Ready, Set, ….. Go

Well, yesterday was a good yet daunting visit to the Fertility specialist.

I have 4 follicles showing up. 1 is the right size, the other is very close, and the other two are not far.

So, another round of growth hormone Tuesday morning. And then Tuesday night… the trigger shot. This will cause me to ovulate within 36 hours.

After the baby dance…well, then we wait. Atleast 2 weeks before taking a pregnancy test.

It’s very scary and exciting all at the same time. I’ve spent so much time focused on getting pregnant that suddenly I can think of every fear that comes with what happens if I actually do get pregnant?

What if I screw it up? What if the baby isn’t healthy? What if I’m not healthy enough for the baby? What if something goes wrong? Can Troy and I really raise a child? Will we still be as close as we are if a child is here? How do you protect it? Can I handle it when life gets hard for my child?

Oy vey.

As you can probably tell, I have a touch of anxiety. I manage it well because I try to keep rooted in my faith in God and my relationship with Jesus. But if I let my guard down and let my mind run… man can it run marathons…

One thing at a time.

The Lord will fight for you; you need only BE STILL. Exodus 14:14

Be still. Let me just dwell on that and let Him fight my battles for me!

On a side note-

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Discussing baby names has been fun. Yesterday, Troy’s suggestion was Loki Thor. But only because (he says) Thor Loki sounds like a Greek food dish and one that makes you ill when you eat it. (Say Thor Loki fast and you can hear how he was saying it.)

He’s already ran every super hero name past me. He thought he was slick when he suggested Kal or Kal-el. He anticipated that I didn’t know that to be superman’s name but he was wrong.

We have 1 girl name and 1 boy name picked out. We are trying to find back ups in the event that we have twins or more. (With 4 follicles of size, there’s a chance we could have multiples).

I’ve spent so long focused on the getting pregnant part, I am a little freaked out by the idea of having multiple babies.

Lord, Help me….

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Disqualified for the Olympics….

I’m in a funny mood today. Not like, a weird funny mood, but a hilarious, everything’s funny mood. You can thank Troy for that. He’s had me laughing all morning.

We are leaving the fertility clinic. I have 4 follicles measuring in the 11-12 range (the goal is 20).

So next up is 2 shots of growth hormone to get them to grow.

So this ought to be fun. Troy has never allowed me to give him his allergy shots but maybe this will win him over. πŸ™‚

Having 4 follicles on the move….increases the chance of having twins. Or more.

Whoa.

Troy and I have been talking about baby names for a few weeks now. We’ve always had a girl name picked out but just recently found a boy name we liked. His reaction to possibly having multiples was ..”We don’t have enough names..” Ha Ha! He’s right. We are most definitely not prepared for twins!

The uterine lining is still thin so we are going to up the Estradiol. Here’s hoping I don’t spontaneously combust in the process. I woke up atleast 3 times last night from hot flashes! I am really starting to relate to Pepper Potts in Iron Man 3.

Fertility Journey Part 1

Alright, so let’s just go ahead and get this information out there.

A quick back story:

When I was 11 years old, I ended up having an emergency surgery where my appendix and right ovary was removed. Unfortunately, I do not know a lot about what happened and why, but the best I’ve been able to piece it together is that the surgery was initially for appendicitis but when they got in there, they found the ovary had twisted and detached from the fallopian tube. So it was removed.

As I got older, I never really had a regular period. In high school this was the best thing ever. I was never worried about pregnancy (because well, I wasn’t having sex!) and I played sports, so not having regular periods was a blessing at the time.

Fast forward many years to someone who is now married and thinking about starting a family, the period thing becomes a situation. In my early 20’s I was diagnosed with PCOS: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. The name implies an ovary that has multiple cysts. Oh, it is so much more than that.

It’s more of a hormonal imbalance than it is anything else. I could go into what all I go through with it but I don’t feel like now is the time. A google search can quickly tell you what pcos is like.

I’ve been on and off birth control for years. Starting in high school, to regulate the periods. Every doctor wants to prescribe Metformin as well. Metformin is marketed as a diabetic drug. I am not diabetic – however, they all say that it also promotes ovulation. I’ve taken it off and on over the last many years and never feel that it does anything for me either.

A big part of my fitness journey that most of you follow me for, has been motivated by this desire to be healthy and have children.

I decided in June of 2017 to go see a fertility specialist. There is one right near my office at work and I figured, why not go see what she has to say? The funny thing about the timing of this is that it was about 2 weeks prior to us going on a mission trip to Honduras. πŸ™‚

We went over my history and she was very positive and encouraging that this is very much achievable, we just have to help it along. I guess I needed to hear that because I was starting to believe it wasn’t in the cards myself. At this point, I’ve been married for 10 years, and we’ve been trying (by means of no contraceptives) for atleast 7 years. Can I also say that also during this time all of my siblings had atleast 3 or more kids. Most of my peers had kids as well. Everyone was moving into this phase of their life and here I am, the oldest of my siblings ….and struggling. This wasn’t easy. If you are married, especially recently married, you know that you often recieve the question “When are you guys going to have kids?” — and this became more and more difficult to answer. I always tried to step back and remind myself that they don’t know and the question in and of itself is innocent but it doesn’t make it easy. I usually just laughed it off and awkwardly tried to change the subject or walk away.

But as more baby announcements came, the pain grew and grew. It stung everytime someone close to me revealed they were pregnant. God, when will it be my turn? I went through periods of depression. And worry. And anger.

What about Troy? This isn’t fair to him – or his family.

What happens when we get old? Who will help care for us if Lord willing, we live to our old age?

Why do they get to have all these kids they can barely care for?

Why not me? What’s wrong with me?

Yea…. if you know me and knew me growing up… you can imagine that I argue with God a lot. I am all the time questioning him, His word, and His ways. I am good at arguing. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

I should pause here and say that I have not been in a pit of depression over the last 8 years of my marriage and this journey. I have had moments of pity and …jealousy? But by and large, I’ve grown a lot through this and have tried to take all of the energy I could spend in pity and channel it into becoming healthier -physically and emotionally.

Isaiah 41:13 “For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear, I will help you.”

I think there is a lot of things I’ve had to walk through in order become the person on the other side. I trust God. I am learning to trust God more. I believe His word. I know in my heart that he has walked right beside me through all of this.

You can really get lost in pity and wallowing if you allow yourself to do that. I can sit and have all the ugly thoughts in the world and just “waller” all in it. I can lament, cry, ache, and scream out why me all day long. It does nothing but take a toll on my mental and physical health. Instead, I am learning to turn off those thoughts, replace them with HIS thoughts, and rest in that truth.

One of my own parents uttered the words “I think you’re lucky you don’t have kids.” Β –I am still trying to work through the sting of those words and that was over 3 years ago. Regardless of what you meant to say, all I heard is that you wish you didn’t have kids. Geez. Thanks. It’s not really like you’ve ever gone out of your way for me anyways, so I can’t apologize for the inconvenience.

–Look I told ya’ll, I’m gonna be real. It’s gonna probably get ugly at times. My committment to myself is to put it out there, regardless of how ugly it is. Maybe I’ll find healing in it. Either way, it’s coming out. Take it or leave it. Unapologetic.

Ok – so you get a little glimpse of the difficulties that infertility can bring. Back to the story at hand.

Fertility specialist was extremely encouraging. I walked out of her office with a renewed hope and faith that I am not broken and that we can do this. As mentioned though, this was a couple weeks out from a mission trip to Honduras, so due to Zika, we had to go on birth control so that we could prevent pregnancy before/during/after the trip until I was cleared. Also, the intial phase of this fertility plan was to get to a better weight. She gave me a number to work for and that’s what I started doing after we returned from Honduras.

Between that time and today, I have lost approximately 70 lbs and reached the weight the doctor wanted me to get to before we started the treatments. πŸ˜€ Β (I am still working on weight loss – this was just the goal to move on to the next steps)

So here’s the deal- I have one ovary.

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And it doesn’t ovulate on it’s own. So the plan is to start the fertility drugs so that we can give it the kick it needs to form follicles, thicken the uterine lining, release an egg, etc.

Can I just say that almost every one of these fertility visits comes with a complementary uterine probe. (ultrasound) -So yea, that’s fun. In the last 3 weeks I’ve had 3 of these uncomfortable visits. I feel like me and that ultrasound machine should go on a date or something. Sheesh.

The plan was to take the Clomid for 5 days and then take Estradiol (estrogen) and see her in a week. I did that and at the next visit and ultrasound, she decided to order a booster dose of Clomid and then scan again in 5 days. The follicles weren’t growing big enough so the booster dose was to get them to grow more.

I went back today to visit Mr. Ultrasound and the follicles were the same size they were Tuesday and the uterine lining is too thin, so even if I did ovulate and fertilize, it wouldn’t have a good lining to attach to.

Not news I was looking forward to. She said that it is common that PCOS patients are resistent to Clomid. She ordered another medication that apparently she can’t order until Clomid fails. Sometimes, I dislike the healthcare industry. (Side note: I work in Healthcare) …I went two weeks on a medicine that wasn’t likely to help me just so that I could then take the medicine that she thinks will help me.

Sigh.

So we start Letrozole today and….yep, see her again next Saturday for another scan.

I won’t pretend that I wasn’t disappointed today. I had physical reasons to believe I am ovulating and was ready for the green light. Not a change of course. But such is life sometimes.

I told Troy today that we are really only two weeks into this treatment plan and I can see that it will become stressful and a hardship if it has to go on for a long time.

These medicines aren’t to be messed with. I really haven’t had the crazy side effects that I read about but I do know that I am super emotional and at times moody in one direction or another. I sat in a baby shower last week fighting back tears for no reason. I wasn’t feeling pity for myself, I wasn’t upset at her baby expectancy, I just felt like crying.

I don’t feel depressed. I just feel like my emotions are on level 100 and I am sometimes afraid of losing control. I have found comfort in hot showers (whether needed or not) and laying in my bed. I feel like too much of the world at times is making me overwhelmed. Memorial Day weekend I asked Troy if it could just be low key and just us. Β Usually we would try to grill out and invite friends over. I wasn’t feeling social.

It was the best weekend. I just cuddled up with him and rested in the peace that he brings in an otherwise chaotic storm that seems to stir within me at times.

I’m trying to ride this out and see it through. I ask for patience because if I become emotional or moody at you, I promise, it’s most likely not personal and not about you. I am trying real hard to keep it at bay.

So, that is where we are on the fertility journey so far. I am still hopeful and encouraged and I know in my heart that God’s got this. I just try to focus on what He says about my future and rest in that.

So my day to day looks like this:

I’m taking CoQ10 (vitamin/enzyme) 6 tabs a day, I split them 3 in morning and 3 at night. I am taking a prenatal vitamin, Vitamin D, a probiotic, and the Letrozole starting today.

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Orange is nighttime and green is morning.

I do not like taking pills. I can get one or two down easily but when I have to take multiple it gets difficult and they become harder to get down. I am pushing through it but it’s rough. One of these meds, I think the Clomid/Letrozole makes you have hot flashes.. or maybe that’s the estrodiol, who knows. So I have periods where I am melting also. Which isn’t helpful when summer starts in early May rather than mid-June like it’s supposed to. It’s hot and humid enough without hot flashes!

As I wrap this up-this song started playing while I was typing and it’s resonating with me big time as I’ve walked back through this journey with you. I wanted to share. Music is a big part of how I cope and process life and I have several songs on repeat right now that I’ll be sharing in future posts. πŸ™‚

Hills & Valleys – Tauren Wells

I’ve walked among the shadows
You wiped my tears away
And I’ve felt the pain of heartbreak
And I’ve seen the brighter days
And I’ve prayed prayers to heaven from my lowestplace
And I have held the blessings
God, you give and take away
No matter what I have, Your grace is enough
No matter where I am, I’m standing in Your love
On the mountains, I will bow my life
To the one who set me there
In the valley, I will lift my eyes to the one who sees me there
When I’m standing on the mountain aft, didn’t get there on my own
When I’m walking through the valley end, no I am not alone!
You’re God of the hills and valleys!
Hills and Valleys!
God of the hills and valleys
And I am not alone!
I’ve watched my dreams get broken
In you I hope again!
No matter what I know
Know I’m safe inside Your hand
On the mountains, I will bow my life
To the one who set me there
In the valley, I will lift my eyes to the one who sees me there
When I’m standing on the mountain aft, didn’t get there on my own
When I’m walking through the valley end, no I am not alone!
You’re God of the hills and valleys!
Hills and Valleys!
God of the hills and valleys
And I am not alone!
Father, you give and take away
Every joy and every pain
Through it all you will remain
Over it all!
Father, you give and take away
Every joy and every pain
Through it all you will remain
Over it all!
On the mountains, I will bow my life
To the one who set me there (to the one who set me there)
In the valley, I will lift my eyes to the one who sees me there
When I’m standing on the mountain aft, didn’t get there on my own
When I’m walking through the valley end, no I am not alone!
You’re God of the hills and valleys!
Hills and Valleys!
God of the hills and valleys
And I am not alone!
You’re God of the hills and valleys!
Hills and Valleys!
God of the hills and valleys
And I am not alone!
And I will choose to say “Blessed be Your name, yeah, yeah”
And I am not alone

 

 

 

 

 

 

Open Book

I’m in a weird place lately. There is a lot going on in my heart, head, etc. And when I get like this I get introspective, creative, and all sorts of things at different times.

If you’re here because you subscribed to the 2013-2015 blog about my fitness journey, hello. πŸ™‚ The blog has been refreshed, renewed and is going in a different but similar direction.

I am still on a fitness journey. There’s no doubt that I will talk about that at times still.

I am still a Christian and at times I will definitely be talking about that.

What’s new in 2018?

Well, I’ve officially begun Fertility treatment. I am very suspicious that all of the feelings swirling around in me these days are directly related to hormone therapy. But at this moment, I am feeling extremely unapologetically open and blunt and quite frankly…

Me.

I have spent most of my life, trying to be what everyone else needed me to be. I am quick to put me aside and help you through whatever you need. I am very likely to hide my own wants and desires because I recognize yours and I step aside to let you have your thing. Whatever that may be.

And at 32 years of age, I am becoming a little less worried about what you need me to be and a lot more worried about who I need me to be.

We will go through this fertility treatment together, I plan to bring you along week by week. We may go through some of my family trauma, drama, whatever it’s called. And just whatever falls on my heart when I sit down to type. I will try to keep it focused and not jumbled. I have written and rewritten this post several times just trying to keep a coherent thought.

I’m feeling like a mess these days… take it or leave it… It is what it is.

 

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I’m not really a selfie kind of person but I felt my hair helped proove my statement about being a mess.

And also, I mean, that is my favorite scripture …. Psalm 46:10 “Be Still. And know I am God.”