Friday, November 11, 2016
When we embarked on our journey to start a family, I never considered how exactly I’d feel once it finally happened, if it ever did. During the three year process of trying to conceive, there were many hopeful weeks turned into many hopeless months. When we were fortunate enough to find Dr.Cortez and begin the process of fertility treatments and IUI; I found it extremely difficult to believe it was actually happening and could actually be a possibility. The hormones were overwhelming me and I truly felt that there was only so much more I could handle before throwing in the towel. Sometimes, in the mist of my happiness I sit and think about the entire process of becoming pregnant and how much we really have endured along the way. I feel so much for those who aren’t lucky enough to get their positive or for those who are just beginning their journey. It’s such a long, confusing, unfair road but if you’re ever fortunate enough; it’s the most rewarding journey.
Today, was our first appointment with the doctor since we got our positive pregnancy test and bloodwork; We got there a little early, still exhausted from the lack of sleep. As I sat in the waiting room, I recalled the first time we visited that office, I also recalled never truly believing I’d go there like so many other women, pregnant. When the lady finally called my name, we followed her back past the regular doctor rooms to a room I had learned about quickly with the fertility treatments; I was getting an ultrasound! I wanted to jump out of my skin with excitement at the possibility of seeing our little baby’s new home for the next nine months.
The ultrasound showed exactly that; our babies little sac, as healthy as it could be for 5 weeks and 3 days pregnant. The ultrasound was amazing for us both; I looked over as Nikki watched the screen and felt a warmness overwhelm my entire being; we were going to be parents, we had finally made it, we did it together. The ultrasound lady was so sweet and explained every bit of it to us both – the fertility drugs gave me multiple large cysts on my ovary but we were ensured it would not cause harm to the baby. We talked to Dr.Cortez briefly and scheduled an appointment for two weeks, when I’m 8 weeks pregnant to confirm growth and a heartbeat.
We walked out of the big brown double doors to the lobby, holding our babies ultrasound picture closely. I had never felt so proud, so successful, so fulfilled. On the way home, my insurance company called and told me they were dropping my doctor – however, would continue my coverage for 6 weeks post my due date; that was icing on the cake – I thought. As we pulled into our complex, we decided to check the mail as it’s the beginning of the month and bills are being sent. I opened the mail and found a onesie I had ordered several days ago and two refund checks from our insurance company! I felt as the day could literally not get any better!
Not bad for our first doctor’s appointment – I’d do the entire process over and over again if it meant we would end up with this amazing experience and baby on the way. I can’t lie, the nerves from my 8 week ultrasound are more severe than ever, but with a lot of praying and caring for myself – I’m keeping faith. That’s the thing, you have to keep faith – for anyone beginning this journey, there is no reassuring thing I can say, but I can offer advice to keep going, keep trying and keep giving all the faith you have.
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
The last week in a half has been one from a dream; I’m pregnant, I’m pregnant! I just can’t seem to say it enough. We have our first appointment Friday – We are beyond excited. While it’s too soon for an ultrasound, we will get our chart established and hopefully have many answers to our many questions.
Becoming pregnant has been one of the best things I’ve ever experienced, there isn’t one mood swing, hot flash or nightly nausea session I would give up. I have dreamed and prayed for this moment for what feels like a lifetime and feel beyond excited and so very terrified all at once. Of course, terrified of miscarrying, terrified of something going wrong but we are staying positive and are surrounded by nothing but support and love, with that we can go nowhere but up.
We went to the baby store the other day and got a pregnancy journal; it’s been so much fun updating it and entering all our information and desires into it. We created registries and have so much planned already, who needs 9 months?
I will admit, while this process has become a dream come true – it’s one very overwhelming dream. I suppose we forgot how much others would find the desire to be so involved, while I understand their excitement; we are selfishly wanting to hold as much of this process to ourselves because it’s our first positive, our first time, and our first baby. I’m sure this is simply a part of the process and so I am embracing it to the best of my ability.
We have decided on names, colors for both genders, how we want the baby room and what we need to get done prior to July. Nikki has been amazing and she is beyond excited – I hope she continues to feel just as included as possible, it’s difficult in a gay marriage – my family is beyond ecstatic and trying to be involved and it’s so important to me to ensure her and her family feel just as included. We’ve found the adoption process for when baby is born and truly cannot wait to meet baby boy Julian or baby girl Mckenzie.
Friday, November 4, 2016
I started this blog so I could find an escape for my emotions while we dealt with fertility treatments, IUI’s and let downs; Now, I sit with a baby in the making and I feel like our journey is just beginning, why quit now? Over the past three years, I never thought I’d sit here pregnant – I never thought I’d imagine the day my baby calls me mommy. This feeling is amazing! But, just as I felt with the fertility treatment process, I have become a broken record. I want to talk about it all the time, I want to read and learn as much as I can, buy things, rearrange things and feel every symptom possible.
We’ve waited for what feels like a life time for our dreams to come true, today they feel very much as if they are doing just that; coming true. I am four weeks pregnant with great beta and progesterone levels and Nikki interviewed for an internship that will land her a great job come March when she graduates; I could not be more proud of her, she has worked so hard for her future career to take care of us, she was so nervous and did so great! I firmly believe I married the one person who was made for me.
Blogging has become a great way to talk about built up emotions; good or bad – Looking back on previous posts, I read as our life slowly began changing and I hope to do that again in our future as I lay our baby down for a nap on a difficult day, to remind myself how hard we worked to get to that difficult day, because every second is well worth it!
The first trimester is the hardest – while everyone I’ve talked too has told us not to post or say anything until we are through the first 12 weeks; I literally could not contain myself. Without wanting to jinx it; I feel in my heart that everything will be ok. We have names picked out, nursery themes for both genders and find ourselves window shopping every opportunity we get. Life couldn’t get better than this..
Tuesday, November 1, 2016
With our bank account and credit cards maxed out, we slowly began losing hope. For the past three years; we've endured a great deal of let downs. Over the past three months, we attempted to regain our faith and attempt our first try with IUI. Each month that slowly passed, I found myself quickly loosing hope again. I became numb to the treatment process and it quickly overtook our lives.
On Monday October 17th we drove once again to Twin Lakes Medical Center. As we underwent another ultrasound, another trigger shot and were sent home with another month ahead of wonder, hope and possible let down. This was the month we decided to "Let it be" - we would not symptom check, we would not overthink it and there was no googling allowed. When we returned to the doctors office on Tuesday October 18th and underwent our second IUI, I was overwhelmed with positivity. I told Nikki it would be our month. I said it, and instantly regretted it as I didn't want to get our hopes up yet, once again. But, there we were driving home with our hopes secretly high and our faith slowly fading.
On Friday October 28th (10dpo) while working I began feeling funny; my stomach was hurting and I had the strangest rounds of cramps but quickly they went away. When Saturday (11dpo) came around, I began feeling the cramps a little more - followed by slight nausea; of course I debunked my new feelings as my period being due soon and tried to block them out. I did not symptom spot at all - we did not think about it, talk about it or suggest the possibility of it. Sunday morning (12dpo) we woke up for work; I took my daily medication that typically gives me quite a bit of energy, however, within two hours I was ready for bed! I refused to test, I refused to link it to the possibility that just maybe this IUI worked.
It was around 8:30am on Halloween morning; (13dpo) I heard my phone vibrating from a toll-free caller so loudly that it woke me up. I walked to it, ignored the call and decided to pee. When I got in the bathroom, without even thinking - I grabbed the clear blue digital pregnancy test and p
eed on it. I put it on the counter as I began to repeat "It will say not pregnant, don't let it ruin your day" I closed my eyes and continued to repeat it followed with "its going to be ok, you can just go back to sleep. Put it in the trash and try again" And then it happened, the test was completed and I wiped my eyes because what I saw seemed impossible. "PREGNANT" .... just like that, pregnant.
I quickly stood up and walked into our bedroom where Nikki laid asleep without any knowledge of the pure joy I just experienced. "Nikki"... "Nikki"... I repeated two or three times before she opened her eyes to see the pregnancy test I was holding.. she looked at it once or twice and then looked at me with a smile across her face she held me closely. It was too unbelievable! We sent an email to the doctor and requested an appointment for bloodwork. Around 2pm we got to the clinic for bloodwork, followed with lunch at Olive Garden and then made a decision to tell my mom. - Was that a good decision? Probably not, her excitement quickly reminded me how much it would hurt if the result came back negative.
I had a little spotting Halloween night, I was overly upset that I had done this to myself again! The spotting became dark and faint, and then gone completely. There were so many emotions, we decided to test again - another positive, and anoth
er. All we could do was wait - Tuesday morning, (14dpo) the doctors office called with life changing news. Your hcg levels are at 80, You're pregnant! From this point we will schedule you another bloodwork appointment to make sure your hcg levels are raising at the pace they should be. On Thursday, I will return to have my bloodwork taken and await the hopeful good news come Friday morning.
I never, in my wildest dreams thought I would see a positive pregnancy test - I never thought I would finally have the day to tell my wife that we did it - that I did it. This week has been overwhelming with joy.. not to mention - Nikki has an interview for a company that will surely begin her career as she finishes her bachelors degree. I never believed her when she told me to keep my patience, I refused to believe her when she said things would happen but we were doing it the right way so it was going to take time. Nikki kept faith and her faith kept us moving forward. Today, I can happily say she was right - 100 % right.
While we are in the danger of first trimester miscarriage, we boasted to our family and friends! We are enjoying every second of our first real - confirmed pregnancy.
Monday, October 24, 2016
When I decided to start a blog, I was nervous. I didn’t want to hurt feelings or make people around me uncomfortable; but the truth is, every person is entitled to their journey and how they go about dealing with it. I have found blogging to be an extreme release of emotions when I have become such a broken record in reality. It’s difficult for people to empathize with things they’ve never experienced – Blogging has opened a door to thousands if not millions of people who have experienced infertility or fertility treatments and can relate to the emotions I find myself overwhelmed with.
Even though my wife stands by my side throughout every treatment– it’s lonely. Facing the possibility of never having your own child can make you feel, almost betrayed; betrayed by my own body. The lonely aspect falls hard when you begin to shut out people around you, such as family and friends. I found today was the first day in almost a month that I talked to my family; I found myself avoiding any phone calls or cutting conversations short to avoid the questions I didn’t want to answer – the process I didn’t want to explain, the “advice” that would only frustrate me.
The worst part is worrying, I worry constantly – Have I stressed too much? Should I have not taken my ADHD medicine today? Did I lift too much? Worrying has become an everyday process; especially when things seem completely hopeless. Worrying comes in many shapes and colors; I worry about our finances and the holidays to come – I worry that my hormonal side effects will push myself or my wife past the breaking point.
Regardless of the attempts or amount of debt you may accumulate; there is no guarentee. Going through every month with hopes high and being let down creates a great deal of sadness.
The entire process is invasive – while I appreciate the professionalism of my doctor’s office; it doesn’t make it any easier to lay with multiple people staring at my vagina for either ultrasounds or inseminations. I wouldn’t say it’s painful – but having catheter through my cervix is something that requires a mental calmness and with all the hormones, stress and anxiety – it becomes difficult after a while.
The entire process is invasive – while I appreciate the professionalism of my doctor’s office; it doesn’t make it any easier to lay with multiple people staring at my vagina for either ultrasounds or inseminations. I wouldn’t say it’s painful – but having catheter through my cervix is something that requires a mental calmness and with all the hormones, stress and anxiety – it becomes difficult after a while.
As the days go by, I can’t help but wonder if I will ever become pregnant; if this process will be worth it in the end.
Thursday, October 20, 2016
Before I write this post; I’d like to point out that these are my emotions and my knowledge based on my personal experience. I’ve read enough to last a lifetime and the biggest part of fertility treatments and infertility is the misunderstanding of it. I use blogging to express myself, my emotions, our journey and anything that happens in between. If you are going through fertility treatments, IUI, IVF, infertility, MC, CP or anything of that nature; you’re not alone, it’s ok to embrace your journey.
“Infertility is viewed worldwide by couples as a tragedy which carries social, economic and psychological consequences. It is estimated that 10% of the population globally suffers from infertility, which is generally defined as the inability to conceive after 1 year of unprotected intercourse” (Gupta 2000, p. 339).
Many people don’t talk about it, they don’t want the judgements, comments or suggestions – they bare the unbearable alone. Some people talk about it quietly, feeling shameful through every conversation and beating themselves after. Some people embrace it, explain it, talk about it and do their best to get through it with support and love. It’s not just the emotional aspect that can be overwhelming, it’s the financial responsibility, the physical invasion of your body, the mental invasion of your hope and dreams and the simple reality that you may always feel a part of you is broken.
The process of fertility treatments and infertility takes a significant toll on both a person and their marriage. Fertility is not a talked about topic as much as I believe it should be; it’s a hidden shame many females feel the burden of and can truly turn a beautiful life into the darkest you could imagine. Nikki and I have been dealing with the inability to conceive for two years and while we have only been undergoing fertility treatment for three months; I can feel the toll taking over every aspect of our lives. Fertility treatments cause so much of an unbalance in a person’s mind and body that not only is marital issues a concern, but friends and family relationships as well. You can’t force anyone to feel what you feel or to understand the rollercoaster of emotions you find yourself on and due to that very simple fact, a lot of relationships are lost.
Marriage is hard, we know this; infertility is devastating – the two combined can be flames or fireworks. I am so beyond thankful to have a wife who has stood by my side. Somedays are emotional, some are good and some I simply just make it through. Some nights I sleep and some I don’t. Some days I can eat all day and others I can’t take a bite. I’m sure the fertility medication plays a huge part of this, but to have such an un-judgmental, patient, caring and loving person truly makes a difference. Communication is key, talk about it to one another – you are both going through it. Talk about what ifs, both good and bad. Set up a plan, a way to deal with the outcomes every month. Forgive one another, you will both have days of darkness. Accept and love unconditionally – let go of what you thought should be and accept what is. Beyond it all, be there - fight for each other – fight the fight together.
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Monday came as we hoped for the best and prepared for the worst, thankfully; everything turned out positive. As we continue these doctor appointments, scans, shots, ultrasounds and hormones it almost seems we are living in a fog mind state; we both want to begin our family but after another unsuccessful attempt, we are slowly beginning to accept what may never happen.
Dr. Cortez insists we stay positive- therefore we have decided to stay silent, figuring the less chatter about it will result in less pressure. This will also allow for more time to deal with the negatives or positives as they come. There are so many people in this world dealing with fertility issues or attempting artificial inseminations and they all deal with their situation different – While most of our family and a few close friends are aware we have been trying to conceive, it becomes increasingly difficult to talk about it as time goes on.
Some days I hardly allow myself to think about it but other days I feel completely overwhelmed. People don't do well with emotional discomfort, it's simple to explain the procedure; but to explain the shame, guilt, hate, anger or sadness is almost impossible.
Last month when our first IUI failed; I found myself dealing with it almost as I always have, but this time it was different.. this time I felt defeated. We had such high hopes, knowing it was foolish - IUI and fertility treatment takes a toll on a person, I’m exhausted; my face is completely broken out and my body feels invaded, some days I can hardly stand to face people. I am thankful to have a wife who has done her best to be there and continues to be patient with me, especially when there is so much more going on in our lives right now; Doing this with someone you love makes a difference. I may feel alone but I know I'm not and for that I will be forever thankful.
Staying positive is hard, but here’s to the next month of our journey.
Thursday, October 13, 2016
As the week comes to an end, I can’t help but feel a range of emotions. These past five days have not been as tough as the previous months, however, I could most certainly do without the constant hot flashes, acne and headaches. I’ve spent a great deal of my week listening to my body and mind, I have found a release in stress by staying as far away from google as possible; because searching for reasons last month’s IUI failed wont ensure this IUI will work and searching for ways to feel more confident with this IUI won’t ensure success, either.
Just as last month, Monday has two options; a really good day or a really bad day. At 10:30am, Nikki and I are going to the doctors for her mammogram; the lady ensured we would have results before leaving the office and while the doctors believe there is nothing serious, there is still a chance for bad news. At 12:30, I have an appointment in the office next door with Dr.Cortez to see if the hormones worked this month, so we will be accepting one bit of information as we endure the next bit of information. I know regardless of what Monday brings, we will get through it because that’s what we do in this journey of ours.
While I have enjoyed blogging, I am beginning to look into more in-depth writing and possibly creating a sort of memoir or even a book. I don’t know that I will stick to this hobby, but it has been a great distraction from the hormones, doctors and of course, waiting around. I intend on updating at least once, if not twice a week with Blogger, for the upcoming weekend and the dreadful Monday; I’ll leave that in fates hands.
Thursday, October 6, 2016
Sometimes, we get upset at God or the one we believe in for not granting our every prayer. Today, while I would have been more than thankful for a pregnancy this month; I am understanding as to why it did not happen. (Or at least, assuming this allows me to feel somewhat better). Today, my wife and I along with many family members and friends are preparing for Hurricane Mathew. With our house boarded up, canned food for days and a bulk of water stock we await the hurricane’s arrival.
It is funny how life works, God knows it isn’t easy. When you get married, you not only commit yourself to one single person but also to a life of faith, trust, trial, error, good and bad. There’s a lot of stress over life, because when you’re married neither of you can say one has it harder; you learn how to support each other the best you can and hope that it’s enough. When we found out we weren’t pregnant this month, Nikki did exactly that- she held me when I couldn’t deal and because of her strength during my weakness, we’re ok.
Marriage is funny, you see your other half through so much. There are days of madness, sadness, stubbornness and at times, things can become so unbearable – you want to just scream! But, marriage is also beautiful, you are able to see the person you love through their best moments, when it’s the middle of the night and you’re both wide awake while the rest of the world is asleep; you see the side of them no one else does and no, it’s not always pretty but I’ve learned in our journey, marriage is one of the most rewarding jobs outside of parenting there is; because at the end of the day, if you’re lucky; you get to crawl into bed with your best friend, the weirdest – most annoying, loving, goofy person you know. Marriage isn’t very beautiful, but it’s one heaven of a ride.
Today, I’m beyond thankful for our journey. The doctor has prescribed me a higher dosage of hormones for the upcoming week and while we are still broken hearted we will hold one another up for another try to begin our family.
Many prayers for anyone in Florida during this hurricane, may God protect you, your homes, and the ones you love.
Tuesday, October 4, 2016
I went to sleep last night with prayers sent off while holding onto any hope within me. I cuddled up close with my wife and puppy and slowly drifted into sleep. This morning I felt the sun through the window and awoke immediately to find my phone, hoping for an e-mail from the doctor; and just as I expected, it was sitting in my inbox waiting to be opened.
“I’m sorry, your test was negative” and the little hope I was trying so hard to hold onto, I let go. I looked at my wife as she laid there sleeping, still hope in her heart and eventually drifted back to sleep. I knew in my heart there was a good chance this would happen, I suppose I half way expected it but couldn’t help but become overly excited; thinking of ways I wanted to tell the ones closest to me, thinking of names and wandering off with exciting thoughts. I don’t exactly know what happened- I had the positive tests, but negative bloodwork. It seems that it was a chemical pregnancy or maybe the trigger stayed in my system longer than most. I don’t honestly know but I do know that my heart is heavy.
I told myself, regardless of the outcome I would stay strong, I wouldn’t cry and I would go on with the day the best way I could- and that’s what I started to do. I struggled out of bed after a short conversation with my mom and tried to focus on anything but what was on my mind – until we got to work and there was nothing to focus on, no orders to make and nothing to keep off how I felt inside and it all hit me at once. I began thinking about when I had the positive test and saw Nikki’s face I felt like I finally did it, I finally gave her a glimpse of hope that our dreams were really coming true.
And just like clockwork, my period has arrived. I think about everything I’ve done in the past two weeks, things I’ve said or thought quietly to myself; was I not thankful enough? Were my prayers to selfish? Did I stress myself out? Should I have stopped taking my medicine sooner? Did I cause this to happen to us, again?
Tonight, I told Nikki I felt like I was loosing faith. I sat on the couch as I held back the tears I'd been fighting as she leaned in and held me, she told me her faith was strong enough for us both and regardless, we had to keep faith in God's plan. It's much easier said, than done but her faith has been the only thing keeping me ok tonight. When I started this blog, she encouraged my every post. Our journey has been full of obstacles and seems to only become more intense, but I can say - there's nobody else I'd rather run this course with.
I don’t know what our next step is; I can only assume more fertility medicine, scans, hormonal days and waiting, a lot more waiting. However, tonight, I have to feel; I have to get through the emotional rollercoaster I agreed to ride and tomorrow I have to be ok, because life has to go on.
Thursday, September 29, 2016
It’s been eight long torturing days since our IUI, with still six to go I can’t help but feel completely unsure. Some days I feel like there’s no way I’m not pregnant and others I feel like there’s just no way that I am. We’ve been through two week waits so many times before, but this one’s different. This one has potential, this one was planned perfectly. If this one fails, I don’t know what we can do differently.
I feel like I am going to start my monthly enemy within the week; I have all the classic premenstrual symptoms and I can’t help but feel down. This process feels like it’s put a complete stop to our lives, every dime we have is tied up and every action we consider is paused as we don’t know what to expect next. Am I pregnant? Do we have to do this again in a few weeks? Emotionally, can we handle another month of this? Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself but with nothing but time on my hands, I just can’t help it.
I know I’m not infertile per say, however, I also know that I have several factors that cause infertility and an increasing risk of more cysts, endometriosis returning and cervical cancer scares which cause me to feel my time is slightly limited. This two week wait can literally drive a person crazy, especially when everything around you feels frozen until you receive an answer. While almost everyone close to us knows what we are going through, I’ve hardly talked about it due to the possible let down we may face next week. As much as this post is seemingly negative, I have done everything to stay positive and hold onto the small amount of hope I have; but the closer we get, the more afraid I become of our future.
Six days, which is 144 hours and 640 long minutes until we can test and get ready for the next step in this journey.
Monday, September 26, 2016
Throughout our journey to start a family, we’ve encountered a number of obstacles to which have severely changed my outlook on life. There are so many things we take for granted every day, whether it’s a job, a spouse, a new home or a baby. I’ve had to learn to stop taking things for granted; even the smallest things are contributes to a happy life and while it may not be exactly what I want when I want it, there’s still a lot of other positive things around us that shouldn’t be taken for granted, We have a beautiful life together.
During this process, I’ve found a lot of compassion for others. I joined a few support groups and have found myself becoming much more outspoken about our journey because of others. I have found this compassion to follow me through-out my everyday life as I am now more aware of everyone around me and I find myself constantly wondering what their journey is. Today, we were at Walmart and a lady in front of us had only $70 or so, she suddenly asked the cashier to stop ringing up her items as she had reached her limit. I so badly wanted to run and pay for the remaining few items for her, I began to utter the words to ask her but froze and let her walk off. I know she had a full cart of food and the cans behind weren’t anything that looked too important but my heart ached for her for the rest of the night.
I have found that life is completely unfair- Not because I don’t have what I personally want, but because there are so SO many people who deserve that one thing to make them complete and some of them never get it. Good things, don’t always happen to good people and that will forever bother me. Regardless of the time that passes, I will always find myself wondering why? Why didn’t I pay the $5 for the lady in front of me today, why didn’t the girls in my group get their positives this month? Why did that mother abuse her children? Why is this life so unfair?
While we’ve been dealing with trying for a family for over a year, every time is different and brings a new round of emotions, hopes, dreams and often, let downs.
This process has open my eyes to a whole new world and while I am still in my two week wait, I know that there’s a number of things I still need to accept and while I cannot change the outcome, the outcome has already changed me.
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Today was the day of insemination, with little sleep we woke up and prepared ourselves for our first go with IUI. I remember standing in the shower this morning, making deals with God, asking (selfishly I might add) for him to grant me this one wish, this one time. Of course when Nikki woke up, she was on cloud nine to keep me from feeling anxious, she even asked to take a conception day picture… That girl, she’s always doing something to make me smile. When we got to the doctors, we were relieved and calmed by the immediate support and helpful advice the nurses were giving us. As we waited in the room, Nikki couldn’t stop smiling and while I wanted to smile – I was afraid, if I opened my mouth I may just vomit everywhere! So there we sat, quietly waiting.
The doctor finally made his way to our room and with a grin, asked if we were ready and of course, we were beyond ready! The doctor and his assistant did the IUI with even a little humor to lighten the mood, the feeling of the catheter was almost unbearable; I closed my eyes and took a deep breath while I laid there. I tried to imagine the fertilization, continuously praying. It took about an hour, a total of one hour and we were on our way out of the door and on with our day.
Now, the dreadful two week wait begins. In the next two weeks, I am supposed to stay calm, stress free and positive. Of course I will do everything I can to follow these orders, however, I know I will be answering a number of questions that I won’t have the answers too. Do I feel pregnant yet? Do I have symptoms? And so on. I will investigate google for every minor ache and twinge I may feel, I will research statistics over and over and go from being extremely confident to completely insecure. The two week wait is two weeks from hell. October 5th will take what feels like years to get here.
One would imagine two weeks is nothing compared to the months, and even years we’ve already waited- but this time it’s different, this time it’s with the doctors and everyone feels like it’s going to work but the truth is, it’s literally a 20% chance. I know I’m not infertile per say; I have some issues with my ovaries, yes but that doesn’t mean I’m unable to conceive; I’ve just not had any luck in doing so, thus far. Of course I’d like to say I feel pregnant, but how would I know what that even feels like? So, with a heavy mind and a tired heart, I’m ready for day one of fourteen days of hell.
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Today as we drove to the doctors for my first trigger shot for our first iui, I couldn't help but think about all of the steps we have taken to get to this point.
They say when things are meant to be, they happen without problems. While we have encountered a few minor problems since deciding to try IUI, they have all worked themselves out. So there I was, listening to "landslide" and reflecting.
I remember the day we decided we wanted a family together, the excitement we had without any idea of the road ahead. We laughed so much that week, we felt so secure in our plans, but sometimes, you have to accept what is rather than what you thought should be.
I remember sitting and going through profile after profile searching for the right donor. We wanted one that was smart, resembled us both, had positive results for other pregnancies, green or blue eyes, a healthy background, healthy family; the list went on. Some find it difficult to agree upon a donor whereas we were always very much on the same page. We picked our donor and since then, we haven't budged once on our choice.
I guess today, reflecting on everything we've been through was based on finally being one step closer to the possibility of a family. While the effects of the trigger shot has my hip and head hurting, a knot in my stomach and nerves throughout my body, here's to keeping it calm for another 24 hours for the insemination and then the dreadful two week wait.
Monday, September 19, 2016
Sometimes, in the midst of our storms we forget those around us. We tend to lash out on the ones we love the most. Starting the process of an IUI or dealing with the possibility of infertility, a million things change from day to day. After the medication, after the sleepless nights and unanswered prayers; we tend to lose hope and sometimes fall short of being the person that we once were. This process can change someone and many times, it does.
While my entire blog has been full of IUI and infertility emotions, there’s a major factor in this process that I don’t feel I’ve given much attention too; my wife. We started this journey together and while my body has been taking the physical toll of the effects, she has emotionally taken her amount of tolls as well. Today, when I saw her eyes focusing on the ultrasound screen, listening and taking in every word and mental note as she could, I found great comfort and security reading her facial expressions; It was at this point I realized, she has been dealing with just as much as I had and I felt completely selfish for not acknowledging it sooner. It gets hard to remember at times, that this process involves more than just myself.
I remember plenty of times we’ve tried to conceive, we watched and monitored ovulation and two week wait symptoms; we stared at pregnancy tests hoping for a second line to appear, we went through this hand in hand, time and time again. There was so much anger, so much hurt, so much disappointment and eventually, too much numbness. That’s why we decided to come to terms with what it was, we decided to take it as it comes and move forward with our lives.
It wasn’t until the doctor’s visit on July 25th where the doctor asked our plans that we even allowed the thoughts to enter our minds again, it was then I decided I wasn’t going to put her through all of the emotions I felt I subjected her too before, I wanted to deal with it the best I could and keep her from any of my destructive emotions. By doing this, I became obsessed with dealing on my own, but somehow, I still found myself winning and venting about the medication, the side effects and the toll I was beginning to feel. I didn’t acknowledge she was going through it too, regardless of what I tried to keep private.
The truth is, I couldn’t do this without her, none of this. I want this to be our family, I want her to feel just as connected to this as I can and by doing so, I must admit my wrong doings and accept that she is also feeling all kinds of ways. So, I suppose I just hope anyone who may be experiencing a situation similar to ours, keep yourself open to your spouse and never think for a moment that they aren’t going through it with you; even when they become silent, even when they don’t talk about it or when they simply brush off the conversation; everyone deals with emotions differently and the truth is, I am blessed to have such an amazing, strong, patient and caring person by my side along this journey.
After five incredibly annoying days on Clomid, I finished it last night! I started this week with very little thoughts about what would come, as a matter of fact; I've focused on everything and anything I could in order to ensure I didn't obsess over the Clomid, the side effects or the results. Unfortunately, there was one day that I just couldn't deal and found myself crying for hours. Sometimes, I don't know whether the Clomid makes me emotional or if the process makes me emotional, either way; it sucks. I am thankful for the understanding of my wife who has stuck by my side through and through, the hugs when she didn't know what to do and the ability to see a brighter side when I just couldn't.
Last night, we went to bed with knots in our stomachs, as we didn't know what today would bring. My ultrasound was at 8am and her doctors at 2pm, both extremely important appointments we desperately prayed for them to turn out in our favor. When we got to my appointment, I couldn't help but to be hesitant as I didn't know what to expect after falling short last month. Luckily, we got into the exam room quickly to find several matured follicles; whereas I only had one the previous month. Of course; there I was wondering the possibility of it being our month. After the exam we went into another room and waited for the doctor. We rambled a bit of nonsense, minutes felt like hours, and while it was only 20 minutes or so; we very impatiently waited.
The doctor finally came in, with my results in his hand we watched his every gesture. He asked how our day was and explained the results. He then said, “Let’s do your trigger shot tomorrow, and the insemination on Wednesday.” followed with "It's time to order the man in the can", we still laugh at that remark as it was just the amount of humor we needed. While we had such a strong feeling that everything was ready to go; when it was confirmed by the doctor I can’t explain the amount of joy that ran through us. Of course, our day wasn’t over yet and while we were extremely happy with our first appointment, the nerves of the second appointment were unreal.
When two o’clock came, we sat in a small room awaiting the doctor. Eventually, she came in and began the appointment. She touched Nikki’s lumps and said while she doesn’t believe its cancer; she’s going to need a mammogram to be safe. So, while we are close to being out of the woods, there’s still lots of prayers being said to continue our journey through these obstacles.
While the entire journey has been a series of ups and downs, today felt like one of the highest days we’ve had. We went to lunch and as we sat there we began ranting about life and what we wanted to happen, how we wanted it to happen and then it caught up to us; there we were – wishing, hoping, making plans, creating images of what could be without what was. That was the worst part about the letdown; having an image of what was supposed to be and accepting what was. As we finished our lunch, I felt aggravated with myself; why was I doing this to myself again? Getting my hopes up, thinking about this and wondering about that, of course, Nikki noticed right away and while we went into the store for a friends birthday gift, she nonchalantly walked to a baby item and pointed it out, without making plans, without setting expectations. She knew I wanted to have all of these hopes and wanted to do nothing but talk about the possibilities, that’s why I love her, that’s why we work; she knows just the right thing to do in order to comfort my emotions even when I don’t know how.
So, while today was a great day for the books, it’s not the end yet. A disappointment could very much be in our future, or, a baby.
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Tonight I begin my first dosage of Clomid for this month. The doctor has upped my milligrams to 100mg in hope of better follicles compared to last month. I don't know how confident I feel as today I have had an extremely overwhelming, rough day. As I wrote in my first post, IUI and fertility treatment is very expensive and Florida does not see infertility as a medical emergency – therefore, my insurance I pay for monthly will not cover any part of the treatment, including ultrasounds ( even though if it was for any other reason; it’d be covered). Anyways, while I know and have come to terms with this, today my insurance decided not to cover my regular monthly scripts and has added another bill to a pile of bills that’s very quickly adding up.
Of course we have set aside a good amount of money, well, enough to do IUI three times total. Every month we do an ultrasound without the IUI, we are spending anywhere from 330-450 dollars on medication and injections. Well, when this happened today I began feeling overwhelmed and just sad. It’s hard to live in a body that simply won’t work. I know many people may say, well you’re gay.. so what’d you expect? But the truth is, we’ve tried natural ways with donors, we’ve ordered fresh and frozen semen and we simply have never had success. The doctor believes my endometriosis, ovarian cysts and tumor very well could indicate fertility issues and blockage issues, however, my D&C should have cleared this up ( from my ultrasound last month, my ovary looks good) so here I am, ranting on about financial and re justifying every single thing we have done in order to start our family.
I joined a support group about a month ago on Facebook, I have to say these ladies are the strongest ladies I’ve ever encountered. I read several stories about what they are going through and I sit amazed by the strength they all have. I always talked to anyone who would listen until eventually I felt like a broken record, people can hear me, but they just can’t understand what its really like. These ladies are there for one another in ways they could never realize and I pray every day for them to start their families and find peace for the ones they lost. In a world full of so much hate, so much negativity I can’t help but think about these ladies, sharing their stories and literally helping other people in the group just deal. If someone is reading this, I highly recommend finding a support group. Maybe you don’t like to talk about it and that’s ok, you may find a post useful and that can make a difference all on its own.
Sometimes when I think about what my wife and I are going through, I find myself racing with so many questions and much hate for my own body. I look in the mirror some nights and wonder why my body won’t work the way it’s supposed too. It’s a fight I fight inside daily, this is my first time typing it. If I fought a little harder, would my body work a little better? Is it hereditary? Is it because I’m gay? …. All of these questions when said out loud sound silly, they sound like someone should tell me “just relax” (never tell me to just relax! I try to relax, it doesn’t work =P). The truth is, I don’t know why this is happening to us, I don’t know why I haven’t gotten pregnant yet and I don’t know if I ever will.. but this is the month I am praying to try at least once with IUI…
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
So far, I’m enjoying this blog. I was cautious at first as I didn’t know how I would feel putting my … our story out for the world to read, but it seems that many won’t read it and to the ones who do, I hope it helps you with your journey, or if you know us, I hope it allows you to truly understand how much everyone around us has made our lives so much better and in so many ways, tolerable. I also hope for anyone who reads this, to always know it is based merely off daily emotions and situations we encounter, how they make us feel and how we get through them. Being married is hard enough, being married untraditionally and dealing with infertility can throw just about anyone for a loop. So, here goes my second post; “Oh relax!” is what I’ll call it, the two words nobody with infertility issues wants to hear..