Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Participating in NaNoWriMo..

So maybe I am now showing signs of officially losing my mind with this, but with no thought about it what so ever I signed up for NaNoWriMo. I have never written a novel before, but I often have stories floating around in my head. I have no idea if I will actually meet the 50,000 word "novel" mark. I'm just going to write.

About what? I don't really know. I have lots of thoughts and lots of expriences from my past. I need to just focus on one idea and go from there.

What happens if I fail? Nothing.. then I gave it a shot and put my ideas out there. Nothing wrong with that.

How do I participate? Head to their site and sign on up- http://nanowrimo.org

Why are you doing this? I dunno I'll get back to you on that one.

So why should I participate? Because its fun... I think...

Are you writing about infertility? I don't know. Its going to be a surprise, but since its a big part of my life right now I feel like I will have to touch on it.

Will you share it with us too? Probably. Why not I share everything else with you guys..

November is National Novel Writing Month and here is a surprise- I never wanted to be a dispatcher when I grew up. I always wanted to be a writer. I always wanted to tell stories and put my words on paper. I love the feeling of a pen in my hands and now I live how I feel when I pour my heart out through my fingers and into a keyboard. The nice thing about a blog is that I don't have to be the best writer in the world and its easy to tell my story. Its going to be difficult for me to focus on a single story and tell it wrapping it up with an neat little bow on the end.. but why not give it a whirl.

Why did I never persue being a writer? Because I never had confidence in it. I never thought I could do that. I never thought it was possible.. so this is me making it possible... living out a child hood dream that I abandoned in a world of impossibilities...



Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Lady Bugs, Lyrics, and a Plan

For the record it was a beyond gorgeous day that we were blessed with here in South Jersey for late October. It was one of those windows opened and let the fresh air in kind of days. 

I went to the neck specialist today and for the second time in as many weeks I was told that my stress is adding to- if not causing all together- my pain and muscle spasms. I am honestly feeling a million times better than I was so I have no complaints. I am done with physical therapy, which is really a weight lifted off of my shoulders. Scheduling three additional doctors appointments a week was added stress in and of itself. I'm suppose to continue my stretches, continue stretching, and come back if there is any increase or change in the pain. 

The doctor is an older gentleman who I remembered had been ill during my last appointment. When I walked in I asked him if he was feeling any better. At the end of my appointment he said- "Might I ask how you knew I wasn't feeling well? Its very odd for patients to remember that their doctors aren't well and to ask if they are feeling better." 

Truth is one of the nurses had told me when I went in that he wasn't quiet himself because he was passing kidney stones. I know how painful those can be so I remembered to ask him how he was feeling  It made me feel good to know that me recognizing and remembering that he was in pain and taking a moment to ask him how he was doing made his day. 

The appointment left me feeling refreshed. I ran to the grocery store- which is normally a form of punishment because around here there are not too many stores, they are over crowded, over priced and understaffed. But as I turned the corner I ran into a wonderful friend of ours. He gave me a big hug and then walked the entire store with me as I shopped. It made my day. 

I put my windows down and drove home and this little guy flew in- 
 A little lady bug! It was perfect. Lady bugs are good luck and that left me feeling warm and fuzzy. It also helped for when I came home to more construction and discovered this mess- 


These are photos of our spare room- nursery to be- summer 2012 when we had construction done originally for our leaks we were given colors to chose to repaint the spare bedroom. We chose light shades of green because its to be a nursery and green works for boy or girl. It makes me a bit sad to think that was over a year ago and there is still no baby to put in the nursery. But it also reminds me that God always has a plan and if  there was a baby to put in that nursery right at this moment I would be even more stressed, because baby would be displaced while construction continues. 

Im reminded of this song lyric. Its my new plan on dealing with and handling my stress constructively. 



 I will play this song on repeat when I want to scream. I will take a walk when I want to hide. I will thank the Lord for all the blessings and count them daily instead of wishing for what I don't have. I have myself so stressed out I am officially making myself sick. I don't want to live in physical pain. I need to let some of what I have no control over go and let it be Gods Plan. 

Im 10 days post IUI today. I keep thinking positive and happy thoughts. I am hopeful and feel good. I have my beta on Friday and I hope to not test at home at all. I will either have the best phone call of my life Friday afternoon or another round of disappointment- in which case - cue the song lyrics, a walk, and a glass of vino... 



Monday, October 28, 2013

Remembering Super Storm Sandy

I just wanted to touch briefly on the one year anniversary of Super Storm Sandy. For those of you who don't know we live on the Jersey coast line. We both work in Emergency Medical Services. During the storm we didn't know what we would be confronted with on our home front- but we both went off to work praying that they were saying the worst and the outcome would be much better than anticipated. 

The year previous we were hit with Hurricane Irene which was projected to be much worse than it was. We picked up, cleaned up and moved on easily. We were praying for the same outcome. 

Months before we were hit with a Derecho. We were without power for a week and our area suffered wide spread destruction. Other than the power outage we came out okay. 

But this storm turned out to be so much worse than anyones wildest dreams. Our home came away relatively damage free - but those around us were not so lucky. The damage spread from near and far. It was unfathomable. Icon images were floating in the ocean. Peoples homes were GONE. 

I worked the over night into the day dispatching. I took call after call from people who did not evacuate flood zones and were taking on water at a rapid rate. Time after time I had to tell people help was not on its way. There was no way to send people in due to the salt water and these people were suppose to evacuate. I listened to crews telling me that the boardwalk was floating down major streets. I heard stories of the ocean meeting the bay. 

My heart hurt more and more as the night wore on. What I didn't know was the worst was yet to come. When morning broke and you could see the damage. That's when I about lost it. 

I went home and my husband was sent into work. We had no power so I sat on Facebook and I saw pictures of places where we spend our daily lives- destroyed. I heard friends stories that they lost everything. I cried. I cry now thinking about how I felt when I saw the place we were married was destroyed.  

That's when I knew I wanted to do something for our friends and neighbors who were not as lucky as we were. Who were hurting and needed healing. I had a clothing drive. I had no idea what this clothing drive would turn into. Never in my craziest dreams did I ever think it would become as large as it did. Never did I think we would help and touch lives from near and far. 

We helped countless people. We came together to help our community come back together. I received more donations than my home could even handle. 

My living room was filled to the ceiling with clothes, food, and personal items. Donations poured in from friends and strangers near and far. 

People drove to my house and asked for help. We filled their cars and then more cars would come and drop even more off. 

We filled ambulances to the ceiling. 

When my home couldn't take any more we rented two storage units and filled them to the ceiling. 

When those were full we filled a coworkers garage. 

When that I full I actually had to ask people to stop giving. It was the most insane experience. We were overwhelmed. People helped though and we were able to help people. 

Tears are running down my face thinking of how generous people were. How people came from near and far to help. How people volunteer day after day. How a group of women sat on my living room floor and bagged and stacked pile after pile of donations. 

How amazing the experience was. And how I pray that I never have to go through anything like it again. 

These are just a few of the pictures of the people that came to help. Volunteered their time and lent a hand. I will never forget the way people reacted when we helped clothe their kids. The feeling will never leave me. 

Ambulances filled to the ceiling came to my home for drop offs.


 I was so inspired by people helping people. 

The place we were married. I am beyond thrilled to report that they rebuilt

 Garages filled up fast. 

My friend Patti knitted me hats. 

Friends that didn't live here sent gift cards from across the coast. 



People volunteer countless hours. 

There really was no room left. So many gave. So many more received. 


In times of trial and tribulation I am reminded of how much people give. 


I leave you with a quote from Mr Rogers- 

"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.' To this day, especially in times of 'disaster,' I remember my mother's words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers--so many caring people in this world."


Friday, October 25, 2013

Fears Fueling Faith

This week has left me utterly terrified. 
 
I have seen friends miscarry this week, I have seen friends suffer from Pprom this week, I have seen failed IUI's, failed IVF's, pre-term labors and sick babies. 

This week has not been good to many in the IF community. I can only hope to keep the faith and keep praying for some miracles for so many. 

My prayers are extended to anyone else suffering this week, no matter what it is that is bringing you down - I hope that you find something to help lift you up. 

I am terrified because I watch these women battle for their pregnancies - to even achieve a pregnancy- and then watch as they lose their precious miracles. Not that it isn't as horrible when you haven't struggled to become pregnant and suffer from a tragedy.. its just that it hits home. It scares me. Why is this so common? Will I ever be able to be pregnant in the first place and then once I am pregnant (I still believe this is going to happen for us eventually- I refuse to let me self think otherwise ) will I ever be able to feel comfortable in celebrating my pregnancy without the fear of more loss at the back of my mind? I am just filled with so much fear and I guess I truly won't have the answers to those questions until I am faced with them directly. 

This has been a difficult week for me for other reasons other that being in the midst of a two week wait and watching tragedy unravel around me. This week my Great Aunt was placed on hospice care and given little time to live. I don't know if its easier or harder knowing that someone is going to die. It so difficult to hold a vigilance over them. So hard to come up with the right words to say to someone who knows they are dieing. So hard to be there and be present.. it weighs so very heavy on my heart.. 
 
I am doing my best to push my fears and sadness aside and push my faith to the forefront. I know that when my Aunt Sis dies she will be going home to the Lord. That she will be with her Sister (my Gram) and her brother as well as her husband who has passed before her. She say's she sees them now- and though the doctors say she's hallucinating I am holding faith that she is closer to them now more than ever. I miss my Gram so much and part of me is even jealous that Aunt Sis is going to see her soon. 

Some say that with death brings forth life. I can only hold onto hope that this is true. That with us losing my Aunt Sis a new life can be brought forth and bless our family. I hope and pray that the new life is one that I get to carry..


I did just return from my RE for my day 7 (but really day 6) post IUI progesterone check and ultrasound. 

I won't get my progesterone results unless I call in this afternoon, and honestly if there is anything wrong that something can actually be done about they will call me anyway. I think I am just going to let it be. Why stress myself out over something I have very little control over. Since ovulation was confirmed and I am taking my progesterone religiously twice a day I have no reason to fret that there is something wrong.

My ultrasound revealed that I did release multiple follicles from the right ovary and one from the left ovary. Both ovaries are pretty very enlarged at 15 x 16 cm each. I knew this was coming since I have had a lot of pain and discomfort. I'm officially on lifting and moving restrictions until they go down. I have larger then normal ovaries to begin with due to PCOS - add in ovulation drugs and multiple follicles and its the perfect recipe for large ovaries. The main worry is an ovarian torsion. I will be playing is extra careful and am hopeful that they will go down during the week.

My uterus has an 8mm lining and was Trilaminar. They were hoping to see my lining over 10mm, but 8mm isn't awful so no need to worry myself there either, especially since it was Trilaminar- meaning there was good blood flow and a good play for a little embryo to implant.

All in all things look good. They told me that I can come in next Friday (13 days post IUI) for my Beta. Either someone didn't read that I had my IUI on a Saturday or they are having mercy and decreasing my wait time. I'm also advised not to lift, twist, or push on my lower abdominal area.

Normally I have to wait the two weeks plus a day- that would land me on a Sunday and I would end up having to wait until Monday- aka 16 days post IUI and adding more days to the torture- for my initial Beta. 

I'm excited to get to next Friday. I'm excited to know if this cycle is our cycle. But, I'm also terrified. Part of me wishes I wasn't privy to all the things that could go so very wrong even after you receive that BFP. The other part of me is scared to death that this IUI didn't work and we are going to be moving forward into yet another treatment plan. 

For now I am just patiently waiting. Practicing deep breathing and praying. Hoping and praying that its our turn.

I continue to pray for many of you that are suffering right now- whether its due to loss, tragic medical issues, in the midst of two week waits, praying for embryo's or IVF's and transfers- my heart goes out to all. 

I hope that this coming week brings some good news to this community and I truly hope some miracles are witnessed by all. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Praying for Holly

Holly and Darren at Oh Baby, Baby are 17 weeks pregnant with twins after her 3rd IVF attempt. Originally she was pregnant with triplets and lost one of the babies early on. Please lift Holly, Darren, Brinley and Jude up in prayer. Sometimes there really are no words to say to help comfort someone. 

Praying for a miracle and divine intervention. Praying for Holly and Darren's strength today and always. Praying that Brinley and Jude are born healthy into their families loving arms. 

If you pray too please hold them up in prayer. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

On This Day I Am Thankful

At physical therapy yesterday my therapist told me I need to de-stress my life some. He thinks that the stress is part of the reason my muscles are in spasm. He says I carry my stress in my shoulders and neck. 

His advise? 

He asked me what I do to eliminate stresses in my life. I told him that I write and that's when he told me to write a stress table. He wanted me to put all of my stresses "on the table". Then he wanted me to write one way in which I can control or help relieve the stress from my life.

I don't exactly feel like writing about the stress in my life today. I still may revisit that idea and write my "stress table" out, but instead I want to write about things that I am grateful for. Things that bring me joy instead of going over things that bring me stress and sadness. 

I'm challenging myself to write down 20 things that I am grateful for. Everyone can come up wit 20 things so feel free to join in. In no particular order what-so-ever I give you~

On This Day I Am Thankful

1- My Husband- he is my rock, he is smart and funny and he knows exactly how to lift me up when I feel down. 

2- My Best Friend - who else would watch Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune with me over text messages?  

3- My Family- Mom, Dad, Father in Law, Mother in Law, Brother, and Sister in Law- plus our extended family. They are all amazing and our parents truly are role models for us to look up too. 

4- My Dog- Swish is a mini doxie and he's such a cuddle bug. You always need someone to listen to you and he is the perfect listener- he never talks back

5- My Job- its not always butterflies and roses, but its a job with benefits and a paycheck

6- Our Benefits- They are a pain and I have to fight for what we have, but once I get passed fighting for them what we do have is amazing. Not many people have fertility coverage so for that I am very thankful.

7- Coffee- I don't over do it, but I truly enjoy that 20 minutes in the morning where its just me and my warm cup of coffee

8- Home Owners Insurance- We placed our claim with our insurance and lo and behold they are covering some of the repairs. As far as I am concerned that is a huge win! 

9- My Boss- She goes above and beyond helping me fit in all of my doctors appts and scheduling issues that go along with RE visits and timing issues. 

10- My Physical Therapist, Neck Specialist, and Primary Care MD- all of which have worked together to help my fix my neck. Its still a work in progress, but we're getting there and to be able to move my head is a wonderful thing. 

11- My Part Time Job- There is nothing like having patient contact. At my full time job I don't get to see the people I am helping, but when I get to go on the truck and work as an EMT I feel like I truly am making a difference. My PT job also lets me work as little as I want or as much as I need. 

12- My SDSSCKC Friends- I met this group of women on an online forum years ago and I know that no matter how far apart we are I have a friend in them! 

13- My Gram- I miss her dearly, but I know she is always with me. I talk to her all the time and truly believe that she comes to me in my dreams and comforts me. 

14- My Blanky- I've had this thing for 28 years. Yes I still sleep with my baby blanket -well sort of- my mom placed my baby blanket inside of a quilt she made me. There is nothing warmer or more comforting that my blanky.

15- My Temporary Ceiling- I will be much happier when they install a new one, but I am so glad that they put a temp ceiling up in the bathroom. Yesterday morning my bathroom was about 30 degrees and with temperatures projected to dip even further by the weekend I am so very grateful for the temp ceiling. 

16- My Blog Friends- I have become so close with many of you. I rely on you all for your words of wisdom and advise and for your abilities to commiserate with me when it comes to grief felt due  to infertility.   

17- My Nurses at the RE- There really are some amazing nurses there. They truly have hearts of gold and I know they are cheering for us. 

18- Anyone who have ever lent me a shoulder and had no idea what I was talking about, but did it anyway. This goes out to my friends who don't know much about IF, but continue to ask me about my cycles. Those that always check in on me and those that are rooting and cheering for us on the sidelines. 

19- My Cousin M- who has offered to donate her frozen embryos if need be later down the line. She has also offered up a shoulder and advice and opened her door to listen to me at any time.

20- My Health- yea I have some issues and I can't get pregnant easily, but all in all I am a healthy women who isn't fighting cancer or debilitating disease. How can I not be thankful for that blessing. 


Monday, October 21, 2013

Happy ICLW~ They Won't Give Me a Flu Shot..

Good Morning and thanks for taking time to stop on by if you are from ICLW. To catch you up if you either haven't been here in awhile or are new here. 

I am Kasey- I am 28 and I have PCOS

DH is Rob- He is 38 and he's good to go

Together we have been trying for 3yrs. 

This weekend was our 6th- and final, though that is subject to change depending on my mood- IUI attempt. Not that we are giving up, just rather going to be taking a break from continuous treatments to detox my body and my mind. Together we are exhausted. My clinic would like us to move forward with IVF if IUI 6 doesn't work. This is a choice we don't take lightly and so we will take the holiday's off to make that decision if IUI 6 is a bust.

So in other news- at my job we have to fill out a form to receive our annual Flu Shots. I work in a hospital system and at times with high risk patients. I would love to have a Flu Shot to protect, not only me, but my family. So anywho- I filled out my form with the medications I was taking and I am now denied my annual Flu Shot, because I am taking medications associated with pregnancy. 

Except I am not pregnant. 

Yippee. It doesn't matter though, because once your form is filled out and the verdict is read you are done-zo until next year. 



I'm annoyed. To say the least. I'll have to call my doctors office and see if they will give me a flu shot or go to CVS. Either way there should be a clause on the annual Flu Shot form for those of us that are taking medications to become pregnant, but aren't. 

 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Snapshot Sunday- Daddy's Girl

I have been praying a lot lately. For the obvious and then there are some prayers that are not so obvious. Every day my prayers include a prayer that my Daddy gets to be a Pop Pop. That I get to give him that true joy. My Daddy isn't the picture of health. I can only pray that he stays with us long enough to be a Pop Pop. My Daddy is a funny guy who would do anything for his family. He has seen so much tragedy in his life. He will make a wonderful Pop Pop. I can almost picture the face he will make when I get to tell him he's gonna be a Pop Pop. Lord I hope I get to see that face. 
Butterfly Kisses
My Father in Law is equally not the picture of health. My husband looks up to him so much. He is full of love. I include him in my prayers every night. I can only hope that God lets us bless both of these men with the gift of being a Pop Pop. 



Saturday, October 19, 2013

IUI 6

Everything seemed to go well today- DH had 32 million motile post wash. IUI was at about 09:30am. I felt ovulation pain and a lot of cramping all morning. Other than that things were fine. 

The lake that is next to my house- its most relaxing this time of year... 


By the time we got home I was exhausted. Still am in fact. It is official that if this cycle doesn't work I will be taking a break. My body is tired, my mind is tired, my poor hubby is tired. If this isn't it then its time to nap for an indefinite amount of time. 

I'm praying for a lot of my bloggy friends who had egg retrievals  IUIs, FET's, and consults today. I hope that your mind is strong and your body cooperates. I hope your doctors are wise and steady. I hope that October 19th is truly a lucky day for us all. 

Praying hard. Letting Jesus take the wheel and resting <3 

Friday, October 18, 2013

IUI 6 ~ TOMORROW What in the What..

I just got home from the RE with some crazy news.. my IUI is going to be tomorrow- cycle day 11. 

This is the earliest my eggs have ever matured....ever.  

My lining was 6mm- which is kinda junk, especially since last cycle it was 14mm, but last cycle also drug on and on and I took many more doses of Menopur. Last cycle also failed- so 14mm lining isn't all that anyway- maybe 6mm is. 

6mm isn't god awful. 6mm is just fine. Just fine. 

Right Ovary- 21mm, 18mm, 14mm, and 13mm
Left Ovary- 18mm <~~ look who was hiding in there all along! 

I was so surprised. Not just cause the left ovary had a follicle growing in there all along, but I really wasn't thinking tomorrow. Its wasn't even on my radar at all. I knew things were moving along well this cycle, and everyone was growing and I was praying to see someone hit 20mm today at this appointment, but I truly wasn't expecting it to really happen. 

I just took my Ovidrel shot, and we go tomorrow morning at 7:30 am to have my IUI in the Marlton office- I had to call out of work. 

I was hoping to find someone to cover this shift so I could go meet up with Charity at The Word Of A Nerd, but God had other plans for me tomorrow. I'm sorry I won't be meeting you tomorrow Charity, but I'm praying so hard that when we do get the chance to meet up again its because this day was planned by the Lord for other things.. 

As I was driving home from the RE Carrie Underwood's Jesus Take the Wheel came onto my radio. 

Jesus Take the Wheel - if you have never heard it click here and listen to it. I am positive you will be able to relate. 

                                             "Jesus Take The Wheel"

She was driving last Friday on her way to Cincinnati
On a snow white Christmas Eve
Going home to see her Mama and her Daddy with the baby in the backseat
Fifty miles to go and she was running low on faith and gasoline
It'd been a long hard year

She had a lot on her mind and she didn't pay attention
She was going way too fast
Before she knew it she was spinning on a thin black sheet of glass
She saw both their lives flash before her eyes
She didn't even have time to cry
She was so scared
She threw her hands up in the air

Jesus take the wheel
Take it from my hands
Cause I can't do this on my own
I'm letting go
So give me one more chance
Save me from this road I'm on
Jesus take the wheel

It was still getting colder when she made it to the shoulder
And the car came to a stop
She cried when she saw that baby in the backseat sleeping like a rock
And for the first time in a long time
She bowed her head to pray
She said I'm sorry for the way
I've been living my life
I know I've got to change
So from now on tonight

Jesus take the wheel
Take it from my hands
Cause I can't do this on my own
I'm letting go
So give me one more chance
Save me from this road I'm on
Oh, Jesus take the wheel

Oh, I'm letting go
So give me one more chance
Save me from this road I'm on
From this road I'm on
Jesus take the wheel

Oh, take it, take it from me.
Oh, wow, ohhhhh.


As soon as this song came on I promptly burst into tears. Happy tears. I'm one of those people that tend to think that everything happens for a reason. Some reasons we can't ever really explain or we don't fully understand, but I know that every choice I have ever made and every path I either chose to follow or chose to ignore, all of the mountains and obstacles I have climbed over and overcome- they are all leading to making my life what it is and what it is meant to be, and making me who I am and who I am suppose to be. Its all part of a bigger plan- the bigger picture. 

I guess what I am saying is- maybe there are reasons that I don't know yet as to why we were never able to get pregnant on our own. Maybe there is a reason that IUI's 1,2,3,4, & 5 did not work. A reason that we have waited 3 years and maybe- just maybe its for this to be our chance. Some of these follicles to be our baby(ies). A reason we have waited. 

Almost all of my friends were pregnant this this year together and maybe we were waiting- maybe so that our pregnancy would be our own. So that our pregnancy would happen exactly as God has always planned.. I can't help but let my mind wander to expected due dates, maternity photos, and the such. Its not easy to let it wander that far, because if there is anything I have learned -nothing is guaranteed  but if I don't let myself wander then I feel like I am dooming things before we hit start. I chose hope, I chose to let my mind wander, I chose those happy thoughts.. and I know not everyone will agree with that and that is okay, because this is how I chose to handle this cycle... our cycle.. 

I don't know if this cycle will work, but I have to keep the faith that there really is a reason for all this. There really is good stuff coming our way. I have to hope that this is the start of good news.. 

I can so relate to this song- 

"Fifty miles to go and she was running low on faith and gasoline
It'd been a long hard year"

Sometimes we ask why God? Why?! And our faith runs low. Im not asking that. Im just saying that I am ready. We are ready. No why's here today. 

It really had been a long hard year. The hardest of our married lives, but we have learned to come together and we have learned what giving 100% of ourselves to one another means and seen what it looks like.. 

                                        "Jesus take the wheel
Take it from my hands
Cause I can't do this on my own
I'm letting go
So give me one more chance
Save me from this road I'm on
Jesus take the wheel"

So Jesus take the wheel. We can't do this on our own. There is still a miracle that needs to take place. So while my body is ready- we need Jesus to take control- take the wheel and give us our miracle. 

I have to let go of the control. We can do everything right- eat right, sleep enough, hydrate well, take our medications on time, have wonderful follicles, great lining, spectacular sperm counts- but without that miracle- without Jesus taking the wheel- it just won't be. 

(source)

So my prayer is for strength and peace. To know that whatever happens is Your will. You are ultimately in charge and all of this waiting is building us to be better parents. 

All of our challenges this year, while they have left us feeling bruised -both figuratively and literally- are uniting us closer in our marriage. Our financial struggles have taught us to appreciate the little things more and taught me how to really stretch the dollars that we are blessed with. The leaks and water damage in our home have taught me more about patience than I ever thought I would be able to understand. All of the friendships that we have garnered threw our various struggles have taught us about love- the power and strength of love. All of these struggles have renewed my faith and taught me to pray stronger and harder than ever. So I am praying now- for our miracle. For our turn. Our time.

Jesus take the wheel... because we can't do this on our own.... 


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Ripping Out the Ceiling

And it begins.... this really was a beautiful bathroom. You can see the dark wood- its the water damage and stains..

This…. This used to be my beautiful “By the Sea” bathroom.. now you can see the sea if you look out and through the giant hole in the ceiling. This is just the beginning of what is going to prove to be more work than originally planned. Isn’t that how it always is though? Once you rip something open there is always more trouble hiding below- or in our case- above the surface.
Rob has decided to contact our insurance adjuster again. Since it’s an entirely new issue than that which we have previously submitted for in the past we are praying that they will assist us with some of the costly repairs.  If not it doesn’t hurt to try.
Maybe I will wind up pregnant and the spare bedroom (the room I refuse to call a nursery) will be covered for a new paint job. The water seems to have followed the pipes and into the walls of the spare bedroom.
A girl can dream right?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Construction, My Pup, and a Glass of Pinot Grigio

Construction- or deconstruction rather, begins on our home today. They will be ripping our bathroom ceiling down to see just how bad this round of water damage really is. If you’re the praying type- if you wouldn’t mind taking a moment to please pray with us that there is no mold damage on top of the water damage. If you don’t pray and would like to invent a no mold dance please do and share it with me too – no doubt I will be doing the no mold dance at my desk at work all day long. Mold damage requires abatement – which is not cheap and there is also the health aspect. None of this I want to deal with. This will be the third go around with water damage due to flooding and leaks at this home and I am praying that we caught this one prior to mold being a factor. I will post some pictures of our ceiling tomorrow for sure.

I just finished at the RE office my estrogen levels actually went up for a change- which is normally a struggle for my body at this point in my cycle- I went from a level of 50 to a level of 181. I am still spotting – which is insane for me. I normally only bleed for four days at the very most- I’m entering day eight...I’m not too concerned since my lining last cycle was a whopping 14mm, hopefully the bleeding stops very soon though. My lining is currently at 6mm –which considering it still has time to get better, and I’m still bleeding, is very good news. My left ovary is continuing to be not only lazy, but difficult. No follicles grew –all are still less than 10mm- and my ovary is currently behind my uterus which makes it difficult to access during ultra sound and harder to view (read more uncomfortable and more pressure for Kasey.) My right ovary continues to be a champ though- 4 follicles are growing- 16mm, 13mm, 11mm and 11mm- which is amazing and brought tears to my eyes because it has been a true battle to get a follicle over 10mm at this point in my cycle. This is all wonderful news and I go back on Friday to see where we are- I am hoping to see a 20mm on Friday...I mean why not shoot for the stars? I will continue with 225 IU Menopur and .25 Dex- this dose really seem to be working without continually adjusting and changing the medications and that is helping with my stress level as well. So yay! Go IUI 6!! Go right ovary!!

In totally unrelated- but super happy news- I took Swishy, our mini doxie and our "handsome little man" (we fully admit to being dorks and spoiling this little guy rotten ) to the vet yesterday for his yearly shots and wellness checkup. I just received a call that he is super healthy and has no parasites or sickies! Yay for a healthy pup! My Mother in Law will be at our home today and I am sure she is going to bring him her home cooked cookies for him and spoil him to pieces!


Sir Swish-A-Lish not wanting to get out from bed this morning!


I also want to share how truly amazing my BFF ‘L’ is. She really is amazing. We’ve been best friends since we could walk. We went to the same pre-K program and went to school side by side our entire lives. L is beautiful and smart and amazing and I really am so truly lucky. She and I do have a hard time spending time together during the school year due to our insane schedules, but we managed to get together on Monday and partake in a few margaritas, some lunch, and some shopping. –Thank you Columbus Day for something! While she can’t offer me lots of advice on the TTC adventure because has yet to deal with any of these issues she is always ready with a ready ear to listen to whatever I am going through. She always offers words of support and love as we navigate this journey. She’s such a wonderful rock for me. I guess what I am trying to say is I am beyond grateful for her.

On Monday she gave me a small gift bag with some cookies, chocolate, and a bottle of my favorite wine. I mean the girl really does know the way to help heal my heart. There was a card with it that included the verse Matthew 11:28- "Come to me all you who are weary and I will give you rest." It meant so much to receive this small gift. It means so much to have someone there to remind me to stay faithful, hopeful, and graceful no matter what life throws at me. She also reminds me that we are never alone on this journey. Not to say I don’t have other people to lean on during the rough stuff, but there is truly nothing like a girl’s best friend. Thank you L. I love you to the moon and back and am so happy that God gave me you as a best friend!



I’m so thankful for so many people that have leant me advice, a prayer, or an ear during all of this, but having your best friend acknowledge all the junk in your life with a warm wish and a prayer means so much. I don’t know how I will ever repay everyone that has leant me their love during our trials – the only way I know is to continue to be here for anyone that needs us during their trials.

I truly hope that today brings you good news and rest if you are weary. Sending out my love and prayers that today is a good day for you too <3

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

100%

I just want to take a moment and let all of my friends, family, and blog friends know that not only today, but everyday I think of you. I will be lighting my candles and saying some prayers for each and every one of you.

Today- October 15th – is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness day. The month of October is widely known for Breast Cancer Awareness- which is certainly super important- but little mention is made that it is also Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. If you have ever been affected by a loss my heart goes out to you- not just today, or this month, but every day. You are always in my thoughts and I am always praying for your comfort, your strength, and you inner peace.






My husband and I have been having a tumultuous journey this year. 2013 has not been nice to us so far. Things have been so very far from easy. If you were to picture us canoeing as a team down the river- passing by the beautiful trees, hitting their peak of color change here in the North East, or watching the birds and nature around us - but instead we can’t focus on the beauty that surrounds us because we are attempting to traverse the white water rapids that are directly in front of us. We’re getting good at traversing the rough waters though and we are starting to be able to look around just enough to realize that despite the hard stuff that we are going through- there is still all that beauty around us. It doesn’t go away just because we are not looking at it. Sometimes you have to remind one another to look up and take it in.

When we got married my Pastor said that many couples will tell us during our marriage that we need to have a 50/50 relationship. Give and get. But, he didn’t want us to look at our marriage like that. Pastor Murray wanted us to always remember that no matter what our marriage is a 100% commitment- always. Not just when it’s easy to give all of yourself. Not just when you’re passing through the river and looking at the beauty, but give 100% when you’re falling out of the canoe and sucking in the water too. That’s what I am trying to embody during all of this stuff that is trying to beat us down. 100%... always.

My husband was let go from his job in June- he interviewed that week for a new job- and just this past week they have told my husband that they are not interested in him. They have drug him on for the passed four month. They built his hopes up and t hen they just knocked him down. It’s a big blow to his self esteem. I think the wind is knocked out of his sails and I can completely understand feeling like this uphill battle just keeps getting steeper. He needs me now more than ever before. He needs 100% because frankly 50% just won’t suffice.

It’s been hard on us financially too, but that’s not the only backlash of him not having full time employment. Since he lost his job I have had to take the insurance over in my name. Once we switched the insurance I started receiving bills for deductible after deductible totaling over $5000 dollars in just four months. I have been fighting for the benefits that we are suppose to have and am happy to report that I believe that battle is over- but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t drained us any less.

During these four months we have had three more failed IUI’s plus a natural cycle that failed as well. I don’t have to explain to you all what that can do to a persons spirit. I confront how I feel here often, but my husband doesn’t share our journey with anyone really- he holds onto it all and I know that it has him down as well.

During Hurricane Irene, which was two years ago-we had a leak in our home which caused water damage- and then mold damage – our walls were ripped out, our floors, our ceilings- it was six months of destruction and then finally our home was fixed – or so we thought. We flooded again after Super Storm Sandy. More water damage. More repairs. More stress. Even more heartache.

Well guess what- after all of that this week our area was struck by a Nor’easter and wham our roof is leaking again. Repairs are expected to be between $1500-$3000 dollars and take an unknown amount of time… and that is before they rip the floors apart again and we get a new sliding glass door….

This is just the tip of the tough stuff we have been dealing with. This week I took some time to go through our wedding pictures and remind myself of our sermon. Remind myself of our promises to one another- remind myself to give 100% and cheer Rob on despite the raging waters. Despite all the heartache and the pain, and despite the leaky ceilings and water damage we have to just keep cheering, keep the faith, keep praying and keep rowing our canoe down the river despite missing paddles or rapids that try to overthrow us.

Together- and only together- will we be able to overcome all the bad.

Yesterday it was "take your pants off Monday.." aka Columbus Day..

I went to the RE and will continue forward with 225 IU Menopur and .25 Dex daily and be seen again on Wednesday morning. I had a 4mm lining- but I was still bleeding so the real check will be my next ultrasound when, hopefully I am no longer bleeding. Right ovary had 11, 9, and 8 mm follicles –which were really good since last cycle is took almost a week to get me to 10mm so this cycle is already showing more promise. The left ovary had all less than 10mm and nothing that they measured. I’m continuing to pray that the 6th cycle is the charm, and not think one iota about any other cycles. I’m putting my faith in this one and only when it doesn’t turn out will I turn my focus towards the future.

I also went to my ob/gyn for my annual wellness visit. These visits are always a major stressor for me since this marks my anniversary of bad pap smears and cancer scares. This also marks 3 years of us TTC. It’s amazing how 3 years can feel simultaneously so very long and yet so very fast at the same time. This appointment last year was when we began our testing for our RE. My ob/gyn was very sweet. His wife and he underwent many years of trying- 9 to be exact- which took my breath away as he shared his story. He didn’t become a father until he was into his 50’s and his wife was 42 and then 47 for their children. He told me to never lose the faith. I’m glad he shared that with me.

After two appointments in a row of removing my pants I went to PT when I walked in and wanted to take my pants off.. But refrained. PT is going well and my neck is feeling better every single day. I’m hopeful that after a few more weeks I will be all better. Since I am going through 3 times a wekk PT I am not doing accupuncture this cycle. It is just added stress to try to work that into an already tight schedule. Thanks for all the prayers and well wishes, I truly am feeling much better.

I guess the lesson I really want to leave you with today is to give 100% of yourself in your marriage. Stop thinking of it like a 50/50 deal and a barter system and put all of your love and strength into it. Some days I do want to break down and not be strong, but I know that’s not going to help anything. I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t looking forward towards the new year- and hopefully new beginnings and happier times- but at the same time I have to remember to look up and around at all the beauty and blessings that surround us daily.

Hope you can take a moment out today to look around at the beauty and count the blessings in your life.. Take a moment to pray for those that are remembering those who have gone too soon and light a candle in remembrance tonight. Take a moment to pray for your spouses- that no matter what the struggle is your going to get through it together as a team..

Life wasn’t meant to be easy- it was meant to be a journey.. Bumps and all..

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Snap Shot Sunday~ Think Happy Thoughts

I was searching around on my friend Pinterest and found this. Sometimes when we aren't exactly in our happy places we need to just think happy thoughts and force ourselves there..

So that's what I am doing.. thinking happy thoughts :)

Friday, October 11, 2013

Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head

On Wednesday afternoon I started to spot…just like I knew I was going too. I contacted my RN triage line and told them I was spotting. They STILL wanted me to come in for a Beta on Thursday, since it wasn’t yet "full flow." I refused and told her I really did not require another blood test to prove that I wasn’t pregnant. IUI 5 was officially a bust and I wasn’t going to have someone call and reiterate that to me again. I got it… it was crystal clear..

By Thursday it was full flow and I contacted the RN triage line yet again. This time I spoke to my favorite nurse –who I think is part angel and also was on the verge of tears while we were talking. She was so sweet and knew that Saturday’s are more difficult for me to come in on due to my schedule, so she arranged for my appointment for my Day 3 ultrasound and blood work to be today instead.

As soon as I walked in my favorite angel RN saw me and asked me to come into the private meeting room with her. I promptly burst into tears. I don’t know why really- I mean I am sad, but this is nothing new and not my first go round on the merry-go-round of failed cycles. I think it was her genuine concern for me and she told me when she was writing progress notes yesterday she screamed out in frustration for me. She hugged me while I sobbed- it shows true concern and care when you let someone snot up your shoulder and its not even 8am yet. I love her. I’m so thankful for her. If your reading this somehow Mary- you really are a saint.

I went for my blood work and the phlebotomist hugged me too. She said she was angry for me and angry with me. It felt good to acknowledge that I am angry. Mad at no one particular- but everyone and the universe all at once.

Mad at the baby bump that stood in front of me while I waited for coffee. Mad that I didn’t have a baby bump to gently caress. Mad at the rain and the wind that poured down. Mad at work. Mad at life. Just plain mad. I’m a mad girl today and I am frustrated and guess what- its okay for me to feel like that sometimes.

Then I went in for my ultra sound and Dr. S walked in. I was prepared for his typical "it’s going to work" speech. Instead I saw a different side of him. He was mad too and upset for me and also determined. He told me its okay to feel however I need to feel right now- but then I need to find some positivity and find some happy. My RN basically said the same thing. She told me to stay hopeful, stay positive, because being mad and sad and angry are all okay for now- but then I need to go to my happy place and find my positivity.

Last night I was driving home from work- it was pouring. The kind of rain where no matter how fast the windshield wipers go you still can’t see through the rain. The fog was rising off the street and it was dark and the air was brisk. It was eerie and windy and tree limbs were down everywhere. And I realized that the picture before me is exactly how I felt inside too. Stormy and mad and angry and I want to break things and knock down tree limbs- but then the sun is going to rise again… it hasn’t risen here in South Jersey yet- were in the middle of a 5 day nor’easter and I’m hopeful my stormy mood lifts before the actual storms that are hitting us here end.

I prayed and I cried on my way home. I prayed for my husband to find his hope and his happy again. He’s so down in the dumps and defeated. He needs something to come through- something to go our way for a change. I prayed for our leaky ceiling- that we find the source of the leak and that it stops raining in my bathroom (any leak experts reading?? Lol). I prayed for all of my friends here that are struggling- those with embryos that need a boost, those who have just gone through losses, those struggling with their losses, those whose cycles ended, those whose cycles never began… all those waiting and waiting and waiting.. . I prayed for all of you. I know that you all often pull and pray for me too. I prayed that this cycle brings us closer to being parents and I cried – ugly cried- that we deserve to be parents -that our parents do deserve to be grandparents. Damint universe let us all show you!! Then I prayed for my in law’s health and my parent’s health- that they can all stay well enough to be grandparents. That they can weather this storm however long its going to take. I prayed for strength and wisdom and I prayed for comfort.

Then I ugly cried the rest of the way home- wiping tears away as they slid down my cheeks mimicking my windshield wipers as they tirelessly cleared my windshield for me. It wasn’t pretty- my eyes still feel puffy and raw.. But it was effective. I put it all out there. I feel raw (and puffy lol).. I feel open and refreshed.. I feel renewed..



I felt a bit better this morning other than the ugly crying in the doctors office, but that was brought on by half being happy that so many people care for me and half being angry and sad still. I haven’t found my happy just yet. I know it’s out there though.

Today’s ultra sound reveals- my lining is 7mm, my left ovary has 8 follicles under 10mm and my right ovary has 10 under 10mm. The biggest releif is that I am cyst free!

My period really hasn’t been as awful as I anticipated (this isn’t a challenge mother nature!). I really thought it was going to be much worse so I am thankful for that.

I will start Menopur at 225 IU tonight with my Dexamethasone .25 daily. As I already knew this will be my last Menopur cycle before a break and consult for other options…opinions.. and maybe other doctors. My husband and I have agreed to go to the consult with this practice and see what their next steps are because it is close, in network, and we do have a bond with some of the people there. After that consult (if we come to that) we will then decide together what our next steps will be..

I am not going to think about any of that right now because I’m practicing internally chanting –"6th times the charm!!!!6th time is the FREAKING CHARM!!!!" – Over and over and over until I really believe it- until ever fiber of my being believes it, because really there is nothing wrong with believing it..
The worst that happens is the 6th times not the really the charm and there is something else out there that will be the charm – something else that is meant to be—someone else’s path that we have yet to have crossed… until the 6th time ISNT the charm then in my mind it IS. It will be… I will lose my voice chanting it and I will repeat it until I do believe it..

I return on Monday to check on things. I also have my annual well appointment with my ob/gyn on Monday.

Yay- Happy Columbus Day! Two doctor’s appointments in a row where I get to take off my pantalones.

Boom.

Okay off to find my happy. How do you find your happy when its gloomy outside and you feel uber gloomy inside too?

Anyone got a corny joke to share?

I really truly hope that wherever you are or whatever you are going through you have found your happy too and that the sun is shining in your neck of the woods.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The 2 Week Wait Is Over

Today marks 14 days post IUI... aka the 2 week wait is up.

I've had negative HPT's the last few days, so it wasn't exactly a surprise that it was negative again today. I called my RN triage line at my clinic and unlike last cycle where they just requested I just stop the progesterone and call them on cycle day 1, this cycle they still want me to come in for a Beta. 

Which I think is crap. Why so you can call me while I am at work tomorrow and tell me I am not pregnant? 

She told me HPT's aren't always reliable. I call bs personally. I've been super crampy and Im pretty sure the second I stop the progesterone that 14mm lining is going to expel itself from my body. 

Its not going to be pretty. 


For real. 

I don't know what to do. I know that my clinic is only going to do 1 more IUI prior to recommending IVF, but we still don't have any understanding of why these IUI's haven't worked so far. 

I want more testing. I want some kind of answer. I really feel like these IUIs have become just a shot in the dark. Perfect lining, mature eggs, and a wonderful sperm count and still nothing. Something just isn't happening the way it should. 

Something is still wrong.

I feel like if I do go the IVF route I want to go to a larger medical center where I know they have had a lot of success. I do have an appointment for a meeting with that Center in November. There are issues involving this other clinic- such as its location... 

I think my plan for this moment (which is totally subject to change) is to have IUI 6 at my closer, more convenient clinic. I'm pretty sure they plan on doing another Menopur cycle, and I have a lot of Menopur left from my last cycle. I will pray that IUI 6 is the magic one and that no further choices need to be made- 

However if they do I think I may take November and December completely off of all things fertility. Detox my body, not take a single HPT, OPK, or BBT.  Focus only my acupuncture and TCM and then meet with the new doctor in January instead. Focus on my mental and physical health. Exercise. 

Its no secret that these treatments do a number on our bodies and our minds. I feel exhausted and defeated. I feel bloated and puffy. 

I feel sad. 

I may have posted this picture before- I can't remember- but its my motto to get through all of this- 


On top of all of the infertility issues I've been dealing with an issue with my neck. For about six weeks I have been in spasm and experiencing pain, weakness, stiffness, numbness and tingling. Its been a real joy. 

Yesterday I finally visited a specialist for cervical (neck) pain. I had a ton of x-rays (which included a very strange discussion about getting x-rays at 13 days post IUI and then explaining what an IUI is to a X-ray tech...ultimately I knew I was not pregnant that morning and I knew the chances of my actually being pregnant were so small and I knew I had to get these x-rays done in order to get treatment so I had them done.) I then had two cortisone shots into my neck and shoulder- which hurt like crazy. I start physical therapy today. 

I am praying for some relief in the pain. 

Which brings me to my next issue- insurance. Apparently PT is not covered and I will have to pay a 500$ deductible for treatment. That's right folks, my insurance will cover IVF and IUI BUT you injure your neck and PT is out. Its insane to me.. 

So today I go to PT to see what kinda cash were talking about. DH is still not working full time, we are getting by and not struggling, but we don't need anything else on top of it. 

Included in my insurance whoas- remember Pam from Horizon who said all my insurance issues would be fixed? 

Well thats a bunch of hooey. I have a pile of EOBs here that say otherwise. So on top of trying to sort out PT I need to continue to battle for my fertility treatment too. 

Hence why I think it may be the best to just wait until the new year to start with a new doctor. This new doctor comes very well recommended  however its about an hour further away and thats going to be a scheduling nightmare that I am going to have to work out and okay with both my coworkers and my boss. 

So all in all I am not pregnant today. -BOO

IUI 5 would seem to be a bust, but they are making me get a Beta anyway- BOO

I have cervical myofascial pain, but cant get PT covered by my insurance company- BOO

My insurance company is on my very last nerve- BOO

I have big, major choices to make ahead- BOO

I'm not going to let is all get to me though. I just have to try to stay positive- especially since DH is not the epitome of happy-go-lucky right now. I have to do my best to keep up beat, because depression and sadness really won't make anything any better. I will not accept defeat- not yet. 

Woo-sah. Just keep swimming. Chin up buttercup.. and all those other cliche sayings...