not have an "old self" we are longing for, but we have an "alternate self" that we surely do. We long for that life that we never had, the one where we had babies in our mid-twenties and had three, maybe four kids by now. The life where it came easily and we decided when to conceive. The life where infertility is nothing more to us than an issue a friend of ours is dealing with, something we spend a moment feeling sorry for her for, before going back to caring for our little ones.
I spend a good amount of time longing for that life. And it's not even a memory I pine for. No, it's a creation, a fantasy that never was and never will be.
So thank you, San.dra Bull.ock and Con.nie Cul.p. Your words made me realize where, perhaps, my entire problem lies. I need to stop wasting time wishing for something I don't have. I need to wake up and realize today is a new day and I can choose to be happy (well, when psycho hormones don't derail me). And I need to live in reality, rather than spending my days mourning the loss of an alternate universe where I am fertile (although, I can't help but wonder if maybe, just maybe, there is an alternate time and I do have lots of babies there. I think I've been watching too much Lost!).
Now I'm going to make a dress, i.e. waste some nice fabric. Wish me luck.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
I think the cloud is beginning to lift.
Last night in adoration, as soon as I sat down I opened to a page of a little prayer book they had at the chapel. This is what it said:
"The Lord Himself will fight for you. Just stay calm." (Ex. 14:14)
It was one of the most peaceful hours in front of the Blessed Sacrament I've ever had. I was completely at ease, both physically (my headache went away and I never noticed feeling nauseous) and emotionally (it was as if a weight had been lifted from my shoulders and my head was clear). Usually I'm guilty of watching the clock, but last night's hour flew by. I didn't want to leave because I feared that as soon as I did, I'd go back to feeling out of sorts. And I did. I went back to the real world.
While I was there I just focused on the words "just stay calm." That is going to be my new mantra. This is what I am going to try to focus on when infertility gets to be too much. When my mind races, when I think the worst, when I let the sight of pregnant women send shock waves through me. JUST STAY CALM.
For some reason the word "just" makes me feel even more peaceful, like it's letting me off the hook from worrying about anything else. The verse doesn't say "stay calm and do this and this and this..." It says JUST stay calm. Give yourself a break. Don't think about anything, except for staying calm. That was especially helpful last night at adoration, where I am inclined to cram in all different forms of prayer. But I didn't. I just sat still.
I also thought about how God is fighting for me always, but if I'm not calm, I get in the way of that. On the same page as that verse was a prayer that said fear robs us of our faith. That's so true! Sure, I say I have faith. I believe in God so I have Faith with a capital F. But when I freak out every month I'm not pregnant, am I really exhibiting faith? Faith that God is fighting for me?
My fear robs me of my faith. I may have faith in the sense that there IS a God, but I don't always have complete faith IN God. I know in my head that his plan is best, but I fall short in my heart. I doubt that he has my best interest in mind every time I wonder why he hasn't blessed me with a pregnancy. If I had undying faith, with each new cycle I would say "God, I know you are in complete control. You will grow my family when the time is right, or you may have other plans in mind completely. I will wait patiently to find out what is next and, in the meantime, please use me however you see fit."
I think what one of my big struggles has been lately is that nothing has seemed to go right. I wanted something from God. Something. But our time is so different from his. When a couple months pass and we grow impatient, he is probably thinking, "Just hang on! There is something good right around the corner!" But we can't see it, so we freak out. And I'm not talking a pregnancy here, I just mean those small things that help to get us through life, that help bridge that gap between disappointments. I need those to hold onto.
Today, I got one of those. We had been concerned because no couples had been moved off of our adoption agency's waiting list in over a month, so I contacted our social worker to see if they were seeing less adoptions than normal. My friend L had last spoken to her social worker a month ago and kind of got the vibe that things had slowed down (yes, we take turns checking in with our agency. It's great!). Plus, I'd read some national stories that said adoptions are down across the country. Well, to my surprise, our social worker said they haven't noticed less adoptions than normal and they are currently working with a number of pregnant women. Some are still being counseled, while others have decided to pursue adoption and will soon be choosing families. Our social worker said our profile will be shown (I didn't realize it would be so soon; I thought they showed just the first few on the list) and she also said we should be very confident in our profile because we wrote a very good letter and have a good picture. Just what I needed to hear!
I don't need to be picked tomorrow, or even this summer. I just like knowing that things are moving along because when things are moving, we are getting closer to our adoption. So thanks be to God that I was given this information today! Just a little good news to help me through a rough patch. And when you're dealing with infertility, a little good news goes a very long way.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
I think I'm losing my mind.
I have never been this down and strung-out for so long. Usually it passes after a couple days and I return to my normal mildly-depressed-but-able-to-cope-with-the-fertile-world-for-the-most-part state. Well I haven't bounced back yet.
I am sad. I am constantly reminded of my childlessness and it seems to hurt more than normal. I am considering getting off of face.book because I cannot take one more status update about the joys of parenthood.
I am irritable (really?). Everything feels like I am trying to swim upstream and nothing is easy. Things annoy me for no reason, from the way my clothes fit to the way my printer prints out. I am crabby and taking it out on my husband. It's like I see it all happening but cannot seem to help it. I want to yell, "K, no! You're being a huge b&*@%!" but I just keep on b*&%ing.
Oh, and all food grosses me out right now for some reason. The mere thought of it makes my stomach turn. If I think about what I've eaten the past few days I want to vomit. Not that anything is wrong with what I've eaten, but it just sounds VERY wrong to me for some weird reason. On top of that, though, I still get hungry, which makes it all the more difficult.
I should also add that you don't need to worry about me wasting away. For some bizarre reason, literally the only thing that doesn't gross me out right now is this. Go figure. But I do need something to take my gazillion pills with, so I've made two low G.I. versions of it in the past three days.
That brings me to my physical symptoms - I am nauseous, my head hurts, I have stabbing lower abdominal pain that comes and goes. And my favorite - I have had pressure on my bladder and feel like I have to pee all the time. This has been for about the last 24 hours.
I really don't know what is happening to me.
I also really hope this isn't considered complaining. I don't mean for it to come off like that. I just wanted to document my symptoms and my craziness. I would go through all of this gladly, patiently, if I knew it didn't mean something else was seriously wrong. Could it be the Tamoxifen? But, if so, why hasn't it affected me this way before? I remember the first month I didn't feel so great around the time I took the pills, but I've been fine every other cycle.
Speaking of cycles, today is cycle day eight and after a period lasting four days (H,H,L,M), I've had three days of peak-type mucus.
Who knows. I will offer it up for all those who needs God's mercy, and for all those in need of conversion.
Monday, May 4, 2009
I know it might not mean much at this point, but a week and a half later, I found out what my peak +11 test results were:
(Just in case you're wondering, my peak +7 was 27 and peak +9 was 34.66)
The nurse started saying how it was good, but not as high as before, when I cut her off and was like, "Um, isn't 18.23 a pretty high peak + 11 progesterone level?" Turns out she thought it was peak +7! Yes, she agreed, that is high for peak +11!
Who knows what it means, if anything, but all I know is my progesterone kicks butt on Tamoxifen. I mean, pre-Tamoxifen it peaked in the single digits! Plus, a year ago one of my problems was that my progesterone rose to a good level but fell off too early. So I would say that 18.23 on peak +11 pretty much shows I don't have that problem any more, don't you think?
The nurse who I talked to was super nice and felt bad it took so long for me to get the result. I also talked to her about how I will start a new cycle before my next doctor's appointment and how I will need to find out before then if my doctor wants to do another round of Tamoxifen next month. I said I know there might be reasons why not to do another cycle, but all I know is my cycles are totally normalizing and my progesterone is sky high and I'd hate to go back to how it was before. She thought those were all good points and said she'd write that in the note.
I also asked her about getting on a cancelation list (why do I always want to say cancelization?) and she said sure! She said she'd put my name on it and even added, "you should say some prayers and maybe you'll get a call!" I took that as a sign that I do need to say some prayers for it!
I can't explain it, but it was just a good phone call. A nice attitude from a nurse can go a long way, I guess.
Tonight is Sophie's big night! She'll be on the 11 p.m. news so if you're in the Richmond market, make sure to tune in! I'll post the video here as soon as I get it. I know you're all just on the edge of your seats waiting to see how she did! Not to give anything away, but I'll just say that thankfully Sophie is a really cute dog and will always get by on her looks.
Sunday, May 3, 2009
I was feeling down again today but then I decided to sew and everything turned around! Well, it's not actually the sewing that really lifts my spirits; it's more the creating. I love that I can decide to make an article of clothing and in a couple of hours I am wearing it.
So here's my new shirt (and the first one I've ever made):
I seriously love this fabric. I am very indecisive when choosing fabric, especially when it comes to finding fabric for clothing. But I loved this as soon as I saw it!
Of course, I modeled it after the shirt I wear in all my pictures. You know the one (scroll up and see my pic at the top of my blog). Except this one doesn't have cap sleeves. I just didn't feel like doing the extra work.
I'm actually pretty happy with it! I considered turning it into a little dress for a while, but I am limited with what I can make when not using a pattern. I don't know.. I'm really into dresses lately so that might be what I try next.
So the original shirt cost like $78 at Anthro.pologie (no, I didn't pay full price! What do you think I am, nuts?!) and mine cost around $10. I actually paid $18 for all of the fabric, but I'll get a skirt out of what's left.
I love sewing clothes! Just don't turn them inside out or else you'll know I don't really know what I'm doing.
So I'm sitting back watching Celebrity Apprentice and all of a sudden... THERE'S MY DOG! I'm used to seeing my husband pop up in commercials, but when Sophie appeared I got so excited! My baby! So here she is, in a promo for her doggie IQ piece that airs tomorrow on the 11 p.m. news:
Sophie's a star!
Saturday, May 2, 2009
- Time is short. It's due on July 9, so there's not much time for me to really focus the movie on anyone other than myself, since that would include travel
- So if I am doing it on myself... what could it possibly be about?
- The only thing I can come up with would be a sort of "cycle-in-the-life," and cross my fingers that something interesting happens this month
- But is that insanely boring?
- And is it inspirational, like the rules say it needs to be? My definition of inspirational (real, honest) might be different than the definition of the drug company sponsoring it (pregnancy, perserverence until that illusive positive test is finally reached, most likely by doing IVF)
- And, upon reading the rules closer, it sounds like they want women who have conceived after infertility, although they never come right out and say that. "Path to parenthood" is the terminology they use. Yes, we are all on a path to parenthood, so technically...
So that's what I've been thinking about, and probably driving Ryan crazy with it all. He thinks we need to just start shooting this cycle, just in case that is what we decide to do. I mean, next month it will be too late, since it's due in early July. And if I wait any longer to decide now, it will be too late for this cycle as well.
Plus, what will it hurt to document one of my cycles? I mean, at least it would allow me to, years later, look back and feel sorry for myself!
That brings me to this - we started shooting stuff yesterday. I am going back and forth about whether it is super lame or a work in progress that we may or may not do anything with. But as I was talking to the camera about infertility, I realized that perhaps I should use some of it as a video blog here.
But then that brings me to whether posting it here would be super lame or not. Usually when I watch someone's video blog (I hate the term vlog) I tend to think it's boring. There are some who can pull it off, but mostly I think people watch because it is like watching a train wreck.
But, at the same time, I have all this camera and editing equipment that I love to use, so why not? It'd be just like my regular posts, but instead of writing, I'm doing it in a video. Maybe I'd do it once a week... Maybe I'd incorporate video... and make it interactive so you guys would suggest what it should be about each week.
I don't know. I don't know if there is any added value in video blogging, other than it puts my equipment to use (plus you'll get to hear my voice and decide whether that's what you pictured or not!). See what you think. I'm going to post a very short clip here to give you an idea of what it's like. This one I was doing specifically for the short film (although I refer to Tamoxifen, and later saw that the rules say you can't mention any medications by name). And while it is not directed at you guys, as I was doing them, that's what it became in my head and I had to stop myself from talking directly to you!
I'm also posting this clip in particular because you get to see Sophie Belle!
Friday, May 1, 2009
If you look in the distance, in the middle of the photo, you'll see my friend, Angela, cantoring. You may remember that she is the awesome woman on the shrine committee who offered to send you all prayer cards and medals. And she has a truly beautiful voice, by the way!
Me and This Cross I Embrace, just after we had venerated St. Gianna's gloves. It was SO great to meet her in person! She was so sweet and also beautiful, I might add. So tall and skinny! It was awesome to spend time with her, I just wish we'd had more time to hang out. But I loved that I got to experience Mass with her. I have now gone to Mass with three fellow bloggers (well, five, if you count my two "in real life" friends who also blog!)
I learned something new after the Mass - St. Gianna saved her wedding dress because if she had a son who became a priest, she wanted him to make a vestment from it. Her son didn't become a priest, so her husband was kind enough to give pieces of it to make this vestment, which was worn that evening by the main celebrant.
Here you can see the pieces that were actually taken from her wedding gown - in the trim on Our Lady's dress (by her hands and then downward) and the collars on both St. Gianna's and her little girl's dresses as well.
The four roses here represent St. Gianna's four children, and the two rose buds represent her miscarriages.
I didn't take any pictures of the gloves, and I wish I had. There were three pairs that we could venerate, and I think TCIE and I got to two of them. No matter what your beliefs and whether you think relics hold any special value or not, it's just so amazing to think that we touched something that was hers. Something she wore, the holy and incredible woman that she was. She is a beautiful model for me during this struggle of infertility, to respect life at all times and to always put that ahead of my own wants and desires.
Can't wait til next year's feast day Mass!