Lord, I Need You

Earlier last week, we had made our decision and I will be having surgery again on February 27, one month from today. Dr. D. will be checking my tubes and, if blocked, hopefully, unblocking them again; taking intrauterine cultures; and checking for a recurrence of endometriosis. I also decided, after a few long emails with Sew, some reading, and a good conversation with my FCP to ask to have my Synthroid prescription changed to Armour.

So now, we wait. Certainly we will make good use of this cycle, in hopes that surgery can be cancelled, but with the realization that it is unlikely.

I'm struggling to move forward with this emotionally. The news that my endometrium is not thickening the way it should and that my estradiol is sub-optimal post-peak has me very unsettled. Are we conceiving but with implantation failure? Do we have babies in heaven? I'm almost hoping for the news of re-blocked tubes. But then, if they are re-blocked, our clock is truly ticking as we have agreed that unless I have pain or other symptoms (other than IF) we would most likely not pursue a third surgery (we know better than to say never) which means that we will have an 18-month window to work with. And if there is infection? I don't even know that I can really complete that thought.

I realize how full of unproductive, circular thoughts that paragraph is, but it is where I am right now. My heart and mind are swirling through them faster than I can keep up.

And then there is this:

The other day while running errands, The Man and I were talking and he shared that his co-worker whose wife just had their first baby had this to say about fatherhood: "I had never really fallen in love until I became a dad."

As I glanced a sideways look at The Man, I saw the tears in his eyes.

I saw the sadness.

I saw all of my own emotions reflected back from his eyes.

I saw the questions of why? and how much longer? and never?

I saw the hurt.

The fear.

The hint of anger.

And the tears.

The tears that he so quickly blinked away, trying to be strong for me, as always.

Then there was silence and a change of topic.

Sometimes it is just too much.

But to give in to the "too much" is just not an option. To not let The Man experience what it means to fall in love with his child. To never fall in love with The Man as The Daddy.

I've said to God, from the very beginning, I would accept this road wherever it led, if He would just grant me the grace to walk it. As we prepare to walk around this next bend, unsure of where it leads or what lies ahead, I find myself more scared than ever that it leads to childless life.

I want to be able to accept that. To be able to embrace it and see the good in it. The good that I know is there.

But right now, I'm so scared of it. I don't want to take that turn. I want to sit right here in this place of ignorance and not know.

Because if I sit here, I can cling to my dreams; to my hopes; to my plans.

Lord, whatever lies ahead, I need You.

Lord, I Need You
by Matt Maher

Lord, I come, I confess
Bowing here I find my rest
Without You I fall apart
You're the One that guides my heart

Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

Where sin runs deep Your grace is more
Where grace is found is where You are
And where You are, Lord, I am free
Holiness is Christ in me

Lord I need You, oh, I need You
Ever hour I need You
My own defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

Teach my song to rise to You
When temptation comes my way
And when I cannot stand I'll fall on You
Jesus, You're my hope and stay

Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My own defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You


The Medical Plan - Results

I saw Dr. D. yesterday for my follow-up appointment from all of my blood-work and the Follicular Maturation Series I had done in December. (This is long and full of details, feel free to skip it :)).

The Tests Themselves

Only a couple of my blood-draws were painful, but no major bruising, no bleeding, and no "I need to try agains", so I consider that success!

My FMS went very well, other than my lack of CM which just made things a bit dry and uncomfortable. (I switched from unscented to scented dryer sheets AND was just a bit stressed about this whole thing.) My poor lady parts were feeling a little abused, so much so that I said to The Man one night "I just need a break." BUT, the lady who did my scans. Her name was Rita and she was truly a gift from God. She was so kind, on the first day she said "I've never seen ultrasound orders like this, so I want to be sure I understand them and do the best I can because I know how much of your future depends on this." Um, yea, let's just say I had to resist the urge to give her a huge hug. Each day she let me see the screen and explained what she was seeing. I think she was more excited than I was the day we saw that I had ovulated. I had really prepared myself to hear that I had LUFs, so I was a little, or a lot, shocked that I ovulated. Anyway, I want to get her a thank-you gift for being so kind and sweet (she even squeezed me one day when I needed an earlier appointment than the scheduler could give me). Any suggestions?

I did have a little scare during my insulin/glucose fasting and 2-hour check. I could tell I was getting hungry toward the end, and when I left I was definitely planning what I would eat when I got home. But, it was New Year's Eve and I stopped at the grocery store to pick up a few things. As I got close to the check-out, I was feeling pretty light-headed and woozy. I even dropped my ID and debit card when I tried to get them out of my wallet. I grabbed a Payday and checked out, almost grabbing it when the lady asked if I wanted to keep it out. As I walked to the car, I got the cold sweats and tingly. I ate the Payday and just say there for a few minutes. I started to feel better and decided I could make it home, where I had leftovers to heat up and plenty of cookies if I needed something more. Well, when I got home, Dr. D's office called - to see if I was OK. Apparently my glucose had dropped to 48 at the 2-hour mark - no wonder I felt so bad, as it was probably another 20 minutes after that when I was at the store. I was so grateful they'd called to check on me, as I suspect if they hadn't reached me they would have called The Man and I wouldn't have been left in a bad state too long, had I passed out or anything like that. I was told to take it easy the rest of the day, drink lost of water and eat a good dinner. That was our exact plan for our New Years' celebration, so it worked out well :).

The Results

Follicular Maturation Series
Follicle size and maturation was healthy and "normal". Ovulation looked healthy and "normal."
Lining of endometrium was too thin, not drastically, but enough to be noted and discussed.

My estradiol looked mostly good. It rose and fell normally, with a little bit of concern regarding the post-peak levels. The reason for concern is this can affect implantation.

Numbers were:
CD 9 - 106.8
CD12 - 351.2
CD14 - 171.3 (which was actually P+1, I just didn't realize it at the time b/c of my awful CM and I had my blood drawn before my ultrasound. I suspected because I'd had a temp increase, but I knew I didn't have time for the blood draw after the ultrasound.)
P+3 - 74.2
P+5 - 100.6
P+7 - 112.7
P+9 - 129.2
P+11 - 134.6

My progesterone also looked good.

Numbers were:
P+3 - 6.1
P+5 - 13.9
P+7 - 18.8
P+9 - 15.2
P+11 - 12.5

I didn't ask Dr. D, but has anyone else ever taken femera/chlomid and HCG for a time and had their numbers get and stay better after being off the meds for a time? (That is what seems to have happened.)

LH and FSH were still out of ratio. Dr. D. said they like to see close to 1:1, mine was more like 3:1.

Numbers were:
LH - 14.2
FSH - 5.4

Ok, next up was my thyroid.  TSH was within normal range (.45 - 4.5), but high for the range they like to see when TTC (1 - 2.5).

Numbers were:
TSH: 4.02
Free T4: .95

Finally, insulin/glucose results.

I don't have numbers (it's hard to write as fast as Dr. D talks and I didn't get a written copy of them). But there was no concern with this - it seems going gluten-free and running/exercise are paying off!


Surgery to recheck tubes, to see if endometriosis has recurred, and to take cultures of endometrial lining.

Synthroid - 25 mcg/day

FertileCM and Muccinex to improve mucus quality. (And I will be switching back to unscented dryer sheets for the underwear load of laundry.)

Discussed use of va.g.i.nal estrogen to improve post-peak estradiol and endometrial thickness. Didn't prescribe it, I wonder if she's waiting until after surgery?

She took cultures of my cervix and around my urethra (I'm prone to UTIs) and discussed possibility of prescribing an antibiotic to take daily to prevent UTIs. No prescription yet, waiting for results of cultures.

How I feel about all of this is a whole other post. One I'm not sure I can write just yet, as The Man and I have to make a decision regarding the surgery. If you've made it this far, if you would please say a prayer that we are of one mind in whatever our decision is. I will also say that while I'm grateful for lots of good news, I am overwhelmed by what could potentially lie ahead and I'm trying to take it one day and one decision at a time.


Incredible Things Planned for Us

I read this recently - written by a momma who had just adopted her son after infertility and attempts to adopt in which other families were chosen or birth parents chose to parent rather than place for adoption:
He truly does have incredible plans for us even when it's hard to see.

I want to be clear before I continue, this isn't about this blogger, or her saying the wrong thing, she didn't, not at all. I'm not trying to call anyone out (that's why I'm not linking to it) or to make anyone feel bad. I'm so happy for this lady and her sweet baby, that kind of pure happy that seems so hard to come by as it relates to baby announcements.

This new momma, having her child in her arms, her prayers finally answered in the affirmative, she can now see the path clearly looking back on it. Her words are true, He truly does have incredible plans for us, even when it's hard to see. So many of you who have gone on to become parents have said similar words, no less true than these.

In the days of treatments and filling out adoption paperwork and waiting, we see the next step on the staircase, but we do not know if a baby awaits us at the top. It is hard to see. Rather than seeing incredible plans, we feel forgotten, left behind, abandoned to our sorrow.

When I read words like this, they sting. As I've said before, not because of the words themselves, but because they are a reminder of my own pain. Though, I've figured something else out, they hurt because they challenge me. Regardless of whether or not I ever hear the words "I love you mommy", I must remember that He does have incredible plans for me. He has them for all of us. It is easy to forget this when AF arrives on Christmas Day or when pregnancy announcements seem to multiply all on their own.

For some of us, these incredible plans will include physical motherhood. For others, it will not. Only He knows the outcome (and I'm guilty of demanding that He show me what ours is...I'll leave it to you to figure out how that's working out for me...). Our task, and what I long for is to be able to see and say and feel it deep within my bones that "He has incredible things planned for me" while I'm on this dark road that I can only see a step or two in front of me, rather than the whole journey. That I might believe and have faith without seeing.

So these words of truth, spoken most often from one who has had their prayers answered in the way they hoped, shine a spotlight not only on my own pain, but on my own lack of faith. On my own inability, or perhaps refusal, to see that He does indeed have incredible things planned for us.

At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known. (1 Corinthians 13:12)

Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed. (John 20:29)