CategoryInfertility

PCOS ramblings

In the future, don’t be surprised if you see more blogging about pcos around here. I’ve been reading more lately about it, and am learning some really interesting things.

The books have been from a variety of sources, but it seems that regardless of where I read, the basic principles are the same. Reduce or eliminate refined, white carbohydrates, and increase vegetables and protein. Exercise.

Some of that is probably obvious, but it’s things that I’m hoping to implement more and more. It’s been almost two months since I lost the baby (I can’t believe it’s next week already) and I still have not cycled again yet. I know that often the first cycle post-miscarriage is strange, but I REALLY do not want to go back to irregular cycles. That’s not just so we can conceive again someday (though that would be great) – it’s more because I feel so much healthier and my pcos is so much more under control when the cycles are regular.

Time will tell, but in the meantime, I’ll be doing what I can to help things along. Right now, I’m right at 9 pounds above my pre-Caleb weight. The first thing I’m going to do is change the diet back. I’ve been dragging my feet because I don’t want to diet; I want to make lifestyle changes. I want the changes to be things I can do for life. But I haven’t done anything because I don’t want to give up the sweets.

Hmm. Maybe that’s the problem right there.

At any rate, I’ll be working hard (again) to get this pcos under control. Just don’t be surprised if you see more blog posts about it in the future.

I am thankful

I am thankful for so many things, but tonight I am thankful for my three children.

I am thankful that God gave me children at all – when I am one who is not “supposed” to have any children at all.

I am thankful that God allowed us to adopt Samuel. I am thankful that He brought that precious little boy into our lives. I listen to Samuel sing – with such an innocence that I am reminded of how I am to come to God. Like a child. Like MY child. I am thankful for my Samuel.

I am thankful for the adoption loss that we experienced. The failed match that we had to walk away from. That failed match, though painful, if allowed to go through, would have kept us from having our sweet Samuel.

I am thankful for my Caleb. My boy who seems to always smile. My child that we weren’t supposed to be able to conceive. My child who is a mirror image of his daddy, yet whose personality is so much like my own.

I am thankful for my third child. The child we lost to miscarriage just two weeks ago. I didn’t blog about it then because I simply didn’t know how. God took that sweet little one Home with Him two weeks ago today. That very early miscarriage opens a new chapter in the book of infertility and loss for me, one I was hoping would never open. I am thankful for the short amount of time I did have with this little one. And when I grieve, God is near. In my quiet time, He reminds me how He sees my pain, how He is my comfort. I am thankful for the peace that He alone can give, spreading His love over my hurting heart like a healing salve. God is good.

So tonight, I am thankful.

Mother's Day

Oh my. Where to start. Today was a bittersweet day.

This was my first Mother’s Day as a mother of two children. It was wonderful. S came running up to me a dozen times at least. “Happy Mudders Day, Mommy!” In many ways, it was a Mother’s Day like those I used to dream of.

But that’s just the thing. Even though my S is four and I have a darling 3-month-old C, it seems somewhat odd how infertility still seems to come to my mind today. Well, I guess it’s really not all that odd.

Our church recently called a new pastor. He and his wife haven’t been at the church that long yet. I was curious how Mother’s Day would be handled. It ended up being pretty much as I expected – all the mothers stood and were given pens and bookmarks, and the sermon was from Proverbs 31 (which was actually more about being a Proverbs 31 woman than about being a mother – it was very good though).

As I stood with the rest of the ladies standing, I couldn’t help but wonder about the women who aren’t mothers today. Not just at my church though – all the women who long to be mothers, but for whatever reason, aren’t. I’ve been there. It hurts. How many of those ladies had to endure comments today like, “You just wait – your time will be soon” or “I wish I didn’t have any kids” or “Don’t you want any kids?” or “Why don’t you have children?”

I have a prayer partner on Hannah’s Prayer. She’s still waiting for God to send her children. She has been so heavy on my heart yesterday and today. I know today is emotional. I know church is hard. I can’t be there physically to give her a hug, but you better believe I’ve been lifting her up in prayer today. Not just today, but especially today.

A couple ladies I know just had recent miscarriages. They have to spend their Mother’s Day knowing their little ones were born straight to Heaven and that they won’t be able to hold their children here on earth.

Why is it that a day that so many celebrate and enjoy can bring pain to so many others? I’ve been on both sides of the fence. I’ve watched from the outside, waiting, desperately longing to become a mother. I’ve celebrated it as a mother, but one who doesn’t know if God will ever send another child. And then there was this year – where I looked completely “normal” to outsiders, as a mom of two boys. But yet I wonder if God will choose to add to our family again or if He considers our family complete as it is. Funny how infertility brings uncertainty like that.

So today, I prayed. I didn’t know what else to do. My heart was so burdened today for all those who are hurting. There were Mother’s Days for me that I just barely made it through – by God’s strength alone. Maybe there was someone praying for me. Today I prayed for God’s strength for those ladies who are walking along that same painful path of infertility that I walked.

As contradictory as it may sound, infertility really can be a blessing.

This was worth the wait

After waiting so long to become a mother, there are moments now that make me look back and say that it was worth the wait. I just had one of those moments.

S and I were eating lunch together. He looked at me and said, “Mommy, I love you. You’re so beautiful.” Then he grinned his biggest grin – with an adorable three-year-old face covered in tomato sauce from his Spanish rice.

How can I not love that? It was a long wait to become a mother; one that at times I thought would never end. But moments like this – they make it well worth it.

God is so good to me!

Pregnancy after infertility

I’ve been mulling this over in my head for weeks, wanting to post, and yet, being unsure of what to really say. Well, ok, more how to put everything down in writing.

One of the many things I’ve learned about infertility is that the pain seems to always be there. Even after seeing part of God’s perfect plan unfold – and seeing exactly why He planned things the way He did – that pain, and especially the memories of infertility are still there.

Looking back, I wouldn’t change the way God had things planned. Not a bit. Through that first year, when we tried Clomid, and I was so desperate to conceive. . .to the anguish of backing out of a potential adoption match a couple years later. . .to adopting a beautiful son. . .watching him grow, and then hearing him pray every night, “Dear Jesus, baby please.”

I love how God used infertility in my life to bring me to Himself. I believe that if we had conceived as easily as I wanted, then I never would have admitted that I was lost, dying, and headed straight for Hell. I am SO thankful that God was merciful enough to bring us through infertility so that I could see that!

And yet. . .there are times when I’m amazed at how having a history of infertility can change your view of things. I’m six months pregnant, and yet I still have the hardest time comprehending that that really is true. I’m in constant amazement. I thought that we would never conceive, and had resigned myself to that, even knowing our God of miracles. Because of that, it seems to make each moment now surreal.

On the other hand, it surprises me when the old emotions surface. A few days ago, one of Stephen’s friends called to tell him that he and his wife were expecting their first baby. They just got married a few months ago. While I’m happy for them, I found myself wishing that it could have been that easy for us.

But how easily I forget that that wasn’t God’s plan. . .

There are times now that I wish I had a t-shirt that I could wear when I take S out with me. “I’m not really fertile – ask me about my journey to motherhood!” After years of averting my eyes at the sight of a pregnant belly, I’m well aware that now I’m quite possibly a visible reminder to others that they don’t have the miracle that they’re still waiting for. And really, that’s one of the reasons that I’m hesitant to blog much about this pregnancy – for fear of hurting those precious women who are still waiting for their babies.

In spite of that though, it constantly amazes me to watch as God’s plan unfolds. Only He knows what’s next, but it sure has been amazing to watch in the process!

Sometimes God sends surprises

Last week our family got an amazing surprise.

After almost six years of infertility, we were stunned to discover that I am pregnant.

I am still amazed. In many ways, it still doesn’t seem real.

We received our diagnosis of PCOS before we ever started trying to conceive. Over time, we tried some fertility procedures, but none of them worked. Eventually, God led us to adopt our precious son. I honestly believe that God’s plan for my life included infertility and adoption so I would see that even a child could not fill that void in my life. I just love how God used my tiny little son to lead me to Himself that July evening in 2004. If He had allowed us to conceive before then, we may never have adopted him. . .and I may never have accepted Christ as my personal Savior. I honestly believe that I would have become so wrapped up in my pregnancy, my child – that I never would have listened to His gentle prodding that I was lost.

After we adopted our son, we eventually started praying for more children. We didn’t care if they came into our family via adoption or birth – we just wanted to grow our family. I’ve had a desire to become pregnant for years, but I gave that desire over to the Lord. I wanted His plan for my life more than I wanted a pregnancy, especially if that pregnancy might keep me from serving Him in the way in which He had intended.

When I met with my doctor last fall, she told me that with my insulin levels the way they were, I would never conceive. She also told me I was well on my way to becoming diabetic. I followed her instructions – not because I was desperate to conceive – but because I am scared to death of becoming diabetic if it can be prevented or delayed. As time went on, I lost weight (64 pounds!) and my cycles returned and became regular. The changes I made were for my overall health, and not with intent to lose tons of weight or to conceive. I had hoped for both of those things eventually, but they weren’t my end goal.

Recently, I realized that many of the symptoms I was having were pregnancy symptoms. I wasn’t sure if they were pregnancy symptoms or just pms, so I decided to wait a little before I did a test. I didn’t want to test too early and chance getting a false negative or wasting a test. When I finally did test, I was shocked when it turned positive.

I went in for a test last week to confirm the two tests I had done at home. They calculated a tentative due date, and scheduled an ultrasound. That’s in two weeks.

I am so thankful. I never thought I’d ever be able to say, “I’m pregnant,” but look what God has done! I’m not sure what God has planned for this little one’s life – but I can’t wait to see. His timing is best!

Mother's Day from an infertile mother's perspective

It’s that time of year again. Mother’s Day is tomorrow. Once again, I find myself waffling between two very different and very opposite viewpoints about the holiday.

I dread Mother’s Day. I know it will probably end up being a nice day with my family (my parents are visiting for a few days), but there is a part of me that, even though I am a mother, still dreads the arrival of Mother’s Day.

We celebrate our 6th anniversary this summer. Six years of no pregnancies, ever. I never imagined it would be this way. When we got married, we expected that children would soon follow. They didn’t. Despite our attempts to conceive, God’s plan included a wait for us.

As each year passed with no children in our family or on the way, I grew to despise Mother’s Day. Everyone knew we wanted children, but attending church on that day became incredibly painful. Mothers were honored, I was not. I wanted children too! Women younger than I was were pregnant or already mothers and were being honored. . .yet I was sitting on the sidelines grieving the absence of children. It became a day of reminders that I didn’t have what I so desperately longed for. It was so easy for everyone else to become mothers, but my doctor’s hopeful words that “it shouldn’t be too hard for you to conceive” seemed empty and unrealistic. I considered skipping church on Mother’s Day several times, but since I was the church pianist, I never actually acted on it.

Eventually we began the process of adoption. Almost nine months later, our son was born. I was thrilled to finally be a mother. After we brought him home from the hospital, we brought him to church the very first chance we could. Interestingly enough, that first service at church was Mother’s Day. What an honor.

I wouldn’t trade that journey – it was through infertility and adopting our son that I finally came to accept Christ as my personal Savior. I had to see that finally having that child I so desperately wanted was not enough to fill that void in my life. I can honestly say I wouldn’t change how God had things planned. It is a great honor to finally be a mother, especially after waiting for it for so long.

But even though I see how God’s plan was the best. . .the old emotions surprise me. I thought we would have another child by now, but once again, God is saying, “Wait.” I don’t know His reasons. I’d probably be lying if I said it didn’t sting a bit, but for the moment, there is peace. He is in control, and He does have a better plan.

Then my thoughts turn to all the other women who are still waiting to become mothers. I wonder how many of them will see me with my son this Sunday, and turn away fighting back tears because I am just another reminder of what they do not have. How many hurting women will be at my church this Sunday, listening to my pastor give out awards to mothers (oldest, the most children, etc.). . .how many women will be sitting in the pews cringing from the pain and considering leaving the service?

So tomorrow, please don’t just assume that everyone is enjoying Mother’s Day. They may not be. If you know someone who has experienced infertility or loss, how about encouraging them tomorrow? Even just a hug would be wonderful for someone whose heart is aching this year.

Doctor visits today

Little man and I both had doctor visits today. They were something else. Poor guy – his ear infection is still not completely gone so the doctor prescribed him more meds to hopefully get it cleared up soon.

For me, I could write a book about the day’s appointments, but I won’t. I’ll spare you (big grin here). When Stephen lost his job last year, I had to go off the meds I take for Insulin Resistance and the PCOS. We just couldn’t afford them. I was frustrated about it, but that was a part of life, so why complain?

At today’s visit, I brought it up to my new doctor (it was my first visit with her) that I needed a refill. She decided that since it had been so long since I had had everything tested (the diabetes testing, the hormone levels, thyroid, etc), that she wanted me to have it all tested again. She wrote me out a prescription for the metformin for now, but after we get bloodwork results back, we’ll re-evaluate whether or not the dose is correct or not. When I was originally diagnosed with the PCOS, surely the doctor ran all the hormone tests, but I honestly do not remember that she did. It is a relief to be having them tested now. After having gone through infertility, one thing I am thankful for is the knowledge I’ve gained. It will be nice to have concrete answers to some of my questions.

The hospital is also supposed to be calling me about some more tests and ultrasounds that I need to have done. Since we do not know my family history because of my adoption, there are some things that the doctor feels would be better if we test now just to be sure. Hopefully they’ll have an appointment for me soon.

The doctor also prescribed me meds for my elbow. It started bothering me a few weeks ago, but I dismissed it thinking that I had slept on it wrong. She seemed to think that it was just inflamed in the joint. I’m hoping that she’s right and that the pain and stiffness will go away.

Well, here I am trying to keep it short and I’ve still written a book! I’m sorry.

God has been teaching me some amazing things about Himself and my walk with Him, and I hope to be able to share about them some time soon. Since I use a borrowed computer here, I don’t like to tie it up for very long at once. Maybe I should journal it by hand and then just type it all in late in the evening when everyone else is watching tv. . .

Packed up the cloth diapers today

Today was such a different day. Although Little man is doing better, he still wasn’t feeling well enough for us to take him to church. Poor little guy – he’s just miserable enough that he doesn’t know what he wants.

Since we need to be moving soon, I figured I’d better get packing. No, we still don’t have a place to live (thanks for asking, Lora!), but I didn’t want to go nuts trying to pack everything all at once when the time does come. I started with things we don’t use as much.

That’s how I happened upon the diapers. As I sat there folding them, I realized that I had no idea how long it had been since we had put Little man in a diaper. Ok, we still use pull-ups at night, but that’s only because I haven’t been able to come up with a better idea for our still potty-training little guy. He just can’t go all night long yet.

Anyways, it was kind of a bittersweet moment packing away those diapers. It’s a great feeling to have him out of diapers now, but at the same time it stings a little because I’m not sure I’m ready for my little man to grow up yet. For a long time I also thought that the diapers would go straight from Little man to his little brother or sister. . .but that is not to be. No little sibling for him yet, at least not that we can see. It was strange to see that dream before me again, and yet, it too was folded up along with the diapers.

It amazes me how hard it is sometimes to let go of our dreams and surrender them to God. I know He knows best, but it’s not easy to just let go and hand our dreams over. I suppose God has a different plan for our little family. But then again, His plans for our family this far have been drastically different than I ever dreamed. Maybe I should hold on to Him and just enjoy the ride, huh?

Don't wish me a happy Mother's Day

Have you noticed lately how commercialized Mother’s Day has become? Have you seen all the commercials and other ads? I have. While I’m plenty sick of commercialism, there’s something else on my mind.

Infertility.

I’ve been there. I still am hoping to conceive someday, even though this summer marks five years of no pregnancies. I love adoption, and I am thankful for it. Because of adoption, I now celebrate Mother’s Day.

But what about all the other ladies dealing with infertility and loss for whom Mother’s Day is nothing but incredible pain? What about the ladies that turn on the television at night to relax, and end up running from the room crying because a commercial about babies is too painful to watch? (For those of you who haven’t experienced infertility, I am not exaggerating. It is that painful) Then there’s the commercials that remind you that, “There’s only three days left to buy Mom a gift for Mother’s Day!”

What about the ladies who long to be a mother, and yet go months and months with no baby? Years go by, and still no children. What about them?

How was your church service this morning? Were mothers honored? Were those precious, hurting ladies acknowledged in any way?

What about the mothers who have become pregnant, only to deliver their children straight to Heaven? Were they acknowledged? Did anyone mention the mamas whose only children were stillborn or miscarried? What about the mothers whose children have died?

Mother’s Day is painful. Too painful for some women.

Some might have attended church in fear of what lay ahead. I’ve been there too. An excruciating comment made by way of public announcement made me dread all future Mother’s Day services. That comment cut deep. To the bone, even. While I hold no hard feelings toward the one who made the comment, I do find it hard to forget. I will always wonder why I was singled out as being barren that day. The next Mother’s Day, I almost stayed home from church. I was too afraid of what might happen.

How many ladies simply stay away from church on Mother’s Day because they’re not emotionally stable enough to attend without sobbing the entire service?

And what about the ladies who have lost their own mothers? Mother’s Day isn’t always wonderful for them either, especially if the loss is recent. What about the ladies who long to be with their mothers, but just can’t? Whether it be distance, or health, or finances. . .that can make the holiday painful too.

This Mother’s Day, I don’t get to celebrate with my mother. She lives five hours away, and there’s just no way we could go this weekend. We live 12 hours from my husband’s mom. We can’t just take a weekend trip there, either. I miss both my mothers this day – my mom and my mother-in-love.

My grandma is in a nursing home right now, with failing health. Dad’s words to me the other day is that she is “at death’s door.” How painful is Mother’s Day for him today – knowing that this is probably the last time he gets to celebrate Mother’s Day with his mama on this side of Heaven?

So before you just blithely wish every woman you see a Happy Mother’s Day, please think. Don’t forget about the many ladies that have hurting hearts today. . .Pray for them. Love on them. Please help them to have a not-so-painful Mother’s Day today.

(For a great book about dealing with infertility or supporting loved ones going through infertility, check out Hannah’s Hope: Seeking God’s Heart in the Midst of Infertility, Miscarriage and Adoption Loss by Jenni Saake)