Growing, Learning, and Enjoying Every Part Of It.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

TTC Tuesdays - Week 20

I can't believe I've been blogging about this journey for 20 weeks and that we've been on this ride for 6 months.  Time sure does move quickly.

Today I am on CD23 and I am just now ovulating.  This is the latest I have ovulated since I started monitoring.  I really think that HSG test threw things off. I did some internet research to see if I was the only one. Lo and behold there are tons of women who have had that test who then reported delayed ovulation. weird...but I guess when you are messing around in someone's uterus and tubes, things are bound to be impacted.

Okay, on to the good stuff...

In my previous TTC post, I talked about getting an HSG done and how unpleasant it was. The radiologist tried to give me his interpretation of the images, but we were holding our breaths waiting to hear what my RE had to say.

Well, after looking at the images, my left fallopian tube is blocked. By what, no one knows.  It would take an exploratory surgery to figure that out. I want no parts of another surgery. Even if I did do the surgery to find the problem, I may then need another surgery to fix the problem. No thanks to that route.

Back to my tube. Typically one blocked tube wouldn't make much difference as most women alternate ovulation between both ovaries. Well, over the past several months since being monitored, I have only ovulated from the left ovary. Why? Because some women have bodies that prefer a side and they stick to it and rarely choose the other side for ovulation. Yep, I'm one of those women.

Now there is a chance that the egg released from the left ovary could find its way through the right tube, but the chance isn't high enough for my doctor to think it would work in my case. That combined with my history of fibroids (2 cases in 2.5 years) means our options are narrowing quickly.

So, that leads us to our options.  Exploratory Surgery (or any kind, for that matter) is not an option for me, and my husband supports me on that. The other option is IVF.  That is invitro fertilization.  This is often times a "last resort" for infertile women because it is expensive.  Not to mention there is a lot of poking and monitoring during the process leading up to the procedure.

The cost is not a factor for us; thank God my husband's insurance will cover 90% of the associated costs.  I guess I will have to get over my fear of needles and get through it.

We asked many questions during our appointment last week and we learned a great deal. For starters I asked the doctor if he thought jumping to IVF was too much of a rush. I asked because he seems to be a very thoughtful doctor who wants to try everything before going to something new. I know that I can sometimes be impatient, so I wanted to make sure he was comfortable with us moving to this step.  He told me that given my reproductive issues, he actually thinks this is our best option for conceiving. That made me feel better to know I'm not jumping the gun.

My husband's next question was about the chance of multiples. It turns out that there is a 30% chance of mulitples and a 70% chance of getting pregnant with one. Given my age and the quality of my eggs (thankfully they are good eggs) they would only implant two embryos.  I like the idea that there is a 70% chance one of them will find a cozy spot to implant in my uterus.

The other question was about process and time frame.  It turns out that there are several weeks of preperation for IVF. I will have to start by taking birth control pills (imagine that) along with injectable hormones of some kind.  Oh yeah, we (both of us) also have to go through an orientation before getting started, at which point they will teach me how to give myself shots, among other things.

This is going to be an interesting ride.  I'm glad I can blog about it, though. We aren't telling anyone about it outside of our mothers.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Career Step

Guess What? I made it to the finalist round for the position I blogged about yesterday. There are two other finalists, so I have 33% chance of getting the final offer. I'm confident, excited and thrilled at the prospect of taking the next step.

I'm so very happy that I wasn't disqualified by my zipcode.Thank God for that!

It's not uncommon that in this line of work, finalists are publicly announced, so I went ahead and had a conversation with my boss about my finalist status in case it is published. This wasn't a shock to him as we've had the conversation about me looking outside the organization for a year now. He respects my desire to gain new experiences in othe cities.  He was very encouragining and even offered to call the CM in the prospective City to give a glowing recommendation.

I have to just thank God. Even if I don't end up getting the position, I know that I am favored. God just blesses me continuously and I am so thankful.

So, now every night this week I have to prepare for my interview next week.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Quiet

I've been a bit quiet. I've been busy and had an emotionally draining week, and wasn't ready to put any of it in words.

1. I made it to round one of an interview process for a promotional position on my local government career ladder.  I was called back and told I was one of the strongest candidates (110 applied, 8 made it to first round, they were look for 3 finalists).  However, I was asked if I would be willing to relocate to the City (Southern Dallas Suburb...I currently live in a Northern Dallas Suburb).  I informed them that I could not move until 2016 because I wanted to keep my daughter in her current educational environment through highschool. The City Council of that City, along with the City Manager really wants the person selected to live there. I have a fundamental philosophical difference with that line of thinking. I get that the CM should live in the city, if possible, but a deputy should not be mandated to.  I just hate that those that oversee my chosen profession believe that we can't be professional enough to do our jobs without saying we live there.  Anyway...I was told that if I don't make it to the final round it would only be for my inability to move.  I'm hoping that there is a change of heart, and that I am judged off my skills, experience, and talent and not my zipcode.

2. I got some unpleasant news about my body this week in regards to TTC.  I'll blog about it in detail on Tuesday, but in a nutshell My left fallopian tube is blocked, I seem to only ovulate from my left ovary, and IVF is our best option for conceiving.  The only upsetting part of that was that my tube was blocked.  Why can't my body just be normal?  More on that on Tuesday.

3. My baby got her gpa and class ranking last week and I'm so proud of her. She has a 4.32 gpa and is in the top15% of her class. She is striving to make it to the top 10% and she wants a 4.7 gpa because now her sights are set on Columbia. She has been researching the school and it has cultivated quite an obsession for her. I think she's most fascinated by the idea of living in New York...but who knows. I know she'll go back and forth a million times about where to go, but I'm glad that her ambitions remain consistently high.  I'm proud of my teenager! Now if she could only add FAMU to her list of possible schools (sigh).

4. I finished my juicing challenge. I'm sorry I just couldn't post about the same thing everyday. Maybe (MAYBE) I'll do a 30 day recap post. I drank some yummy stuff, and some not so yummy stuff.

5. Mr. RFA is sick with a cold. He acts pretty helpless when sick. Like a baby who needs a bottle constantly. I am praying that he feels better soon before I hurt him or run away from home. lol.

That's all for now.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Lent Lesson #2 - Repost From 2009

I just decided to go back and read some of my posts on the old blog from the 2009 Lent season. The lesson of letting go to grow has been life changing for me. I am so glad I got to read this for the start of this new Lent season....oooh, I'm faithful that big things are going to happen over the next 6 weeks! 

 

Lent Lesson #2



Let go to grow. That’s harder than it sounds, and that’s why it can only be done through faith.

I heard an analogy that resonated with me over the weekend. It was the story of a lone fisherman and a little girl. A little girl and her family went away on a vacation to a little seaside town for a week. Each day the girl would go and talk to an old disgruntled fisherman. Not many people liked him and he didn’t like them either. However, this little girl would go and talk to him everyday, just asking questions about what he does and telling him about her. After a few days the fisherman had warmed up to the girl, and actually looked forward to her visits. One afternoon as he brought up his net to see what he had caught for the day and he noticed a pouch. The pouch was filled with authentic pearls. He had noticed that the little girl had a fake pearl set that she wore, so he decided it would be nice to make a necklace out of the authentic pearls and give it to her.

The next day the girl went to talk to the fisherman and tell him that her family was leaving that evening. The fisherman told her that he had enjoyed talking to her and that he had made something special for her. He showed her the necklace and told her that they were real pearls. He said if you take those off, I’ll put these around your neck. The girl immediately grabbed her fake pearls, almost in tears, and told him that she didn’t want to take off her pearls, and that she loved the pearls she already had and didn’t want to replace them. The fisherman again explained that they were authentic pearls and she should take them. The girl still refused and she left the fisherman and the town and headed back home with her family.

While this was a child who may not have understood the value of the real pearls vs. the fake ones, the story still hit home. I know there have been times that I was unwilling to give up something superficial or fake, for something better; whether it was a relationship, job, better health, etc. It’s that fear of letting go, the suppression of complacency, and the reluctance to submit to faith.

It can always be scary to step outside of our comfort zones, even when it’s toxic or less than what we deserve, or less than what God has for us. Unlike the little girl, many of us realize the value of what’s around the corner versus what’s in our face, and we still choose what’s in our face because we don’t have the faith to let go.

In the midst of my journey, I’m re-learning that it’s great, and even sometimes necessary to let go to grow. Faith is powerful and sometimes scary, but not having faith will block God’s greatest gifts for me. This lesson is one that I know, but one that I have to consciously apply, and I’m happy that I’ve been reminded of it on this journey.

~ Ciao

Lent

Today is the start of lent. I remember back in 2009 lent was one of the most spiritual times in my life. This year, I've decided I want to intentially participate  again.

We have a family meeting once a week. We talk about everything from meal plans for the upcoming week to vacation dreams to our family/household constitution. We discuss our week, and challenges or issues within or outside of the house. We then refer to scripture to guide us through it and arms us in case the same challenge/issue comes around again.

This week we are going to start a workbook together on prayer. I am over the moon excited about this. We will do two chapter a week and come together and have a discussion and bible study on it. I can't wait to see how Alyssa's prayer style develops and grows, and mine to for that matter.

I am also giving up sweets for lent. I think this will help me get back on track as far as limiting sweets in a major way. So...bye bye sugar.

I plan to spend this time doing alot of praying, reflecting, and simply talking to God. Not asking so many questions like I did back in 2009, but moreso just talking to him.

Are you participating in Lent?

TTC Tuesdays - Week 18

Hola!

I'm currently on CD10, and my monitor hasn't registered me as being in the high fertility range yet.  The high reading flutuates, so I'm not concerned about that.

Yesterday, Tuesday, I had to go in for a hysterosalpingogram (referred to as an HSG in fertility world). Here is how webmd explains it:

A hysterosalpingogram is an X-ray of the uterus and fallopian tubes which allows visualization of the inside of the uterus and tubes. The picture will reveal any abnormalities of the uterus as well as tubal problems such as blockage and dilation (hydrosalpinx).
If the tubes are not blocked by scar tissue or adhesions, the dye will flow into the abdominal cavity. This is a good sign but it does not guarantee that the tubes will function normally. It does give a rough estimate of the quality of the tubal structure and the status of the tubal lining. Some cases where the tubes appear to be blocked where they join the uterus, may in fact be normal. Often blockage at this location may be due to spasm of the opening from the uterus into the tube or from accumulated debris and mucus blocking the opening.

Over the phone, I was told that the actual procedure would take about 15 minutes to complete. I was also told that some patients complain of pain, while others don't feel a thing. I, like most people, don't like pain. Especially not pain associated with my insides.

The procedure ended up taking close to an hour to complete. What the description above doesn't tell you is that they first "wash" cervix, which felt twingy and uncomfortable for me. Then they insert a tube with a balloon on the end. Once inside they inflate the balloon, which was painfaul for me. This was done to me 3 or 4 times because my cervix was tilted to the right, and the dye wasn't making its way through my left tube to their liking. There were lots of commands to twist, tilt, relax, etc.  There was even a moment when a second radiologist had to come into the room to give guidance on what to do next.

The whole while Mr. RFA and I were asking questions that they couldn't or wouldn't answer.  We got alot of vague answers, or "...everything is ok, it's just that we are having a hard time getting the images we need." 

The final balloon insertion consisted of them going much higher into the cervix and inflating their balloon, which brought instant tears to my eyes. It felt like a mix of labor and period pains.

Finally it was all over.  The dye never did go through my left tube, but it did go through the right side.  After I got dressed, the radiologist came back to talk to us. He said both tubes and my uterus looked great, they just couldn't get me in a good position, given my cervix tilt, to get the dye to go through the left side. According to him ,much of it kept running back out.

Now we are in the waiting period to hear what my actual doctor has to say about the images. The waiting period also includes waiting to hear what our next steps are...another round of IUI or something else as a result of what the images revealed.

I was joking with my husband yesterday as we were driving home that once our first baby gets here, we must be super nice to him/her because we are working hard to make sure they one day exist.  He agreed, lol.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Things

I really appreciate the kind words AND actions by some of you yesterday.  I gave myself all of Monday and some of Tuesday to be sad, and now I'm back to reality. I'm standing in faith.  Not just that, I've thanked God and will continue to thank Him for not allowing us to conceive in January. He knows way more than I do, and if He doesn't think it is the right time, then I know he is either protecting or preparing us. Either way, I'm grateful.  It's easier to see that when I get out of my emotions and turn to the promises of God.

So, we will be back on the horse this month, trying some more. And, when the time comes, I will rejoice loudly :).

Again, thank you all for your support. I don't talk about trying to conceive with anyone other than my husband and the blog, so to read kind words and to see sweet acts really do warm my heart.

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As I'm still meditating on Ecclesiates 3: 1-8, I'm trying to apply this to every area of my life, not just TTC. Right now I think it's safe to say that I don't enjoy anything about my job other than my assistant. She is a gem in a sea of chaos. About every third day I think about putting in my two week notice. I have tried and continue to try to find some peace in this place. I try to understand that I am here for a reason, and that I need to fulfill that reason before I move on. I'm lost, though.

I'm not motivated here anymore. I've never thought I needed someone to "like" me, but in a sense I do. My work is an extension of me, and if I don't feel like my work is valued, I'm unhappy. 

I've tried to stop complaining about this to my husband, and I think I only bring it up every couple of weeks, but he can see that it is impacting me. 

I just can't walk away without having something else lined up. It must be the messages of my granny that were drilled into me for so many years. "Don't leave a job before you have another one. You won't be pissin' nobody off, but yo'self."

The time will come, and my season here will end. I am trying to rest in that promise.
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I brought on an intern for my Event Planning Firm.  She started this week, and she is already doing a great job.  She has a great proactive attitude.  And, I love the internship program I've developed. I am making sure she walks away learning some tangible skills.

This business is bringing me great joy.

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One of my goals for this year and life going forward is to really give attention to the relationships I value and to move away from those that I don't. I've made steps to do that with my mother. I've also moved away from one person that I don't think is genuine. Moving away hasn't been difficult at all.

I'm also trying to give attention to my rekindled frienship. It feels a bit weird, though.  She recently mailed me a hand written letter that said she looked forward to us re-learning each other. That seemed weird to me because we only stopped communication for 4.5 months. Anyway, I do love her and I'm hopeful that our relationship will return to what it was.

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I need one more picture to finish my new vision board. It was amazing how God worked and saw that I accomplished everything on my other one. Amazing!

That's all for now. An updated juicing post is coming soon. I have been drinking some yummy concoctions!



Tuesday, February 5, 2013

TTC Tuesdays - Week 17

 
Today (written on Monday) we found out that our first round of IUI was unsuccessful. I don't want to be, but I am terribly sad.  I'm trying my best to choose happiness right now, but I'm failing.  I'm trying to lean on the wisdom of these scriptures...I'm just going to keep reciting and believing. I must remain faithful, and so I will. This sadness is temporary. The time for more children will come when God sees fit.
 
 
Ecclesiastes 3:1 - 8 (NIV)
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.