Saturday, August 21, 2010


**Disclaimer: today's post includes a medical discussion of our infertility issues. Words such as "endometrium" and "uterine" are included in the text below. Proceed with caution. Especially if you belong to the male species. You may choose to skip this post today and instead proceed to this exceedingly long continuation of our boy-meets-girl saga.**

Well Friday was D-Day. D for diagnosis. The day I went back to our IF specialist (technically called a reproductive endocrinologst or RE) to find out the results of the tests we've had done over the past two weeks. And hopefully to find out why we aren't getting pregnant and what we can do to change that.

Here's what we learned: the problems are all on my end, which is good because about a third of infertile couples are dealing with both female and male infertility issues. But they are a less than cut and dry. There's definitely something up with my uterine lining that's making it too thick. It could be a cyst, a polyp or a number of other things. And there is a 70-80% chance that I have endometriosis. Both of these things are treatable; the lining issue with a very minor surgical procedure and the endometriosis with a slightly more invasive but still relatively minor procedure. I also have polycystic ovaries, but NOT polycystic ovary syndrome (where a host of hormone issues are added to the polycystic ovaries; all my hormone levels are good). That's the good news.

The bad news is there's really no way to know if any of those things or a combination of them are what is causing our infertility or if treating them will cure it. My doctor quoted one study in which women with endometriosis were twice as likely to get pregnant after treatment. But the actual numbers went from 3-4% without treatment to about 6% after treatment. So, as she put it, "really low to still pretty low." It's kind of a crapshoot.

Basically, we have some options and some reason to hope there is still pregnancy in our future, but no promises.

No medical promises anyway. Friday was a little bit emotional, but I wasn't too discouraged. I know there is a plan for us and this is just one more step on the journey we're taking. And I know I'm going to be a mom at some point. How and when is the mystery.

So how do I feel after all that medical stuff? I'm not sure. Still hopeful, still peaceful and still believing there is something great for us down the road. But I HATE making decisions like this! I mean, I'd rather NOT go through surgery, but I'd really like to increase our chances of getting pregnant. I'd rather NOT deal with the short-term discomfort but it'll be totally worth it for the result if it works. I'd rather NOT pay for all this stuff if it's not going to be successful! We could use that money for our adoption if we choose to build our family that way.

These are the life decisions that are so difficult. I mean, sometimes when you consider God's plan for your life and wonder what He'd have you do, it's pretty obvious (Should I or should I not become a prostitute? for example or Should Jamie become a drug dealer to supplement our income?). But there's no right or wrong here. I fully believe whatever we decide is ok with my Heavenly Father and He'll still be in control either way. I don't believe God sits up in Heaven waiting for us to make the wrong choice so He can strike us down. But still I wish there was a way just to know for sure the best, least painful choice!

Of course, if we do decide to go the surgical route I'll get a whole week of being waited on by my husband (the RE said a 5-7 day recovery, and I will be taking 7 thank you very much). And hopefully as much ice cream as I can eat. Nothing can be all bad if it involves ice cream...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

My New Toy!

I'm not exactly all up on the latest technological gadgets (if you need proof, the last time I wrote about getting an exciting new toy it was a Swiffer Wet Jet). I still cannot, for the life of me, figure out what an iPad is for. Except of course making Steve Jobs richer.

But you don't need to be cool and technologically savvy if you've got a super hip brother-in-law!!

Last weekend when Shane passed through Buford on his way up to Toccoa he brought me an iPod Touch!

Isn't it pretty?? Not actually mine; I got this picture off a website. But mine looks like this one.

He bought himself a new Macbook for college and got the iPod as a free gift. But since he's way cooler than us, he already has an iPhone, so the iPod was pretty superfluous. And actually strictly speaking it's for me AND Jamie, but really it's mine and I don't let Jamie play with it. I feel sooo cool! It's a lot like the iPhone, minus the phone calls part. I can get on Facebook and check my email on it. I can even text on it. After Shane shows me how...And when I'm with a group of people and we're trying to schedule something, I can pull out my sweet looking iPod instead of my archaic date book (no offense, date book. I still love you). If everyone else I know didn't already have an iPhone, they'd be so jealous!

Now all I need to do is fill it with music and apps. So if you've got any can't-live-without apps on your own nifty Apple products, let me know!

P.S. When I spell checked this, spell checker didn't recognize the words "iPod", iPhone", "Macbook" or "Facebook". So I am most definitely cooler than Blogger apparently.

Friday, August 13, 2010


The second shot-through-the-heart comment came from a friend (which, wow talk about your divine appointments. In the future, I'll have to share exactly how me and this friend ended up spending 3 1/2 hours talking over lunch at PF Chang's this week).

At some point during that over 3 hour conversation she was sharing some of her struggles and said it took her a long time to come to grips with the fact that God was allowing this because He loves her. Not that He loves her in spite of her difficult situation. Not just that life is hard but God is still loving. But that it was because of God's love for her that He was allowing the hurt.

That messed with me.

I hadn't quite thought about it that way. I'd tried really hard on days that I was really hurting to convince myself that God was still good, still loved me, still wanted what was best for me. But it was a tough sell.

And it had never even crossed my mind that maybe God was allowing this BECAUSE He loves me. Maybe this - the pain and the disappointment and the frustration - were actually the best thing for me. Maybe God in His infinite wisdom knows the end result of all this and knows that I can't get where I'm going unless I walk through this now.

I have no idea how this story will unfold. Maybe Jamie and I will have our own biological babies or maybe we'll adopt. Maybe both. I could find out I'm pregnant tomorrow or I could never carry my own little ones.

But as I thought about what she said, I realized a day will come when I look at my family and can see how God put it all together. I know that whether my children are biological or adopted they'll be well worth the wait. But I don't want to wait until they're here in my arms to experience God's love for me in this valley. There are a lot of opportunities for me to grow right now - to learn to love my Savior even more, to trust Him when it's tough, to turn to Him in brokenness instead of lashing out in bitterness, to be faithful even when I don't know what tomorrow holds, to lay down my agenda for my life and open myself up to His. I know God knows my heartache and hurts for me, but He's letting me go through this for a reason, and I don't want to miss out on the hidden blessings.

And if I am faithful, if I accept this as an experience that challenges me to grow and become more loving, more faithful, more patient then when the time comes, I'll be an even better mom to my children. A mom who can teach them to love God and cling to Him when life hurts because I've been there.

Even though I hate the hurting part of it and the waiting and longing, I'm grateful for a God who loves me enough to let me be broken and to use my brokeness to make me more like Him. And I'm so so excited to see how this story unfolds.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Prickly Pear Heart

Twice in two days someone said something to me that hit me so hard it almost knocked the breath outta me. That sounds like exaggeration. But it really isn't. Twice I went, "Whoa" not just with my mouth but with my heart. So now I have a cactus heart - conviction sticking it like a pin cushion. And so I feel I should do what every good Christian does with conviction - Blog about it. (Right?)

The first came on Sunday during church. Our church is doing a series called "Do Hard Things" based on the book by the same name (which, if what I've heard is to be believed, should be read by every person between the ages of 12 and 22 on this planet; so if you're between the ages of 12 and 22, buy it and if not, buy it for someone who is. At least, that's what I'm told. I haven't read it). Now, the whole concept of doing hard things was challenging. Especially when our pastor spoke about doing small hard things. I'll be honest, me and the little voice within who likes to say "But I don't WANT to!" are like BFFs. So being consistent in the little hard things like loving on my husband when he's being particularly unlovable (who Jamie?? NEVER!) is not a real hobby of mine. Maybe I should work on that.

But that's not what REALLY hit me. What REALLY hit me was this comment:

"When we set high expectations of God and low expectations of ourselves, we can play the victim."

Like, ouch, man. That is totally me. So. Totally. Me. Because, like our pastor said on Sunday, being the victim is easy. Being the victim means this is not MY fault, it's yours (or in this case His). If I'm the victim I can feel sorry for me and mad at you.

If I'm the victim, I don't have to change.

Yeah that hit me right in the gut. Maybe, just maybe it's time I stop feeling sorry for me and start expecting a little more from myself - a little more faithfulness, a little more trust, a little more discipline. A little more love, a little more sacrifice and less "But I don't WANT to".

What if - what if - I had high expectations of God and myself. What if I expected God to be and do exactly what He promises He will and yet don't let myself off the hook.

What if?

Maybe I'd see some of the blessings I'm blind to now. Maybe instead of feeling bitterness and anger toward God when things don't go my way, maybe I'd feel hope. Maybe instead of feeling anger toward God I'd feel comfort from Him. Maybe instead of pulling me away from Him, the crappy stuff that happens in life would send me running for His arms. Which is where I really want to be anyway. And where He wants me to be.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Reasons I'm Glad My Niece is Only Three

1. She won't care that her birthday present is well over a week late.

2. She won't care that her loser aunt only had baby boy wrapping paper and tissue paper to wrap her gift in.

3. She probably won't even notice the Priority Mail tape all over her gift.

4. She definitely won't notice that I couldn't find a card that said "Niece" on it.

5. I doubt she'll see her present and think, "Gee whiz, what'd she do wrap this in her car sitting in the Target parking lot??"

6. She'll totally forget about me forgetting to buy her a birthday gift so no permanent damage is expected.

Dear Lindsey,

Thanks for being 3 and too little to realize what a doofus I am.


The worst aunt ever.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Lettin' It All Out

So I've been AWOL lately. I've been really bumming about our struggles to start a family, which I haven't blogged about before. But I feel like since only my family and friends read this blog - and really you all know to some extent what's going on so you don't just think I hate you when the bitterness comes out - I can let it all out. Maybe it'll help me process through it to write it all out.

I don't want to write about everything we've done medically. That part I've already processed. Over and over again. In my head, with Jamie, with my mom and sister and my almost-sister friends like Britt and Kristy. But I want to try to write about the emotional part of it and the spiritual part of it, how it effects just about every aspect of our lives in one way or another. Because, to simplify it down to just a couple words: it sucks. And believe me, I know many people have it worse and have gone through tougher things. Let's just get that out there at the beginning. This is not the worst thing anyone's ever experienced, not by a long shot. But it's where I am right now and it's tough. So maybe a little cathartic blogging will be beneficial.

There's something very isolating about infertility. Even if you know other women who have gone through it, somehow it still feels like you're the only one. It seems like every single girl I know is getting pregnant recently. I've had to seriously cut back on Facebook time because I found myself getting really depressed every time I signed on. My news feed was full of girl's announcing their pregnancies or giving updates, posting cute pictures of sonograms or their newborns. And it just hurt.

I do want to be really clear about one thing though: I am really really happy for my friends who are new parents and who are expecting. No I'm not just saying that. I am. It's sometimes hard to make people understand that I can hurt for me and be happy for someone else at the same time. I'm not jealous or angry at them and I don't begrudge them their joy. It's just a reminder of what I don't have and that can be painful.

Not only is it isolating because I feel like the only one who can't get pregnant, it's also easy to feel like no one understands what it's like. Which is true to some extent. No one else is me (duh) so no one else knows exactly what I'm feeling. And while I appreciate the kind words and the support we've gotten from friends and family, sometimes people just say the wrong thing (my favorite: "You just need to stop trying and it'll happen." Ummm ok. Thanks?). I don't fault them. My moods change and what I need changes and I don't expect everyone to know intuitively what I want them to say and do. Especially someone who has not experienced what I am. But as anyone who's ever gone through something painful knows, sometimes you just wish you had someone to understand you.

Loneliness was a serious issue, but some things have helped. One being online group I joined a while ago. It was something I'd though about, but I was afraid to do it. I didn't want to be in a mutual misery club. But a friend of Shannon's suggested one that is Christian-based and VERY encouraging. Of course there are a lot of girls venting about being down or dealing with some of the crummier aspects of infertility, but all the responses are encouragement and prayers and it's been good for me to be a part of that.

The other thing that has helped is a total God-thing. It's still kind of open-ended so I don't want to write too much. And it involves someone else whose story I don't want to tell without permission. But the short story is I randomly got back in touch with an old acquaintance who has been where I am. It's been a really encouraging friendship and I've been so grateful for it!

I'm not alone, and I know that. And I'm really grateful for my family and my friends. And my husband who has proven over and over these past few months that he is in fact awesome.

I feel better already. This catharsis must be working :)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Where I've Been

I feel like it's so cliche to write a blog post with that title. Oh well.

I haven't been writing for two reasons, one of which being my new job. (yay!) In April I came across a listing for an unpaid internship at an adoption agency. I had applied to work at adoption agencies before with no luck and it's definitely a field I'm super interested in. I was hoping to find something paying a little more than 0 dollars, but since I wasn't doing anything and was crazy bored at home I thought I'd give it a whirl. I started at the end of April working 20 hours a week helping with administrative duties. Thankfully not boring administrative duties because the field itself is something interesting and they are always SUPER busy so there's plenty to do. Unlike my other administrative positions where I just sat there and listened to the sound of my backside growing. So I was enjoying the work and loving the part time schedule - plenty of time to get things done at home and have some of the down time I require to be sane. Not to mention the 10:00 start time that allowed me to sleep until 8:30. Which is a beautiful thing for so many reasons, but mostly because if I can sleep in later than Jamie we can go to bed at the same time and both be happy about it. So everything was working out nicely.

Except of course for the 0 dollar paycheck thing. That was less than ideal (although a good excuse to never get blamed for anything; no one expected the unpaid intern to take responsibility for anything).

Three weeks ago the director told me that our state audit for our accreditation was coming up and if I was willing to audit the files in preparation, she'd pay me on a contract basis. This was excellent news because the agency is a non profit and any new hires have to be approved by the (slightly tight-fisted) board. But the director has the freedom to pay contract employees at will without approval. In other words, I could start getting paid immediately whether they board liked it or not. Joy! So I added file audits to my to-do list. Last Friday I deposited my third paycheck and today I went to inquire about the cost of a gym membership. Happy Day!!

To sum up: Currently I'm doing something I love and getting paid for it. How lucky am I??

The other reason I took an extended break from blogging is not so happy happy joy joy and that is the last few months, apart from my new job, have been ROUGH. I'll write more about that soon, but basically it looks like this -

Jamie and I want a family. It ain't happening.

May and June - for a mess of reasons - were just rough months as far as the whole not-getting-pregnant thing goes and I was really really down. In the last several weeks I've really turned a corner and am feeling a lot better. Still bummy, but more able to compartmentalize and be happy about the good things in my life. But for a couple months there I was miserable and that kinda meant I didn't want to call anyone or see anyone. Or clean my house. Or cook dinner. Or exercise. Or write on this here blog. Which of course is cyclical - I feel bad, I don't want to be social, eat healthy or exercies, I feel worse. It's a crappy mess, man.

Anyway, this is much longer now than I wanted it to be so I should end it. But now you know where I've been. And more importantly, that I'm back.