Thursday, June 18, 2009

I Am Woman, Hear Me...Talk About Stuff

So, I talked with my doctor the other day. I guess with it being six months after my last surgery and still no pregnancy to speak of, I was trying to find out what we should be doing next, if anything. Not that nothing has been done in the meantime -- I've been taking Clomid since February -- but counting the fact that we thought we had a shot at getting pregnant last year, it's now been fifteen months of trying and no succeeding.

Those of you who know, I don't need to tell you how tough all of this can be emotionally. It is a definite roller coaster ride of hope, anxiety, frustration, anger and sadness. And yet...for some reason we keep trying even though there is a good chance that a couple of weeks later there will be no happy baby news. The toughest part for me has been dealing with the fact that none of this was even an issue until my appendix ruptured. Coming to terms with 'what is now' rather than 'what should have been' is sometimes a long road indeed.

Back to the talk I had with the doctor. He did the surgery six months ago, he cleared the left tube to give us another chance. I wanted to know, really, how good was that tube looking six months ago? I guess I wanted to hear him say one way or the other, 'It's really no good,' or 'I still give you good odds.' He did neither, but he did answer all of my questions and seemed sympathetic enough.

What he told me was that after this month I need to take a break from the Clomid (side effect and risk stuff) for at least a month. Then I can either get another HSG test to find out if the left tube has become blocked again or just keep trying as we've been. What's most likely is that I'll have the test done. I need to know, as much as I dread hearing that the tube might be blocked after all that had to happen to re-open it back in December.

If the tube is blocked, what then? Well, that's when Casey and I move on to Phase II: in vitro fertilization. At this point I still don't like thinking about it. And I know some may not understand this, because it's what can help us get pregnant but again, this is not how it was supposed to be. 'But the end result is a baby, isn't that good enough?' I'm not saying I wouldn't be absolutely thrilled if we went the IVF route and I got pregnant that way. But first of all, going through IVF doesn't guarantee there will even be a baby, and second, it is the kind of expensive that makes me cringe -- and insurance doesn't cover it. Also...if you don't know a whole lot about IVF, read up on it just a bit. There is an enormous amount of preparation/drugs/tests that take place before you even get to the procedure. It's not a couple of visits to the doctor, that's for sure.

So there you have it. That's where we are right now in all of this. Is it not crazy how much women will go through to have a baby? Sometimes I think it is crazy...but then I think, 'But it's a baby, it's an entire human being that's a part of you,' and I'm right back to longing to add to my family and will go to any lengths (you read about the surgery, right?) to do that.

It's not over yet though. I'll hold out hope until it's over.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Minty Miscommunication

This morning Miles was at the kitchen counter getting his star stickers for potty-training. Then he started asking me to 'put choke here' and was pointing at something he couldn't reach at the back of the counter.

" 'Choke'?" I asked, not understanding what he was asking for.

"Yes, choke, choke!" and he kept pointing.

"Show me, point to what you're asking for," I told him. At the same time, I was wondering why he would say the word 'choke' and think it's a thing. Very confusing.

But then I got it. Miles was pointing to a group of peppermints that he and Casey got at their Sonic visit last night. I've never told him specifically, "these are peppermints" -- all I've said when he's asked for them before is that he can't have them because I'm afraid he'll choke on them. So of course, he only knows them as 'choke'. I've laughed several times over that one today. The ideas and words that come from his mind never cease to entertain.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Jonathan's Blog

I recently added a new blog to my list over there in the sidebar. This one is special (okay, they're all special) because it is by our friend Jonathan, and it is a blog he is keeping specifically while he is doing a mission internship in Honduras this summer. He just arrived there yesterday and has already met...well, I'll let him tell you about that. Go check it out at life in hondocolor ii. And by the way, that title is a mixture of a Coldplay song and Honduras. I like it!

Friday, June 05, 2009

Friday Photo Share (new meme? Hmm...)

Casey and I took our anniversary trip a little early this year. We visited St. Louis, MO -- our staple anniversary vacation spot. Last year we went with a group of students and took Miles, but the year before was just us. On that trip in 2007, we saw The Police in concert, saw fireworks at The Arch (should I capitalize 'the'?) and watched the Cardinals win their game. I took so many photos on that trip and never posted one of them.

This year I took just as many photos, and I'll at share at least one of them now...

Our second-to-last morning of the trip was spent eating breakfast (Einstein Bros. Bagels sandwich and Starbucks vanilla latte, YUM) at the base of The Arch, so I had lots of time to get different angles. This was my favorite, but there are others that run a very close second. It seemed as though every few steps I took I found a new shot!

Maybe someday I'll get around to sharing those fireworks-in-the-arch photos. For now, I hope you enjoy this one.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Letter to My (Removed) Appendix

Dear Appendix,

You may be wondering why I am even writing a letter to you. I've never addressed you personally (or any of my other organs, for that matter) and I had you permanently evicted from your residence -- the lower right quadrant of my abdomen -- more than three years ago. So yeah, I can see where you might be confused.

Basically, it's this: I've wasted time being mad at circumstances (and sometimes doctors) for how sick I became after you ruptured when I was 34 weeks pregnant with my baby boy...for the first months of his life that I missed and will never get back...for a wound my body tried to heal for 15 months and couldn't...for physical and emotional pain I never want to experience ever get the picture.

Should I thank you for anything? In a word, no. Any credit for the good that has come out of all of this (and there are days when I have to make myself think of that good) goes to God, because he somehow takes the bad and creates good things from it. And not that you're going to pick up and read a Bible anytime soon, Appendix, but that's found in Romans 8:28.

Now don't go thinking you're off the hook just because I said that good things came out of this. Pain is pain is pain, and there are times when I can do nothing about it. Just have to keep my head up and roll on through -- either that or put my head down and have a good cry. Depends on where I'm at in all of this.

You see, Appendix, I was beginning to deal pretty well with what had happened back in April 2006 (and as with anyone's life that is forever changed by one event, mine is now divided into two categories: 'Before 2006' and 'After 2006'). Last year was looking clearer and brighter than it had in a long while, that was until I found out that all the infection you left in your wake back then had caused problems of which I had been completely unaware until this past November. That was when I was told the news that both of my fallopian tubes were blocked -- one partially, one completely (and surprise -- that one is on the right side!) -- a huge fertility issue most likely caused by one Mr. Grumbly Appendix.

That was the day I realized that all my anger had been misdirected.

Now, don't get me wrong. I am fully aware that anger and all that comes with it are not where my head and heart need to be. But there are some days that find me feeling sad or frustrated over the fact that our lives -- mine and Casey's -- are not as they were supposed to be. There was no 'normal' in the way we spent our first year with our first child, and now thanks to you there may not ever be a second or third child. Everything was in fine working order before you took over and changed the rules of the game. We're now a couple who might, at the end of the year, have to look into some kind of fertility treatment. For that, I think, I should be allowed to feel some anger towards you a couple of days every month when I realize yet again that I am not pregnant. Allow me that, at least!

You know, I started writing this letter because I thought it would be a humorous way to vent my frustrations...but it doesn't feel so funny now. Maybe I need to let the idea of you go as much as I let the physical part of you go a month after my son was born. As much as a person can feel something toward an organ that's been removed from their body, I do hate you, Appendix. You picked a horrible time to make yourself known, and you took as much from me as you possibly could, and nearly cost me my life. But know this: My God's love and peace and joy is and always will be stronger and bigger than anything you could do to me. I may be at a low point today and having moments of wishing I could go back and change all of it, but that won't stay because I have a hope inside me that will never fail.

Sincerely (happy that you'll never be back),

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