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

2

God’s Timing

God works in wonderful ways. But I am constantly overanalyzing His ways, thinking about everything being a “sign” and wondering if I’m reading them right.

I had a doctor appointment last Monday, and was pretty upset when I left the doctor’s office. I waited a week to blog about it because I wanted to be able to calm down and see the whole picture. It was day three of my cycle and I was going in for my normal ultrasound to check for cysts so I could be prescribed another round of Femara. Jim and I had talked before I went in and decided I was going to ask about some other treatment options and see what our next steps might be since we weren’t seeing the results we wanted with the Femara. It was my full intention to get the prescription and still try the Femara this month, but just to also see what the other options were. So while I was driving to the hospital, I was praying for God to speak through my doctor and tell me what the next step is.

It was a Monday, so I figured they were going to be busy. The doctor’s nurse, Beverly, asked if we were doing another round of Femara, and I said that I had some questions for the doctor first. So instead of taking me into a room like normal, she rushed me back to his office and said, “Dr. Reshef, Kristi is feeling frustrated and wants to know what other options there are.” I was like, ok, I didn’t say that to you, but that is true. I sat down and the doctor said that he could see why I would be frustrated after trying three cycles of Femara and not getting pregnant. He said that back in the day, doctors would jump to the laparoscopic procedure to see what was going on inside, like endometriosis or scarring tissue, but nowadays they don’t do that. For one, he said it’s very expensive, and for two, half the time it’s a waste. He said 50% of the time they will find something and the other 50% they won’t, but even if we didn’t find any issues we would at least have peace of mind knowing that nothing was wrong. He then got a phone call and answered it, which I thought was a little rude. I felt like he wasn’t focusing on me. I then asked if there were any other tests we could do to figure out what the problem is. (I did forget I had already done a thyroid test and that was normal). He said not really. That is the most frustrating part of all this; we don’t know what the problem is! Then he said the next step he would suggest is fertility shots. He explained briefly that I would need to come in 4-5 times during a one week period for shots and blood work, then we would try IUI at the end. I asked if he thought that was the best option, and he said he would recommend it to his own daughter. But that just seemed like a scripted answer. He got up, walked me out, gave me an information sheet on the shots and a pat on the back, then sent me back to Beverly while he rushed off to his next patient.

Beverly starts telling me she’s going to get me with the fertility institute because I have to sign the consent forms for the shots and they need to explain things and have time to order the medicine, and what insurance do I have? because this will cost $2-3,000. And I was like, whoa lady! He just told me this was an option! I haven’t had time to process it and decide. She asks, “Oh, did you want to speak with your husband about this first?” Um yeah, that might be a good idea. Then I had the gall to ask her about previous tests I had. She seemed irritated with me, like she was trying to get me out of her way, and said,  “Well, I’ll have to grab your chart to check because you are just asking me questions I don’t have answers to!”

Overall, I just did not have a good feeling about the visit. I have always had good experiences with this doctor, but this time I felt I was not valued or treated well. I was in the doctor’s office for a total of 5 minutes (and they charged me $150 for that – grrrr). I felt like he was rushing me to make a decision. I did not feel good about the shots as he was describing them. I don’t know if it was because I didn’t have time to ask questions and process, or if I was just afraid to take that next step because the more treatments we try, the fewer options we have left for trying to conceive. Or I don’t know if it was God telling me this was not the right step to take. Which would be ironic since I prayed for God to speak through the doctor, but then He knew what the doctor was going to say, so maybe all along He was going to give me bad feelings about it. See, I told you…I overanalyze His plans.

So I’ve been praying and spending more time with God and just seeking out His will for us over the last couple of weeks, asking for His guidance, and some crazy cool things have been coming together.

The Saturday before the appointment, my mother-in-law gave me a book to read that was lent to her by a co-worker. This co-worker had read our blog and thought this book might give us a new direction to try. It’s about using essential oils to cleanse your body. The doctor that wrote the book stated that she has helped all but five women get pregnant after having them do a colon and liver cleanse. She suggests using the Cleansing Trio pack from Young Living Oils for the cleanse. I had considered oils in the past, but hadn’t looked into them much. What this doctor was writing about made sense…that you have all these toxins in your body, and some of them are excreted out, but then some are absorbed into your body and that can mess with your hormones and fertility. I was thinking, well I’m up for anything at this point! And this Cleansing Trio is about how much it costs for my monthly appointments, so why not. I talked with a friend that sells YLO and she explained more about the oils and how she had someone on her team that was having trouble getting pregnant. She started using an oil called Progessence Plus (to increase progesterone levels) and was pregnant a few months later. I know everyone’s body is different, but I wanted to look into this. I asked my friend if I would be ok to take the Femara and try the cleansing pills and oils, and she advised me to pray about it. So I did, and I feel that I got my answer at my doctor’s appointment. The doctor did not end up prescribing the Femara to me this month; he told us to take a break (yeah right). That, along with not feeling great about the fertility shots, really got me to thinking that maybe this was what God wanted me to try next.

So I started researching essential oils and infertility, and so many women have had success with it! I don’t want to get my hopes up, but my thinking is, it can’t hurt to try something more natural for a few months. Even if we did want to do the fertility shots, it was too late to do them this cycle. Then next month we will be out of town during the time we would need to do them, so I feel it was perfect timing that the idea of using the oils was presented to me. I also found out that a lady I work with sells YLO, and I asked her about her opinion on them after my appointment. She was very encouraging and basically told me what I already found out, but asked me to keep her updated on my journey and let her know if I had success with the oils. She also said she would be praying for me. I have only talked with this lady once (she works at a different office) so it was touching that she was so interested in my story and willing to offer support and prayers when I had only just emailed her that day. It was definitely a God thing.

Then, someone that I went to high school with and haven’t talked to since then, messaged me on Facebook. He said he hardly reads FB, but got on there and saw my blog post. Another God thing. He told me how he and his wife struggled with infertility for three years. He said they had tried what we have and more, and they understood the pain and financial burden. He said they were bitter and discouraged just like us. Then he told me that his wife starting seeing a chiropractor that specializes in infertility. I didn’t even know there was such a thing. He went on to say that after a month of adjustments, cacti, acupuncture, supplements and of course prayers, they were pregnant! Again, I know everyone’s body is different, but I feel God had him see my blog for a reason…so that he could share their story and encourage us, and also share a different treatment option with us. He even went as far as to ask his chiropractor if she could recommend one in my area that I could try. He sent me two different doctors and they are both about 1.5 hours away. Jim read the bio of the one in Tulsa, and he talks about his love for Jesus. So now I’m feeling maybe I should try an infertility chiropractor along with the oils. I just don’t know if these feelings are me grasping for new hope and different options besides expensive shots, or if God is pushing me in this direction.

This old friend also went on to encourage me to have a good attitude. He said that was the biggest difference he noticed in his wife; she was more focused on being positive. Well, I’m currently attending a Dale Carnegie course through work, and one of the readings tonight talked about how we can stop worrying by having a good attitude. He states in his books that a man is what he thinks about all day long. If I keep dwelling on our infertility issues all day, I’m going to truly become infertile. I cannot let infertility define me. He also says in the book that our mental attitude can have an unbelievable effect on our physical powers. If I believe in my heart that we are able to get pregnant and will get pregnant, it will happen! But if I continue to have negative thoughts and be down in the dumps all the time, that is not going to help. I know it sounds cheesy, but if I think positive, I believe positive thing will begin happen. Where we are in life or the stuff we have will not bring us joy and happiness, but having a great mental attitude can. Life is what we make it to be. And if I can find my joy in Christ and ask Him to help me have a positive outlook, and truly believe in my heart that we will get pregnant instead of throwing myself a pity party and asking why we aren’t, it WILL happen.

Another chapter I read tonight talked about counting our blessings and being grateful for our bounties. This was just a perfect-timed reminder of what I had already vowed to do in my last post!

Lastly, God really spoke to me through my sister this week. She reminded me of God’s promises for us. That He wants to work all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (and that’s me!). That He will fulfill the desires of our hearts. The He is faithful and has never abandoned us. That He wants us to be fruitful and multiply. I am focusing on these truths and fighting against the doubts that Satan has put in my mind.

After going back and reading this, I realize it all might seem random to you, but I honestly believe this is God speaking to me. I’m going to stop trying to read “signs” and just listen to Him. I hear Him telling me to try something different and commanding me to change my attitude. So that is the direction I am going to take.

I am curious to know if any of you have tried oils or chiropractic care to treat infertility. Or if you have done any research on it. I am also interested in hearing about your experiences with infertility shots. I would love to hear any thoughts you have!

2

Overwhelmed with Support!

I should have started this blog a long time ago! I was just scared to put such personal information out there for the world to see. And I won’t lie, it sill makes me nervous that our story is available for anyone to read. I guess I feel vulnerable and completely exposed. Also I just feel like society sees and treats infertility as a disease, and I’ve been fooled into believing that it is, and it makes me feel ashamed of my “disease”. I realize this is a crazy idea and am trying to work through that. Bear with me.

Anyways, enough with all the feelings.

God works in amazingly wonderful ways! So many of you have reached out to share your experiences with infertility, whether it was in the past or you are currently going through it. I had no idea most of you could relate to our situation. I truly hate that infertility is a common issue and that others have had to deal with this too, but it makes me feel less alone. That’s exactly why I felt (here we go with the feelings again) I needed to blog about it. God knew I would get the support and encouragement I needed after sharing. I’ve even had some people tell me they had a feeling that we were going through this difficult time and they have been praying for us. Now that is totally a God thing! He’s always looking out for Jim and I and making sure we are covered in prayers. I also love hearing about your success stories! Those give me hope for the future. So don’t be afraid I’m going to lash out and judo chop you if you tell me you are pregnant after struggling with infertility. I want to be able to celebrate with you in your joy! 🙂

In conclusion (I feel like I’m writing a paper for Ms. Hall’s class) thank you so very much for the prayers and support! We love you all!