Thursday, September 29, 2011

4 years

Whew!  Today is my 4 year wedding anniversary.  Man, it has been a long four years.  I feel tired.  We have been through so much.  So many tears.  But, tonight, I will buck up, put on a slightly trashy dress, high heels, makeup, and perfume; we will get snockered and say good riddance to all that pain, toast to a brand new year, and just re-boot.  It will be a fresh start.  Then, tomorrow we are off to Tulsa, our nearest big city, for the weekend.  Got a great deal on priceline for a very nice hotel, and we're going to live it up!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Several things (updated)

1.  Thankfully, I am feeling much better this week.  Thank you to everyone for your kind comments on my last post.  Things have gotten a lot better.  Husband is again including a prayer for a baby in our bedtime prayers, and the case that I was busting my arse over last week settled.  Whew!  I only wish they would just settle these things in the very beginning, but I guess I wouldn't have a job if that happened.  

2.  Dr. H has said I don't have to take my temps and pulses 5 times a day every day from now on and can just do it one day a week and e-mail them once a month.  That was great news to hear!  I was so tired of living by the clock.  Now, the only time I need to keep up with is to make sure I'm taking the T3 every 12 hours.  I don't see that it is helping me any, though.  I still have low temps, in the 97's, except post-peak when they get in the 98's but never even up to 98.6.  Is it possible to just be "cold natured" and not have a thyroid problem?  

3.  I'm starting to feel like Dr. H is a little too busy and that I'm falling through the cracks.  For the last couple of months, it has been cycle day 6 or so before I hear back from his office (and I fax my chart first thing in the a.m. on CD1).  This cycle, as far as I know, Dr. H has not reviewed my chart, but a fellow has.  That fellow has not addressed what to do with the hcg and progesterone.  So, am I supposed to continue those, and if so, what dose?  Ugh.  I have e-mailed the nurses again today, asking about that. When I e-mailed last week asking what are my medication instructions this cycle, they e-mailed back on CD9 to say they want husband and I to take Biaxin on CD 1-10.  Gosh!  I hate having to keep contacting their office.  I don't want to be annoying, but I need to know what to do.  Time is so important when dealing with infertility.  Each month that goes by, even each day, is crucial.   

4.  I don't understand how to reconcile accepting God's will while doing what I need to do on my part in case it's His will that we have a baby.  My brain just can't process that.  I feel like if I were to truly accept God's will, that would mean stopping everything I am doing and just leaving it all up to chance.  My priest says no, you have to do your part, but that it is in giving it up and accepting his will that He will reward you, or something to that effect.  I don't get it.  How do I know if I'm accepting His will if I am taking my T3, Biaxin, hcg, etc.?  

*** Update re #4.  I decided to do some googling and came across a website (Catholic Treasury) quoting from St. Alphonsus Liguori's book "Uniformity with God's Will", which I think answers the question.  We do what we can medically, but have it in our minds that we are ok with whatever happens.  Here's the quote (it's really long):

It is especially necessary that we be resigned in corporal infirmities. We should willingly embrace them in the manner and for the length of time that God wills. We ought to make use of the ordinary remedies in time of sickness -- such is God's will; but if they are not effective, let us unite ourselves to God's will and this will be better for us than would be our restoration to health. Let us say: "Lord, I wish neither to be well nor to remain sick; I want only what thou wilt."

Certainly, it is more virtuous not to repine in times of painful illness; still and all, when our sufferings are excessive, it is not wrong to let our friends know what we are enduring, and also to ask God to free us from our sufferings. Let it be understood, however, that the sufferings here referred to are actually excessive. It often happens that some, on the occasion of a slight illness, or even a slight indisposition, want the whole world to stand still and sympathize with them in their illnesses.

But where it is a case of real suffering, we have the example of our Lord, who, at the approach of his bitter passion, made known his state of soul to his disciples, saying: "My soul is sorrowful even unto death[2]"and besought his eternal Father to deliver him from it: "Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from me[3]."But our Lord likewise taught us what we should do when we have made such a petition, when he added: "Nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt[4]."

How childish the pretense of those who protest they wish for health not to escape suffering, but to serve our Lord better by being able to observe their Rule, to serve the community, go to church, receive Communion, do penance, study, work for souls in the confessional and pulpit! Devout soul, tell me, why do you desire to do these things? To please God? Why then search any further to please God when you are sure God does not wish these prayers, Communions, penances or studies, but he does wish that you suffer patiently this sickness he sends you? Unite then your sufferings to those of our Lord.

"But," you say, "I do not want to be sick for then I am useless, a burden to my Order, to my monastery." But if you are united to and resigned to God's will, you will realize that your superiors are likewise resigned to the dispositions of divine providence, and that they recognize the fact that you are a burden, not through indolence, but by the will of God. Ah, how often these desires and these laments are born, not of the love of God, but of the love of self! How many of them are so many pretexts for fleeing the will of God! Do we want to please God? When we find ourselves confined to our sickbed, let us utter this one prayer: "Thy will be done." Let us repeat it time and time again and it will please God more than all our mortifications and devotions. There is no better way to serve God than cheerfully to embrace his holy will.

St. John of Avila once wrote to a sick priest: "My dear friend, -- Do not weary yourself planning what you would do if you were well, but be content to be sick for as long as God wishes. If you are seeking to carry out God's will, what difference should it make to you whether you are sick or well[5]?'' The saint was perfectly right, for God is glorified not by our works, but by our resignation to, and by our union with, his holy will. In this respect St. Francis de Sales used to say we serve God better by our sufferings than by our actions.

Many times it will happen that proper medical attention or effective remedies will be lacking, or even that the doctor will not rightly diagnose our case. In such instances we must unite ourselves to the divine will which thus disposes of our physical health. The story is told of a client of St. Thomas of Canterbury, who being sick, went to the saint's tomb to obtain a cure. He returned home cured. But then he thought to himself: "Suppose it would be better for my soul's salvation if I remained sick, what point then is there in being well?" In this frame of mind he went back and asked the saint to intercede with God that he grant what would be best for his eternal salvation. His illness returned and he was perfectly content with the turn things had taken, being fully persuaded that God had thus disposed of him for his own good.

There is a similar account by Surio to the effect that a certain blind man obtained the restoration of his sight by praying to St. Bedasto, bishop. Thinking the matter over, he prayed again to his heavenly patron, but this time with the purpose that if the possession of his sight were not expedient for his soul, that his blindness should return. And that is exactly what happened -- he was blind again. Therefore, in sickness it is better that we seek neither sickness nor health, but that we abandon ourselves to the will of God so that he may dispose of us as he wishes. However, if we decide to ask for health, let us do so at least always resigned and with the proviso that our bodily health may be conducive to the health of our soul. Otherwise our prayer will be defective and will remain unheard because our Lord does not answer prayers made without resignation to his holy will.

Sickness is the acid test of spirituality, because it discloses whether our virtue is real or sham. If the soul is not agitated, does not break out in lamentations, is not feverishly restless in seeking a cure, but instead is submissive to the doctors and to superiors, is serene and tranquil, completely resigned to God's will, it is a sign that that soul is well-grounded in virtue.

What of the whiner who complains of lack of attention? That his sufferings are beyond endurance? That the doctor does not know his business? What of the faint-hearted soul who laments that the hand of God is too heavy upon him?

This story by St. Bonaventure in his "Life of St. Francis" is in point: On a certain occasion when the saint was suffering extraordinary physical pain, one of his religious meaning to sympathize with him, said in his simplicity: "My Father, pray God that he treat you a little more gently, for his hand seems heavy upon you just now." Hearing this, St. Francis strongly resented the unhappy remark of his well-meaning brother, saying: "My good brother, did I not know that what you have just said was spoken in all simplicity, without realizing the implication of your words, I should never see you again because of your rashness in passing judgment on the dispositions of divine providence."

Whereupon, weak and wasted as he was by his illness, he got out of bed, knelt down, kissed the floor and prayed thus: "Lord, I thank thee for the sufferings thou art sending me. Send me more, if it be thy good pleasure. My pleasure is that you afflict me and spare me not, for the fulfillment of thy holy will is the greatest consolation of my life."

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Yesterday was awful.  I don't know if it's the clomid, or the stress of my job over the last week, or a combination of both.  This week has been so hard at work.  They are prepping for a trial that starts in October, and they have done a horrible job of planning, so there are tons of things to be done, lots of briefs to be written, and they keep basically putting it all on my plate.  I normally can only handle about 5 hours of work per day and then I get irritable.  Over the last week, I have been working from early in the morning, skipping a shower, eating crappy food as quickly as I can, and working until 7 at night.  Yesterday, I just broke down in a hysterical crying fit, bawling as I typed along, scarfing down chocolate hoping it would combat the cortisol that no doubt was raging through my body.  There was a deadline to get some things filed with the court at 1 yesterday, and I got an e-mail from one of the partners yesterday morning telling me to call him when I finished up with that project so we could discuss the 20+ motions they need to draft and file by next Thursday.  That just put me over the edge.  After I e-mailed them my portion of the project that was due to be filed yesterday, I said to myself F**ck 'em.  I'm not answering my phone, I'm not returning e-mails.  I called him and left a vm saying I was about to head out for a trip for the weekend, I can give you 5 hours monday thru wednesday of next week and then I'll be out for Thursday and Friday for my anniversary, we're going on a trip.

Then I started googling what I could do instead of being a lawyer.  That reminded me that I had saved a link to this legal writing institute web page where they list professor positions that are available. There is one open at Seattle University, which was exciting.  For some reason, even though I've never been there, I've thought for several years I would like living there.  So, I e-mailed my husband and kind of half-seriously asked if he would move, and if so, I would apply for that job.

Then, I went to my consultation with the acupuncturist, which was supposed to just be a consultation, and she was like, "you need acupuncture, like immediately."  So, I had my first acupuncture experience yesterday.  I was super nervous about the needles, I know my heart was racing when she put the first ones in.  There was one right between my eyes, one in my right wrist, one on the top of each foot, one coming out of the top of my head, one on my inside left ankle, one on the inside of my left calf, one on my lower abdomen, and one further up the abdomen like right underneath where the bra line is.  Then she left the room, and I laid there listening to chinese music, wondering what am I doing, is this crazy?  After a while, I guess it started working, because I started to get the giggles.  It was the funniest thing.  There wasn't anything in particular that I was thinking of that made me giggle, but I just felt giggly.  After about half an hour, it was time to take the needles out.  I felt better.  More relaxed.

Then I headed home and waited for my husband to get back from fishing.  It was late by the time he got home and unsuccessfully attempted to fillet a bass.  So, we went to taco bell for bean burritos, and ended up in a fight in taco bell.  I brought up the Seattle thing, and he just flatly rejected the idea without any consideration.  That irritated me.  He knows how much my job stresses me out, and I've talked about moving for a while, teaching legal writing would be fun, and we're young, so why should he just reject the idea?  We deserve to live our lives.  He wants to always stay here because of his family, and I said he should put me in higher priority than his family.  We could visit during holidays.  His job in the family business does not pay him well and it is not stable.  He could do so much more, so why not just take that leap out there?  I felt like it was a total shock to me that we will never be able to move from here, and I felt like I had been duped or something. Maybe it is the clomid, I don't know, but I felt absolute despair.  He felt like I was saying I didn't want to be married to him.  That was not what I was saying.  I explained that I want the hope and opportunity and chance that we can do something else with our careers if we want to, and the hope of adventure.

We came home and continued talking, and he said maybe we could go on vacation to Seattle sometime and see what it is like.  He acknowledged that he has a problem with change and likes things his way, but he likes that I always come up with new ideas.  (I do have a sort of adventurous, brave side to me.  When I was in high school getting ready to apply to colleges, I felt for some reason I wanted to live in Georgia even though I had never been there, so I went to school in Georgia.  My family was a twelve hour drive away in Louisiana.  It didn't bother me.  I liked adventure.  Then, when I met my husband, it was no problem for me to pick up and move here to Arkansas and marry him.)

Somehow, the conversation turned to the infertility and how hard these four years have been, and how sad I get.  He was saying things that sounded like he just wants to give up; that there is no hope; that he doesn't think it will ever happen.  Those were scary things to hear.  He is usually the one keeping the positive attitude while I am freaking out.  In that conversation, I felt like we were just in the pits of despair.   He caused me to doubt, and I don't want to doubt.  I don't feel in my heart of hearts that we will never have a baby.  I just don't feel like that is how it is going to be.  So, satan, get behind me!  St. Gerard, pray for us!  Padre Pio, pray for us!  St. Gianna, pray for us!  Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us!  Blessed Pope John Paul II, pray for us!  Blessed Mother Teresa, pray for us!  St. Joseph, pray for us!    

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Chamomile/Lavender tea

Does anybody know if it is safe to drink chamomile & lavender tea when you're trying to conceive?  I see differing opinions on the internet.  I wonder if anyone has asked their NaPro doctor about it?  I sure need the stress relief benefits, but don't want to mess with my fertility if chamomile or lavender could possibly affect anything.  I'm super nervous about it because with my last miscarriage, I had been drinking peppermint tea at least 2 times a day.  It may have had nothing to do with it, but I have read that mint can somehow cause miscarriages.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Cycle Review

So, this past cycle was my first with hcg injections and clomid.  I guess they are working because my peak +6 (7 fell on a Saturday, so I went in on 6) progesterone was 58 and estradiol was 20.4.  Dang!  All those hormones and no pregnancy.  No wonder I went to peak +18 before I got AF.  I don't know what they are going to do this cycle yet because I just got an email with my numbers late Friday and no instructions.  Dr. H was out and one of his fellows had looked at my file.  Today is CD5, so I will go ahead and start the clomid and hopefully get my instructions for this cycle on Monday.  They want my husband to do another semenalysis since it has been over a year since the last one.  Ugh.  I hate that whole gross, embarrassing process.  Even though it's a perforated condom, it's a condom, and that is so weird to have "relations" with your husband using a condom.  Then, the mortifying trip of taking the sample to the lab, delivering that brown paper sack.   I don't even really know why this is necessary anyway.  His last scores were horrible.  What does it matter if they are better?  Is that going to change any treatment recommendations?  If they are still bad, is that going to change anything?  Not likely.  He's taking the proxeed and mucuna pruriens.  If there was something else he could take, I'm sure Dr. H would have recommended it.

In other news, received another pregnancy announcement from a friend today.  Those never get easy.  We had just gotten out of mass and my husband was getting his donuts on at the coffee social.  I check my phone, and blam, there's a text message.  I immediately get all teared up and have to get the keys so I can go to the car and not have the whole church staring at me crying.  Sigh.

To distract myself, I'm eating milk chocolate (a no-no on my anti-inflammatory diet) and watching a documentary about a french pastry competition right now.  I would love to be a french baker.  It would be so fun and yummy and beautiful.  They do some amazing work.  

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


I hate the depressing thoughts and emotions I have when CD1 hits.  I always feel hopeless, pitiful, and angry.  And guilty for feeling those ways.  Looks like another trip to confession for me.  In the meantime, though, one good thing that happened yesterday is that the LivingSocial deal was $10 for $20 worth of alcohol at this new liquor store that opened up.  So, yahoo!  I bought two of those deals.  Now I can get some good wine for once.  :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Big Fat Negative

So, made it to peak +17, but it was freaking negative.  So frustrating.  So, if I'm not pregnant, bring on the stupid period so I can start this roller coaster all over again.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Fear and jealousy

I am on peak +16 today and afraid that AF is going to hit at any moment.  I was on hcg this cycle on days peak + 3, 5, 7 & 9 and progesterone suppositories peak +3-12.  So, I could be late due to the fact that I had progesterone 4 days ago.  The hcg instructions say to call the office if you hit p+17, so I am crossing my fingers for tomorrow.  At the same time, I am scared of it being another routine month.  I haven't peed on a stick because I don't want a false positive and I don't want to see the negative if it's negative.

I am trying to stay positive and hopeful, but fear and jealousy keep taking over.  We went to the wedding of my husband's niece this weekend.  Technically, she's my niece, too, but not my blood.  Anyway, while I was happy for her and her new life with her new husband, I am also fearful that she is going to have a baby before we do.  I can just feel it in my gut.  It would just be the icing on the cake, so to speak.

Also, today I found out that a co-worker of mine (I work from home, so this is someone from the office in another state) is having yet another baby.  We were on the phone discussing a project, and she said something about "so, yeah, I've been really busy lately because I'll be out after Wednesday, and I told them I will help with whatever I can, but this is our last one,  . . ."  I had no clue what she was talking about, and she says, "I'm having a c-section on Wednesday.  We're having a girl this time, so we're really excited.  I thought you knew."  I'm like, "No, but that's great.  Congratulations."  On the inside, though, I'm thinking, WTF?!  That has put me in a total funk today.  I want to be the one having the baby and getting maternity leave and being able to walk away from work problems for several months with a legitimate, unquestionable excuse.

I hate feeling like this, but I also feel like I can't help the way I feel.  Maybe I should just go get that Starbucks pumpkin spice latte I've been drooling over but passing on since I'm sure the milk is full of growth hormones and antibiotics, and the flavorings are full of corn syrup, artificial everything, and pesticides.  I hate having to overanalyze everything I eat.  I mean, crack heads and alcoholics have babies all the time.  People who eat nothing but fast food have babies all the time.  Maybe I'm doing everything wrong and they've got it right.

Friday, September 9, 2011

The home stretch

Aaaarrrrgggghhhhh!  The last few days of the 2ww are always the worst!  So much anxiety.  So much tension, afraid that AF is going to hit at any moment.  I want a glass of wine so bad, but I would feel awful if it turned out I was pregnant.  If I'm not, though, I want to just get the crying over with and move on to the booze.  That's the only good thing about CD1, accepting that you're not pregnant and being able to relax for a couple of days before it all starts all over again.  

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Glorious veggies and other things

The weather here has just been wonderful.  It has been in the mid-forties in the morning, and upper 70's in the afternoon.  It just feels like fall, and I looooooove the fall.  The bad thing is, it makes me not want to work and to just go live my life.  That's all I want to do really, just live my life.  I want to win the lottery so I don't have to work, and I would just spend my days raising my future babies, washing cloth diapers, making homemade baby food, knitting, running to the farmers' market, and doing charity work.  I long for the day that I can turn my home office into a bedroom.  I envision packing up everything that belongs to my law firm and shipping it back to them and never looking back.  The freedom I would feel.  The burden that would be lifted.  Aaaaaah.  Anyway, I digress.

I went over to the farmers' market today, and what a bounty I came home with!  Fresh tomatoes, bok choy, purple hull peas, green beans, eggplants, and sweet potatoes.  Aaaaaa-lle-luuuuuuia! (singing)  I came home and found a recipe for a healthy eggplant parmesan, which I found here:  I will be serving that alongside some beautiful fresh steamed green beans tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper.  For dessert, fresh watermelon!  Yum-o-la!

In other news, I'm a little over midway through the excruciating two week wait.  Why can't we just immediately get a period if we're not pregnant?  Or, why can't we have some kind of immediate notice that we have conceived, like a timer that pops out of our hip like on a turkey?  I hate wondering and worrying for those two weeks, overanalyzing everything that happens.  And, everything that happens is a pregnancy sign.  Aargh.  Ta-tas always hurt every month during the luteal phase, there is always some kind of spotting during the luteal phase (this time, it was on P+8; sometimes it goes for several days), and I become super hungry and sometimes have very specific cravings (like today, I was craving an old-school style sandwich with mayo and white bread, two no-nos for me).  I normally don't really crave anything other than "just feed me now."  I remember when I was pregnant with the first baby we lost, I had specific food cravings then, too.  Once, out of the blue, I just had to have a gyro, so we drove thirty minutes to a greek restaurant to get gyros.  It is funny to me.  I actually visualize and can "taste" the food I crave.  Maybe my cravings this month are related to the hcg injections, but I sure wish I could believe they were related to an actual pregnancy.  Time will tell.

I feel like I got another sign from God today.  My protestant aunt e-mailed me today out of the blue (I haven't heard from her in a long time), and she said she was praying for us that God's will be done, that we have faith, perseverance, etc., and she cited Matthew 7:7.  So, I looked it up, and it says:  "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."  The rest of that paragraph, which is in verses 8-11, reads:  "For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.  Which one of you would hand his son a stone when he asks for a loaf of bread, or a snake when he asks for a fish?  If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him."  Lord, I am asking; I am seeking; I am knocking.  Please, deliver me from my fears; save me from my doubts.  Thank you for sending me this reminder that you do hear and that you, my heavenly Father, will give much more good things than any earthly father gives his children.  You know how much I need to hear that, and I love you for being so patient with me and for constantly reaching out to me in these little ways.    

Monday, September 5, 2011

I hate you, white pasta

I've been on an anti-inflammatory diet since my surgery in May and will have to be on it for the rest of my life.  But, last night, I decided to "live a little" and have some good old fashioned white-noodled spaghetti.  Never again.  I was miserable all night long, tossing and turning.  My abdomen was so painful and gaseous.  It was the kind of pain where you can't identify what part of your "guts" is hurting you because it just hurts all over.  The only cause I can link it to is the white pasta.  I guess the anti-inflammatory diet is working and now I can tell when I throw a "wrench" in the system.  So, from now on, nothing but whole grains, fresh veggies, beans, and lean grass-fed proteins.  In fact, I'm taking my little arse right over to the farmers' market first thing in the morning.  Lesson learned.

Friday, September 2, 2011

P+7 blood draw

Ouch.  Had my p+7 blood draw today.  What a fiasco.  The first girl who was going to draw it was obviously new.  She stuck me once and then said my vein "rolled."  So, the usual girl came to my rescue and started all over.  Stick #2.  She draws one vial and pulls everything out and then realizes she needed 2 vials.  So, stick #3.  I always dread these appointments, and today was the worst one yet.  So glad it's over.

While I was there, another girl was in having her blood drawn to see if she was pregnant.  She was very anxious about the results and looked so morose.  I wanted to scream out, "I'll take your baby," but I kept my mouth shut, thinking to myself, "we are in here for opposite reasons; I want to be pregnant, and she doesn't."  After leaving the lab, as I was driving down the road, I thought to myself that I should have offered to talk with her.  She seemed so anxious and sad.  I hope she is not considering abortion.  I hate to think that I could have done something to change her mind if that was on her mind.  If she is pregnant, Mary, please watch over that little baby and make sure he/she lives.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Holy Family

Last night, my husband and I babysat for his brother, who has a four year old girl and a three year old boy. When we got to the house, we chatted with the bro and sis in law before they headed off for their date.  In the middle of our chatting, the little girl came up to me with a sweet little ceramic figurine of the Holy Family and said, "Here, Jesser, this is for you."  I said, "are you sure you want to give that away, it is very pretty."  And she said, "yeah, it's for you."  It was just the sweetest gesture.  I don't know what prompted her to do that.  Her mom was surprised by it, but said I should take it.

So, it caused me to start thinking about it and ponder it in my heart ("Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.").  Could this little girl have been inspired by the Holy Spirit?  If so, what does this mean?  Is it a sign of hope, a message that one day, we too will have a family?  I like to think that it is.  It brings me comfort to think that.  It reminds me that God does hear me and that he loves me, issues I struggle with so much.  It also fits in with an experience I had in the adoration chapel a couple of months ago.  I was there, pleading with God to just let me know one way or the other so I could work on accepting His answer.  If it is no, then I will be able to move on and stop all of this medical treatment.  What I heard in response was "You're not hearing no."  So, that gave me strength to keep going.  Now, again, I feel that, with this little girl's kind gesture, maybe He is speaking to me again, telling me I am on the right path.

Also, interestingly, we have a Holy Family statue that someone gave us when we got married, and it has been on my husband's dresser for quite a while.  Recently, I moved it to the mantle in the living room, right underneath our painting of Mary and baby Jesus.  I think it's an interesting coincidence that these two things have happened so closely together.  I like to think it means something.