infertility jokes are just not funny

So obviously I’ve been pretty sad lately (as in over the past few days).

But the Irish girl in me (about 1/4 to 1/8 of me… I’m a bit diluted) is fighting hard to find a joke in here.

I think about different conversations I have had or might have, and I try to work in a infertility  joke.

It’s not possible.

Infertility is the most unfunny topic ever.

And even when I think of something that sounds funny to me, I realize that if I say it out loud, I will put everyone else in a bad spot.  You can almost see the panic on peoples’ faces as they think: Laugh? Don’t laugh?  Is it funny?  I don’t know! I don’t know! HELP!

That’s not really fun for anyone.

I guess I’ll just have to honor the Belgian in me: chocolate and beer, please!

bah.

I don’t know what else there is to say about the BFN today.  I was hoping that some elegant words would come to mind, but most of the words that have come to mind have been less than elegant.

Mostly the words are born out of frustration and anger.  Oh, and a ton of sadness.

This month was more difficult than most.  It marked a full year of trying.  Yes, I totally understand that most people try for a year before they think something is wrong and get checked out.  We were just fortunate (or unfortunate?) enough that it was evident that we had a problem on our hands four months in to trying.

For the past eight months I have been on and off of Clomid.  I have been stuck and poked and prodded countless numbers of times.  I am pretty sure I could give myself an ultrasound if the technician were to accidentally pass out.

This is not how I imagined how this process would go.

I know that I am blessed beyond comprehension in so many ways.  I remind myself of that daily when I get sad or upset about this situation.

But this situation just sucks.

BFN

I’ve learned a lot of fertility lingo in the past year.

TTC = trying to conceive

Luteal Phase = time between ovulation and the next menstrual cycle

Trigger Shot = an injection of hormones to trigger ovulation

BFN = Big Freaking Negative pregnancy test

Today was another BFN.

I don’t even know how many BFNs we’ve had in 2009 because I had some weird cycles – 12? 13?

It’s getting old.

great day with the doc

The results are in:

1x 22mm follicle (mature! ready to go! woot!)

1x16mm follicle (ready to go probably tomorrow!)

1x 14mm follicle (will probably go in the next few days)

Praise God!  Please keep praying, we have the IUI tomorrow at 10:30 a.m.

today

Today we have an appointment for a day 14 ultra sound to see if we have a mature follicle or two.  Last week we had one follicle at 12 mm and one at 10 mm.  If they are at 18mm, I will take the trigger shot and we will have IUI tomorrow.

Please pray for us!

More to follow later…

shopping fun with emily

Tonight I went to Dominick’s to pick up about 12 lbs of sweet potatoes, 20 oranges and an ovulation predictor kit.  Yeah, that’s right, an ovulation predictor kit.

Our Dominick’s hasn’t carried an OPK since August.  I’ve complained to them.  I’ve even encouraged them, “Surely this is a high margin product that takes  up relatively little shelf space.  And hey, I’m a sure thing – I will BUY the kits – promise!”

But nothing.

So tonight, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I decided to harass a poor, awkward 16 year old boy, who was probably counting down the minutes to going home and playing Rock Band or blowing 2 hours on YouTube videos.  We’ll call him Ed.  Ed was slowly facing the toothpaste aisle.

Me: Excuse me…

Ed: Yeah?

Me: Hi, do you have any more of the Clear Blue Easy Ovulation Predictor Kits in back?

Ed: Uh… yeah, uh, let me go check in the back.

Ed trudged off to the back room to probably pace back and forth for a while, kick a few large boxes and wonder what he did today to deserve to look for women’s feminine hygiene-type products.   He might have asked a manager back there about it, but probably not.

Then Ed shuffled back down the aisle to me.

Ed: uh, yeah… no… uh … none of those back there.

To Ed, wherever you are, one day you’re going to have to hold your wife’s purse in the mall and it won’t even phase you – you know why?  Cuz I made you go look for an Ovulation Predictor Kit.  Ed, your wife will thank me later 🙂

2.2 miles of therapy

I think running is therapy for me.

It’s me, proving to myself, that I can run.  I can make it each quarter mile further.

Each step is me not caving.

Each step reminds me of the verses in the Bible that say to rejoice in suffering and trials.

Each step reminds me that because I took one step, the next time it will be easier and faster and lighter.

People have said that you run against no one but yourself.

And that’s true.

But you also run for no one but yourself and because God gave us the ability to choose to run.

I run for me and to be closer to God.  Even if I say nothing and He says nothing, it’s sort of like an aligning of me with His Spirit.

I run as fast as I can mentally and physically and emotionally.

Tonight I started crying while I was running, but I kept going.  I ran through the tears and found a good pace and felt better.

I was crying because the thought occurred to me that the saddest and hardest part of what we are going through is the thought that if we don’t have children, who will tell future generations how much Frank and I loved eachother?  Who will tell future generations the great things that God has done in our lives?

And you know, I don’t have anything else to say about that.  It’s just sad.  And yeah, maybe we will have kids.   And maybe we won’t.  I think I’m just sad.

The cool thing about running is that sometimes it gets really hard.  Sometimes I think, “I just can’t go on, I’ll never make the next mile.”  And then, I push and I make it.  That gives me a lot of hope.

So maybe right now it’s hard and I’m just sad, but I will persevere.  And God’s Word says that perseverance builds character and character gives us hope.

In sadness I can have hope.  And that is awesome.

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comparisons

The other day I was driving along, thinking about our fertility situation.  And I realized  that the hardest part of the journey has been the comparisons.

Medical Comparisons – I often find myself thinking of friends I’ve known going through  infertility.  We talk and we compare notes and often I will say, “Hmm, I am worse off because I didn’t get that positive result on that hormone test like Betsy, but I am better off because I ovulated unlike Suzi.”

***

Situational Comparisons –Sometimes Frank and I will say, “Why is it that we can’t get pregnant but XYZ high school student got pregnant thinking about sex??”

***

Comparisons as Comfort –I have experienced this, and I have seen it in action.  It happens a lot when people miscarry – well-meaning friends say, “Well, I know a couple who lost their 2 year old.  At least you didn’t lose a real baby.”  To someone who is pregnant, that child is a real baby and they are experiencing real grief.

Even still, I found myself thinking the other day, “Well, at least it’s not like I’ve gotten pregnant and lost the baby.  I should feel better that at least I just haven’t been able to get pregnant.”  It didn’t make me feel better, by the way.  It still hurts.

***

Comparisons as Advice -Or others will try to make us feel better and say, “Our friends Lynn and Gary were in the same exact situation, but then they adopted/stopped trying/did something else, and it worked! And now they have 5 kids!”

***

I find myself experiencing, thinking or witnessing a lot of these comparisons. I was trying to turn my own attitude around the other day by telling myself, “It’s not like losing a child or a baby.”  But it didn’t help because I still felt loss –  losing the hope for a child or a baby that month.

Everyone has their own problems and issues.  Sure, having babies is difficult for us.  But there are so many other ways in which God has blessed us.  Others might say, “at least you have jobs”  — and they are right.  There are so many positive things going for us.  I rejoice to God in those things and I give thanks to God for those things.

Even though it is so tempting to compare myself and our situation to others, I have to fight it daily because there is no peace in the comparison.  How can there be?  I am not Suzi or Betsy or anyone else.  God has given Frank and I our path of life because He knows us more intimately and more profoundly than anyone else.  He knows how many hairs are on my head (and Frank’s too), He knows all the days of my life.  He knew what today would be like before I did.  In so many ways, He has graciously prepared this season of our life for us by putting people in our lives that have been down this road, have felt this heartache and have glorified God in the process.  What a kind and loving God He is!

Most of my closest friends “get” where I am at and are truly encouraging and comforting and amazing.  But on several occassions, I have had to bite my tongue and listen to people say things that they clearly haven’t thought through.  I find that I actually have a lot of compassion for those people .  It has to be hard to be in their shoes, looking at me and not knowing what to say.  I totally get that.  As someone who regularly sticks her foot in her mouth (and I have HUGE feet), I often say the wrong thing.  And going through this, I feel like I am more qualified to provide a few pieces of advice to anyone wondering what to say to someone like me.

Listen.  Really, really listen.  Grieve with your friend.  Ask questions.  The ability to not get pregnant is difficult and every month that we are not pregnant feels like a loss.  Only it’s not a visable hurt – it’s a quiet hurt.    Don’t cut your friend out of activities or events because children will be there.  Your friend(s) will politely decline if it’s too much for them or they have other plans.  At least give them the option.

And please, don’t tell them “at least you can adopt or foster.”  It’s such a personal decision and it is not a “fix” for not being able to have biological children.  Adoption is a fantastic route for starting or expanding a family, especially if you are at a place where your heart is open to it.  But you wouldn’t say to someone who lost their spouse, “Well, there are other fish in the sea.”

And hey, I totally know that 99.9% of people mean well.  If you see someone hurting, then you try to tell them things to help them feel better.   But sometimes part of healing is hurting.  And that is ok.

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