Thursday, May 1, 2014

Avoiding Mourning Fog

It's amazing how I went through life in such a tremendous fog when I was mourning the children I couldn't have.

I missed a lot of things.

I was very numb to a lot of what was happening in my world.

Sometimes I look at my seven year old now, and I just cannot believe how old he is.  I can't fathom how he got so big.  I know it happened gradually--day by day, month by month.  It makes me sad to think about how sometimes I was so deep in my own mourning--my desire for more children--that I didn't pay close enough attention to what I had.

I know I can't go back; I can only do what I can with today.  However, thinking back to that time of darkness...that hopelessness...those years of grieving, I wish I could have forced myself to notice the present a little more.  I wish I would have accepted each day--painful as it was--as a true gift from God.  I wish I would have tried a little harder to cut through my obsession with having more children.

I definitely wouldn't change how dependent I became on God or how much more intimate my relationship was with Him.  The spiritual fruits of grief are the most amazing outcomes.

The point of this post is that if I find myself struggling with secondary sub/infertility again (or other circumstances of grief, pain, or even just uneasiness) in the future, I hope I can remember these realizations and put them into practice.  I know it will be difficult, but I hope I will attempt to cherish each day I have, because I don't want to repeat those mistakes.  I don't want a fog of mourning to consume my life.

Dear God, help me to always recognize that even in the midst of great suffering, you have given me tremendous gifts:  my life and the people who are in it.  Help me to avoid envy and presumption.  They are most definitely sins that magnify pain and deaden us to the world.  Lord, please don't allow me to skate through my life, wishing away difficult moments or days.  Help me to notice the goodness a little more.

Related posts:
The Discipline of Contentment
Does It Really Matter?

Saturday, April 26, 2014

It Never Completely Goes Away, Does It?

Something I have noticed even amidst abundant joy with my current family situation is a very small footprint...or etching of sadness.  It isn't always very noticeable.  I am not depressed or anything.  Perhaps since puberty I have been a little on the morose side at times.  Maybe it's just part of the human condition.  However, I really think it is related to my past struggles with sub/infertility.

It could just be that I need to break some bad habits in the way I think and react.  Why is it that I still feel a pin prick of sadness and envy when I find out someone is expecting?  

At other times, the difference in age between my two sons, although convenient at times, can be a painful reminder.  Or...I may see a larger family and wonder if sub/infertility will continue to be a part of our story as we possibly attempt to conceive again.

Don't get me wrong, I am so very happy with the blessings I have.  The majority of the time, I do not think about these things.  I am attempting to live in the moment and not get ahead of myself.  I know God is taking care of me, and I try to abandon these anxieties into His hands.

I am not sure what I expected, but I guess it makes sense that the pain is always with you somewhat.  I have heard before that even after "overcoming" infertility, the effects remain.  I think it may have been This Cross I Embrace who mentioned this.

Have any of you experienced the painful scars of infertility even after adopting or conceiving?  Have you heard of others who have?

Friday, September 20, 2013


Well, that wasn't very nice of me. I don't want to pretend I'm more important that I am, but I hope I didn't worry any of you with my absence.

Everything is going well.

I had my baby! Yay!

There were some minor complications with the baby bring breech and amniotic fluid leakage, but I was able to have a c-section, and the baby and I are both fine. The recovery was long and rough at times, but I feel my lap surgery last summer helped prepare me.

Can you stand the suspense!?!  It's a boy!!!  We let it be a surprise, and it was so much fun to find out in the operating room!

Well, I have a lot of catching up to do with all of the IF blogs...  I look forward to seeing what some of you are up to!!   I'm not sure where God has my journey taking me next, of course.  Will IF be a part of my future? I guess I will be finding out as my husband and I discern our path.

I truly hope all of you are well.  I have been offering up my sufferings for you--all through my pregnancy...during my labor...through the uncertainty...during the pain of recovery...and now with sleep deprivation and a fussy little boy.  I know that God has used these offerings for His glory.

Talk soon!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Leading Up to the BFP

My TTC Timeline has more detailed information regarding all of the treatments I tried in order to improve my health and then conceive, but I wanted to highlight what I think made the most difference.

I hope that this information will help someone else in their journey.

When I first started receiving treatment from the Fertility Care Center, my cycles appeared completely normal.  I had previously asked some doctors who use the Marquette Method, to look over my charts, because I was testing out the Cle.arBlue Ovulation Monitors.  They did not see a problem.  After my FC Nurse Practitioner looked at my luteal phases, she thought that there was too much variation in the number of days.  I would say that the difference was pretty slight.  It wasn't until I had my hormones, etc. tested over a complete cycle that we started to solve the puzzle.  My Vitamin D levels were pitiful.  My thyroid numbers were "off."  (This led to me having an adrenal saliva test.)  My progesterone levels were extremely low.  Furthermore, even though my charts made it look as though I was ovulating, I probably was not.  I had ultrasounds during a few cycles, and during one of them, I presented with a hemorrhagic cyst.  Based on this information, the FC Nurse Practitioner suspected LUFS.  This is the reason that I started the Neupogen protocol.  I don't know if the Neupogen remedied my ovulation problem or not, but I did start ovulating on my own (still taking progesterone) before I had surgery.  For my adrenals/thyroid, I began taking Licorice Root, which increases the half-life of your body's cortisol.  I also took steps to improve my overall health and boost my adrenals.  I ate more fruits and vegetables.  I stopped drinking milk (I think I'm lactose intolerant).   I began taking naps (if I could) and lying down flat in the afternoon to reset my adrenals when I felt exhausted.  Also, it should be noted that I worked on my stress levels.  Some of the extreme stress I had undergone was circumstantial--and I wasn't able to control that in previous years, but I could work on my everyday stress brought on by perfectionism and lack of boundaries when it came to volunteering my time, etc.  Lastly, I took Vitamin D drops.

Now comes what I think really helped me conceive:

1. I had surgery to determine if I had endometriosis, etc..  Although endo was not confirmed, there was evidence of LOTS of inflammation.  That was all removed/vaporized.  Also, one of my tubes appeared to be partially blocked, so the doctor took care of that.

2. This is what I think probably played the largest role, but it's hard to prove, since I was trying other treatments:  the 21-course of antibiotics that my husband and I took.  My surgery also revealed micropolyps in my uterus that were likely caused by an infection.  Although the culture showed no infection, I had TEBB, which completely stopped after taking the antibiotics.  

3. Shortly before conceiving, I began taking Naltrexone.  Because of the inflammation in my abdomen and my low progesterone levels, my doctor and the Nurse Practitioner thought this would be a good medication to try.  Now I have to continue taking it throughout my pregnancy, which is a little scary, because I am not really the type of person who likes to take meds anyway...let alone during a pregnancy.  But, I know there is a lot of evidence that it is not harmful to babies.  I just pray there are no long-term consequences.

4. Time & Overall Improved Health.  Adrenals/thyroid problems take a lot of time to improve.  After my surgery, I checked into my thyroid/adrenals again.  They were still slightly "off."  I began taking Adren-All for only one cycle.  It is difficult to say if this really had the chance to help me that much.  If my thyroid/adrenals had improved enough for me to conceive, then it was probably due to the extended period of taking better care of myself, taking progesterone, Vitamin D & fish oil supplements, amending my diet, and my lowering my overall stress level.  Anyway, this area may be a HUGE factor.  I think knowing that I was being taken care of by a medical team that recognized my health problems (I wasn't making up my problems...and it wasn't all just due to me needing to "relax") and really "had my back," helped me to exhale.  I can't discount the effect their support had on my well-being.  Some would discount this next thought, but I would be remiss if I failed to mention that my reliance on God increased probably over 100%.  I learned about surrender in many new ways, and this also contributed to my well-being.

**I should also note that I did take Letrozole (same as Femara) around day three of every cycle after my surgery, so this could have played a role, too.  I just don't know if I should say it played a major role or not.


So, there you have it!  This is what I went through, and it's what I tried.  I have no idea of what "cured" me, but most likely, it was a combination of things.  I don't think that leaving it alone would have helped me conceive, though.  Also, I doubt that I would be having as healthy of a pregnancy right now if I had used IVF instead.

Feel free to share your thoughts!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

News to Share!

I have been struggling to write this post, because although I want it to give all of you IF'ers hope, I know it will pierce many of your hearts, and that makes me sad.

However, there is a season for everything, and this is my season to give thanks to God, because my innumerable prayers have been answered.  My husband and I have conceived after about four years of secondary infertility!

God, thank you so much.  I am extremely humbled by this gift you have given us, even if we never get to hold  this baby in our arms.  I know that I don't deserve it; I didn't do anything to earn it.  You give the gift of life freely, and I can't believe you entrusted this little one to me and my husband.  I just can't believe it.

I had resigned myself to the thought of having no more biological children.  When I took the pregnancy test, I just wanted to get it over with so I could move on with my life for another month.  I knew that it wasn't going to be positive, as it hadn't been for four years, except for once when I was duped by the hCG shot.  I KNEW it wasn't going to be positive.  I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw two lines.  "Nuh-uh!" I said out myself.  I called my husband and told him I had a positive test, but I didn't believe it.  I went to's to pick up a second test, which I still didn't really believe.

I had blood work done, and my numbers looked really good, which was reassuring.  I had an early ultrasound, and I got to see the baby move his/her little hands and feet, and hear his/her heartbeat.

I'm so not worthy of this incredible gift.  I am going to lift up the rest of my pregnancies fears, anxieties, aches, and pains for those of you who are still waiting.  I don't know if God will bless you with a biological child or an adopted child or a "spiritual" child, but I pray that His plan be carried out to the full in your life.  I pray this intention with my entire being.

In case you are curious as to what treatments I had recently completed prior to conceiving, I will post that information in my next update.

Prayers for all of you, my dear sisters in Christ.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Secondary Infertility

Perhaps it seems unnecessary to some, but I need to write about secondary infertility.

I don't know how many of you are struggling with it, but I hope that sharing my thoughts will help those of you in the trenches of secondary infertility, as well as help bring understanding to those of you who have not experienced it.

When I first started this blog, I found the "Second Chances" blog, which is set to private right now.  (Otherwise, I would link to it.)  In the writer's pages, I read words that perfectly captured the sadness in my heart.

Second Chances wrote about some of the biggest struggles she faced in being a mother of one child and experiencing infertility.  The struggles I remember her mentioning most of all--the ones that brought tears to my eyes--were:

1. Not fitting in.
2. Not being able to see your child interact with siblings.

For the "not fitting in" category, I want to first say that all of you ladies have done a really good job of accepting me into this community.  I really appreciate it.  I know that I don't fully understand all of your journeys, because mine is different, but like TCIE recently said:
Even those of us who share the cross of infertility do not share the exact same burden.  Each cross is unique, as are we as humans.
So true.

Well, with the not fitting in, I mostly perceived said "not fitting in" during my interactions with other moms/couples with children, couple friends without children, and single friends.  I am not sure which group I have had the most in common with.  Sometimes, I felt more in sync with the moms/couples with children.  Other times, their frazzled, frantic lives seemed unrecognizable to me.  Sometimes I could relate to the friends without children better...but then they would do something like forget that finding a babysitter is not as simple as you may assume, and I would feel a million miles away from them.

With the moms/couples with multiple children, I have often felt like a "partial" mom (which sounds ridiculous!).  I have even had a friend say to me that "one child is an accessory; two children are life-changing" or something like that.  (Sometimes I just don't think she processes her thoughts before they come out.)  And it's hard not to feel obligated to be the room mom of your child's class when you are a stay-at-home mom of only one child who goes to school full-time.  Oh yeah...and then there is always that awkward and quite wounding moment when a mother who has been abundantly blessed asks about your "other children" (assuming you must have more somewhere)...or asks if you have "just one."  "Yes, he's my only," I say, smiling, while cringing inside.

Another element of secondary infertility that has been a huge struggle for me is not being able to help give my son the gift of a sibling.  I grew up with two siblings, and I still get along with them.  They have been such a blessing in my life.  They were there when my parents divorced.  They have been there through many happy times.  They were there when my dad passed away.  They have been great supports and special friends.

I so, so, so desire for my son to have that, too.  Even though any siblings at this point would be quite far apart in age from him, I have hope that they would still be great gifts to one another.


I don't want to come across as being ungrateful for the child or the other innumerable blessings that I already have.  I know that many of you would be so very content with one child.  Sometimes, I come to a place of peace with that notion, too.  However, I know that, deep down, if I don't do what I must to try for another, whether that be through or via adoption, I will always wonder "what if?".

Prayer Buddy Reveal - Better Late Than Never

I'm a huge slacker!  Sorry, Carolynne from "Team of 3."  I just sent you an email about you being my Prayer Buddy a little while ago.  Thank you very much for posting your recipe and meal ideas on your blog, because they have been helpful to me.  I have found several new favorites, and I look forward to trying more in the future.

"Prayerful Journey" from the blog, "Living God's Will" prayed for me.  Thank you so much!  We had actually acquainted ourselves with each other shortly before the Advent Prayer Buddy time period began, so I was very surprised to get an e-mail from her!

Thank you to Mrs. Henderson from "The Henderson Story" for organizing the Advent Prayer Buddy event.  It is really awesome to be able to get to know other bloggers that I haven't necessarily been acquainted with.