Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Partnering up

So we found out a few days ago that the civilian partnership that the Air Base as teamed up with is The Fertility Center of San Antonio! I think this is great news, they have long established roots within the community and its exciting that they even do a active duty discount!

http://www.fertilitysa.com/advantages.htm  Their website. :)

I spoke with Lt. Y. again today and she was very kind and told me to call her with any other questions I may have during the next few weeks. She emailed me the application to the Fisher House and we should know whether or not we can stay there within a two weeks. Fingers Crossed!

I had such a hard time growing up with birth control pills due to my apparent low tolerance of estrogen. I would have to be taken out of school due to the horrible nausea and vomiting. When they started me on them last month (before the cycle was postponed) I didn't mention the low tolerance to them because, honestly, I hadn't taken birth control pills since I was 14? After getting my first period and seeing how much pain followed the next few cycles I was put on birth control pills to regulate the pain. After trying about ten different brands and low dose estrogen pills I was finally lead to the Depo Shot. This has practically no estrogen in it (Actually I say that with little knowledge of what is actually in the shot, all I know is that it caused me to have no nausea at all and no period so this was a miracle shot for me) and so it caused no pain or side effects. Since Depo worked so well for me I wound up staying on it for the next eight years or so. After a visit to my regular doctor suggested that I get a bone scan at 22 because he was afraid that because I was on it for so long that the major adverse side effect of the shot, bone loss was occurring. Turns out that being on Depo Provera for that long had caused an actual 18% bone loss in my lower back and I had to take calcium/vitamin D pills for a year after that.

This was all right before I met Nick, funnily enough that I had to stop the Depo and find another form of birth control that would work without making me hug the toilet bowl all day and night. First I tried the arm patch. Gross and sticky and had the same effect on the stomach as the pills did.

Funny story, I was just trying out the arm patch birth control right before I met Nick and the same day I put the first patch on was the same day that we had a homework/dinner date. I was having a hard time with some sort of math class, (what math class you may ask? I don't know because all math is the devil so I blocked it out) and Nick was helping (or doing) my homework for me, then we would cook dinner and watch a movie. After homework was done and dinner was started, somehow the patch began to work its magic. Or anti-magic as it would be. I backed out of the kitchen as the smells and the medicine in the patch did a horrible dance in my stomach. Spent the next 45 minutes in the gross downstairs boys bathroom. Gross, because lets face it, two guys living together, the bathroom is bound to be a little gross. Nick says he blames it on his former roommate. I was miserable yet could not make it out of the bathroom to tell Nick what was going on. Completely mortified I managed to crawl out afterwards to dinner on the little table by the downstairs television and Nick waiting to see if I was ok and offer a foot rub. A foot rub after we had only been dating less than a week. There was my sign right?!
 I ask him from across the room tonight if he remembers that night and he says with a genuine smile "Oh yes I was thinking I hope I get to spend every night of my life like this, with a pretty sick girl in my bathroom." HA! Be careful what you wish for!

I realize this isn't much of an update but its helping to get me a little more excited about the whole process. Tomorrow morning I go bright and early for cycle day three labs at my regular fertility doctor, Dr. M. at Arkansas Fertility in West Little Rock. I have to be there at 7:30! Yikes. And the day after that I will start on my birth control, which actually turns out to be the last form of birth control that I was on before we started trying to get pregnant, the Nuva Ring. Which is what I will be on until we head down to Texas.

Job status is shaky and we may now not get Nicks staff pay on the first like we are supposed to, which really sucks because it would have been nice to have as a cushion while we are down there for three weeks. Finance has told us that it could be delayed and since we only get paid once a month (something that we changed it to and truly works much better for us) that means we wont get it until October. Even though we have had these two tiny shake ups in the past week I am on the path of positive thinking and am DETERMINED that my body will be a palace of peace until after the transfer. Things will work out, the Fisher House will come through, the IVF will work the FIRST time and we will have a happy baby in about 10 months!

What I am listening to at the current moment:

Going to shut the door on any negative thoughts or nay-sayers until then as it can only do us harm. Don't know how exactly I am going to do this other than walking the dogs, massages from the DH (fertility speak for Darling Husband) and many glasses of wine! And prayer, because I know He hears  everything as ask for.

Sweet Dreams!

Monday, August 15, 2011

All good things come to those who wait

And the good Lord knows that we have been waiting for a good while!!!!

 At lunch today I went to check my phone as I periodically do with everything that has been going on with our fertility, for a few weeks there was a message every other day or so with an update. When I had a missed call and voice mail with the San Antonio area code my heart sank.

I must say that for all my preaching on trying to have a positive outlook (not something I am good at in the tiniest bit) things it is very easy to slip into the old ways. Instinctively I went into my turtle shell and tried to talk myself off the ledge if if was a call postponing the cycle again. Before I pressed the play voice mail button I sat down in the chair that overlooks the floor to ceiling windows downstairs in my office. It was a gorgeous sunny day outside and the wind was choosing which leaves to ruffle. I asked God out loud to give me peace with where he was leading us and knowledge that whatever this voice mail said, there was a reason behind it, the biggest reason being that He knew where this path was going to take us. Closing my eyes and taking a few deep breaths I pressed play.

All the Doctor said was to call her regarding our August Cycle. With yet another prayer said, (too many can never hurt right?) I pressed re-dial. My stomach was doing its best impression of the stuntman in the death ring of fire when Lt. Y. answered.

Imagine my surprise when she told me that she was calling to tell me that everything, EVERYTHING has been approved and that there would be NO MORE cancellations or postponements. NONE. In other words, we are now 100% on task to head down to Texas September 5th!

From the day I got the call in early April telling us that our IVF cycle was indefinitely postponed I felt like a hollowed out egg.

When we were in high school we had to take an egg and poke two holes in it. One at the top and one at the bottom. Then you had to blow all the yolk out. (Gross) Then you could paint a face on it, write your name on it, anything to personalize it. The teacher then put his thumb print on it so he would know if it was the original egg from the start of the project. This experiment was for life management skills class and you were "married" to another student from class and the egg was to symbolize your "baby." The more cracks you had in your egg when you turned it in, the lower the grade. Demolish the egg all together and you fail the project.

(Our "baby" was named Christopher and was taken to soccer practice by "husband" Josh in a sunglasses case. Miraculously he came through without a single crack.....)

April felt like the first crack, then in May when I got the call that the cycle was back on, a little bandaid was applied to the tiny damage. Only for it to be reopened again in June when it was postponed again with no further information. Applied some super glue to the wound when it not only was back on again in July but also was started on my medicines to actually start the ball rolling for the IVF the following month. The largest crack in the egg was when they cancelled again after I had been on the medicine for only two days. Crying, to include snotting all over yourself, at your brand new job in the employee lounge definitely qualifies as a rather large crack in the egg.

But today, was the first day, since the beginning of April that I felt like we have a new beginning and one that is on solid ground. There are many more mountains to climb and rivers to cross (pardon the cheesy metaphors) on this cycle but having the first challenge down certainly makes me feel at peace with proceeding to the next prayer set!

Next up is praying, for those of you who keep us in your prayers, this is big one too, praying that we get a room at the Fisher House. They are on a first come, first serve basis and are there for people who are traveling from out of the state for treatment at the base there. We were told a while ago that one was pretty much solidified because of the fact that they had cut the patient load by about 70 percent but was informed by a Fisher House representative soon afterwards that rooms were only available if they were not occupied.  For those who do not know what The Fisher house is, it is a series of big houses (four, maybe five total) on base that each have if I can remember right, about 8 rooms each. Each room is set up like a hotel room with your own bathroom, shower, television, dvd player, etc. They have a common living room, dining room and kitchen. In the kitchen each room has an assigned pantry shelf, and space in the fridge. They also have a washer and dryer for laundry! If you are assigned a room there your stay is until you are finished with your treatment, they do not ever make anyone leave. There is no charge at all for staying there, which is amazing, but for both reasons it limits the number of rooms they have for people being able to stay with them. They have many organizations that come and volunteer there which is something that Nick and I look forward to being able to do while there since we loved the therapy dogs so much last time.


Many, many different hurtles ahead but today I am thankful that we are definitely headed to Texas in three short weeks. I know there will be different things to pray for in the upcoming months and will write them all down eventually for my sanity and prayer list and for those who are curious as to how IVF works and the steps involved. (Don't worry it will be kept PG, I can appreciate not everyone has the desire to go into the medical field as I did. :) )

Oh! And I started today, I swear to you, I have NEVER been so happy to get a period in my entire life. 43 day cycle how insane was that?! Bring on the meds in just a few days and lets get this baby train on the track!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Waiting & "Dear Baby"

As I post this I am almost 35 days into my cycle and can only remember being this late about four years ago right before Nicks first deployment. At that point I was really stressed out about that and it wound up pushing it out a grand two weeks. We definitely thought we were pregnant. A blood test confirmed it was just stress and two days later we got our sign.

So, needless to say that even though we are (fingers crossed) headed to Texas in early September I am anxiety ridden just a tiny bit about how long this cycle is going. Not to mention the fact that I also have had no warning signs of the approaching cycle. (Although Nick would say that my freak out on Friday over not being able to style my extensions *insert a hysterical crying mess who throws hair products around the spare bathroom here* would be a hormonal temper tantrum. Yeah, I'm not proud but it happens! Although I will say incidents like that only happen really close to my period, which would be a huge clue that its less than 24 hours away. Well that was on Friday. Today is Monday night.

I just wish God would let us know one way or the other what he planning for us this month! Sweet Nick thinks I'm silly for testing every single morning (and the other testing like, say, when I get a particularly strong urge or lack of patience at four pm) because he, If I am honest with myself, along with me doesn't believe we can conceive on our own. We have somewhat closed the door on that subject. I am not happy that we have to deal with infertility but it has brought us so much closer as a couple for so many reasons and brought me personally SO much closer to God that I have to say that there is some good that comes out of trying for our precious baby for almost four years. At times, since I passed my 28 day, 29 day and 30 day cycle mark I wonder if He is just testing our patience, then I think, No, that can't be it, He knows how long we have been trying and knows our patience levels. Then, of course, as they always do I think of the biblical couples who waited much MUCH longer and the current line of thinking goes away.

I do realize that the constant thinking about how late I am is probably only pushing the cycle even further into oblivion, obviously not helpful. Thus I am trying to find things to occupy my thoughts such as blogging, learning new chords for the guitar. Side note, for all you GLEEKS, (yes I just used the cheese term) out there.... Did you know how Chord Overstreet (Sam on Glee) got his name? Both of his parents are musicians and he was the third child born into the family, thus the name Chord. So cool. I love hearing stories like that and it gives me further inspiration into my future kids names.

And now, something that I have been thinking about lately and would just like to write down. To get out of my soul, to have for the yet to come Ellwood baby and for some much needed peace in the storm.

Dear Baby Ellwood, 

I am writing this letter to tell you how much you are wanted. I know, my sweet, darling child, that whether you come to us as a miracle though your birth or the joy of pure unselfishness of your birth mother that you have always been wanted and prayed for every single day, for at least four years. Or even six years since the time I first met your father. Having an excellent role model and loving children growing up I always had the desire in my heart to be a mother some day but I never knew how much until I met Nick. 
This man can make me laugh until my stomach hurts, he can cook delicious meals and clean the entire kitchen afterwards. (a real bonus from what I hear from other wives.) He will pull over in the rain to save a dog off the highway, stay later after work to help someone home, invite those who can not go home for the holidays to our house for a home cooked meal, and tells me I am beautiful with bed-head, dragon-breath, a new zit and holey pajamas on. Most importantly he makes me feel as though I am the only girl in the world and will always be the hottest thing since sliced bread. Your Dad is amazing with kids, mainly because he is a big one himself! Since your mother over-analyzes just about everything and has enough anxiety for the both of us he is a complete balance to our lives together.  
 Our journey to you was a rough one but one that brought us closer as partners and friends. I do not know what it is like to have your first baby as we have not had the joy of experiencing that yet. I can only imagine that the parents holding their first child feel very happy and blessed to have them. What I can tell you is how much that same emotion will be ten fold when you arrive in our arms.
 Using a Josh Turner song lyric, "The longer the waiting, the sweeter the kiss." The absolute burning desire to hear your heartbeat for the first time, to feel you kick my belly with nervous excitement, to have your Dad place a kiss on my large, round belly, to feel your soft, luxuriously smooth skin against my hand and that delicious baby smell is only magnified by the years of struggle just to hold you in our arms. 
Those who experience any kind of infertility, no matter how long their journey, have an unyielding thirst for their child. I am sure this applies to most things in life that do not come easy. No one desire to struggle with their school, career, beating a disease, or building a family, but oh the sheer bliss and joy that comes with overcoming your set backs, no matter what they may be. 

This is what we promise you:  to laugh and play with you until one of us runs out of breath, to teach you manner, morals and to treat people the way you want to be treated, to be generous and to share your snack pack at school with the kid who's mom gave him carrots instead of chocolate pudding. To let you run around barefoot in a huge field so you can feel the fresh summer grass under your toes, to be kind to animals because they do not have a voice of their own and are considered furry family members, to discipline you when you have stepped out of bounds because you will thank us for it when you are not stripping or face down in the gutter some where at seventeen. (This reference was used quite a bit for your mother growing up and I have done neither, so be sure to thank your Moms mother for that.) We promise to have a stash of money hidden away so when you hear the tinkling bells and shriek "ICE CREAM MAN!" you will have a few dollars at a moments notice. And just because our parents did it to us with Brick House by the Commodores, we promise to embarrass you with our loud music as we drop you off at school playing what can only be described as mom-music but really is some phat beats from some white guy who thinks he can rap. Most of all we promise to unconditionally love you to almost smother-like tendencies to include, licking a napkin in public to wipe food off your face, asking for a kiss goodbye in front of your new friends, and sticking little notes of encouragement in your Batman lunch box.

As for the unyielding thirst, I can tell you the love that will be showered upon your arrival into our tiny family will be the most refreshing drink of water we will have ever experienced. 
          See you hopefully soon,
          Your excited parents-to-be

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Fourth times the charm!

Ok, so I guess time for an update since I guess there is an update to give in the first place, for that, I am thankful.

So, after having cancelled (or as the Lieutenant I spoke with said this past Friday, indefinatly postponed), for three times since April, we are, as of Friday July 29th, back on again. She called to ask me why she hadn't received my latest blood test results. I just stared into the phone and told her I thought it was cancelled, (see her reply above.) The conversation went as such....

1.) It is definitely back on (and by definitely I mean 90 percent its a go for a September cycle and I won't know more until about a week from now if its a 100% go. Although I am in doubt about it ever truly being confirmed until we are in the car driving to Texas!)

2.) I am to call her when I start my August cycle to get put on the meds again, ( I was only on them for a day and half before she called to say that it was "postponed" again about three weeks ago.) I will be on the meds for about 2 weeks and am to be in Texas no later than September 5th for my baseline blood draw. (which starts the entire process.)

3.) Embryo transfer (praying that we get embryos, because that is not a gaurantee either, pretty much nothing is a gaurentee until we are pregnant! And to be really honest, with as long as we have been trying I can't say that I will believe it until I am holding that sweet miracle in our arms!) will be around 10-12 days after the first blood draw.

4.) We will be in the San Antonio area for a total of three weeks, (EEK!) and should know if we are pregnant by early October. Happy Birthday to ME!!! Well Us,  haha, I was thinking that she would be a really great birthday present. And as I just typed that I realize that I put she, but honest to goodness I typed it without hesitation, very much with the flow! I will be ESTATIC with either sex though!

Its kind of funny whenever I refer to our unconcieved baby I always call it a she and Nick always calls it a he. :) Also as I type this, my husband just brought me fresh romaine salad before our dinner! What a lucky girl I am to be married to someone who loves to treat me like a princess! He will definately be a good Daddy someday.

So the long and short of it is, I am currently on cycle day 29, as of August 3rd, 2011. Which is making me a tad crazy since I made it to cycle day 24 last month so now the brain is doing tricks with me thinking I could possibly be LATE on my own! I have in the past however, gone as late as cycle day 33. SO with that being said I'm trying incrediably hard not to think about that tiny fact. While it would be miraculous, truly, to be pregnant on our own, I am semi-excited about headed to Texas in September.

Only Semi-excited in case it gets postponed again. Withholding it until we are in the car, playing Jack Johnson and loving our road to Baby!

Psalms 39:7
But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.