Wednesday, June 29, 2011
I like to think of myself as a spiritual person but if I was to say that I was a religious person, I would be lying.
Yes, when I was younger I used to go to church with my Grandma Hope and yes, over the last two years I have started going back to church.
I am trying to be a religious person but I am not quite there yet.
You see every Sunday when I go to church I wonder if I am fit to sit in that pew.
I tend to have, I guess what I would deem, inappropriate thoughts in church.
Recently over Easter it seemed like every week we would do the Last Supper ceremony with the breaking of the bread and drinking of the wine (well, grape juice) and all I could think of was: “Again!! We are doing this again! Didn’t we do this last Sunday! Ughh…it adds like 20 minutes onto church” (and you can draw out that last statement with a childlike whine!)
And I might add that there have been other “ceremonies” added to the middle of the church service that received the same childlike whining response from me!! Of course only in my head.
That is somewhat inappropriate.
And then there was the time Pastor Don said “Shit” in the middle of the service.
He didn’t really mean to swear at all. He was trying to say two things at once and the word “Shit” came out of his mouth.
Now of course, I start chuckling and looked around to see no one else laughing. I mean, come on, the pastor just said “Shit” but it gets even better…after about 5 minutes Pastor Don says: “I feel I need to pray. Will you pray with me?”
And we all lower our heads and of course all I am thinking is “Pastor Don said Shit! Pastor Don said Shit!” (Inappropriate) and then he starts the prayer and he says; I will paraphrase a little bit but it went something like this:
“Dear Lord please allow the words you mean for me to say be the words that come out of my mouth”
Okay now I am really laughing…the pastor just prayed to God that he doesn’t swear again…and once again I look around and no one else is laughing. Okay I might have caught one or two people laughing. Either way I had to hide my face behind my bible.
Inappropriate. Funny but inappropriate.
During the service there is a moment when the pastor asks the congregation to share any good news. And people raise their hands and then tell of their good news. Well one Sunday a couple raised their hand to tell the good news that they are having a girl! And all I could think was “REALLY!! F&%king really. Does this shit really have to follow me everywhere!!”
That is selfish and inappropriate!
Now, I will not go into the image that came to my mind when the pastor had someone kneel in front of him as he put his hands on their head. Let’s just say from my angle COMPLETELY INAPPROPRIATE!!
And then there is My Brother In-Law Vince…
During the service there is also a moment where we say a prayer for those people listed in the bulletin and then the pastor asks if there is anyone else we would like to pray for. People raise their hands, the pastor would point to them and they would say who they would like us to pray for and we would all then say “Amen”.
Well, every Sunday there is a woman who sits up front and every Sunday she raises her hand and every Sunday she says a list of people. And every Sunday the last person on the list is always “And my Brother In-Law Vince”.
And all I can think is “Holy Crap! Every Sunday…And my Brother In-Law Vince”
“What the hell is wrong Vince? And why after 2 years is there still something wrong with Vince!!”
“Come on Vince!!”
And I even say it in my head before she says it…”And my Brother In-Law Vince”
That is definitely inappropriate!
And I guess I don’t or should I say didn’t really get it until now…
After I found out my cycle was cancelled…
After the tears, the feeling of complete defeat and the certainty that this all must be signs from God that I should give up.
That night I even yelled at God: “Do you want me to give up because I won’t!”
After all that as I was getting ready for bed or should I say getting ready to cry myself to sleep, I received a text message from a friend of mine:
“Hi Michaela. I was thinking about u and I was praying for u today so u can become a Mom and have your baby. Don’t worry. It will happen”
Just like that I received a different kind of sign. I received a prayer.
And I know that there have been many friends and family telling me that they are praying for me. And it is not that I don’t believe them or think their prayers are any less significant.
It’s just that this text came at 9:05pm when no one knew my cycle had been cancelled yet. When I was asking God if he was sending me negative signs and begging for a positive one.
“I was praying for u so u can become a Mom and have your baby”
Praying for me, so I can have my baby…
“Don’t worry. It will happen”
And there was my sign…
And then there were more tears…tears of hope.
And then suddenly I got it. In my heart I got it.
And that night before I went to bed, I said a prayer for her Brother In-Law Vince.
Friday, June 24, 2011
For those of you who remember the movie you know it’s a Romantic Comedy about a man who keeps reliving the same day over and over and over again until he finally gets it right…
I feel like I am stuck in my own Groundhog Day hell but instead of it ending with me finding the man of my dreams it ends with me forever stuck in a cycle where I don’t get pregnant.
This time last year, almost to the date I started my 1st IVF cycle after waiting months due to my miscarriage. I finally could cycle, got my period, started BCPs, started Lupron went in for my baseline and BOOM…I had a cyst.
Dr. Wow decided I should have the cyst aspirated and proceed with my cycle. I felt we should postpone the cycle and wait for the cyst to go away on its own. I aspirated the cyst and my cycle failed.
Flash forward and I wake up and I do it again. I haven’t cycled in a long time. I finally get my period. I start BCPs. I start Lupron. I get my baseline. And BOOM there’s cyst.
It’s like déjà vu all over again. I get this eerie feeling that every morning when I wake up…
I will get my period. I start BCPs. I start Lupron. I get my baseline. And BOOM there’s cyst.
And again when I wake up…
I will get my period. I start BCPs. I start Lupron. I get my baseline. And BOOM there’s cyst.
But this time will I proceed? Will the cycle fail?
It feels like the same thing over and over and the only thing that changes is my age!!
And doing the same thing over and over again isn’t that the definition of insanity.
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. ~ Albert Einstein
Maybe I am insane. Maybe I am stuck repeating the same things over and over again. Maybe lightning will struck twice. What are the odds of that?? I can’t win the lotto where the odds are about the same as getting struck by lightning twice!
So I go for a follow up and yes, the cyst is still there but this time…this time…my cycle is cancelled.
I am devastated.
I almost feel like God is trying to tell me to give up.
But I won’t!
Because I won’t back down…you can stand me up at the gates of hell…and I won’t back down.
I have to wait for my period. Then I will start BCPs. I will start Lupron and I will get my baseline.
And I will pray that I can get out of this Groundhog Day hell and finally get it right!
Friday, June 17, 2011
This is the part of the journey where it gets a little tricky. Where things get a little complicated. Where everything I want to share with the world are the same things I wish to keep private.
I think it’s important to open up, reach out and share what I am feeling and how I am finding the strength to move forward.
I used to sit and wonder (okay maybe cry, scream and beg) why is this happening to me? What is the reason for all this pain? Why me? Why would God do this to me? What possible reason could ever be acceptable?
And through writing…exploring through words my anger, sadness, fears and hopes. I started to find a way to release the pain.
And then I started to share my journey. And something more amazing happened; I started to connect to others.
And I think I found the reason.
Connection…I think that is the reason.
To connect with others and hopefully, possible help someone who is facing the same things I am.
Could that be the reason I’ve had to go through what I am going through? I have been known to say that the reason usually sucks or that there really isn’t a good reason. But throughout this journey I have started thinking of the purpose. What is the purpose? What am I supposed to do?
So maybe my purpose, the reason I have been going through all of this is to reach out and connect with others on a different level.
A level of understanding.
But it gets tricky.
I am going to be a mom someday and someday my child will be able to read. I want what I share with the world to be exactly what I am ready to share with my child and not a moment before.
So for now all I am going to say is that:
Yes. Yes, I am in a cycle.
Last we knew I was on a list for donor embryos, on a list for donor eggs and preparing to do an IUI cycle with Dr. Period. Dr. Period by the way turned into Dr. Quack, well more like Dr. Bumbles. Just like the Wizard of Oz, he was nothing more than an average man behind a curtain.
Which bring me to my decision…I decided that I would take whatever came first…whatever was behind door Number One I would do without question…
Whether it turns out to be donor embryos, donor eggs or my long awaited cycle with Dr. Bumbles …that is what I will do!
And that is what I did. I took what was behind door Number One and I now am scared and nervous and so afraid of striking out again.
I am afraid to talk about…I fear jinxing it.
And most of all I am afraid to let my expectations get too high.
I am afraid of great expectations…
The greater the expectation…the greater fall.
Because really when a contestant does pick door Number One you know they are expecting to win something amazing…wouldn’t it just suck if it was only a toaster!
Sunday, June 5, 2011
I will try to ‘splain myself without any confusion…but I am pretty sure that could be an impossible feat, since everyone interprets things differently but I want preface this post with the statement: I LOVE GETTING COMMENTS!!
I believe that all comments are a part of the conversation. And I wouldn‘t want anyone to feel that they couldn’t freely join in the conversation and comment on my blog.
Okay, I feel the need to say this again: I LOVE GETTING COMMENTS!!!
But there were a couple of comments on my last post that made me feel like I need to explain a couple of things.
I read those comments and thought to myself…that’s what they got out of my post? That is what they felt I meant? Is this how they are interpreting my blog?
And if that is how some people are “reading” what I wrote, I need to look back at what I wrote to make sure I am expressing myself they way I want to express myself.
Well I won’t back down. No I won’t back down. You can stand me up at the gates of hell but I won’t back down: (Thanks Tom Petty for those amazing words)…
Change my mind?
My heart doesn’t know?
My heart is steadfast and strong in its determination and desire to be a mother. And it knows exactly what kind of mother I want to be.
I truly did not for one second want my expression of the fears and thoughts that creep into my mind as being interpreted as me wanting to give up or change my mind.
I will be a mom.
Give me an “I” Give me an “N” Give me an “F”
Infertility – The diminished ability or the inability to conceive and have offspring.
I have been diagnosed with a Diminished Ovarian Reserve (DOR).
And trust me; I would love to take your diagnosis of “having a harder time than in my 20s”.
There have been many, many times that I have said to myself; “This can’t be true. I can’t be Infertile!”
But put my extremely high FSH, my low or out of whack E2 levels and my practically zero AFC count along with 2 years of trying to get pregnant with some very aggressive treatment…AND…what do you got…INFERTILITY!!
DOR can affect women of ALL ages.
In hindsight, due to the fact that I was with Sio for 5 years during my early and mid thirties and did not get pregnant, couple that with my absolute dismal test results at 41 and I would guess that I my numbers dropped in my 30s.
If I knew enough to have my Ovarian Reserve tested then…well…who knows…either way I am trying my best to find a way to be okay…
The good fight…
But I did fight the good fight!
Acupuncture, wheatgrass, royal jelly, Chinese herbs, supplements, IUIs, IVF…and I will keep fighting (cause I won’t back down) but unfortunately with me I am fighting more than age.
Shout it! Shout it! Shout it out loud!!
This to me is one of my most important messages that I WANT to get out into the world. If I reach one woman with my blog who decides to act sooner rather than later on her quest towards motherhood than maybe, just maybe I might be able to finally see “the reason”.
"For women over 40, the reproductive die has largely been cast. Genetics plays a heavy-handed role in the ability of a woman over 40 to become pregnant. If her eggs, which have been in her body since before her birth, remain viable in sufficient numbers, she should be able to become pregnant. If she does not have enough "ovarian reserve," she will not become pregnant without egg donation.
In a clinical report issued in January 2002, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) advised doctors to screen women over 35 for ovarian reserve. Typically, this is done by measuring serum basal levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and estradiol, two of the so-called pregnancy hormones. Subtle changes in levels of these hormones are associated with a reduced ability to conceive—and, not surprisingly, also are associated with perimenopause, when a woman's hormone levels shift away from reproduction.
In the past few years, it has become increasingly clear that reproductive biology harshly separates older women into two groups: women who can get pregnant without a lot of medical intervention, but whose ability to sustain a pregnancy is more compromised than their fertility; and women whose fertility has dipped below a critical line and who require interventions, such as assisted reproductive technology (ART). For the first group, there is good news: Huge strides have been made in troubleshooting miscarriages, maintaining pregnancies, handling labor complications, and caring for preterm infants—all important issues in late-timing pregnancy.
For the second group, the news is much more grim. According to figures from the Mayo Clinic, a woman's fertility is highest around age 20. Typically, fertility drops 20 percent after age 30, 50 percent after age 35, and 95 percent after age 40. After age 40, reproductive function diminishes drastically: Half of a woman's eggs are chromosomally abnormal at age 40; by 42, that figure is 90 percent. And should an older woman get pregnant, her chance of miscarriage increases to more than 50 percent by her late 40s. Even the most advanced fertility treatments can't reverse such reproductive decline. As recently as a decade ago, fertility specialists were much more optimistic about first pregnancies at midlife, given improved overall fitness and advances in reproductive medicine. Now these specialists—and a generation of women—have found instead that certain aspects of fertility are much more intractable than they thought."
DO NOT THINK…
“ like a LOT of women, who, because of circumstances beyond your control (e.g. not meeting the right man), is trying to have a baby after 40, which concededly, gets harder than if you were 20 (although it can absolutely still happen)”
Until you know your numbers…YOU DO NOT KNOW YOUR FERTILITY…
And unfortunately the majority of women over 40 will find out about their Infertility.
Until you know your Ovarian Reserve…don’t wait. Be prepared.
I wish someone told me this in my 30s.
Instead of blowing smoke up my ass saying things like: “Oh, you’ve got time!” and “Women have babies in their 40s all the time now”
Yeah…not unassisted they don’t!
And yes, there are a few that beat the odds (you know...your friend's cousin had her 1st baby at...) and get pregnant.
Anything is possible!!
But is it probable!! The numbers above are dismal for women over 40 (by 42 90% of the eggs you have left are abnormal!! DISMAL!!) and unfortunately Math does not lie. Yes, once again anything is possible but what is the probability?
I would rather shout from the roof tops to educate and inform women then blow smoke up their ass!
So ladies DON’T WAIT!!
You could fall into the minority and hit the jackpot. Yes, you can get pregnant after 40 if your Ovarian Reserve is good.
But the majority…
The majority will not.
Get your Ovarian Reserve tested and make informed decisions.
And I will now jump off my soapbox and pray that someone has heard me!
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
I think the worst part of infertility is questioning whether or not I would be a good mother. Or, even worse, questioning whether or not I want to be a mother at all…
I never questioned it before.
I knew I wanted to be a mom.
And I knew I wanted to be a good mom.
So, I patiently waited until I felt the time was right.
I don’t want to be one of those mothers whose children got in the way of their partying.
I want to be the kind of mother who lived, learned, moved forward and taught those lessons to my children.
I don’t want to be one of those mothers whose children exasperated, exhausted or irritated them.
And although there will be many times my children will do all 3 simultaneously, I want to be the kind of mother whose children exhilarate her.
I don’t want to be one of those mothers whose children make them old.
I want to be the kind of mother whose children make me young and full of life.
I don’t want to be one of those mothers whose children got in the way of their plans.
I want to be the kind of mother whose plans are raising her children.
I don’t want to be one of those mothers whose children are a burden.
I want to be the kind of mother who gladly carries the weight of this tremendous responsibility and gift with as much dignity as I can muster on 3 hours sleep.
I don’t want to be one of those mothers whose children “ruined” their lives.
I want to be the kind of mother whose life was enriched by her children.
So I patiently waited, knowing in my heart that I would embrace motherhood.
But I waited too long.
After infertility there are these thoughts. Thoughts that creep in, in the middle of the night.
The ones that question my ability to be a mother and even more terrifying are the ones that question my desire.
When the idea of not being a mother brings me to my knees…
When the passing thought of living a life childless takes the breath right out of me and wounds my soul without it even being a fact…
When those truths consume me and push me forward I still in the darkest reaches of my mind wonder if...that, maybe, just maybe due to the sheer fact that this has not happened for me at an earlier point in my life or due to the fact that this last year and a half has not produced a viable pregnancy, that maybe, deep down I don’t want to be a mom. Maybe that is the reason.
And that is something I would NEVER even contemplate before…before infertility.
Could it be? Even though these thoughts cripple me?
I know that they are just things that go bump in the night. Things that terrify you.
And even though at times, in the quiet of the night before sleep grasps me and darkness starts to cloud my mind, I have these thoughts, I know that in the light where dreams live, I do not believe the lies of Infertility. I believe in the dream. I believe that I am meant to be a mother. My desire to be a mom is in my soul. It is a part of me. It is a part of my thoughts, my prayers, my breath, my heart and my being. It is in the light, in the dream that I know it will be…
I have to keep reminding myself that these thoughts are just a byproduct of infertility.
That no matter how many times they go bump in the night, these fears will fade and I will once again be strong when morning comes.
And through all the questioning and self doubt, I realize…
I am already a mother, still waiting for and missing her children…