Saturday, May 31, 2008

Now for the Real Reason

Russ and I have had some very long, deep discussions in the past year about what we are going to do after he graduates. The original plan was to find a congregation to work with and move there. Well, things change. We have now decided to stay here. Russ is going to get a secular job and preach on weekends. There are plenty of congregations around here that need preachers every Sunday so he won't have to miss any Sundays if he doesn't want to. Hopefully, he will get a nice paying office job. He has been telling most people that I want to go back to school. This is true, but I am concentrating on other things right now and actually plan to go back to school in a couple years if all goes well. The real reason we are staying here is because I am seeing a doctor about infertility issues. Yes, that's right. We have been trying to get pregnant for three years. I started seeing him in February and have been doing treatments since March. Russ and I decided "family first" is our motto for the next few years. If you want to know more about our infertility journey, read on. If you don't, I don't blame you and you can stop here. Telling this feels like I'm pushing a thousand pounds off of my shoulders. First, I love my clinic! I went to see the nurse practitioner first. For a funny side note, I had actually just picked a clinic off of a list from my insurance provider. I needed my annual and didn't really care that much who did it. It ended up that one of the doctors is an infertility specialist at that clinic....I don't know how I got that lucky! First the NP had me give some blood to run to make sure my hormone levels were all normal. They were! Yea! Then Russ had to do a semen analysis. I edited this part because Russ didn't want me to post his results. They weren't bad. I don't know what his problem is. He says it's because he's a man. So, I called back after the blood work and semen analysis were done and I got to see the doctor for the first time. This guy seems to really know his stuff. I've read two books about infertility and research infertility online constantly and totally agree with the protocol he put me on. Within five minutes of questions, he decided that I don't ovulate (ovulation is super important in conception. Read about that here.) I wasn't sure that I agreed with him at the time, but when I looked back at my temperature charts (You can read about that here), I realized that he's right (duh, he is the doctor!). My charts are completely screwed up! So, he put me on Clomid (or clo-mood as some call it, it makes me crazy) to help me ovulate. To make sure that my body is doing what it is supposed to, I also get to have ultrasounds. These aren't the fun little abdominal ones, either. These are the trans vaginal ultrasounds. I call those appointments "my dates with the coochie-cam!" HA! If I couldn't look at this with humor, I would go insane. Anyway, the radiologist does those. He's great! I love him. He has a great sense of humor and is so easy to talk to. Of course, the first ultrasound was evil. I was horrified about what they wanted to do to me, but now it's a walk in the park. So the radiologist measures my ovaries and follicles whenever my doctor decides that needs to be done. I am a "good responder" to the clomid. I'm on the lowest dose and made four follicles the first cycle, three the second, and four again this cycle. Yea! I'm having big girl cycles where I ovulate and suff. HA! I also got to have a hysterosalpingogram. If you want to know more about that procedure, check this out. My right tube is great. My left, not so much. It didn't show up when we did the HSG. My doc says he thinks it just spasmed and that it is fine. He doesn't know for sure, but for now, I'll take it. He also said that my uterus is anteverted, meaning it's tipped forward. Though, he said that when we did the HSG and hasn't mentioned it since, so maybe he changed his mind. Who knows? WebMD said that an anteverted uterus isn't a cause for infertility, though it might not help matters. I also get to give myself shots every cycle. When my follicles have grown to a mature size (most doctors like to see them at least 18 mm), I have to give myself a trigger shot of choriogonadotropine alfa (HCG, the pregnancy hormone) to force ovulation. Then Russ and I do our thing and the two week wait commences. That is the two weeks following ovulation that I get to stress and pretty much go insane while waiting to see if I'm pregnant. So, I'm on my third medicated cycle. If this one doesn't work, we will move on to artificial insemination (IUI's). This is what farmers do to cows. Joy.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Oh woe is my hair!

After work yesterday, I planned to go get my hair cut. Well, I've had a few bad experiences with hair places here. To refresh your memory, you can read about them here. I had tried to call the last place I had went to. I was fairly happy with them and didn't really want to go through the hassle of finding somewhere else to go. Unfortunately, their number was disconnected. That's right, disconnected. So, after work, I drove up there (naively thinking that maybe they just changed the number) and saw that they had gone out of business...or moved? Anyway, so I thought about what to do for a bit and decided that I would try that chain again. I know, I know, R-E-T-A-R-D-E-D. I thought that maybe they thought I was with someone who was getting their hair cut last time. I really liked the girl that cut my hair there so I was willing to try them again. I should have known better. I walked in and stood there for a while. No one said anything so I went ahead and sat down. Why did I even sit down you ask? Because I was apparently paralyzed from the neck up last night. I sat there for about fifteen minutes and a guy walks in the door. He sits down and one of the ladies turns around and asks him what he needs. He needed a hair, that was a really hard one to figure out, right? So, she puts his name in the computer. I wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt (I know, paralyzed from the neck up) so I sat there for a little longer. One of the girls got done with the cut she was doing and went to the computer. She never said one word to one had at this point....or ever. She called the guy back. After twenty minutes of sitting there and the guy being called back, I left. Why didn't I leave fifteen minutes ago? I was paralyzed from the neck up. But, the evening ended on a good note. Russy felt so bad that he went and found me a place that was open late and I got a super cute hair cut. And now I also have a place that I like, is established, and does a great job....I pay a bit more, but it's worth it to be in a stable least for now.

Friday, May 23, 2008

A Different Perspective

This past year has completely changed my perspective of things. From my quest to be healthy down to Russ and his very moving sermon during the lectureship, everything has changed. And I have begun to realize that the situations that we find ourselves in don't define us. It's what we do with those situations. (I know, DEEP) But, I have also realized that being in a difficult situation just makes us stronger. Looking back over my life to date, I try not to dwell on the things I did wrong (and believe me when I say I have done some stupid things). I have started looking back on those times as times where I grew and learned from my mistakes. That being said, I don't regret anything I have done in my life. I am a dweller by nature, but I strive to let go of the things that happen and try to live life today. If we're not striving to better ourselves as humans, than what are we doing? Life is a learning process. Living for today is all you can do. Live life today and hope for the best for tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Taste the Rainbow

I love Skittles. Whenever Russ and I are on a long car ride or going to the movies, Skittles is my candy of choice. So last week, I was having a particularly rough Thursday and I started craving Skittles. I went up to the fourth floor break room (where they have always had Skittles) and the machines didn't have any! So, I went to the first floor break room (that usually doesn't have Skittles) and they didn't have any! By this time, I WANTED MY SKITTLES! So, I called Russ. He was in school, but I left him two voice messages and an e-mail saying how important it was for me to have Skittles. I told him that I would die if I didn't have any and that I knew he didn't want me to die. HA! I never really believed that he would actually bring me a bag of Skittles, but 20 minutes later, he called back. He was walking out to his car to bring me a big bag of Skittles. When I say big bag, I mean big bag. This wasn't one of those check-out line bags or even a "tear and share" bag. This was one of the ones that came equipped with it's own ziploc closure. Skittles had never tasted so good.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Writing Therapy

So, life has been especially difficult lately. Some of you know that, some of you don't. Russ and I have been going through stressful situations and sometimes I feel like I am just going to pull my hair out...or worse, Russ's hair! Well, I have confided a lot of what is going on in my friend, Penny. She advised me to get a journal and write everything down. I took Penny's advice and bought a journal this weekend. Once I started writing, I couldn't stop. I've filled up at least 10 pages and I only started on Sunday. So, if any of you are going through a rough patch in life or even if you aren't, I highly recommend the therapy of writing. When I was in high school and my parents, sister, and I went to Ukraine multiple times, Mom and Dad made me write in a journal. I hated every minute of it. I understand the thinking now. I treasure those journals even though they are obviously written by an immature teenager who didn't want to write them in the first place. So, Mom and Dad, thanks for making me write those journals and Penny, thanks for the advice.

Monday, May 5, 2008

We Bleed Red

Ok, so I know it is normal to bleed red, but Russ bleeds red for a completely different reason than I. Russ bleeds red because he is a Cardinals baseball fan. Yes, that's right. Fat boy like baseball. Last Friday evening he talked me into going to a game and, not only that, but he talked me into buying a Cardinals t-shirt to wear to the game. He had already ordered and recieved his from the net with Ankiel written across the back. Mine says Pujols. As much as I hate to admit this, I enjoyed going to the game. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't want to go every week, but once in a while it's pretty fun. Go Ankle and Pujy (as I like to call them)! And by the way, that t-shirt is pretty cute!