Sunday, July 31, 2005

Let's I did 6 loads of laundry, gave 2 dogs a bath and flea dip, washed my car, inside and out, Put together a car seat, and shampooed the entire living room with just a small hand held carpet cleaner. Boy am I tired! I think I will go and sit by the pool and read my book now. We don't go to our pool very often. I don't like to go because there are a lot of kids there, and hey, I get enough of that during the week! It isn't too bad right now though. I'll go after I put my clothes in the dryer. Another Sunday gone, another week beginning. At least this week is short for me. I'm not working on Friday becasue Lisa and the kids will be here. Yay!
I think I may have to change the name of this Blog from "Our infertility Journey" to "Our boring life". Since there really isn't much going on in our lives related to infertility (and there won't be, until I have the third surgery) I was going to just do updates about our every day life like Lisa does. Unfortunatly, beacause we don't have kids I can't write about the cute things that they say and do (or post pictures) and we barely leave the house, so there really isn't a lot to say! I'm not exaggerating when I say we barely leave the house. Aside from my short trip to my Dad's house to have lunch (Thank goodness for that!) Neither Joe nor I have left the house all weekend. Today I am treating the carpets(and the dogs) for fleas, then I am treating and shampooing the rugs for pee stains and odor. We can't seem to get one of our dogs fully potty trained! I want the carpets to be clean for when the kids come next weekend. Yes, I realize this is silly, beacause every time they come I have to shampoo the rugs again to get out the ground in graham crakers and juice box stains, but I can't have fleas and pee smell when they come! I am also washing all of the linens in the place and harping on Joe to clean out his office for Lisa and Cameron to sleep in. That's a lot of laundry! To top it all off I have to clean out my car to fit all of their luggage and car seats. So it's not like I won't be busy, it just won't be interesting for you to hear about. (Even though I just told you)
The only two times this summer that we have gotten to go anywhere is when Lisa and Scott have come to visit. It's like we are living vicariously through them! When they visited Disneyland, I spent the whole weekend by the Disneyland Hotel pool! It was awesome! And now they are coming down to go to San Diego, and I'm tagging along for that too. If only I could convince them to take a vacation to Hawaii and take me along as the Nanny! Hint Hint! This summer is really flying by for me.
I have only two weeks left for my summmer program and then I get 2 weeks off. Well, actually only one week, because the second week I have to attend meetings and get the room ready for a new batch of kids in September. Still, that's two weeks without kids! Whoo Hoo! Don't get me wrong, I like my job, but you have no idea how much kids can wear you down until you spend an entire summer with 30 of them! I am so underpaid!
Oh yeah, after reading my post that we "barely leave the house" Joe indignantly reminded me that we went to the beach a couple of weeks ago and had a lovely time, so here are some pictures of that.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

I promised myself I wasn't going to write another post until I could report something happy, but lately it seems like nothing happy happens to me. I started my period today. I was 3 days late and I was so sick that I have been throwing up for the last two days. That's usually how it is when I am late. The later I am, the sicker I feel. It's funny, because every single time it happens I think I could have the stomach flu, but when I look back at my journals I realize I didn't. At least I'll feel better after tomorrow.
Then I'll have 12 or 13 days of feeling good before it starts all over again. That's my life. No wonder I need therapy! I did call my GYN yesterday about having my surgery. They will be calling me back in the next couple of weeks to schedule. I'm shooting for the 2nd week in September, after the craziness of the first 2 weeks of school is over. I'm taking as much time as I need off, possibly even 2 weeks. I have 8 weeks of sick time saved, as I rarely call in sick. The last two surgeries I didn't take enough time off and I'm not making that mistake again. It's time I started putting myself first and quit worrying so much about other people. They will survive at my job without me!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

I just returned from the second to last meeting of my infertility group tonight. I am sad that it will be ending next week. I have come to depend on these women for their emotional support, their knowledge of infertility procedures, and their willingness to share their heartbreaks with the rest of the group. I hope we will continue to meet long after the group ends next week. I found this quote in one of the many infertility books that I have been reading lately and it sums up how I feel perfectly.

The emotional pain associated with infertility is excruciating.
There's the loneliness, the lack of control, stressed relationships, sleep problems,sexual dysfunction, waiting to hear from the doctor's office, delayed decisions, career stagnation, withdrawal from family and friends, debt, insurance hassles, unending and invasive exams, medically induced emotional swings, daily trips to the lab....punctuated each month with
"I started my period"

I can't tell you how true this statement is. I have experienced every one of those things that are listed. Not all of them every single month, but a lot of them each and every month for the last 42 months. 42 months!!! There are so many things I could have done in 42 months that would have been rewarding. I could have gone to school and got my Bachelor's degree! 42 wasted months. I am not willing to put myself through any more of this pain. I will have the surgery in September. We are calling to schedule it tomorrow. I will do one more insemination after that, maybe in November. After that we are done.I am not willing to live my life like this any more. I have too many things in my life to be grateful for to waste one more day being depressed about our infertility. I will not chart how many days are in my cycle. I will not pee on a stick for 5 days straight and wait for it to turn purple to see if we can have sex. I will not look at my mucus to see if it is stretchy(sorry, pretty graphic) I will not go to the OBGYN and sit in a room full of pregnant women and cry because I wish it was me.
(We are switching to a GYN that does not deliver babies) I will not waste my money on pregnancy tests because I am 2 days late, only to start my period before I can get home to take it. What I will do is start looking forward to the adoption process. We will start saving money and getting the paperwork in order to begin. I will start living my life to the fullest extent again.
I know that we will be O.K. I am not sorry that we had to go through this. It has made our marriage stronger. It has made us both really think about what it means to be a parent and know that it is something that we truly want. I am ready to move on.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Today was not a good day. My day started at 3:30 a.m when I woke up to excruciating pain. I seem to have a lot of these "episodes"(that's what we call them) early in the morning. Anyway, I had to get into a warm bath the pain was so bad, and then I fell asleep in the bathtub! This has never happened to me before. When I woke up it was 45 minutes later and the water was so cold. I dragged myself back to bed for another hour before the alarm wnt off at 5:30 and it was time to get up.
You would think that after 13 years at the same job it would be easier to get up, but it just isn't. Thankfully it was a slow day today(lots of kids on vacation) and I didn't have any more episodes until I got home. I made it through half of my physical therapy session but was feeling so nauseous I asked to go home. This has been happening a lot right before I start my period. Sometimes I feel so sick I actually throw up. Just some added fun for me around my period. To top it all off, I didn't start like I should have, so I'll feel crummy again tomorrow too. And of course then I get to tell Joe that I did finally start, dashing his hopes once again for a baby. I hate when I'm late. Usually I am like a clock, so when I am even one day late Joe gets his hopes up. I stopped getting my hopes up about a year ago. I'm just going along with this for Joe's sake. Maybe he needs to have just a little bit of hope every month to get by. I can't bear to have any hope because then my dissapointment is just that much greater. Wow, this is a depressing post. I have to go, it's time to get back into the tub, and then lay in bed with a heating pad on my stomach. I'll feel better tomorrow after I start.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

I decided to write something comletely unrelated to our infertility today. Joe and I have nothing planned for this summmer in terms of vacation, so we have mostly just been hanging around the house. this is usually fine with me, but sometimes I get cabin fever. I also feel just a little jealous when EVERYONE around me is going on vacations to Hawaii, Paris, or even just camping. I wish we could afford to go somewhere. Anywhere! Oh well. We have seen a lot of movies this summer. (One of the advatages of having no children I guess). We saw War of the Worlds(pretty good), Batman Begins(actually not bad), Bewitched(mindless, but cute), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory(Weird!), Dark Water(Scary), Mr. and Mrs. Smith(I actually really liked this one), and The Island(it was o.k.--too many car chases and lots of things blowing up). Now that I am looking at this list I am realizing that Joe got to choose way more movies than I did. That's it-we are going to see Must Love Dogs AS SOON as it comes out, whether he likes it or not! I have also been reading like crazy, something I have'nt had a chance to do in a long time. I am on my 4th book for this summer and I just checked out 6 books from the library! At least I have 6 weeks before I have to return them. come to think of it, I better get going. I have a lot of reading to do!

Saturday, July 23, 2005

O.K., it has been awhile since I posted, so I thought I would write something. The adoption seminar went well. I was kind of bummed because it was mostly about domestic adoption. It's nice to have the info, but Joe and I already have decided to go international when we adopt. We want to go to China like Lisa and Scott. It was such a good experience when I went with them, and Joe absolutely loves Gracie. The seminar was a little depressing, because it really laid out the cost. We have got to start saving our money. I started an adoption fund. We are putting all of our change into it right now, but we are planning on adding to it each month. It's hard to save money when we can barely pay our bills, but I know that the Lord will provide for us. If this is His plan, then he will help us save the money somehow. I'm going to start babysitting again on the weekends. Joe is talking about getting a second job to get us through these looong stretches where he isn't getting his full pay, but I'll believe that when I see it. I'm thinking about putting together scrapbooks for people on the side. I have made several complete albums in the last year(for free, as gifts) but I figured maybe some people would pay me to do theirs for them. I would think that would be very appealing for those that aren't into scrapping. They could give me all their pictures and when they got them back they would be in a complete album. I would have to think about what to charge though. It took me about 20 hours to finish one of the albums I did, plus about $200.00 in supplies. It's just an idea. I need to start thinking about ways we can make (and save) money. I think I'm going to spread the word that we are "skipping" Christmas this year too. We (I) spend way too much money every year, and we simply can't afford it. I'm pretty convinced that adopting is going to be the only way we will ever have a child. I will go ahead and have the third surgery in the Fall, to help with my pain, but I don't think it will help us get pregnant. Joe wants me to think positively, but I'm kind of beyond that. I'm thinking realistically now. I am going to turn 35 years old in 6 months. I just don't think the pregnancy thing is going to happen. It makes me want to cry when I read this(and I probably will when I'm done), but I think God is trying to steer us in another direction and Joe just isn't ready to accept it. Men are never good at asking for directions!

Monday, July 18, 2005

Well, I didn't realize until I started this blog how boring my life really is! There just isn't a lot going on right now. Work, therapy, lunch with Dad, same old same old. Tomorrow night Joe and I are going to a seminar on adoption. It is being held at the place where I attend group therapy in Tustin. I'm excited. It is 2 hours long, and is supposed to tell you pretty much everything you need to know about adoption, both domestic and international. It should be very informative. Things are so crazy at work right now. We are down 2 staff members, so that leaves me pretty much by myself for a good part of the day. Kids can be so demading, both physically and mentally! It seems like one of them always wants or needs something from me. 22 children to one adult is simply too much! At least one person will be coming back on Thursday. That should help me out a little. I'm going to ask for a couple of days off in the next two weeks, since I have been working overtime at least twice a week for the last 2 weeks. To top it all off, as soon as I leave work I go right to physical therapy for an hour and a half. By the time I get home, I'm exhausted. Then its time for me to make dinner. Joe and I usually watch a couple of shows together(He us a reality T.V. show addict!), then it's time for a shower and bed by 9:30. I know this seems early, but I get up at 5:30 and I need my beauty rest!

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Well, it's been a couple of days since I posted, and even though nothing is really going on, I thought I would at least write something, no matter how uninteresting it may be. Sometimes other people are just really hard to deal with. I wish I had a dollar for every time someone told me "You just need to relax". We would be rich! I swear I will scream if I hear this again. Relaxing has nothing to do with anything. We have real medical problems that are preventing us from conceiving. I have taken Yoga, bought and read several stress management books, and even attended a prayer/meditation group at my church, all in the hopes of "relaxing" enough to have a child. I have had two medical surgeries, undergone Accupuncture, and had members of my church lay their hands on me and pray in an attempt to "heal" me and make my body ready for a pregnancy. None of these things have worked. So it makes me just a little bit mad when people tell me I just need to relax! If people really feel the need to say something to me regarding my inability to become pregnant after 3 1/2 years, they could just say
"That must be really hard for you. I sympathize with you." If they said something like that, maybe It would make me want to punch them less.( Yes, my therapist says I do have issues with anger. I'm working on them!) Joe and I have agreed I will have the third surgery in the next two months, and then we will do one more insemination and try for 6 more months until I turn 35 and then we will call it quits. We have chosen not to go any further with the treatments. The next step would be Invitro, and neither of us is willing to spend that kind of money on a chance to have a baby. We would much rather adopt, and be guaranteed a child than take chances like that. In a way putting a time limit on this feels like a lot of pressure, but it also is somewhat of a relief to know that this agony will end soon. Maybe it wasn't God's plan for us to have bioligical children. Maybe we were meant to adopt. As painful as it will be to let that dream go, I will be relieved to move on with our lives, secure in the knowledge that we WILL have a child, it just won't come from my body.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Okay, so now you are caught up on where we have been. We had a doctor's appointment last Thursday with my OBGYN to discuss our options for dealing with the severe pelvic pain that has returned after the last surgery 2 years ago. I started my period 2 days prior (7 days early, which is strange for me). I almost cancelled because I get very emotional around that time and the last thing I wanted to do was go sit in a room with a bunch of pregnant women. I avoid going there at all costs because of this reason. We decided to keep the appointment, since they can be hard to get and I had just had an extemely painful cycle. Well of course when we arrived there the waiting room was overflowing with pregnant women. There were also two couples there with their newborns, just to add to the fun. We signed in and had a seat and Joe started flipping through a magazine, holding my hand the entire time. All I could do was stare at the floor, wishing I was anywhere but there. I began to lose it after about fifteen minutes of listening to the baby across from me cry. Tears began to well up and I was unable to control them. In a few minutes I was bawling and there was nothing I could do to stop it. The nice man with the crying baby walked over to hand me some tissues. He probably thought I was crazy, and that was exactly how I felt. After what seemed like an eternity the nurse called my name. She started asking me all the usual questions, and I became annoyed when she asked me if I had had an ultrasound to diagnose my endometriosis. She had my chart in her hand, couldn't she see that I had already undergone 2 surgeries? I began to cry again, and she asked me if I was all right. Of course I said I was fine. I think she was very glad to deposit us into the examining room to wait for the doctor. While waiting for the doctor I tried to regain control of myself, but to no avail. When he finally came into the room, I looked quite a mess. He seemed uncomfortable. He stood a good distance away from us, leaning against the counter and crossing his arms in front of him, holding my chart. He didn't even open my chart to look at it. It seemed to me that he wanted to bolt from the room, and I don't blame him. No one wants to deal with an overly emotional woman on her period! I didn't get to ask any of the questions I had planned. I was too much of a mess. Joe did most of the talking. The only thing I got out of the conversation is that I have to have a Pre-sacral neurectomy. That means I will have a third surgery in which they will laser out the endo, but in addition they will cut the nerves in my pelvis so I won't feel the pain anymore. That is pretty much the ONLY suggestion he had to help relieve my pain. I have tried everything else. Oh yeah, and he doesn't have any solutions for us to improve our chances to conceive, except another insemination, or Invitro fertilization and we simply can't afford that right now. All in all I feel like the entire visit was a complete waste of our time.
Obviously nothing is going to help us get pregnant until we can afford to do more infertitlity treatments. I don't want to have another surgery, but I don't feel like I really have a choice. I can't live with this pain much longer. All I do is come home and lay on the couch with a heating pad on my lower stomach. Going to work is about the only thing I can handle, and I have to leave early a couple of days of week. It's a good thing I have worked there for 13 years and they are very understanding of my situation. Thank God for Joe. He is so totally understanding and he never becomes exasperated with me for not feeling good. He is even learning to cook a few new dishes, as there are many times a week lately when I just can't cook.
Well, that is all that has happened in the last 2 months. I am currently attending a support group opnce a week with other women going through this, and I find it very helpful. I also go to an individual counseling every week, as well as physical therapy twice a week for an injury I sustained on my ankle while at work. All of this keeps me very busy! I can only pray that we can come to some kind of decision in the next couple of months about whether or not we are gong to continue to pursue the quest for a biological child. The financial and emotional strain of this is starting to take it's toll. At some point we have to say enough is enough.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Well, I decided to start a Blog about our journey thus far into the world of infertility. I don't know how often I will update, and I'm not sure who I will give the address to(if anyone), but I think it will help me to get some of my thoughts on paper(or the computer). Here's where we've been in the last 3 1/2 years. We started trying 3 and 1/2 years ago, not long after our nephew Cameron came along, when I was 31 years old. We had been married 9 years when we decided to start trying, which is a long time I guess, but we wanted to make sure we were ready.(Yeah right!) If we had known the problems we were to face, we would have started trying long before that. We have a couple of problems that we were dealing with right off the bat. I have endometriosis, plus a fibroid tumor, and Joe has an unusually high count of abnormal sperm. Two strikes against us. I had a laparoscopy a year before we started trying, followed by 6 months of a drug that put my body into menopause, followed by 6 months of birth control to shrink the endometriosis inside of me. Apparently it didn't work, because severe pelvic pain and no pregnancy led us to our 5th doctor and another laparoscopy to laser out the endo. This time there was extensive scarring and adhesions. My ovaries were stuck to my pelvis because of the adhesions. My fairly routine surgery that was supposed to take a little over an hour to complete ended up taking 4 and 1/2 hours! I had a very difficult recovery due to the signifigant lasering that was done. I have never been through child birth, so I can say that this is honestly the most pain I have ever experienced. While undergoing this difficult recovery, I was made to feel like a wimp by a couple of people that had undergone a laparoscopy and had recovered in a few days. Great for them, but it still took me 10 days to feel completely normal again, wimp or not! Well, now that I was cleaned out and had tests done to make sure my tubes were clear(which they were), we were excited to start trying again. Needless to say, we were to be dissapointed. After 2 years of negative results, we decided to do an IntraUterine Insemination, or IUI. I had no idea that this was such an extensive procedure! I honestly thought that all we had to do was show up with the sperm and they would shoot it into me. Boy was I wrong! We started with the fertility drug Clomid, on day 3 of my cycle to make sure I ovulated. This drug turned me into Dr, Jekkyl and Mr Hyde! My husband was afraid to even look at me for fear that I would either start screaming at him or burst into tears!(Both of which happened quite often during the time I was on the drug) Then began a series of ultrasounds to check my follicles for eggs, followed by an injection of some other kind of fertility drug. I had to go to the doctor for 4 days in a row, and had 7 ultrasounds before we brought the sperm sample in to be inseminated. We had to do that part twice, since I didn't ovulate like a good girl the first time we did it. We were so excited. We just knew that this was going to work.
All of this was very hard to explain to my job, since I didn't feel like sharing something so personal with them. When it was over, one of my co-workers confided in me that she was sure that I had cancer, since she couldn't think of anything else that would warrant going to the doctor so much. She was very relieved when she found out that wasn't the case. Well, then the wait began. It was a very long two weeks. I became so impatient to find out that I took a pregnancy test 2 days before my period was to begin. It was negative. We were devastated. It was starting to feel as though we would never get pregnant, and we had only been trying for 2 years. Still, Joe was optimistic that we would concieve, it was just going to take a little longer than normal. I was not as optimistic. We recieved the $700.00 bill for that IUI at about the same time that we found out Joe was going to be unemployed for the next 3 months. Great timing, and I was pissed because I didn't feel like we should have to pay for something that didn't even work! (If only life worked that way). It is impossible to go through infertility treatments when you are having finacial difficulties. We had to put treatment on hold and wait for us to get back on our feet. We still tried on our own for the next 12 months. By this time I was tiring of peeing on sticks every month to see when I would ovulate, and having sex only when the calendar said it was time. In the mean time, I was able to travel to China with Lisa and Scott for the adoption of our neice Grace. It was an awesome experience, and instantly I knew that I wanted to do that someday. Someday after we had a biological child or our own. It has been almost 12 months since that trip, and 42 months since we began trying and still nothing. We have pretty much stopped seeing any of our friends that have kids, because it feels uncomfortable being the only people at the party without them, and it's depressing. We have basically isolated ourselves from everyone that we know. In some ways it has made our marriage stronger, but it is lonely at times to never go to birthday parties or BBQ's. It's just too hard. I end up crying all the way home, and it upsets Joe that I get so upset.
Oh well, this has gone on way too long. In the next post I'll explain what has been happening in the last month and how our last doctor's appointment went.