Thursday, November 28, 2013

(Un)Happy Thanksgiving

I'd be lying if I said I woke up this morning in a joyful mood, ready to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday and reflect on everything in my life for which I should be thankful. Truthfully, I woke up in a horrible mood. I was thinking about the fact that tomorrow marks the two year anniversary of the first day of the first cycle that we began trying to add to our family, and here I am on cycle day 2 of one of the heaviest periods I've ever had on our 22nd cycle of trying. That means we have been unsuccessful 21 times. It also means this is yet another Thanksgiving passing us by where we are childless - with not even a single positive pregnancy test to show for all the prayer, treatment, tears, and good old fashioned trying we have put in over the past 729 days.

Of course, it probably didn't help that I logged onto Facebook, only to be bombarded by multiple pregnancy announcements, hundreds (okay, maybe I'm exaggerating a tiny bit) of adorable pictures of precious babies, and multiple heartfelt messages of thanks from parents for their wonderful children. Don't get me wrong - I totally get it. As I kept scrolling, I knew I would be beyond thankful, too, if I was in any of their shoes.

But that's just the thing - I should be thankful for everything I have, despite my circumstances. In 1 Thesssalonians 5:16-18, God says, "Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live." And so I have a choice. I can choose to be miserable because God has not yet blessed us with a child - the one thing my heart desires more than anything, or I can choose to be cheerful anyway, continue praying, and make it a point to thank God for not only the blessings he has already given us, but also for those that are yet to come, including the miracle of a child.

I am reminded this Thanksgiving more than ever that His plans are not my own. After our second IUI, I had dreamt up this magical way of telling J's entire family we were expecting today at Thanksgiving. His granddaddy always says the blessing before we eat, and I wanted to tell him ahead of time to include, "the child with whom God has blessed Jeremy and Heather" at the end of the list of things to be thankful for during the prayer. Obviously, this isn't going to happen. But I have to believe - I choose to believe - that God has even better things in store for us, beyond what I am capable of imagining.

I know there are others out there who are struggling today, too, so I wanted to share my prayer to God this morning, along with some of God's Word that I find incredibly encouraging:

Lord, you know my heart. You know my innermost desires. Thank you for all of the blessings you have already given me and for those that will come later. Today I am choosing to be joyful in my circumstances. If I lose my hope, God, I pray that you will continue to remind me that your plans are far better than my dreams. Lord, help me to believe with all my heart that trusting you, rather than focusing on what I see before me, is completely worth it. Give me the strength to ignore my own logical reasonings and instead rely on your powerful promises. I love you so much. Amen.

"Jesus answered, "You don't understand now what I'm doing, but it will be clear enough to you later." - John 13:7

"Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later." - Romans 8:18

"Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her." - Luke 1:45

"And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise." - Hebrews 6:15

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Where Are We Now?

IUI # 2 didn't work, unfortunately. I went through the usual emotions of being extremely upset the day I started my period, and then picked myself up so we could move on. Of course, we had to have the inevitable discussion of what would be our next steps.

Basically, we had to decide between doing one more IUI or moving on to IVF. Meds/copays for both IUI cycles have been around $1500, so $3000 total. This past IUI cycle, all the action was happening on my right ovary, where I have no tube. Yes, I know eggs can get from the right ovary to the left tube, but it's not a guarantee. So, in our minds, we could spend $1500 again for a very small chance that it would actually work, or just put that money toward saving up for IVF over the summer when I am much less stressed (I have a crazy, crazy class this year at school = constantly stressed!). 

With all of that said, we have decided to save up for IVF and try on our own until then. There isn't a real reason we can't get pregnant on our own, so there of course we are going to try! I am also doing everything I can on my end to get as healthy as possible so that a) we are more likely to get pregnant on our own and b) I am healthier for IVF. Here's what I have been doing as of Monday:
  • no caffeine
  • no refined sugar
  • no processed foods
  • no GMOs
  • all organic (as much as possible)
  • more protein, fewer carbs
  • slowly eliminating plastic containers and going to stainless steel
The first two days I had horrible headaches, but I'm feeling much better now! I'm hoping I lose some weight, but also that this can help in our journey to getting pregnant.

The other part of all of this is starting to research where to do IVF. Honestly, we can probably only afford to do IVF one time. So wherever we do it, we want it to be the best, even if that means paying a little more. Our current clinic only does IVF 4 times a year, contracts in an embryologist, and apparently prefers 3-day transfers to 5-day transfers. I don't like any of that, so I doubt we will go with our current RE, even though he does have fantastic success rates (best in the state). We are thinking about CCRM in Colorado, or even possibly traveling out of country. Who knows - we are just beginning to research. Of course, we are so hopeful that it won't even be necessary because we will get pregnant on our own before then.

Also, adoption has been on my mind a lot. I feel like I keep seeing so many people I know adopting, and it really just tugs at my heart strings. I'm not ready to give up the idea of having a biological child yet, but adoption isn't out of the question for us. Personally, if it came down to it, I would love to do DIA (domestic infant adoption) or foster to adopt (because it is very inexpensive). Honestly, at this point I figured we would have a 1-2 year old, so I wouldn't mind fostering to adopt a 1-4 year old to be the older sibling for our biological child if we are blessed with one. J, on the other hand, isn't quite as ready to seriously consider this as I am. 

So, that's where we are right now... lots to think about. Who knew becoming parents would be so hard?