Friday, April 27, 2012

Menopause week 3: waiting

Things are looking up this week.  I finally took the advice of a friend and am now on another hormone (just what my body needs) to try to relieve the hot flashes.  I was up to one every 20 minutes, and now more like one an hour or less so that is fantastic!  Yay for more hormones.  And I have not been feeling as crazy as I thought - minus the road rage which continues to escalate.  I even felt sane enough to rejoin facebook so I could wish my sister happy birthday, see my college roomie's engagement ring, and congratulate a dear friend on the birth of her 2 little twins and see their precious pictures.  During my first episode back, I found only 3 women who were announcing their pregnancy on that front page (bleh) but I didn't want to scream or throw things so I consider it progress.

The waiting has become more challenging than I thought.  It reminds me of waiting for my wedding day.  There was all the stress and excitement at the beginning of the process, then you took all the steps you had to and during that point you could count down to the specific day.  But those last few weeks (or months in our case with our long engagement) were so hard.  I couldn't wait to get married.  And I resented those people who married in the few months before me - they didn't date as long as us, we were engaged first, blah blah blah.  And here I am, with a set date (or a range of dates) for the transfer to occur and I am growing discontent in my waiting.  This is a position I should know well by now, and we are so much further along in the process, but I still hate it.

Our church is going through the story of Samuel and this past Sunday was on Hannah's prayer.  The pastor spoke some on the struggles of infertility and of Hannah's anguish but faith in her situation.  I had to think of how much harder this would be if I had someone in my life rubbing in their fertility.  Though I feel like that is often what happens with Facebook as people brag on their children and post weekly maternity pictures, I do really know that no one is intentionally trying to cause me grief.  No one is telling me over and over again what a failure I am or how I have let Andrew down as a wife as I am unable to bear him children.  And for Hannah to go through that, and do it with such faith, and then give up her first child to the Lord to be raised by someone  I can't even imagine.  It was such a horrific thought but a beautiful picture of learning to live by God's strength and not my own.  And I do think I am slowly learning that though it is a very fragile characteristic at this point.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Menopause Week 2: Hot flashes!

So far I'd like to think I'm doing fairly well. Aside from wanting to run over the slow people on the road and bawling for a good hour during Private Practice, my main symptom has been the hot flashes. Andrew would probably say I'm more testy and short tempered, but compared to what I expected this is not so bad. Don't get me wrong, hot flashes are intense. But I've done pretty good throughout the day with maybe 10ish through the work day. Night...that's a complete different story. I've taken to stealing Andrew's side of the bed on those mornings he gets up before me to escape my sweaty sheets. Nastiness.

My peace with waiting has been more intermittent these past few days. I'm not entirely sure why, but God has placed numerous patient's in my life these last 2 weeks who are randomly telling me of their infertility issues and failed attempts at treatment. Not exactly the encouragement I was looking for. I'm not even sure why these conversations are starting and feel as though I am at a loss as to how to respond. I think Andrew and I both thought this would be a sure thing, that out of this whole process we would be guaranteed a child. As of a week ago, everyone I know on a personal level has experienced success. And now, it's more like 50/50. And those odds are scary. And we're right back around to that trust issue.

And so each night we pray for the safety and health of our freezer babies, which feels a little surreal, and that the menopause would continue to dry up all the endometriosis. And we wait. Two weeks down, 7 to go. We are making progress and slowing moving forward!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Menopause Week 1

Well, God's plan (once again) was a little different than mine or my doc's. Back to the doctor on Saturday to pick up and inject the Lupron. What a scary experience after seeing how huge that needle was. I was not prepared for that - thought I had another week before I would be experiencing my first intramuscular injection. Nope. I felt pretty good on Saturday with only minimal nausea following the injection. Sunday was not as great as I experienced my first hot flash. Oh my...I have been thinking that hot flashes would be a minor component of this process. No big deal, so I get a little warm. HA! More like I'm on fire! Whew... But since then I have been fairly good with only slight increased irritation with every minor frustration as the inability to control emotions is starting to creep in, particularly the slow cars on our 2 lane roads. It would be bad to ram right into the back of them, right??

But despite the increased emotion, I am feeling even more at peace with the waiting process. I know there is a potential for a long journey ahead with possible failed transfers, but I have been so encouraged during the past 2 months with how many obstacles the Lord has already been able to overcome. Don't really know what that surprises me - it shouldn't. Yet I find myself surprised each time our prayers are answered. And so we continue praying for our children and this time of waiting and preparing.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Freezer official

What a hectic but wonderful week. I am finally starting to feel a little more normal - though still looking very much pregnant. Just getting tired and winded easily and still using some external force to keep my pants together. So appreciative of whoever it was who told me the rubber band trick, very useful. The doctor thinks about 2 weeks and I will be shrinking back down again.

We went to the Masters Wednesday and when we got back in the car at the end of the day, we had a message waiting from REACH with our official count. 14! At first I thought there must be some mistake, because that is such a huge number. It's ridiculous. Or more so miraculous. Because even when we were at the doctors office on Sunday and told him there were still 19 embryo at that time, he still told us from that normal would be about 5 or 6, maybe a few more since mine were all developing well at that time with no fragmentation. But nope, God has chosen to bless us with 14. I'm not entirely sure why that is the case - just how big does He want our family to be?? But I know he has a plan for each of these little ones and knows exactly what their lives will hold, even if some are incredibly brief and lost early. So now we are to pray for our future 14 children and that God will begin preparing us for our future as parents. What an amazing testimony of God's faithfulness and his ability to overcome all medical odds. Thank you so much to all of you who have continually prayed for us though this difficult journey. I'd like to think we've made it through the most difficult part, or at least a piece of the most difficult part, but I have a feeling I have no idea what I am in for. (probably all of you pregnant people or moms could attest to that one). But menopause starts next week with the first embryo transfer probably occuring some time in July? Will have to see how my body responds to the hormones - though right now it is pretty incredible to be hormone free :)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Bed Rest

As anyone who has known me since childhood can attest, if there is a side effect or complication from medical procedures or medications - I will get it. Back to the doctor we went today after having more abdominal pain and being HUGE (my dear, sweet husband offered to let me borrow his pants...and kindly pointed out that now my belly sticks out past my boobs...nice). The doctor confirmed that my ovaries are the cause of that hugeness as they were measuring over 20 cm total. Eek. So I was instructed to continue my bed rest at least another day, making 5 days total. Not sure I am going to be able to take any more time in the bed or the recliner.

While we were at the doctor, though, we got an update on the embryo. Of the 29 eggs, 22 were mature eggs and able to be fertilized. Of those, 19 actually fertilized. We knew through the process that we would lose some each day. But our day 3 number: still 19. Wow. As of 11:30 this morning, each embryo was 6-7 cells and all looked healthy. The doctor seems to think we may end up with more than the original 5-6 he was hoping for. Andrew and I have always dreamed of a big family, this is just a little more than we ever expected. It is going to be such a journey seeing where God takes us with all this, how many of these children he choses to bring into our lives as healthy babies. We always said we would never just discard the embryo, because human life begins as the DNA is combined and cells start to split which, at 6ish cells now, has already occured. Maybe they will make a TV show about us and all our children?? Could be interesting