The results were the same as yesterday.
My doctor didn't seem to think this was anything to worry about. Probably due to my poor quality of mucus, she said. Had I done the post-coital earlier we might have caught the more peak-type mucus and the sperm would be alive.
That sounds reasonable, except yesterday's test was on cycle day 13 (ovulation day), and those dead sperm first hit the mucus on cycle day 12. Not to mention that I only started seeing mucus on cycle day 11, and it's still getting better and better each day, today being the best quality yet. If anything, maybe we'd have a better result tomorrow, not last Monday.
Apparently there's a discrepancy between what she sees under the microscope (cloudy, full of "cells") and what I see when I chart (today has been 10KL). Am I just really bad at making Creighton observations? I suppose anything is possible, but that would mean I don't know the definition of clear, and cloudy. I feel strongly that I have those down.
So I'm thinking this may just be further evidence that there's a discrepancy between when I ovulate (yesterday, or the day before) and when I see my "peak day," according to Creighton. She assumes the mucus was better a few days ago, but maybe it has yet to reach its peak (which is so far the case according to my chart).
And what about everyone saying sperm can live in mucus for up to five days? Is that a myth, or is that just another thing that's true for "healthy" people? Because if my mucus kills sperm on the day of ovulation, then when doesn't it kill it?
Oh, and I asked her about why the ultrasound yesterday could possibly affect the results and she said the gel on the outside of the wand might kill sperm. When I asked then why we do the ultrasounds around ovulation, she said the sperm gets where it needs to go in the first five minutes.
I left the office not sure how to feel. My doctor acted like it wasn't a big deal, but the news that was replaying in my head did seem pretty serious. Two post-coital tests that showed a total of three living sperm? I tend to think this is a bigger deal than she does.
I know a lot of doctors don't believe in doing this test anymore, and there must be a reason they don't like it. Is it due to the possibility of timing it wrong and getting a false negative?
In my gut I don't think the poor result was due to my lack of peak-type mucus. I tend to think my mucus is hostile; it would explain a lot. Yes, I have had numerous problems that all separately would cause infertility, but I ovulate, my cycles are normal, and the problems are under control.
And, like I said before, if the result is due to not testing on a day of good mucus, then that's an issue too because we tested on the day of ovulation and the day after. If my mucus kills sperm on those two days, then when is my fertile window?
Either way, I'm okay with it. Finding this out this morning was as if I heard my progesterone was 16 on peak plus 7 - just average, boring news. It didn't upset me and the thought of a future filled with either no shot at conceiving or grasping at straws to find a treatment for some immune problem with my mucus doesn't stress me much either.
And I feel that no matter what, something was revealed today. We just need to take these clues and examine it further, probably with another doctor.
The next step is getting Ryan's semen analysis done. Although he just took ben.adryl this morning and I heard that can possibly affect the results. Does anyone know how long you should wait after taking something like that?
If there's a problem on his end, we'll figure out if it's treatable. If it comes back normal, we'll look more into what is causing it on my end. This actually intrigues me. Dr. L seemed to think there's not much you can do for that other than trying steroids (I think she said we could do this if it's on my end), which is great and I'll try them for sure, but I can't imagine it's the only option. Hopefully we'll find a doctor who is willing to look into it more. (By the way, a quick google search showed that Clomid can cause hostile mucus. This is my first cycle on it. Anyone know anything about that?)
I also asked her, again, about what to do if the timing of ovulation and good mucus is just off, and she said sometimes things just don't click at the right time and there's nothing they can do. I'm still holding out hope that there is.
I'm exhausted. I think I've driven about ten hours in less than 24 hours. I almost didn't go this morning when my alarm went off at five and Ryan was sick, but I'm glad I did. Even though I didn't really find out anything conclusive (well, at least according to Dr. L), I would've regretted not knowing anything.
I know it might sound corny, but I'm resolved to take each day as it comes. Praise God for this grace, and for hearing this news right around the time when my progesterone is probably rising.
*As I was writing this post, the pharmacy called to tell me that my insurance doesn't cover the post-peak progesterone (endometrin) I was supposed to take this cycle. "Supposed" to take because at $100, I won't be taking it now. So I'm trying to remind myself of what I just wrote - that I am taking each day as it comes. I am being made low and I should rejoice in it.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
The results were the same as yesterday.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
It was an interesting appointment today. Here's a rundown of the developments:
* She couldn't find my right ovary. This is the third ultrasound in which it has been missing, spanning two different cycles. I'd think it was gone completely had I not been reminded today that the RE did an ultrasound in September in which it was there (although he did note it was rather small).
* She thinks I ovulated on the missing ovary already. She is basing this assumption on the fact that I had tons of fluid (which I find interesting because last cycle she didn't see fluid on cycle day 13 or 14, despite thinking I had ovulated then as well). She was also able to locate my left ovary and saw several small follicles. I also told her that yesterday I had severe pain on the right side, so she took that as further evidence.
* Other interesting things to note - Today is cycle day 13, so that'd be pretty early for me to ovulate. My temp had been 97.0 but dipped this morning to 96.8. An opk might have been positive this morning, but was confusing because both lines were very faint.
* She also had trouble finding my uterus at first, then found it, thought it might be tilted, and said my lining was thick.
* She had a nurse give me the trigger shot, which I ordered yesterday just in case. No ovary was located, no follicle was seen on ultrasound, but I was triggered. Should I be concerned, or is a trigger shot safe even if there is no dominate follicle? (which there very well may have been, we just can't be sure I guess)
Okay, there's more. And this potentially could overshadow my missing ovary.
I reminded her after she started the ultrasound that she was going to do a post-coital test. She said it should've been done prior to the ultrasound and apologized. She said it might not be accurate due to having done the ultrasound (pretty sure she mentioned the gel, or lubricant, as the reason, but I could be wrong), but then she thought about it and decided that because she was going in my cervix, that shouldn't matter.
To make a long story short, after looking at it under a microscope, she said there were lots of dead sperm and one live one. One. She said technically she has to call the test "normal" even if there is just one still swimming, but she wants to do a semen analysis just to make sure. She seemed to think that the ultrasound could mess up the results and suggested I just do it again next cycle. Not wanting to worry for an entire month that my mucus is hostile, I asked if I could come back in the morning (when I already had scheduled an ultrasound appointment not knowing when I'd ovulate) and she said sure, although wondered if I'd have mucus since I'd be post-ovulatory. That was funny to me, since I've never stopped having mucus on day 13, and usually it goes all the way to day 17 or 18 (not to mention she said it was "full of cells" under the microscope which apparently means it's cloudy [although it has looked clear to me for two days now], so I would assume if it's still cloudy, clear is on the way).
So I'll go back bright and early tomorrow morning for another post-coital. We'll see if it was a fluke, caused by the ultrasound, or if there's a real problem. And if it is a real problem, then more testing will apparently need to be done to find out if it's my fault or his.
On a side note, I'm going to ask something here that might have crossed your mind while reading the previous paragraphs - If ultrasound can somehow kill sperm, then WHY DO WE HAVE ULTRASOUNDS AROUND THE TIME OF OVULATION? Does that make any sense? It's so absurd that I'm starting to think maybe I misunderstood her, but then what else could she have meant? Why else would she think the ultrasound could have affected the test?
I'll be sure to ask her that question tomorrow. Oh, and treatment? Well, she said IVF is the usual treatment although, I'm wondering, isn't IUI more for this problem?). Either way, neither is an option for us. Another possible treatment is using condoms for six months. What? Again, not an option (she said these options in a very matter-of-fact manner, but I don't believe she was suggesting them, seeing that her boss is a big proponent of the Church's teachings and all).
I actually told her that the USCCB website says the licit approach is to abstain for two years. She said she'd never heard of that, but then told me that she has seen some success using steroids as a treatment. The bishops' site also refers to this option but says it's not shown to have much success (although it says at the bottom that the page was copyrighted in 1999, so I'm hoping it just hasn't been updated to reflect all the millions of successes there have been in the last ten years...haha).
Surprisingly, I am handling this all very well. My attitude is that I've never been pregnant, not once in five years, and so this diagnosis wouldn't change anything. I'm way past thinking I have a chance each month, so how could this make me any more sad about it?
The only thing that makes me sad is that adoption seems so unlikely. If it were a viable option, I really don't think I'd have any sadness about this new potential diagnosis. If God wills for our children to come not from my womb but through adoption, well, I have already mourned this and have moved on. I just want to be a mother. But to have a new diagnosis, and have adoption potentially years away, does make my heart a bit heavy, although I ultimately trust His plan for me.
I shouldn't get ahead of myself. I could find out tomorrow that everything is fine. Either way, it's in God's hands and I have peace with that.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
I'm trying to remain positive. It's just that I have this constant voice in my ear reminding me that a pregnancy is completely unlikely and an adoption is just as much so.
Instead of blogging right now I should probably be praying. Asking God to help me avoid falling into sadness.
Sometimes it's just so tiring to constantly try to keep yourself from despairing. It's like I am two people - I am my own constant caregiver, working furiously to keep myself from going over the edge, telling myself to stay upbeat, remember my blessings, reminding myself of God's promises. With God all things are possible. He has our best interest in mind. We should rejoice in being made low.
Then I start tipping over the edge, and not only do I quickly spiral downward into depression, but meanwhile the other part of me is disappointed in myself for letting it happen. For failing again, for not being joyful, for being a sad wife.
I have no idea when, or if, I'll ever be a parent and I just have to come to terms with that. Please God, let me be find peace with this reality.
It's growing increasingly difficult to accept that adoption isn't working out like we had hoped and prayed it would.
I think I am still in denial about the whole situation with adoption. Either that, or God is protecting me. Once in a while I have a fleeting thought about the reality of it all - that there is no end to this struggle in sight and finances are going to keep me, at least for the time being, from becoming a mother - and I feel completely crushed. I am filled with every negative emotion you can think of and then, in a second, it's gone. I honestly think that my brain can't deal with it and so I am somehow suppressing the grief right now. That's great, but I just know that it will boil over eventually. And when it does, it's not going to be pretty.
I also applied for a job that seems like it would be perfect and have so far heard nothing in response. I'm trying to not let this get me down even more.
I'll guess I'll just continue to hold on and hope I don't fall over the edge. That would be good for no one.
I am officially gaining weight. It's no longer a fluke, or bloating. I am now up eight pounds.
I don't know for sure the cause. I did start clomid this cycle and a quick google search did show anecdotal evidence that it can cause weight gain. But this soon? I just took it a week ago!
I also read online that thyroid meds can do it, and my new ones started in June so maybe the weight gain is just kicking in now. Hydrocortisone, which I started in July, is another possible cause.
Of course, it could be that I went off of my diet after my surgery. It could also be that I was very inactive after my surgery. It could also be that I haven't been perfect since then, even eating some sugar this weekend. I was so strict on my diet (until recently) because I was afraid of a few cheats here and there causing weight gain. Apparently I had good reason to fear.
I just hate that this is now added to my normal amount of infertility stress. I have been so thankful over the last year and a half that my weight was never anything I had to worry about. And it's not just what the scale says that relaxed me, it's more the luxury of knowing all my clothes were going to fit me at all times. Now none of my pants fit comfortably, and most don't fit at all. I have one pair that's tight and probably looks horrendous, but at least I can still wear them. I just have to wear them every day. Lovely.
I am going to be strict again with the diet and walk every day. I'm going to do everything I can to combat the effects of the drugs, if that's what it is.
All I know is that something has to change soon, because I can't afford new clothes.
In cycle news, it's day 12 and I called this morning to make an ultrasound appointment for tomorrow with Dr. L. I also made an appointment for Thursday because I know they fill up fast and you never know if the one ultrasound will be enough.
I'm really hoping she can find my right ovary this time. Last month she couldn't locate it in either of two ultrasounds. And since it doesn't appear that I ovulated on that side the last two cycles, I'm guessing there's a good chance this month I will.
I also haven't had any abdominal pain this cycle which is so rare for me. I always started with some mild left or right side pain around cycle day five or six on Tamoxifen, but this cycle I've been pain free. This morning I did feel a little twinge, but that's fine because hopefully ovulation is right around the corner.
Apparently Clomid did dry me up a little, but that is actually good news for me! For the first time in a while, I actually had green stickers after my period. Days seven through 10 were dry, and then I saw clear, stretchy mucus yesterday and today. My opk was negative this morning, which is good because I don't want to have the u/s too late.
So I'm gearing up for the dreaded weigh-in tomorrow at the doctor's office. My chart is showing my weight steadily rise at each visit. Great. But hopefully that will be overshadowed by good news about my follicle(s). Trying to stay positive!
*Update - Okay, now the pain is definitely on the right side, and it just made for a difficult walk. I can't believe in all this time I've never had pain while out walking Sophie. Not fun! And I'd also like to readjust my official weight gain amount - without clothes I'm at a 6.8 lb. gain. Still not great, but it makes me feel a little better.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
I feel like I am trying really hard to not fall into despair. I am nearly always hanging on by a thread and I just don't think that's any way to live.*
I used to want to live like this. I believed that if I couldn't have children, then I needed to feel bad. If I felt happiness, then God would think I was okay. Well, I am way past that. I am at the point now, and have been for a while, where I just need relief. I have come to the realization that since my joy, for at least the time being, won't be found in motherhood, that I need to find it in Christ. After all, that should be the source of our joy anyway, right?
With the help of some of my favorite saints, I now know that only God - and not even children - can fill the emptiness. I read about saints suffering greatly but still having joy because they have Christ and I want that. And that sounds great when I say it, but beyond saying I want it, well, there is just some disconnect there. I pray for it, I believe it, but I simply cannot find joy in my life during this time of suffering.
Maybe it is just a decision we have to make. Could that be? That it's not something He necessarily bestows upon us, but something we just have to decide to feel?
I tend to think that while we can choose to act in a joyful manner, that what I am looking for is true joy in my heart. There's a difference, right?
It can be frustrating to think that I'm asking God for something that I would think He should be thrilled I want (joy in suffering), and yet He doesn't give it to me. But I know that's prideful. God doesn't have to answer my prayers, even prayers for seemingly noble things. And if He's not answering my prayer to be close to Him, well then I have to believe it's because I am not living the fullness of my faith like I should be. I'm going to try harder in areas of my life where I know I fall short (one thing in particular I've decided to change is my laziness - I'm going to try to do tasks I don't really like with Him in mind).
And I'm not saying we have to earn His love, or that there's some magic bullet, but I just wonder if He wants me to learn more before receiving relief. Does that make sense?
I hope that's the answer and I really hope that God can bless me with joy (or I can find it somehow) soon, because it gets harder each and every day to live without it.
"To live in a manner worthy of the Lord, so as to be fully pleasing, in every good work bearing fruit and growing in the knowledge of God, strengthened with every power, in accord with his glorious might, for all endurance and patience, with joy" Colossians 1:10-11
*Before I go any further, I should point out that I don't mean this to sound like I'm having a bad day. This is more of a general every-day-during-the-past-five-years-of-suffering kind of thing.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
We found out today that we can, in fact, have our home study sent to another agency (or attorney, whatever) and wait with both simultaneously (as long as the new agency doesn't mind, of course). That is huge!
Although at the moment it won't change anything because a new agency is off the table due to a lack of funds. But it still opens up a lot of potential doors. It at least allows me to explore new options.
And can you believe that when I asked our case worker about applying for grants, she said that in her seven years of working in the adoption industry she's never heard of a couple applying for one? I just found that very interesting. Have any of you applied for and/or received an adoption grant? Is it really a myth that they exist? I emailed one foundation the other day and haven't yet heard back.
In cycle news, it's cycle day six and tomorrow will be my last day of Clomid. I'm interested to see if I have any of the side effects that others experience. If I am to, what day do they usually start on? So far I'm feeling fine. On Tamoxifen, I'd usually have some ovarian pain by cycle day five or six, but I don't have any right now. Then again, I should be ovulating on the right this cycle, the same ovary Dr. L failed to spot on two recent ultrasounds. I may or may not even have a right ovary! Let's hope it didn't shrivel up and die in protest to my last endometrioma removal.
The long mucus cycle has already also begun. Yesterday I saw 10 C/K L all day (very stretchy, cloudy, clear, lubricative). If not for slight spotting (which, along with a VL, made me chart a C), it would have been a beautiful example of the peakest-of-the-peak mucus. We'll see if the Clomid dries it up in the days ahead.
Today feels like spring. I started out in a bad mood (and on a separate note, we completely missed our adoration hour and we freaked, but it was an honest mistake) but now the weather is really making me feel hopeful. I'm sitting at my computer's new location in the guest room, right by an open window and it just feels so relaxing. I could stay here all day, but I'm about to pay a visit to the prayer room, where I'll pray for all of you.
Monday, October 19, 2009
So I sit down to read the Bible in my new prayer room this evening and, after praying that the Holy Spirit would guide me as I read His Word, I open it to Psalm 127:
Children too are a gift from the LORD, the fruit of the womb, a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children born in one's youth.
Blessed are they whose quivers are full.
Why, out of the entire Bible, did I open it to that passage? Was I supposed to read that?
I've been thinking a lot about it and what comes to mind first is that just because someone is blessed doesn't mean that I'm not blessed. It's like when a parent praises one child, it doesn't mean the other child is worthy of punishment. Those two things don't necessarily go hand in hand.
I get that, but it still confuses me. It might not mean that I'm being punished but, then, what does it mean? Maybe nothing.
I just thought I'd throw that out there. Interesting, too, that I read it right after learning (on Twitter of all places) that there's another abandoned newborn baby near us. Found today, alive, in a paper bag. Why? What is happening in our world that parents can take a living, breathing, crying little tiny baby and place it in a paper bag and leave it who knows where, while some of us are praying nearly 24 hours a day just to be able to care for someone else's baby, let alone conceive one of our own?
I do not stand in judgment. The parent(s) might have been scared, lonely, mentally or physically ill. But I just can't help but wonder what it will take before parents in that situation will know to turn to an adoption agency for help. There are millions of couples who would take that baby in an instant, including Ryan and I, who were, according to Map.quest, exactly four miles away from the location where the baby was found. There is no reason, in this day and age, that a baby should spend a nano-second in a paper bag out in the cold.
In other news, I made an appointment with Dr. Steg.man today. It's for January 28. 2010. Who would've thought back in 2004, when I was a naive bride, that at the start of the next decade I'd still have no children? No one, I'm sure. And that's why God doesn't reveal the future to us - we'd never be able to handle it. I would have absolutely lost my mind if I had been told of my current situation back then. So thank you, God. I really do appreciate that.
We now have a prayer room and I love it!
Since moving into our home almost two years ago, the smallest of our three bedrooms has been used as our office. But if I had my way, it'd be a nursery complete with a baby sleeping in a crib in there right now.
I know some people don't like the idea of getting an actual nursery ready before there's an actual baby, and I agree, but it was just as stressful having another use for the room I so desperately want to be used as a nursery. I hated it being an office. It was a constant reminder of what it wasn't.
So a week or so ago, I got the idea to make it a prayer room. We'd move everything out of there and find another place for the computer because, after all, we'll have to do that eventually (positive thinking).
My very kind husband did most of the grunt-work in this mini-move and by this afternoon we had moved our computer to the guest room and the office was now officially a spot for prayer.
So what's in our prayer room? Well, not much. It's just a lamp, a rocking chair, and a little end table with a statue of Our Lady on top. There's also a bookshelf and I put some religious trinkets on top of it, as well as an opened Bible. I'll put some candles there eventually. There's also one of those things you plug your iPod into, so I can have music playing too if I want.
This picture's from my cell phone so it's not the best, but you get the idea:
I spent some time in prayer in there today and it's very peaceful. It's just nice to have a place to escape to, where you can concentrate on praying and zone out all other outside influences. I was never good at turning the t.v. off and praying on my couch. I was always wondering what I was missing on t.v. or the computer. But in this room I just feel like that's what I'm there for. My mind is focused.
I also like the idea of praying for a baby in a room that will hopefully one day serve as a nursery. I feel very connected to my future child in there.
I also wanted to thank all of you for your thoughts and suggestions after my last post. I feel a lot better and I truly feel the most at peace when I remember that it is in God's hands. I don't want anything but His will to be done, and if more waiting is what He wants for us, I'll do it. Then again, I don't pretend to know what He has in store, so I'm just going to try live day to day!
I was also extremely comforted by a passage of Scripture I read today while testing out my prayer room for the very first time! It is the few sentences directly following the well-known Jeremiah 29:11 and it really hit me. It was exactly what I needed to hear:
"When you call me, when you go to pray to me, I will listen to you. When you look for me, you will find me. Yes, when you seek me with all your heart, you will find me with you, says the Lord, and I will change your lot" (Jeremiah 29:12-14)
Friday, October 16, 2009
Cycle day one was not a good day for me to figure out we can't afford to switch agencies.
I know nothing in life is fair - believe me, I know that - but to think that money is going to keep me from having a family just makes me sick to my stomach.
I have started to look for a job, since that's pretty much the only way we could afford to take out a loan. Not that any minimum-wage job I might be able to find would even make a dent. Plus I'm qualified for nothing and there aren't any jobs to begin with, which makes a great combination. Although working for the Navy and/or taking online surveys from home is starting to sound good (those of you looking for work on those online job sites will know what I mean).
I know some agencies do offer programs where they charge less for adopting babies of different races (which is so sad in the first place that some babies have a cheaper price tag). I'm going to have to focus my efforts on finding one that does that, and hopefully there will be one that doesn't require months to switch over to them (anyone have any suggestions?).
I don't think foster-to-adopt is a good option for me because I just don't think I would be able to handle the possibility of giving a baby back. I guess if that ends up being the only way we can ever have a family, then I'd do it. Hopefully if it is His plan, God will give me the strength. I'm just going to exhaust all other possibilities first. Plus, I really do still hold out hope that our first child will come to us as a newborn (which is unlikely with foster-to-adopt, right?). I know it's all up to God though, and I ultimately am open to His will.
We're also looking into what seems at times to be the "mythical" adoption grants and low-interest loans (has anyone ever actually received one?). I found one decent-looking grant program, but they require a copy of your home study. We already know that our agency doesn't release ours to us unless we take ourselves off of the waiting list. I'll call next week to find out if that goes for grant applications as well.
It just seems so odd that I finally am completely at peace with not being able to have biological children and desire for the Lord to bring our baby to us however He wills, and then *boom* - adoption seems just as unlikely as conceiving. I'm sure there is another lesson there.
I know we won't be childless forever. But is it wrong of me to be depressed that, five years in, we are no where near starting a family? I trust God, I really do. I just know that trusting Him doesn't make the suffering go away.
The priest told me in confession the other day that perhaps God is calling me to offer up my suffering for the sins of others. Maybe the Holy Spirit inspired him to say that to me. Maybe that is my calling in life - to suffer childlessness for the conversion of sinners.
Possibly, but I still hope and pray that the childlessness is only temporary.
It's officially cycle day one, which I discovered AT my doctor's appointment. The appointment didn't go too well. Well, it might seem like it did on the surface - she changed me to clomid, prescribed post-peak progesterone and another trigger shot. She also wants to do a post-coital test. All great. But the appointment just went super fast, I felt completely rushed and I just didn't feel like I got any answers.
She kept saying I should come in for an ultrasound once I see peak-type mucus. That's great, but this time I didn't really see peak-type mucus until after it looked like I was mid-ovulation on ultrasound. If I go in once I see it, it could be too late. So then I bring up whether this poses a problem in the first place. She says it could be that the timing of everything is off, which is what I've been saying for more than a year! So I ask what can be done to fix it. She says what I'm already doing with ovulation meds and the trigger, plus a good diet and exercise. Awesome. That basically means there's clearly no fix for me. And she didn't elaborate. That was it. My infertility might all come down to that and I am totally in the dark about it.
And this makes me wonder if my luteal phase was even 15 days. If I ovulated four days after the trigger - which is when I did according to Creighton based on my mucus - then my lp was only 11 days. Fabulous. But I guess the bigger picture is that I have an ovulatory problem that is completely mysterious. Has anyone heard of a similar issue? I appear to be ovulating on u/s, I get a trigger, my prog. and est. are good, but it appears that the actual process of ovulation takes four or five days (I'm assuming it's much quicker in a normal woman?). That's what happened on my hormone panel in 2008 and it appears that all my meds and losing forty pounds didn't fix a single thing.
When I have my u/s this cycle I'm going to ask to keep getting them even after the shot. I want to know exactly what happens to the follicle. Is it possible to have prog. and est. tested throughout when we think I'm ovulating? I guess I could get another hormone panel done. But is there even a treatment for this?
I'm kicking myself for not having the nerve to keep her there to get more of an explanation.
I would love to have a doctor look over everything to do with me and really try to figure it out. Maybe I need to make an appointment with Dr. B. That's what he tries to do.
I'm trying to be good. I'm not mad at God but it doesn't make it any less painful. And to top things off, we talked about adoption on the ride up and about switching agencies (did I explain recent developments? I just have less trust in our agency than before. The likelihood of them having babies any time soon is getting less and less) and I don't think it's going to happen. In order to get the money for the large fee many require upfront, we'd have to take out a loan. In order to pay the loan payments we'd have to get rid of our mortgage, which means selling our house and renting an apartment. But in order to get the loan, we need to own a home. You get the picture.
I'm trying to trust God on this. And I do. But I'm trying to not let everything completely crush me in the meantime. I just want to be a mother, by whatever means possible. And right now neither way looks likely at all.
I did just eat a chocolate-dipped chocolate chip cookie, which helped a lot.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Still no new cycle yet. Today is cycle day 29, peak +15. I guess the trigger shot was good for my luteal phase!
So far I've had no spotting, other than one pinkish drop (literally a drop, like a tiny dot) yesterday afternoon. That probably means it's on its way, but just one drop and then, 24 hours later, still nothing? And before you start thinking it was implantation bleeding, I'll remind you it was peak +14. A little late for that, unless the trigger didn't work and the ultrasound was wrong and I didn't actually ovulate until three to four days after we think I did (which would, actually, coincide with my peak-type mucus...NOT that I think this actually happened).
My temp also was playing games with me this morning and rose two tenths of a point. It had been at 98.1 since ovulation and today it was 98.3. Seeing that was enough to make me take a another test, but it was, again, negative.
I still don't feel like it's coming (my bbs are still sore and I haven't crashed yet), but I guess all bets are off this cycle since a lot has been different. I'll probably have no warning.
Speaking of not crashing yet, I've been handling the negative tests extremely well. I have just felt really uplifted by God's grace lately (and even if it is the progesterone, I still credit God with that!).
I called Tep.eyac to see if I could keep my scheduled cycle day one appointment tomorrow, despite the fact that I may not have actually begun a new cycle at that point and they said it was fine. Good. It's not like we can't figure out the plan for the next cycle even if this one hasn't ended.
I had the appointment time wrong though, and it forced me to cancel - for the second time now - an appointment with our priest to talk about finding me a spiritual director. Seriously, I have been trying to meet with him for like six weeks now. Things keep getting in the way - or I mess up the time - and I have to keep putting it off and he only meets with people on Friday afternoons. I am trying to remain patient and just pray that when I do meet with him, that he'll be able to recommend someone who will be able to take me on. I have to believe this is one prayer God will slowly but surely answer. Why would He deny me spiritual direction?
So we'll head up north tomorrow morning, I'll ask for something other than Tamoxifen, I'll ask for another trigger shot, and I'll ask about post-peak hcg as well. Anything else I should ask?
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
My peak +12 results are in and are as follows:
They dropped from peak +9's levels of 20.38 for progesterone and 558 for estradiol, but as far as I know that still seems pretty high for peak +12. Especially for someone who usually starts a new cycle on peak +12.
They did drop though, which probably means this cycle's a bust. Oh, and the two negative pregnancy tests I took this morning could be evidence of that as well.
So I planned to test today just because I have the tests, so why not? This luteal phase has also felt very different from any other I've experienced - sore bbs, back ache, extra bloating, head ache, twinges in the lower pelvic region - not that what I experienced were necessarily early pregnancy symptoms, but it was just different. Plus I just haven't had the normal pms feeling, the feeling when you can no longer deny a new cycle is starting.
I woke and tested with my first-morning urine, using a cheap plus-or-minus test. I know, due to my past experience with this type of test, I should steer clear. But is it wrong that I actually want to be able to stare longingly at it under a bright light, trying to determine if I really see something? That is just not possible with those clear-cut "pregnant/not pregnant" tests. They're so definitive. I want to determine if there's a faint line, thank you very much.
As soon as the lines started to form, I could see a faint vertical line, which would mean a positive. Honestly, looking back, I wasn't even surprised. I guess I actually kind of expected it to be positive for some reason! So since I know those tests aren't the most accurate, and not wanting to waste my first-morning pee, I immediately grabbed one of the digital tests.
That one was a definitive "not pregnant." And by the time that one was finished, I looked back at the first one to see no trace of a second line. Nothing. In fact the minus sign was quickly fading.
The digital test was an early response test, so I highly doubt there is still any lingering hope. I haven't started to have any sign of spotting yet though, so I'm pretty sure today won't be cycle day one. My temp was still up this morning too, but mine usually doesn't drop until cycle day two.
I still have all the same feelings - back ache, sore bbs - and no real pms symptoms, other than my legs feel kind of funny which is my tried and true sign that my period is coming (although not knowing what actually causes that, I have often wondered if I'd feel that on a cycle I conceived as well).
I have an appointment with Dr. L on Friday morning. It's the one where you guess a month in advance when cycle day 1-2 will be. It'll probably end up being right on the money. I'm going to see what she thinks about my levels appearing so great, yet still no pregnancy. I have a feeling she's going to think it's wonderful and that it means things are working. That may be true, but I have heard that for so long now. Is it really working if it's not resulting in a pregnancy?
I do have to remember, though, that it's not like I have been diagnosed as unexplained infertility. I have had multiple reasons why I haven't conceived and we've slowly chipped away at them. We thought I was fine for several months at the end of 2008 and for most of 2009, but unbeknownst to us, I was slowly growing an endometrioma. I have to believe the presence of endometriosis somehow reduced my fertility during that time. So now, for potentially the first time ever, everything seems to be working fine. I am even responding well to the hydrocortisone - I no longer feel fatigued or dizzy upon standing.
I can't lose hope and I can't grow tired. On paper five years may seem like a long time, but there's a good chance I only recently restored my fertility, if that. Maybe there's something else still standing in the way. I long for God to grow our family however He wills. It may be through adoption, but why not try a few cycles with a trigger shot while we wait? It's ultimately all up to Him.
Surprisingly, I have a good attitude today, and I don't credit my own spiritual enlightenment with my ability to "handle" today's news. I personally think it's evidence that my progesterone still hasn't dropped. I usually can tell the second that happens, and it's not pretty.
I also went to confession last night with a priest conducting a mission at our parish, and he had great things to say to me in the confessional about the struggle of infertility. I'll hopefully share more on that later, but I wanted to leave you with a Scripture passage he recommended I read:
Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions. (Col. 1:24)
There can be joy in suffering. It's just easier to have when your progesterone is slightly elevated.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
My doctor's office called with my peak +9 blood test results. Progesterone went up to 20.38 (had been 16 on peak +7) and the estradiol went up as well (though not much) to 558 (it was 555 on peak +7).
Anyone have any insight on those levels? My progesterone has risen in my luteal phase before, once between peak +7 and+9, and another time between +9 and +11. I've never been told what that possibly means, if anything.
From what I've found looking back over past posts, my estradiol is usually in the 200-300 range each draw. Would the trigger shot make it higher than normal?
I can't wait to see what happened on peak +12. It'll be a test of my patience though, since I probably won't get those results until at least tomorrow.
Before I go, I wanted to offer a prayer today to Our Lady of Fatima, on the anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun. I believe Our Lady of Fatima was very instrumental in my return to the Church. I read a book about Our Lady and the three children in the days when I was struggling with my faith that really helped to open my heart to God once again. I have always felt close to them.
PRAYER TO OUR LADY OF FATIMA
O Most Holy Virgin Mary, Queen of the most holy Rosary, you were pleased to appear to the children of Fatima and reveal a glorious message. We implore you, inspire in our hearts a fervent love for the recitation of the Rosary. By meditating on the mysteries of the redemption that are recalled therein may we obtain the graces and virtues that we ask, through the merits of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Redeemer.
Monday, October 12, 2009
I attended a talk at my parish tonight on prayer, and it has me thinking.
The priest said something I've heard many times before - that if you have a prayer that is going unanswered, perhaps God wants something different of you. His example had to do with thinking he wanted to become a veterinarian, but obviously God had other plans in mind for his career.
I understand this, but I've been praying for years for God to unveil His "other" plan for me, if there is such a thing, and yet nothing changes.
Maybe I will re-focus my efforts on this, asking God to please use us in some way, if not as parents.
I don't know. I just feel like so much time has been wasted. If God had some other purpose for Ryan and I, why wouldn't He have put us to good use years ago?
I know that those thoughts are prideful. I don't know more than God about His timing.
It makes me wonder, though, how much of the responsibility for this is on me? Should I just be seeking out some way for us to serve our Church and society, rather than waiting for some heavenly message from God Himself? Well, I know I could and should be doing more, but if God has some other plan in store for me other than being a mother, I hope He would place it on my heart in a real way.
Then I wonder if maybe it's my fault, maybe I haven't opened my heart completely to this other plan. Maybe I've just been pushing, pushing, pushing trying to conceive and adopt and not focusing on what He really wants for us.
And I've thought about how perhaps it's prideful to think God has some huge plan for us. Maybe His big plan is just for me to work on becoming closer to Him and a better wife.
Then again, maybe adoption is what He wants for us long term and we are where He wants us to be.
Obviously, as you can see, I am kind of all over the map tonight.
The priest also reminded me of one of my favorite - and most difficult - prayers, the Litany of Humility. I've blogged about it before, but I haven't prayed it in a while. It's not an easy one, that's for sure. But it reminded me that instead of allowing myself to be eaten up inside by jealousy over the pregnancies and adoptions of others, I should be praying that others become pregnant or adopt before me. I should want to be last.
That hurts, doesn't it? I guess that is my pride stinging. I need to remember that I don't deserve anything. I don't deserve to be pregnant just because I am married, or go to church, or own a home, or have been trying five years and one month, or any of the thousands of things I have thought over the years.
Maybe this is God reminding me that He has revealed His other plan for me - to work on my sinful ways.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
I am so full!
Fertile Thoughts and her husband invited us over today for a delicious brunch this afternoon, along with GIMH and her husband, and Fertile Thought's sister. It was so good! She's a really good cook.
Speaking of being stuffed, I have gained five pounds since surgery. That might not sound like much (it doesn't really to me, to be quite honest, especially considering all the awesome food I've eaten), but the problem is that none of my pants fit me comfortably. It was great after surgery - I wore either stretchy sweatpant-shorts or a comfy skirt with a stretchy waist band. It was like I was wearing my Thanksgiving-eatin' pants every day for six weeks!
Now, since I can wear pants again and since the weather is becoming a little bit cooler, I need to lose enough weight for my wardrobe to fit again because buying a new one isn't an option.
I started my diet again this week (although that took a detour at brunch this morning, I couldn't pass up an amazing homemade danish!) but I haven't noticed any change yet. Actually, this morning I was up two more pounds to officially make it five. Again, that doesn't sound like too much, but it's the tight jeans that are unacceptable.
I might be getting bloated at this point. It's cycle day 25, peak +11.
Speaking of my cycle, I saw 10KL this afternoon. I haven't seen that in over a week.
So today's Gospel reading has me thinking.
This past Wednesday, I was having terrible pain (it has gone away now, praise God!) and Ryan had to go to adoration alone. I happened to check my email just after his hour ended and saw he had already emailed me from his iPhone. And it wasn't a short little email, but rather a pretty lengthy discussion of today's Gospel reading that he just wanted to send me immediately!
He zeroed in on the last part of the reading:
Jesus said, "Amen, I say to you,
there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters
or mother or father or children or lands
for my sake and for the sake of the gospel
who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age:
houses and brothers and sisters
and mothers and children and lands,
with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come."
He thought it spoke to our struggle. While our lack of fertility wasn't a choice, we are forced to accept God's decision to allow us be childless thus far (which, he argues, is possibly even more difficult since our sacrifice was chosen for us). We might not be called to radical poverty like the man in the Gospel reading, but we have been called to radical poverty in regards to fertility. We are being called to love God more than we want "things" (in our case, babies).
Ryan also pointed that, according to the Gospel reading, if we do give up everything for God, not only will we have eternal life, but that we will be blessed in this life as well. He knows this is a big thing for me, since my broken heart longs for consolation now (I know eternal life is infinitely more important than any blessing on earth, but I am comforted by knowing God will provide us happiness in this life as well).
In the email he wrote: "Jesus has given us an amazing gift. It is not something we would have ever thought to even ask for. We don't have the burden of having to squeeze through the eye of a needle. We have already given up that what we desire the most. We just now need to turn that gift over to his complete service."
So this suffering may have been chosen for me, but it can be fruitful if I give into it. We have been given a great opportunity by God himself to love Him more than fertility. I think he is calling us to make this choice, this sacrifice, in a clear way.
I've already chosen to not do ART (I think you could make the argument that in not pursuing ART, we are literally giving up children to follow Christ); in this way, we have clearly told God that we love Him more than we think we deserve a baby by any and all means. But I have not done everything I could do with this "gift". I still moan and groan and plead with God to take this cross from me.
And this all brings to mind something that has been on my heart a lot lately - that I need to turn everything over to Him completely before it is too late.
And by "too late" I mean before we are blessed with a child, whether through adoption or conception.
I know that might sound odd, since we've already been waiting more than five years and it doesn't look like parenthood is going to happen anytime soon for us, but I kind of think it's like death (follow me here) - only God knows the hour, and you should act like every day is your last, don't put off confession, etc. Well, the same could be true for infertility. I might think I have a ton of time left to right everything with God, but I do not know the hour nor the day I will become a mother. If this suffering is truly to be seen as a gift, then I want to know that I suffered as best I could in the time He gave me. I want to know that I didn't squander it.
I have, at times, allowed myself to imagine me pregnant and it always comes with a feeling of regret that I was a total brat during my infertility struggle, the pregnant me wishing I had suffered better during the x amount of years (apparently "pregnant me" is rather tough). I guess no one really looks at themselves and is entirely happy with the way they're suffering (mainly because a good sufferer is probably way too humble for that!) but I don't want to think I wasted an opportunity from God either.
So I guess what I am trying to say is I need to look at this suffering more as a gift and I need to try to make the best of it while I have the chance. It's just so darn hard to view something negative as a good thing. I need to ask God for help with that part, that's for sure.
And I think the way this can be applied to my life right now in a practical way is to not completely lose it when a new cycle starts this coming week. I can cry out to God, but I shouldn't fall into despair. I shouldn't take it out on others, and I should work on my anger.
Okay, that's my assignment for this week.
I'm now going to plant my bloated self on the couch for the rest of the day. That's my assignment for this evening.
Friday, October 9, 2009
So I called Tep.eyac this morning to ask about my abdominal pain (in particular I asked if there was a chance that it could be ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome), and of course to ask what my peak +7 results were as well. I felt much better this morning, so I decided to go to watch (and videotape) my husband repelling off of a huge 400 ft. high building in downtown Rich.mond.
He did it as part of a fundraiser for the Spec.ial Olym.pics, and he was asked to take part as a member of the media. He wanted me to videotape it, since his station didn't deem it important enough to get video of it themselves. I was glad I was feeling better because I didn't want to miss it, and I knew he really wanted video of it. I did have some pain here and there, but nothing compared to the last two days.
I actually had to get harnessed up myself just to be able to go onto the roof of the building to shoot video. And the camera had to be connected to my harness! I obviously didn't know this was going to be part of my duties, since I wore flip flops. Oh well.
I was on my way up to the roof when who else but Dr. B calls! I couldn't believe it! I haven't talked to him since I was in the hospital.
He said he could tell due to my peak +7 estradiol level that it was not OHSS. He said it would need to be over 1,000 to cause concern, and mine was 555. He actually said that he didn't want to get me excited, but that 555 is a perfect level.
What does that mean? I didn't even know that estradiol could mean anything good or bad! Well, I know that it could be too high or too low, but I didn't know that a certain range could potentially be good news more than any other range. I don't ever even pay attention to my results.
I googled it, of course, and found a study all about estradiol in the luteal phase of IVF cycles, and it determined that in the group with higher levels, pregnancy was more likely to occur (but the description never said any actual amounts, so it didn't really help at all).
I'm not reading too much into it, but I just liked that Dr. B seemed to think that it was good. And I'm sure the good level isn't indicative that I have already conceived or anything, but rather that the conditions are good to conceive. That's all I can hope for.
Oh, and my progesterone was 16 which he also called perfect (mine has been as high as 44, so it's hard for me to get excited over a 16. I'm spoiled).
So anyways, as I'm talking to him, I'm being ushered into an elevator with Ryan to head to the roof. I told Dr. B what I was doing and he couldn't believe it and started singing the Spider.man song!
Long story short, the repel went great, I got my roof shot...
...and Ryan lived. It was very exciting!
Here's a shot of him going down (he's the little speck)...
So it was an exciting day all around. And if anyone has any insight into estradiol levels, please let me know!
Thursday, October 8, 2009
I'm doing better, at least mentally. And since my mood has changed a lot since my last post, I needed to get it off of there.
Whatever this pain is, I'll get through it. And I really don't have any more insight into what it may be. One minute I'm sure it's something with my ovaries or fluid, and the next I'm leaning towards intestinal. Or, it could be both.
I can deal with the pain. Yes, it might keep me on the couch, but that's fine. Thank goodness I have a job to call in sick to because after my surgery in August I'm quite sure I'd be out of sick days!
So I'm thankful that I can just stay home and rest. And I'm thankful He gave me a feeling of peace today when I was getting pretty close to a breakdown (okay, technically I did break down). I'm thankful that my husband brought me food tonight when I didn't have any.
On another positive note, my bbs are sore! There not terribly sore, but just ever so slightly, which is a step in the right direction because they're never sore. Even when my progesterone has been in the 30's and 40's they weren't sore!
So I'll get my peak +9 drawn tomorrow and call for my peak +7 results. Looking forward to the little things!
I feel sick again today. Frankly, I am scared of what it may be and really just hope and pray that it just magically goes away. Please, God, I can't take anything more right now.
I woke up feeling better and thought I was out of the woods. I was wrong. It hurts worse when I am sitting, somewhat when I am standing and walking. It comes and goes in waves. When it's real bad I have to try to take deep breaths to get me through it. Ad.vil doesn't help. I think the heating pad just helps to take my mind off of it, like I feel like I am doing something to help it, yet the pain is still there.
I still have hunger, so that's a good thing. Although I don't have anything to eat here. I am praying I feel better enough soon to run to the store. But I've had this pain before while in public and it's not fun.
Calling my doctor may be necessary soon, but I guess I am putting it off, hoping that the pain stops. I am so scared of getting another ultrasound only to have the technician look alarmed, then getting the call from my doctor that it might be cancer. I know it probably won't happen the exact same way again, but I can't help but be afraid of that since the whole experience was less than two months ago. It was traumatizing.
I just feel so beaten down emotionally. I am trying to accept the pain and offer it up, but it's what the pain may mean that worries me. I guess I should offer up the worry as well.
Please, God, please let it be intestinal. The idea of another surgery makes me shudder.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
I woke up with pretty bad intestinal pain. At least that's what I'm really hoping it is. Although that's what I thought it was last time and it wasn't.
I guess it could be a corpus luteum caused by the trigger shot, but right now I'm going on the assumption that it's a result of me eating too much fiber.
See, the other day we decided to get back on the diet. And that means eating high-fiber foods. What it doesn't mean is eating five bowls of all.bran flakes. Which I did. Yesterday.
On top of gorging myself on cereal, I also ate a couple bowls of my homemade barley and red bean vegetable soup. Also high in fiber.
And I didn't drink any water, which supposedly you are supposed to do if you're eating tons of fiber (unfortunately, I've had an aversion to water since doing my bowel prep. I think I was traumatized).
That could be it, right? It's not concentrated on one side like ovary pain usually is. It's stabbing pain on and off, and all over the abdomen, on both sides. I'm really hoping it's the fiber thing and that it will pass. I did take four advil (which didn't really help) and I'm using a heating pad (which helps in the moment).
I also had my peak-plus seven blood draw today. This should be interesting because if not for the ultrasounds showing I ovulated on cycle day 14, I probably would have thought today was only about four days past peak. I can't wait to see what the results are.
On the adoption front, our case worker is really thinking of us a lot lately, which is a great thing! She called again early this morning with a couple more scenarios she wanted to run by us (oddly I didn't freak out when she started the conversation with "I can't believe I am calling you again already!" which I could have taken to mean she had good news about yesterday's situation. She didn't.)
This time it was two different possibilities, one involving a four-month old with a severe possibly-life-threatening illness. The other was a sibling group of two children, one three-years old and the other 16 months, with some attachment and minor health issues. The children were all of races other than Caucasian.
We thought about it and we think it just wouldn't work for us. I don't think I am strong enough to care for a baby who may die. It will take a real special couple to take that child in and I know whoever does will be blessed immensely, I'm sure. But it's just not meant to be us. And the sibling group would just be too much too fast for us. Again, they need that perfect family and, as our case worker assured me, the right family will come forward, it always does.
But I can't help but wonder, am I weak? Would a better person do whatever they could for these basically orphaned children? I know we are told throughout this process not to feel bad about saying no to special needs we don't think we are capable of handling, but I can't help thinking that a more spiritually mature version of myself could handle it and/or would just do it, regardless of what she could handle.
I know, I know. I'm not losing any sleep over it. And who knows if we'd even be picked for these children. Maybe someone else out there really wants them at this very moment. Let's hope.
Oh, and after I posted yesterday about the abandoned baby, I googled it and was inundated with results. Apparently it's a big news story in that area. So I learned a little more information about the situation that was pretty interesting and I was reminded what a long shot it is. Just to think that we would be picked to parent a baby that was all over the news, a baby everyone wants, just seems like something that would never happen to us. I guess anything is possible though.
So I'm going to spend the rest of the day on the couch (what else is new?) taking it easy and eating anything but fiber. Let's hope that does the trick.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Could you all please pray for a special intention if you get a chance today?
We were contacted by our adoption agency this morning (surprisingly and thankfully I didn't get my hopes up that it was "the" call, even though our case worker has never called us before). It turns out that a little baby boy was abandoned at a hospital in our state. So Social Services apparently reached out to several adoption agencies to ask for interested adoptive couples, and our case worker immediately thought of us.
They are guessing that the baby is about three weeks old and they do not know what race he is (which would lead you to believe he isn't obviously Caucasian).
We don't know any other details, other than he's been in DSS custody for a week, and whoever is chosen to adopt him will most likely technically be fostering-to-adopt for six months. I think that's when she said the parental rights will be terminated (which possibly take that long because the parents are unknown?).
We'll see. Our case worker said she has no idea how many couples are being considered. It could be a just a few or they may be inundated with couples. And she has no idea when we might possibly hear something.
This is actually our second potential lead in just a few days. On Saturday, Lifehopes got a call about a woman who had given birth and was interested in adoption. Since she and her husband are already matched, she asked the contact if she could send our profile, which she did. Isn't she so thoughtful?
We haven't heard anything back on that one, but just the thought that a birthmother was looking over our profile was exciting. No one had even looked at our profile for more than nine months, and you don't get a baby by no one looking at your profile!
So I am praising God today for these leads. Even if nothing comes from either one, it is still an answer to prayer.
It's also a reminder to me that one day our time will come. Despite the fact that it seems so completely bleak so much of the time, we will have a baby eventually. There might still be a very long wait ahead, and it might be excruciatingly painful, but we will get that call.
So if you happen to remember to, I would greatly appreciate your prayers for this situation. Especially for this little boy, that he can be safe and healthy and placed with the family that is meant to raise him.
Monday, October 5, 2009
"Oh, how pleasing are the hymns flowing from a suffering soul! All heaven delights in such a soul, especially when it is tested by God. It mournfully sings out its longing to Him. Great is its beauty, because it comes from God. The soul walks through the jungle of life, wounded by God's love. With one foot only it touches the ground." (Diary, 114)
On this, St. Faustina's feast day, I am so grateful to God that I was lead to begin reading her diary this year. I can't even describe how much it has helped me to read it in front of the Blessed Sacrament every Wednesday morning. It's as if she is speaking directly to me about suffering. She was real and flawed, yet incredibly strong and virtuous, all at the same time. And she suffered terribly.
I love the passage quoted above: "It mournfully sings out its longing to Him." Is that not perfect for us? It reminds me that it's okay to cry out to God. It's not just okay, but it's described here as singing!
I was just thinking today about how tired I am of taking my petitions to the Lord, of crying out to Him in pain. I sound like a broken record. I'm annoyed listening to myself, so I can imagine God is annoyed with me. I couldn't imagine taking the same request or complaints to my mother or father over and over and over. It'd be silly and annoying!
But God's ways are different. He's not annoyed. He sees the cries of the suffering soul as beautiful music.
No, it doesn't make sense to me at all, but I just have to trust in Him.
"During Holy Mass, I saw the Lord Jesus nailed upon the cross amidst great torments. A soft moan issued from His Heart. After some time, He said, I thirst. I thirst for the salvation of souls. Help Me, My daughter, to save souls. Join your sufferings to My Passion and offer them to the heavenly Father for sinners.
When I see that the burden is beyond my strength, I do not consider or analyze it or probe into it, but I run like a child to the Heart of Jesus and say only one word to Him: "You can do all things." And then I keep silent, because I know that Jesus Himself will intervene in the matter, and as for me, instead of tormenting myself, I use that time to love Him." (Diary, 1032-1033)
Sunday, October 4, 2009
We're back from the beach.
We had a great time, and the weather couldn't have been better.
It was a great weekend. I absolutely love staying in hotels, it's seriously one of my favorite things to do. It's right up there with eating out, which you have to do when you're on vacation, so I loved that too! We had some good food and it's back to dieting tomorrow. It was also really dead this weekend, being the off-season, so it was super quiet on the beach. It was really a perfect time to go.
That being said, I didn't feel entirely relaxed the whole weekend. Could that be due to the trigger shot?
On the ride home today I found myself sad and inevitably asking the age-old question "Why would God allow us to be childless?" and even I was annoyed at the sound of it. I've asked it a thousand times. As soon as it comes out of my mouth it falls flat and I don't even pretend ask it with energy anymore. Maybe I don't even realize I'm asking it? Maybe it's a bad habit. Ryan doesn't really respond to the question and I don't blame him. There's nothing to say. There's no answer anyone on earth could give me that I'd be happy with. I'm just so tired of wondering.
In cycle news, I have had a ton of peak-type mucus before and since ovulation. This poses two problems that I can think of: 1) it means I've now had 14 straight days of mucus, and 2) since I ovulated on cycle day 14 according to the ultrasound, then I've had four days of mucus after ovulation.
I know this isn't normal and I'm actually glad that getting an ultrasound revealed (assuming that this cycle isn't a fluke) that I probably ovulate earlier than I have thought in recent months and I'm just seeing what appears to be peak-type mucus for several days following ovulation (today it was cloudy, but up until today it was clear and great quality. If I were doing the essential sameness question, I probably would have charted yesterday as my peak day. As it is, I charted the trigger shot day as my peak, which my doctor instructed me to do).
Also keep in mind that I'm on ovulation drugs and still have too much mucus. I'm not taking anything to increase it either.
Perhaps this doesn't mean anything, but when everything is seemingly normal, you kind of have to look into anything that is out of the norm at all. Having a potential problem come to light does make me hopeful that perhaps it can be treated, although I'm afraid I'll never get an answer about this. Does anyone know what too much mucus (pre- and post-ovulation) means? Is it too much progesterone? Estrogen? I've read that both hormones create mucus, just different types. Is that even true?
I'm so frustrated when I try to goo.gle anything about hormones and ovulation. Is it just me, or is there nothing out there except fertility sites that give information even I already know? Please let me know if you have found any good sites that explain things a little more scientifically (not that I want anything over my head, but I just want a good explanation of why each stage is occurring).
I thank you in advance for any help you can give me on any of my many questions. I'm off to relax because I am wiped out. I've gotten a ton of sleep lately but I was still forced to nap today. Does the trigger shot make you loopy? I'll use that as an excuse regardless!
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Happy feast day!
Boy, I really bothered St. Therese a lot today. Hopefully she heard me.
I prayed my heart out for one girl who was going into the abortion clinic today. I just begged and begged St. Therese to intercede and make her walk right out of that clinic. Well, she did leave a short time later, but who knows what she was even in there for! What if she was in there for a pap smear and St. Therese heard my prayer and was like, "Really? Are you sure that's what you want?"
Seriously though, I know she hears me and I know she takes my requests to the Father. And when my prayers aren't answered I know there is a good reason.
I'm excited because we're leaving tomorrow for a quick trip to the beach. We had planned to go on our actual anniversary in early September, but I definitely wasn't back to normal after surgery at that point so we postponed the trip.
It should be nice weather - high 70's - and I'm really looking forward to just relaxing.
I'm also feeling really good about my ovulation. Yesterday, in my typical pessimistic fashion, I focused on things to possibly worry about - like why the follicle was shrinking - but today it's really sinking in that I actually ovulated on cycle day 14. That is huge!
I know you don't have to ovulate on the "textbook" day 14 to conceive, but for me it's just evidence that something is becoming more normal. I'm hoping this is not a fluke, and that perhaps my hormones are regulating themselves now that the endo is gone. Even though it was unnoticeable on my ovary until August, I'd like to think that it was still there, however small, messing up my fertility for a while now.
And here's a question - if I know I ovulated yesterday, but still have peak-type mucus today, how do I count peak +7? I'm thinking of counting from yesterday, instead of whatever my Creighton peak day ends up being, since we actually have proof of ovulation. So that would make today peak +1.
Well I'm very thankful that I've been feeling really peaceful lately. Praise God, because I had enough anxiety the last couple months to last me a lifetime! I really have felt great the last week or so, and have had a lot of little blessings lately.
But I feel like I can't write a post lately to save my life, so I'll end this now. Maybe it's because I have nothing to say! Hopefully Monday will just be a picture post!