Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Cancer 100%

I have one big grip about suffering from infertility. It is that no one talks about it. Very few people share their struggle until after they get pregnant. I know of people who say my friend is struggling with this, or my sister did an IUI, but I have encountered few people who have said, "I am struggling with infertility." It is a like a secret club that no one wants to join, therefore most keep their membership private.

The sad thing is that, that is just not me. I have always been one that talks about my problems, asks for advice, does internet research. And I am now wondering if I am making people feel uncomfortable when I am so open about this. Because today I would just like to have one women who has done IVF in the past six months either successfully or not hold my hand and tell me exactly what is going to happen in the next few weeks. How they did it, handle the feelings and the shots, and the fears. What is going to happen to me really, not doctor speak, but how to handle all the other bags that are necessary for this journey.

My favorite author Kelly Corrigan has a new book/short story out. I got it from the library yesterday called Lift. I had no idea what I was getting but I like her, so I thought I cannot wait to start this book. I look at the back cover and it is a memoire about being a mother. Oh my gosh, the wind is knocked out, do I read it, do I just take it back, what do I do? So I did the logical thing and turned to page one. Within minutes of reading, she is on the subject of infertility and how blessed she is that having children was so easy for her. This women has had breast cancer twice, two times, and when asked if she had a choice for her daughters to either suffer from cancer or suffer from infertility she would choose cancer 100% of the time. What a statement. Now I have never suffered from cancer, but I would agree with her as well.

I would choose to have cancer over the heartache that I am going through today. Yes, the treatments may be basically the same, daily doctor visits, consultations, however I feel cancer is an acceptable disease and infertility is not. There are lots of cancer survivors. They proudly wear their pink shirts, and participate in their golf fundraisers, and ask for prayers at church, and have support groups. Yet we don't really celebrate infertility survivors. We see the baby if they are blessed enough to have one, yet does anyone really shout to the world that they beat infertility or they didn't?

The worst part is that if you don't beat infertility, you don't die, sure a part of you does, but you have to keep on living, and celebrating and hoping. You have to carry that part that dies with you every day, every moment, forever.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Let the IVF road begin

We have made the commitment, we are taking the plunge. I am starting shots on July 3rd, and we are officially signed up for IVF. The money has been paid, the medicine ordered, the daily appointments scheduled. We are jumping in with both feet. We are on the IVF journey.

Jon has stressed to me over and over this week, this is a journey. It is not a quick fix, I should not expect to get pregnant on the first try, we are traveling down the road, not just jumping to the end. It is because of this that we signed up for the Attain program. It is basically 2.5 times the cost as one IVF cycle, but it will pay for up to 6. I am such a numbers person that the risk of spending more money than necessary is hard for me to part with, but the stress of knowing that all our eggs, quite literally, are not in one basket but spread out in six makes the extra money worth it. I think that if I get a BFN, (big fat negative, for all of you who had no idea, I had to look it up as well) on the first try, at least I have five more. And if I get a BFP, (big fat positive) then I don’t really think I will be all that upset about the extra money.

The other upside to the Attain program as Jon explains it is that, they only approve people that they know have a good chance of getting pregnant. Basically after try two the Attain program is losing money on me, because they have to pay the doctor the same price each time. That also gives me a bit of comfort.

Therefore this next school year I am working for a baby and I am so happy that my money is going to something I really really want. At least it will make getting up in the morning a bit easier, knowing that I have a reason for each day. If it was only that easy, save up and then cash in.

The only big issue I have with IVF is that I feel it takes the miracle out of the miracle of life. I feel getting pregnant is no longer a “God” thing and more of a “science” thing. Which I am still struggling with. However I know that infertility is a disease and we have medicine to treat diseases and therefore this is the medicine I need. Only God knows if Jon and I will ever have our own children, and He does have a plan, therefore, maybe this is a part of it.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thankful Thursday

  1. I am thankful that today is a beautiful day in Noblesville. The sun is out, the birds are singing and the water is finally draining, and tonight I get to go listen to Elvis at the Noblesville parks concert with some friends from CHS.
  2. I am thankful that this weekend will be filled with friends that I don't get to see very often. Meatfest on Saturday night at the Schaefers, and lunch with some high school girls on Sunday. So looking forward to it.
  3. I am thankful that yesterday I got to have lunch with two amazing Christian girls from my church. I really enjoy Carmel Lutheran and am so glad that both Jon and I are forming good friendships there.
  4. I am thankful that today I have had a few minutes to just sit and relax and be still. It is such a necessary break from the everyday go, go, go.
  5. I am thankful for my mom and sister who would do anything for me, and support me no matter what.

Congratulations to Angie and Bill who are now engaged! Yeah! I cannot wait to hear all the details on Sunday and to see the ring.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


I was afraid that the blog has gotten too painful, not a great representation of what goes on for the other 23 hours of the day. When I am writing the posts, I get to let out my feelings, my emotions, my fears and my hopes, yet that is not all that my days entail. They are busy, they are full of fun times as well and I am not sure that I highlight all of those. Sure it is hard to put on a happy face for every appointment or every well meaning question but I do have happy moments and a lot of them. There are days when I don't have to put on a happy face, it just comes, the smiles, the laughs, they just appear. Days when I am happy just to be happy.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Heaven Stands

Life happens so quickly, and it is not slowing down! I cannot believe all that has been going on these past few days. What happened to my lazy days of summer that I just wrote about? Every day just keeps going and going and then it is over. What a week. One week ago I found out that a dear friend lost her father. Oh the heartache that I am feeling for her. How difficult all this is, how final. Knowing that God has a plan and his plan always comes true.

I am listening to a song given to me by Taryn, by JJ Heller. She told me to listen to it a bit ago, but today I finally downloaded it. The best line is "when my world is shaking, Heaven Stands." What a great reminder, because my world is falling apart some days. Some days it is more than shaking, it is crumbling, crushing down on my heart, just suffocating me. Yesterday was one of those days.

In the midst of coming back to Indy, I went to fertility again. Again, and again, oh for the day when I don't go to fertility. Anyways, I thought it was going to be a pretty normal visit, in fact I told Jon not to come because I was so certain that it was nothing important. It was not a normal quick in, take blood, do a test, it was a full hour of what is going to happen over the next two months. How to give myself shots, the daily appointments, the 22 page consent from, all the decisions that need to be made before we can start. The fact that all of this will fall the week before school and or the week of school starting. The stress of that was enough for me just to throw in the towel.

Yet, when my world is shaking, Heaven Stands. God stands and holds me and protects my heart, and reminds me this is what I want. But today that is very hard to see, that come July 3rd, I am giving myself daily shots, that I am not going on vacation because I have to check in daily, that this summer will be a constant reminder of pain. Yet, when my world is shaking, Heaven Stands.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Blessings All Mine

I have been MIA for the past week. Things have been a bit crazy for me and not in a good way. A dear friend and my cousin Erica suddenly lost her father on Monday. It has been an overwhelmingly difficult week for the family. I have spent time in FTW with her and her mom and the funeral is tomorrow. I know all prayers would be appreciated. In the midst of all of this, Jon and I started our IVF road on Monday as well, so I have been back and forth to Indy giving blood and filling out paper work and learning as much as I can prior to the process. Nothing has gone well, I was stuck three times one day for blood work, got nothing but bruises and then had to go back the next day to be stuck two more times to finally hit a vain. Why God, why?

That is the question of the week. Why God? Why did Bob pass away so suddenly? Why am I dealing with infertility? Why does all of this come at the same time? Why can’t I experience some good news? Why if you knew that I was going to have to go through all of these treatments, do I not at least have an arm they can draw blood from? Why can’t something just be easy? I am not asking for an easy life, and easy road, but just throw me a bone, will you?

Then I think, God looks at me and says "are you nuts?" Easy, your whole life is easy, and comparatively it is. I am blessed, I am loved, I am working, and moving and able. I have so many blessings that do make my life easy. Again, why do I get so hung up on the one thing that does not? So therefore today is count your blessing Thursday. Which was a welcomed reminder this week.

1. I am blessed to have a relationship with you Father. To be able to speak to you daily and to know that you answer prayers.
2. I am blessed to have a wonderful husband, family and Indy family. You all are the best.
3. I am blessed to have a job, one that allows me to have a few days off in the summer.
4. I am blessed to be able to have the means to go through infertility treatments.
5. I am blessed that today, I am alive, healthy, as happy as can be, and can count my blessings.

Prayers and Love go out to Taryn today, who is leaving for Italy for an entire month. I will miss you dearly!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Day one, strike three

It seems that for the past few cycles, I don't even get the chance to pee on a stick. My cycle is so regular it makes me scream. I always start on day 28. It is so frustrating that you know it is coming, that you know that today will be the day, the bad day, how are you going to prepare? It actually makes days 26 and 27 the worst days, as you know the dreaded P will be on the planner tomorrow.

I was not even expecting anything this time, I knew the chances were none, and yet I still had a slice of hope that will not go away. It is always there, and it always gets hurt. It always gets hurt. The sad part is that I cannot seem to control it. Why can I just snuff out the hope and then in turn snuff out the hurt.

I am so worried that if I get this upset about a slice of hope, what happens when we do IVF and it is the whole pie, the whole enchilada, on the line. How am I going to react when the stakes and the money jump to a whole new level? I told Jon today that if I am not pregnant by the time I am 35, then we can stop trying and sell our "family" home and buy a small house on the lake. It hurt to say those words out loud. To know that there may be a time when those words become my reality. To know that all the planning and the pain were for nothing.

Again this past weekend I spent about 60 hours with Jon and not a great attitude. So sorry babe, I appreaciate and love you more than you will ever know and I did have a great weekend.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

“Blessing of children”

Jon and I are in Illinois for a wedding this weekend. It is a very dear friend from Butler; we would not have missed it for anything. It was a Catholic wedding. First off I am not very familiar with the Catholic faith, I grew up Lutheran and well, there is sort of a cross town rivalry between the two in Fort Wayne. However, the one thing that hit me over and over was they mentioned at least six maybe seven times that night the "blessing of children." Like it was expected that children would just pop out of thin air the minute you say I do. I know that the Catholic faith has its own views on children, and I am not all that familiar with them, therefore I am just reporting what I heard. But where is the whole, figure out how to be married, enjoy being a family of two, realize that your love for each other is the most important part of a marriage and worry about the kids later.

Now I realize that I am extra sensitive to this topic and maybe no one else even noticed, however I guess it is difficult for me to see and know that a great majority of people still believe that conceiving a child is just an easy, fun, non-stressful task. Get the timing right, plan, pee on a stick and bam you are pregnant. There are so many unplanned, "surprise" children out there how can I be at it for over a year and yet, I don't get that surprise?

My story is nothing like that, and will never be the romantic it was our anniversary, or we went away for the weekend. It will be the; we sat in a fertility clinic for over a year, after the frustration and heartache was too much and you were conceived in a lab. Which does not mean we don't love you any less, it just means that you were wanted desperately and maybe were our last chance at any hope.

I am unsure if I have written this before but the definition of insanity is: trying the same thing over and over again and hoping for or expecting a different result. This could also be the definition of infertility. Every 28 days trying the same thing, and hoping that it will finally work. And you all wonder why I am going insane.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Summer is Sun, Strawberries, and Scotty's

Today was a good day, actually it was a Great day. It was the kind of day that you can only have with a few good friends, lots of sugar, and a few drinks. Taryn, Holly, Julie and made the long trek from Carmel down to Indianapolis for the Stawberry festival on the circle. The trek was long, construction on Meridian and Downtown did not help and parking was a pain, but it was worth it! The converstation on the way down provided enough laughs for the entire day.

Four girls, sitting in the sun, eating homemade strawberry short cakes. Laughing, sharing, taking wild pictures, realizing that everyone else is working. How wonderful! Being able to sit outside in shorts and a tank rather than a suit and tie. You only worry is if you have enough sun screen on. You finish up and the second part of your downtown adventure starts. You walk to Scotty's.

Scotty's is the my most favorite sports bar/resturant in Indy. I love that place. I especially love the downtown location with their summer couches outside, where we can relax and continue the converstaions and laughter. We have a great time. A great summer day with sun, strawberries, Scotty's and friends.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

One Day Early

Thankful Thursday a day early….tomorrow I am pretty busy with the girls. We are headed downtown for the annual Indianapolis Strawberry Festival. It is not that festival like, but rather just a bunch of people eating strawberry shortcakes under the sun around the circle. I am super excited! Therefore here is the list….

1. I am thankful for my summer school students. This is the first year that I have taught summer school and it is much better than I ever thought. I am enjoying it, but also looking forward to the days when I don't have to get up and go to school.

2. I am thankful for the Noblesville summer concert shows. Last Thursday Jon and I had a great date night listening to Dave and Rae at Forest Park. The weather and the company were perfect. It is also good to realize that even though I may be the oldest at Champps for Dave and Rae Wednesdays I am one of the youngest at Forest Park.

3. I am thankful for great nights with Jon. He is on this Star Wars kick because I have never seen the movies all the way through and we have spent the last few nights watching the movies together.

Congratulations to Kristin and Dave who will be getting married tomorrow. I love the Friday weddings and cannot wait to see the beautiful bride.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Lazy Days

Today has been a lazy day, it is cloudy outside and I have a bunch of movies to watch, so I am enjoying having nothing to do after summer school. I am not so good at posting right now as my days are just not full of that much excitement. I am also not on a schedule day by day, like I am during the school year. Therefore, I am just not getting writing done as I would like, because I am busy doing other things. I am also not as diligent with my Bible Study again because I am not on a schedule. Maybe it is because I have too much free time. Too much time to just put it off till tomorrow because I know that tomorrow I have time to do it. When I am working and tutoring, I have every hour scheduled therefore I cannot afford to put it off till the next day.

Either way, I need to remember that these lazy days will not last forever, and summer will soon be over, and hopefully I will not have too many more summers with this much free time. So I need to enjoy it. Read books, spend time with friends, and just relax during my lazy day summers.


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Two different views of God

I always come home from Bible Study inspired. I am so thankful for such wonderful Christian women to share my life with. We are studying the Crazy Love book which is wonderful, and the author stated that all of our "issues" with Christianity come from the fact that we have an incomplete and inaccurate view of God. I don't have the book in front of me, but it was along those lines. So we discussed this.

Jodi had a great perspective and it really helped me to understand. She said that we have two different views of God, the coffee shop God, and the Cathedral God. The coffee shop God is just that, someone you would sit down and have coffee with, someone that is loving and forgiving and you can have a relationship with. The Cathedral God is the one that is Holy, and Almighty, and Reverent, and way up there looking down on you. The problem lies when we let our view of God to become too much in one direction. When we sit down with the coffee shop God we tend to forget that God dislikes sin, and He judges, and holds you accountable for your actions. When we view God from the Cathedral we see God as distant and far away and not with you every moment. I am so sure that I am having coffee with God more often than the other. Is this wrong? No, but I need to realize that God is so much more than just a relationship.

When I think about all that goes into creating a child, I sit back and am amazed that there are any people on the earth. In a "perfect" couple there is only an 18% chance of conceiving each cycle. Most women only create 6-8 mature eggs a year, there are only about 12 good hours a time. The whole process is just amazing. It helps me to see the Cathedral God, the God of creation, the fact that life truly is a miracle. Which makes me ponder what I am doing today with this life while waiting to create a life.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Thankful Thursday still in process

Last night I spent the night with the girls, Jon's two adorable cousins who are 5 and 7 and full of live and love and energy. It is fun to do that. Spend time with two little people who adore you, call you their favorites, and their best friends. The ones that take an hour to walk around the neighborhood picking flowers, the ones that pet every dog they see. The girls that just make me smile.

It gives me hope that someday I will have children of my own to do this with. It gives me a glimpse at my future. It lets me know how difficult this parenting thing really is. To know that no matter how hard it may be it will be worth it. To believe and fully trust that it will happen for me.

I have much to be thankful for and will be listing it soon, I have to get ready for summer school….check back…

So much for knowing how to blog, I thought I posted this above but did not. Therefore here is the list...

1. My girlfriends Holly and Taryn. I can count on them for just about everything from having a buddy to watch the batchelorette with, to a long phone call about nothing. Thanks girls!

2. For the Carmel Library. I love to read, watch movies, and listen to books on CD. I visit the library almost daily during the school year and about twice a week now. I love all that the library has to offer for free.

3. Lake George, I have spent summers at the lake for the past 31 years and this weekend I had one of the best Memorial Day weekends I can remember. It was warm, Jon made his famous ribs, and we relaxed in the sun.

I have a praise from last week. My sister Julie not only had a great trip to Arizona, but came back and ENGAGED girl! We are so excited and happy for her and Nate.


I have been feeling down lately. Not anything too extreme, "but I guess that is why they call it the blues." Just blue, more like bummed. More like, I have been at this for over a year and am just tired, just want it to happen, just want this road to be over, just want one thing to go my way. Is that too much to ask for?

I look back at this paragraph and know that every sentence could be written for every issue I have ever faced, every bad date, every failed diet, every missed opportunity and today I am alive, healthy, and thankful. It is summer, the ten weeks of a year that are sunny, fun, work free, hot, full of activities, and yes, I am thankful for those, but I am not really looking forward to them. For the past nine summers I have had something exciting happening, traveling overseas, planning for a wedding, taking classes, decorating a house, and this summer….I am teaching summer school and doing fertility treatments. Yeah! Sounds like, oh so much fun. Do you get why I am blue?

Jon has noticed the quietness, he asks every day what is wrong? I cannot really put it into words. I am not really sad, just processing all of it again and again and again. Just thinking and aching for it to be over. I am tired of the tears that fall, I am tired of the waiting, I am tired of doing our finances seeing the money we have spent on nothing. I am just plain tired of being infertile.

When we were at the new doctor on Friday, we waited over an hour to see him, not a good move on anyone's part. But I said to Jon on the way there, "we have to hurry up…" for what, to wait. That is how this journey feels right now; we have to hurry up to wait, for nature, for God, for appointments. I am not doing well with the waiting, I am seeing my summer slip by with every phone call, calculating that in two cycles I will be back at school, knowing that nothing may have changed, and it makes me blue.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The road yet traveled

Tis the time for graduations, high school, college, kindergarden…The celebrations, the excitement of it all, having the whole world before you. The future is yours. Remember those days, the days when you had your cap and gown and diploma and knew that you had so much ahead of you, maybe a new job, maybe a new school, there was an element of excitement and an element of fear.

That is where I stand today. Jon and I visited a new doctor on Friday, and even though I don't have any intentions of switching doctors, I wanted a second opinion to see what he would say. It was basically the same as our current plan. We are on the IVF road, traveling down the scary, expensive, difficult path that it is. There is an element of excitement because the chances of getting pregnant are good, but not guaranteed. There is an element of fear, because it is such a gamble, and I am not the gambling type.

Either way, we have a plan. Is that a good or a bad thing? Does having a plan help my mental sanity or does it just hurt as my plans do not come true month after month? I am excited and yet still so fearful of this road. I am standing at the beginning with my cap and gown and looking down the road yet traveled, and wondering where this road will lead.