Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Round 4...But, who's counting?!

As I am sitting here, patiently waiting for our doctors appointment to hurry up and get here, all I can think about is this whole process. It's been a long road. It's been emotional and exhausting. However, I have to remind myself on a daily basis that God has a plan for us. I also remind myself that we are so fortunate to have medical coverage for everything thus far. I hope and pray that continues to be the case. Recently, I have heard that not all military installations cover fertility costs. Apparently, San Diego is one of the largest facilities that actually does cover it. My mind sure does like to wander-maybe this is why we got orders to San Diego. God knew we would need to be at one of the best fertility clinics within the military community. It breaks my heart that there are people out there who don't have the chance at fertility treatments. I've known people that have used their retirement funds and life savings just for the chance at parenthood. It's sad that so many take such an incredible miracle for granted. 

We will begin our 4th treatment today. It will be the final try with an IUI. The next step will be IVF. Usually, I am really excited to begin our next treatment but not this time. Maybe I am scared to be let down again. Why should this one work when the last 3 treatments haven't worked? I know you are suppose to be positive in these situations but quite frankly...I have been positive for several years now and I just don't have it in me today. Of course, I want more than anything for this treatment to work. Hopefully, come 2:00 PM today and ultrasound time...my positive attitude kicks in! 

For the VERY first time, I have begun to think about what if I just wasn't meant to have my own children. It's extremely difficult for me to stomach. Are these thoughts normal? In allllll my life, I have always known I was meant to be a Mom. I still do. Again, maybe this is just me preparing myself for the worst. I know adoption is an option so please don't think I haven't thought about all of our options. But, I have also thought that maybe I'm just meant to be a Mom to fur babies. You all know that I treat them just like humans. Ha! 

Goodness. Who knows? This treatment may be the one. However, after so many let downs...it's the greatest battle of all to remain optimistic. I will try my very best though! I mean...what's the alternative? I guess I could be depressed and negative about the whole situation but why? I've never been one to live my life in that way. And, I refuse to start now. Yes. Parenthood won't come easy to Daniel and I. We will give it our all and keep trying until we have exhausted every single outlet. Will we have our pity days? You betcha! That's normal, right? Anyway, if you pray-please say a little prayer for our treatment! If you don't, positive vibes are greatly appreciated!! ;)

I've always turned to music to brighten my mood and soothe my soul. I just stumbled upon this song. It hit close to home for me today. 

Silver Lining: Kacey Musgraves

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Storm

I put on a brave face and smiles are what you see on the outside. It's a constant battle within myself to remain positive. There are days that I don't want to be positive. Fighting anger recently has been extremely difficult for me. There are times when bitterness gets the best of me. I have to remind myself that God only gives you what you can handle so suck it up and keep smiling. During the smallest things like wiping down the counters or picking up dog toys, I will completely break down. Since we started trying to have a baby, I have been dedicated to keeping my strength and not allowing this battle to break me. I have clinched my teeth and held back tears more times than I can count. I have walked in another room so no one would see me cry when I can no longer fight the emotion. Every time someone asks me when do we plan on starting a family? I smile and say one day. While deep inside, I am crumbling apart because I want that one day to be today. I plan lots of trips or weekend getaways because it gives me something to look forward to because I have felt let down looking forward to getting pregnant. 

This past week, I believe all of those strong moments came crashing down. It was the simplest thing. I was scrolling through Facebook and saw a picture of an adorable baby boy. He was cuddled up and looking absolutely precious. I was smiling and the next thing I knew, I was sobbing. All of a sudden, my head was filled with thoughts. What will our baby look like? Will we be blessed with a baby on our next fertility treatment? Or, will we get lucky and get pregnant on our own? Since our last fertility treatment, I have started Daniel and I on a few natural supplements. I journal or blog for therapy. I have started doing mediation to relax my mind and body. We will be signing up for our first acupuncture treatment this month. We are eating healthier and exercising on a regular basis. We are doing pretty much everything that I've read or been told we should be doing to get pregnant. 

Lately, I have been asking myself why a lot. Why us? Why is God not wanting us to have a baby yet? Why is he punishing us? Why is he testing our patience? Some of the "whys" are ridiculous. I know. But, when you are an emotional mess...you ask ridiculous questions. 

Don't worry. I still remain extremely hopeful. I'm still confident that God put me on this Earth to become a Mother. But, I'm sad too. I'm angry. I'm hurt. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Struggle is Part of the Story

Well, another round of fertility treatments ended for us two weeks ago. This time, my stomach bruised from all the injections, my arms sore from the numerous blood draws and more than I can even remember of ultrasounds. 

We had our second IUI on Friday, September 5th. Prior to the doctor coming in to the room, Daniel and I held hands as he led us in prayer. It was one of the most special moments in our marriage. I go into these treatments with such a positive take on the outcome. I always seem to have this feeling like this is the one. And, when two weeks come and go, I'm let down so badly that I can hardly hold it together. There are so many emotions that run through you during this process. 

I am constantly searching for articles, blogs and quotes that will remind myself that we aren't alone in this process but also just words to bring our spirits up. The two week wait is awful. Once the wait is over and the news isn't what you were praying about...a simple quote could make a world of a difference.

I read a quote this morning that I needed to read so badly: 

"God has a purpose for your pain, a reason for your struggles and a reward for your faithfulness. Don't give up!"

We will undergo one more IUI before proceeding with IVF. We are currently on yet another wait list for our next IUI. It's hard to not let life seem like one long wait list when you are going through fertility treatments. But, from the very beginning, I vowed to myself and to my husband that I would not allow this to consume me. It's extremely hard. Do I spend the hour before bed on Pinterest looking at adorable nursery ideas? Yes. Do I think about how I will announce our pregnancy when our prayers are answered? You betcha! But, I also continue living my life with a positive outlook and keeping my faith. There is no other way for me. If I didn't have a positive outlook, the heartache of trying to have a baby for several years would consume me. 

 I truly believe that God only gives you what you can handle. And, I know God has a plan for us. I believe with my whole heart that we will be blessed with a baby one day. 

All of the thoughts and prayers from our friends and family mean the world to us! From the bottom of our hearts, thank you! XO

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Important Things in Life

It's been two years. It's been TWO WHOLE YEARS since I left my hometown. I can't believe it. Looking back, I couldn't wait to leave. I couldn't wait to explore something new and see what this crazy world had to offer a very naive southern girl. It's been an adventure, ya'll. I can remember finally making it to California and thinking...what in the world did we get ourselves into? I hated it. 

I've come to appreciate San Diego. We have had a lot of fun here. We have made some of the best memories of our lives while being stationed here in San Diego. We have been so fortunate to travel and explore this gorgeous side of the country. I've been so lucky to work with some of the most incredible people and have the most understanding, caring and laid back boss. How did I get so lucky? I often ask myself this very question. I just smile, nod my head and say thank you.

I truly believe that we were meant to come here. More importantly, I was meant to leave the comfort of home. I've grown as a person and woman more than I ever imagined. I've become a better wife. I've realized what's important to me in life. I've realized what truly matters in our far too short time on this beautiful Earth. Shore duty rekindled my marriage and brought my husband and I closer than ever. It's not normal to be apart from your spouse for such long periods of time. But, that was normal for us. That was our life as a military couple. It's funny to think that I was nervous about the idea of being together for THREE straight years. After all, sea duty was all I ever knew. I am so grateful for this short duty. Forever grateful!

Tonight, I sat in our bedroom while Daniel did school work in the other room and cried my eyes out while listening to some of my very favorite childhood country songs. As I looked out our bedroom window to our gorgeous view of Downtown San Diego, I watched several American flags flying high above buildings during a beautiful sunset. It was the first time I had ever noticed them. I cried. I cried of the idea of dropping Daniel off for that first work up or deployment once sea duty rolls around again in only one year. I cried for my dear friend that has endured back-to-back sea duties for years and who is currently undergoing yet another deployment while raising five amazing children.

The purpose of this entry to let my family and friends know just how much each and every single one of them means to me. I always knew I was lucky to have such a supportive family and group of friends that would do anything for me. But, leaving home, made me realize something that I can't even put into words. It made me realize that my hometown is truly a beautiful place. It made me realize that the Navy family that welcomed me with open arms will always be family to me. It made me realize just how much I took my family for granted and miss them every single second of every single day. It made me realize just how much I miss FSU football games. Some of my most favorite memories have been spent watching them play. Most importantly, it's who I watch the games with that make them even more special. 

We find out at the end of this year where the Navy will send us to next. Will it be home? Maybe. My heart wants to come home. I can't imagine undergoing another sea duty without the support of my family and friends in Jacksonville. But, if I have to, I know I will have support where ever we may go. 

I love each and every one of you very much. Thank you for being apart of my life.  



Sunday, June 1, 2014

Iron Mountain Hike

We spent today hiking Iron Mountain in Poway, California. It was a gorgeous, peaceful afternoon. The hike took us a little over 2.5 hours. It was around 6 miles round trip. We finally accomplished this hike and I would love to do it again! However, the next time will be early in the morning before it gets too hot. The clouds were absolutely beautiful today. The skies were clear and the sun was shining down. Life is good! 

Our day through pictures....

It was a beautiful and perfect way to spend our Sunday! 

Friday, May 30, 2014

Hope, Patience and Prayer

We began our second round of fertility treatment on Mother's Day. After three days of injections, I went in for a blood test to see if my hormone levels were where they needed to be to proceed with the next step. I went in for the test early on a Wednesday morning. My doctor called me within a couple of hours and told me I needed to come right back for an ultrasound. Of course, I rushed out of work and straight to the hospital. They proceeded with the ultrasound and found one very mature follicle. It was GO time! I called Daniel with so much excitement/nervousness. I couldn't believe it was time to move forward with our first IUI. We were scheduled for Friday morning. Daniel went in early that morning and did what he needed to do for the IUI. I'm sure you can figure it out. My appointment was at 11:00 AM. I was so scared. My doctor told me it didn't hurt but at the same time, it was a male doctor telling me this information. I sent a friend who had been through the same thing a text message asking if it hurt...she said no, just pressure. They were right. Afterwards, as I was laying on the table resting...I looked over at Daniel and burst into tears. He said to me, "I hope those are happy tears." They were very happy tears. I couldn't believe that we were so close to the possibility of being pregnant. They knocked on the door after 20 minutes and told me that I could get up now. I looked at Daniel and said 5 more minutes. I wanted to be sure I rested longer than the recommended time. =) We were sent home and told to wait two weeks. TWO WEEKS!! The next 14 days seemed like a lifetime. 

For the next two weeks, I will give myself twice daily medications and try super hard not to take daily pregnancy tests. I was quite proud of myself though. I didn't test until day 10.  The evening of May 25th, I tested a faint positive. So, I tested again...and it was also a faint positive. The next day was Memorial Day. I had gotten two little bathing suits in patriotic colors, put them in a box with the faintly positive test and gave it to Daniel. He opened the box and looked at the test. At this point, he was so use to me handing him tests that I thought were positive. I would tell him to angle it a certain way and you can see the line. He would look at me and say no, it's negative. But, this time, he goes...yep! That's positive and smiled. The next day, I went to my doctors for a test. It was negative. It could have been a false positive. It could have been a "chemical pregnancy." 
We will never know. 

On May 30th, it was confirmed that I was not pregnant. For some reason, I was so very hopeful that this treatment would work. I guess it's the only way to be in these circumstances. Everything that was going on with my body made me hopeful that maybe we were pregnant. Reality hit and hit hard this morning. I called my doctors to tell them that the IUI was not successful and to schedule my next one. We were never told that there was any sort of wait list. But, when the doctor said okay, well the next one available is in September. My heart dropped. I asked her if she was sure? I told her we wanted to do another IUI...not IVF yet. I didn't think there was a wait list for IUI's. She confirmed that there are indeed wait lists for both. She apologized. I could hear the compassion in her voice. It took everything I had to hold it together on the phone. I told her thank you and would wait for their call in August to schedule. I hung up and buried my face in my hands. I could no longer control my emotions. I called Daniel and told him the news. I was hysterical. He asked me to repeat myself many times. Of course, he was bummed. He was upset they never told us about a wait list but what can we do about that? Absolutely, nothing. He told me that I needed to be strong and think positive. He reminded me that it wasn't over yet and not to act as if it was over. But, I am heartbroken. 
Today, I can not be strong. Today, I will cry. 
Tomorrow, I will continue to be hopeful. I will continue to be patient and I will continue with prayer. 

Friday, May 2, 2014

Round Two

We had our follow up appointment today in hopes of proceeding with round two of fertility treatment. They did a sonogram to see if everything looked normal after our first treatment. For the most part, everything was normal. 

After our first unsuccessful treatment, the endometrium lining of my uterus was extremely thin. A fertilized egg needs the lining of the uterus to be a a certain thickness to implant, begin growing and carry on a successful pregnancy. They told us that the medication (Clomid) that they had me on can cause a thin lining. We were told that our next treatment, we would use daily injections VS the oral medication (Clomid). They are hoping that not only will the daily injections VS Clomid help re-thicken the lining but also control the number of follicles I produce. Last time, I produced EIGHT! They won't proceed with the IUI (intrauterine insemination) if there are more than four follicles. I suppose they don't want another Octomom. 

The doctor wrote us out a schedule of what medications to stop and which ones to start to begin our next treatment. I'm nervous about daily injections. Before, Daniel had to give me only two. I was too nervous to give it to myself. Honestly, he even got nervous when the time came to administer the shot! It was almost humorous watching the two of us try to get these two injections done. I can only imagine how we are going to get daily injections done. We will get through it though. 

This time, they have me on a very low dose to help control the number of follicles produced. They gave us a fancy little pen to administer the shots and it even came with a cute little case. Hey. I have to let myself get excited about this kind of stuff. It helps. We are scheduled to begin our daily injections on Mother's Day. I'm not sure if I am looking into things too much but I find it quite fitting that we begin on that day. I'm hopeful...so very hopeful that this treatment will be it. I return to the hospital for blood work on May 14th to see if the dose is adequate or if I need to continue with the injections for alittle longer. We will go from there after the blood test. 

How cute is that little bio hazard bin? 

For some reason, this little green case makes the thought of having 
to give those injections easier! 

We truly appreciate all the thoughts and prayers from our friends and family. It means the world to us. 

Let's do this!

Monday, April 21, 2014

#6: Anniversary Trip-Idyllwild

I can't believe we have been married for six years! It's been an amazing six years though. I couldn't ask for a better husband. He puts everything and everyone before himself. He has always made sure we live in a nice place, drive a good car and never ever go without. He is one of the hardest working men I know. I'm so lucky.

He planned our 6th anniversary trip all by himself. I tend to be a control freak and like to take charge of vacations. However, with this trip, I had no clue he was even planning it. He did a great job!! I usually go for trips that either include a beach or some tropical setting. He usually likes outdoors/woods/cabin like trips. I didn't realize just how much I would enjoy it. 

He booked us a cabin for the weekend in Idyllwild, California. Yep. I had never even heard of this small, quaint, adorable little town. It was gorgeous. It was high in the mountains. They had an unofficial mayor named Max who happens to be a Golden Retriever. Seriously?! That made me love this place even more than I already did.  

It was a trip that we were able to bring the dogs on which makes it even more exciting for me! They LOVED having a woodsy "yard" to explore all weekend. It was quite the change from downtown living for them. They spent the entire day outside exploring while we enjoyed relaxing in the hot tub or swinging on the porch. We grilled each night and sat by the fire until it trickled down to nothing. We played cards and had limited cell phone use the whole weekend! I loved every single second of it. We walked around the small town and window shopped. On our last day, we decided to not be completely lazy and went for a hike with Penelope. Unfortunately, Abby and Maggie are so old and their joints can't make it too far anymore. We took in a beautiful scenic hike before heading back home. 

I never knew just how relaxing a vacation could be until Idyllwild. I didn't realize just how busy and hectic our daily lives tend to get until we had nothing to worry about at all. I took naps...LOTS of naps! Daniel had planned absolutely nothing and it was perfect! 

Our weekend in pictures....

The view on the ride into Idyllwild

Our adorable little cabin

The views from the deck

LOVED listening to the sound of nothing but birds chirping and squirrels playing.

I could NOT resist having a little fun with this adorable horse swing!
(see below)

Maggie insisted that her daddy was playing fetch with her. She didn't understand why he was throwing horseshoes and telling her NO!

See...I couldn't resist! 

We went back to our country roots for the weekend! He is so darn cute. 
He wore it the whole way home too! 

Penelope took lots of naps too!

Miss Maggie

Waiting on their hot dog!

Someone else enjoyed the fire at night too! 

The property

Our scenic hike

Penelope, Abby and Maggie loved their weekend getaway too!

Bye Bye, Idyllwild. Until next time.