I just finished the book, "When Breath Become Air" by Paul Kalanithi. It was such a wonderful, beautiful, & touching book & was just what I needed to read right now. It is a book written by a neurosurgeon who was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer & wrote the book the last 2 years of his life. He had such a beautiful way with words & it was so touching seeing the things he experienced, felt, & thought about as he was experiences such a huge trial. He had a wife & they were almost going to get divorced when he found got his diagnosis. It brought them close, saved their marriage, & they had a little girl 8 months before he passed away.
Hearing about their love & how strong they were was so touching. It made me think of how incredibly grateful I am for the marriage Nate & I have. Even though these past few years & most especially these past few months have been stressful, discouraging, & sometimes heartbreaking, I am so thankful for the love that Nate & I have for each other. I know that this trial has brought us closer & that we will be stronger & better parents because it. I felt like we had a strong marriage before, but there is something about going through a trial together that really cements you together.
Reading this book, made me think of the many trials that others go through, people that go through divorce, a spouse or child passing away, disease, medical complications, poverty, a spouse having an affair or addiction, there are so many sad things that go on & it breaks my heart when I think of the trials others go through. But it does give me peace to know that Heavenly Father is always there for us. It is when we are going through trials, that our true personality comes out & we must strive our best to show faith, hope, kindness, & love to each other & to others.
There have been days when I feel hopeless, but they usually end in me crying my eyes out, being held by Nate, & saying a prayer for comfort. Then I usually wake up feeling better & feeling peace & hope. I know that I am so blessed with the gospel, a wonderful husband, family that loves me, & the ability to have hope.
Today I go in to get my blood taken to see if Nate & I can qualify for an IVF test study. A few weeks ago we were preparing to start the IUI process. I had to go in to get an HSG test & make sure my fallopian tubes were not blocked and then a few days after that, we were supposed to schedule the IUI. When I had the HSG done, it showed that both of my tubes were completely blocked. It was so disappointing knowing that IUI would not be an option. Our 2 options now are a surgery to try & unblock my tubes and then if that works, 3 rounds of IUI. Or only other option is IVF, which costs $16,000. It was pretty disappointing news to hear that & to think of waiting another year until we can save up that amount of money. There is a study being done on invitro that I didn't quite qualify for because my AMH level was a little too low. The doctor wanted me to have my blood taken when I was dehydrated to see if the level would increase so I could qualify for the study. Nate & I have both been fasting & praying & we know it would be such a miracle if I could qualify. We will see how it goes! I know that even if I don't qualify, we will have a miracle somehow & that the Lord's timing is best. Since needles & shots are my worst fear, whenever I get a shot or my blood taken, I picture myself in Bali, surfing or walking along the beach. I'm so thankful that Nate & I were able to go on that trip. It was the trip of a lifetime & is something I will always remember.
Some of my favorite quotes from the book:
"In the end, it cannot be doubted that each of us can only see part of the picture. The doctor sees one, the patient another, the engineer a third, the alcoholic a sixth, the cable guy a seventh, the sheepfarmer an eighth, the Indian a ninth, the pastor a tenth. It grows from the relationships we create between each other and the world & is still never complete. & Truth comes somewhere above all of them."-Paul Kalanithi
"We were as inseparable as we had been as medical students, when we would hold hands during lectures. Now we held hands in his coat pocket during walks outside chemotherapy, Paul in a winter coat and hat even when the weather turned warm. He knew he would never be alone, never suffer unnecessarily. At home in bed a few weeks before he died, I asked him, 'Can you breathe okay with my head on your chest like this?' His answer was, 'It's the only way I know how to breathe.' That Paul & I formed part of the deep meaning of each other's lives is one of the greatest blessings that has ever come to me."-Lucy Kalanithi
“There is a moment, a cusp, when the sum of gathered experience is worn down by the details of living. We are never so wise as when we live in this moment.”
Well, the past month Nate & I started meeting with a new doctor that specializes in infertility. He has an office called the Fertility Treatment Center in Tempe and everyone there is extremely knowledgeable and very nice. It has only been a month since we started going there and I feel like we have learned a lot, as well as had some disappointing news, but we feel like we are getting the best treatment available there. Our first appointment, was a consultation & lasted about 2 hours long. We talked with the doctor, then had a ultrasound, then talked with the doctor again about what he thought our best options were, and then had a nurse explain a little more in depth, got my blood taken, and then talked with someone about the costs of everything. It was very organized & we felt like we got so much done in just a few hours. After talking with the doctor, he decided to have me continue taking Metformin (1000mg, twice a day), take Femara, and do IUI for the first few cycles. I was also supposed to come back in a few weeks to have an HSG x-ray. We were told not to research the HSG because people put horror stories on the internet about it and it wasn't that bad. That scared me a little but I would rather know less so that I don't worry, so I didn't look anything up about it.
I came back for my HSG x-ray a week and a half later & was pretty nervous for it. It is supposed to show if your tubes are blocked at all, but usually comes back that they are not blocked. They put a dye in you and I won't explain the whole process, but it is awkward & pretty uncomfortable. The doctor's office has a surgery center connected, which is nice. When the x-ray was being done, the doctor was explaining everything and I could see the x-ray on a screen. The dye didn't seem to be going anywhere, & I could tell something was wrong because they had to switch and get a different tool and didn't seem to be talking much anymore. Finally, the doctor told me that my fallopian tubes were completely blocked and he had tried to clear them but was unable to. I was so sad, we had seen so many women go in and out, getting the test done, & everything seemed to be fine with them. I was trying not to cry & just went back in the bathroom to get changed. It was really disappointing news because we were supposed to be coming back in a few days to do IUI and had thought we had a chance at getting pregnant that month.
We talked to Dr. Craig a few days later about our options & were hopeful that there would be many options before talking to him. During our phone call with him, we realized we really only have 2 options,
1. Laproscopy and IUI: Trying to see if at least one of my tubes can be unblocked through a surgery and then trying IUI. This would only give us about 3-4 months to try IUI and then the tube(s) would most likely close up again and have a high risk of an ectopic pregnancy if I got pregnant when they were closing up. The surgery would cost $1,500, plus the cost of anesthesia & then IUI would cost about $1,000-$1,500 each time.
2. In Vitro Fertilization: IVF would cost $16,500 and the chances are higher of it working. Just thinking of how much money this is and the amount of time it would take us to save breaks my heart. I don't care about the money, I know it will be completely worth it if we can have a child, but having to wait at least another year to even be able to try & having this be our only option if the Laproscopy doesn't work is something that really worries Nate & I.
There is one thing that could work with IVF. Our doctor's office is doing a study on IVF and if you meet certain qualifications, you can get IVF for only 10% of the usual cost, so it would only cost $1,600. When we first met with Dr. Craig, he told us about the study & they checked my bloodwork to see if I was eligible for it. Unfortunately, my AMH level was off by a small amount. On our phone call, the dr. said that sometimes if you go in to get your bloodwork done when you are dehydrated, the level can come out higher since it is more concentrated. I am going to go in and get my bloodwork done again to see if we can get the level higher so that I can qualify for the study. I know it is a long shot and we were told not to get our hopes up, but that would be such a miracle and such a blessing if we were able to qualify for the study. We have been praying about it and thinking about it all week.
It is really such a stressful process going through infertility. No one really understands unless it's something they have been through. I know that one day we will have children & all of this will seem so far behind us. I am thankful that Nate & I have such a happy, wonderful marriage. I'm thankful for the gospel & for the ability to pray to my Heavenly Father & know that he hears and answers my prayers. I have felt hope, peace, & comfort throughout this process. There have been so many hard days too, but I know that it is through the trials & pain that we grow stronger. Nate has been such a great support & I know that we will be better parents because of this experience.