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Is anyone still out there?

17 Jun

Hello, dear readers! The author of my favorite book often referred to her audience as “dear readers” and I always thought it was so endearing.

First–in demonstrating how to use wordpress for someone else, I accidentally deleted my blogroll. Can you please post your link for me here in the comments?

I didn’t intend to take a break from blogging–it just sort of happened. But it’s been good overall. I’ve been at the gym A LOT (aside from this week, I go 5-6 days per week). The exercise has been good but now it makes me a little nuts to sit at a computer long enough to blog!

The spring time was a little difficult too. As I write this, I should be 8 months pregnant. Mother’s Day was awful. Nearly every person we know seemed to forget it was Mother’s Day for me too. We’re sort of dreading Father’s Day for the same reason. The excessive commercialization and marketing of the two holidays, combined with the utter silence from our friends and family just made us feel very lonely. Every commercial, radio advertisement and business gimmick was just a brazen reminder of what we’d lost. I’ll be very grateful when this weekend is over. Overall I’ve actually been doing well but these holidays resulted in a significant setback.

I had to make the conscious choice to not dwell on the negative thoughts and feelings. That included, for a time, not blogging. I finally feel like I’m coming out of that funk and it’s no longer so detrimental or exhausting for me to sit and process the more difficult thoughts.

The weight loss journey is going well, albeit slowly. I’m down about 20 pounds, 2.5% body fat, and 6.25 inches. I exercise a ton (I do weights and swim 1/2-3/4 of a mile 5-6 days a week!) I checked out every book on nutrition I could possibly find and have been reading a ton. I really want to make this a lifestyle change, and I want to know why and how certain foods are better for me, better together, better cooked certain ways, etc.

The new doctor in Tucson is AMAZING. We’re shifting my care to him. I feel so much better about entrusting the babies and myself to him than I did with the other “doctors.” I really feel like he was an answer to prayer and I’m so grateful that God provided him.

We discussed my weight loss with him. He’s willing to do a transfer sooner (fewer pounds lost) than I was. He was comfortable with 35, I want to get to 50. But the weight is coming off so slowly and we also have to factor in that we have to do the transfer this year because of our FSA money. So I’ll continue my weight loss plan faithfully from now through August 30. Then he wants me to stabilize for 2 months so my hormones and chemicals that change during weight loss can level out. In October I’ll start the medication regimen. Then we’ll do another transfer at the end of November. That gives us December to work with in case November has to be canceled for any reason.

At my current rate of weight loss, that should put me right about 40 pounds down. I’m comfortable with that 🙂

This summer we’ll be moving the babies to the Tucson clinic, so I’d appreciate your prayers as we make those arrangements and as they travel.

DH and I are coming up on 6 years of marriage at the end of this month! While we’d hoped to have a house full of kids by now, I’ve been so grateful for the time we’ve had together that so many other couples miss out on. He truly is my best friend and best companion and I enjoy time with him so much. That’s been a real gift for me and though infertility has been difficult, the exclusive attention of my husband for so many years has been a treasure.

I lost the diamond out of my wedding ring last week. We’ve yet to locate it so I went in to the local jeweler to see what our options were for costs of replacement, repair, etc. In talking, he noticed my other ring (my snowflake ring). I commented that it was the ring my hubby gave me for our adoption and that we did what is called a “Snowflake Adoption.” His face lit up and he said “you did? Really!??” He was so excited because he and his wife have been researching it and had hit a dead end. A snowflake adoption outside of California has three components-the Snowflake Agency, your own state’s adoption agency and the medical provider. They had gotten what they needed from Nightlight, but had hit a brick wall on the other two fronts. So we talked about cost, procedure, doctors, etc. I walked out of the jeweler and wept. I lost a rock. A stone. A lifeless, tiny piece of earth. But I gained a chance to try to plant or water a precious seed that just maybe, God will grow. He may use this family to provide a home for some precious children, and provide precious children to this couple who long so much for a child. Or He may use them to spread the information to another family down the road. Who knows? God does. But I’m absolutely confident that our meeting was a divine appointment. Pray for that family that God would make the information they need readily available and that he would make very evident His plan for them.

My sweet sister in law and her family are in town and staying with us this week-it’s been such a joy! She went to fetch the kids from grandma and grandpa’s house so I want to scoot off to the gym in her absence and therefore need to cut this short.

If you’re still out there, thanks for reading and for your patience. Please remember to leave me your blog address so that I can find you again!

Grace and peace to you, dear readers!

Great is Thy Faithfulness!

1 Apr

A Psalm for Thanksgiving.
Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth.
Serve the LORD with gladness;
Come before Him with joyful singing.
Know that the LORD Himself is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving
And His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him, bless His name.
For the LORD is good;
His lovingkindness is everlasting
And His faithfulness to all generations.
Psalm 100

We have so much joy in this journey, and at every turn we can see the Lord’s loving kindness lavished upon us! We had major purchases to make at Lo.wes and Ho.me.De.pot for pool fencing supplies, as well as the supplies to fix the bathroom windows (also governed under pool fence laws since technically if we had an acrobat midget child, they could climb through the bathroom window and in to the pool). Also, the glass in the window in the baby’s room is cracked and we’ve never before seen the need to fix it since the room (currently the guest room) is only used sporadically, but for if and when it’s to be a nursery, we wanted it fixed. We decided to do it now while it’s cool and my brother (a Mr. Fixit Wizard) has the time to help us. Since we’re replacing that, we decided to replace the other two windows on the front of the house so that they were visually uniform.

All that to say, our pockets are much lighter tonight after those two trips! Last week we went on ebay and bought gift cards for both stores for about 90% of their face value. I guess people get them through those credit card reward programs and those point redemption programs. Other sellers receive them as gifts and don’t want them and some get them when making merchandise returns. In all those scenarios, it works well for both the seller with the unwanted gift card and the buyer looking to save a bit.

We were nervous but did a lot of research in to the sellers and they all came with a long list of positive feedback for similar transactions. We thought about it a long time, prayed about it and made the purchases and held our breath! One of them also came with a 10% off coupon to the store, and we were able to find a coupon for 10% off to the other store. The Gift Cards came this weekend and we took them to the stores tonight. 100% of the gift cards and the coupons worked flawlessly! We were grateful for God’s protection! We also got 1% in rebates back on the card purchases using a rebates program we have. Not much, but every little bit counts, right?

When we ordered the windows, the gentleman helping us was so friendly and knowledgeable. And it turns out that they were running a promo this week where Low-E (energy saver) was free! This was not a promo when we got the quotes 10 days ago, and was not published anywhere, so the prices were less than we expected! Plus the Low-E is a tax credit for next year!

I told him we had some other purchases to make but we only had one coupon so we wanted to check out all at once so I asked him if we should bring our other items to him or our windows order to the front. He said that he’d enter in the 10% discount on the windows in to the computer and then we could just call it up at the front at check out and then they’d confiscate the coupon there after applying it to the other items in our cart. We paid, used the gift cards and coupons successfully and went out to the truck. I sat in the truck while DH and the store employee loaded the back and I pulled out our windows order and the receipt to make sure everything had been called up correctly. I noticed at this time that the windows were priced at far less than 90% of the original quoted price. We did some number crunching and the best we could figure was that the Window Guy adjusted the prices 10% at his computer, and then when we checked out, they took another 10% off of everything, including the windows.

We went back inside and explained that we thought we’d received more of a discount than we were entitled to. The manager asked me to show him an example so I showed him the quote/contract, and our receipt and the math demonstrating a more than 10% difference between the two. We told him what we thought had happened, and he just said “It all looks fine to me! Have a good night!” So bam, right there, an unexpected significant discount, on top of the discount we’d received with the free Low-E!

It seems like at every turn, God is providing us with resources and blessings as we continue. Some may think it’s silly to claim that what is likely a cashier-register error is the hand of God but we file it in our “God Sightings” experiences and utter prayers of gratitude for his Cosmic R.A.Ks (Random Acts of Kindness!) It takes on a particularly emphatic appearance when considered in light of all of the other ways He has consistently been ministering to us through both little and large moments! Each act alone excites our gratitude but when we consider everything together, we marvel.

We’d ask you to rejoice with us and praise God for His provision and generosity.

Switching gears a little bit…

We purchased a life insurance policy for DH last fall. We paid a long time ago and signed all the forms so we thought everything was in order. Today we got word that DH did not qualify for the Top-Best rating, but for the second best. This means that the policy is 50% more expensive than we thought. We’re really not concerned about that–what worries us is the reason for the demotion in rating. They said that his bloodwork came back showing high cholesterol. He’s never had a doctor tell him that, ever. In the general medical profession’s defense, it’s also been a very long time since he’s had a full blood panel done, but in an otherwise healthy, young man, we just wouldn’t have expected to need it (as opposed to me–I get full blood panels every year because of my medications). This blood panel was done before he was diagnosed with his condition and therefore before he was taking any medication other than occasional allergy medication so we can’t attribute it to that. We don’t think it’s strictly dietary because mine has never even been remotely high and since I make most of our meals, most of the time we are eating the same things (though we do know bodies process things differently).

We’re not sure if “high” means “2 points above the maximum for the top bracket” or if it means “really really high-danger Will Robinson.” I also don’t know if the policy increase amount is any indicator of the degree of elevation or if it would increase the same amount whether he was 2 points or 20 points too high. We’ll go back to our doctor and ask for some answers, but needless to say we were surprised and a bit alarmed by the news. We’d sure love your prayers that we get some solid answers soon so we can get things under control and get him back to where he should be. Given the fact that he is otherwise healthy, and the fact that whatever this was only knocked him down 1 bracket, we’re not terribly alarmed, but we were still concerned and I think we’ll both feel better when we have some more information. Thank you!

We’re grateful for the fact that we were clued in now because realistically, it could have been a while til he had a blood panel where they check for this type of thing. Again, God has lavished His kindness and generosity of information and timing on us! We are grateful!

Doctor Update

6 Mar

Hi everyone,
Thanks for praying for our appointment with the new clinic. It went “ok,” I guess. I’ve been trying to think about my reaction. I wasn’t unhappy, but I wasn’t thrilled either. I think what I’ve determined is the finite nature of embryology is so difficult for me to understand, even with much effort, that I’m responding to that and not to any specific complaints about the interpersonal reaction or the communication. The meeting was informative and the doctor was very nice. I didn’t “click” with him but again, I think that’s because the nature of the subject was so difficult for me that I was concentrating really hard on that and not on the overall interaction. I learned enough about embryology today to make my head spin for several days! I wish we could get our hands on the nifty book he was walking us through so I could read and re-read it but alas, it’s an out of print medical journal and “real book” alternatives are too pricey to interest me. Oh well, I’m sure there’s a huge amount of information online and I just need to do some searching.

One huge praise was that he didn’t “push” anything. He told us what our options were because he said he didn’t want us to have made the decision for EA because we assumed we didn’t have other choices but as soon as he presented them and we affirmed that we are doing EA even with the knowledge of our other options, he dropped it. It wasn’t pushy at all and we thanked him for respecting our decision. I was really thankful for that answer to prayer because I would hate to be in a position of having to “fight” with our doctor. We’re not threatened by questions and I don’t mind if people don’t agree but it’s a little different story when your doctor has issues with your choices.

DH seemed really happy with him. And like I said, he is nice enough. I had no specific complaints.

Another praise is that he confirmed that we shouldn’t need anything in addition to the infectious disease screening, the Mock Transfer and SonoHSG, and the actual Frozen Embryo standpoint, so that’s nice from a financial perspective because insurance covers nothing, and in some women’s cases, they’ve had to do additional procedures, medications and tests. Things can always change of course, but he said so far, everything looks ok! I did forget to ask him about Monday’s “discovery” but I still have an appointment with the referring doctor so I’ll just ask him.

Other than that, nothing new to report!

Adoption Agency Meeting!

3 Mar

Woohoo! We received our Case Worker Assignment and I got the chance to visit with her for a little while today over the phone. She sounds really nice and enthusiastic about her job.

We have a first meeting with her next week and then she’ll give us all the paperwork we need to complete. She said it’s extensive paperwork and she’s seen a couple complete in as short of a time as 2 weeks but the average is a couple of months. Taking a deep breath and pacing myself here… I can be a little obsessive over a project so I can easily see myself sitting down and not getting up until it’s done! After all that paperwork is done, then the Homestudy itself actually begins.

We’re excited to meet her and start the process!

Also, I had my ultrasound today to follow up to the one in December that revealed that I had a new cyst, as large as the one I had removed surgically a couple years ago. This morning’s ultrasound revealed that the new cyst is now completely gone and no others have grown in its place on either side! I’m so thankful! The tech did tell me about something else about my internal construction that is abnormal that I didn’t know about (she thought I knew already which is why she commented on it). I don’t think it’s troublesome but it is abnormal. Once she realized I didn’t know about it already she couldn’t tell me anymore but I’ll ask the clinic this Wednesday and my own doctor who ordered the U/S to begin with about it . I don’t think it is anything to be worried about. I’ll definitely be praying to that end, if you want to join me. But I am thrilled at the dissolution of the cyst because it means I don’t need another surgery and avoid the risk of new scar tissue. Praise God!

She gave me a disk of my images to take to the new doctor since there won’t be time to do an official transfer before our meeting with him. Out of curiosity I stuck the CD in to look at the images. I’ve determined that Ultrasound Techs and Radiologists have superhero vision that enables them to make meaning out of what looks to me like a bunch of gray nothingness. It seriously fascinates me how they can look and say “this is that” and such. So while it was cool to look at the CD I’ve resigned myself that in this particular element of my care, I have absolutely nothing to bring to the table because as far as I’m concerned, those images could just as easily have depicted a basketball or an alien and I would have been none the wiser.

Doctor’s Office Visit and an Announcement

12 Feb

Hi everyone! I made it back safely from California after a really busy weekend. DH picked me up at the airport and we went straight to the doctor’s office. The timing both getting there and coming home was really tight and things had to happen precisely in order for everything to work out right and they did so we’re thankful that God saw fit to bless such trivial details as clocks, traffic and plane flights!

The blood tests did confirm the doctor’s suspicion. In reality I think we were both expecting to hear that so we had mentally prepared ourselves as best we could. The net point is that with this diagnosis, DH does have some elevated risks for other health problems, so this will be treated to minimize those, but the treatments do not increase fertility. Our only option for biological children would be IVF, which we have decided is not something we will pursue, for a variety of reasons.

We have officially decided to pursue Embryo Adoption. We chose this over infant adoption, at least for a first child, for a variety of reasons. As we look back on a lot of things throughout our lives, we see a lot of confirmation and “groundwork” that was being laid by the Holy Spirit for adoption in our hearts and we didn’t even realize it at the time. We actually made this decision before the doctor’s appointment. Embryo Adoption is not our “plan B” or a second best for us. We’re confident that this was God’s plan all along even if we’re just now realizing it. But we had to have solid confirmation that we were discontinuing active TTC to even apply to the program because you cannot do both simultaneously.

We’re still a little ways away. Embryo Adoption is very expensive so we’re in the penny pinching stage. But we have already contacted the adoption agency and last week received the application. We hope that within the next several months, we’ll be able to begin our homestudy and submit our application. When that is completed, we’ll enter the matching process. We have our homework cut out for us and we’re in for a long journey, but we are excited to begin this new chapter.

Thank you for covering our doctor’s visit in your prayers. Please continue to pray for DH. His grief is still really new so he has a lot more to process but he also has a lot of hope. Also, his grief as a man is different than mine as a woman so in some ways, I just have to sit and watch as he goes through this in his own way that’s different from me. But we are confident that he has the best of companions in the Holy Spirit and his heart will be filled with peace in time.

We are very glad to have some answers and we are especially grateful because had we not pursued natural conception so aggressively, this condition in DH would have gone undiagnosed and we would not have been able to make the adjustments to lower his risk factors for those other problems. We can look back on this journey (not that it is over!) and see God’s loving hand at work in so many areas and we are amazed.

Thank you for praying with us, mourning with us and celebrating with us! Please join us in covering this new process in prayer and celebration!

Just Checking In…

31 Jan

Oy vey, I’m so unoriginal. I can’t even tell you how many posts on our personal family blog have the exact same title as this post! =P

We went to my OB today. I think that we’re coming to the decision that after my next ultrasound and/or the completion of treatment for my newest cyst, we’re going to be in the market for a new OB. Part of our frustration comes from the fact that he’s Catholic and we’re Protestant so sometimes the differences in our approach to the bioethics of reproduction, therapies and technologies leave us feeling judged. I also feel like we don’t get a straight answer in cases where he personally objects to the subject (sample collection methods, ARTs, etc). Until now, I’ve always appreciated that he’s Catholic because when it comes to pro-life issues, I am as, or nearly as, conservative as the Catholic church and they’ve done a spectacular job championing the unborn where the Protestant church has failed miserably so I’ve often looked to them rather than my own branch of Christianity for guidance. I rested in the knowledge that we could always trust that anything he would recommend to us would be life and marriage honoring. But as we go further up and further in to this journey, we’re coming to disagreement on some of the fine points, we’re growing increasingly discouraged in our efforts to get solid medical information from him sans religious interpretation. I affirm his desire to practice medicine as a solid man of God but we believe different things on some pretty fundamental issues that is making it difficult for all of us to feel comfortable in this process.

Additionally, he has only been completed with residency and in his own practice for a couple of years so I think both his bedside manner and his experience with IF patients is lacking. Additionally as I’ve mentioned before, his practice has grown leaps and bounds since we first started seeing him in its infancy, so a lot of the personal care we valued has been exchanged for a “you’re a number not a person” system.

On the other hand, I really value having a doctor who errs on the side of life. I really value going in to his office and everywhere from his literature to the art on the walls, marriage and family are honored and valued. We’ll never have the experience of walking in to an exam room and finding a wall full of porn magazines, as was our experience at the specialist’s office. And from a physical sense, every actual examination and my surgery have been as gentle and skillful as possible, leaving me with less discomfort than I’ve had with any other doctor. And if we ever did actually get pregnant, bar-none he is who I’d want to do the delivery.

I think where we’re at is wanting to finish his treatment for my current cyst, and then move on to somewhere else, but in such a way that the door is open to go back to him if we ever get pregnant. But I’m a huge people-pleaser and I’m a big chicken so I don’t want to leave and have him take it personally and for me to feel embarrassed if we come back in the future. So, it’s a little ways away but I’d appreciate your prayers as we start to look for a new OB. I’d really love to find a Christian in a private practice that accepts our insurance and which provides the highest level of skill and care. How’s that for specific 😉

The doctor did tell me that he does think I can physically carry a child. He did caution us against various risks associated with different procedures and medications bu he does think I can safely carry especially if I continue to improve factors like my weight, diet and exercise. So we were encouraged to hear that. DH was smart enough to ask the question-it had never even crossed my mind. I’m thankful that the answer was positive because otherwise I think I would have been very much caught off guard.

The end result of our meeting today is I think that DH and I are in more agreement on which ARTs we will pursue and which ones are out for us. I feel comfortable with our list. We’ve been in disagreement with each other about a particular procedure (which is actually the one that gives us the most chance for a biological child) and we’ve always said we’d defer to the more conservative opinion but I think after our meeting this morning, we are more in agreement than we were before. That’s gratifying to me and an answer to prayer for me because I was the more conservative of the two of us. I think I would have always wondered if DH resented that I wouldn’t try that one more thing that could make this happen for us. I know his heart and I know he wouldn’t have but I think I still would have always felt guilty, though I am at peace with the decision as far as my conscience is concerned. So I am glad that we have harmony now and neither of us has to wonder if we denied the other something.

I’m also glad that we have our list in what I think is its finalized, or close to finalized, form before our next meeting with the specialist in two weeks. I feel like we’re much more capable of making a level headed decision now than we were when we first got our diagnosis and than we would be if put again in a similar situation. Now I pray for the fortitude for both of us to stick to that list and if we alter it, may it be for the right reasons!

If you can’t tell, I tend to think and talk myself in circles, to the point of exhaustion, so it’s really freeing and a huge answer to prayer to have this particular aspect behind us.

Well I’ve gotta scoot. I’m going to try to fall asleep earlier tonight which means starting that direction earlier.

I hope you all are well! To my blog buddies–I’m WAY behind on catching up. I did a lot of reading today but I only made it partway through my list so I hope to do more tomorrow. Thanks for reading even though I’ve been a bit of a slacker! Have a great night!

Specialist Update

18 Jan

Thank you all for praying for our appointment today. Overall, my impression is positive.

The first praise is that we like the doctor a lot. He’s very personable and seems very knowledgeable and competent. That’s a huge relief especially given the personal nature of the treatment–we were really concerned about feeling at ease with him.

The doctor’s suspicion is that there is a genetic abnormality. He took several vials of blood to screen for genetic and hormonal conditions. We go back in a month to review the results. From there we will come to a fork in the road. If his suspicions are correct, the next step would be a surgical tissue extraction to review the extent of the condition. If they are incorrect, he will perform additional exams to find another source of the problem. In the latter situation, natural conception would still be possible under some conditions with certain treatments. That is what we’re hoping and praying for, and we ask you to join us in praying similarly, but we’re also trying to remain realistic as much as optimistic so that we are adequately prepared for February’s appointment.

I’m disappointed to have to wait another month before we have any concrete answers but at least we felt that the wait would be worth it with this doctor. I guess that’s the price you pay for going to “the Best.” I spoke to the Office Manager and she assured me that after this next appointment when we know which course we’re pursuing, we can schedule our appointments several at a time so hopefully things can progress more quickly. I am a tiny bit frustrated that blood couldn’t be drawn at the same time as the other tests, especially if it’s standard procedure, but who knows why they do things in this order.

He also confirmed that he saw no signs of anything serious like cancer or a tumor or anything, which we weren’t seriously concerned about but it’s still nice to know.

Thanks for praying. Guess we just play the “wait and see” game a little longer.

Specialist Appointment Tomorrow

17 Jan

Our first appointment with the specialist is tomorrow (Thursday) at 1:15. My best friend asked me what I was hoping to walk away with from the meeting. It was a good question, but hard to answer.

I guess my goal is that we would walk away knowing something. I’ll be really frustrated if we waited almost 2 months, did the preliminary exam and a really extensive questionnaire only to arrive tomorrow to have a “Get to know you” meeting. My hope is that we did so much ground work ahead of time so that tomorrow would be productive. I know that we won’t have all the answers tomorrow but I will at least like for him to have done some examinations and tests to maybe at least starting us down the road of a diagnosis of the source of the problem. I realize test results don’t come back immediately, but if he at least administers some of them tomorrow, then knowing something more concrete could be around the corner. So we’d appreciate your prayers that tomorrow’s meeting would be productive, whatever that looks like.

In other small news, I was really sick last night. It really just came out of nowhere. Monday afternoon I got a sore throat and I went to bed having taken some Nyquil. Yesterday morning I was ok, but tired and congested. I got home after class and lay down for a nap. I woke up last night violently ill with horrible nausea and prolonged vomiting, and a persistent high fever. The fever broke around 9:00 this morning and I went to the doctor for my previously scheduled insomnia appointment and he took a look at my current symptoms. He gave me medicine for a sinus infection. I didn’t have the presence of mind to ask about the nausea and vomiting. My guess is that he’d blame it on drainage but I’ve never been that sick. Even smells were inducing vomiting. It certainly felt tenfold worse than the drainage-induced nausea I’ve had before. I did ok today, struggling again mostly with fatigue (I only got about 2 hours sleep last night) and congestion but just this evening I’ve been fighting the nausea again and I think a fever, too. If you could pray that I could keep food down and get over the stomach portion of this illness right away, I’d really appreciate it.

On a funny note, there was a fleeting moment when I was sitting on the floor with my head over the ivory throne when I thought “good night, is this anything like morning sickness? Why on earth am I asking for this?” I cursed my thoughts and immediately promised God I’d try to happily endure 9 months of morning sickness, but the thought amused me anyway. My thoughts quickly shifted to “good night, is this what a hangover is like? Why would anyone voluntarily do this?” Ah well. Such are the musings of a sick woman who has nothing better to do but think when in such a situation.

Back to the topic of the initial appointment. The doctor put me on a very low dosage of medication that is well established and has very little short or long term side effects, or risk for dependency. He said the only side effects are mild gastro-intestinal. I thought to myself, “You obviously don’t know I take Metformin. Gastro-Intestinal Side Effects are my middle name.” I resisted. However he did assure me that the two medications shouldn’t compound each other. He said that the insomnia is most likely stress related from all the IF stuff because I can associate this most recent vengeful emergence with our November appointment so he wants to take it a month at a time, and take me off of it when my body is retrained and/or life calms down a little. I felt very comfortable that what he was saying was accurate and dependable, and with the big picture in mind. Tonight is my first test–we shall see how I do!

Hopefully I’ll post tomorrow afternoon or evening with some productive news! We’d appreciate your prayers as we go in to this!

Specialist Update I

14 Jan

We had a bit of a disappointing week. We received the results from the test administered by the specialist. If you recall, our specific prayer was that these results would be the exact opposite of the results of the same test, performed earlier by a lab ordered by my doctor. My doctor had left out a key piece of information about the conditions of the test so we had a glimmer of hope that perhaps the results were due to a faulty administration and not a reflection of the actual condition.

The results of this second test were exactly the same as the first.

So, the next step is determining the cause of the problem that produces said results.

I felt a little bit kicked in the teeth when we found out. However a huge part of that was the method of notification. We received a bill with the diagnosis right on there. We’ve never even seen the actual doctor. This office does the test in advance so that the doctor can review the results and have something concrete to go off of at the first meeting. We didn’t receive a phone call or a letter or the courtesy to make sure the bill arrived after our first appointment. Just a bill with the diagnosis right there in black and white. I called to confirm that they were indeed the test results and not what the test was checking for and the nurse confirmed that they are indeed the results. Even on the phone she was very matter of fact and not at all friendly. I guess I was just supposing that an office that deals with broken hearted IF people every day would have a clue. It’s a significant, potentially life-changing diagnosis. I just think that getting it on a bill was a really crummy delivery method. My best friend did suggest that people probably don’t go to this office unless they’ve already had bad test results elsewhere so in the initial results they’re not telling anyone something they don’t already know, but I still would have wished for a little more sensitivity, especially because they were partially responsible for the hope we had that perhaps the first results were faulty (it was the nurse’s suggestion when I first spoke to her).

I know it’s not a huge deal but it really doesn’t set me up with a good impression of this office going in to our first appointment this week. I think that my frustration is magnified by my frustration with my own doctor, who also has adopted a “you’re a number, not a person” mentality lately.

My DH is a good fit for me. I tend to care too much about bedside manner and he doesn’t seem to care at all about it, so hopefully between the two of us we can come out with one balanced opinion. 🙂

We’d appreciate your prayers especially as we go in to this appointment this week. I’ve been willing and wishing for it to come for more than a month and now it’s almost here and I’m filled with fear about the “what ifs?” Fortunately we have some nice distractions between now and then. We’ve got a Packer Victory to celebrate ;), lunch with my MIL tomorrow, a seminar with my BIL and his wife, and the start of my photography class, all before the appointment. I’m hoping those diversions will help the week to go quickly!

I know that perfect love casts out fear. And sometimes I’m afraid to voice these fears because they reveal my lack of trust and faith. And I hate that because I don’t want to lack trust. I want to be wholly confident of God’s good will and pleasure in my life. But that part of my heart is still so full of desire for a baby that I’m fearful that perhaps that desire and God’s will could be mutually exclusive, and I don’t know how to accept that, much as I want to. And I don’t know how to find the balance between praying that it isn’t so, and telling Him, “Yes, I’ll love you, no matter what.” Praying simply for “His will” seems empty and hollow because my heart betrays me. I want to want and do the right thing, but my flesh is weak. May His power be perfected in my weakness! That’s certainly the only way I can envision any good coming from this.

I’d still appreciate your prayers for rest. I did get a lot of hours of sleep this weekend but they were broken up and I still don’t find myself rested. We missed church for the third week this morning because my body physically ached too much from fatigue to get up. (I had several 4:00 and 5:00 am nights this week resulting in only 3 or 4 hours’ sleep when I just could not fall asleep). I finally got up at lunch time and was able to do some grocery shopping tonight, but it took 3 hours and a lot of help from my husband because I was moving so slowly and stiffly (and in my defense it was our big, once a month trip so it usually takes a least half of that three hours). Anyway, I’m hoping the lengthy hours of rest will at least relieve some of my fatigue and that the busyness of this week will force my body to fall in to a more normal activity pattern that will produce more normal rest patterns, too. I may go to a doctor about a short term sleeping medication if I can’t figure out something that will work because I’m at my wit’s end with this fatigue. So, I’d really love your prayers that this cycle of insomnia would be broken!

Of course it is now 1:26 am and I am wide awake after tossing and turning for more than an hour in bed, but in the interest of at least producing the best possible chance for rest, I shall bid you all goodnight and return to my sweetly (though not quietly) snoozing husband.

Just checking in

6 Jan

Thank you to all of you who have checked in on us in my absence of posting. I hope this finds you enjoying a Happy New Year.

I haven’t posted for lack of anything profound, interesting or even new to say. I realize that what I say is not always or even usually profound, but I would so much like it if I had something to say today that was different than what I said yesterday. Methinks I’m just supposed to sit and stew in the current state of affairs and really internalize those lessons that are oh-so-easy to write about, and less so to actually adopt.

DH and I spent most of New Year’s weekend sleeping. I don’t know if it was just the cease in the emotional momentum but a few days to ourselves came along and “Wham!” we were both more exhausted than we could remember having been. We literally slept most of the day and most of the night of all of our 4 days of time together. Part of me was a little disappointed that we weren’t out conquering the world together, but I am so glad for the rest, especially for DH. We did spend a few hours of every day shutterbugging–you can see the pictures by clicking on my flickr collage —-> DH picked up the other camera has now caught the bug too and so that was a lot of fun for us both.

I’m a little worried about me. I’m so tired all the time. I sleep a lot, and I have a hard time getting up the energy or motivation to do anything. Then the amount of work that piles around me overwhelms me even more and the cycle perpetuates itself. I just want to be released from this. I hate feeling exhausted all the time. The last of our birthday parties and functions have finally ended today so I’m hoping to get back in to the gym routine I established before my brother’s fire and I hope that will help me. My sister in law suggested that it could be some depression but I don’t feel sad or worried–it’s just that I’m so weary! So I’d love your prayers for release from this. Thankfully, I have a DH who is patient with me!

There’s nothing really to report on the visit to the new doctor’s office. We went and turned in the ridiculously long (and personal) questionnaire and gave the sample for the test, and now we just wait. I don’t know if they’ll notify us of the results over the phone or if the doctor will tell us when we see him later in the month.

DH has asked me to keep specifics of the current problem we’re trying to address private so I’m going to try to honor that by speaking vaguely while asking you for specific prayer requests.

Would you please pray that the results of this new test we just took are exactly the opposite of the first test of its kind that we took. An affirmative answer of this prayer would take a miracle and we’re asking for one.

Would you also pray that if the results are the same, that the doctor would swiftly find the cause of the problem. Would you also pray that it would be a cause that can be easily fixed in such a way to restore the broken parts to proper function. Please also pray that whatever the cause is, is not indicative of a more serious, health jeopardizing problem.

Whether a problem never existed and the tests were wrong or if there is a problem but it is corrected, it is our heart’s prayer that we would be able to naturally conceive a child that is biologically ours.

We know these requests are big and specific and we know that God’s answer could be “no” but at least we ask.

Would you also pray that if the answer to all of the above is “no,” that we would be given wisdom, guidance and unity on what procedures, if any to pursue. One book we are reading suggested that we outline which procedures we are ethically comfortable with before we need to make a decision so that they can be as objective as possible. We are so far from knowing what we may need to do medically and we still lack a lot of specifics about our diagnoses so it’s hard to make all the decisions but we have at least started. There are a couple ideas that excite us a lot and a couple others that right now we are not in agreement on (and I think for the first time ever, DH is the more liberal of the two of us on one issue in particular!–that’s been interesting!) So we would appreciate your prayers for harmony and peace.

We also pray that through it all we would make decisions that honor God and honor life. We pray that this doctor (whom we don’t know to be a Christian) would honor our commitments and help guide us in a way that is supportive of that, rather than in a manner that attempts to persuade us toward something else. We pray that we would have all the relevant facts to make our decisions and that they would be made available to use in language, relevance and ramifications we can fully understand.

We pray for protection of our hearts. We pray that fertility would not become our god and that above all, we would seek and Honor God and His will for us, whatever that may be.

Have a great week, everyone!