A couple of you in particular have been wondering what the heck is happening at the Hills. Our fertility journey has been anything but private, and yet sometimes it feels weird to type up certain words here on the ‘ol blog. Some still even approach me, wondering if their questions are too invasive. They’re not. We have found it quite therapeutic to discuss what is happening in our lives. It helps with questions like, “When are you going to give that child a sibling?” and when people say “Looks like it’s about time for another one!”. No crap. Tell it to my uterus. It shuts people up real quick when you respond with, “We’d love to have another, but we appear to be infertile.”
Really though, it appears that way. But the situation is not yet hopeless. And if we’re being honest, it never will be. There will always be babies out there needing parents to love them. If we can’t make one of our own, I feel pretty confident that we’ll be able to find one that needs us and much as we need him or her.
In the meantime, there’s been a lot happening. We thought we had another chemical pregnancy about a month ago. In reality, we probably had (several) false positives. After a visit to my OB and some google “research”, I’ve learned that the Target and Walgreens brand pregnancy tests are notorious for looking positive, sometimes even within the 5 minute window. After that, I’m quite sure I should have thrown them away, and instead I stared at them for 15 more minutes wondering what to do as the line turned more and more obvious. I’ve learned that the brands with the pink ink (very technical, I know) are FAR less likely to turn into a false positive and I have no idea why (the blue ink bleeds through, I’m guessing?). Just know that I have now taken many, many tests, which is about as extensive as this scientific study goes. This experience was just as annoying and devastating as you can imagine it was, so I won’t spell it out.
Luckily, right after this, we were headed to our appointment with a brand new specialist. A friend recommended we see her reproductive endocrinologist at Hopkins. He specializes in fertility and he’s the first doctor we’ve seen who has listened when I explained that we DO NOT want to do IVF. Is that so hard to comprehend? Upon his examination, he immediately found a cervical polyp. He removed it and sent it to the lab. He said that that alone could be a barrier to fertility. We were stunned at how simple that was. And don’t ask me how this has been missed at previous exams. Past that, everything seemed normal, and he could see that I had just ovulated. We all decided that the next simple step would be to go on progesterone. Low progesterone is a pretty common fertility issue. My cycles are fairly short, which was reason enough to wonder if I don’t make enough, causing them to end before an egg has had the chance to implant. The progesterone is taken once we’re SURE ovulation has taken place (ironically, if it’s taken too early it prevents it), and until my cycle is finished. We were able to start it right away. I wish he had mentioned that supplementing progesterone can keep your period from arriving. I am now 6 days late and have, obviously, taken gobs of negative tests. I talked to the nurse yesterday who told me that I can stop the progesterone and my period will arrive. Good to know.
Side note: Dear Shady Grove Fertility Clinic: REALLY?! You couldn’t have suggested this last year?! REALLY?!
We will also be scheduling laproscopy soon as well. That will “round out” our fertility testing, as our doctor says. It will look for any adhesions (possible from an appendectomy 20 years ago) and endimetriosis. These things should have been caught by the previous HSG test last summer, but he said they can definitely be missed.
It’s nice to be moving in a good direction, and to feel like we’re doing something (re)productive. ha. What’s not nice, is feeling like this process is taking over everything again. After 2 years of it, I had quit with all of the temperature charting, ovulation testing and such, and it felt good. We packed away the baby stuff and donated a good chunk of it. We turned the “nursery in waiting” into a guest room and office that is truly my happy place. That felt really good! Now that I’m focusing so much energy on conception again, I have to work really hard to keep my perspective. It becomes easy to focus on what we don’t have, which is ridiculous. Last night I couldn’t sleep, so I just sat and watched my newly 4 year old boy sleep. I prayed and prayed for that sweet boy. I thanked God for giving him to me and asked forgiveness for any moment that my wanting turned to resentment. How many dear friends want just one precious child? I can never, ever lose sight of my blessings. Which reminds me of a song that I keep hearing on the radio by Laura Story, called (you guessed it) Blessings. I underlined the line at the end that makes me cry every time.
We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things
‘Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise
We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
And we cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we’d have faith to believe
When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home
It’s not our home
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise