Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Empty arms carrying a heavy burden

So after my surgery in May, I was prescribed clomid to regulate and ensure ovulation, and told I would have to be monitored by the doctor each month.  June 1st we began a fertility cycle at full force.  As discussed in previous blogs, we were able to have a successful period after prometrium and started Clomid. 

When it was confirmed that I ovulated on Day 17, we excitedly called the Dr. to see if we could come in to do the IUI.   Our hopes got even higher when we were able to correlate our work schedules and went in to the Dr's  office to have the IUIs (intrauterine insemination) performed the following day. This is a fertility treatment where the man's sperm is placed past the woman's cervix, where it doesn't have to travel very far, at just the right time.  Often, I jokingly  describe it as the turkey baster method. So all that has to happen is fertilization and implantation.  Seems easy enough right???

After 30 days of Dr visits, medications, temperature checks, daily ovulation checks, & procedures, the time had come for us to test for pregnancy. I took a deep and went in to the restroom praying, "Lord, I know your timing is perfect, and I'm ok with not being pregnant right now, but PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, give me the strength to see the test say I'm not. I know you provided a baby for Abraham and Sarah and I know you will for us…IN YOUR TIMING, and again I'm ok with that now….just please give me the strength not to burst in to tears when I here another, no."  We waited for 5 LONG minutes....NEGATIVE!!!  I instantly burst into tears.  I felt as if I had lost something yet I never had anything to loose.
After prometrium & clomid & a IUI round....still no pregnancy.  We called the doctor the next morning with the results from our home pregnancy.  He instructed us to wait 2 more weeks to see if my body would "jumpstart" a period without medication.  If not, retest for pregnancy at the end of the 2 week waiting period.  Call him with either result.  Again, we became hopeful....maybe my HCG levels are just too low and not registering for pregnancy yet.  We can handle that!  Sadly, the next morning I began cramping and later that day I started my period.  I had to fight hard not to let the tears the fall from my eyes.  It was confirmed...we were definately NOT pregnant.  Time to make that dreaded call to the Dr. & set up another appointment to start another round of fertility :(    

At this point we are getting frustrated, and we're feeling the financial and emotional strain of the treatments.  Although, we are taking baby steps toward BABY STEPS since my body had started it's own period for the first time in 7 months, it feels like we are walking in place and getting  nohwere....fast.   Day after day, my empty arms are carrying a heavy burden.
I am constantly aware of the fact that our baby isn’t here with us yet.  Month after month, treatment after treatment, we came home with empty arms and the burden of those empty arms is a heavy one. 
Nobody can feel the load we carry any more than they can see the wind blow.  But the pain we feel and the emptiness that is left in our hearts after a failed fertility cycle is real and we are always aware of it.  We are also aware that we are not the people we once were, even though it may seem so from the outside.
To everybody else, it seems that our lives goes on.  That is the hardest part for us.  Our arms are empty, but our hands are busy.  Very busy.  There are still the regular, daily needs that have to be attended to.  Since our hands are busy it appears that life is continuing on as normal.  But it’s not.  We have an "invisible" disability called infertility......Struggling in silence. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Living on a Bridge

I don't like traffic.  Nothing feels more like a waste of time than just sitting gridlocked, especially when you have somewhere to be.  What's worse is traffic that is log jammed on a suspension bridge because there are no detours. You can't really turn to the right or the left because water is no shortcut!

Infertility is a lot like living on a bridge, suspended between two worlds.  The land side is a season of having children and experiencing the joy of being parents.  The other side is a season of being married without kids.

My husband and I are on that bridge right now.  I find that sometimes I have to escape mentality; I want to get off of the bridge.  Not jumping off mind you, but driving off!

My husband does fine living on the bridge- most of the time. Me?  I'm still working on it.

Do not get me wrong. It is fine to be in that in-between season for a while. You can work more, save more, and remodel your house.  In short, you can do things that people with children cannot easily do.

Yet, on the flip side, there is this undercurrent of pressure that regularly surfaces.  There is this sense of urgency to move along and get into the next season. There is even an uneasy feeling of competitiveness in knowing that, if something doesn't happen soon, we will be the last ones joining the "Parent's Club". It's a ridiculous feeling, I know, but sometimes even ridiculous feelings are real.

The past 30 days have seemed like 30 years at times.  We suffered what seemed like some pretty unbearable side effects from the 10 days of Prometrium.  However, the end result having having a period was well worth it.  We were fortunate enough not to experience any adverse side effects from the Clomid.  It was the days following, while awaiting for a positive ovulation test, that we began to learn that we are truly on God's time.  Day after day, morning after morning, we got a negative ovulation result.  On day 17, I wanted to give up.  I was positive that the medications had not worked; however, something inside me told me to take one more test.  Finally, it was positive!!!  It's amazing how the small blessings can seem as big as a mountain.   The following day we went to the Doctor and he did the IUI (interuterine insemination).  It was somewhat uncomfortable but having my husband at my side lovingly holding my hand may all the more bearable.  In 2 weeks we will take a pregnancy test.  And now, the waiting game begins........ again.

Yes, sometimes it gets lonely out here on the bridge, and sometimes it gets crowded with others who are there for similar  reasons-but they don't tend to stay for long.  And when you are there for a while, it feels like there is no one else on the bridge with you.  And yet, I know that living on the bridge is a transient experience.  I can never truly feel completely settled here.  This is a place of thoroughfare, not a destination.  You never really feel at home in an airport, do you?  Airports are not a place where you put down roots---and neither is bridge.  They are for passing through on your way to somewhere else.

While living on the bridge, this is what I do to stay strong:  I go to the basics of my faith.  I have to learn (sometimes daily) to trust HIM...to rest in HIS in faithfulness and retain my stand in faith.  It can be a tightrope walk.  To stay expecting, yet be at peace, is never easy.  This posture of expect rest is like a warrior sitting down while wearing his sword.  His weapon is at the ready should he need it, but he is not always actively engaging the enemy.  Sometimes he needs to be at ease.

I have learned that it is time to shift our focus back to the Author and the Finisher of our faith---to let HIM lead us through this journey.

For now, my husband and I are both still living on the bridge.

But we are on a journey of faith-----together.