Thursday, July 31, 2008

Emotional

Infertility sucks!!! There is no other way about it. It's so hard to endure much less write about. But in my experience; having an outlet to write out crises is surprisingly freeing and empowering.

Dealing with such a range of emotions is enough to make anyone feel crazy. Anger, Optimism, Anguish, Sadness, Defeat, Pain, Loneliness, Conviction, Frustration. I feel each of these from time to time. With other difficulties I find a way to get to the root of the problem and work towards acceptance and moving on. With infertility; it's not a problem I brought upon myself, I am not supposed to be giving up yet, and my options haven't been exhausted. And so the process keeps repeating itself. Just when I think I am gaining strength, I get knocked down once more.

Brandon and I deal with things very differently and this is no exception. Sometimes I feel so alone because my feelings and reactions are different from his. I sometimes feel guilt or disgust for having certain feelings. I want to have faith and hope but at the same time feel so hopeless. What a roller coaster!!

I know we will get through and beyond this. I know in the end it will make us stronger. I'm not forgetting what's important in life and am definitely not obsessing about this. Some days are bad, but most of them are still good. After all, the blessings in my life are still much more than I ever deserve, that hasn't changed.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Invasion!!

God help me, what was I thinking? My parents and sister are in Florida for the week and I agreed to watch their two cats. They have kept Chu (before the advent of Tigger) while we have been away so it was only fair that we return the favor. However, my nice, quiet, peaceful home has turned into a three ringed circus. 800 square feet for three cats is not a good idea.

My parent’s cat is easy to watch, he isn't the problem. Buster is on a special diet so we have separated him from the other two in order to keep them all out of each other's food. He spends part of the day lazing about and the other part trying to convince us that we forgot to feed him and he is wasting away. He has picked an awfully strange place to hang out.

Meanwhile, my sweet, even-tempered Chu is being harassed by my sister's spaz-tastic kitten Tigger. Oh my!! He will..not..leave..her..Alone! If she tries to eat, he comes and tackles her. If she tries to use the box, he comes and paws at her while she is in there. She has always been a perfect angel when it comes to the box; she has never gone outside of it. I am having fears that she will start refusing the box and start using a shady corner because of him. And oh, the screaming and hissing! I have accidentally called her by my childhood cat's name because Princess was in an eternally pissy mood.

Tonight we came home to breakables lying all over the floor. One of Tigger's favorite passed times is finding an unsuspecting person's filled glass and dipping his paws in, then knocking it over. We placed the toilet paper roll on a high towel bar and he managed to get it down and shred it. He climbs all over the bar, counter tops and table. (blech) The first night he was here I slept about 3 hours because I kept hearing "hiss" and "bang." In order to get some respite from the little devil we have taken to placing him in his carrier over night. I have never seen an animal act so crazy. He runs around to the point that he falls over panting and heaving, then he gets up and starts over again. I think I much prefer visiting him.

I'm ready for peace, and quiet, and order to return. Life with one cat seems perfection to me right about now. I am already itching to clean up all the stray fur and litter (ick) lying around. I'm counting the days until they come retrieve the beast.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Modern Technology

As we pulled into our apartment driveway today on the way home from church, I remembered that we needed to return something we bought yesterday.  Instead of putting it off until later, (I knew if we went in we would get comfortable and not venture out again) I decided to run in and grab the return while Brandon waited in the car.  I searched and searched for the receipt and became perplexed as to how it got lost in less than 24 hours.  Then the light bulb went off in my head, maybe it is still in my purse.  I looked around to grab my phone to ask Brandon to look for it but the phone was in my purse as well.  Oh well, I thought, I don't have the phone with me so I will just go out to the parking lot and look for the receipt.  It never crossed my mind to pick up the land line sitting on the shelf just feet away.  Duh!  In my defense our home phones kept breaking and we took forever to acquire a working phone, thus we barely use it.  Besides, the only people who call us on our land line are those begging for our money or blood. At least I had a good laugh at my own expense.  Modern technology, it's making dummies out of us all.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Great Expectations

We have lately been speaking of desires and expectations in marriage. Where you expect to live..How much money you expect to make..the list goes on and on. It's easy to get wrapped up in your desires to the point that they become expectations from your spouse or even yourself. And expectations can easily become judgments.

We have never had specific expectations for having children. We both discussed that we wanted them and threw out numbers of children which we never could agree on. I have never been overly neurotic about a time line. No having to have the first at X age etc, no timing everything to have our children in a specific month (much less day,) no planning to have them equidistantly apart. I always figured when we felt we were ready it would just happen.

When we began trying I did what I always do with any subject matter I don't know a lot about. I did research. I learned about my body, my body's schedule, and all the signs and symptoms to look for in timing. After a few months of charting I decided that definitely wasn't right for me and just paid attention to my body.

As we got closer to a year of trying I began to feel dread. I didn't want to schedule that appointment with my doctor. That would mean failure. I had been previously diagnosed with mild endometriosis but was assured that it most likely wouldn't affect my fertility. But I soon began to blame myself for our failure. I finally scheduled the appointment and waited nervously for it to arrive. We discussed how my cycles were like clockwork and I wasn't experiencing any kind of pain like I did previous to my surgery. She told me they would check my hormone levels and send Brandon to be tested as well. If they found everything to be normal she discussed starting fertility drugs to help give us a boost.

My tests came back normal and a little hope came back, perhaps nothing was wrong. Brandon's test came back and he was sent to a urologist for a referral. This wasn't a good sign. Hope started to fade. After his exam he was diagnosed with one mild and one moderate varicocele. We were told he may need surgery to correct it. He was asked to go for another analysis and the first test results were ordered. We still had no idea what his numbers were on the first. We were told to come back in a month.

A month later was Monday. Both test results were fairly consistent. His total counts were well within the normal range but his motility was marginal and morphology wasn't good. His doctor told him he didn't recommend performing the surgery right away because as I have learned in the last few days the surgery only corrects morphology in 30% of cases. It mostly corrects total count which Brandon had no problem with. His recommendation was for us to undergo IUI. And that's about when my hope took a nose dive.

The success rates for IUI are barely higher (at best) than timing and we know all about that already. Some doctors don't even recommend IUI when there are morphology issues. And of course there is the cost. We have been working very hard to become completely debt free so all of our spare money goes to that. And we can see the light at the end of a very short tunnel. IUI costs between $200 and $1000, we might be able to manage that, but definitely not multiple cycles. IVF is a whole different decision process and at the lowest probably costs $8000 per cycle. Yes, we have that just lying around.

I feel my throat constricting just thinking about all of it. I never expected I would have to pay for my children before they even exist. I never expected to be "knocked up" in the institutional feel of a doctor's office by some nurse who I don't know. How's that for romance? How's that for surprise? And oh the emotions I am going through. I feel completely crazy going from peace that it's in God's hands to anger, utter anguish, guilt, and feeling very, very alone. But that is definitely enough to write about another time.

I am confident I will get through all of this one way or another, but at the same time this is going to be a long and painful process.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Wisdom to Live By

We were challenged this Sunday to live by the following disciplines. They were written by Richard Foster.
  1. Buy things for their usefulness rather than their status.
  2. Reject anything that produces an addiction in you.
  3. Develop the habit of giving things away.
  4. Refuse to give into the marketing schemes of modern gadgetry.
  5. Learn to enjoy things without owning them.
  6. Develop a deeper appreciation for nature.
  7. Look with healthy skepticism at all "buy now, pay later" schemes.
  8. Obey Jesus commands about plain honest speech.
  9. Reject anything that breeds the oppression of others.
  10. Shun anything that distracts you from seeking first the kingdom of heaven.
Many are hard to live by but when you let go of certain things, it can be seriously freeing. Society and even family try to push you to keep up with their standards. And if you listen, it can be a huge stress. There is peace in knowing that God has provided me with all I need and so much more. If I open my eyes, there is a huge world to explore and enjoy.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Never Satisfied

I have once again changed blog formats. These cut and paste, free blog sites are awesome for getting stuff out there but I continue to be frustrated with aspects of design and formatting. I guess the designer in me refuses to die.

Blogger affords more control over formatting then on Wordpress though it still isn't perfect. Wordpress has an awesome dashboard and beautiful templates. But you can't change any aspect of color or coding without paying them. I know it isn't that expensive but my thought is, why would I want to pay them money when I ultimately want to design and self-host. Both platforms aren't so good when it comes to posting pictures. Currently they both make it hard to upload any other way then through their sites. Posting from web albums is nightmarish. (I have tried multiple.)

Ultimately I want to go self-hosted so I have complete control over the design. And luckily I am very blessed to have a web guru genius living under the very same roof. But this dream will have to wait. We are still on our Total Money Makeover and I won't spare anything until we are completely rid of debt.

Until then, this is where I stay.