Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Life Uncommon

This post is dedicated to a dear friend ~ you know who you are! ;-) She recently shared this song with me. It touched my heart. Brought me to tears. I feel compelled to post it here as a reminder to myself of this time and my gratitude for her thoughtfulness. It is an anthem for those of us dealing with IF. As my sweet friend told me, this song is "really perfect for what we face with IF...worry, fear, and ultimately the desire for freedom from these things."

She is so right.

I have been fortunate enough to "meet" several women dealing with IF in cyberspace. It's easy to "talk" to and connect with people who get it. Who understand where you're at, where you've been, and sometimes, where you're going. I am blessed to have some dear friends all because of our journeys with IF.

If you are dealing with IF, listen to this song. Listen to these words. As we lead this "Life Uncommon", let us be free.

Thank you for sharing this with me, my friend.

p.s. before you play this song, be sure to "click" pause on the music player at the bottom to turn off that music! :-)

UPDATE 1/4/09: Because I think these words are so true and I do not want to *loose* them ~ I am moving the lyrics from the sidebar on my blog to this post as I am reorganzing my blog layout.

Life Uncommon - Jewel

Dont worry mother

Itll be alright

And dont worry sister

Say your prayers and sleep tight

And itll be fine

Lover of mine

Itll be just fine

And lend your voices only

To sounds of freedom

No longer lend your strength

To that which you wish

To be free from

Fill your lives

With love and bravery

And you shall lead

A life uncommon

Ive heard your anguish

Ive heard your hearts cry out

We are tired, we are weary

But we arent worn out

Set down your chains

Until only faith remains

Set down your chains

And lend your voices only

To sounds of freedom

No longer lend your strength

To that which you wish

To be free from

Fill your lives

With love and bravery

And we shall lead

A life uncommon

There are plenty of people

Who pray for peace

But if praying were enough

It wouldve come to be

Let your words enslave no one

And the heavens will hush themselves

To hear our voices ring our clear

With sounds of freedom

Sounds of freedom

Come on you unbelievers

Move out of the way

There is a new army coming

And we are armed with faith

To live, we must give

To live

And lend our voices only

To sounds of freedom

No longer lend our strength

To that which we wish

To be free from

Fill your lives

With love and bravery

And we shall lead...

And lend our voices only

To sounds of freedom

No longer lend our strength

To that which we wish

To be free from

Fill your lives

With love and bravery

And we shall lead

A life uncommon

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sulking Sunday.

So, with all of my wondering/thinking/stressing the past few days, I was really looking forward to our church service today. We have only been attending this particular church for a few months now, but honestly, I have felt more at peace the past few months, than the past few years. I was hoping to find a message and that peace today.

Here is how our morning started: we went to the early service at church - today was the children's performances. Within 2 minutes of us sitting down, the guy next to me says, "So do you guys have kids up there today?" Me: my voice cracking, "No." End of conversation. Then, an awkward silence....and I could feel DH's arm dig into my side.....DANG! WTH? I know he was probably just trying to start a conversation, but how about the weather? Did he realize it was freezing rain and frigid cold? Did I look like a crazed-mom waiting to take pics? N-O. We purposefully sat toward the back, away from all of the goo-goo-gaa-gaa of the children and crazed parents trying to get the perfect picture. Seriously!?!??

It is so hard. I do not want to live in a bubble. I do not want to live in a world that revolves around IF.

It is hard not to feel isolated. It is hard not to isolate myself. However, at times, it is easier than dealing with the emotions or with other people who have no idea.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Goal #1: CCRM in 2009

It's weird lately. A few weeks ago, I could almost go a day without feeling sad about our situation. I felt like I was in such a tolerant and accepting place. Today, that tolerance is long gone! Like I said yesterday, IF/baby/tx/ next steps are ALWAYS on my mind!

So, today, we talked more about "what can we do?" DH will be off work the next 3 weeks involuntarily (ugh ~ like our financial situation isn't tough enough already?). He will put the finishing touches on our basement and straighten up some of the cluttered rooms. I agreed to help with a "thorough" cleaning of the house. He would like to clean the windows - I think it's a little cold here for that - it might have to wait until the spring. But then, we think we will go ahead and pursue selling our house, now.
The one thing we both agreed on today is that we both want to pursue our next tx at CCRM. They are the best. So whatever it takes, we want to be cared for by the best. We have read so much lately about their procedures, and have heard of such wonderful work that they are doing. We feel that to go through an IVF cycle again, and if we were to do it somewhere else and it fail, we would always wonder - what if? So, we want to avoid that at all cost. We will do whatever it takes to get to CCRM; our goal, within the next year.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Standing still.

This has been on my mind all day - What can we do? what should we do? what limits will we go to? The most obvious question for us right now, today, is financially - what is it worth? And how do we get there? If I had all money in the world, I'd trade it for our bio-child. (Does that sound awful??) I'm not trying to put a price on our baby. I just feel "stuck" right now - stuck in this place between decisions, between treatments.....I'm not a very patient person. (Very much a "planner" and self-admittingly, Type A). I've actually been in a "good" place the past month or so. In fact, I've put on my happy face and dealt with many preggo women, new babies and pregnancy announcements. In my staff alone at work, we're going on #4 in 2.5 years - and I feel I've dealt with it - in person - with grace. (No one but DH knows the real story ;-) But I feel the pressure, the waiting, the longing for our child growing more and more each day. I'm frustrated. I'm sad. At times, I'm mad.

I just wish $ was no object, because then it would all be more simple. There would be a plan and we would pursue it. Life could feel like it was moving, instead of standing still.

Monday, December 1, 2008

My heart melted tonight.

Well, I realized tonight that the past few days probably hasn't just been hard on better-half, (or other-half as he would say), my dear/darling/dashing husband (N) said something "out of the blue" that made me think. Made me think about his feelings. You know, as most men have trouble talking about their feelings, I think the same is true about my husband and his thoughts on IF. Don't get me wrong, we've came a long way, baby. But he's still a guy, and guys do not prefer to talk/share their feelings as openly as us girls do.

Tonight, N was getting out Christmas decorations and I was cleaning up from dinner. And I came into the living room and he says, "Hey, I have a thought. A good idea for our family tradition......" The rest of the words did not matter.....that sentence melted my heart.

That simple expression from him got me thinking....when this IF road seems so lonely, frustrating and heartbreaking, I need to remember the man beside me. The man who is struggling just as much as I am. I need to remember to be sensitive to his needs and be his supportive rock, just as he is mine.

Oh sweet, darling husband, how I hope and pray that we will be starting those traditions sooner, rather than later or not at all.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Limbo Land

It's weird to be in this place of "Limbo Land" - it's the place in between IF treatments - where you really don't know where you're going only know where you've been. Treatment or thinking of a plan is never far from my mind. But we are not in a position to do anything about it, so I'm trying to let it go for now. Some days are easier than others. Some moments are easier than others. But after a LONG weekend of family, babies and is hard.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Looking forward to this week...

We live about 3 hours away from our, this week will give us lots of "family time" as we are traveling there on Tuesday afternoon. Sometimes, family time is hard because of the obvious....we do not have kids and everyone else does, or everyone is hoping that we will soon but it has almost become something that we don't talk about.....sometimes, this is harder. Anyway, I'm actually looking forward to this week. My youngest sister is getting married 2wks from yesterday, so I'll be around to help with all of the finishing details...can't wait! I hope my focus on the wedding plans leaves no room for negativity about our situation. I really want to put it aside for the holidays and be thankful for our blessings.

Speaking of focus, that reminds me of the message at church today. Focus. Focus on small interventions that can lead to big impact (Focus + SI = BI this was the pastor's visual). I wonder if that can apply to IF? Yet to be determined...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Been awhile....

It has been awhile since I created this blog....thought about it today, and thought it was time to update here and make this a worthwhile venture. Many of the girls on the Forum have blogs and I have found inspiration and hope while reading their stories. I can only imagine it helps the soul to share your thoughts and write about your experiences. This is my goal. Today, I will add a link from my forum profile and "officially" begin this journey into the world of blogging.

First, an update on Us....September brought a month of choices. What would or could we do next? Our path led to an IUI cycle. We completed b2b IUIs on 10/12 & 10/13, AF arrived on 10/29.

Of course, we had a back-up plan. (Probably my most noteable trait - I am a planner!) The plan was: If IUI was not successful, we would move to IL, a mandated state ("mandated state" means there are state laws that require companies who offer pregancy insurance benefits to offer IF coverage, too. What a concept!?!? There are loopholes, such as religious organizations, and if there headquarters are not in IL, etc. But STILL, what a benefit to couples!). Anyways, our first step to moving was selling our home. We consulted with a few realtors and found out that we should expect a 30% decrease from our last appraisal - WTH???? Needless to say, moving plans, well, ALL plans (including IF tx), are on hold. On hold - indefinitely. We lack the $ to fund any treatments, we do not have any insurance coverage, and we cannot afford another monthly payment.

While in "Limbo Land", I've stayed connected on the Fertility Forum. I found tremendous support there before, during and, certainly, after our cycle. Some of our "Ladies of May" (women going through cycles in May) reconnected this fall and I am amazed at the connection we've made. It is wonderful to have friends who can relate to IF challenges - and along the way, relate to many other life experiences, too. These girls have truly been a blessing in my life the past few months!

So, what's my plan now? To Love, To Breathe, To Live, and To Blog!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

There is Always a First...

Right? 1st smile, 1st laugh, 1st word, 1st step....skip a few years....1st kiss, 1st get the point…..

All are milestones on this journey we call "Life". Life is a journey, and we are along for the ride. The ups and downs, twists and turns, bumps in the road….WAIT, craters in the road…..and then, you pass another milestone.Well, I consider this a milestone. This is my 1st post! My 1st adventure into blogging.....I need an outlet, WE need an outlet. A new way to share our feelings with no judgment, no speaking, just a safe place share.So, what's our story? Here's a short version...We met in 1999 and had the time of our lives! We married in 2004 and decided a family was in our near future. So, we threw away the pill packs and waited for the big surprise! Well, months went worries, it will happen, we thought. Skip to summer 2006, MD (doctor) says we could do a SA (semen analysis). Really, you think? So, DH (Darling Husband) and I talked, and decided we would. More information is better, right? Usually...well the MD's office called and said the results were "1". Naive, stupid, and clueless to the test and the results, I'm like Really? The nurse says, "Well, I usually don't discuss these results, but the MD isn't here, but yes, it says 1." I can still here her voice, her sentence, her matter-of-fact way of telling me "One". DH and I were why? what in the world? Well, that was it for a while. We didn't need more information, we just needed time. Time to think. Time to absorb. We took a little over a year to take our next step. Winter 2007, we made our 1st appt with a RE (Reproductive Endocrinologist). In prep, we did another SA. He reviewed the results, 7 the heck? He looked back at the 1st SA, and said it was ONE MILLION ~ now, it's 7 MILLION. Okay, we can deal with this. What's next, doc?Well, if you know about IF (Infertility) issues, then you know 1M still isn't that good. In fact, it's almost as bad as ONE. And while 7M is much better (like, 7x better!), it is still pretty sucky. But at least, at the very least, it's higher, much higher, and we have something to work with.Winter 07 - 08: lots of tests, blood work, urologist appts, GI appts, lap......and here's our DX (diagnosis) = severe oligospermia (male factor) and mild endometriosis. Recommended TX (treatment) = IVF with ICSI (In-Vitro Fertilization with Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection).

In March 08, we decided to move forward with our 1st IVF Cycle. So, there were 1st ultrasound, 1st shots, 1st acupuncture appt…..all milestones. We had ER/ET (egg retrieval/embryo transfer) in late May, and found out on 6/10 that it did not work. We had passed 2 milestones in one: completion of our 1st cycle AND our 1st failed cycle.

We took the summer to grieve and regroup. In the light of the bright, sunny days, there were many dark, very dark days. Questioning life, our faith, our purpose and asking a million times, Why? WHY? Why us? Why them? And, why not us?

In the past, I’ve always been the positive person; you know, the glass is always half-full, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel, and YES – I, WE can do anything, accomplish anything, if we just work hard and put forth the effort. Well, this past year has taught me that you can put forth every ounce of energy and emotion, and life still may not turn out the way we want. It’s crazy, it’s real, it’s almost surreal at times, but it’s life, it’s our life. I find hope knowing that our journey is part of a bigger plan…..I just hope that I have the patience to see it through.

Looking back, the time from our 1st RE appt to now has flew by. I think, maybe we should have took things a little slower. But, in the heat of making those decisions, we had our eye on the next milestone, having our baby. In our subconscious, I’m sure our drive to do this cycle now, and get things moving, seemed that we would reach that milestone much more quickly. Well, it wasn’t meant to be, not yet.

It is almost the 1st of September 2008. We are contemplating our next decisions that involve: moving, procedures, jobs, house, financial. No answers just yet, we’re still gathering information. Talking. Thinking. Dreaming.

It is the dream of conceiving our 1st child that makes this journey all worthwhile.