With Patience, Comes Hope
Hope. Hope is something you yearn for while struggling knee deep in infertility! Everything you pray for centers around hope! The hope of mature follicles, the hope of a successful insemination, the hope of a healthy miracle and the hope of excelling as a parent. This hope is the only thing you have when it seems there's nothing left!
When we last spoke I left you hanging on our very unsuccessful month of March in 2011! It was heart wrenching, life changing, but most importantly, mind opening. Why is God going to bless me with His child when all I could think about was myself? The pain I felt consumed my life! Well to be honest it consumed everyone's life! At times it was all I could think about! I was angry, oh my gosh, I was so angry! Pregnant lady are you seriously smoking menthols while 9 months pregnant? I want to shove that cigarette down your throat and tell you how ungrateful you are! You're growing a human! You are creating life inside of you and all you can think about is your disgusting habit? I know, how terrible of me to judge another person when I know nothing about her life, but if I'm being honest she too knows nothing about my life. I'm certain if she did, that cigarette would be the last thing she ever thought about!
We are all quick to judge, give opinions and say what we would and wouldn't do. You truly never know what you would do unless you are placed in that very same situation. Do I want you to know what it feels like to struggle with infertility? No, absolutely not! I would never want anyone to feel the pain and emptiness I once felt, but at the same time I don't want you to tell me to "relax, it will happen when it's supposed to." "I promise the second you stop trying it will happen." Did I mention relax? My sweet dear friends, those words are like listening to fingernails scratch across a chalkboard! I know, terrible right? It's the best way to tell you how someone feels that struggles with infertility. They need you to cover them in prayer, support and understand their feelings, and if I'm being totally honest drop by a bottle of wine, turn on some tunes and break into a little Meredith & Christina dance party! You know, like dance it out! Help her forget all the emotions that consume her life on a daily basis.
I want to be thorough about our process because I truly understand we are not the only couple to struggle with infertility. I am grateful for our openness, our heartfelt struggles and our desire to help other couples who struggle with infertility. I am not an expert but I do know exactly what it feels like to be in your shoes and exhaust every effort within myself to achieve a pregnancy. God truly does have a plan for you and the best advice I can give you is to understand His plan will happen on His time. Don't try to make it happen on your time because you will only become more frustrated with the outcome. Listen, I became such a control freak through this process. I didn't want to be my own friend! I know, I know! It's hard to believe right? I literally invested every waking moment into making this happen. It was exhausting. It wears me out just thinking about it! Please, don't let it consume your life! So here's what worked for me....
With the 2nd insemination, I prepared like crazy! No seriously, I'm all about my research of course, so I was full speed ahead on testing the waters. Let's just say I read acupuncture was extremely beneficial for patients with PCOS/Infertility, so I jumped all over it. I was a bit nervous about random needles sticking out all over of my body from my hands, stomach, shins, and feet but at this point I had to put my big girl panties on and deal with it! It was time to take one for the team. Not only was this my first time for acupuncture but it was also my first visit to the chiropractor, like ever! So a few appointments of acupuncture, a nice alignment for my uneven hips and girl was ready for insemination.
Diet, let's be serious... I am the worst person EVER to give advice in this area! However, I read more information than I care to admit on the diagnosis of PCOS. I'm almost certain I'm qualified to write a book on it now! Yes, that's how invested I was. My doctor had told me an endless amount of times how important my everyday diet is after being diagnosed with PCOS. He wanted me to take a more clean eating approach, that way we could balance out my insulin levels a bit more. Not to mention he said even a slight amount of weight loss would be in my favor when it came to achieving this pregnancy! So what's a girl to do?! I guess daydream of cookies, ice cream and cupcakes because we were officially breaking up.
So today is a new day, it's Sunday, August 14th of 2011 and we have been busy preparing for what will hopefully be a successful insemination. I feel so good this time around. Inspired, rejuvenated, and at peace. WOW!! We have come so far to actually be able to say and feel this way. Seriously, I was at peace. Like a calm had come over me and I finally have accepted God's will. Crazy what a couple of months away will do but this break was well deserved, and we both mentally and physically needed it. You reach a point where it literally takes over every feeling you feel throughout the day. Everything you do is a constant reminder of the failures, and you begin to feel numb. I can honestly say at the very young age of 33 it was truly one of the hardest walks of my life. It is only by the grace of God, my amazing husband and supportive family and friends that I am where I am today.
As we sit patiently awaiting for the first of many appointments, I am overwhelmed with every emotion possible. I am completely freaking out on the inside but from the outside I appear calm, eager and full of hope. This is our baseline appointment that consist of blood work and an ultrasound. This ultrasound is everything. It determines a green or red light and at this point I have zero time to pump the brakes!
Praise The Lord we received a GREEN LIGHT! We are one step closer to insemination! Now it's follistim time! These injections are like gold and can cost up to $500 for one cartridge. Seems crazy right?! Crazy to think one single cartridge can cost so much but can you really put a price on creating life?! At this point, every single dollar you fork out is completely worth it. The amount you're spending doesn't even register because you are so focused on the outcome. Blood work came back looking perfect! Pretty amazing to get these results on day 10 and I still had two more days until insemination.
Good morning to a beautiful Tuesday, August 23rd of 2011 and today is the day. This day is beyond overwhelming. It's like everything in your life that brings you excitement combined and then you top it off with Christmas morning! While in the waiting room you are thinking to yourself while checking out every person there "OMG, DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT GET ANYTHING MIXED UP!" It's like some LifeTime movie playing over and over again in your head because all you can think about is everything that could possibly go wrong. It's all very dramatic. Ok, maybe it isn't that dramatic but it helps pass the time! Deep breaths because the nurse just called our name and it's FINALLY our turn! OMG I can't breath! For real, I need a paper bag so I can breath dramatically into it. Knock on the door.... Oh hello doctor! Yes, I am extremely awkwardly hanging out all over the place but all I can think about is the tube you are about to take from my husbands hand. Ok, just one more time.... Sir can you confirm the information on here is correct?
Ma'am, we are good to go!
Good to go? OMG! Are you done? Can I stand on my head now? Seriously, please for the love let me stand on my head! And now, it's time for the dreaded 12 day waiting period!
Let's be honest, these 12 days were actually 14 days because wouldn't you know day 12 landed on a Sunday and then day 13 landed on Memorial Day. I know, I can't even handle it myself! They were consumed with an endless amount of massages, acupuncture and bubble baths. Girl tried to stay relaxed, because all I could do was wait. Not to mention, you can take a home pregnancy test but you will get a false positive because of the HCG injection. So what did I do? I waited the recommended 10 days, hit up the dollar store and swept the shelf from every pregnancy test ever created. Came back home, panicked, panicked some more, let them sit on the counter while I googled one more time what my symptoms would feel like. I actually had a rash all over my arms and that was one of the symptoms if pregnancy. Not to mention, my ovaries felt like two bowling balls. I knew this time was so different but dang it I couldn't bring myself to pee on that stick! Then it hit me.... Seriously Lindsey, rip open that pregnancy test and come on now! What the heck are you waiting for? I did it! I did it six times to be exact. And there they were!! Six positive pregnancy tests! Lined them all up in the order I peed on them, took an endless amount of pictures and then sent them to my mom! Yes my mom! My husband was actually working this day and I needed to tell him in person. Not to mention he would be home any minute now and OMG what was I going to say! I couldn't even believe it! If I told you how many negative pregnancy tests I had received since this journey started you wouldn't believe me! And now to think, I was sitting here with six positive pregnancy tests and my husband was going to walk through the door any minute!
We had two more days pass before going to the doctor for final blood work. I wanted to call into work that day because I knew I would receive a phone call within 4 hours. For real people, get your life because I can't answer this phone call at work. It's the most dramatic phone call EVER. Your phone rings PRIVATE so there's no way not to know who's calling and I don't care if I stare at my phone all day because I am not missing this call! And there it is, the phone call I've been waiting for all morning! Gasp, deep breaths, total freak out mode, HELLO?!
Nurse: Hello Lindsey, this is Cindy with Doctor so and so's office.
Me: Hey Cindy! Please, please tell me we have good news today!
Nurse: Yes ma'am we do! I am happy to say you are pregnant and your levels are exactly where we want them to be for this pregnancy!
Me: **Total sobbing, major ugly girl crying, is this really happening**
Nurse: Congratulations Lindsey we are so happy for you and your husband!
I couldn't even believe it! Every heartache I had ever felt up until this moment had completely vanished from my memory! I was filled with so much joy this time around and it felt amazing! So this is what it feels like? This is what it feels like to finally achieve a pregnancy with the man God created for you! WOW! There is hope! Hope feels so good when it works in your favor! It's hard to see that hope at times, well to be honest it's hard to see that hope most days. I hope our story gives you a little hope and I pray your journey turns out the way ours did! Never give up! God truly does have a plan for you! I pray for your happy ending and I pray for peace to cover you during this difficult time if you are struggling like we did.
May Hope be With You,