Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Patience is a Virtue

I've never been an incredibly patient person.  Not that I necessarily have the shortest temper but for example, if I buy someone a present any earlier than the day of their birthday I have THE HARDEST time keeping it a secret and not giving it to them immediately.  It kills me not to just blurt it out and ruin the surprise.  Same thing goes for if someone lets it slip that I have a present hiding in the house. I will tear the house apart trying to find it.  I've been like that ever since I was little.  It's hardwired into me and everyone close to me knows this...and uses it against me often.

It hit me while I was on my hour-long commute to a doctor appointment the other day that maybe that is what I'm supposed to be learning through this whole drawn-out, painful journey...patience.  The old cliche of "If God is going to teach you patience do you think He'll just give you patience, or will he give you opportunities to be patient?"  Touche.

I thought back and counted the numerous situations that I've needed patience through the beginning of this whole ordeal.  The obvious situations like the waiting rooms, waiting for the doctors, the 2-hour roundtrip drives to and from the clinic.  Those ones were easy, I could handle those.  I could even handle the 4-5 hour wait to get the test results back each time blood was drawn.

But it's the harder ones that really started to take a toll.  The constant and what seemed to be never-ending wait to see if the follicles (what hold the eggs) were growing, which they barely did over the course of a month until the doc seriously ramped up the dosage on my meds multiple times.  (Which in turn seriously ramped up the side effects.  SO sorry, Joe :) We weren't even to the point of waiting to find out if the test was positive or negative, we were just at the point of waiting to see when or IF we could try.  Multiple ultrasounds and each time hearing the doctor say "We're not quite there.  Nothing seems to be happening" was like a punch in the gut every. single. time.  Why won't my body just cooperate?  Why is it so easy for everyone else?  WHY US?!

I drug myself into the office once more for another ultrasound check and finally, FINALLY we were at the point the doctor had been looking for.  The meds finally did their job, the waiting paid off, and the prayers worked.  The following morning brought a self-administered shot of Ovidrel to induce ovulation and then, well...I'm sure you can figure it out.

If I thought all the waiting up until this point had been hard, the infamous "2 Week Wait" was excruciating.  I literally drove myself crazy stressing over if everything had worked, analyzing every little symptom that I thought I was experiencing which turned out to just be from the meds, trying so hard not to take a test because I knew full-well that it was too early to detect anyway, hoping so hard that all the time and money put into this was going to pay off.

I wanted so badly for this story to have a grand and happy ending, but it doesn't.  All tests came back negative.  It didn't work, we weren't pregnant.  We knew going into this that the odds of conceiving on the first round of fertility meds were slim to none but that didn't make the reality of our failed attempt hurt any less.  All of the dreams and wishes I let creep into my head over the past month were, in a single instant, dead.  So here we are, back at square one with a doctor appointment scheduled to start this whole process over again.

I'm starting to come to grips with the fact that this is probably going to be a much longer journey than we had anticipated.  It's most likely not going to be the quick fix that we were hoping for.  I've realized that it's not our story that didn't have a happy ending, it's simply this one chapter that was more painful than hopefully others will be.  Our chapters will be filled with lots of waiting, lots of meds and doctors' offices, a lot of pregnancy announcements that won't be ours, a lot of heartbreak and a lot of tears.  But hopefully at the end of this journey, whenever that may be, there will be that one final chapter of our story that brings the happiest ending.  And that will make this my favorite story of all.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Sex, Drugs, and...Not Rock & Roll

I've struggled over the past year keeping up with writing here.  As the projects that are left on our list quickly became the most expensive ones (save the best for last, right?), there just wasn't as much to write about as often.  There was plenty going on in life, just not necessarily on the house.

But surely I can't write about just life, this is a home DIY blog! Reality check.  This hobby/project/way-to-avoid-doing-the-dishes thing can be whatever I want it to be.  And at this point in time, I need it to be a place where I can just write, about whatever is going through my head and heart. 

So, with that being said...are you ready? Because sh*ts about to get real.

When I was younger I knew I wanted to get married, buy a house, get a dog, and have kids.    Nothing crazy. I never had dreams of owning a Fortune500 company, curing diseases, or living in the White House.  I just wanted to be in love and be happy.  The things many little girls' dreams are made of.  Here we are 20 some years later.  I'm now 27 years old, I got married, got a dog, bought a house, I'm in love, happy, but I have not had kids.

There is this odd phenomenon that happens when you're in a relationship.  All of a sudden everyone becomes really curious as to when you'll tie the knot. "So, when are you gonna pop the question?" or "What's taking so long?!".  Why do we pressure others into making one of the biggest decisions of their life?  I'm ridiculously guilty of this, too, trust me, I won't be throwing the first stone.  But don't you think that when a person finds who they want to spend the rest of their tomorrows with, it is entirely up to them when they choose to do it?  My husband and I dated for almost 8 years before we got married, trust me, we've heard em all.   

So you've endured the months of "when's the wedding" questions.  You've gotten married and now the questions will stop, right?  Wrong.  There's another really funny thing that happens immediately after you get married. (And by immediately, I mean like, at our wedding reception...yeah.) Everyone becomes oddly interested in your sex life.  Think I'm crazy?  How many times have you heard someone ask or you've maybe asked "So, when are you two going to have kids?". I know people mean well and are trying to show interest in your life and relationship, but what happens behind a couple's bedroom door is none of your business.  We've only been married a short time and we're still young so why the pressure?

That popular baby question has been a difficult one for my husband and me to field repeatedly over the past few years.  There are only a very few people who know the real reason as to why.  You are about to become one of them.

Over the nine years Joe and I have been together there were plenty of talks as to when we wanted to start having children.  We had always planned to have at least one solid year after getting married for just the two of us.  At the same time we weren't doing anything to prevent pregnancy so if it happened, it happened.  As we approached our one-year anniversary the topic of children seemed to be coming up more often than not and with a good 45% of the female staff at our school pregnant, baby fever was putting on the full-court press. Most couples would simply increase the frequency of when they...ahem...try.  We knew this would not be the case for us.

I have known for many years that I have a condition called PCOS- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. I'll spare you the super-attractive details but in short, it's the leading cause of infertility amongst women.  Doctors have told me it will be extremely hard for me to get pregnant without medication and medical help. They were right.  We've had two years of "no-goalie-marital-bliss" and as I mentioned earlier, we haven't had any kids.

Since we wanted to start adding to our family, I knew this would mean adding some visits to the doctor.  Numerous visits, many hours in the car traveling the hour to the doctor, blood draws, pee tests, drinking that nasty orange drink for blood sugar tests, ultrasounds, biopsies, more ultrasounds and more blood draws have finally lead to a plan of attack. 

Fertility drugs.  100mg of Chlomid 5x and a self-administered shot of Ovidrel for anyone wondering.

I never imagined way back when that this would be our reality.  That in order to have the children we so desperately want it would involve pills, and shots, and charting, and temping, and praying SO hard for positives, and scheduling sex.  Let's be real...there is nothing 'unsexier' than scheduling sex.  Seriously.

But, we are now apart of the 12% of couples whose struggle with infertility is real, and it's in our face, and it's hard.  As I'm typing this I took my first official dose of fertility meds so here's to hoping that the dream of that little girl many years ago to be a mommy, comes true.

I feel like this would be an appropriate time to 'cheers' you with a glass of wine but then I remember that medication, baby-making and alcohol should not go hand-in-hand...in this situation the struggle truly is real, folks.