I began this blog when I was 23 years old and my husband, Jesse was only 21. That was in December of 2007 when we decided that we wanted to bring a baby into our family. We had no idea all that decision entailed. Back then I had a false assumption that I was super-fertile and would get pregnant even while on birth control. Well, I was off of birth control for over a year, went through all of the fertility testing, and then was diagnosed with "unexplained infertility".

This past year has been one of the most difficult I have ever been through. I ran the emotional gauntlet on this issue, ranging from intense sadness and heartache to anger towards God to total peace about what He is doing. God began to show me how He was using my infertility as a ministry. It is my hope to share my testimony with others so that they may either be encouraged as they face their own infertility or educated as they learn what infertility entails. More than that, though, I hope that the things I share point others to God regardless of what they are going through.

When I first began this blog, the entries were kept private. But I have decided to open everything up in order to let people see the raw truth of the struggle. I strive to find the fine line between sharing the truth and sharing too much information. However, it is my desire to share my heart, regardless. And I have learned that there is never "too much information" in the world of infertility.

After being diagnosed with unexplained infertility on November 17, 2008, I was put on a round of 50mg of Clomid to strengthen the quality and quantity of my eggs. I suppose it was how God chose to work because I became pregnant that very cycle.

In order to be sensitive to those who are still going through infertility, I have opened up a new blog about my pregnancy. I am maintaining this one, though, hoping that it serves as a testimony to anyone who may be going through infertility at the time they come across my site. If you want to follow my life's journey, check out my other blogs. And if you would like, please don't hesitate to email me:
mrs_peterson07@yahoo.com

Saturday, November 15, 2008

One More

My chart almost tricked me. After I posted my last blog saying that my temperature had plummeted along with my hope for a baby this month, my temperature decided to rise back up the following day. I held on to those tiny dreams that perhaps the drop of temperature was really an implantation dip. And when I experienced some bleeding, I wondered if it were perhaps implantation bleeding. I had experienced some twinges and fluttery feelings in my stomach, and my skin had broken out which it rarely does. I knew my chances were slim, but one can always hope, right? I mean, after all, everyone had "good feelings" about this month and I had been prayed for by a number of women at my church, along with a few really good friends who pray for me regularly. Maybe this were the month that God chose to bring forth a miracle, and our limited sexual activity around ovulation would only further prove that God had brought it all about, despite our best/worst efforts. This slight hope, though, wasn't enough to out-weigh my realistic expectation that this month probably was no different than any previous month.

When my temperature went down again and the bleeding continued, I knew it was time to just accept the inevitable. So, I called my doc to schedule my FSH blood test for cycle day 3. It turns out that the OB-GYN's portion of the office is only open Mon-Fri (even though the fertility clinic side of it is open 7 days a week). So, the only way they could do my blood test on cycle day 3 (which happened to be Sunday) would be to call it in as an emergency. Therefore, my doctor said that since I had started my period so late in the day on Friday, that I was fine to come in first thing Monday morning (cycle day 4) and have my blood drawn then instead.

So that's what I did this morning. The next step is just to wait for the results of my blood test, and, pending a normal result, we will receive our official diagnosis of "unexplained infertility" and move on to my first round of Clomid. I don't know if it'll be too late to start this month, which almost makes me feel like this is a wasted cycyle. But I suppose that if nothing REALLY is wrong with us, then perhaps I just haven't hit the lucky 20% who conceive naturally each month. And, if that's the case, then there's always the chance that we could just as well get pregnant this month without any medical intervention.

Meanwhile, here we are: one more cycle, one more month, one more shot in my arm, all looking to gain one more member in our family.


Aside from the medical side of not being pregnant this month, emotionally I felt all over the place. I've been in a place for a while of simply accepting that I am not pregnant. I don't get my hopes up quite so high anymore, and the fall to reality doesn't seem so far anymore either. I don't cry immediately anymore or as long as I used to (which says a lot for me with my over-productive tear-ducts!). That numbness is difficult for me to deal with, though. My heart still wants a baby more than anything, and yet I have to guard it from being wounded so often. Having said that, I think that numbness often points the way to resentment and hurt. For as soon as I started cognitively thinking about how I felt, despite the lack of tears or obvious emotion, I discovered that a barage of angry thoughts come out. I found myself thinking that I'm here facing one more month of barrenness, while those who began trying to conceive the same month I did are taking their holiday pictures with their little babies in their arms. I found myself thinking that last November, I hoped so much to be able to discover I was pregnant at the same time I celebrated my birthday. And, with my mom's birthday being just 3 days after mine, I wanted so much to surprise her with the news of her first grandchild as well. I thought about how great it would be to tell everyone on Thanksgiving that I was thankful for the answer to prayer that I now held within me. And when November transitioned to December, I dreamed of ways that I could reveal the news of my pregnancy in the Christmas spirit. By the time January 1st came around, all I could do is hold onto the notion that I for sure had to at least be pregnant during the upcoming year. I was certain that my next holiday pictures would be taken with either a bulging belly or a newborn baby in my arms. I NEVER expected to be here this month in the same place I was last year: approaching my next birthday still not pregnant; my mom still not a grandma; thankful for many other things, but not able to yet share that particular praise... I suppose Christmas is still a possibility, but as the New Year approaches, the certainty I once had now is a hesitant and fearful question, "Is it possible that I may go through a whole other year and STILL not be pregnant?!?!"

As I laid in bed and talked with Jesse Saturday night, I discovered how heavy the burden of infertility was resting on my shoulders- that I had so many intense feelings about it. I hadn't realized how much of my life focused on our infertility. Well, I guess I did, but I didn't see it as a bad thing. Instead, I thought that it should be the center of our attention, since that's our primary goal right now. I couldn't help but be consumed by the stories of others I find in their blogs, by the doctor's appointments I have each month, by my never-ceasing desire to be a mother. When Jesse picks me up from work each day, most of what I share is what I have read about others' infertility that day. I thought of it as sharing what God was teaching me, or offering further hope or understanding into the situation, not realizing that I was neglecting to share about many other aspects of my day. I told Jesse that I don't ever want my desire to be a mom keep me from being the wife I ought to be now. And, I spent so much time thinking that here I was overwhelmed by our childlessness while Jesse seemed unmoved! I thought that he seemed uninvolved in making plans towards our future with treatments or in discussing ideas about our future children. I had no idea how it was affecting him. As he explained, I realized that his silence about the issue is due to his difficulty in dealing with it. He doesn't want to talk about it- not because he doesn't care, but but because he cares so much that it hurts. Talking about it just brings him down. So, his solution is to not think about it- not talk about it. We had just finished watching a movie in which the very last scene is of a dad picking up his son from his mom's house for a visitation as they go to spend the evening together. They run off into the park across the street, kicking a ball back and forth as the dad picks up his son over his shoulder and spins him around. And the credits roll as you hear them laughing and playing around. Jesse said that as he watched this scene, he couldn't help but think of how much he wants a son. As he went on to describe his desire to play ball with his son and wrestle around with him, tears welled up in his eyes. I tried to tell Jesse how much it means to me for him to express his emotions about it all. But as he explained that he doesn't like to because it just makes him feel bad, I realized that the truth is, knowing that Jesse is on the same page as me is good enough. I don't need him to cry all of the time about it. And I definitely don't want him to dwell more on the issue of infertility if it means having a depressed husband! Me asking that of him is not looking out for his best interest. And, in truth, I don't want infertility to rule my life anymore either. Of course I can't help but thinking about it regularly. Of course I will continue to post my feelings as I go through this journey. Of course I will continue to try medical interventions to reach our dreams and I will continue to make plans for our future kids, anticipating that God WILL bring them to us. But there's no reason that it needs to bring me down so much and no reason it needs to dominate my conversations, and I never want it to come between me and my husband. The journey that we have been through so far has brought us closer to each other as we seek God together. But so easily it could tear us apart, opening the doors for resentment and hurt to root up. I don't want to allow that to happen, especially because of my obsession with it. I want so badly to make my husband a father, but in the meanwhile, I want to celebrate the two of us as man and wife.

So, as I begin this new cycle, I'm going into it with a renewed outlook. I know that Jesse and I are on the same page as far as our desires to have children go. And I don't want him to express it in the same way that I do. I also don't want my desires to keep me from appreciating what I have right in front of me. Despite the hurt and accompanying questions that arise with each new cycle, I still believe that God is up to something. Many people are going into this holiday season with dread. Oh, how my heart empathizes with them! And I don't blame a single one of them for feeling so defeated. But, I don't want to miss out on the joy that's all around me. As Thanksgiving comes up next week, I can be thankful that God loves me so much that He's willing to let me go through something so difficult to bring me to something so much greater. As Christmas quickly approaches, I can rejoice that the God who brought forth a Savior in a virgin 2,000 years ago dwells within me and performs miracles even today. And, as 2008 rolls over into 2009, the truth is that I have no idea what God has in store for me! 365 days is a lot of time to get a lot done. And no matter what happens, with God as the author of my story, I know that it's gotta be great!

So, one more cycle, one more month, and one more shot in the arm really add up to countless lessons in trusting in the One more powerful than I am.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mandy:
You are such a blessing to me.
I know Jesse wants a child as badly as you. He just expresses things differently.
It's good to hear that you realize the importance of sharing other parts of your day with him and not place having a baby of more importance than him.
You're becoming so wise. I see God teaching you so much that I wish I knew at your age.
I feel an eager anticipation of good things to come, soon!
Love you sweetie
Mom

shelley said...

I could see the change in you on Sunday, you're countenance was very different. You shone! It is true that concentrating on the things that aren't going our way brings us and the people close to us down, and thinking of the positive and being thankful for what God is doing in our lives really bring the joy to us and those around us. God is teaching you so much through this that you are becoming wiser than your years. just as I think of something to share with you God does it first! Just don't forget that your marriage is your first priority even after the kids come along! love you, Shelley

Hal & Jenn said...

Once again, I could've written this myself. (Albeit, probably not as eloquently.)

I've said before I don't believe in coincidences but in "God-incidences". I don't believe I just "happened to stumble" across your blog.

"As Thanksgiving comes up next week, I can be thankful that God loves me so much that He's willing to let me go through something so difficult to bring me to something so much greater." ~ I'm going to cling to this!

private for now said...

I just stumbled upon your blog today, and really appreciated your words. This post in particular spoke to me directly. My CD1 was November 14 and somehow it has hit me harder than usual this month. I wanted so badly to be able to tell my family in person at Thanksgiving and tell my husband's family in person at Christmas. It now seems that this is unlikely, and somehow the lost dreams are making me dread the holidays and all of the holiday moments that I normaly cherish.

Amber