One thing this has all taught my husband and I, is to rely on and trust in God more than we ever have. Even though, don’t get me wrong, I have asked Him “Why?” over and over and over, I’m always brought back to peace in trusting in His plan. I know He has a special plan for us and I know He is going to bless us with a beautiful baby that will be more appreciated and loved than you could ever imagine!
It was October 2016 and our next cycle started off with basically the same thing we did last time, but we are adding in an intrauterine insemination. An (IUI) is a fertility treatment that involves placing sperm inside a woman's uterus to facilitate fertilization. The goal of IUI is to increase the number of sperm that reach the fallopian tubes and subsequently increase the chance of fertilization.
I went to the doctor on insemination day and unfortunately my doctor was out of town that day. It was a little weird not having him to do the IUI because that meant another dude up in my “hoohaa”. Just being real people. Luckily, focusing on the main goal of hopefully getting pregnant helped me get through it. It’s amazing how all the sudden you don’t have a problem with it as long as they help make this happen! After the procedure, I had to lie there for ten minutes and THEN I had two more weeks to wait to see if the procedure had worked. Two more weeks of waiting and wondering with so many thoughts going back and forth in your mind is so draining. But that doesn’t even compare to the night leading up to going into the doctor’s office to get your blood test to see if you are actually pregnant! I felt like I just had to be pregnant this time, but in other ways I didn’t. My brain was always playing tricks on me.
11-1-16 - (Results Day)
I set my alarm very early so I could get to the doctor’s office first thing so I would get the results back the same day. Luckily, my husband didn’t have to fly out for work and would be home that day for the news. I had knots in my stomach all day so I wanted to distract myself in any way that I could. I did some landscaping, walked the dog, had lunch with my husband and did anything around the house that needed to be done. Boy was my house clean that day!
It seemed like the longest day ever. It was around 2:30 and I figured I was going to be getting the news any minute and nothing came. The last hour of waiting was torture. Finally!!!! I see the office number come up on my phone around 3:30 and my stomach turns, is this good news or bad news? I had tried to prepare myself all day for this, but somehow I still let hope win out and I just knew it was happening this time.
The nurse informed me that my blood test was negative and my doctor would be contacting me for further plans. I walked outside where my husband was doing the lawn to let him know the crappy news. He looked at me just as confused as I felt. I immediately wanted to sob, but I didn’t let myself. Sometimes I try to be so tough because I don’t like to cry in front of people. Even when you are strong, sometimes you just have to let it out.
As Mark was talking to me, he embraced me, reminding me and encouraging me of God’s message that we had just heard the previous Sunday about being brave in life’s storms. It was such a perfect message for us at this time in our life. I remember in that moment I was fighting back tears because I didn’t want to completely fall apart during the church service. I know now it was God speaking to me and reminding me to be brave in this storm we are in the midst of.
November 8th 2016 was the start of our next cycle. We started a new and more aggressive treatment plan. It started with Clomid along with three Follistem shots (these really ramp up your follicles insuring you have some good size eggs ready to go), then the Novidril trigger shot, Mark dropping off his sperm, followed by me going in for another IUI. I had to start the progesterone suppositories, two days after my IUI, every night before bed. I am once again in the dreaded two-week wait of hopefully finding out I’m finally going to be pregnant this month. The waiting game, as always, was awful and seemed worse than ever. My mind was constantly analyzing every little thing. My boobs aren't as sore as they were yesterday, does that mean anything? My back kind of hurts, does that mean I'm going to start my period? My stomach has these little tinges from time to time, does that mean there’s an egg implanting?
I was so thankful that part of this waiting period was over. It was Thanksgiving and my sister and her husband were in town staying with us. It really helped distract me and take my mind off of things even if it was only for a few days. Once they left, I had nothing left to distract me and it was like the crazy, hormonally stimulated woman jumped right back into my body and she was crazier than ever.
December 1st. Today has been one of those days. One of those days I can't seem to get my emotions under control. Today is the day that I am suppose to hear the joyous news that we are pregnant and everything we did this month worked! I felt confident after all of my doctor appointments because my body was responding exactly how it needed to from the medication I was taking. My doctor was very happy and reassured me that I was having a great cycle and we were both hoping this was going to be the one.
I was trying to stay as busy as possible so I could keep my mind off of things, but it was always creeping in. It seriously played tricks on my mind and was making me feel like an emotional roller coaster. My head felt like it was going to explode from the constant questions running through it! I thought I'm not really sure how much more of this I can take at the moment. I'm trying to stay positive, but also preparing for the worst, which is a hard combination to balance.
I feel like up until now I have been able to find the humor in a lot of things and at times laugh my way through this process instead of crying or feeling totally down and hopeless. At this point, I'm starting to lose the humor I was once finding in things. I can't be at the end of my rope yet, but knowing there could be a long road still ahead is just an exhausting thought and I'm not sure I have it in me.
I told my husband that if it doesn't happen this month maybe we should take a break because my heart can't handle much more disappointment. He said (in a joking way), "Babe when the going gets tough, the tough get going". I agreed with him in one way because I definitely don't want to waste any more time, but maybe a break to take some pressure off and a reset would be good for the whole process and us? We were still holding out hope that this was our month and we wouldn’t have to worry about that anymore.
I woke up that morning and decided I wanted to take a home pregnancy test so I didn’t feel completely clueless all day. I already knew it was going to feel like the longest day ever waiting on that call. I peed on one of my First Response sticks and after a few minutes it was only one line (which means not pregnant). I was hoping it was just my eyes playing tricks on me and decided to give it a little more time to marinate. Five minutes later, there was still only one line, not even the faintest second line so I threw it in the garbage and accepted it. (Kind of). I told my husband and I could tell he seemed kind of bummed, but didn't fully believe it and wanted to wait for the real call later.
As usual, I went first thing to the doctor to do my blood test. I was really glad that I took that home pregnancy test that morning because it made the day and the waiting not seem near as long as the previous months. I was already prepared for bad news at that point, so I was just busy doing what I needed to do for the day. We both thought if we get the call and end up being pregnant what an amazing surprise! Three o clock rolls around, the nurse calls and once again let me know that it was a negative. Like I said, I had already been preparing for this news all day, so at that point, I was just numb and angry. I didn’t even cry this time; I was so mad. How could I have a perfect cycle and it not work…again!? Why were my body and Mother Nature failing me??
After some thought, my husband and I both decided that we wanted to keep going and go straight into another month of treatment. My period started about an hour after I got the call that I wasn’t pregnant, which I thought was very, very strange. Even though this seemed strange, it meant the faster we were able to get this new cycle under way.
I had to go out of town for work that weekend and I really was not in the mood. Thankfully, it ended up being a great distraction for me. When I got home, it was time to do my regular baseline sonogram to make sure I had no cysts on my ovaries so we could proceed. Well…my right and left ovary had a cyst and my estrogen level was elevated. Guess what? It meant no treatment for Carly this month. I feel like I just kept getting knocked down over and over again.
The only thing we could do was try on our own this month. I was talking with my husband and let him know I was starting to lose faith. I was feeling really down and depressed about it all. I thought, maybe we just need to buy a farm and fill it with animal babies. I wondered, were we meant to be parents, but that didn’t seem to fully make sense because its something we both longed for and desired. I joked with him about needing to find a new fertile wife that could give him children.
He joked back with me, and then reassured me that this was our journey. He said, “no matter what life throws at us, whether its having a kid, IVF, adopting or never having children, as long as we had each other that is everything we need.” I completely agreed. He was even positive about us just trying on our own this month and said, “How cool would it be if we just got pregnant this month?!!” In the pessimistic state I was in, I replied with, “Well, I’m pretty sure that we aren’t going to get pregnant on our own if science can’t help us.” He said something back that I desperately needed to hear. He said, “God is greater than science”. At that moment, I realized that I hadn’t been praying for this in the right way or even praying as much as I needed to be. I really hadn’t been having the faith that God could make a miracle happen for us. I was trying to bargain with God, which is funny because God doesn't need anything from me except for my trust and faith in Him.
I had started to lose hope because it wasn’t happening in the timing that I wanted it in; the timing that I thought it should be happening in. MY timing. I was letting this situation make me really bitter and really angry instead of looking for what God was trying to teach me. It can be so hard to keep the faith when every month that goes by feels like a year and that’s all you can think about. I knew I had to make a change or I was going to drown in my negativity and it was going to take me down.
Instead, I decided that I had to stop and FULLY give this to God. I finally started realizing what it meant all those times I’ve heard people say that when God has you in an uncomfortable or hard situation he is normally using that to teach you something. He wanted me to draw more near to Him and lean on Him. I completely changed my attitude and even started praying differently. Instead of asking “Why me?” or “Pretty, pretty please give me this baby, God!” I just started thanking Him for this journey, for all the other amazing things in our life, for using me for His plan that I might not understand, and for growing our relationship.
Once I made this change, I immediately felt Him giving me peace about it all. It’s pretty incredible when you focus in on Him how you start seeing Him work in you. How could I be bitter and angry when God was making our relationship stronger, my marriage stronger, my faith stronger? It doesn’t get much better than knowing that God is at work in your life. I had fully given this to Him and was praying with a positive heart and mind that He was going to give us the most perfect baby at the perfect time. And hey, if He can part seas, move mountains, heal the blind and give children to the infertile, why not trust that he could do the same for me? So, next starts a month of prayer, trust and trying on our own and we will see what happens.
Coming up next...Part 4!