1

Trying to Grow Our Family for Three Years

I never imagined we would still be traveling this journey at this point, but last month was the three year mark of dealing with infertility. And you know what, it didn’t bother me one bit! God has totally transformed my heart and attitude over the last three years. When I go back and read my very first blog post, I can see how much of a bitter heart I had. I was bitter towards people that had children and complained about them. I was bitter towards women that could get pregnant just like that. I was bitter towards those same women that then whined about being pregnant.

But Jesus removed that bitterness and replaced it with joy and thankfulness. He made me see that I just needed to place my faith and trust in Him and He would provide, like He always has before. I understand now that God knew what He was doing this whole time. Why did I ever worry? He moved us to OKC when I didn’t want to and had Jim go through two jobs before placing him in the one he has now at the hospital, because God knew we would need fertility treatments. Bennett Fertility is the best fertility clinic in the state, and compared to the clinics in Kansas we would have gone to, Bennett has better success rates. God also knew that we would need help with the cost and provided that through Jim’s job. We realize how very blessed we are to have insurance that covers the majority of our treatments. Lastly, He knew I would need time off work for these treatments, and I don’t believe my previous job would have been as understanding as my current one. I am so grateful God has me working for someone that cares about us trying to expand our family and is willing to work around my many appointments.

I mentioned that Jesus also gave me a heart of thankfulness. Why would I be thankful that we are experiencing this pain? The countless disappointing months? The waiting and wondering why? The feeling that I am a failure and something is wrong with me? Because it has made me a better person, wife, friend, employee, and, most importantly, follower of Jesus. My character has grown so incredibly much over these last three years. My negativity has changed to positivity. My understanding of how God cares for me and loves me has shifted. And most importantly, my relationships with my Savior and husband are closer, stronger, and more intimate than ever. I see now that God wanted me to experience this so all this beautiful growth could happen. I would not be the same person I am now if we got what we wanted and had a baby right away. I would not realize that I cannot do this on my own and that not everything in my life is under my control. I would not be as thankful for the blessings and good things I do have in my life, with our without a child.

I also would not have met all of my wonderful TTC sisters and would not have been encouraged by them or been able to lift them up! I started sharing our experience publicly so that others would be lifted up by our story and know they are not alone. And God did so much more than what I had planned! He connected me with women that I now talk to daily. We share our struggles and doubts and fears and are able to keep pushing each other to not give up and are praying for each other. The TTC community is one of a kind and I am so grateful that God introduced me to it. I don’t know what I would do without these amazing ladies!

So where are we on our journey now? Well, I’m actually on bed rest from a transfer of one beautiful little embaby we just did on Monday! At the end of last year, we felt God leading us on the path to IVF and set up a consultation with our RE. We left his office that day feeling totally at peace about it. Praise be to God that we were able to get this far in the process with no issues. Every checkup I had was perfect and we were told we were right on track. So now all we can do is pray and wait! I am one that likes to have control (something God is still working on in me), so I just keep telling myself that there is nothing I can do about it at this point. Either it will work or it won’t. IF it doesn’t (I don’t like to think about it, but want to be prepared), I will know that is God’s plan and the He is still sovereign in our lives and still loves us and has what’s best for us in store. But we are BELIEVING this will work and God WILL beat infertility for us!

To be honest, I’m probably not going to blog much anymore. As you can tell (since my last post was August 🙂 ), I don’t do an excellent job of keeping this updated. I have found it’s easier for me to connect with women through my Instagram. So if you want to follow our story there, my handle is @dreamingofdirtydiapers.

Thank you so much for following our journey this far, and thank you to those that have supported us and prayed for us! God Bless!

K+J

1

Drinking, Derek, and Dreams

I recently started the third part of my cleanse, which is mixing the ICP powder in juice and drinking it twice a day.

I started with a 1/2 teaspoon a day and I add a 1/2 tsp each day until I’m at 1 tablespoon at morning and night. I’m supposed to do this until the mucoid plaque drops out. Looking at the powder, it reminds me of brown sugar…

…but the resemblance stops there. It tastes like crap. Well, I’ve actually never tasted crap, but it’s awful. The consistency is the worst part. It feels like I’m drinking sand because it doesn’t dissolve in water or juice. I have also realized that after I drink it in the morning, it makes me feel full and I don’t want to eat breakfast. And I don’t like skipping breakfast. I think it’s an important meal, but after taking ICP, the sight of food makes me sick to my stomach. So hopefully this cleanse works really fast so I can be done with this soon.

*Sigh* The things we do for our unborn children.

The next thing is not related to infertility in any way, but I’m allowed to talk about other things, right? Right. So….Derek Shepherd is no more. You can laugh and shake your head and roll your eyes at me. But I am distraught and mad at Shonda Rhimes about this. I have watched Grey’s Anatomy from the beginning, so for ELEVEN YEARS, and she decides to write off my favorite character in the WORST way possible. It was fitting that right before he died he was doing what he loved. He even said his catch phrase: “It’s a beautiful day to save lives.” Then he freaking gets hit by a semi and taken to a hospital where the doctors don’t know what the heck they are doing. Really?? This storyline had nothing to do with the show and it was an awful and disrespectful way for him to go. He deserved better than that. I would have rather him and Meredith get divorced than he DIE! I was expecting next season to be the last and him and Mer and the kids would all be together and have their happy ending. And then the music starting playing and they showed flashbacks, and I knew my heart was about to be ripped out. Ugh! Yes, I’m being dramatic. But I thought it couldn’t ever get worse than Denny’s death. Wrong.

Moving on…I had a dream Thursday night that I woke up from crying. But I think it was a good cry. 🙂 Jim and I were at our current house. Jim was working on one of the cars and I was playing with our two sons outside. The oldest one was 9 or 10 and the youngest 4 or 5. We were just rolling around in the yard having fun when the oldest asked me, with a cute smile on his face, if he could have some ice cream now. I said yes, thinking this is totally my kid. (If you know me well, you know I could live off of ice cream.) Then I hugged him and I told him I loved him. He said it back. And I just held on for a few seconds longer, thinking to myself about all we went through to get him and how it was worth the wait. Now I don’t always believe that every dream is God trying to speak to you, but I felt He was in this instance. I haven’t even been worried about getting pregnant lately. Maybe because life has been crazy busy. But I feel He was telling me that it’s going to be ok and will totally be worth the wait. I don’t know if that means I’m going to get pregnant soon or we are going to have to wait awhile longer, but I’m going to be patient and just keep telling myself: they will be worth the wait! 

9

To Catch You Up on Our Story…

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I’ve decided to start a new blog for some selfish and unselfish reasons. Jim and I have been trying to have a baby for 1 year and 10 months. Some people will say that’s not a long time, but when it’s happening to you, it is FOR.EV.ER. Jim’s idea was to start an infertility vlog to document our journey. I liked the document part, but not the vlog part. I extremely dislike seeing and hearing myself on camera; I prefer to type.

So here we are and this is why we are doing this:

  1. I’m super duper tired of people asking me, “When are you going to have kids?”. Surely this should clear that up.
  2. I don’t want to feel ashamed or embarrassed anymore about not being able to get pregnant. Not many people know we have been trying, because I feel like a failure and don’t want to discuss it. My thought process is that blogging about it will help me open up more and not be so uncomfortable speaking about our struggles.
  3. I really hope and pray that this will encourage other couples out there that are experiencing our same pain.
  4. I have no one around me that understands what I am going through, so I want to connect with other women on here and create a kind of support group for each other.
  5. I want this to give some insight to people that don’t know what it’s like to not get pregnant easily. I would never wish this experience on anyone, but I want people to understand how we feel and realize how some things they do and say can make it worse.

See, I told you those were mostly selfish reasons. Don’t judge.

One reason I am NOT doing this: To throw myself a pity party or make people feel sorry for me. Please don’t. The best thing you can do for us is just pray!

What have we done so far, you ask? Well before we finally saw a reproduction specialist, we tried everything you could think of and more. I researched and tried different herbs, I tried charting, we tried “relaxing” (yeah right), trying every night, every other night, ovulation predictor kits, and so on. You get the picture. After a year of trying, my OBGYN referred me to Dr. Reshef at Baptist. She said he is the best in the state, but that is yet to be determined. 🙂

So here is what we have done medical wise:

  • Jim’s sperm count has been tested and is within normal ranges.
  • I had a blood test performed to check my progesterone levels, which indicated that I had ovulated that cycle.
  • I had an HSG test, which, to put in layman’s terms, is where they shoot dye up your tubes to make sure you don’t have any blockages and are all connected right. If you haven’t done this and are thinking about it, just a couple of warnings: It is pretty pricey. It took up the rest of my $1250 deductible so I’m not exactly sure how much it was, but over $1000. Also, it hurts like heck! It feels like cramping but also like you have a porcupine in there. But, it is a great test to do before you try fertility treatments. Mine showed that I was all connected and had no blockages, so we could rule out some treatment options.
  • I had a post-coital test. Excuse me for getting detailed, but this is to make sure that your cervical mucus isn’t killing the sperm. Good news, mine isn’t.
  • I have taken Femara for two cycles now. Femara is like Clomid, but is supposed to have fewer negative side effects. I have honestly not experienced any from taking this. Before Dr. Reshef writes me the prescription, I have to go in and have a vaginal ultrasound performed to make sure I don’t have any ovarian cysts. I guess if you have cysts, they would not want to put you on Femara. I’m not sure why because thankfully both times now I have not had any cysts, so we haven’t had to cross that bridge. Femara is supposed to help stimulate ovulation and make you more regular so you can predict ovulation. This has done just that for us, but yet we are still not pregnant. We took December off of me taking the meds because we just needed a break from everything. Then this week I went back and got my third round prescribed, and that brings us up to date.

That may not seem like much we have tried yet, but God-willing we won’t have to go through much more. I realize some people have gone through many more medical treatments and many more years of struggling. And others are just starting and are disappointed after a few months of negative pregnancy tests. To those that can relate to this, here is what I have recently learned: Don’t think people aren’t going to care or don’t want to hear about your struggles because you’ve been trying for “just” a few months. Don’t think that people are tired of hearing about your issues after you’ve been trying for a few years. No matter what your time frame is, your pain is still just as real and significant. Plus, you never know who is listening that might be going through the same thing and is just afraid to say it out loud. You talking about it could give them some encouragement and strength.

What can you do to help couples dealing with infertility? Here are some things I would love to scream in people’s faces sometimes, but I’m passive-aggressive so I’ll just blog about it:

  • STOP TELLING US TO RELAX. If I had a dollar for every time….That is just the absolute worst thing you can say to someone trying to get pregnant. You can tell yourself to relax, but it doesn’t work. The pressure is always there in the back of your mind. Even if you are on vacation. Even if you aren’t charting. Even if you both say out loud that you aren’t going to “try” this month. It doesn’t matter.
  • Stop saying cliche crap like, “It will happen when it’s supposed to.” or “It’s all in God’s timing!” Yes, I am a Christian, and yes I believe that God has a plan for everyone’s life because the Bible tells me He does. But that doesn’t make the waiting and the anxiety and the pain any better. And maybe it should if I really gave this burden to God and let Him carry it, but you try it when you are in my shoes and let me know how it turns out. I’ve tried to give it up to Him and I do feel I’ve gotten less anxious about it, but that’s a whole ‘nother post.
  • Please please PLEASE don’t complain about your kids on social media. I’m sure parenting is full of challenges, but this is so annoying. I’m tired of seeing people say that they didn’t get any sleep last night, or their kid is in the terrible twos stage, or their baby won’t take a bottle. There are people, like me, that would give anything, and I mean ANYTHING to have children. I would love to not get any sleep at night because I have a baby to care for. So just think about that before you post on Facebook that your kid just had a blow out up his back, because I’m dreaming of dirty diapers and can’t wait for that day to come.
  • To go along with the previous, please don’t complain about being pregnant. Again, I would give anything to experience those pregnancy pains.
  • Don’t tell me you’re tired of your kids and ask me if I want them. My answer will always and forever be, YES. I do actually. Don’t take your precious children for granted.
  • When I tell you about the issues we are having, don’t tell me your fairytale story about how you have never had trouble getting pregnant and the most you’ve had to wait is three months. That’s fantastic. Exactly what I needed to hear.
  • Don’t utter these phrases: “You’re so lucky because you get to sleep in on the weekends.” “You’re so lucky that you don’t have kids because they are expensive.” “You’re so lucky because you get to go poop alone.” Well actually, I’d like to say that you are pretty darn lucky because you have offspring and I don’t. I know this is all in perspective. Some people are going to say, just wait until you have kids and you will be saying these things! But honestly, I don’t think I will. We will have waited and tried for so long, that I really think we will appreciate parenthood more. Feel free to call me out if I do any of these when we have kids one day.
  • DO listen. You don’t have to give me advice or keep telling me you are sorry (like it’s your fault). I just want you to listen to my situation and just be there for me when I’m having a bad day. You don’t have to pretend that you understand, just tell me that it sucks.
  • If I don’t want to attend a function that is full of children or centered around your child, please don’t be offended. Sometimes it can be really painful to be at a kids’ birthday party surrounded by couples that have kids and you are the only adult there without one. All the other adults do are talk about their children and what they did that week that was cute or disgusting while you just listen and smile. Then they ask you which one is yours and it’s awkward when you say none of them.

None of the above was directed at anyone in particular. Just things I constantly see/hear people do. If any of it offended you, I’m not sorry because that is honestly how people struggling with infertility feel.

I have much more I could share, but if I blog it all now, I won’t have any content for future posts. 🙂 So I think this is a good enough introduction. If you made it this far, kudos to you and thanks for reading!