Severe Thunderstorm Warning

storm

As I sit here, we’re minutes away from the time that the warning will expire for our sleepy little town, and it will be well past expired by the time I’m done.  Weather radios crackle to life with the warning that a severe storm is headed our way.  “For your protection move to an interior room on the lowest floor of a building” warns the weather app on my phone.  The news can tell you how fast the storm is moving, when it will hit, how long it will stay and how much damage it may inflict before it moves along.  I wish there was something like that for our lives.  A warning system that tells us that there are “severe storms” ahead – sharp curves, steep grades, strong winds, driving rain, hail.  But how many of us would choose different paths if we knew just what God had planned for us?  If we were able to know our afflictions before we faced them, how many of us would beg that it pass us over?  I know Jesus did.  But then He said “Not MY will, but YOURS be done.”

Motherhood Prayer

These last 8 days have been kinda brutal.  The hormone injections have affected me more than I thought they would.  One day, on the way to work I actually had to pull off the interstate just to vomit.  I know, gross – sorry.  But, we had our ultrasound and things are looking promising.  My body is kinda getting the hang of it, I guess, and produced more follicles in this cycle than it did in the other two combined!  As I think about what I’ve put my body through in the last 6 months, I wonder – if I had known how badly the hormones were going to affect me, would I have done it?  And the answer is always a resounding YES.  Through the nausea and hot flashes and headaches and muscle cramps and sheer exhaustion – I’d totally do it again.  To be certain, it’s a gamble.  And as one famliy member has recently made very clear, it’s an investment that – thus far – has had zero return.  I don’t fault that family member for pointing that out.  That point certainly wasn’t lost on me, however.

I know this is hard for everyone – but I’ve found myself retreating.  Retreating into a world that consists of my husband and I.  It’s peaceful here… and everybody knows my name.  The girl that used to be hard to shut up, now goes a couple days without saying much.  When you ask me how I am, I’ll say “fine” but I’ll be thinking many other words…  Broken.  Confused.  Anxious.  Bitter.  Angry.  Empty.  Defeated.  But not one of those words define me.  They are just emotions.  And if I’ve learned anything in this storm, it’s that – like the wind and rain – they change at any moment.

storm is over

“Hurting with Hope”

Not many people know this tidbit of information but my husband is a PK.  Yes, that’s right, a Preacher’s Kid. I’ve heard about the stereotypes for years.  And while there may be some evidence of a slight rebellion, my husband does NOT fit those stereotypes.  I am continually thankful to my Father and Mother in Law for raising my husband into the man he’s become.  To be clear – he has his moments where I’d like to make it a rule that he not be able to pester me for an entire day.  But I have no doubts that he loves me more than he may have ever thought it could be possible (as I’m sure he has the same thoughts about me!).  Last Sunday, as we sat in his father’s congregation, a meditation was given, and one of the phrases stood out so strongly.  The gentleman spoke of how Jesus “hurt with hope” when he was crucified.  Such powerful words.

My mantra these days is “I’m not getting my hopes up.”  So much easier said than done.  After all the hormones I had taken for the IUI that we were unable to have done, I secretly hoped that just MAYBE they’d jiggled something loose and we’d get pregnant naturally.  I woke up on a Sunday morning with a visitor that I DREAD & DESPISE.  I cancelled plans and told friends I wasn’t feeling good.  I remember having the thought “I’m done!  I can’t do this again!  It hurts too bad!”  But we went through the motions.  When you want something you’ve never had, you have to do things you’ve never done.

Our Specialist had given the order that if a good sample was given, it was to be cryogenically frozen so that we would have no surprises come time for our next IUI.  In an attempt to save us some money on gas to get to the lab in Cincinnati again,  we called the lab that the first couple analyses had been done at, only to be told that they don’t freeze at their lab – they referred me to the University of Louisville Embryology Lab.  I called there and spoke with a woman who told me that they would indeed freeze it, were it a good sample, but there were quite a few requirements that would need to be met first.  He would need 4 different blood tests ($$), to sign a consent form and have it witnessed ($) and a referral from our Specialist for cryo & banking.  After that, there was a HEFTY fee for simply freezing it($$$$), and then another for storing it($$$).  On top of that, once it came time to get the sample from UofL to the Institute of Reproductive Health (Dr’s office) in Cincinnati, we would be responsible for the fees incurred from a carrier and having to maintain it at a certain temperature during shipping($$$$$).  SO. MUCH.  WORK.  We soon realized, it would be cheaper to simply spend the gas money and drive to the lab.

piggy bank

 

 

Oftentimes I feel bad for the people at IRH.  I ask a lot of questions.  I can’t help it… inquiring minds want to know!  I plied the woman at the counter with multiple questions!  I learned that it would be MUCH cheaper for them to freeze a sample, were they able to.  I learned that it doesn’t, in fact, take 5 days to get the results of an analysis.  I learned that if I called the Lab about 2 hours after we left that they would be able to give us SOME information – while they couldn’t tell us what the results were, they would be able to tell me how many vials they’d frozen.  My next question was “So, if there are none frozen, will they tell me that?”  She told me the person would probably “not feel comfortable” giving those results and would refer me to contact our physician.  So, I called about one hour and 57 minutes later.  After being on hold for a 5-minute eternity, she came back on the line and said that the Lab was able to freeze 2 vials and that they looked “really good.”  FINALLY!!!  The first piece of good news in this whole thing!  She told me to wait a couple days and contact IRH, make sure the Dr had seen the results and find out where to go from there.  I thanked her, hung up and immediately called the Dr’s office.  (Patience is NOT one of my virtues! Plus, I was less than a week away from starting my cycle and I didn’t want to wait a whole month!)  I left a message and the nurse called me back about a half hour later and I explained that I was close to my cycle and didn’t want to miss it and was there someway the Dr could get the results quickly so I could know what to do?  Somewhat irritated she said they’d received the results, but Dr Scheiber hadn’t seen them yet and we could expect a call within the next couple of days.  We actually received a phone call not even an hour later from the same (somewhat sheepish) nurse saying that Dr Scheiber had reviewed the results and wanted me to start the hormone pills again on my next cycle so we didn’t have to wait.  Thank goodness we seemed to be on the same page as far as urgency!

The hormones affected me MUCH stronger this round.  I was woken abruptly at 1am the first night of hormones with a headache that felt like a brass drum section was practicing in my head.  I went to work that day and the hot flashes DRENCHED me.  Eating?  FUGEHDABODIT!  I was so nauseous that even thinking about food just about made me wretch!  About the third day, I got a big dose of the “mood swings”.  I still remember my husband making a comment to me while I was cooking dinner about an insignificant amount we needed to pay on something and I had a complete meltdown.  Throwing pot holders, yelling, tears – Code 5 Meltdown.  His response?  A hug in the middle of the kitchen.  Perfection.

As the days got closer to when I was supposed to go for the ultrasound, my body was telling me that something was INDEED going on in my ovaries.  While I’d had a small amount of cramping with the last dose, I was having significantly more with this and was almost completely sure I was ovulating.  I called IRH on my way to work that morning and left a message.  I was a nervous wreck.  If I was indeed ovulating, there was such a small window of time that the egg stays alive, I didn’t want to miss it!  I called again as soon as I knew they were open and explained to the girl on the phone what was going on and that our appointment wasn’t until 3:45pm.  She told me that the day looked booked solid, but she would transfer me to the nurses and see what they could do.  When the nurse came on the phone she said “We have an opening at 10:45, but it’s not in Florence, you’ll have to come all the way to Cincinnati. Can you be here?”  It was almost 9am and I still hadn’t told my husband or even made it home yet. That could still take almost a half hour in itself.  “We’ll be there!”  Thankfully, the dr was able to confirm that I wasn’t actually ovulating but the 2 follicles I had produced this time were significantly larger than last time and that was where the cramping was coming from.  He instructed us to give the trigger injection that evening and then be back at 9am on Saturday, July 28th for insemination at 10:30am.  The actual insemination hurt more than I was expecting it to!  I cramped for 5 days afterwards.  But during that time I kept reminding myself that if it worked, it would be worth it, while that little voice in my head reminded me that if it didn’t, the discomfort would pale in comparison.

As of today, we are on day 12 of the Two Week Wait.  It has been the longest two weeks of my LIFE.  My mind has played many tricks on me, even convincing my body of some things.  I never realized I was capable of feeling so many emotions all at once – all conflicting.  As the hours tick by, that feeling that a woman gets a couple days before she starts a cycle has grown stronger and the emotions have gotten closer and closer to the surface.  I feel this IUI cycle has failed and it hurts.  It hurts DEEP.  But those words – they keep resonating.  If Jesus can “hurt with hope” than so can we.  We have to……

hurts