Monday, March 22, 2010

Confessions of a Weary Heart and an Empty Womb

I sat with three friends this weekend laughing and telling stories. It was a perfect 'Girls' Getaway' trip - yummy food, fun shopping, and hilarious conversation. Leave it to me, Debbie Downer, to turn hilarious conversation into tears. My friends sat around the dinner table sharing their childbirth experiences. Sweet stories about how their babies were born; what their husbands did; who was in attendance - the stories touched my heart and then I did the most humiliating thing...I sobbed. I sobbed the 'ugly cry' in the middle of a fun girl's trip at a great restaurant in front of God and everybody! I sobbed. I apologized and then I cried more as I explained that it hit me as they told their stories that I may never have one of those stories to tell. Before you judge me for being self-centered and pathetic, please understand, you can't possibly be harder on me than I am on myself. I was mortified. I had managed to turn their wonderful most life-changing experiences into something about me and my journey. UGH!

I shared this humiliating story with a girlfriend when I got home and she reminded me of Proverbs 13:12, "Hope deferred (put off; prolonged) makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life."

Hope deferred can make a grown woman cry at a dinner table with 3 best girlfriends while having a fabulous time. Hope deferred can make you mad, make you cry, make you cuss. Hope deferred can make you overflow with so many emotions that the best thing you can do is scream and cry and throw things. Hope deferred can make every journal entry sound like an Edgar Allen Poe reflection of your life. Hope deffered can make you pick up the phone, call your best friend and scream, "Why did God forget me?" Hope deferred can make you give up hope altogether. Hope deferred is when you beg people to believe on your behalf cuz you just can't get your hopes up anymore.

So that's where I'm at...hope deferred has made my heart sick. The roller coaster of the build up and then the let down is more than I can bare. I've resigned myself to being numb in the place of the 'build up' period. That way, if there is a 'let down' it won't be such a LONG way down!

I haven't lost my faith. I haven't lost sight of God. I'm just wrestling with the reality of not getting what I've hoped for, prayed for, waited for. I don't know how some women go through years and years of fertility drugs and procedures. I think I would lose what's left of my mind if we did this one more month. We have decided that if we get a negative pregnancy test next week we are going to take some time off. My spirit, mind, and body need a break. Brad is precious. He has been holding me through every second of this and he's ready for a break, too.
So this is where I'm at today. And it's okay. God's still allowing me to 'work out my salvation' (Philippians 2:12) - eventually I'll get it worked out...I'll be with Jesus at that point (LOL), but there will be no greater 'longing fulfilled' than that day!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Our Baby Story - IUI Second Try

I have another date tomorrow with a nurse, stirrups, a long syringe, and a tilt-a-table. Can't say that I'm excited b/c this time I know what to expect - ouch. We are praying for less "discomfort" this time and Brad will be with me holding my white-knuckled fists. (This poor man - if you only knew what he puts up with!)

We are still praying and believing for God's perfect will, but I've got to admit that my spirit has grown weary in the last week. There's a fine line between keeping your feet planted in faith and the dark hollow that is doubt. Brad and I just keep on living - that's all we know to do. We can't stop life while we wait. So we're planning another trip for the summer, paying the bills, going to movies, meeting family for dinner, cleaning house, getting my gray hair bleached out (I love it!), and just living everyday clinging to God's goodness.

Until tomorrow...

Friday, March 12, 2010

Our Baby Story - Post 3: Beautiful Let Down

Two weeks ago we boarded a jet plane and headed for the adult playground in Las Vegas, the entire time wondering, "Did it work? Are we pregnant?" We took in fabulous shows, ate our weight in decadent food, and shopped like super stars. It was the best vacation we have ever taken. We laughed and held hands like we had been married 5 minutes, not 5 years. We rented a yellow Corvette, Brad's dream car and the closest thing he'll ever have to a mistress and we drove to the Hoover Dam. It was, my man (wearing a perm-a-grin), and a sports car. But as much fun as we were having, we were elated to come to the end of our trip so we could find out the next piece of our God-appointed destiny.

The longest day in the history of days was the day we flew home. Our flight was landing home at 2:35pm and my pregnancy test was scheduled at 3:00pm. Who struggles with patience? Obviously, not me! My heart was pounding so fast as we drove to the doctor's office that I had to close my eyes and calm my breathing so as not to hyperventilate. We walked in the office,I rolled up my sleeve, blood was drawn...and then they said they would call me with results in an hour! Did I mention how I'm not so good at waiting? Turns out, neither are my family and friends. My phone blew up as I texted everyone as fast as my thumbs could text letting them all know what we knew...nothing! UGH!

Brad and I drove home in silence. Brad had clients scheduled and I dreaded receiving the results in his absence. He dropped me off at home with a tight hug, a kiss, and instructions to text him the words "CALL ME" when the results came. He didn't want to be working on a client and receive a phone call - whether good news or bad news - and take someone's ear off during a hair cut. Fair enough.

So I sat on the couch in my living room still trying not to hyperventilate. I prayed. I tried not to hyperventilate. I prayed more. And finally the phone rang. I answered and heard the nurse's shaky voice. I said it so she didn't have to, "The pregnancy test was negative." She answered back, "Yes, it was negative." Apparently, none of the nurses wanted to call us to tell us the bad news. She said she didn't understand why God wouldn't give us a baby - well, that made two of us. But I told her that we still trusted God for His perfect timing and His perfect will. I told her that we still believe that He is good. I must have needed to hear it more than she did, because by the end of the conversation I was calm inside and out. No outbursts of tears - not that tears are a sign of not trusting God or anything like that - but in those moments, all was calm in my spirit. We were being given the Divine opportunity to live out loving Him, serving Him, and trusting Him when we didn't get what we prayed for, begged for, pleaded for. We were living what it feels like to trust Him even when we don't get our way. Yuck. It's hard!
I texted Brad and waited for the phone to ring. He called and I shared the news with him. The disappointment dripped from his voice as he said, "I'll be home in a minute" and he was. We hugged and tears fell.

All night the phone calls and texts came. Everyone was feeling the disappointment with us, sharing the burden - the crazy thing is their love and support lessened our burden. God's design for human relationships is so perfect. He wants us to operate as a unified family and when the Church is personified in that way in your life, it makes the difference between life and death. We could have curled in the fetal position and never recovered from this. But God has given us such a rich family to surround us and share the burden and pray and give us His Word to cling to, that we had no choice but to be lifted up. It was incredible. It still is incredible.

The infertility process has a quick turnaround. We found out we weren't pregnant on Thursday night and we began the process again on Monday. My doctor is recommending that we do another round of IUI this month because I have endometriosis and it has returned in the form of a small cyst. As the cyst grows, it will require surgery to be removed. Get this, the cyst is called a "chocolate cyst" - my initial response was, "Well, great! I've eaten so much chocolate that I'm actually growing it!" The hope is that the IUI will hurry the fertilization process along so we can become pregnant before the cyst grows larger and the entire process has to be interrupted for surgery. So I've been on 4 days of Letrozole and one day of Follistim injections - both of these drugs induce follicle (egg) production to increase the chance for pregnancy. We go to the doc on Monday for a songoram that will reveal how many eggs have been produced this month. If the eggs are mature, I will receive the hCG shot to make me ovulate and the IUI will happen Tuesday morning. That blows me away - two pregnancy tests in less than 25 days! If this doesn't work this month, we are going to take a break. My body, mind, and spirit need a rest from the hormones - not to mention my poor husband!

Brad and I laid in bed this week and I read some Psalms over us. This one made the tears fall because it reflects our heart's sincerest outcry:

Psalm 119

169 May my cry come before you, O LORD;
give me understanding according to your word.

170 May my supplication come before you;
deliver me according to your promise.

171 May my lips overflow with praise,
for you teach me your decrees.

172 May my tongue sing of your word,
for all your commands are righteous.

173 May your hand be ready to help me,
for I have chosen your precepts.

174 I long for your salvation, O LORD,
and your law is my delight.

175 Let me live that I may praise you,
and may your laws sustain me.

We love Him because He first loved us. He is so good. In His time and His way, He will bless us with parenthood. Until then, we will cling to, wrestle with, and scream out: "Let me live that I may praise YOU, and may YOUR laws sustain me."