Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Worst Part

The worst part about the way PCOS treats my body is that every month, my cycle is ridiculously long, so every month, I wonder if it's because I'm pregnant, and every month, I have to live as if I am until I get my period. Which means every month, every single month, I get my hopes up, and, eventually, have them dashed. Every month.

The worst part.

Friday, October 14, 2011


It has been a long time since the last time I posted. I have intended to post, but every time I either felt that I had too much to say, or wasn't sure that I wanted someone to read what I had to say. Today though, I have so much on my mind, I have to share it. Also, I spent some time today searching for Christian encouragement for people dealing with infertility, and it reminded me that I'm doing this not just for myself, but also so that others going through it won't feel so alone.

Today I came into school with puffy and swollen red eyes. Granted, my eyes were already a little swollen and red from my allergies (die, ragweed, die!), but today it's from crying. And every time the puffiness starts to go away, I start to cry again.

The last post I made was about D-Chiro-Inositol. I stayed on it for a month, but didn't have the funds to purchase it again for another few months. I am back on it now. Because I'm back on it, when I felt what I thought was ovulation pain this month, just over two weeks after the beginning of my cycle, I was sure that there was a chance of getting pregnant this month. I got even more excited when, exactly a week after that, I began to experience some breast tenderness. That never happens to me except years ago when I was on the pill.  So that along with some other symptoms (bleeding gums, fatigue, lightheadedness, cramping)  had me convinced that I was actually pregnant. I mean, I was looking at nursery ideas, planning how to tell people, and everything. In addition to that a few people told me they thought I was pregnant also. I took a test on Saturday morning and thought I saw a faint positive. I took another one on Sunday and did not see anything at all. Still, I just felt pregnant, most of the time.

I called my obgyn and she scheduled me for blood work which I had done on Wednesday morning. Between Wednesday and Thursday afternoon, I prayed. And asked others to pray. And pray. I was convinced of a positive result. I prayed and told God that I was going to let go of all of that "Safety Doubt" I keep around to protect my heart, and allow myself to fully believe trusting that if I wasn't pregnant, he would give me the comfort I needed to get through the news.

I called the doctor again yesterday, to see if the results had come in, and left a message. I waited until the end of the day because I knew, good or bad news, I would have a hard time keeping it to myself. On my way home from work the call came. I am not pregnant. Not bursting into tears at those words was difficult, but I managed to schedule an appointment for my yearly before hanging up and sobbing. I still tried to hold it mostly together; I didn't want Steve to feel horrible when he saw me and driving through tears is not always a safe thing to do. That was kind of pointless though because when I saw Steve, I burst into tears, sobbing tears, which I quelled by shoving my face into his armpit (he was laying on the couch).

It's so strange because despite the fact that I now know that I'm not pregnant. I'm still noticing things that feel like symptoms. Or, I'm still thinking things like Well, maybe all of those symptoms were signs of ovulating, just late, and I could still be pregnant by the end of this month. Because, of course, I still haven't actually gotten my period yet and today is day thirty-six.

I know God has a reason for making me wait, and I know He has my best planned for me. And I know that God's best for me does not necessarily mean wonderful things, but rather what will make me keep developing in the women He wants me to be. But I keep speculating. What if God is making me wait because we're going to have financial struggles soon? What if he's making me wait because my child will have major disabilities? What if he's making me wait because I will die in childbirth, and he's giving Steve more time with me? What if he's making me wait to teach me something? What is trying to teach me? How can I learn it faster?  Does he want me to not use any medication/outside help to show that He doesn't need those? Should I start using prescription medication, if we can afford it? Do I need to have more faith each month? Should I stop trying? And I know all of these questions are ridiculous, but I ask them anyway. Over and over again.

I go through periods of truly giving it up to God. Then I "relapse" into questioning Him. It's just so confusing.

And Steve's not very vocal about how he's feeling. I've already made the mistake of assuming that he only cares because I care. So I waiver back and forth between wanting him to know how I'm feeling and not wanting him to feel badly because I am.

And I hate PCOS. Have I mentioned that recently it's started making my hair fall out? My thin to begin with hair? Or the fact that I've realized that my severe dandruff is also a symptom? Or that I've gained weight again? Grr.

So this wasn't a very encouraging post. But it was an honest post. And hopefully the honesty will help someone.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Small Victories

So, I've been on this D-chiro-inositol for twenty days now, and, I think, I have already seen evidence that it is working. After having my last three cycles be between 60 and 90 days long, my last one was 27 days! Yay! A normal cycle! Which hopefully means normal ovulation! Yay!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Thoughts on Zombie Bug, Boys, and Cancer

After school today, a third grader invited me to listen to him read a book he wrote about Zombie Bug. This particular third grade happens to be ADORABLE! He's a very hyper, wiggly little boy who has a heart of gold. Anyway, with his missing front teeth and adorable little boy voice, he read his book about Zombie Bug and Zombie Bug's friend, The Best Person Ever, stopping to show the pictures. I loved every last minute of it. Then I got in the car and cried.

Last weekend my sister and I went over my cousin's house to play games. She has two sons ages eleven and seven. They are loud and hyper and kept jumping in front of the television while we played Scene It. But even when they were at their most obnoxious, I was jealous. I would love to have obnoxious.

This morning I found out that a childhood friend is dying from cancer. She was moved to hospice care today. Like me, she is twenty-five; incredibly young to be going through this. We have spent little to no time together since eighth grade, but I am praying desperately for a miracle for her. She is a single mom of a little boy in first grade who is a student at the school where I teach. Today at the back door, I said hello to him, and he grabbed my head and told me he was an alien eating my brains. My heart aches for him and for her. Cancer is an awful thing.

All these things are weighing on my heart together right now. Even now, I'm looking for a common thread between the three. I thought it was the preciousness of each little boy, and the fact that they make me want not only a child of my own, but a son. But I feel like there is something more here that God wants me to grasp. He is present in all of these situations; a toothless third grade boy excited that the middle school English teacher liked his book, two crazy little hooligans learning to play well with others and having fun doing so, and a precious little man who, despite the turmoil in his life, seems to exude a peace that can only come from God. All four boys are safe, and content, and seem to have no fear about the future. I wish that was something that I could grasp.

Monday, April 18, 2011

New Hope!

Just a quick update about some new things I'm learning about and trying out as I continue to pursue the desires of my heart.

  1. I've started taking potassium iodide which my herbalist tells me will help even out my hormones and make me lose weight. It was take a few months to see a difference, so I'll keep you updated.
  2. I just ordered D-chiro-inositol which is an herbal supplement recommended to me by a friend who has PCOS. She and her daughter have both seen a difference in weight, cycle, and facial hair since they've been on it. If you read the reviews, it sounds quite impressive. Several women say they got pregnant after being on it. The website actually recommends some other supplements to add on also, one of which is Vitex which I've used before; thinking about going back on it. My amazing in-laws are paying for the first two months and my mom wants to pay for the third. I'm excited. Keep me in your prayers as I try this new thing.
  3. At my craft fair on Saturday, I got a free chiropractic adjustment and learned that my hips are apparently "stuck" which doesn't really suprise me (Steve thinks this is why I can't stick my butt out. Men!). But the doctor said this can affect child bearing and possibly have an effect on my fertility. Steve and I both are scheduled for a discounted appointment on Friday (Hopefully this will help with my ridiculous headaches too...currently dealing with my third bad one since Friday). I also won a free massage gift certificate which I am pretty excited about!
Anyway, I thought I'd offer these ideas out there for anyone else who is going through any of this (even just the PCOS without the infertility) and in case anybody reading this is praying for me and wants to know some specifics to pray about (Thanks for those prayers!).

Things have been easier lately, mostly because I've been busy, but this Saturday I was reminded again of how deep this desire for children goes. At my cousin's house, while her sons were being ridiculously obnoxious, all I could think of was how badly I want that!

However, as my mother-in-law reminded me "Today is the day that the Lord has made; I WILL rejoice and be glad in it!"

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spring and Dragons

Spring is difficult this year. First of all, it's such a tease! This Friday, we experienced 70 degree and higher temperatures. It was beautiful. I spent about an hour swinging on our tree swing wearing jeans and short sleeves, reading a book. Saturday and Sunday were cooler, but more like normal spring weather. In fact, I would describe Sunday as the perfect first day of spring. I could hear birds singing, see crocuses blooming, smell damp earth, and the bright yellow sun, shiny emerald grass (because new grass definitely has a shimmer to it), and brilliant blue sky were glorious. The temperature was in the 50's; warmer, but still with a hint of coolness in it. And the sunlight seemed to last forever! I worked for hours in the sunny kitchen, making key lime pie, grading papers, and folding laundry. I couldn't have asked for a better first day of spring.

Then Monday morning happened. I woke up to two inches of wet, slushy snow on the ground. Covering the beautiful green and the indigo crocuses. The incongruity of scraping the snow off of my car while little birds cheeped in the trees was boggling. And my commute to work was not fun. I actually slid right past one of the roads on which I needed to turn. Generally it was a yucky day (except that in the evening Steve surprised me by taking me to dinner and a movie).

By this morning, all of the snow was gone. Just muddy grass left. But according to my Weather Channel app. on my cell phone, there is a Winter Storm Warning in affect until Thursday morning. Great, more snow. I feel like saying, "Hey God, it's not winter anymore; spring has begun! That means no Winter Storm Warnings. Give us a thunderstorm instead!"

That's what I feel like with all of this infertility stuff. Spring has begun in my heart so many times. Every time I've purchased a pregnancy test, every time I though this ultra sound or blood test was the last one, every time I've begun a new herbal supplement, every time I've had a normal length cycle. Then winter dumps another two inches on my lap; a three month cycle, no results from the supplement, another $600 test, another negative pregnancy test.

It's so hard not to be discouraged perpetually. Some days I just want to cry. And to be honest, that's the feeling that usually takes over when I allow myself to think about it. Despair and discouragement. Because that desire and longing is always there, waiting in the background, and any time I have a spare moment to myself it creeps up. Once in a while it's a hopeful feeling, but usually it comes with a reminder that it may be a longing that is never fulfilled.

God always sends me reminders though. Either through scripture I read on my own, a sermon in church, the Word for the Day read over the PA system at school, something I read that seems unrelated, or a friend's blog. This week it came through a friend's blog. 

Kristen's words about raking and smoothing reminded me that God is shaping me through all this. Shaping Steve and me as a couple. Prayerfully, he's shaping us to be better parents, but even if he's not, he's forming us into who He wants us to be.

I know I'm jumping from metaphor to metaphor here, but I'm also reminded of C.S. Lewis's book The Voyage of the Dawn Treader which is my favorite of the series. In it, the character Eustace is turned into a dragon and tries over and over again to change himself back into a boy. He tries to shed his skin, which he can do easily, with almost no pain. He does it over and over again, but nothing changes; he's still a dragon. Until Aslan shows up. Aslan tells Eustace that he must allow Him to make the change. So Aslan takes his huge claw and scratches through Eustaces dragon scales, and this time it HURTS! I think Eustace may even say that it feels like the claw is piercing his heart. When Aslan finishes, Eustace is smaller and tender underneath (still a dragon I think), but Aslan throws him into the water to wash him, and when Eustace arises, he is a boy again! I am reminded that change, real change, is painful, but so worth it.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Waiting Place

Today is Read Across America Day, Dr. Seuss's birthday. Many of my students were out on a field trip today, so we took a break from the normal day to day activities and read some Dr. Suess books. Sure, they're a little too old for it most of the time, but sometimes they need a break from trying to be teenagers.

I read them Oh the Places You'll Go! and was struck by some of the lines in the book. It's funny how when you're going through something like infertility, everything seems to point back to it or make you think of it.
Anyway, the lines that hit me are below. I guess I forgot that some things are inevitable as a grown up, like waiting.

                                        "You can get so confused
                                          That you'll start in to race
                                          Down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
                                          And grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
                                          Headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
                                                                            The Waiting Place...

                                          ...for people just waiting.
                                          Waiting for a train to go
                                          or a bus to come, or a plane to go
                                          or the mail to come, or the rain to go
                                          or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
                                          or waiting around for a Yes or a No
                                          or waiting for their hair to grow.
                                          Everyone is just waiting.

                                          Waiting for the fish to bite
                                          or waiting for wind to fly a kite
                                          or waiting around for Friday night
                                          or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
                                          or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
                                          or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
                                          or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
                                          Everyone is just waiting.

                          That's not for you!

                                        Somehow you'll escape
                                        All that waiting and staying.
                                        You'll find the bright places
                                        Where Boom Bands are playing."

I forget sometimes that waiting is a part of everybody's life. Sometimes I just feel like I've been in a perpetual state of waiting. Waiting for a normal cycle, waiting for test results, waiting for the opportunity to purchase better insurance,  and most of all waiting for a response from God. Scratch that last one. I've gotten many responses from God, most of them being, "Wait," "Trust," and "Pray." It's just not the response I want in the timing I want it.

When it comes down to it, my infertility issues really aren't insurmountable. My husband's infertility issues could have either been a one time deal, or, they could be medically insurmountable. We've chosen to wait on God rather than continuing to pursue medical "fixes," partly out of financial necessity and partly because we felt that was what we should have done in the first place. As soon as I found out that I had PCOS my response was, "Oh, the doctor can put me on clomid or glucophage and everything will be fine; I'll be pregnant by the end of the year." In actuality, our first response should have been to pray not to make a doctor's appointment.

Scripture tells me that when I delight in the Lord, He will give me the desires of my heart. I don't believe that this means that God will give me everything I want, although that's tempting. I believe that if I make the Lord the center of my life, delighting in him, then my desires will align with His desires. That's what I'm praying for right now, that if bearing our own child is not in His plan for me, that He would align my desires with His.

Unfortunately, none of this is easy.