Wednesday, September 10, 2014


After a month of failed injectable hormone medications and the decision to suspend formal fertility treatment while I take care of a slipped disk in my back, we felt now was the time to begin our adoption paperwork.

We have felt God pulling us to explore adoption for awhile now, but we are not people that are good at focusing on more than one thing at a time. While enduring transvaginal ultrasounds 3 times a week and injections in my stomach daily, I knew I could not focus on adoption paperwork as well. Both take their toll emotionally, and a person can really only handle so much.

Well, we sent in for the paperwork to complete before we begin our home study meetings. (As a fellow blogger put it, we are "paper pregnant"). As someone who immigrated to this country two years ago and dealt with the mountain of paperwork that came with that, I thought I would be somewhat prepared for the paperwork that would come with adoption.

Well, I wasn't. We received the package on Monday and I had a chance to peruse the package before my husband got home from work. Instantly, I felt overwhelmed. There is a medical to get, fingerprints to obtain and literally 20 questions to answer (anything from why we want to adopt to how we handle stress to our relationship with our parents).

As someone who suffers from infertility, these questions just really stung. The cynical side of me thinks, "If only I could just get pregnant on my own, I wouldn't have to meet with a social worker who will deem us able to have a child." I understand, however, that they need to protect these children and no one would want anything bad to happen to children who are adopted because the adoptive parents were not fully investigated. But, it hurts. It hurts not to be able to take the easy route when it comes to welcoming a child in our family. But I guess looking back in my life, things rarely happen easily. I got married later in life, moved 12 hours away and switched countries to get married. That seemed daunting at the time and I didn't understand why I had to wait so long to find the right person or why I had to move away to find them. But now, I know why all of that happened and wouldn't change a thing.

Maybe, just maybe, all of this suffering of infertility is so we can find the child God wanted us to have through adoption. I read a blog the other day of a women who adopted her child and was later asked if she wishes she could have had a biological child of her own. The infertile woman in her started to say "Yes, I wish I could have", but then she realized if she would have had a biological child she would not have the child she has through adoption and she can't imagine her life without them. I have a feeling that I will feel the same one day. But for now, I just need to get through all this paperwork!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The thing about Hope....

I have spent a lot of time recently thinking about the concept of hope. We are constantly told to "Hope in the Lord", but I have realized that it is way easier to say than to do so sometimes.

This past month, we were doing the first in a series of last ditch efforts to try to have a child biologically while still researching and praying about adoption. For the first time, because I was followed by ultrasounds throughout my cycle, I knew I had a follicle that was mature and I knew I ovulated because we did so with an HCG shot that makes my body ovulate.

I tried my best not to hold out too much hope. I told myself the statistics are against me. In peri-menopause it is possible to get pregnant but a lot harder. So, I tried to keep my hope at bay. In fact, I often do better to be a negative nelly and just assume it is not going to work. My husband, however, is full of hope. He gets excited and is convinced every month will be THE month.

I find myself trying my best to be a negative nelly but I can't help but let some hope creep in. I start to wonder what month I would deliver if I was pregnant. So, I look it up. I analyze any symptoms I have and more hope creeps in. The problem is all of this hope makes the disappointment that much harder to take.

This weekend, I started a new cycle. The realization that our efforts didn't work was hard. I couldn't help but feel like a fool for letting that hope creep in. "How could I be so stupid" I asked myself.

I had been feeling angry and disappointed all weekend and promised myself I would never hope again. Then, I went to mass. The Gospel reading was about a women who was looking for Jesus to cure her daughter who was tormented by a demon. Jesus dismisses her but she is persistent. Because of her great faith Jesus relents and heals the women's daughter.

Our priests homily hit me right between the eyes. I felt uncomfortable listening as I felt like he had known of my disappointment and doubt this weekend. The homily was totally God speaking to me. There was no doubt.  He talked about how anyone reading this Gospel would think that Jesus was really, really mean. He said you would think that of course if you only read the first half of the story. He said but if you see the rest of the story you will see how Jesus rewarded the women for her great faith and blessed her and her daughter. The priest then asked "How many times do we focus only on the first part of our story? Often times we are disappointed by God but that is because we do not wait to let him finish the story."

I almost burst into tears. I have been so focused on the here and now I can't see how God may be preparing my heart and my life for a future baby (either biological or adopted). Or, he is expecting Jim and I to do many great things without children. So many times in my life I have not understood what God was up to until much, much later. In retrospect however, I could see it plain as day.

I can't help but feel that right now, in the midst of my struggles, I simply cannot see how God is working but it helps to know that he is indeed working in my life and that I can "hope in the Lord" while allowing disappointment to come, knowing that ultimately my hope is to live with God in heaven forever.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes......

**I decided to start this blog mainly for me to use as an outlet for my emotions. If, in the process I can help anyone else, that is a blessing!**

Jim and I have been married for almost two years. I think it is safe to say that on the day of our marriage we were idealistic about what the future would bring. As I told many people we desired to start a family immediately as we were already getting a late start (I was 36 and Jim 42). In my mind, we would have a honeymoon baby and spend those 9 months in joyful anticipation of our new bundle of joy. Instead a month or so went by with no pregnancy. I remember clearly that first month of marriage being a bit late for my period and certain that I was pregnant. I think I must have bought 3 or 4 pregnancy tests to be sure.

Shortly before we got married we learned the Billings Method of Natural Family Planning. We had no intention of using it right away to try to avoid pregnancy but instead would use it to try to get pregnant. We took one class and I charted for about a month before the hectic nature of the wedding planning, moving to the USA and getting married got the better of me. I figured since we weren't trying to avoid pregnancy we would just pay some loose attention to our fertile signs and go with the flow.

After that first month of being late, I was still optimistic we would get pregnant quickly. However, my period decided to go MIA. I knew I wasn't pregnant so I started to worry something was really wrong. I went to my local GP and she ran a blood pregnancy test and told me to take a pregnancy test every week until I got my period. Well, after weeks of still no period, I went to an OBGYN who told me that they don't really do any testing until we had been trying for 6 months to a year. I wanted to scream! I KNEW something was wrong and felt like she was unwilling to help me.

I vowed to find answers so I made an appointment with an endocrinologist as I had read that thyroid issues can cause a lack of periods. I went and the endocrinologist did a full panel of blood work and discovered I had Hashimoto's thyroid yet didn't feel I needed to be medicated even though I knew I did! He suspected I had polycystic ovarian syndrome by my blood work and put me on a drug (metformin) that was supposed to help regulate my insulin. I thought for sure this would be the magic drug I needed. It wasn't as not much changed on it.

I went to a second OBGYN who did more blood work and wanted to refer me to a reproductive endocrinologist. I got the referral papers and the forms I would need to fill out to go there, but I felt that I did not want to be pressured into IVF or IUI which as a Catholic I was morally opposed to. I decided to do an internet search for a Catholic doctor. I was lead to a Catholic practice and chose to see their OBGYN who was Lutheran but extremely pro-life.

Meeting him finally made me believe that all of my symptoms were not in my head. He agreed with the endocrinologists diagnosis of polycystic ovarian syndrome, but felt that I needed to be on a thyroid medication. He also increased my metformin and started me on a drug that was to help me ovulate. I was excited and felt that finally this cocktail of medication is what I was looking for. Unfortunately after three months of this fertility medication I failed to respond at all.

I decided to go a colleague in the same office to officially learn the Creighton Model of Fertility. The doctors in this office are also trained in NaPro Technology which was founded by a Catholic doctor in Omaha. He discovered that by charting using the Creighton model, a lot can be determined by doctors who are trained to interpret the results. After charting awhile and going on some vitamins and progesterone which were prescribed by a NaPro physician I did see a little improvement in my cycles but still no pregnancy. We soon decided after a few months of charting that I would be a good candidate for an Ovarian Wedge Resection. I went for surgery in May of 2014 and felt that this was FINALLY the answer we had been looking for.

Well, again it wasn't. Soon afterward it was obvious my body was not responding as it should have following surgery. Some blood work showed that I was in peri-menopause and that the only other option to try was injectable fertility medication. I am currently doing my first cycle of this.

Throughout this whole process, it has been trying and has produced every emotion possible. Jim and I have been hopeful, sad, happy, devastated etc. I have also struggled with feelings of guilt but through it all we have relied on God and each other and have only gotten closer.

We have recently been praying about adopting a baby and we will soon begin the process to do so. We are excited, nervous, scared, and happy all at the same time. We know that we have a lot of love to give and we feel that God is asking us to open our hearts in a way we may not have anticipated.

I never ever once thought when we got married that we would have this trial so early on. But through it all God has remained faithful to us and we have felt the blessing of His love for us through the kindness and compassion of all who have reached out to us offering prayers, novenas and words of encouragement.

I admit that before I was faced with infertility I never really thought much about it or the emotions that one goes through. It is a situation (much like losing someone close to you, experiencing a traumatic event etc.) that unless you are going through it as well, you cannot truly understand it. What we appreciate more than anything is when people do not try to feel like they have to help us fix our situation but simply walk with us as we go through it. That means more to us than anyone will ever know.