Healing

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It’s been over two weeks since Matt’s surgery. He has done amazingly well. He has been completely independent for a week now. He takes walks daily, visited work, went to church and the pre-season Colts game on Sunday! Yes, it was probably a bit much too soon. But he was glad to get out.

The first week was definitely hard, but for reasons other than I expected. I thought he would be in more pain which would be hard for both of us. His pain has been very minimal the whole time. He went off the pain meds pretty early and cold turkey. It never occurred to me that he would have withdraws, but he did. Mostly hot and cold flashes for days. This meant very little sleep for both of us, mostly for him.

During this time I saw a lot of my heart. Can you guess what I saw? Ugliness. Selfishness. When he woke up the fourth time because he needed help moving, I wanted to say no. As the days went on with so much interrupted sleep, I had to consciously remind myself that I had to help him. It was like reminding myself that I love him! One of the last nights he said he had to yell to wake me up like four times and when I did wake up, I just stared as I debated getting up. I realize some people are simply servants. I am not. As a believer I am of course, called to be a servant. Que the conviction. Wait no. That didn’t hit until a couple days after I caught up on sleep. So I’ve been asking the Holy Spirit to give me a servants heart. Matt’s mom was here helping out as well and I am so quick to let her do things that I should have done…like dishes. She did them every day. I’m so thankful for that! And yes, she was here to help, but I know my heart. I know that my heart was selfish and lazy in letting her do it constantly.

It was also a wake up call (no pun intended) as to what being a mother would be like. I understand how even getting 8 hours of sleep, but only in small doses can make one incredibly tired still. Also, the giving up of oneself. I know being a mother is hard and painful because you have to die to yourself. I think I know a little better now. But please know that my husband who is a big baby when sick, was definitely not that way for either surgeries! That has been fun to see his personality and his determination to be independent as much as possible. Just wanted to clarify that the comparison between being a mother and caring for my husband are of course greatly different.

Here we are prior to his surgery. 
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And here he is taking a walk outside the day he got home from the hospital. He walked around the neighborhood shirtless for the first four days or so. ūüôā This led to finding out a neighbors friend has the same scar as Matt…only from a stab wound. We may live in a somewhat ghettoish neighborhood….

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It’s Just Hard

Aside

We do not have IF coverage. Correction. DH now has IF coverage. But last time I checked, the woman is involved in just about every part of treatment. Basically, we realized that the insurance was super expensive and there was no way we could afford it. It was a really hard and emotional weekend. I had filled out all the paperwork and had Matt sign and such and that’s when he caught the price. How we didn’t beforehand, I don’t know. The hardest part? Sitting there watching him struggle so much. Normally¬†that’s¬†me. Normally he can muster up some, “It’ll all be ok.” But not this time. I sat there with my head in my hands crying and he at the other end of the table speechless. He was angry and devastated. There were no words. The question we kept asking was, why would God give him this job with IF coverage only for it to be out of reach? It seems cruel. He shared with his guys group and he said no one said anything for minutes afterwards. No one has words. But also, no words speak a lack of love. It made me so mad to hear that happened. I know it’s uncomfortable to say something like “I’m so sorry. That makes me so mad and hurt for you.” But its also uncomfortable to be living it, as well as to¬†receive¬†silence from your closest friends about it.

Since we only had a short time before he couldn’t enroll anymore, we decided to just put him on it. A woman on the forum I’m a part of suggested I call and ask my insurance if I get IF medicine covered, and I do! So that was encouraging as I know that alone can be very expensive. I do feel better knowing that Matt can get checked out in June. I can finish getting tested. I’ve decided to go to a different RE. I want a Dr. who will be very¬†thorough¬†and I don’t feel the last one was. I want to have a full work up of blood tests and an ultra sound. I’m somewhat suspicious that I may have PCOS. So while I do that, a urologist can work with Matt. I’m not sure what they will want to do. Ideally this is how it will go down;

Beginning in June, we both go to our Dr’s and have tests done.

Dr. gives Matt medicine or surgery (not sure I want him to have that due to success rates).

I am placed on Chlomid (most likely).

Because Dr. has helped Matt’s side of things, we get pregnant naturally! ūüôā

Wishful thinking I know. Wouldn’t that be great though? If since we can’t do IUI that just giving us medicine would be enough? I just really wanted to be pregnant by August….

That brings me around to this week. My mom is coming to visit. And I’m really looking forward to it, really. I am. I am also nervous. My mom knows I’ve had a hard time and even wants us to take a trip for fun because of it. Which is sweet. At the same time, she does not get it. I don’t think I really expect her to get it. I just wish she at least knew that it was really painful. It feels like she just wants to gloss over that. She wants to spend time with me but does she understand that time with just us two may be hard…if she wants to hear how I’m really doing? She also isn’t good at listening at all.

My little sister is coming to do some coffee training about an hour or two away from here. So of course, it makes sense for me to see her. I’ve been dreading this and put off making a decision for as long as possible. Then she emailed me Friday to say she would love to stay at my place Friday night. I didn’t even know this was a possibility. The thing is, the Monday before I had spent some time praying about it and felt like God was going to tell me to see her. I didn’t respond to her email. My mom texted me asking me if that would work. I was frustrated¬†because¬†we’re just talking logistics here, not anything to do with my heart when really that is the issue. When I talked to her Sunday I told her that. She said she thought things were fine between us because she wrote me a letter apologizing for telling me she was pregnant the way she did. This is true and the letter was sweet and genuine. That doesn’t change the fact that she is pregnant. My mom reminded me of how I had said I have to deal with pregnant people on a daily basis so she thought it was no big deal. Sigh. My little sister¬†begin¬†pregnant is a way bigger deal than my co-workers being pregnant. Add to that our lack of relationship, and our very rocky relationship our whole life. Also, the fact that she is a very self centered person and my mom has already told me how obsessed she is with her pregnancy and how she complains all the time. Just what I want to be around. I had told my mom before if it was my older sister it’d be different because we have a relationship and I know that the pregnancy would not loom¬†in-between, at least I hope. With my little sister, we don’t talk so what will she want to talk about? What will be the one thing I can’t stop thinking about? The baby.

I told my mom I’d call my sister since really, my mom shouldn’t be in the middle of this. After of course I broke down crying on the phone with mom. Not sure if she noticed. Anyway, I got off the phone and cried and Matt prayed for my conversation with my sister. Earlier Sunday, at church the sermon was about not playing it safe. I was reminded of times that Jesus has taught me just that these two years. That he calls us into hard things. That he was called into the hardest thing. That life isn’t easy because he is with me. In fact, I am with him and I go where he goes. And if that is moving towards people despite the pain, than so be it. I told my friend at church that morning how I was¬†struggling¬†with what to do because I¬†do not want to live a life of self-protection. And yet, that is my natural reaction. But it hurts just to think that self protecting is pushing a relationship, a person away.¬†I want to see my sister. I want to have a relationship with her. But just imagining being around her and her cute bump makes me feel like I am about to explode.

I called my sister to tell her to come. To tell her I want to see her. Why?¬†Because¬†I love Jesus and he loves me. Because he asked me to move towards her even if it hurts. Because I love my sister even though she hurts me time and time again…even before the pregnancy.

It’s hard in this to not wonder why Jesus asks me to do such painful things. But he reminds me that I’m not the only one who goes through painful things. That my sister has and will go through hard things too, even though she may never understand what I go through.

When I talked to my sister she was super sweet. She goes between being very sweet and not sweet at all to me. I’m glad she was the former this time. I told her I wanted her to come…and then I started crying. So I said, “I might cry the whole time…but I want you to come.” ¬†Obviously that puts her in a very hard place and I could hear her struggling to say how she doesn’t have to come. I told her that I wanted her to come because I don’t want her to believe that I love her less or don’t like her because she is pregnant.

Then I had to actually switch my work schedule around so I can actually spend time with her. I’m still kind of in shock that I’m doing this. I hope I’m building it up in my mind and it won’t be that hard. That my faking it skills are better than I think. However, I want to remain me. Going through counseling to be freed from shutting off my emotions was too much of a gift to forget now. I don’t know what that means in this circumstance. Do I let myself cry if I need to? Do I put on a happy face so I don’t upset my mom and sister? Maybe I will truly just be happy! If you think of it, please pray.

Could it be?

I know, second post in one day! I figure while I’m on a roll…..

I’ve been trying to stay away from Facebook lately. I feel like after *gasp* almost two years of infertility, I’ve learned that babies come in waves altogether. Right now, there is a big wave. And everyone is due around the same time. August. I know, Christmas babies. One being my coworker, the other my younger sister. I was really sad about the idea of working with a pregnant woman, but I had gotten over it mostly rationalizing it wouldn’t be terrible because we don’t work together a lot, and I¬†don’t’ think her personality is the type to talk about it a lot over the next months.

Last night we had a meeting at work. I usually enjoy meetings at work. This was a quick and to the point one. At the end, my manager says,
“I’m having a baby in September and thought you should all know.”
My reaction: *gasp* You are?? Oh my goodness! When are you due? Congratulations!

This reaction was genuine. And it felt sooooo good to have a genuine happy reaction for someone being pregnant. Why would I be so happy? Well, since coming to this store in April, we have talked on and off about our desire for children but how it just doens’t seem to be happening. She has shared with me how she has really long and irregular cycles. She has also shared how she isn’t sure her husband even wants children. When I went made an appointment to the RE, she was proud because she was too terrified to.

My second reaction hitting about 2 seconds after the first: OMG OMG OMG I am sitting inbetween two pregnant women. OMG don’t cry. Don’t cry. Don’t cry. No, those are tears you are feeling. Think about soemthing else other than the fact that now you have to work with TWO pregnant women!!!

Fight or flight sure kicked in…and I flew! It was the end of the meeting and I got up and got out of there asap. I am so happy for my ¬†manager. But I also am hurt and feel kind of betrayed. I feel like she knows how much I hurt over it. When my little sister told me they were going to not try not prevent, I told her to prepare for my nervous breakdown in a month. Of course, she didn’t see my nervous break down, but I did tell her about it. So now, here she is sharing this news in a group. Why didn’t she tell me first? Give me a chance to react. Instead I had to fight so hard to not cry and I almost lost the battle. I’m not a public crier at all, but I know if I hadn’t left when I did, everyone would have seen tears. I guess it’s hard because it’s a reminder that she never really had infertility. Ok, I can’t really say that. But there is a difference between the people who actively try and those who “hope” they have sex at the right time. Honestly, I wonder if she hadn’t been pregnant yet simply due to low¬†libido. Sigh. But it also reminds me of the difference between someone who has gone through IF. I cannot believe if she had, she would have done what she did. So really, I can’t, and won’t blame her for announcing the way she did. She simply doesn’t understand. That makes me sad because I’m reminded of how alone I am.

I got in the car, broke down and said, “Jesus loves me. Jesus loves me. Jesus loves me.” I had to say that because all I was feeling is, “Jesus hates me.” He doesn’t, so I tried to remind myself of the truth. I came home and cried while Matt held me. It’s really hard knowing so many people are pregnant right now…and I know more will come. Including my other sister and very possibly my sister in law. If that happens, I feel like I will die. I don’t want to miss out on¬†everyone’s¬†lives, but all I want to do right now is go into a hole and never come out.
It’s also hard knowing that while Matt has a job now (and a good one…we think!) we can’t just jump into treatment. It¬†doesn’t¬†pay amazing, and because of his¬†unemployment¬† we need to make sure we’re caught up and at least somewhat stable before trying to do treatment. Who knows how long that’ll take. Which means more babies by that time. Also, three months till it’s been two years. I. cannot. believe. it. Every cycle closer to two years confirms that we have the real deal infertility. sigh.

After my breakdown and dinner last night, I decided to research what Matts new jobs benefits are. He will have the same health insurance company I will actually. I went online to see if I could figure out his plan. When I looked on the paper given him, it says bcbsil.com That is, Blue Cross Blue Shield ILLINOIS. Did you hear that???¬†ILLINOIS.¬†His insurance is through Illinois!! Sure enough, right on their website it says it covers infertility. Illinois is one of the 15 states with mandated infertility coverage. My heart began to pound. Could it be? Could it be that God gave Matt this very job for more reasons than just a decent job???? As you may have guessed, the company is based in Illinois, that’s why their health insurance is through there. It’s so funny how my heart can be so devastated one minute and feel like there is no light at the end of the tunnel, to being so hopeful the next! I couldn’t find his companies plan, so I just called BCBS. The lady said she can’t answer until she sees their plan, BUT if they do have IF coverage, even though we aren’t in IL, we would have the coverage still. !!!!! Holy smokes. Now, she also said (and I stayed up too late researching and confirmed this) that although IL has a mandate, there are exemptions. The ones I’ve learned of,¬†Matt’s¬†company would not qualify for. However, that does not mean there isn’t something that does exempt them. Basically, it just depends on what his employer picked up.

That would be so completely amazing. I cannot even begin to exclaim. But I’m trying to be hopeful, without putting all my hope in it. I have learned that I really can only trust in Christ. And if that means we have IF coverage, praise the Lord! And if it means we don’t, praise the Lord!

P.s. we wont’ know until he is able to sign up for benefits. He doesn’t start until at the earliest, next week. Please pray that his insurance covers IF! Until then, I am holding my breath. I’ll practice my TWW patience…..only its double because I actually am in the TWW!

Four Days Late

The week of my last post I prayed specifically that Matt would have a job by the end of the week. Friday came and I went into work feeling pretty bummed about the fact that he hadn’t had a single call. Then a co-worker of mine came up to me and said,
“I have something to tell you.”
“I think I already know what it is.” I replied.
12 weeks pregnant she is. Now, she had a miscarriage in June that just broke my heart…but not hers. So I am happy for her. And I was pretty sure she was pregnant before this, but the announcement still hurt. Well, more so the thought of working with her for the next six months. I went into the back and cried. On my break I called Matt and broke down all over again. Nothing was going right. No job and now this!
A couple hours later he got a call to schedule an interview. Is that you Lord? I had no choice to believe it was. That weekend was pretty emotional. We met with our friends to sort things out (which went well). Then the message on Sunday was about Jesus healing Lazarus. Our pastor talked about how both Martha and Mary said the same thing, but Jesus responded to each differently. What a personal God he is. Just reading their remark to Jesus makes me weep.

“Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

Isn’t that what all our hearts cry during suffering? ¬†That is where our hearts have been. And he doesn’t condemn for it. He reminds us that he is the¬†Resurrection¬†and the Life, and he weeps with us. Matt said he felt the sermon was for him. I asked him what that meant. He figured out what I was getting at; that God spoke to him. Something he feels never happens.

That Wednesday was Ash Wednesday. This is the first church I’ve ever been to that has a service, including putting ash on your forehead. It is so sweet though. At the end of the service, everyone goes up and multiple elders are standing there with the ash and they pray for you. Not just pray for you in a generic sense, they asked each and every person, “What can I pray for you for?” So we shared quickly. The elder that prayed for us prayed that we would not ask why, but that we would know that God loves us.

The next day, he had a second interview with this company. We talked after it and talked about how we just have to trust the Lord. Now, that seems obvious. But we’ve been learning to actively do that, not just say we should do that. Later that night, he got a call saying they had an offer for him.

So, a week after I meant, he had a job. In the story of Lazarus it says,
“Now¬†Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.¬†So, when he heard that Lazarus¬†was ill,¬†he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.”
By the time he got there, he was four days late. This is such a powerful passage. Because he loved them, he let him die. He later says it was so that the Father would be glorified. That is ultimately what our lives are for. Amazingly, he does this all while loving us deeply.

God provided us with a job for Matt. Finally. What feels very much like four days late.
Soli Deo Gloria.

Thankful

This Thursday is Thanksgiving. It’s high up there on my favorite holidays. I love the history of it along with the family gatherings and of course, the food! Stuffing. Mostly stuffing. But this year, it’s going to be a hard year. It will be our second holiday season without a baby while trying. Last year, we’d been trying for 6ish months. And yes, my heart was already broken by then. Thankfully, I’ve come to accept our IF a lot more than last year. It is my reality now. Apart from the lack of a child in our arms, our family is pretty much falling apart and my husband has no job. Which is why it’s even more important to be thankful.

This infertility has taught me a lot about being thankful. As any infertile knows, the sight of a belly or baby brings instant heartache. At times, that heartache can bring tears no matter where you are. Who wants to cry in the grocery store? Not me. So I began to learn to be thankful. Whenever I would feel the sting of infertility, I would say “God thank you for…” For example, I’m in the grocery store and there is a woman with a toddler in the cart and another one on the way. I pray “God thank you for those two little lives. Thank you for the gifts that they are to that mother.” When I’m driving and see those family stickers where there are 193732987 kids on it I say “Thank you for the gift of fertility you gave them. Thank you that the gift of children came so naturally to them. Thank you for the joy of so many children.”

At first, these were just words I would say. I didn’t actually mean them. In fact, I was probably feeling something more along the lines of “For real??? Six kids? I mean, why couldn’t you distribute that a little bit? Damn. A baby and another on the way? What the hell is wrong with me?” ¬†Ok, so obviously my heart is pretty terrible. And yes, I cuss when talking to God often. I did notice right away that it immediately stopped the intensity of the sting. Oh the sting was still there, but it didn’t threaten to knock me over. But at some point, something amazing happened. I began to actually mean what I prayed. I don’t even know when. I just realized at some point in time that I had just meant what I prayed. So now when I pray “God thank you for those precious little lives you gave to her” my heart is genuine. They aren’t just words. I am really thankful that God gave her those lives. When it’s moms with many children, I am safe to assume IF was never an issue, I thank him for their fertility and that God spared her the heartache of IF. Is the sting still there? Yeah. I don’t think it will ever go away. But I’m so glad God taught me a way to be thankful for things that bring me pain
; that I have eyes to see something others may not and thus, can give God glory.

I don’t know why I’m doing this to myself. I deactivated my facebook a couple months ago. It’s been really nice. I don’t have to worry about what I will see and also, just to not be so addicted. But I’ve been thinking since we’re not officially trying right now, I’m ok so I should maybe get back on facebook and limit. So I’m going through and hiding newsfeeds and deleting people. Oh you just got married? Unsubscribe. Only post your new baby pictures? Unsubscribe. Also, I keep going to peoples pages who I wonder if they’re pregnant. Of course they are! I must love to torture myself. I heard of something that turns baby pictures into something else of facebook…maybe I’ll check it out! ha

It’s been mostly a good week trying to let things go. The hardest part is trying to ignore the fact that I was obviously ovulating…and then to know and not to make sure Matt is aware. It just so happened we had sex right during that perfect time. So now it’ll be really hard to not think about these next two weeks. Of course, without any confirmation I could be off on my O date, but I doubt it.

The moral of the story is: ¬†I guess I’m still not ok.

The Plan

SInce we got Matt’s SA results back, I feel like I have done nothing but research. I’ve learned a lot. Mostly about food, vitamins and herbs. The first thing I did was go to GNC and get Fertility Blend. Then I slowly added more vitamins as I learned more. I was given a bottle of pretty pricy vitamins from a guy at work who’s expecting after four year of IF (and naturally at that)! Then food; I’ve slowly been working on getting both of us to limit our¬†caffeine¬†intake, and eat more fruits and vegetables. We also started a gluten free diet because we are trying to figure out if Matt has a gluten intolerance (which may or may not be linked to our IF (read this). Now recently I’m working on buying more organic meat and vegetables. I browsed through the book The Infertility Cure and since have Matt on some herb and I stopped drinking iced beverages. All this is in addition to temping, OPKs and checking CM.

The past year I’ve spent a lot of time on forums which is where I’ve gotten a lot of information. I’m very grateful to have a place to go and learn from people who are more experienced or who are right there with me. It’s the one place in life I don’t feel alone. Although, often times they also scare the crap out of me to hear what some women go through.

Having said all that, this all can become overwhelming and obsessive. ¬†So what’s my point? Well my point is, I’m done. I am so so so so done. I want rest. I want my mind to be free. I’ve been really wrestling with God about all this the past week or so. Just trying to figure out what to do next; go get more testing done, keep TTC naturally or nothing? Matt currently isn’t covered by my health insurance. This month I can sign him up so I will. It won’t kick in until October though.

So I’ve decided for the next few months I’m giving up. No temping, no OPKs, no looking at my FF, no timed intercourse (hallelujah!). In October or November if nothing has changed, it’ll be off the Dr.s for us. Also, no forums. That will be really hard for me. But I know if I’m on them, I will continue to constantly be thinking about everything, even if its just about everyone else and what they’re going through.¬†We will continue to eat healthier, as I think we should do that no matter what. But I am going to try my hardest to stop trying. I am going to let go and try to simply trust God. I was talking to a girl at work (I’m blessed to work with two other women TTC and one guy as I said who went through IF) who just had a baby about TTC and she told me they tried for almost a year and how hard it was for her and the one month she literally gave up, she got pregnant. When she went to the doctor, she didn’t even know when her LMP was! Man, that sounds impossible. I am really praying I am able to do that. But I¬†want it to be real, not because I know everyone who gives up, gets pregnant (which sure does seem to happen all the time!) but because I trust the Lord completely and that mean whatever He¬†decides¬†to do these next few months is good. Even if that means Octover/November come with no baby in sight.